London: relaxed brunch at Rail House Café

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Another restaurant to open in the new development by Victoria is, Riding House Café, cleverly calling this branch Rail House Café.

I love the original restaurant on Great Titchfield Street, as much for it’s wooden interior and cosiness as for the food. This new restaurant is all modern with large glass windows but is still cosy in the same way.

I came here a while ago with my friend Daisy for brunch one Sunday and it was so lovely I would happily go back every weekend. The interior is really relaxed with sofas as well as proper tables, inviting you to take it easy and not rush. We had coffee and a proper brunch dish each. Daisy went for an avocado toast with additional poached eggs and crispy bacon, whereas I chose a version of Eggs Benedict but with crab cakes instead of ham.

Both dishes were really well executed and lovely, and really substantial. Such a great brunch spot!

Rail House Café, 8 Sir Simon Milton Square, London Victoria SW1E 5DJ

 

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Eating NYC: brunch at Upland

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New York is the brunch capital of the world (at least in my opinion, I have no facts to back this up), and so of course Sinead and I booked a brunch in a new great place while we were there. My friend Marie-Louise recommended Upland and we were very happy with the suggestion.

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I liked the place straight away. The decor was relaxed yet classy and had a definite New York vibe I can’t really describe in words, but I think you know what I mean.

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The food was lovely too. I had an amazing frittata topped with roasted garlic mayonnaise, espalette and chives.

Sinead had two eggs any style (in this case poached) with bacon, fried potatoes and sourdough. It was definitely enough to sustain us shopping for the rest of the afternoon.

Upland, 345 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010

Post-holiday Cobb salad with ranch dressing

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Hello dear readers, are you still there?

Sorry about my unplanned break; before the summer I just didn’t have time to update the blog, and then I was away for three weeks and have now been back in London for two weeks. I feel more rested and obviously have lots to tell you about, but I will start easy and share a yummy salad recipe and the best dressing recipe ever with you.

After having seen Cobb salads on almost every single  menu when I was in America, but never felt like it would satisfy my hunger after walking around all day, I couldn’t wait to make it when I got back to Blighty.  It’s a perfect salad to go for if you want something substantial; not just a few lettuce leaves. Make sure you enjoy it while the Indian summer is still here.

 

Cobb salad, serves 2

2 little gem, sliced

10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 avocado, cut into pieces

2 tbsp blue cheese of your choice (jag chose my favourite – Saint Agur)

2 chicken thigh fillets

4 slices streaky bacon

2 eggs

Trim the chicken thigh fillets, brown in butter in a frying pan, add salt and pepper and cook in the oven (15-20 minutes). Fry the bacon until crisp and drain on kitchen towel. Cook the eggs how you like them. Hardboiled are best for salads but I personally prefer a looser yolk (6-7 minutes). 

Slice the chicken, bacon and cube the (cool) eggs. 

Divide the salad between two plates or bowls. Add the toppings (it doesn’t have to be in neat rows but I quite like that). Serve with the dressing of your choice. Maybe ranch dressing? Recipe below. 

Ranch dressing, serves 6

Adapted from The Huffington Post recipe.

120 – 180 ml (1/2 – 3/4 cup) buttermilk

2-3 tbsp sour cream

1-2 tbsp mayonnaise (Hellman’s)

1 tsp finely chopped herbs (tarragon, dill, parsley and chives)

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

a few dashes Tabasco

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Or add all the ingredients to a jar and shake until smooth. 

New potato salad with girolles and bacon

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This wonderful potato salad is an old favourite. I saw a Swedish chef make it on TV many years ago and then made it myself a few times in Sweden and loved it. But moving to London girolles were no longer a staple mushroom in the supermarket so I forgot all about this dish until this summer when I cooked it for my parents. Luckily it was just as nice as I remembered it!

New potato salad with girolles and bacon, serves 4

Adapted from Gert Klötzke’s recipe.

10-12 baby new potatoes, cooked

1 packet rocket

1 litre girolles, cleaned

4 slices smoked bacon (at least)

1 chopped onion 

2 garlic cloves, chopped 

50 g thinly sliced cheddar 

butter for frying

salt, pepper

50 ml mustard vinaigrette (mix 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil)

Dice the potatoes and add to a large bowl. Fry the bacon until crisp, dice and mix with the potato. Fry the onion and garlic in butter until softened, add the mushrooms and fry until golden. Season. Add the mushroom to the bowl and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Mix well and lastly add the rocket and cheese. Mix again and serve. 

Pork fillet in a creamy bacon and mushroom sauce

A few weeks back I invited my friend Nick over for dinner. In exchange he got the lovely job of putting up my curtain rod. A perfect exchange if you ask me.

Just before he arrived I started cooking and was about to blitz the floors with the vacuum cleaner but it refused to even come to life, so I had to open the door with dusty floors.

Maybe not a big deal to some people, but it is to me. I like things to be nice, and most of the time as nice as possible. But I thought to myself, maybe I can distract him from noticing the dust in the corners if I cook something really good.

As it turns out I did. It is a very simple recipe, and pork fillet is a cut we use A LOT in Sweden. Less so here, and although I like other parts of the pig, this is a very versatile cut and I always go back to it now and then.

Pork fillet in a creamy bacon and mushroom sauce, serves about 3

200 g button mushrooms, quartered

4 slices smoked bacon, cut into small pieces

350-400 g pork fillet, tendons and fat removed, diced

100 ml dry white wine

200 ml creme fraiche

200 ml cream

ca 2 tsp dijon mustard

some concentrated beef stock (Touch of Taste)

soy sauce

sauce colouring

salt and pepper

Fry the mushrooms on high heat in a large frying pan, in butter and olive oil. Remove when properly browned, add salt and pepper. Add the bacon to the same pan and fry until crisp. Remove. Brown the pork on high heat and remove as well. Add the wine and let half of it bubble away. Add the cream and creme fraiche and let it bubble for a few minutes. Add the mustard, stock, soy sauce and sauce colouring. Adjust the seasoning. Add the mushrooms, bacon and pork and let it cook for about 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.

Serve with potato wedges and any vegetables you like. I served it with crunchy green beens and soft leek and peppers that I cooked in the oven in some olive oil.

Scallops with bacon and wild garlic mayonnaise

This is a great throw-together starter, that still has that something extra. Just serve with some nice bread.

I know that wild garlic is not in season now, but I happen to have quite a lot of it in the freezer, so I can use it for special occasions. I totally adore the flavour!

Scallops with bacon and wild garlic mayonnaise, serves 2

1 batch wild garlic mayonnaise

3 slices streaky bacon

6 large fresh scallops

mixed baby leaf salad

extra virgin olive oil or coldpressed rapeseed oil

salt

Make the mayonnaise. Cut the bacon into smaller pieces and fry until crispy. Drain on kitchen towel. Dress the salad with oil and salt. Cut off the muscles on the scallops (the tough white part) and fry in butter on high heat until just cooked through. Season. Plate and serve straight away.

Oeufs en cocotte with bacon and cheese

A long breakfast or brunch is the best way to start the weekend, isn’t it?! A favourite dish of mine for such occassions is oeufs en cocotte; a baked egg with cream in a ramekin. I have mentioned about these little darlings before, but thought it was time again now since I last weekend had the perfect egg. Not yet set, with cheese, bacon and truffle oil it was such a delight.

I also, finally, figured out the perfect time and setting for my temperamental oven. Horay!

Follow my lead:

Oeus en cocotte with bacon and cheese, serves 1

a knob of butter

1 slice of bacon, fried in pieces, drained on kitchen towel

1 egg

2 tbsp single cream

1-2 tbsp grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack, but cheddar would work just as well)

1 tsp truffle oil

white pepper (no salt necessary)

Grease a ramekin. Place the fried bacon in the bottom and break the egg on top. Pour over the cream, sprinkle the cheese, drizzle truffle oil and add some pepper. Place in a ovenproof dish and fill it half up to the ramekin with boiling water. Place in 160-180 C oven (depending on the oven, mine was perfect at 160C) and bake for 14-16 minutes, longer if you need the egg to set. Eat with a spoon and a piece of buttered toast, and roll on Saturday night!