Friday, 13 June 2008

Salcuper Maki

Salcuper Maki
Originally uploaded by daveytea
A high quality combination of smoked salmon (Asda's finest), cucumber, red peppers and black sesame seeds.

Rolled up in the style of Japanese Maki (まき) and served with wasabi and soy sauce. There are two sushi things as well to use up the left over salmon and rice :D.

If you want to try making your own maki rolls here is a good website.

You basically need:

Sushi Rice
Sushi Vinegar
Dashi Stock
Thin Seaweed mats
Some fillings
Sushi rolling mat

I can't be bothered explaining how to make it, but the link does a good job. I recommend it. Except that salmon makes me ill. As I found out.


Sunday, 8 June 2008

The CheeseKenzie

After the sour sting of defeat suffered from a night at the casino, one requires food to soothe those aching purse-strings. Enter, the CheeseKenzie.

We dropped Sarah off at her house at about 2.30am and she invited Terry and myself in for tea and crumpets (we had glasses of water and declined her offer of Hobnobs). Following several failed attempts to get us to eat something, Sarah suggested she create that which is pictured above.

Cheese scone. Slice it. Butter. Spread. Cheese. Cut it. (You should be hearing the music from Gordon Ramsay's "The F Word" right now by the way.) Place on scone. Chorizo: Open Somerfield £1 packet. Lay on cheese. Grill: Heat it. Grill it. Plate: It up. Half it. There. The CheeseKenzie.

It was actually bloody good. Try it at home folks!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Lunch at Yatai

I had the opportunity to go out for lunch with my friend Steve who was up visiting Aberdeen this week. Anyone who knows Aberdeen will be aware that pub grub is pretty much standard fare for those looking for a substantial lunch out in town. Undercooked and microwaved burgers just didn't appeal to us though, so we decided to visit Yatai, a tiny Japanese restaurant which opened about 18 months ago in the city. It also happens to be probably my favourite restaurant (yes, I might have slightly influenced the decision making process...)

We were joined by a couple of other friends: Terry, who has a seemingly unrelenting appetite, and Sarah, someone who almost screamed at me the last time I suggested she try Japanese food (I hope you see where I'm going with this).

We had not booked a table, something which it is worth doing if you wish to eat in a fairly popular restaurant which seats about 16-20 people. Thankfully, it was a sunny day and they had opened up their garden for lunch so we were able to get a table outside. Their menu is full of choices, with each page devoted to different types of dish: nigiri, zensai (small dishes), maki, etc. Those new to the restaurant can find themselves bewildered by the choice however the wait staff are very helpful and will recommend dishes to the uncertain diner.

Terry, Sarah and I each picked three dishes off the main menu which were all pretty fantastic. Sarah went for the tori no kara age (deep fried chicken thigh meat in a chilli, ginger and garlic marinade), inari zushi (tofu pouches stuffed with sushi rice) and tamagoyaki nigiri (sweet omelette on sushi rice), all of which I recommended to her since she was keen on being eased into the whole eating Japanese food situation. Terry and I also picked three dishes each off the menu. I found the three quite filling but I believe Terry would have preferred to have had a little more than he did. Regardless, each dish was very delicious.

Steve decided to go for the Chef's Bento Box lunch special, a selection of dishes picked by the Chef (it's pictured to the left). It was presented in a very attractive black box, with different dishes in different sections. It also came with Miso Soup and a small salad. Because it was a lunch special, it was also very reasonably priced - £12 for the whole meal. I was blown away by how inexpensive that was.

Sarah and I decided that we couldn't just not have a pudding, so we both had raspberry and umeshu sorbet (pictured, though I apologise for beginning to eat it before I took the photo - I just couldn't wait!). Like every dish in the restaurant, it was immaculately presented and absolutely delicious.

Overall, lunch was amazing. You can tell when a restaurant has truly hit all the right notes when you are making plans to go back again before you have even left (Terry and I are going back again very soon). Yatai is a top quality restaurant which absolutely has to be visited by everyone in Aberdeen with semi-functioning tastebuds and a reasonable appreciation for food. It has single-handedly created several converts to Japanese food, myself included, and I hope that it creates many more.

P.S. Try the Ramune (Japanese lemonade). The bottle will provide you with hours of amusement!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Chicken Soba Soup

Chicken Soba Soup
Originally uploaded by daveytea

Easy to make, very tastey. Boil up some chicken stock and add some matchsticks of fresh ginger and then about 1 tsp of light miso paste. If you want a cheeky bit of spice then add some birds eye chillies - not too many though, unless you want your food to be with you only a short amount of time.

Oh, before you do all this marinate the chicken (thin strips) in light soy sauce, sesame oil and black pepper for as long as you want. Getting back to the soup, now your base is ready, add the chicken and some spring onions. Cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through (it should still be really juicey and soft inside if you haven't cooked it to death). Also, toast some sesame seeds (dry fry in a pan but cover with a lid cause they start trying to escape when it gets too hot). Add them in and anything else you want really.

Then just put into a big bowl (because you need to drink the sauce at some point) and eat it you piggies.

Duck Egg & Toast

Duck Egg & Toast
Originally uploaded by daveytea
Not much to say here. Just a simple duck's egg soft boiled with a thick slice of toast with a healthy dose of butter.

A note on duck's eggs: they are the badger's nadgers. If eggs could talk a chicken egg would be like "I'm just an egg...." but a duck egg would be more like "Come on you f**ker!! Try to eat me - see what happens!". They are brutal (but tastey).

This week, I 'ave mostly been eating...

Salad Nizzle
Originally uploaded by daveytea
Feta and baby leaf salad (no idea what leaves are in there but they are babies). Some strange seed mix is also in there that I picked up from a mysterious merchant on my travels...

Oh also some dried Mui Chui tomatoes (that's not the real name but it's something similar). Pretty boring but it tastes okay. It would have been better as a side dish for soup or something.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Sea Bass with Rocket Pesto

So I decided it had been too long since I'd eaten Sea Bass and had to cook some up for dinner. I hunted around for some quick-n-easy recipes to try out but I still wanted to taste the fish itself since it is probably the most delicious fish I've tasted (still never tried John Dory though - could it dethrone the bass?)

Eventually I found a recipe for a straightforward Sea Bass Fillet with Rocket Pesto and Fresh Rocket which I more or less followed. The fish was prepared the easiest way possible - pan-fried with a little butter and white wine - and the pesto simply involved a bit of ingredient frying and blitzing in a blender.

The result of this was what you can see above - a delicious piece of fish with some peppery-freshness from the rocket, both fresh and pesto. A pretty tasty light dinner overall.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Bhuna Keema with Khara Masala

Okay, my titles aren't witty like Dave's and my food looks like steaming turds on urice. This is a very tasty dish though. I found the recipe at Recipe Zaar so have a search for it there.

It's pretty easy to make: more or less a "chuck it in the pot and wait" dish. Brown a couple of medium sized onions in a frying pan. Add a cinnamon stick, ten peppercorns, two cardamom pods and eight cloves to the browned onions and fry for one minute. Add six minced garlic cloves and about one and a half inches of ginger, also minced. Fry this for another minute. Then add a teaspoon of cumin seeds and 500g of mince. You can use beef, lamb or whatever really. I used turkey mince because I couldn't find beef mince in Somerfield (they don't stock such niche products as minced cowmeat) and it worked fine. Fry up the meat on a medium heat until it's changed colour. Then add a teaspoon of salt, three whole dried red chilies, stir it and then lower the heat. Cover the pan and let it simmer for about half an hour.

Serve self glass of Leffe or another delicious beer and relax, contented that nothing has gone horribly wrong so far. Don't relax too much though because you should probably put on the rice after the meat's been simmering for about 20 minutes. Melt about 30g of butter in a saucepan, add a cup of basmati rice and coat the rice in the butter. Add a bay leaf, a teaspoon of salt, four cardamom pods and four cloves. Pour one and a half cups of boiling water into the pan and leave it to simmer on the lowest heat for fifteen minutes.

Now, back to the curry. After you've left the meat to simmer for a half hour, remove the cover, crank up the heat and fry it for a minute. Add about half a cup of yogurt to the pan and cook for about two more minutes, keeping it moving. Add about half a cup of ripped-up coriander leaves to the pan and stir well, cover and turn off the heat. You could add some green chilies here if you want to add a bit more of a kick to it but unfortunately I was eating with a spiceophobe.

Whap the rice onto a plate then top it with the curry. This recipe is enough to create two pretty big portions and would probably make enough for three. It looks like steaming nastiness but tastes pretty good. Because the spices are whole, you get pockets of flavour in the dish meaning that every mouthful is slightly different to the one preceding it.


Saturday, 24 May 2008

Carrot & Corriander Souprise

Yeah, that's right. Souprise. Gold.

Pretty simple soup for summer or spring (I don't think it's summer yet?). Anyway it's so easy to make, someone with no hands and only 2 out of the 5 senses could do it. Here we go:

Take a bunch of carrots, I used quite a lot but it made 2 bowls worth. Chuck them into a pot with diced onion and chicken stock and powdered corriander. It takes a while to cook, so go and paint a picture or something. When you can't bear waiting anymore go add some fresh corriander and give it a stir. Next you can go the smooth route (if you have less backbone than a worm) or you can be a man and have a lumpy soup. Because I still have a full set of working teeth and can chew my food I simply mashed up the mixture then took a handwhisk to it for good measure to break the carrots up. Then just serve in a bowl and top with yet more corriander and if you want to make it a bit creamy add some cream or milk if you are poor. Voila, cheap and tastey soup.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Big Ass Paella

Spain 08 061
Originally uploaded by daveytea
This badboy is genuine Spanish Paella. It looks like a colourful graveyard of fish. As far as I know you can make it with pretty much anything but seafood in Spain is pretty popular. Just chuck it all in and give it a stir - add cuts of lemon to make it look fresh. But for a truely fresh look, use live prawns. Just pop those cheeky little fellows on top once the rice is cooked and watch them scuttle around trying to dodge your knife and fork.


Welcome to Tea Mealer

Originally uploaded by daveytea

This is the first post of what will hopefully be many on this blog. We're hoping to blog about anything foody really.

Tea Mealer is going to be the joint effort of a couple of Scottish guys, one in Aberdeen and one in Edinburgh. Hopefully at least one person will learn that Scottish food consists of more than just haggis!