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What's for Dinner #316 - the Hot August Night edition

Here's the recipe I'm working to:
http://www.domesticsluttery.com/2012/...

4 minutes ago
Harters in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #316 - the Hot August Night edition

A breast of local lamb defrosts. I can't tell yet if it's still boned so that could be an interesting piece of butchery if not.

There's to be a stuffing of ancovies, garlic, chilli flakes, fennel fronds, mint and lemon zest. It then gets rolled, tied and roasted. I'll roast it on top of the bones if they are there; carrots and onions if not. It's going to need about 2.5 hours in the oven.

For carbs, small (1.5cm) cubes of spuds, roasted till crisp. And the supermarket had some good looking peas for the contribution to the five-a-day. I love fresh peas - one of my earliest memories in the kitchen was helping Mum to pod them.

And, for dessert, a spin on Eton Mess. Raspberries rather than strawberries. And, yes, I'm using bought meringues (life being far too short to make them myself).

about 1 hour ago
Harters in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #316 - the Hot August Night edition

Isnt the green bean & pork thing a classic Sichuan dish? I'm sure I've had that in a restaurant.

about 13 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking

Possible Double Standard Regarding Dietary Needs/Preferences

greygarious - you sort of recall the British story correctly. We currently have a push to legislate that all animals should be pre-stunned, including those to be considered halal or kosher. The push is led by the British Veterinary Association which, I believe, accepts that, in fact, most meat for halal or kosher consumption is already pre-stunned. IIRC, the pre-stunning level is around the 90% of total

It is an obvious tricky matter for legislators with the needs of animal welfare to be balanced with the needs of religious faith. I'm neither a legislator nor a person with any religious faith, so I'm quite happy to state bluntly that the remaining 10% needs to be brought into the pre-stunned category. These religious practices have no place in an increasingly secular society.

about 17 hours ago
Harters in Not About Food

What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy. [through July 31, 2014]

Weather report from North Cheshire.....cloudy, temps in low 20s. Good pottering round the garden weather - which is what I've been doing.

about 20 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy. [through July 31, 2014]

Congrats on the new family addition. I'm expecting to become a great uncle again next week.

about 21 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking
2

What Pastries and bakeries makes your mouthwater the most in Denmark and the greater Europe?

Hey there, Obsessive. I don't want to clog up your thread which seems to be just about Denmark, but when the thread title mentions "greater Europe" are you also inviting us to mention patisserie favourites right across our continent?

1 day ago
Harters in Europe

Chocolate: What do you look for?

Plain dark chocolate at around 75% cocoa solids is all that I ever buy. It's a rare treat - maybe two or three times a year.

1 day ago
Harters in General Topics

What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy. [through July 31, 2014]

A freezer search turned up single portions of brown gloop beef and pork stews. I've claimed the pork one. cabbage & new potatoes alongside.

1 day ago
Harters in Home Cooking
1

Rose's Grenadine

Even the most easily available French product - Teisseire - has no pomegranate. Nor does their Citron Vert contain lime.

2 days ago
Harters in General Topics

I hate it when I don't know how to pronounce a food's name in a restaurant

Frankly, I'm never really fussed whether I'm pronouncing a word correctly. So long as I've been able to understand the menu and the server can understand my attempt at pronounciation, then I reckon we're both fine. I reckon that, if I'm in a place where English is often spoken, then the server is likely to have heard others offer my attempt. And, if I'm in a place where English is not spoken, then then server will understand that I'm a foreigner making a best effort.

Jul 30, 2014
Harters in General Topics
1

T.I.P.S.= To Insure Proper/Prompt Service?

If I felt I needed to pre-tip to get good service at a fine dining restaurant, then that is a place that is neither fine dining nor, more importantly, a place where I want to spend my money.

Jul 30, 2014
Harters in Not About Food
2

What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy. [through July 31, 2014]

As mentioned upthread, herself is off to London for the day (Matisse exhibition). Her return train is at 7pm (takes a couple of hours) ,so I guess her dinner will be a sandwich whilst travelling. The Chinese take-away calls to me for dinner - havnt had one for absolutely ages.

Joke of the day - I hope the Chinese mafia never gets into the hairdressing business, there's already too many curling tongs.

Jul 30, 2014
Harters in Home Cooking
6

What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy. [through July 31, 2014]

Ahem. I speak with a posh North Cheshire accent not yer working class Manchester one. Well, at least I think I do. LOL.

Learn to speak Manc -
https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question...

Famous Manc accents - the Gallagher brothers from Oasis.

Jul 30, 2014
Harters in Home Cooking
1

What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy. [through July 31, 2014]

Thanks, Steve.

By co-incidence, Jan is having a day in London tomorrow. I'll see if she has time to go to F & M although I think it unlikely - her main aim is an exhibition at Tate Modern. Train doesnt get to London until midday and her return is at 7pm - fairly tight schedule.

I can think of a couple of possible outlets in the north west who are possibly sufficiently upmarket to stock it so will try them as well.

Jul 29, 2014
Harters in Home Cooking
1

Scotland Trip

Sharrow Bay is a special place for me. When Mrs H retired, she had been very ill for some months and it continued after she stopped working. In due course, she started to recover and we decided on a short luxury break - just a couple of nights. She chose Sharrow Bay and I was so pleased to see her actually enjoy something again. It really is somewhere where you are properly taken care of. I'm reluctant to go back - just in case it wasnt quite as good and it spoiled the memory.

Jul 29, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland

What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy. [through July 31, 2014]

Breaded lemon sole goujons (bought)

Oven chips

Peas, tinned

Some nights we really don't give a flying one for proper cooking

Jul 29, 2014
Harters in Home Cooking
6

Possible Double Standard Regarding Dietary Needs/Preferences

Other than family get-togethers, we have given up having people for dinner. It's no longer fun and much better to go to a restaurant where people can just order to their preferences (or not come). Family get-togethers are bad enough with the various food constraints - it means we end up with lowest common denominator meals. I hate them with a vengeance and would prefer these to be "eat out" occasions as well - but then there's the family members who can never afford to pay their share so it becomes an expensive proposition with all the costs usually falling on just a couple of family members.

Jul 29, 2014
Harters in Not About Food

What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy. [through July 31, 2014]

Steve - is the imported pasta readily available to you or something you need to search out? We tend to buy supermarket own label stuff - i.e. cheap and cheerful - but wonder if we should look out for something better (and then wonder if our palates are sufficiently developed to notice a difference.

Jul 29, 2014
Harters in Home Cooking
1

Scotland Trip

Even the caff at Tebay is better than yer Moto or Welcome Break. Decent Cumberland sausages with the full brekkie fry-up, for instance.

Jul 29, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland

Scotland Trip

Sharrow Bay Hotel - without a doubt.

http://www.sharrowbay.co.uk/dining/af...

It's the original country house hotel and location of the invention of sticky toffee pudding. And they do a great afternoon tea with fantastic views of the lake

Jul 29, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland

Scotland Trip

It must be around a 6 hour trip from Penrith? Should be fine with a cooler.

By the by, in the past we've bought stuff at the Carrefour at Calais and kept it in a cooler bag. Easily 8 hours - car stank of the cheese for days afterwards but it was fine to eat.

Jul 28, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland

How do the French get their food?

I agree with sunshine in that it seems a fallacy to suggest that the French shun the major supermarket chains. Perhaps once upon a time. Before leaving France from our (usually) annual trip, we always visit a very large Carrefour to buy things that are cheaper there than in the UK (usually booze and dishwasher powder). It's packed with French people doing a "major shop" - doesnt matter if its weekend or midweek, early morning or late afternoon - always busy.

Go to a small town (such as the one I'm generally visiting), you'll find that the local Auchan is, again, busy. The small specialist shops, such as bakers, are doing OK by way of customers but really no different from how busy the local baker is where I live in north west England.

Jul 28, 2014
Harters in France

Scotland Trip

On my "to try" list is the George & Dragon at Clifton (near Penrith) - just off junction 40 of the M6. A mate really enjoyed a meal there (he picked it via the write-up in the Good Food Guide).

By the by, there's a cracking deli in the centre of Penrith - J & J Graham - right on the main square. There's a good farm shop on the edge of town - on the way to the motorway - Carleton Farm Shop ( http://www.carletonfarmshop.co.uk/ ). Don't forget to stop at the M6 Tebay services, just south of Penrith, for the farm shop - really good. Look out for Herdwick lamb at any of these. And Galloway beef

Jul 28, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland

T.I.P.S.= To Insure Proper/Prompt Service?

I'll consider giving the slightest credence to this, when I hear of folk tipping at the beginning of a meal.

Jul 28, 2014
Harters in Not About Food

What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy. [through July 31, 2014]

Pub lunch today. New opening in our county, from a minichain of pubs owned by Michelin starred chef in next county. Disappointing food.

Dinner - a brown gloop meal from the freezer. Chicken, chorizo & chickpea casserole. Carb - giant couscous.

Jul 28, 2014
Harters in Home Cooking
1

Scotland Trip

If you're wanting an overnighter in Cumbria (and prepared to throw a few quid at it), may I suggest Farlam Hall. Very nice country house hotel with a dinner to match.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7968...

Jul 28, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland

London’s 10 Most Important Restaurants for Visitors- Richard Vines (Bloomberg)

That all makes sense. Mrs H tells me she heard about via her best mate, whose daughter works for a PR/lobbying sort of company which had hosted an event there as it was "fashionable".

Jul 28, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland

[Haughton, Cheshire] Nag's Head

This is the first foray into Cheshire for Nigel Haworth’s Ribble Valley Inns. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed meals at his three Lancashire pubs (and at Northcote, of course) so we were looking forward to this opening in our own county. It was, therefore, with double disappointment that we were totally underwhelmed by the food. I suppose triple disappointment as we’d driven pretty much as far into the middle of nowhere as Cheshire permits to get to Haughton.

There’s been a pub in Haughton since at least 1680 and I suppose its possible that bits of it still remain but it has been considerably “done up” in pseudo barn style. As for the food, it’s a while since we’ve eaten at a Ribble Valley Inn but I have a sense that the menu has been shortened and simplified and this may prove to be a mistake – the food proved to be OK. Not vile, of course, but not better than OK. And, surprisingly, not really as good as a couple of dining pubs we know in the immediate area (and we don’t rate them too highly, even if they are included in the Good Food Guide).

There was cheesy eggy bread to start – a small but thick slice topped with Burts blue cheese. As you’d expect with Haworth, there’s a commitment to local produce and it started here with this cheese – made in Altrincham in North Cheshire. This was good cheese on toast and I’d have been more than happy with a decent sized portion and forget the accompaniments. So, to the accompaniments. There was some blanched cabbage which was downright odd on the plate. And “heirloom” tomatoes (whatever they are supposed to be). It just seemed an ill-conceived plate of food. Another starter came from the “Nibbles” section – sweet & sour tomatoes with a black pea houmous and a generous serving of granary bread. OK, but nothing to write home about.

My partner’s first choice of main course was “off”. Bourne’s mature cheese & onion pie would have been lovely with the salad. There’s been a lack of care in the menu writing of the “seasonal specials” – describing the cheese as a cheddar. Now I know Mr Bourne – he sells his mature Cheshire cheese at my local farmers market. He doesn’t make a cheddar. If you’re making a commitment to local produce, at least get it right. In place, she ordered a burger. Good offering although the meat was underseasoned. You’re offered a choice of it being pink or well done (that’ll be well done, thanks, we’ve read Fast Food Nation). Comes on a muffin, along with all the usual salad, ketchup, etc. And a little bowl of pickled onions & carrots. And another of a tangy piccalilli.

Shoulder of Tatton Park venison had been long cooked till it “pulled” but was underflavoured. It came topped with a pointless sprinkle of crushed smoked almonds. Mash also had a sprinkle – this time from a little black pudding – equally pointless. Truth be told, best thing on the plate was some caramelised endive.

The servers had been fine – pleasant and efficient. But the problem was in the kitchen. It just took far too long. We overheard two servers noting that one table had been waiting 30 minutes for a starter and it still hadn’t appeared. Heavens knows what might happen if they are ever busy.

Jul 28, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland

London’s 10 Most Important Restaurants for Visitors- Richard Vines (Bloomberg)

Yeah, but.......

There's places in that list that even a mere provincial like me knows are sustained quality over the years. River Cafe has been around for donkeys ages, as has the Wolseley. Ledbury provided me with a rare perfect meal.

That said, I mentioned this "buzz list" to Mrs Harters and she said "I bet the Chiltern Firehouse is on it". I'd never even heard of the place.

Jul 28, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland