Pop Up 4 Lunch! New Street Food Menu at Purple Poppadom

If you love street food, you must head over to Purple Poppadom for their new Street Food Pop Up 4 Lunch Menu. Chef Anand George and his team has have explored India’s exciting urban food scene to bring you authentic dishes inspired by the very latest in Indian street food.

We have always loved the food at Purple Poppadom. Chef Anand is one of the most exciting chefs in Wales creating vibrant, visually beautiful, and delicious food. We were delighted to be invited to Purple Poppadom to sample his new menu.

If you want to have a quick “sandwich”, you must try a Bombay Frankie Roll (£4.95) a popular Mumbai street food. Their authentic Frankie Roll is made from their homemade wholemeal flat bread and then coated with egg omelette. You have a choice of fillings: Keralan Beef, Tandoori Chicken Tikka and Tandoori Paneer Tikka. This is then topped with green chutney, pickled cucumber.

Corpulent Capers: 12hr Keralan Beef Frankie Roll

12hr Keralan Beef Frankie Roll

We sampled the Keralan beef and Paneer which were both delicious. The beef was melt in the mouth amazing as it was marinated for over 12 hours and then slow cooked for over 12 hours. This may be fast street food but a lot of time and love went into this beef. The paneer was light and flavourful, even Mr A who is not a fan of paneer really enjoyed it.

Corpulent Capers: Paneer Frankie Roll

Paneer Frankie Roll

The menu also has a selection of Thali Platters (£7.95 – £8.95). These come with a snack starter, rice, homemade flatbread, and then a little bowl of a vegetable dish and a “curry”. There is a choice of prawn, chicken, lamb, or vegetable.

Corpulent Capers: Thali Platter

Thali Platter

Also on the menu are a variety of street food snacks. These are light bites. 2 to 3 would be a light lunch or if you are hungry, have one of these before your Frankie Roll. We tried the Venison Pao which was minced venison cooked with spices, topped with a fried egg and served on a homemade soft roll (pao). The Pao Bhaji was a flavourful potato and vegetable mash served with a zingy relish on a pao.  We also sampled the Kerala Calamari, crispy spice batters squid served on a refreshing nest of tangy salad.

Corpulent Capers: Venison Pao

Venison Pao

Corpulent Capers: Pao Bhaji

Pao Bhaji

Corpulent Capers: Kerala Calamari

Kerala Calamari

You simply cannot go wrong with anything that is on this Street Food Pop Up 4 lunch menu or any of the evening menus. Purple Poppadom is a multi-award winning restaurant serving vibrant and exciting traditional Indian cuisine with a modern twist. We have always had a delicious meal with friendly and professional service. 10 out 10 from me.

New Slow Food® group launches – Slow Food South East Wales / y De-ddwyrain.

A new Slow Food UK group has started in Wales: Slow Food South East Wales / y De-ddwyrain. This is the fifth group to open in Wales, with the others being in Llangollen, Dyfi Valley, Carmarthenshire and Anglesey (Dros-y-Fenai). People in South East Wales will now have an opportunity to participate in a wide range of Slow Food activities, such as meetings with guest speakers, campaigns on specific issues, awareness-raising programmes, and diverse events.

Slow Food is about helping people think differently about food. In the UK, Slow Food works to reconnect people with where their food comes from, so they can better understand the implications of the choices they make about what they put on their plates. The aim is to encourage people to choose nutritious food from sustainable and local sources, which tastes great.. Slow Food is a non-profit organization, supported by members and donations.

Mark Adams, Group Leader of Slow Food South East Wales said: “I am very happy that we have been able to form a Slow Food group in the area. These days the food market is dominated by multi-national corporations offering highly processed, multi-ingredient products as opposed to simple wholesome food. Add to this the lack of food education and we are seeing the loss of traditional cooking skills along with some of our unique native breeds.”

He adds: “Our aim in forming the group is to help people understand the impact that their choices in food can have on them, their families and the environment. We want to promote the importance of ‘local’ and help protect our culinary traditions and regional food products. Ultimately we want everyone to have access to good, clean and fair food.”

Carol Adams, founding member and Secretary of the group says: “We are a young group but have a strong committee comprising of local food and drink producers, business owners, chefs and those with an interest in good food. We are actively seeking new members to help us achieve our goals.”

 “We have a strong focus on food education to help individuals and communities make informed choices about their food and its production,” she explains. “Our aim is to help preserve forgotten Welsh foods and cooking traditions, alongside supporting artisan producers and farmers of sustainable and biodiverse food, which in turn helps protect the land for future generations. Our locality has an abundance of great producers and produce, and we shall be hosting a number of activities and events throughout the region.”

The newly formed Slow Food South East Wales committee members are as follows:

Mark Adams (Group Leader/Chair), Barnaby Hibbert (Vice Chair), Rolant Tomos (Treasurer), Carol Adams (Secretary), Grady Atkins, John Thomas, Melissa Boothman, Richard Crowe, Rob Lilford, Stephen Nottingham.

For more information about the group email: info@slowfoodsoutheastwales.org.uk

http://www.slowfood.org.uk/groups/south-east-wales/

http://www.slowfoodsoutheastwales.org.uk/

Follow us on Twitter – @SlowFoodSEWales  or Facebook – SlowFoodSEWales

Corpulent Capers: Slow Food South East Wales Committee

Slow Food South East Wales Committee

Back row from left to right: Grady Atkins, Rob Lilford, Melissa Boothman, Stephen Nottingham, Richard Crowe, Carol Adams, Rolant Tomos, and John Thomas

Front  Row: Mark Adams and Barnaby Hibbert

About Slow Food: Slow Food was founded in 1989 by Carlo Petrini as a response to the opening of a McDonald’s in the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Today the movement exists in 132 countries and has over 100,000 members and supporters. Slow Food UK has 4,500 members and oversees a number of programmes, such as the UK’s contribution to the Ark of Taste and the Slow Food UK Chef Alliance.

Slow Food South East Wales/y De-ddwyrain covers an area roughly from Bridgend to the English border, sweeping up through Merthyr Tydfil and the Valleys to Monmouthshire.

Alma de Cuba Coffee Review

Over the years I’ve sampled many different coffees and visitors to Corpulent Towers have come to expect a decent cup to be served.  So much so that they only ever comment when what they get doesn’t live up the normal standards.

So it was interesting when a cup of Alma De Cuba, prompted a fellow visiting coffee lover to exclaim how much he liked that day’s brew.

Alma De CubaOnce upon a time, before the revolution, Cuba was the world’s largest exporter of coffee exporting over 20,000 tonnes a year.  These days that’s down to less than 5,000 tonnes even less of which is good quality.

Fortunately The Cuba Mountain Coffee Company signed a deal in early 2014 to invest £2.4m into the Cuban coffee farming community over the following five years.  The result is Alma de Cuba (Soul of Cuba) coffee.

Grown in the rich, loamy fertile soil of the Cuba’s mountains. Shaded by Cuba’s native trees and temperature regulated by the Caribbean trade winds these beans can rival some of the best in the world.

The flavour has great depth and a silky richness, remaining smooth but clean.  On the nose it has a smokiness that reminded me of almost of good barbecue.  Surprisingly this coffee works equally well with and without milk, a bonus of those that just can’t get their heads round drinking it black.

Corpulent Capers: Alma de Cuba Capsules

Alma de Cuba Capsules

Now if you are a Nespresso™ user there’s even more great news as Alma de Cuba have launched a new range of premium Nespresso©-compatible capsules. These are intense, with wonderful silkiness and a lingering finish which allows the unique and consistent flavour of Alma de Cuba to infuse through.

This really is an excellent coffee and no doubt it will only get better as the plantations see the benefit of that investment.  Resplendent in its distinctive packaging Alma de Cuba is well worth a try.  Whether you prefer espresso, filter, black, white or now Nespresso™ you won’t be disappointed.

All Alma de Cuba coffees are available for worldwide delivery online at almacuba.com or wholesale to selected outlets globally – email coffee@almacuba.com

Review samples were provided by the nice people at rock pr.

 

200 Cookbooks and Counting Book 12, Delia Smith’s Christmas

I had not heard of Delia Smith before moving to the UK. I Arrived in November and my thoughts immediately turned to cooking my first traditional British Christmas meal. As Mr A handed to me his battered copy of Delia Smith’s Christmas he said, “if you do what Delia says, it will always work”.

Now I am a confident cook when it comes to big feast meals but I turned to Delia that Christmas 8 years ago and it has come off the shelf every year since!

Delia Smith’s Christmas is not just a book of recipes. It has chapters like List and More Lists, Christmas on Ice, Talking Turkey and Geese and Hams, A Party Selection and The Last 36 Hours to help you get organised for the big day and get a beautiful homemade lunch on the table at 2:00pm Christmas day. But yes, you will also find tasty recipes that work in the other chapters: All Kinds of Christmas Cakes, Talking Turkey and Geese and Hams, Christmas Puddings and Mincemeat, Preserves, Pickles and Chutneys, Canapés and Nibbles, A Vegetarian Christmas, Ducks Geese and Game, Roasted Meats and Cold Cuts, Vegetable Dishes and Salads, Christmas Desserts and Sweet Dishes, Homemade Sweets and Chocolates and of course a chapter on what to do with the tasty left overs!

I have made so many recipes from Delia Smith’s Christmas that I could write a book about them myself, but I will just highlight two of them here.

If you are nervous about cooking a turkey, or have cooked a turkey and it was not perfect, try the Delia method. Her method is fool proof and I get a moist, golden turkey every time. What I love about it, is that it the turkey doesn’t need frequent basting! I have shared her method with my sister and mother and we all love it!

Here is a link to her turkey cooking method from her website but additional helpful information is in the cookbook.

Last year, I was chatting on Twitter to one of my knitting friends in London Rachel, @knittingtastic, about baking for Christmas. She recommended Delia’s Creole Christmas Cake as it is delicious and super easy to make. The recipe can be found on line here but it is also in the book.

This is similar to the fruit cakes made in the Bahamas but so much easier. It is moist and delicious but not cloyingly sweet as some fruitcakes are. If you don’t finish it up over the holidays, wrap it up well and store in a cake tin. Mr A and I just finished last year’s cake to make room in the tin for Creole Christmas Cake 2014.

Delia's Creole Christmas Cake

Undecorated Creole Christmas Cake – Rich, Moist and Fruity

You need to soak the fruit for at least 1 week before baking the cake but you can soak the fruits for longer if you like. The pre-soaking calls for a variety of liquors (rum, brandy, cherry brandy and port). I use the brandy and rum as I always have those to hand but, use whatever I have in the house if I don’t have any cherry brandy and port. This year I used Cointreau and my homemade blackberry wine.

The recipe also calls for a variety of dried fruit and nuts. What I love about this recipe is that you can mix and match the dried fruits; using up what you may have stored in your baking cupboard. Just make sure you use the correct total amount of dried fruit and nuts given in the recipe. For example, the recipe calls for 450g of raisins. I had 300g but I also had 150g dried cranberries needing to be used up; so this year I used 300g of raisins and 150g of dried cranberries instead of 450g of raisins. Last year, I had some dried figs knocking about so I used them by adjusting the quantity of currants.

Delia recommends decorating with a glazed nut topping. I, however, leave my plain as it is delicious as is and I find it easier to store for the year if we do not devour over the holidays.

I simply love this cookbook. I start to get the festive spirit as soon as I take it off the shelf. I recommend this book whether you are a confident or novice Christmas lunch cook.

Would love to hear what you will be cooking this year for the holidays! Happy holiday cooking and baking!

You can find this book at good local book stores and on Amazon by clicking the image below,

*If you want to know more about Carol’s adventure with food or even join her on one then check out Food Adventure Ltd.

200 Cookbooks and Counting Book 11, Soup Can Make You Thin

Cookbook Number 11 Soup Can Make You Thin by Fiona Kirk and Jean Barr

Soup Can Make You Thin is one of Mr A’s cookbooks and one that I had not read or cooked from. Two things inspired me to take this cookbook off the shelf:

1) I tend to crave soup as soon as the weather gets nippy. I love a steaming bowl of soup for lunch or for dinner and have even been known to have it for breakfast. Every autumn I look for new soup ideas and recipes to add to my repertoire

2) My sister came to visit for 2 weeks and let’s just say we indulged a bit! After 2 weeks full of afternoon teas, leisurely 4 course lunches, sumptuous suppers, and naughty treats, I felt the need to lighten up my meals.

The authors of this book devised a diet to lose weight based around soup. This is the cookbook that accompanies the diet. “But are these soups delicious” I asked myself. I certainly have had quite a few “diet” soups in my day. I shudder at the thought of cabbage soup. I was pleasantly surprised to find a book full with 50 soup recipes that look really flavourful. Not only does the book have autumnal/winter warming soups but refreshing summer soups as well.

Corpulent Capers: Spicy Meatball Soup

Spicy Meatball Soup

You will enjoy this book whether you are following the diet, trying to cut back on calories or simply looking for delicious soup recipes. There are soups for vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and meat lovers alike. You will be delighted with recipes such as Duck Broth with Egg Noodles and Bok Choy, Parsley Soup with Chicken, Aduki Bean Soup, and Red Onion Soup with Feta cheese.

As I am making soup for lunch for both Mr A and I, I was delighted to find a recipe for a spicy meatball soup as Mr A is a fan of meatballs. I was delighted with the result. The soup is chocked full of vegetables such as tomato, courgette, kale and carrot. Chili gives it a nice kick and the meatballs and added beef stock give it a nice meaty richness. It is a very satisfying bowl of soup. I certainly will make this soup again.

I have to say that I am glad I discovered this book amongst my 200 plus cookbook collection. The recipes are clearly written, are easy to follow and cook. The fact that they are good for the waistline and healthy are a real plus!

You can find this book at good local book stores and on Amazon by clicking the image,

*If you want to know more about Carol’s adventure with food or even join her on one then check out Food Adventure Ltd.