What a Feast! Comfort Eating @ The London Cooking Club

Brilliant idea by fellow Brazilian Luiz Hara, The London Foodie, who has been living in London for the last 18 years.  It’s very simple and curious concept: one house, 10* unknown guests, a themed menu consisting of 12 dishes and 12 bottles of wine to accompany them.
* – 11th person: Luiz, 12th person: Dr. G. (the hosts)
The London Foodie (Luiz) @ Gula Magazine
From the second Luiz opened the door of his house, I knew it was going to be an enjoyable night. He made us feel very comfortable and welcome. Everything was splendidly planned.  Luiz introduces everyone, he goes through the menu over a glass of bubbly and canapés in the drawing room… we then move on to the dinning room – I never seen so many lovely cutlery in my life! The themed menu this month was ‘Comfort Eating’:Canapé:

Fresh figs and Blue Cheese by Janine
Mini lamb meatballs with pistachio and apricot Labhne  by Razi
Sweet Potatoes and ginger by Gill
Show Stopper: Japanese Nabe

Main Courses:

Dr G’s Roast Cod Surprise by Gerald – Jamie Oliver’s recipe
Roast Chicken with shallots, lemons, cloves and Lillet *(pronounced lee-lay) served with Moroccan-style carrots by Coralie
* – Lillet is a French aperitif wine. It is a blend of 85% wine and citrus liqueurs made from a variety of oranges. Lillet is matured in oak casks and available in red and white versions
Lamb Bobotie (pronounced: Ba-boor-tea) by Tracey
Flavoured orange, prunes and apricots beef Tagine  by me!  sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, almonds and coriander.
Baked Beans with smoked chilli by Elizabeth & Hugh
Green Cauliflower Cheese by Kavey and Peter
Green Couscous by Luiz


Main Courses and accompaniments
Cheese Board:
Selection of cheeses of your choice  – all
Pear and Almond Frangipane Tart – Elizabeth and Hugh
Lemon Posset – Kavey & Peter
Pear and almond Frangipane
Each guest brought a bottle of wine that matched their prepared dishes.In between courses we had about 15 minutes break to clear up the table for the next dish. We moved places around the table so there was a lot of interaction. We also, team up with another guest to help out with last minute cooking and dishing out the plates.

We eat lots; it’s supposed to be a sample portion of each dish, but there was a huge amount of food as everyone was extremely generous with their dishes.
The night was so much fun, great company, fantastic hosts, last minute cooking, anecdotes, laughter, networking, recipes exchange, drinking and eating galore.  Needless to say,  I didn’t feel the need to eat the next day.
Last minute preparations
Lovely guests
If you would like to take part in the next feast contact Luiz @TheLondonFoodie for availability.
Thank you everyone for a fantastic experience, especially Luiz, for the invitation and welcoming hosting skills.  As Luiz would put on his reviews:Dislikes : Nothing to dislike!

Likes: Everything!

I will be back!

For some of the recipes :
Fresh Figs and blue cheese by Janine
Cut fresh figs in quarters.
Fill with creamy blue cheese
Top with parma ham and parsley 

Sweet potato and ginger soup with coriander pesto by Gill
Serves 6

2 lge sweet potatoes  peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 red onions peeled and finely sliced
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1 ½ tbsp grated ginger (I used a lot less last night as I don’t like it too hot)
1.5 litres of good chicken stock
150 ml double cream
1 tbsp tamari or dark soy if you can’t find it
1 tbsp maple syrup
Juice of half a lime

Pine nuts and coriander leaves in equal measure
Dash of oil (peppery olive oil is best)

1.    Melt butter.
2.    Add onions, pinch of salt and sweat for 5 mins till translucent
3.    Add ginger and stir followed by sweet potatoes
Add chicken stock, bring to boil and then turn down to simmer for 25
mins or until sweet potatoes fall apart when prodded with a fork
5.    Process food with a blender and strain through a sieve back into pan
6.    Add cream, tamari and maple syrup. Add tamari to taste if flavour is not intense and deep enough
7.    Grind coriander and pine nuts in a pestle and mortar but not to fine. Serve with homemade croutons with soup.
Nice and velvety


Baked Cod with Avocado,  Prawns, Cream and Cheese by Dr G (via Jamie Oliver)
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cod fillets, skinned and pin-boned
Fresh basil, ripped
Avocados, peeled, stones and sliced
1 or 2  peeled tiger prawns per portion
double cream
Good cheddar cheese
the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Rub a baking dish or roasting tray with a
little olive oil, season  the cod on both sides and place in the dish.
Sprinkle the  fillets with basil, avocado and prawns. Drizzle over the
cream,  grate over the cheddar. Cook at the top of the preheated oven
for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Season to taste with
sea salt and black pepper.


Orange flavored Moroccan Beef with Prunes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 kilo of diced and trimmed beef
2 onions sliced
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 cinnamon sticks broken in 4 pieces
½ tsp of ground nutmeg
½ tsp of chopped coriander
salt to taste
½ black pepper
½ cup of white wine
½ cup of condensed beef broth (undiluted)
1 cup of  chopped prunes
1/2 roughly chopped  apricots
Zest and juice of 1 orange
½ tbsp of orange blossom
½ cup of toasted almonds
2 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds
serve with couscous  or rice
In a fry pan  heat oil over medium heat. Brown the meat, in batches.
Reduce the heat  and add onions cooking them until softened. Add
garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, cook, stirring  for 1 minute.
wine, broth, prunes ,  chopped coriander, zest and juice of orange.
Bring to the boil, stirring and cook for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce
In a heavy bottomed pan pour the mixture over the lamb
Slow cook for 6-8 hours. Add apricots and orange blossom right at the end.
To serve discard cinnamon and garnish with almonds and sesame seeds.
The Bobotie by Tracey Howes
(serves 6-8)
1 slice white bread
250ml milk
1 kg lean mince (lamb, beef or mutton)
1 med onion chopped
125ml seedless raisins
125ml blanched almonds
15ml smooth apricot jam
15ml Mrs Balls Fruit Chutney
25ml lemon juice
5ml chopped fresh mixed herbs
10ml curry powder
5ml turmeric
10ml salt
10ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs
4 bay or lemon leaves
Soak bread in 125ml milk, squeeze dry and reserve milk
a large bowl mix bread with mince, and add all ingredients except the
remaining and reserved milk, oil, eggs, bay/lemon leaves
Heat oil in pan and brown mixture lightly
Turn into a casserole dish
Beat eggs with remaining and reserved milk and pour over meat
Garnish top with bay/lemon leaves
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for approx 50min or until set
Traditionally served with yellow rice

Have a look at Coralie’s  review and lovely pictures (much better than mine!)
Thanks to Luiz for letting me use some of his images!




  1. February 3, 2011 / 8:54 am

    It was a great night, wasn't it?!

  2. February 3, 2011 / 11:45 am

    What a lovely write up Rosana thank you so much! It was great to meet you after months of Twitter chat, you will always have a place at our London Cooking Club events!

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  3. February 3, 2011 / 5:29 pm

    Great review, sweetheart! Love the warm note of your write up… Hope to see you again soon!

  4. Anonymous
    February 4, 2011 / 1:02 am

    oi muito legal!!! Parabéns
    Bjs Seu irmão Pedro

  5. Anonymous
    February 6, 2011 / 9:06 pm

    Me too! Any space for one more?

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