Scandi smorgasboards for dinner

A light summer dinner on the terrace at home, we went for some smoked salmon and cured tuna, trimmings of cucumber, radish, and dill, with a nice squeeze of lemon juice.

On the side, a chopped salad of tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, mushrooms and feta. A perfect, light dinner for a warm summer night!

Bakewell Tart Shop, Bakewell, Peak District

On our way out of the Peak District, we decided to pick up some lunch to have in the car… and stopped by the town of Bakewell, best known for its famous Bakewell tarts! And stopped in the Bakewell Tart Shop to pick some things up!

Here I am with the famous tarts… as soon as I saw them, I remembered that I had, in fact, tasted them before, and that they really weren’t my thing!

But no worries, we went for the savoury tarts instead! We shared a broccoli and Stilton cheese mini tart (that tasted like pure cream!)

Oh yeah…

and a pork pie.  This thing was a “mini” pork pie, but check out how big it was… with lots of cooked pork inside. Good, but so. Much. Pork.

Food Glorious Food, Peak District

The next morning, we went for a drive in the Peak District… and were very pleasantly surprised, the area is beautiful! And more specifically, with its big lakes, rivers and pine trees, we didn’t feel like we were in the UK but like we were somewhere else, like Pacific Northwest of North America! It didn’t hurt that they were fishing trout in the lake below…

After a while, we pulled over to the side for a quick pit stop… and found the premier biker hangout! Because there are many windy roads and beautiful scenery, the Peak District has tons of motorcycle riders coming through.. and they all stopped at the same rest stop as us! Andre got a bacon egg and cheese sandwich, and I got a cappuccino… I tasted his sandwich… while the cheddar cheese hadn’t melted completely (and really, that’s the best part of the sandwich!), it was otherwise pretty good!

Meet Froggie, by the way, our 2000 Lotus! He looks a bit like a little… well, frog!

Le Bistrot, Aix en Provence, France

The weekend that we were in Aix, the city was overflowing with an extra several thousand people, there either to perform in the Half Ironman or cheer someone on. To top it off, many of the restaurants were for some reason closed on the Saturday night (?!). We got on Trip Advisor and were able to book something that looked okay… and were pleasantly surprised!

List of things not to be missed in Aix en Provence! And the menu… very cool, as each dish has a fun name… usually a French expression. Less funny was listening to the poor waiter explain the menu in English to some American girls, three times…

Finally, I went for the pate de campagne, served with a huge vat of cornichons, and Andre had the foie gras. Then, I had the special of the day, the curried monkfish with rice, while he had the beef.  All delicious, in a very charming setting… and a huge cheese trolley for the end of the meal – I would definitely come back and try some of their other dishes!

Murger Han, Mayfair

A chilly May day, I am craving Asian noodles, as there were strangely absent at the birthday lunch I’d been to at Min Jiang on the Saturday. I had passed Murger Han the previous week as I was walking through Mayfair, and thought that a place almost entirely dedicated to Chinese noodles would be a pretty good choice for the next day I was craving noodles!

The restaurant is quite simple, with chili oil and soy sauce placed on every table (and cute panda chopstick holders).

I started with some vegetable gyoza (nicely pan-fried and crunchy inside) but wish I hadn’t… with the noodles, it turned out to be way too much food!

Then, the Biang Biang noodles, served with pork, chili oil, spring onion, tomato and egg… the tomato was softly braised with the pork and egg (I think the eggy omelette was cooked in some kind of flavourful broth, and was borderline runny still… oh my, it was so tasty!) Underneath the noodles was a lot of chili oil and chili, which, mixed together with all of the ingredients, made the whole dish spicy and delicious.

There are a number of other noodle dishes here, including with some cold noodle dishes, along with their famous murger (which is essentially a pork sandwich that kind of looks like their version of a burger…), there are many new things for me to try out!

Preserved Lemons

 

I love making chicken tagine, and the recipe calls for preserved lemons (this is the recipe that I use, it’s relatively easy and you don’t need a tagine dish to make it.)

This weekend, it was cold and rainy out, so I decided to finally make a jar of preserved lemons, as I have been telling myself I would do for the past year or so.

I used a recipe from SimplyRecipes.com, as it was the most simple (no chilis or spices).

Ingredients: 8-10 unwaxed lemons, extra lemon juice if needed*, 1/2 cup of kosher salt – sterilized jar

1. Pour 2 TB of salt into the bottom of the jar.

2. Cut the lemons. Cut any stem off, then cut 1/4 of an inch off of both ends of the lemon. Slice the lemon lengthwise

IMG_1715

Other ideas for preserved lemons… on top of fishes or chicken – on top of quinoa or couscous salads – in a pasta or risotto – in stews… lots of ways to use them!

* This is important. I ended up using the juice of an additional 4 lemons to cover the lemons in the jar.