#16 FOOD NEWS: Gourmet glamping, Aperol Spritz & London design festival

KEEPING AN EYE ON ALL THINGS BRITALIAN…

Every monday 

Gourmet glamping

New Forest banner

Forget cold beans and an energy bar. I may not have Hunter wellies [yet] but whilst in the New Forest this weekend I experienced a touch of glamping for the first time. A sound sleep on a decent camping mattress, with a proper double duvet and pillows followed by a delicious breakfast is definitely the way forward.

As the smell of barbecued bacon wafted over the campsite for our luxury bacon butties (topped with a flourish of baby salad leaves I might add), inspiration struck for my entry for the Parmigiano Reggiano cross cooking challenge to re-create a typical dish from my culinary culture using this delicious Parmesan cheese:

Barbecued Britalian bacon butties

Recipe here

espresso

Stay, eat, sea

For a great campsite in the New Forest happy to accommodate one night stays try Hollands Wood campsite, Brockenhurst.

Get fantastic gastro-pub style food in the hamlet of Bank at The Oak Inn www.oakinnlyndhurst.co.uk.

Afternoon tea by the sea? It had to be done. Beachcomber cafe, Barton-on-Sea.

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Going, going, gone

aperol

Aperitvo or ‘getting-the-taste-buds-going’ as I like call it, is a whole other level in Italy. We ordered an Aperol in Undine – this promptly appeared with a huge plate of Orecchiette alle cime di rapa which left me mouthing to Giuseppe, ‘do we have to pay for this?’ (this was met by an Italian tut). How was I to know? They charge £2.50 for a bowl of peanuts in London. Delighted, I sipped my Aperol and tucked into the pasta. So it was a real treat last weekend when my sister-in-law brought out the Aperol before Sunday lunch. However she supercharged it by making an Aperol Spritz which did get-my-taste-buds-going but also demanded a pre-dinner snooze. That stuff is strong.

For Aperol spritz you will need 3 parts of Prosecco to 2 parts Aperol to 1 part soda water, pour over ice and finish with a slice of orange. Aperol costs around £15 for 700ml, available at most major supermarkets. For more info visit aperolspritzuk.co.uk

Design time

Officina Alessi "La Conica" Espresso coffee maker designed by Aldo Rossi

Look out for designjunction showcasing the very best in furniture, lighting and product design from around the world at the iconic 1960s Sorting Office in New Oxford Street. Italian design brand, Alessi are bringing a pop-up cafe and bar to the ground floor space.  The on-site cafe has been realised by designer Mario Trimarchi, and will serve coffee the Italian way. Alessi will also run a pop-up shop for the duration of the event, presenting the Super and Popular collection, a selection of 70 of Alessi’s most familiar and successful objects. Part of  The London Design Festival 18th-21st September.

 

 

 

 

#12 FOOD NEWS: Breakfast special

Every monday

Full English or a continental pastry? I’m a massive fan of the English breakfast but it occurred to me that it could be taken to dizzy heights with a few Italian twists!

WEEKEND WONDER: The Embellished English

britalian breakfast final1

Garlic and balsamic roast tomatoes

Oliveoil and balsamaic tomatoes

Place 3 halved plum tomatoes and 2 whole garlic cloves in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with dried oregano and season to taste. Roast at 190’C, 170’C fan, gas 5 for 30 mins. Serves 2 (double for 4).

The sausage

Place Sicilian Inspired Pork Sausages (Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference, £2.50 for 6) in a baking tray above the tomatoes and cook to pack instructions at 190’C, 170’C fan, gas 5 for 30 mins. If you’re lucky enough to have an Italian deli nearby or if you’re self-catering or camping in Southern Italy seek out pappagnotta – the ultimate Italian sausage.

Dreamy creamy scrambled eggs

eggs crop

Whisk 4 large eggs, 6 tbsp whole milk and 50g mascarpone. Season to taste. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over a medium heat in a non-stick frying pan, add the egg mixture and allow to sit for 20 secs then gently fold and stir with a wooden spatula. Allow to sit for a further 10 secs and fold and stir again. Repeat until the eggs are soft softly set. Serves 2.

Crispy pancetta

sizzling pancetta

Place the pancetta in a dry non-stick frying or griddle pan over a medium heat for 3-5 mins, turning once, until crispy.

Britalian Tip

Add some courgette flower fritters if you have the rest of the day to walk (or sleep!) it all off!

WHEN YOU NEED TO BE UP-AND-OUT:

4 weekday 5 minute breakfasts…

Superfood smoothie

Whizz and go!

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Beetroot & blueberry smoothie

Place 125g cooked beetroot (half a pack of cooked beetroot in natural juices),  100g blueberries, 25g goji  berries, 60ml pomegranate juice, 1tsp honey and a squeeze of lemon juice in a blender. Blend for 1 minute and serve. Serves 1

My Calabrian breakfast
Although I’m never in a hurry when in Italy, breakfast is a quick affair – just a little entree to LUNCH.

My Italian breakfast

Lipton English breakfast tea (Mama Romeo likes to make me feel at home!), Pan di Stelle biscuits (good Italian deli’s sell these in the UK or you can even buy them from Amazon.co.uk, from £2.95) and a fresh peach. A seemingly odd little mix that I’ve grown to love.

Mummy ‘E’s’ mega cereal breakfast
Setting her up for a day of teaching 11-15 year olds. No wonder it’s quite hefty.

Super cereal crop

Top your favourite ready mixed granola with milk, a large spoonful of Greek natural yogurt, a small handful of berries and a few slices of kiwi fruit (or top with any fruit that needs using up!).

Slow release energy fast! 

 Perkier porridge pots

These little pots of joy from Perkier are perfect for busy days, pop one in your bag on the way to work and simply top up with boiling water.  Perkier was set-up by Anne Perkins and her partner Steve; fed up with the lack of choice and the price of gluten free products, Anne decided to do something about it. Perkier porridge pots are available at large supermarkets for around £1.50 each. For full product range visit http://www.perkier.co.uk

GREAT GADGET

Running out of cupboard space? These stackable Leaning Tower of Pisa espresso cups are perfect to keep on the worktop – making it even easier to reach for that morning coffee. Fab and functional! £19.99 www.menkind.co.uk

leaning tower of pisa_In situation

The Challenge: Father’s day menu

Due to the nature of the blogging beast, I’m wanting to share my Father’s day menu but I won’t be able to put the complete recipes and pics up until after the event! But read on if you’re just looking for a bit of inspiration. I’ll post the full recipes after all the blog assets are bagged! You can keep them in your back pocket for next year!

Fish finger

STARTER

Mini fish finger open sarnies

Who doesn’t love fish finger sandwiches? When my 8 year old Italian nephew came to stay last year, on tasting one for the first time, he fell in love too! Giving this British classic an Italian twist (and to make sure we don’t get breaded out) I’ll be serving them up bruschetta-style on thinly sliced ciabatta with a spoonful of garlic mayo.

MAIN

Beef & Stilton shirt & tie pie

When it comes to dinner for dad – it has to be pie. I’m playing safe with ‘dad flavours’, but I’ll be getting creative with the pastry!

Pie1

PUD

Espresso blancmange martini’s

Rabbit mould

Bring back blancmange I say! In an attempt to stop myself reaching for the rabbit mould, I’m going to up the style-stakes by adding a touch of coffee and a dash of Martini. Also love hearing Giuseppe say, ‘Eh? Blamon!?!’

 

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