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Harters's Profile

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What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2014 Edition!

It was a time before I kept notes of meals but I recall a braised rabbit that may just have been the best rabbit I've ever eaten. Closed soon after and Contaldo went off to work for Jamie Oliver as his "Italian mentor" - I think he had an involvement in the early stages of his Italian restaurant chain (although I may be doing him an injustice as I reckon the restaurants are shite)

Hope you're keeping an eye on my Cheadle area posts on UK/Ireland for new places, if you're still visiting the area to see your chap's family. Couple of very good Indians.

about 2 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #320 -- The End and the Beginning Edition!

Chicken breasts, slashed a couple of times, are sitting in a marinade of lots of chopped parsley, bruised garlic cloces, white wine, seasoning & olive oil. Later, chicken & marinade goes in the oven.

To be served alongside, mixed salad and new potatoes. Preceeded by corn on the cob (almost the first of the British crop) and followed by Red Leicester.

about 2 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking

newcastle advice please

Cafe 21 gets a good write-up in the GFG, with a very respectable score of 3.

Can't help from any personal experience - never been to the city except to pick someone up from the airport (and it's a bloody long schlep from North Cheshire,at very short notice).

about 2 hours ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

London dining help sought, please.

Should be worth a nosy. The packaging describes them as "Lancastrian pastries", so likely sold outside of the north west and we'd know where Chorley is.

about 2 hours ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2014 Edition!

Havnt bought either of these. Both programmes were good fun though.

I'm a big fan of both chefs. Got several other Carluccio books and Contaldo's "Passione" (the name of his then London restaurant which was, while it lasted, perhaps my favourite place in the capital).

The story is that Carluccio used to employ Contaldo at the Neal Street Restaurant but they had a falling out and didnt speak for years. If memory serves, it's touched on in the first episode of the first TV series.

about 2 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2014 Edition!

Not similar then. The original involves chopping your choice of soft herbs and shoving up in between the skin and the flesh. really is good.

The lemon stuffed inside is hardly a revelation. It's a pretty much classic British way with roast chicken or turkey. I remember Mum doing it when I was still in short pants ( and that's really a long time ago - back in the days when a roast chicken was a celebration meal, like Easter Sunday)

about 3 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking

London dining help sought, please.

Gobsmacked to come across Chorley Cakes in my local Marks & Sparks this morning. Might be worth looking there if "dahn sarf".

about 3 hours ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

What's for dinner #320 -- The End and the Beginning Edition!

Please say hello to buttertart from me. I so miss her contributions here(and the off board gossip emails).

about 17 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking
3

I'm a Professional, But Not a Chef. How About You?

That may the case where you are in the world but where I am folk who cook in a professional kitchen are called chefs, not cooks.

about 17 hours ago
Harters in General Topics
1

[Baslow, Derbyshire] Baslow Hall

No, it's something of a schlep. But will next time we're up that way.

You're right about Baslow's rooms. They make no secret of the fact they are small. But not a problem just for one night - unless you really don't like very hard beds in which case you'd have an issue.

about 17 hours ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

[Manchester, city centre] Koreana

The Koreana has been on King Street West for donkeys years. Certainly longer than any other restaurant around there. Unless I’m mistaken, it's the only Korean place in the metro area and it does a good job of feeding you substantial amounts of tasty food at very reasonable prices.

There were pancakes to start. A kimchi one was thin, almost crisp and with a good zing from chilli. The seafood one was thicker, more omelette than pancake and a tad greasy, but equally delicious.

We’d ordered their mixed pickles and they help to cut through the richness. There’s grated mooli, beansprouts, kimchee, pickled lotus root, another pickle in a slightly sweet sauce and a couple of mussels. I remembered the latter from a previous visit. I remembered not being that keen but thought I better try them again just to be sure. No, I wasn’t keen. They’re served cold, having been cooked in sweet soy, till they are a very firm texture. Just odd and not in a good way.

For mains, there was a Vegetable Twighim. Herself always seems to become Veggie Vera whenever we enter an asian restaurant. Thin strips of assorted vegetables, bound together, battered and deep fried. Very crisp batter. Some of the results still having very crisp veg, others a tad overdone and soft – it’s a fine line this deep frying lark. A drizzle of sweet and sour sauce set it off well. Big portion – I had to help out after I’d finished my own dish.

As for that dish, I confess that only a couple of weeks ago, I saw a rerun of a Hairy Bikers show in Korea where they ate it and fancied giving it a try. Bibimbab is served in a mad hot stoneware bowl. It’s based on rice – you’re offered ordinary long grain or sticky. I took the waitress’ advice and had sticky. The rice is topped with your choice of protein (beef in my case), various marinated vegetables and, finally, a egg. You stir everything together and get stuck in, mixing in any of the mixed pickles you’ve still got. You’re also offered a bottle of chilli sauce, just in case the kimchee isn’t doing the full business. Oh, yes, I liked this – in the way that I pretty much like anything that’s “stuff mixed with rice and chilli sauce”.

Good meal. Hope the Koreana continues to work its distinct place amongst the city centre restaurants.

about 17 hours ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

What's for dinner #320 -- The End and the Beginning Edition!

Surgery is on 4 September.

Now, tap dancing would be a great result after the operation - as I've never been able to tap dance. :-0

about 20 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking
5

What would be your signature dish?

Nothing good enough even to get me through even the initial stages of a competition. It'd be something very easy, like a stew.

about 20 hours ago
Harters in General Topics

I'm a Professional, But Not a Chef. How About You?

I'm sure there's absolutely nothing I can cook as well as a professional chef (except maybe one who is about to be fired because they really can't cook).

Even as someone who just prepares dinner, I wouldnt rate my cooking skills at all highly. If I'm the sole cook, I do easy, simple food and, even then, struggle to get meals on the table.

about 20 hours ago
Harters in General Topics
3

Tell-Tale Terms

I never, ever, give the slightest credence to the comments of others, unless I know their general opinions about food generally concur with mine.

All of the tell-tale terms, as the OP puts it, that might immediately put me off would go to the wall if someone whose food views I respect said "The food is great".

about 21 hours ago
Harters in Not About Food
1

Have you ever left a Restaurant...

I've only left a restaurant on one occasion and that was because service was so slow that no-one had even taken an order.

I don't think I've ever been to a restaurant with the intention of only eating a specific dish.

about 21 hours ago
Harters in Not About Food
2

Bite on one or both sides?

Not sure - I think I've always chewed on one side, rather than beign random or rolling the food round my mouth. Little choice now - got very few teeth on one side (and precious few more on the other)

about 21 hours ago
Harters in Not About Food

What's for dinner #320 -- The End and the Beginning Edition!

I wish we could get South Carolina mustard based sauce in the Uk. Really is my favourite BBQ style.

about 21 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2014 Edition!

Jamie's Dinners didnt make the cut when we had our book cull a while back. That'll have meant that there was nothing we wanted to cook from it.

His roast chicken from Naked Chef is good and has been our normal way of doing it since the book came out. Perhaps a similar recipe.

about 21 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking

[Baslow, Derbyshire] Baslow Hall

Service was fine, Marcus. A bit stilted but you sort of expect that in the Baslow sort of place.

It was an anniversary meal and we had also booked a room (breakfast was really good) but I'd have to say that if we needed another deal like that "on the plot", we'd be going to Northcote.

about 21 hours ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

What's for dinner #320 -- The End and the Beginning Edition!

Well, I suppose life at Harters Hall over the next few weeks is going to be dominated by my new knee and recovery from surgery. I'll be glad when it's done and even gladder when I can get out and about again properly - and properly be on my feet in the kitchen, of course.

Until then, there's meals to cook and meals to eat in restaurants. Tonight, we're going into the city for Korean. I think it's the only Korean in the metro area. As ever, food follows immigration and the UK is not home to too many Koreans. Apparently about 45k, almost all of whom live in the London area and, getting on for half of those, in the single suburb of New Malden.

about 23 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking
4

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2014 Edition!

Forgot to also mention "The Gaza Kitchen", Laila el-Haddad & Maggie Schmitt.

Came as a birthday present from Mrs H. Bought over the internet, it's an American publication, so I'm going to have to try and remember how much a pound is and see if I can find a conversion of American cups to metric. Presumably I'm also going to have to deal with eggplants instead of aubergines.

A book which seems particularly poignant at this time - which is exactly why Mrs H bought it for me.

1 day ago
Harters in Home Cooking
2

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2014 Edition!

I get suckered in to Oliver's books every time. There's the cookery programme on TV where the food seems really good. So I buy the book and it's just a let down. I don't think we've ever cooked anything twice from one of his books, with the exception of the very first two Naked Chef ones, where there are some damn good recipes.

1 day ago
Harters in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2014 Edition!

"Save with Jamie" - Jamie Oliver.

Oliver's guide to cutting food costs. It's got some decent ideas for leftovers - he takes an idea of a "mothership recipe" - say a roast pork Sunday lunch and then suggests using the leftovers in various ways. But, generally, it's not that thrilling a book.

And, frankly, it's badly edited. By page 50, I had become annoyed by the constant use, in virtually every recipe of the irritating and meaningless phrase "season to perfection". It meant, ever time I turned the page, the first thing I started looking for was the phrase. I lost count of the number of times it's used but it really is virtually every recipe. Good editing would find different ways to tell you to season - just look in most cookbooks. There is other repetitive phrasing but none that "did for me" like this one.

1 day ago
Harters in Home Cooking
3

How long will mustard keep in the fridge?

It'll be fine. I don't keep mustards in the fridge and have never had a problem with them in the cupboard.

I usually buy smallish jars of English mustard (current one is 170g) which we use over around a year. We buy bigger jars of, say, Dijon, when we're in France that might last 2 - 3 years - still no problem.

1 day ago
Harters in General Topics
1

What do you eat when you don't know what you want?

Toast & jam.

1 day ago
Harters in General Topics

Bargain of the month - but you have to come to Manchester for it

Yes. And still very good (although not a good as the place in Chester).

1 day ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

If you had one night in Endingburgh, where would you eat?

You may have to reconsider your budget - $35 (£21) is not going to get you a high end main course. Main course at a decent bistro sort of place, but not high end.

As for a recommendation, The Kitchin without question. Probably our best meal of 2013. The place punches above its 1* rating. Three courses will cost you a very reasonable £65, or thereabouts.

2 days ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

London dining help sought, please.

Excellent. You should get something very savoury, quite fatty and peppery. Perfect, in fact.

2 days ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

London dining help sought, please.

Bury market is also home to two black pudding stalls. Both good. There's the well known one that gets all the publicity and then there's the better one, Chadwicks, that has all the queues of us locals buying. This is the link to the well known one (as the other possibly hasnt heard of computers, let alone have an online shop) - http://www.buryblackpuddings.co.uk/ . They offer two traditionally shaped ones - with or without fat. Needless to say, you want with fat. Should do you OK - let us know.

2 days ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland