#31 Food news: The best Italian deli in London

Forget gold rings – the real diamond of Hatton Gardens sits proudly at the top of Leather Lane like the crown jewels.

parma ham

Step out of the rain and into the sunshine! I used to work around the corner from Terroni & Son’s deli. In the heart of London’s Italian community – it was always a great place to have a browse, sometimes I’d even go in and get a coffee just for an excuse to stare at the Italian products and produce!

Shop

The perfect way to transport your mind to sunny, relaxing, Italian-Mamma-food-filled holidays in Italy: the rows of lemoncello, the hanging Parma ham (even if they are plastic – British health and safety at work I presume – rest assured the real McCoy are under the counter), the regional wine, steaming vats of pasta and the bowls of olives all help to give you that holiday feeling!

Open since 1878, London’s oldest delicatessen has just won the status as UK Parma Ham Specialist 2013, with Aldo Zilli presenting the award.

Aldo zilli

Of course this was celebrated in Italian style with more Parma ham canapés than you can imagine and some top-notch Prosecco!

Canapes

Go ‘ave a butchers! Terroni and Sons, 138-140 Clerkenwell Rd, EC1R 5DL  (great for those on engagement ring hunts, when it’s all too much drop in for a coffee or a bottle of Lemoncello – depending on how much you’ve spent!)

TOP 6 EASY PARMA HAM CANAPES 

1 Fig, Parmigiano and Parma ham wraps

Cut 12 slices of Parma ham in half lengthways. Wrap 12 fig halves in a strip of Parma ham. Top each with 1tbsp of grated Parmigiano cheese. Then wrap with the remaining Parma ham. Grill for 3-4 mins.

2 Parma prawns with mango salsa

Mix 1 ripe chopped mango, a small handful of finely chopped cucumber and 3 tbsp coriander. Fill 6 dessert spoons or ceramic soup spoons with the mixture. Top with prawns wrapped in Parma ham.

3 Tomato and Parma ham bruschetta

Drizzle 6 slices of lightly toasted ciabatta or French bread with olive oil. Top with sliced tomatoes. Grill for 1-2 mins. Serve topped with Parma ham

4 Parma ham, avocado and goats cheese

Drizzle 8 slices of lightly toasted ciabatta or French bread with olive oil. Top with a slice of avocado, crumbled goats cheese, basil and a slice of Parma ham

5 Melon and Parma ham sticks

Cut 1/2 honeydew melon into 2cm cubes, wrap the cubes in thin strips of Parma ham. Secure with a cocktail stick.

6 Ricotta, pesto and Parma ham blinis (pictured above)

Top 12 blinis with a little ricotta and pesto. Finish with basil leaves and Parma ham.

Visit prosciuttodiparma.com for lots of delicious Parma ham recipes (not just canapés!)

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#27 FOOD NEWS: Recipes that rock with Blur’s Alex James

Every monday

Rock and cheese roll?

After  swapping rock and roll for making artisan, award winning, cheese. The bassist from Blur, Alex James has now teamed up with Australian chef, Matt Stone, for a second series of Recipes that Rock. There’s some humdingers (I think that’s good) as they travel across the Great Southern area of Australia. The ricotta, chilli and avocado combo was calling me with this little number – perfect for brunch with a kick:

Avocado, ricotta, fried egg & spelt flatbread

Final

Serves 4 with 6 flatbreads leftover (Note re. my pics: I halved everything to serve 2 then had 3 flatbreads leftover for lunches).

strip

For the flatbread
1.5kg spelt flower
900ml water
30g yeast
35g salt
2 tbsp flakey salt
Olive oil

Steps 1

1 Warm the water to be at blood temperature, then add the yeast and dissolve. Mix in the flour and 35g salt.

steps 2

2 Gather together, turn out onto a floured work surface. Knead for about 5 mins until the dough is silky. Place the dough into a bowl and leave to prove in a warm place for 40mins.

steps 3

3 Knock back the dough and portion into 10 balls, slightly smaller than a tennis ball.
Roll the balls out to circles about 1cm thick. Brush with olive oil and season with flaky salt. Cook on a chargrill [or griddle pan if it’s October and Blighty!] for about 5 mins each side.

For the avocado mix
4 avocados, peeled and chopped
250g ricotta
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped, plus extra to serve (optional)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
1 cup mixed herbs: dill, parsley and mint, chopped
Olive oil
4 eggs

1 Place the avocado into a mixing bowl with the ricotta, chilli, lemon zest and juice and the herbs and mix well. Set aside.

chilli

2 Fry the eggs to your liking. Place 4 flatbreads on 4 plates. Make sure the avocado mix is seasoned with salt and olive oil, then spoon onto the flatbreads. Place a fried egg on top of each and serve with lemon wedges.  Serve with a side of chill (if using).

Britalian tip

No time to bake bread? Try serving on warmed sundried tomato ciabatta rolls. A match made in heaven. Available at Morrison’s for 35p each.

alt bread

For more Alex James & Matt Stone recipes tune into Recipes that Rock on Food Network UK, Freeview 41, freesat 149, Ski 248, Virgin 287.

#10 FOOD NEWS: Italy vs England, the Wild West & World Cup telly food

It’s in the bag: England vs Italy

Whenever we visit the Romeo family in Italy we end up coming home with our suitcases full of food and busting the scales. This left me thinking about what the players (and their mums) might be putting in their suitcases when packing for the biggest football competition on earth:

England player1

Italian players bag

One all!

On the night of the match we’ve been invited to a Wild West 4oth. Give me any excuse to whack on a pair of cow-girl boots and a hat and I’m all over it! I’m not sure if it’s a Giuseppe (or an Italian or man) thing but he’s less keen on the whole idea of fancy dress. Before I could tell him about my grand plan for him to dress up as Toy Story’s Woody and me to go as Jessie, he said he already had the night booked out with the boys to watch the football at Donna Margherita’s in Clapham.

Dressing up as Woody Vs gay pizza and football with the Italians? I didn’t stand a chance (re: gay pizza that’s not me reverting to playground insults, they really do sell ‘Pizza gay’ at Donna Margherita’s – it’s apparently very good). Anyway, I’m happy to leave him to it and make mine a girlie night (and go as fancy dress-crazy as humanly possible)!

menucrop1

Huumm Pizza lesbica? So Pizza gay isn’t just a google translate mishap for happy pizza then.

If you’re supporting Italy on the 14th, I’m sure Donna Margherita is a great place to be – heaving with Italian passion [school boy humour] and pizza!  http://www.donna-margherita.com/

World cup TV nibbles

If you’re planning on watching the match in the comfort of your own home here’s some fab Britalian-style TV nibbles. They also make a great starter – I’m going to be serving these up to my old dad to kick off his Father’s day menu:

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