Friday, 30 August 2013

Street Diner

Every Friday since the 26th April I have been slightly grouchy at lunch time. The reason for this is Street Diner, an awesome street food market in Brighton that I have NOT been able to go to because I teach on the outskirts!! I have had to put up with The Boy coming back and telling me about the amazing lunches he had (although he bought me Picnic Corner's delicious scotch eggs back a couple of times, he knows what's good for him!). I have also had to salivate over other people's bloody photos on twitter and read a few blogs, check out Rosie's post on Street Diner here and give her follow whilst your there.

 So when summer holidays eventually came I was VERY excited! My first trip was gay pride day. I had an Jian Ping which was an awesome pancake with duck and egg. It was seriously tasty. 

As I was trying to get in as many stalls as possible in the 6 weeks I also had a Trolls Pantry. I am no stranger to this place but hadn't had it in ages. I was actually a tiny bit disappointed! The burger and trimmings were delicious as always but the bun was a bit stale, sure this was a one off as The Boy is now a huge troll fan and he knows his burgers. The next Friday, what a surprise; I was at street diner again! This time I had a friend (a very fussy one) and was trying to decide between Hallo Chorizo or the South American tosada. I love my friend but she doesn't share and I did not want the inevitable food envy so we both went for chorizo. Oh sweet Jesus. It was fricken amazing. I couldn't decide between romesco sauce or homemade lemon aioli (obviously I was having chorizo AND halloumi) and so the lovely lady did me half and half. The two ladies who were cooking up a storm were really friendly and I always love a bit of banter! The chorizo and halloumi are grilled and served in Flint Owl bakery rolls with tomato salad and rocket. As I just thought how to describe the taste I just closed my eyes and sighed. It was that good. Smokey, spicy chorizo, oozy salty halloumi, garlicky, lemony, herby, peppery goodness. It was so good that the following Friday I went and got another one!

 However, so I could carry on with my quest to taste as much as possible The Boy got the ribs with plantain chips and dumplings from Likkle Bickle which was really tasty. I also got some gorgeous brownies from Honeycomb cakes for my friend’s birthday, although they didn't all necessarily find their way to my friend......

My Street Diner mission was put on hold whilst I went on holiday to Spain. However I did have a craving for Hallo Chorizo so tried to recreate it. Although it didn't quite live up to the original it satisfied my craving, I’ll blog about it at some point! Once back from sunning myself I was eager to get my Street Diner back on. I had been eyeing up the Little Blue Smokehouse, probably due to the hunks for meat! I have to say I could never be a vegetarian because of places like Little Blue Smokehouse. Happy meat, happy duck. I had pastrami with the world’s biggest pickle, yum.

School starts again on Tuesday but blossoming relationship with Brighton's first street food market can continue as they are now open on Saturdays, woohoo! That's my weekend plans sorted!

Catch Street Diner at Brighthelm Gardens on Queens Road. Friday 11-3 and Saturday 12-5. 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Chicken Fajitas with Homemade Tortilla

I have a confession. I actually quite like the Old El Paso fajita set. With all the trimmings (grated carrot, cheese, guacamole, salad leaves, sour cream, salsa and cucumber). As i'm pretty embarrassed about this I decided to make my own. It was a MILLION times better and I made my own tortilla which was easy and so much nicer then shop bought. I got the recipe from here but I found I needed less water.This serves 3 people.

What you need 


6 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne seasoning
salt and pepper
1 lime
1 tsp honey


2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of water
3 tbsp olive oil

What you need to do

In a bowl, or sandwich bag, mix the spices then throw in the chicken, honey and lime juice. Leave to marinate for a bit. Then cook them at 180 for roughly 30 minutes,

When the chicken in cooking make your tortillas. Simply mix the salt and flour then add the water and oil. Stir to form a dough and then turn out and knead till soft. Then split your mixture into 6 parts and roll into individual balls. Next roll these out to your desired thickness ( I like mine thin). Dry fry them in a hot pan until  lightly browned.

Take your chicken out of the oven and leave to rest. Then shred and serve in the tortilla with whatever you like! 

Monday, 29 April 2013

The Best Pulled Pork

There is something very satisfying about buying a piece of free range, local meat for a reasonable price and turning it into something tasty. This time it was the turn of the pork shoulder. I'm lucky enough to have a fantastic butchers (Westdene Butchers) near my work. They are so friendly, always willing to give you advice and are really reasonable. I'm really interested in butchery (Trevor is thinking about starting a course, yay!) so I love how they have the whole animal on site so I can get a cheeky look at what they're doing and can asked for the the meat to be cut exactly how I want, you don't get that with a supermarket!

This pork needs a bit of spice, some love and a long time in the oven! I served this in buns with homemade BBQ sauce, homemade coleslaw and corn on the cob. I got the spice rub recipe from here. Served 6.

What you need

Shoulder of pork (I got it with the bone still in to keep it from drying out and a decent amount of fat)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Essence, recipe follows1 tablespoon salt1 tablespoon cumin1 tablespoon paprika


1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper1 tablespoon cayenne
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tbsp salt
tbsp garlic powder
tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
tbsp cayenne pepper
tbsp dried leaf oregano
tbsp dried thyme

What you need to do

Place the pork in a baking dish. In a bowl, combine the sugar, Essence, salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, and cayenne. Rub the seasoning evenly over the pork to coat. The more you rub and massage the spices into the meat the better, show that meat some love! Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Turn your oven on full wack. Cook the pork on full for 45 minutes then turn your oven right down to 125c and cook for roughly 10 hours, basting occasionally.

Test the meat after 10 hours; it's done when you can pull it apart with 2 forks. I then mixed the meat with the juices and a bit of my BBQ sauce and left it for 24 hours (a vital step according to the Americans!)

My BBQ sauce

My sauce was really tasty (after mellowing in the fridge for 24 hours) but a bit random as I made it up and didn't write it down! However there are loads of recipes on the internet BUT please, for the smoky goodness and for that dear little piggy, but chipotles in it. They are incredible!

My coleslaw

Finely slice a quarter of a white cabbge and the same of red and grate a carrot. Mix with yogurt, cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp of wholegrain mustard and a good dollop of mayonaise. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Eat as soon as you can!

Oh and sorry for the slight highlighting! Highlighted one thing then couldn't get it back to the original, hence whole post being slightly different colour-  very annoying!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Coconut and Tomato Chana Dahl

Another warming veggie dinner. Simple, cheap and tasty.

What you need

1/2 tsp aestophidia
1 tsp Garam Marsala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
thumb piece of ginger
1 chilli
250 g chana dahl
1/2 block of creamed coconut
1 tin of tomatoes
1 lemon
1 bag of spinach

What you need to do

Grate the ginger over the saucepan so you don't loose any of the juices then saute it with the onion, chilli and garlic until soft. Add the spices and fry till fragrant. Add the lentils, tinned tomatoes and the coconut. Then cover with water and simmer till the lentils are soft. Chuck in the spinach to wilt and then use the lemon juice to add acidity to the dish. Feel free to chuck in  more chilli. I served this with a roti.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Game Crumble

I got the idea off this from Sams of Brighton's twitter feed. The first time I did it the crumble was soggy. My lovely mum then told me to dry fry the crumble mixture. The result? Lovely tender meat and crunchy top. I cooked the casserole in the slow cooker overnight

What you need


Handful of jumbo porridge oats.
1 pack of chestnuts
1 spring of rosemary and thyme
5 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

Game casserole

1 game pie mix
seasoned flour
1 large onion
handful of chestnut mushrooms.
2 parsnips, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
half a celeriac, roughly chopped
half a bottle of red wine
splash of port
300 mls of beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp of redcurrant jelly

What you need to do

Coat the meat in the flour and then sear. Remove with a slotted spoon then saute the onions. When softened add the garlic, parsnips, carrots and celeriac. Add the meat and veg to the slow cooker and  then add all the other ingredients. Cook until the meat is tender.

Meanwhile whizz all the crumble ingredients in a food processor. In a frying pan dry fry the mixture until it starts to dry out. I finished it off in the oven  (around 200c) on top of the game casserole but if your short on time you can simple sprinkle over the casserole, just make sure its crisps in the pan. 

Serve with mash and green beans.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Aubergine Cannelloni

As I really try to only eat, as my mum calls it, 'happy meat' I can't afford to eat it all the time. Luckily for me I enjoy veggie and The Boy isn't one of those men that thinks a meal isn't a meal unless it's got meat. These are really tasty. If you've got a griddle definitely use it for the aubergines. Makes them taste lovely and smokey.

What you need

4 aubergines
2 tubs of ricotta
1 large bag of spinach
50 g of Parmesan
a generous grating of nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 jar of passata
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 shallot.
pinch of sugar
1 ball of mozzarella 

What you need to do

Slice the aubergines thinly length ways and salt. Leave in a colander to drain for half an hour.
While the aubergines are doing their thing, wilt the spinach and then really squeeze out all the excess water. Chop and then mix with the cheeses, nutmeg and season generously.

Once some of the moisture has come out of the aubergines get the griddle really hot. Lightly oil the aubergines then griddle till charred. Take a spoonful of the cheese and spinach mixture and roll it up  in the aubergine. Fill up a baking dish.

Next make a simple tomato sauce. I simply sauteed some shallots and garlic and then added a jar of passata, a pinch of sugar and seasoned. Pour this over the aubergines and then dot with mozzarella.  Cook at around 190 until the top is golden and crisp.

A little too crispy?

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Scotch Egg

Hot dogs and champagne, burgers and lobster and free range fried chicken. Yup, once thought dirty food has had a glamorous makeover. This little revival has been going on for a while now and the scotch egg has also been part of it. Farmers markets and and pubs love them and so do I. Especially with salad cream.

What you need

Sausage meat ( I used 5 free range sausages)
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Panko bread crumbs
5 eggs
Plain flour
1 tbsp milk

What you need to do

Put the eggs in a cold pan. Bring to the boil for 2 minutes then plunge into iced water. Peel carefully!

Remove the skins from the sausages then mix in the mustard, parsley and season. Split the mixture into 4 and then lightly flour the surface of some clingfilm. Put one portion of the sausage meat on the clingfilm and then cover with lightly floured cling film and roll out. Take the top layer of clingfilm off. Nestle an egg in and then, using the clingfilm, bring the sausage meat up around the egg. Twisting the clingfilm at the top you can now roll the clingfilm parcel between you hands to ensure a round shape. Repeat with the other 4 eggs and then chill for about 30 minutes.

Turn your oven on-200c. In the meantime, put some flour into a small bowl and season. Beat the remaining egg in a second bowl and add the milk. Put the breadcrumbs into a third bowl. Dip the egg into the flour, egg then breadcrumbs. I doubled dipped again for a mega crunchy coating!

Heat up some oil in a frying pan (about 2cm deep) then fry till crispy and golden. Finish in the oven for roughly 10 minutes.

Not quite a runny yolk but delicious!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Chilli Pickle Canteen

India holds a very special place in my heart. I love how diverse it is: the people, the atmosphere, the feeling you have when your there and the food! So great and so cheap! The best samosa I've ever had was from a shack in a bustling street in Mumbai, simply proves that it proper bricks and mortar don't matter!

The food in India is nothing like the stuff you get in England but if you want a great, authentic curry in Brighton then you head to The Chilli Pickle on Jubilee Street. You can't miss it; its got a fricken huge cow by the entrance.
I have been to Chilli Pickle loads now and have pretty much loved everything I've eaten there (apart from a rather odd duck soup thing), I even spent my anniversary with The Boy there. So, when I saw that they had started a takeaway service I knew I had to try it.
We decided on the King Thali and got one spicy and one mild. Being a Tuesday it came really quickly and it was like Christmas. It arrived in a huge cardboard box and when opened had several little pots of loveliness. I was reeling a bit from how un-eco all the packaging was until I read on the little menu that you could recycle or compost everything bar the tinfoil; impressive!

Anyway The Boy and I ordered the Old Dehli chicken and the Tanjore mutton. They both came with (deep breath now) rice, pumpkin samosa, hara bara kebab, carrot thoran, yello dal, Rajathani millet and peas, plum chutney, mint chutney, garlic pickle, cumin raita, a roasted pappad, a phulka AND jaggery and date kheer. 

 Tanjore Mutton
The mutton was incredible  Lovely balance of flavours, incredibly tender meat and just the right amount of heat. The chicken was, again cooked perfectly. The sauce of the chicken was lush; tomatoey, creamy and buttery goodness. It was so exciting having all the little bits to go with it, like I said earlier, it was like opening a stocking at Christmas! The only thing I didn't like was the jaggery (an unrefined cane sugar) and date kheer; a type of rice pudding. When I was in India people kept trying to get me into the puddings. I didn't like them then. I still don't. Nothing personal just far too sweet.

I really recommend this if you like curry and, in fact if you don't like English curry (The Boy doesn't really like curry but loves The Chilli Pickle). And try the King Thali. As it was the first week we got 25% off so it was £22 pounds but for the amount you got I'd be more than happy to pay the full amount. The only thing I hope is that they change all the bits occasionally as I want to try more of the curries but would also like to try more bits!