Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Revealed: The World's Most Expensive Trout

The worlds most expensive trout ever produced
The most expensive trout ever produced
complete with it's own commemorative case
The London Reporter gets up close and personal with a trout!

Just when you think you’ve seen and tasted it all, an invitation comes to try the world’s most expensive trout (and who was I to say no!).

RR. Spink & Sons of Arbroath are a brand with a rich heritage which I love, they date back to the 1700’s and hold a Royal Warrant as Fishmonger to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To celebrate their 300 year anniversary they were revealing 300 limited edition luxury trout fillets, each one costing £300. The event took place in the newly opened Morden and Lea bistro in London’s Soho, owned by Michelin star chef Mark Sergeant.

So what makes this trout so special? Well each fillet is hand-cured, smoked over native Scottish wood including oak, cherry, pine and beech which combine to give it a very unique taste, It’s also given a four-day slow maturation time giving this rather regal fillet a very tasty finish! We were lucky enough to taste individual flakes which if you do the maths probably works out to at least a £1.
An evening in London with RR. Spink & Sons
The evening went swimmingly well......
A fact that might surprise you is that in blind taste tests between salmon and trout - the trout slightly wins! With its silky texture and bright pink colours, this really is a very worthy fish and deserves to be accompanied with Champagne.

Now, I must book my trip up to the Highlands! (Or alternatively, there is Selfridges!).

Disclaimer:  We were invited guests, all thoughts are our own.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Waitrose Christmas in July Press Show 2015




The London reporter sneaks into the foodie press event of the year...

Okay, we admit it right now, Christmas is still a way off but let’s be honest, come September some of us will start to think about the big day and all the yummy food shopping that needs to be done.

Waitrose have just revealed to the press their Christmas food stars and let me tell you - it’s all delicious and amazing and moreish and so on..!

At Kitchen Delights, you may have noticed that we have a sweet tooth so it’s with this in mind that we bring you a small selection of our favourite seasonal sweet treats to look out for!

We’ve created a small flip book for you to look over below including a scrumptious Chocolate & Amaretti Tiffin Snowflake, brioche Christmas tree, cute animal cupcakes, a ginger bread house and baubles! What will be your favourite?



Disclaimer: We were guests of Waitrose. All views are our own.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Melting Goat's Cheese Salad

Melting Goat's Cheese Salad

I've been having a great time recently, I've just returned from a holiday in beautiful Rovinj where it was amazingly hot. Only this last week I attended the 25th Anniversary of The Hyatt Birmingham where the party, food and drink can only be described as amazing, I love the Hyatt.

I'm out and about for the next three weeks and for the majority of the time I'll be away from home. Today I'm in Beckenham and tomorrow I'll be trying to avoid the rain on the southbank in London where I'm reviewing a restaurant with Paul my London based blog partner. This next week is going to be a mix of culture, food, the odd glass of fizz, visiting a few independent coffee shops and shopping.

We're then going home for a few days and moving on to The Wirral for culture, food, and so on and so on.....then we're off to the Lake District, Scotland and the Peak District.

The blog is going to be a bit erratic but both Paul and I have some fabulous posts coming up:

The limited edition luxury trout that costs £300!
Christmas in July with Waitrose
Zwilling Press Event
The Hyatt Birmingham 25th Anniversary Party
Microplane Review
Stellar Cookware Review
Restaurant Reviews
Camp Bestival
Recipes

And that's just for starters!  So please bear with us whilst we battle our way through the blog posts.

After indulging over the last few weeks we needed a few lighter meals, although true to say there is cheese and pasta involved in this meal which is no bad thing.

You will need:
Bag of washed prepared mixed leaves
Vine cherry tomatoes
Sundried Tomatoes
Cucumber sliced
Red grapes
cooked crispy smoked streaky bacon
2 small rounds of goats cheese

Dressing:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
Sea Salt

For the farfalle salad
110g farfalle pasta
Small handful of pine nuts
Small amount of washed spinach leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle
Freshly ground pepper
Sea Salt

1.  Arrange the salad ingredients onto a plate.
2.  Grill the goats cheese gently until starting to melt.
3.  Place the grilled goats cheese onto the salad.
4.  For the dressing:  Add the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until mixed together. Pour over the salad immediately before serving.
5.  For the farfalle salad: Fill a pan three quarters full with water, bring to the boil, add a sprinkle of salt.  Add the pasta to the pan and cook on a gentle boil for 10 minutes or until cooked.
6.  Drain the cooked pasta and rinse under cold water.
7.  Place the cooled pasta to a bowl, add the spinach leaves and toss.
8.  Place the pine nuts into a small frying pan and toast on the hob until lightly browned.  Remove from the pan and cool.
9.  Add the pine nuts to the salad.
10. Drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Spanish Grapes Film Premiere



What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Spanish wine? My bet is that it's likely to be a fruity Rioja or may be even a bubbly Cava. But unless you really know your wines, you'll probably not be thinking of the many other delicious options on the horizon which make for a far more interesting choice.

A few weeks ago we saw the new film ‘Spanish Grapes’ by Zev Robinson which focused on Spanish wine production. Taking place in Copa de Cava, a Spanish wine and tapas bar in London’s Blackfriars, there was also a chance to taste wines from a range of producers.

In the film, Zev travelled the length and breadth of Spain covering a range of topics including the popular co-operatives which pay grape farmers a fair wage to how Cava has it’s own unique flavours from the soil and climate in which the grapes grow. The film had heart and soul and really showed the characters which make such an exciting industry and just how personal wine production is.

I learnt about many grapes I hadn’t heard of including Ribera and Priorat and the challenges of bringing these to market.

Disclaimer:  We were invited guests, all thoughts are our own.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mixed Berry and White Chocolate Cheesecake Slice

Mixed Berry and White Chocolate Cheesecake Slice

My strawberries were at their best when I left for my holiday a few weeks ago and now they are struggling to produce any fruit.  Next year I'm definitely not going away during strawberry season and missing one of my favourite fruits.

The raspberries are being a bit temperamental this year and the berries aren't anything to get excited about.  However, my redcurrant bushes are producing amazing crops of fruit and I'm looking forward to filling bag after bag to pop into the freezer for a rainy day.

I'm not the biggest fan of a baked cheesecake but because the cooked layer is quite thin I was more than happy with my dessert. If you have a go at making this you'll find that there is a quantity of cheesecake batter left over but you can easily make a couple of individual cheesecakes with some extra biscuits.

Cut Mixed Berry and White Chocolate Cheesecake Slice

You will need:  12.5cm x 35cm loose based tin.

Ingredients:
250g Hobnobs
80g butter, melted
120g white chocolate
1 vanilla bean or 1tsp vanilla extract
125g cream cheese, softened
55g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
125ml whipping cream

To decorate:
60g white chocolate
250g small strawberries
125g raspberries

1. Add the Hobnobs to a food processor and whizz until fine.  Add the melted butter and process until all combined.
2. Pour the biscuit mixture into the tin and press over the base and sides of the tin.  Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
4. Break the chocolate into pieces and add to a small bowl.  Place a pan of water on the hob to a gentle simmer and place the bowl with the chocolate over the pan to melt the chocolate.  Cool.  Or if you have an induction hob the chocolate can be placed in a small saucepan and the chocolate melted on the lowest setting.
5. If using, take the vanilla bean and split it lengthways, scrape out the seeds.
6. Place the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla seeds or vanilla extract into a mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric whisk until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth - if the mixture seems a little thin don't worry it will still be okay.  Now add the cooled chocolate and cream and whisk until the mixture thickens slightly.
7. Remove the tin from the fridge, place onto a large baking tray, and pour in the filling taking care not to overfill.
8. Bake for 30 minutes.  Leave the baked cheesecake in the oven for a couple of hours.  Remove from the oven, cool and place in the fridge for approx 2 hours to chill down.
9. Carefully remove the flan tin and place onto a suitable plate, decorate with the fruit, melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top of the berries.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Total Diet Food Review

Total Diet Food Cooler Bag

In which I try to shed a few pounds (well for a day anyway) on the Total Diet Food Plan...

If you are trying to slim down a little for summer and need a helping hand on the calorie counting front then the Total Diet Food plan might be right up your street.

A few weeks ago I sampled the plan on a beautiful sunny Monday having done the legwork in advance. The way it works is very simple. The company ask you what your objective is, decide a meal plan for you, then send a whole day’s worth of food to your office in a cooler bag. It’s quite pain free and quick to get to this stage!

For me, I am classic male office worker. Someone who really should be doing more exercise and should be slimming down. Based on this criteria, I was recommended a meal plan containing 2,100 calories which sounds perfect considering the recommended daily allowance for a man is 2,500 calories. The customer services team then asked if I have any dietary requirements and where I would like the food dropping off. In this case - my central London office at 7am.

First Impressions
When I collected the cooler bag on the Monday morning it was surprisingly heavy but then it did contain my whole days food supply. It was also exciting having everything all packaged in containers in a lovely cooler bag.

So this is what I ate throughout the day...

Breakfast

Breakfast Tropical Fruit

Tropical fruit served with natural yoghurt and a homemade gluten free granola. This was a very colourful breakfast with a very generous portion which picked up the interest of my work colleagues. There was also a green tea sachet.

Morning Snack
Apple and Hazelnuts. Contained in a plastic bag tied with string and beautifully presented.

Lunch

Teriyaki Mushroom Salad

Teriyaki mushroom salad with organic quinoa. Mmm. This hit the spot and again was a very generous portion so there is no fear of not feeling filled up. There were three pots of dressing and I didn’t feel any guilt using it all considering I was being calorie counted.

Afternoon Snack

Tomato and olive salsa

Tomato and olive salsa served with carrot and celery crudites served in a plastic pot - it was faultless and tasty.

Dinner

Moroccan chicken with lemon couscous

Moroccan chicken served with lemon couscous, green beans, courgettes and caramelised onion.
Now I messed up here - I didn’t read the instructions and ate it cold when it should have been heated up in the microwave (oops). All I will say is that it was a massive portion.

To sum up...
This is obviously a premium service. With a cost of £29 a day this is probably the most polarising aspect of the plan. I see it this way - if you can afford it and want to lose weight, quite simply why not? This is a premium product aimed at a particular demographic who can afford it. Obviously, it is a lot of money and to eat these foods on a daily basis quite simply might not be possible to many people. This is one of many options out there we have as a consumer! In terms of taste - it was faultless and it didn’t feel like I would be trading this off to lose weight. I'm sure I ate more during the plan than normal because of the huge portions which obviously kept hunger away. And as for recycling they have this covered - they can take away the plastic containers and reuse along with the cooler bag upon collection and swap like for like.

Tell us what you think! Do you currently use this service? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you're interested in going on the plan, drop Kitchen Delights a comment or an email and we can introduce you to the company. For more info visit TotalDietFood

Disclaimer: We were sent the product for review, all thoughts are our own.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Let There Be Meat (Book Review)

Let There Be Meat

Let There Be Meat is the perfect book for anyone who is already adventurous with barbecue cooking, or those who long to take their knowledge and skill to another level. Written by James Douglas and Scott Munro who spent seven years in the US mastering and honing their BBQ skills. On their return to the UK they opened Red's True Barbecue restaurants and have now written a book with drool worthy meat recipes, sides, desserts and drinks.

Epic Pulled Pork Sandwich.........yes please!

Epic Pulled Pork Sandwich

Grilling Dirty With A Tomahawk - I first came across this cut on holiday at a BBQ the hotel were hosting - the Tomahawk is a seriously huge cut of meat.......

Tomahawk Steak

BBQ Softshell Crab S'Wich - crab on the barbie?  This one was new to me.......

BBQ Crab

There are instructions in the book showing how to set up either a gas or charcoal barbecue for smoking, and recipes galore including pulled pork and smoked brisket.

Brining, rubs, plank cooking, sauces, pickles, sourdough starters, salads, desserts, drinks both alcohol and non-alcohol, ever fancied making a pig roaster?  No problem, the book has got that covered too.

I made a sides of Smoked Hasselbacks...........

Smoked Hasselback Potatoes

And then for extra deliciousness top with sour cream and sprinkle with smoked paprika.....

Smoked Hasselback Potatoes with Sour Cream

Melonade with a zing of ginger - an alcohol free drink for the driver..........

Melonade Drink

Summing Up:  A real page turner with stunning food photography. The book will appeal to BBQ enthusiasts or anyone who would like to take their skills to the next level.

Published by Orion Books
Release date: 4 July 2015
Hardback £25

Disclaimer: We were sent the book for review.




Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cappuccino Cake

Cappuccino Cake

I made this cake just before my holiday, it's quick and easy to make using the never fail all-in-one method. It was hastily photographed and my photograph doesn't really do this delicious cake justice....I'm playing catchup now with the blog posts and with a safety net of only a few in draft to fall back on, I may have to resort to sharing my holiday snaps with you!

This is basically a moist coffee cake with the addition of cocoa powder, the topping is white chocolate, butter, milk and icing sugar. I gave my two cake testers a slice each without telling them what the cake was called or the ingredients I'd used and they both thought it tasted of hazelnut. Interestingly the coffee/chocolate combo appears to confuse the taste buds!

If you own an induction hob the icing ingredients can be melted gently in a pan on the hob instead of over a pan of water.

You will need:  28cm x 18cm tin fully lined to come above the edges of the tin.

225g Stork SB
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cocoa powder
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
3tbsp coffee granules,
dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water

For the icing:
115g white chocolate (I use Menier because it melts easily)
55g softened butter
3tbsp milk
175g icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, add the butter, caster sugar, eggs and coffee mix.  Whisk for 2 minutes.
3. Pour the cake batter into the lined tin.
4. Bake for 35 minutes or until cooked.
5. For the icing: Add the chocolate, butter and milk to a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stir until the chocolate has melted.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and sift in the icing sugar.  Beat until smooth. Spread over the cake quickly.
7. Dust with cocoa powder and when the icing is set cut into squares.
8. Freezes superbly.
9. Eat with a fabulous cup of coffee.



Friday, July 10, 2015

Review Gallery Mess Serves Up Wimbledon Themed Afternoon Teas!

Gallery Mess Wimbledon Themed Afternoon Tea

The London reporter serves up and scores for afternoon tea...

Hoorah for Wimbledon. Two weeks of superb tennis in what looks set to be one of the hottest summer's we've had for years.

We were invited to get a head start of the Wimbledon action by attending Gallery Mess - the restaurant which adjoins the Saatchi Gallery, for a spot of own afternoon tea to celebrate Wimbledon.

This is what we enjoyed...

Our afternoon tea was served with champagne (yes!) and we chose an Assam tea which as nice as it was, wasn’t loose leaf tea!

Sitting in the sunshine, we really did feel the stresses of that day evaporate as we were treated to a stunning selection of cakes and sandwiches which were served on rotating blocks of slate.

As this was a Wimbledon inspired afternoon tea it had Battenberg cake (I think with pistachio and praline) and decorated to look like a tennis court. It was also served with an accompanying green macaroon which was of course the tennis ball.

We then enjoyed buttermilk scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. These were pleasant enough although we did think they could have been slightly bigger. We then dived into strawberry and Pimm’s jelly and strawberry cream eclairs.

As for the sandwiches, it was the usual afternoon tea choices with a selection including egg and watercress; ham and mustard; and prawn marie rose.

Game. Set. Match I say!

Address:
Duke of York's HQ
King's Road
London
SW3 4RY

Disclaimer: We were invited guests, all thoughts are our own.