Burgers, theatre and a weekend in the country

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I’m so pleased I managed to do some more cooking last week, than in the recent weeks. Nothing life-altering but I feel so much better eating proper home cooked food. On Monday I made my go-to fast food supper of rosti with creme fraiche, lumpfish roe and chopped red onions. It’s quick and yummy and I even made some extra for lunch the next day.

 

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On Tuesday we went to the theatre, but as it was a long play we made sure to eat something beforehand. Luckily Bleecker on the Southbank is perfectly located for a pre-theatre burger, which also happens to be one of my favourites!

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The play we saw was The Lehman Trilogy at The National Theatre and it was OUTSTANDING! Amazing actors and amazing story! A must see!

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And as always when I walk from the office across the Thames to the Southbank I always stop on Hungerford Bridge to admire the view (and take a few snaps). London is such a beautiful city!

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The rest of the week I tried on dresses and packed for the weekend. As I like to be prepared I even brought backup dresses, but luckily I didn’t have to use them! But I also cooked and made enough of this pasta with spinach and nuts for two suppers. Really yummy!

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Friday night was a chilled out night in, with some yummy food. To stop me from becoming hangry while I was cooking the mains, we had some shop-bought blinis with smoked salmon, soured cream and chives to start. Then steak, roasted new potatoes, homemade bearnaise sauce and vegetables. And we watched some more Handmaid’s Tale and Stan Lee’s Lucky Man.

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On Saturday morning we left London for Somerset and enjoyed the beautiful countryside on the way there and stopped at a pub en route for a quick bite. Then it was party and dancing all night long followed by a lunch day before driving back to London and collapsing on the sofa in front of (more) Handmaid’s Tale and some yummy grilled cheese.

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Recipe: cheese toastie with Maroilles

I don’t know if it was because I’d just seen Nigella make a brie, parma ham and fig toastie on her latest TV show or just the fact that I am perpetually in the mood for a cheese toastie, but as it happens two weekends ago, I knew just how I would use the Maroilles cheese a French colleague had given me the same week. In return he got a nice piece of Swedish Herrgård cheese, matured for 18 months. But back to the Maroilles.

When talking to French people, food as a conversation topic is never far away. And that’s how I found out that this Maroilles cheese, from the area of Picardy, is both delicious and probably the smelliest cheese in the world. To me that’s more intriguing than off-putting and I was super excited when I tried it. Similar to Reblochon, it’s a washed rind cheese with a lot of flavour, but it’s much creamier, and dare I say, delicious.

This cheese toastie is utterly simple to make, but very rewarding when you bite into the crisp bread with melted cheese oozing out on the sides.

Maroilles cheese toastie, per toastie

2 slices Poilâne bread

salted butter

2 thick slices of Maroilles cheese

Butter the two Poilane slices on one side. Place the cheese on one of the buttered surfaces and spread them it out so it covers the whole bread slice. Place the other slice of bread on top, buttered side down (i.e. touching the cheese). Press the sandwich together. 

Now, melt a generous knob of butter in a frying pan on medium-high heat (3-4 out of 6) and place the sandwich in the pan. You don’t want the butter to burn so if unsure lower the heat. You want the sandwich to be golden on both sides and the cheese to melt inside so it takes a few minutes on each side.

Fry until golden brown on one side, pressing down with a spatula. Turn the sandwich and fry the other side. Once crisp and golden and the cheese has started to ooze out on the sides remove from pan and place on kitchen roll to remove excess butter. Pat the top of the sandwich with kitchen roll too, then cut into half and serve. Yu-um. 

PS. This is what I love the most about food; it brings people together. My colleague thought the Herrgård was a nice addition to his cheese board, with otherwise only French cheeses I presume, and I got to try a cheese I had never heard of until he boasted about the best produce from his region in France. Merci!