Friday, 4 September 2015

Rosewood London, Slow Food & Living Market and Deli

Slow Food & Living Market

Rosewood London, Slow Food & Living Market
A few months ago, the hotel Rosewood London started its Slow Food & Living Market. It’s headed by Executive Chef Amandine Chaignot, who has worked with the hotel to recreate the traditional Holborn marketplace. The event organizers offer a weekly shopping experience that displays clean, high-quality produce from local businesses.

So, after hearing a lot of buzz surrounding this London market, I figured I’d check it out on Sunday and grab a bite to eat . My first stop was the market itself, a small yet lively market that boasts its full stock of fresh produce. Slow Food UK has really stepped up its game with this market. It has gathered over 30 merchants to participate, all of which were chosen for their quality foods and service.

During my first visit, I noticed a lot of families and friends enjoying their time there. Seeing as this is the only Slow Food UK market in London, I suppose both the merchants and customers who congregate here have formed some sort of close-knit community. The friendliness and familial atmosphere was actually quite pleasant, and getting to know the local growers and artisans helped me grow an appreciation for all the beautiful produce I saw.

Oliver's bakery

Organic and raw dairy products

 Chef & Butcher selling meat and organic poultry

Apart from the market, the Rosewood London also hosts the Mirror Room, Scarfes Bar and finally the Holborn Dining Room where we had lunch. These establishments all follow the theme of “Slow Food,” which means they use fresh and local ingredients that have been grown with high-end farming techniques.

The goal of Slow Food is to remain health and environmentally conscious. All the dairy and eggs sold in the market contain no GMOs, hormones, or added antibiotics. Additionally, the meat is pasture-raised and wild fish is responsibly caught.

I was able to enjoy my meal (it was absolutely delicious, by the way - see below) knowing that I wasn’t consuming tons of hidden chemicals and other additives.

This sensational market in London also features a private Living Room, which is located on the ground floor of the hotel. On Sundays, it’s a great play area for your children. Don’t worry, it’s fully supervised by at least two adults! While I don’t have first-hand experience with the place, I passed by and noticed many different activities that are available there, including Football and several board games. The Living Room is open every week between 11am and 4pm, and available for children 3-12 years of age. I was told by organizers that spaces are limited and requires a consent form, so parents who are interested in childcare at this London market should keep this in mind.

Rosewood London features the Slow Food & Living Market every single Sunday between 10am to 3:30pm. It opens no matter what, rain or shine, so whenever you’re feeling peckish or need a fun outing, check this place out!

252 High Holborn, London, United Kingdom WC1V 7EN

Holborn Dining Room

Holborn Dining Room - Grand British Brasserie

Starters: steak tartare and scotch egg 


Mains: Shrimp burger with Jalapeno tartare - amazing! we could have eaten another one 
and Smoked haddock on mustard sauce and poached egg - fabulous!
Our meal came to about £160 including a delicious wine and dessert wine and magnificent  service!

The dessert bar at Holborn Dining Room

chocolate heaven in a cup and glass of Maury

carrot cake
absolutely delicious adventure!
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Holborn Dining Room is located in the Rosewood London building
252 High Holborn, London, United Kingdom WC1V 7EN

Monday, 31 August 2015

XinXim de Galinha, Brazilian chicken and dried shrimp stew recipe

XinXim de galinha
One of the ways I kill homesickness is to go to the kitchen and start cooking. The aromas invade the house, the soul and the flavours and textures complete the experience. One of my old time favourite stews is xinxim de galinha,  a traditional delicacy of African-Bahian cuisine.

This dish was been made in the Bahia state, for centuries, and it was brought to Brazil by the African in colonial times. It is usually cooked with palm oil, but to make it a lighter stew I use coconut oil and just drizzle the dish with palm oil before finishing cooking.  I also added some fresh prawns and a small amount of coconut cream, you can leave them out if you prefer. I find that the prawns add a touch of elegance, to an otherwise peasant dish, and the coconut cream a silky finish. Xinxim de Galinha, The Hot&Chilli way.

wine paring: Mirabeau Rosé from Provence, 'aromas and flavours of wild strawberry, raspberry and redcurrant , light and lively on the palate, it’s an absolute thirst quencher'  by my mate Denise, The Wine Sleuth

XinXim de galinha, Brazilian chicken and dried shrimp stew recipe

Serves: 6-8 generous portions
level: easy
Time: approx 35 minutes

1k of chicken pieces or 1 whole small chicken, I use skinless tights
1/2 cup (tea) peanut, grounded (70g)
1/2 cup (tea) cashew nuts, grounded (70g)
tablespoons of coconut oil
4 tablespoons (soup) lime juice

2 tablespoons grated ginger (40g)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
200g dried, peeled and grounded shrimp
3 cloves garlic, crushed
a couple of good handful of cilantro/coriander
1 large onion, finely sliced
200ml  coconut cream or 1 cup of water
250g of fresh tiger prawns (optional)
Salt to taste

Lime edges and chillies to decorate
Palm oil to drizzle, optional

1) season with the chicken pieces with crushed garlic, lime juice and pepper,  leaving it to marinate for at least a couple of hours, overnight is better.
2) In a large saucepan, heat coconut oil and saute the chicken pieces with the onions for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time until it's golden.
3) Beat in a blender or food processor the coriander, the nuts and ginger with 50ml of water,  add the mix to the chicken and, if you prefer, add the dried shrimp too
4) Cook over medium-low heat for a further 15 minutes.
5) Add the coconut cream, the tiger prawns and simmer a little longer, about  5-6 minutes, until the prawns turn pink.
6) If the stock starts to dry too much, add a little water.
Drizzle with palm oil (optional).Check for salt.
7) Served topped with roasted peanuts grounded, chilli and lime wedges. 
8) Serving suggestion: white rice

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XinXim de galinha

Sunday, 23 August 2015

About chilli peppers and Homemade roasted chilli sauce recipe

Beautiful chillies from Grown with Love by Barfooots             credit:©Rosana_McPhee                                                                                       

What are chilli peppers?

Herbs, spices, vegetables, condiments, decoration? It's all of the above!  After the salt, it is possibly the most used flavouring worldwide. It can be found nearly all over the world.
They are a potent variety of capsicum with various forms, pods of differing in size, colour, and strength of flavor.  Chilli peppers originated in the Americas and with the Discovery and colonization they were introduced to the rest of the world: Europe, Asia, and Africa.

The Spanish and Portuguese were the first outside the natives, who had contact with this plant and after that took them everywhere, acquiring features and names in each of them as part of every culture. The Indians of the Americas were using the peppers continuously in their recipes, Europeans began their domestication much later.

Peppers seem to have arisen in  7,500 BC in Central Mexico region. Native to the Western Hemisphere and probably evolved from an ancestral form in Bolivia and Peru. Apparently, the Indians have cultivated peppers between 5200 and 3400 BC, which puts the peppers among the oldest cultivated plants in the Americas. It is not exactly known when the peppers were introduced in New Mexico. It is believed that the indigenous natives used then on their culinary and as medicine, a common practise among the Maya. Until the Spanish arrived in Mexico, the Aztecs farmers had already developed dozens of varieties. Undoubtedly, these peppers were the forerunners of a vast number of types found today in Mexico and grown in New Mexico for at least four centuries.

While conquering the New World, the Europeans were looking for an alternative source of black pepper, which at the time was the favourite condiment in Europe. This small red fruit, widely used by Native Americans for centuries - red pepper - Seemed to fit the bill.

Baptised "pimiento", the Spanish word for black pepper, capsicum is not related to the genus Piper, containing Piper nigrum L., the source of black pepper and white pepper. After a century, these hot peppers had spread to every continent.
More recent studies claim there was evidence for the presence of chilli peppers in Europe in pre-Columbian times.

 The peppers enhance the flavor of foods and, depending on the dish, it should differentiate the array to match the taste and hotness. The pepper burning, unique in the plant kingdom, results from the presence of a group of specific alkaloids. Pepper "bell" or sweet pepper, generally refers to non-spicy peppers or little spicy, while the chilli pepper varieties mean of burning or hot peppers.

Fresno red chilli

Chilli Love

The lovely people at Grown with Love by Barfoots sent me a box full of fantastic chillies from all over the world, that are grown in their chilli structure in the UK. It came on a beautiful box, which arrived impact in my house in London.  Get your chillies from them! 

Here is my recipe for a delicious and easy to make homemade roasted chilli sauce using Fresno red chillies (also known as red jalapeño).

Red Fresno chilli peppers are available all year-round, with peak season late summer through fall. Cooking Fresno chillies emphasises their smoky sweetness not found in its raw form.  Red Fresno chilli peppers are small plump thumb-sized and conically shaped chillies. They are smooth, firm and waxy with a glossy sheen. Their seeds can be used to grown more chillies. A hot chilli with flavor and heat very similar to that of a jalapeño or a serrano chilli. The Red Fresno is categorised as hot pepper It ranks between 2,500 to 8,000 units on the Scoville index. 
Homemade roasted chilli sauce recipe

Homemade roasted chilli sauce recipe

Makes about 1litre of sauce

1 kilo of red ripe tomatoes, washed, peeled*, and roughly  chopped
1 red sweet pepper
8 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 large red onions, finely minced
2-3 Fresno Red chili peppers 
3 fresh sprigs of thyme
salt to taste

1)In a large pan add the garlic, onions, the sprig of thyme and tomato in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes then simmer until the vegetables are completely cooked.
2)While the tomato sauce is slowly cooking, place the all the peppers  (sweet and hot) on a piece of baking parchment on a small baking sheet. Roast the peppers at 250C until they are blistered all over. The more blister the better!
3)Let the peppers cool for 5 mins, peel the skin off the peppers, scrape and discard the seeds and membrane.
4)By now the tomato sauce should be ready. Fish out the thyme stalks. Place all the roasted peppers and tomato sauce in a blender -  blitz until smooth, taste for salt, I added 1 shallow tablespoon of coarse rock salt.  Blitz again. It will be quite thick. Water down if you like it a bit more runny, I added 25ml of water.
At this point, you can either leave it rustic looking or sieved it for a smooth, more liquid finish.  It's up to you.
5)Place in sterilised bottles/jars - it keeps for up to 6 weeks in the fridge. It can be frozen in batches.

Homemade roasted chilli sauce recipe

Tips and suggestions:-

* The boiling water method:
Boil the kettle or a pan with enough water to emerge the tomatoes.  In a large bowl add the boiling water and next to it a bowl of ice-cold water. Wash the tomatoes, remove the stems that may still attached.
Using a sharp knife, slice a shallow X into the bottom of the tomato opposite the stem side. Plunge the tomatoes in the hot water for a few seconds.  Place them into the ice-cold water for a few seconds and finish to peel off the tomatoes skin quickly.  Done! 

-Tomatoes, variety is the spice of life, so use any variety and colour in season, why not add some sundried tomatoes? 
-Chilli - you can use any variety you like or have at home
-Herb - again, add the herb of choice.

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Homemade roasted chilli sauce recipe

Disclosure: I receive a box of chillies from Grown with Love by Barfoots for review purposes. All views and words are my own. I love chilli! Lots of Love from Hot&Chilli!
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