A very foodie week…

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This week I’ve eaten very well. On Tuesday I had takeaway pizza with parma ham and rocket and the next day nibbles and wine with colleagues at the old favourite Terroirs.

On Thursday I had a nice catch up with a friend in Soho at this lovely Mexican place I will do a write up on later. And on Friday I got treated to a lunch out (a very rare occurrence) at lovely Dishoom.

Saturday I had lunch at a lovely fish restaurant with my friend Helen while her fiancé (the head chef) cooked for us (the scallops on the picture amongst other things)! So delicious! In the evening I saw a very moving and thoroughly amazing play in Dalston. It was only one performance, but it was so good I hope it gets put on again and then you all have to go and see it.

Sunday was nice and quiet and spent in a nice pub with Sunday roast, a glass of wine and the rugby. Now it’s a new week and I have friends coming to visit from Sweden – yay!

 

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Dinner at one of my favourites; Terroirs, West End

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Some things in life we fall in love with. I have definitely fallen hard for London and some of its restaurant. One I always come back to and which has yet to disappoint me (like that’s possible) is Terroirs.

If it wasn’t for all the French people I work with I may have missed out on visiting this gem in the beginning. Now, a few years on, it has been voted best restaurant in London by Time Out and has expanded down in the basement as well as opened sister restaurants all over town. But I am really glad I was there in the beginning, as it feels more like my restaurant that way.

But even if you walk in now and become a regular I hope you will enjoy it here as much as I do. The staff is so friendly and familiar, the food is always lovely and pretty fuss-free and the atmosphere is just nice and relaxed.

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A few weeks ago I met up with Jenny to celebrate a few things and dragged her here. We started off with a glass of bubbly (Dne Agnes & Rene Mosse, Anjou), a lovely deep rosé sparkling wine. In fact we liked it so much we decided to go for a bottle as well.

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And some food. Everything on the menu looked lovely but we both chose the whole crab. The chef thought they didn’t have enough brown meat in them and gave us a crab toast too, which was very kind. The (quite spicy) crab toast on sourdough was really nice, but nothing beat the simplicity of the fresh crab with luscious mayonnaise and lamb’s lettuce, fresh baguette and salted butter.

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Such a nice meal (and rather fun with all the mess, especially as we sat perched on stools at the bar) and a wonderful evening.

And that’s why I recommend Terroirs. Again. And again.

Terroirs Wine Bar and Restaurant, 5 William IV St  London WC2N 4DW

TGIF!

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This week has been busy busy with work and looking back I don’t feel I got anything else done. But that’s not actually true. I cooked both Monday and Tuesday making buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese dip and potato wedges one day and pork souvlaki with fried halloumi, pita and tzatsiki the other. 

And on Wednesday I had dinner and fizz with Gaby and Rowena at the pub Thomas Cubitt on cosy Elizabeth Street and yesterday drinks and dinner at old favourite Terroirs.

But I’m still really excited about the fact that the weekend is near. I want to go for walks in the amazing autumnal weather (when it doesn’t rain, I mean), do some more cooking and even baking and just relax. Have a nice one!

Squid with chorizo, cannellini beans, spinach and aioli

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One reason I love living in London is of course the restaurant scene. It is ever changing and evolving and I love (and hate!) the fact that I can’t keep up. Eating out inspires me a lot as a home cook but it is not always the most impressive and technically difficult dishes that appeal the most.

Since I had a similar version of this squid dish at Terroirs in October I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to cook it since. So when Laura, another squid lover, came for dinner the other week I knew exactly what to cook.

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The Terroirs original has chickpeas instead of my cannellini beans but other than that I think I hit quite close to home. My homecooked dish was just as satisfying and although this is a straight-forward recipe with simple ingredients the combination is just utterly wonderful. (Chorizo is a bit like bacon – whatever you add it to tastes wonderful.) All it requires is some crusty bread and a nice glass of wine.

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Squid with chorizo, cannellini beans, spinach and aioli, serves 4

400 g squid, sliced into rings

150 g chorizo, sliced

1 tin (400g) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 

250 g fresh spinach

oil for frying

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, black pepper

To serve:

chopped parsley

aioli (see below)

crusty bread

Fry the chorizo in the oil. Remove from the pan but keep the oil to flash-fry the squid. A few minutes is all you need. Put the chorizo back in the pan and add the beans. Wilt the spinach in a separate pan and add it to the big pan too. Squeeze with lemon juice, season and serve! 

Aioli, serves 4

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

150 ml vegetable oil

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, white pepper

1 garlic clove, pressed

Place the yolk in a mixing bowl and start whisking. Add the oil drop by drop and gradually in a thin beam. Once the mayonnaise has thickened, add the lemon juice to loosen it. Then start whisking again and incorporate the remaining oil. Add more lemon for flavour as well as salt, pepper and garlic. 

Lunch at Green Man & French Horn, West End

Pork rillette with cornichos. 

I really enjoy working in the West End, because of all the nice restaurants around there. One favourite is definitely Terroirs, and recently they have opened a sister restaurant just around the corner from Terroirs, so of course I had to go and check it out one lunch time.

Girolles and artichokes with egg yolk. Simple yet genius! 

Green Man & French Horn feels similar to Terroirs, but feels more like a restaurant than a wine bar. The interior is rustic with mismatched wooden tables which contributes to the relaxed atmosphere.

Just like at Terroirs you can decide for yourself if you want a full three-course meal, nibbles or just one main dish. Always a sucker for nibbles Caroline and I ordered a few dishes each. It was all really good, but we so over-ordered. Just the velvety corn soup we had to start would have been enough for lunch, but we did our best with the other dishes too.

Sardines with gremolata – amazingly good. 

Langoustines with lemon, something utterly Swedish that I have hardly seen on a British menu. Really good! 

Despite good efforts we were not even remotely close to finish all the food, so we actually asked for a doggy bag. One shall never waste good food!

Green Man & French Horn
54 St. Martins Lane
London WC2N 4EA 
0207 836 2645

 

Dinner at Terroirs

Some places are mentioned frequently on the blog, and Terroirs is definitely one of those places. The reasons are many; the convenience from my office (3 minute walk), their great wine list and bar snacks, their food and friendly staff and the comfortable atmosphere.

When Therése was visiting, we had supper here on the Saturday and although the West End seems so different on a Saturday night than on a weekday, we had a very enjoyable evening.

First we started with olives. These fresh sweet olives are almost impossible to find back in Sweden, so it was a must for Therése.

We then had some small plates to share, and the first was this full to the brim charkuterie board with saucisson, duck rillette, cornichons and pork terrine with pistachios. Really good, but very filling.

Next we had squid with spinach, chickpeas, chorizo and aioli. Amazingly good and something I will cook myself as well.

Traditional mussels in white wine and they were big and juicy.

Lastly, my favourite; toast with girolles, bone marrow and red wine. Settles any umami craving possible and so delicious. Will be back for this soon!

Terroirs Winebar
5 William IV Street
London WC2N 4DW

Four course dinner

Our friends Malin and Martin have been staying with us Wednesday to Sunday last week, and we did the most of eating and drinking during that time. 🙂

On Friday we met up with them after work and walked to our favourite Terroirs for a glass or two. OK, two. We take most our visiting friends here for drinks as it is such a nice a place. We were a little hungry so we nibbled on bread and nice green olives before we headed home to eat dinner.

While I was cooking we had some Pimm’s and snacks and after half an hour or so we were ready to eat properly.

We had Delia’s smashing halloumi with lime vinaigrette as a starter, followed by lamb neck fillet with French potato salad and asparagus.

For dessert we had vanilla pannacotta with strawberries and raspberries and a pinch of icing sugar, followed by a cheese board, sourdough bread, crackers and port.

Yep, we were very sleepy and full after all this. The next day the gluttany continued with a big brunch and Henley Regatta, which I will post tomorrow.