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Debbie
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Every now and again I empty my wallet of receipts. I don't know about you, but I find them shockingly revealing of a lifestyle I didn't know I had … I present the following without comment or expurgation. I haven't taken non-food receipts out of the list - there weren't any. Itemised receipts: Toms Terrace Somerset House: Mulled wine Mulled cider Neal’s Yard Dairy: Crème fraiche Stichelton Half Tunworth Shaka Zulu, Camden: Braai roasted quail South African game board Windhoek x 3 The Goatfather [wine] Gosling Black Seal Single Melktert Rooibos brulee Muscatel Benugo, Blackfriars: Fruit salad Tall latte Benugo,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2011 at Debbie does Dining
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This recipe may sound a bit odd (though it shouldn't) - but it's easily my favourite pasta dish – if you don't count linguine con vongole. It's also one of those storecupboard staples that produces a fantastic yet sophisticated meal, easily and cheaply. I've named it after a similar dish at Chalk Farm restaurant Marine Ices on which my version is - dare I whisper it? - an improvement. I'm hoping in your kitchen you may have: chillis (dried or fresh), spaghetti or any other pasta, stale bread, onions, olive oil, garlic, tinned anchovies, lemons. Put the spaghetti on. The... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2011 at Debbie does Dining
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On the back of a door in the ladies' loos in the Renoir cinema near Russell Square. This. Is. London. Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2011 at Debbie does Dining
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Below is the third best breakfast I've ever had in my life. What is it, and what are the other 2? Read on, baby … This, my dearest friends, is Mother's black ham and grits. You may have read about Mother's in Foodyssey I, but this is the best thing I ate there. Grits are a religion in the Deep South - made from roughly ground maize, they are similar to polenta or South African pap. Sometimes white, sometimes yellow, they are nearly always savoury and eaten with butter and sometimes cheese, ham or anything else that takes the fancy.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2011 at Debbie does Dining
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I don't make bread. The sort of people who make their own bread, as we all know, are either self-important Islington twats who nest amongst ethnic cushions, French films and heavy-framed glasses with plain lenses, or hut-dwelling field folk who breed spaniels and knit their own muesli. Not me. Plus, it's clearly really difficult, time-consuming and boring. And pointless. Bread is, like, available in shops, actually. What this is obviously leading up to is the fact that I just made my own bread - and I'm bloody proud of it. It was simple and while not actively fun, at least... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2011 at Debbie does Dining
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Tired of the winter? Actually I'm not, and as it's my blog we're playing it my way. So here's some comfort food with warming spice as we enter chapter II of Debbie's Deep South food porn marathon … First up (above), some of that classic Creole/Cajun dish jambalaya - I think this is Creole, being more roux-based and less spicy. The above was served at a horrible place off the main square in New Orleans. Why were we there? It was hot as fuck and I'd been moronic enough to wear jeans. Sometimes the best place is the nearest place.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2011 at Debbie does Dining
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This year, I finally put my foot down. At the Christmas meal my friends and I arrange every year, there was no way I would settle for any more of that rehydrated sawdust stuffing - I want meat, and plenty of it. This stuffing worked well, so I thought I'd share the recipe in case anyone is stumped for something to a bit of extra flavour to the ol' turkey. Good sausagemeat - essential. Get the best sausages you can find, slit them open with a knife and take the innards out Breadcrumbs - white bread, discard the crusts Lemon... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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New Orleans is the home of two of the world's great sandwiches. Warning: the following images may make you hungry. The Po'boy New Orleans, as the name implies, used to be owned by France. So there's French bread there - which can be split, then stuffed with anything to make a 'po'boy' (or poor boy, poboy, etc). Deep-fried seafood and roast beef are especially popular. Below, an oyster po'boy, 'dressed' (with salad), on Bourbon Street. A magnificent example, from Liuzza's By The Track - 'barbecue' shrimp, slathered in butter and pepper. You can't see, but the bread is actually hollowed... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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What are hares? Once familiar to the point of ubiquity, mythically resonant to the point of legendry and eaten to the point of … well, eaten, these beasts are now scarcely recognised. Easter bunny? It was really a hare, you know. Respected and feared for their solitary nature and - I suspect - their strange, staring eyes, hares across the world are immortalised in fairytale as madmen, tricksters and messengers of the moon. They are noble, weird, and a rare winter treat. While superficially similar on the outside, hares yield an utterly different meat to their inferior wabbit relations. Where... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
Adieu for a while, dear DDDers - I am dragging my sorry carcass to the food mecca that is the Deep South. Hopefully, I will return with many a tale of soft-shell crabs and po'boys, grits, gumbo and lashings of Southern style - and I have given myself a special brief of seeking out the weirdest groceries the US has to offer, which I'll review on my return. If anyone has recommendations for Louisiana (chiefly New Orleans) and Alabama, tell me quick. I'll miss you all. Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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Gravad lax - cured salmon with dill - is a great favourite in Scandinavia. Terribly fresh and clean-tasting, this healthy dish makes a sophisticated starter, and being able to say 'I made it myself' gives you innumerable smug points (don't be coy, we all know they exist). Best bit is, it's very very very easy. And I don't say that in a Yotam Ottolenghi just-take-15-ingredients kind of way, or a Nigella just-pick-up-these-jasmin-stamens-from-your-local-supplier either. It's more a 4-ingredients-no-cooking-or-measuring-for-a-normal-person thing. And now my hyphen key is wearing out, so on with the recipe. 1. Get a big piece of salmon or trout,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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Tesco says arrabiatta, I and the whole nation of Italy say arrabbiata – let’s call the whole thing off. This is the only non-English word on this sandwich pack (unless you count di-acetyltartaric) – would it be asking too much for them to check the spelling? Even Google knows better. Search for ‘arrabbiatta’ and it wags a pedagogical finger: ‘Did you mean “arrabbiata”?’ I can only assume they do. But it is just rude. Foreign words have spelling too, you know. How scornful would Mr and Mrs Tesco be to find (not that it’s likely) toad in the holle in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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The Barbican centre - a City cultural mecca and architectural mess - has always been a bit crap for food. I can’t see why this should be the case, but like Tube overcrowding and the inevitability of death, it’s something one comes to accept. However, the times they are a-changin' – as nobody who has ever played at the Barbican would say – and the tired old Waterside restaurant, with its overtones of French service station cum staff canteen, has been revamped into a ‘food hall’. God, but it sounds great on the website: "Barbican Foodhall will offer a brand... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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This is not an illustration. It is a warning notice. Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, as said some poet-johnny who liked being drippy about stuff. And because it tends to get a bit dingy at this time of year, also the season of getting home from work in the dark and having to knock up a quick supper before some surprisingly good tv. I just despise people who are all "oh I picked these apples myself in my orchard ACTually, it's so much more NATural that way" and "oh but we always have venison, of course, my husband shoots it, don't'cha know, YAH". But I'm going to tell you... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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Simple, healthy, involving, unusual, spicy, comforting, cheap, quick. No, NOT a bread/beansprout/fondue/offal/jalapeno/carrot drivethru order. But bibimbap, Korea's national dish and real bit of alright. Korean's pretty big at the moment (not Korea, that's always been pretty much the same size, except that incident when it split in two but we don't talk about that), and nowhere more so than in Soho. "Nowhere more so, Than in Soho? I think I may have invented a slogan … Once hoi dining polloi got over the difference from better-known Chinese and Japanese and Thai (wha? metal chopsticks? hotplate?) they warmly embraced the delectable... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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Apple, mango, pink grapefruit, cabbage, orange, pear, peach. Let's play spot the odd one out. No? Ok, let's see if you can get this one. There are two odd ones here: Squeezed, fermented, sweetened, pulped, heavily salted. How about fermented, heavily salted cabbage juice? Now that's about as odd as it gets. Flippin' heck, I hear you say. Rehydrated scrambled egg - fine. Medicinal marshmallows - so what? Breathable chocolate - BORING. But surely – I'm still doing your part of the conversation here – DDD wouldn't go so far as to let this vegetal bilge water pass her lips... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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There are few great gelaterias in London - and it's one of senseless situations that can make the sensitive soul very sad and a bit angry. I'm not going to listen to all your arguments about 'oh, but that's cause it's cold here' - because we actually eat ice cream quite a lot, and there's no reason why it should mostly be BAD ice cream. Ice cream can be just as good in winter, after all. When I was in Italy once in November I ate ice cream nearly every day for a month (and in fact got thinner, chiefly... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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I'm pulling out all the stops for this feast of a dinner. DINNER Dehydrated salmon with potatoes and dill sauce Dehydrated mixed fruit and custard Powdered red wine Yummy, right? So, let's tuck in. The Mountain House salmon with potatoes and dill sounded like a dish that couldn't work well in just-add-water form. Guess what - I was right. Although I accidentally added too much water, the teeny pieces of salmon remained very chewy and some of the potato lumps tasted a bit dry in middle. I was expecting a creamy sauce, but it was just generically salty, though a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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After today's lunch, my tastebuds are crying out for some attention, and having spent the morning valiantly fighting off the undead, I need some energy. SNACK Energy gel (tropical) Freeze-dried pineapple I was looking forward to my GO isotonic energy gel. I expected - wouldn't you? - a substance sweet and jelly-like, if not actually ambrosial then certainly tasty. But I am sorely disappointed. It's horrible. Instead it tastes like water thickened with cornflour - with an insipid 'tropical' flavour. It's not even particularly sweet. Ik. Never will I allow Tropical Flavour Carbohydrate Gel with added sweetener pass my lips... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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Has lunch come round so soon? Great. My zombie-enforced prandials today consist of the most iron of rations and it doesn't look too tasty. LUNCH Standard emergency ration Emergency drinking water Seven Oceans rations are designed to be stored in lifeboats, to eat when stranded like a painted ship upon a painted ocean. And what with water, water everywhere and never a drop to drink, they thoughtfully provide some emergency water packs. I'd better conserve this food - who knows how long those zombies will be out there [shudder]. Now let's see. The pack recommends that you shouldn't eat more... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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Welcome to DDD's day of emergency rations. It's my first meal under zombie attack and thank goodness I've laid in some emergency rations to see me through this difficult time … BREAKFAST Dehydrated scrambled eggs and onions Tinned bread The scrambled eggs with onion (by Reiter Travellunch) are in a big bag to which 125ml cold water must be added - mix and fry in a hot pan. I've had good experiences with Reiter meals before, but nothing as unappetising as powdered egg. That's one of the reasons we're glad we're not in a world war, right? I mix as... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
Tomorrow, DDD will be sustaining nuclear fallout and zombie attack SIMULTANEOUSLY. She will not, CANNOT leave her house. This is an emergency, people. STAY INSIDE. You can share the experience LIVE from 10am breakfast as she battles to stay nourished with doors and windows locked. The three-meal menu will be revealed on the day, but let's just say it will involve gel, powdered alcohol and freeze-dried fish. Be there, or have your eyeballs sucked out by the undead … Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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What that makes Tokyo Diner stand out (apart from the small matter of great, cheap food) is its fair attitude to both people and fish. On each table are two notices. Notice 1 says that extra rice is available on request, at no extra cost. Notice 2 states that the restaurant does not serve tuna, and explains why (because it's endangered and they can't find a really sustainable source). I LIKE Tokyo Diner. Then there's the tips. They don't want them. It's not traditional in Japan, so they're not interested. If you tip them, they'll give the money to charity.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2010 at Debbie does Dining
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I just love German food. No, I do. Not more than once a month, obviously - how die Deutsche manage on a solid diet of the stuff is beyond me (solid being the operative word). A shocked acquaintance of mine recently returned from a single week's holiday there some 10lb worse off. Just goes to show. However, if you're a fan of protein and carbs (and if you're not, this may not be the blog for you …), it's a dream on a stick. Sausages. Dumplings. Enormous cakes, and icing sugar. Dense breads, and braised meats. Even the names impress,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2010 at Debbie does Dining