My Foodie Adventures

Making up healthy recipes as I go along...

Month: June 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Irn Bru Pulled Pork

Before we start out on this culinary quest, be warned. This is not a quick meal, by any stretch of the imagination.

However, you should not be deterred because the end result is absolutely amazing. It has the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, sticky and meaty that you would expect from something you have spent hours (or, in my case, days) crafting. That’s right, crafting! Not cooking, you are creating a masterpiece right now.

Now, for my non-British readers, Irn Bru. You are probably wondering what this is and, for that, you have my utmost sympathy.

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Wild Beer Co. Review: Wild Goose Chase

So, the journey begins…

I had intended to leave them all until the weekend. However, events as marvellous as this happen few and far between for me, so I decided that I would allow myself to enjoy one drink.

After reading the bottles (and obviously not settling for the wine bottle sized one) I opted to go with the Wild Goose Chase.

Described as an “All Day Beer”, it was the obvious choice. At 4.5%, it’s not too strong for a weekday. I do have things to do. There were no food suggestions offered on the back of the bottle and that fit in perfectly with the fact that I had eaten far too much cottage pie an hour or so before.

The front of the bottle informs me that it is a farmhouse pale with gooseberry and zingy. I don’t know what a “zingy” is but, the other two, I am fairly familiar with.

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The Wild Beer Co. Review: The Arrival

After 3 failed delivery attempts (because I refuse to get up before 10am on my days off), my package from Wild Beer Co. arrived.

I had been sent a selection of their sour beers as I made an arse of myself because I didn’t think that the beer I bought was supposed to be sour. They then proceeded to school me on the nuances of beer in, quite possibly, the politest way I have ever been schooled.

They also sent me a lengthy and profoundly interesting account on how the beer I bought was brewed. From start to finish. I learned something I had no need of knowing, yet I felt better with that knowledge.

I would like to preface this series of posts with a disclaimer. I am not a beer sommelier. I have only brewed my own beer twice and the first time, I think I nearly killed someone. I have, however, enjoyed beer for a long time. I enjoy the range of tastes and styles. I am not a beer expert, I would probably label myself as an “enthusiastic hobbyist”.

I have a rough understanding of the terminology behind beers but I would definitely fail a blind taste test. So don’t expect talk of hops and yeasts, unless I’m directly quoting from the bottle. But do expect my usual brand of pop culture references, obscure analogies which weirdly work and a whole load of enthusiasm.

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Cooking With Tunes: June 28th

Before I start dropping some beats, I feel I should explain the picture up there.  Continue reading

Ratatouille With Lemon and White Wine

I can’t say that I have one favourite cuisine. Every single country has amazing dishes to choose from, so I refuse to choose. I also hate accidental rhymes so I’m going to rephrase that. I reserve the right to not make a decision. There we go, I feel so much more comfortable with that.

That being said (the favourite cuisine thing, not the rhyming thing), I do have a favourite style of food and that is what I like to call “Cottage Food”. That’s because I’m not referring to it as peasant food. That’s just rude.

You know what I mean, the sort of food that you can imagine someone making in a little house somewhere with a recipe that has been passed down from generation. Meals such as chilli con carne, shepherd’s pie and fish pie. Comfort food, in a nutshell. Just bloody good stodge.

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Review: Ting Thai Caravan Edinburgh

I promise that I’m not on a weird mission to eat in every Thai restaurant in Edinburgh. I know that I reviewed Bluerapa, another Thai restaurant, but that’s just how my foodie adventures have played out.

Despite dealing with the same cuisine, Ting Thai and Bluerapa are worlds apart.

Bluerapa is like walking into someone’s living room who has been cooking all of their lives. Ample homely dishes which are just so heatwarming it’s unreal.

Ting Thai Caravan is exceptional street food style Thai dishes. And I mean exceptional.

If you’re in Edinburgh for a couple of days and you find yourself in the mood for some good, well made, quick food:

Teviot Pl, Edinburgh EH1 2RA 

There’s the address. Put it in your satnav/GPS/maps or whatever and get walking to one of the best meals of your life.

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Gluten Free Avocado Fries

Before I go on about why this has gluten-free in the title, please just let me big up these incredible avocado fries.

They take about 10 minutes. Almost no prep and they’re sooooo good. My avocado was even slightly under-ripe but, when they were cooked, the fries were crispy on the outside and soft and nutty on the inside. You can eat a whole bowl full of these or have them as a side dish. You could even make avocado nuggets and throw them on top of a salad to make it a little bit more decadent.

Do what you want with them, just make them, eat them and bask in their green glory!

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My Pulled Pork Recipe

Pulled pork is one of those dishes that, when done right, just makes you look amazing. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

I made about 1.5kg of pulled pork recently and ended up making about 5 different meals from it. Simple salad bowls, quesadillas, stuffed bagels, omelettes, there is so much you can do with it.

And do you know the best part about pulled pork? It’s sooooooo easy! In fact, the more effort you put in, the worse it becomes. The whole point of pulled pork is the classic cooking style known as “Low and Slow”. So you can obviously see why it appealed to me!

The whole thing takes somewhere in the region of 30 minutes of prep for the sauce, 6-8 hours of marinating, 8 hours of slow cooking and 45 minutes of high heat to finish it off.

Obviously, with that time frame, it’s not something to throw together to make as a quick snack. But believe me when I tell you, it is seriously worth it.

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Cooking With Tunes: June 8th

It’s back and it’s funky fresh! My fortnightly list of awesome songs to cook, shower, commute or just listen to.

There’s no system to these lists. I try not to have a theme going in but sometimes, when you pick a song you haven’t heard in a while, your mind just goes: “Oh yeah, remember that other song? Well, you should because I’m not going to stop bothering you until we listen to it!”

So that explains the slightly more fluid them to these fortnight’s playlist. It started with one song I’ve just started to listen to and then snowballed from there.

In my personal opinion, this playlist would make a great BBQ playlist (’tis the season, after all).

So set up your speakers, grab yourself a beer and get grillin…

And now, I’ve started putting the Spotify playlist at the bottom so it’s so much easier for you to enjoy!

If you have any suggestions for music I should include in the future, I’m all ears. Just drop the info below and I’ll check it out. I’ll also fully credit whoever suggests a song I choose.

1. Cartel – Wasted (Wyclef Jean Remix): If you’re looking for reggae/dancehall inspired pop punk with an upbeat tone and existentially despairing lyrics… you have a really niche taste in music. Fortunately, I have what you need. If you ignore the lyrics (which I would suggest, unless you’re sat in a dark room hugging a pillow), this is a really fun song to enjoy in the sunshine.

2. Pony Up! – The Truth About Cats and Dogs Is That They Die: That took a while to type. Anyway, despite the title, this song is nothing but female driven, upbeat, early 2000’s indie. Imagine jumping on a pogo stick at an artisanal outdoor food tasting event and you’re somewhere close to this song.

3. Shura – Touch: Slowing it down a little here. This is one of my favourite songs, probably ever. It’s so sensual and soft. The tone of the whole song fits perfectly with the lyrics; it’s playful without being too overt. And the story it tells of letting go of someone because it’s a good idea but wishing it wasn’t is told in such a sweet style that you almost miss how hard that must be. Shura’s music is a great thing and I can’t wait to hear more.

4. Vicktor Taiwò – Feathers & Wax: There is a short introduction in this song which seems to portend an abysmally depressing song. But after about 23 seconds, when that note starts to rise, you know it was misleading. Vicktor kicks right in with a soulful, soft and melancholic voice which contrasts with the ominously spoken start. The rest of the song retains this soft, gentle timbre throughout and chills you the hell out.

5. Kwabs – Pray For Love: I chose the live version of this song because I love the raw talent of Kwabs voice. He is exceptionally talented without straining or seeming like he’s putting his all in. That’s not an insult, the emotion is there but Kwabs has managed to find his perfect volume and pitch to make the words fully resonate at the perfect frequency.

6. Lana Del Rey – Video Games: What can I say about this song that hasn’t been said before? The perfect summer song, a hauntingly beautiful voice and a 50’s beach/smoke filled bar vibe which makes me want to put on some linen trousers, a pair of wingtips, a white t-shirt, snap on my braces, throw on a fedora (a cool one, not like a “M’lady” one) and drive through Miami with the top down and the wind throwing my cool ass cigarette smoke behind me. Ignore everything that has been said about Lana Del Rey after this song because it doesn’t detract from the fact that Video Games is one of the strongest debut singles a person could ask for.

7. John Martyn – May You Never: John Martyn has an incredible voice and the reason you may not have heard his voice before is because he released this song in the 70’s. The lyrics and intensity of the song are still just as relevant today as they were then. That’s obvious, I don’t know why I wrote that. The fact is that, if he were to release this song today, it would be met with resounding success and covered across Youtube in a matter of days.

8. The Whitest Boy Alive – Courage: If I were Starsky and/or Hutch, this would be my patrolling song. Just wandering around the streets as the clipped, clean, 70’s-esque guitar rhythm somehow played around me wherever I walked. Piano chords playing in rhythm to both my footsteps and finger guns at everyone that passes me. Montage! This would be my montage song!

9. Friendly Fires – Hurting (Tensnake Remix)I miss Friendly Fires. They aren’t played nearly enough anymore. Remember when they were on every advert and TV show? Friendly Fires were the go-to anthem for a mildly hedonistic summer. Let’s bring that back! Go make a massive punch bowl which has been spiked to the point of it almost being dangerous (Note: drink responsibly) and have an absolute blowout. Organise a slip ‘n’ slide! Make a day of it! And this song is the jump off point.

10. Hot Chip – I Feel Better: So you got [responsibly] drunk and now there’s a Goddamn bouncy castle in the garden! What would be the perfect song for some rip-roaring fun? This song. This would be the song you need to give you the boost and vivacity to act like a teenager again and cut loose!

11. The Cure – Close To Me: Aaaaand… calm. You’ve had your fun. Now we sit down and chat like adults about stuff. The Cure are one of those bands that everyone has heard of but not enough people listen to on the regular. Of course, some of their music was the precursor to emo but a lot of it is contrastingly fun against the angst of the lyrics. Close To Me is another one of my favourite songs, so now make it yours.

12. Miike Snow – Burial: This song was my ringtone for so long, I still look at my phone when it goes off. Just a little anecdote for you there. I suppose it’s a testament to the fact that I never became bored of it. Probably because I don’t receive that many phone calls… The xylophone (or is it a glockenspiel? I hope it’s a glockenspiel) that starts the track gives an air of childish frivolity which plays throughout the track, even as the echoed vocals, piano and various other electric instruments start to take over.

13. Mos Def – Mathematics: Mos Def is massively underrated as a poet and artist. Intensely intelligent lyrics which preach without being preachy are delivered with a flawless strike which sounds more incensed than angry. Like he’s getting annoyed at the state of things but isn’t ready to give up yet. Mathematics is what rap music started off as. You won’t find bitches and bling here. You’ll find social commentary, impeccable delivery and thoughtfully crafted verses.

14. Blackaliscious – Alphabet Acrobatics: I’m not going to say a damn word about this. Just listen to it and your mind will be blown.

15. Craig David – 7 Days (DJ Premier Remix): Craig David has had somewhat of a resurgence these past few months and fair play to him. Craig David was the voice of Garage for me growing up. Obviously, there were artists before and after him but his collaborations with Artful Dodger started making people take more notice. 7 days is somehow cheesy and impeccably cool. For anyone outside of the UK reading this, the original song is about meeting a girl on a Monday, getting her number and going for a drink on Tuesday and then just having a frankly ridiculous amount of sex for 4 days. Then they were chilling on Sunday.

This is the definitive version for me. With Nate Dogg and Mos Def dropping in to show their faces, how could it not be? And it took me ages to find, so justify my time and slam it on!

Pear and Candied Walnut Salad with Prosciutto and Gorgonzola

That’s right people, possibly the world’s laziest cook is about to get all fancy up in here. Don’t worry, it’s incredibly simple and very quick.

Do you sometimes find that if you have a big breakfast, you are soooo hungry on the approach to lunch time? Somehow you’re more hungry than if you had just skipped breakfast. I’m sure there’s a reason for this and if anyone knows then drop a comment below.

All I know is that it is incredibly annoying. It’s like no other hunger. The only thing that comes close is when you’re starting to feel a little bit peckish so you order some food or put something in the oven. Your brain decides to amp up the hunger hormone to the point that you’re sat staring out of the window, counting down the seconds until the food is there. Why have you turned against us, brain? We were being so good to you!  Continue reading

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