Review – Pitt Cue Co. Part I

You might have noticed my love for Pitt Cue and pulled pork on previous posts. Sadly, until now I had not had the chance to try the new Pitt Cue Co. venue. But, on St Patrick’s day, in preparation for a whole day of drinking, me and Mr. Salted Cod got ourselves to Pitt Cue in Soho.

It doesn’t look like much from the outside (those curtains remind me of old ladies’ houses in Portugal…) but inside there is a mob trying to get a hold of that mighty pulled pork. There are no reservations and the waiting list is gigantic but, good news, they do takeaway pulled pork and pulled brisket buns. As I was coming for the pulled pork anyway, and for once it was sunny outside, I didn’t mind.

The takeaway bun is priced at £6.50, which might be a bit pricey but OH MY GOD IT WAS SO WORTH IT! The pork melted in your mouth and was just the right amount of smoky, the pickles were perfectly sour and the brioche bun held everything in place. The bun seems quite small but is actually the perfect size for a quick lunch. It went very quickly though and I am really sad that I didn’t get to try anything else. Don’t worry I will be back VERY SOON to review the rest – I’m still dreaming of that pulled pork…

Rating: 8/10 (pretty high for a takeaway I must say…).

Address: 1 Newburgh Street, Soho


Grape, halloumi and pomegranate salad

It’s basically summer in London! So me and Miss Salted Cod had a stroll around Ridley Road market (bit more info about that market in the middle of this post if you fancy going) and enjoyed the sunshine bashing down on Hackney’s back alleys. The result of our little shop is this delicious salad Read the rest of this entry »

Breakfast fetishism pt. 2: Chipolata, egg and caramelised onion bagel

You wake up. You want a sausage bagel, but making one would take too long, and going down to the local cafe would give you something too greasy with fried eggs and too much brown sauce. What to do? Keep frozen chipolatas in the freezer! They grill in no time, taste as delicious as any English sausage would, and marry with caramelised onion like there was no tomorrow.
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The Salted Cod’s attempt at the Shack Burger

Amazing burger, extra sauce of course

If you have been to New York you have probably tried the famous Shake Shack and its equally famous shack burger.
This summer I was lucky enough to try the shack burger and became instantly hooked! Back home I tried to create many american-style burgers, but none came even close. As often happens I took it to google and actually found a guy who dedicates his life to cooking and burgers more specifically, and actually went out to find this recipe. Kenji Lopéz-Alt writes the Burger Lab features, providing loads of recipes for amazing burgers (yes I want to work for them too) which is part of Serious Eats, an amazing website for anyone who loves food (if you’re travelling anywhere in the States make sure you check their recommendations before leaving).

Like him I am a huge fan of the burger, especially its sauce. It’s mayo based, but it’s sweet, sour and smoky at the same time. This guy actually asked the people at Shake Shack and they gave him the recipe. So, I present you, the recipe to one of the best burgers ever! (and I have tried many..)

You will need, for the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 4 slices of pickle (yes you heard it right…if you don’t have this replace it with some pickle relish like Branston).
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, or some chilli sauce you might have.
Mix all the ingredients in a blender and voila! Put it in the fridge until you’re going to use it.

And for the burger:

  • Half a kilo of good quality beef mince (this is no time for Tesco value).
  • Your choice of buns (white with no seeds will make it more authentic).
  • Cheap-looks-like-plastic-american-style cheese (and here Tesco value is your friend).
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Salt & Pepper

Start by forming the patties into smallish but thick round disks. Put them in the fridge while you prepare the buns.

The patties should look like this
Slice open the buns, spread some butter on them and toast them under the grill. When they start to look golden, take them out and spread some of that amazing sauce on both sides. Now heat up some vegetable oil in a frying pan until really hot. Fry the burger on one side until slightly charred (more or less 2 minutes), flip it, season with salt and pepper and keep cooking for a further 2 minutes or until it feels cooked (you want your burger medium…hence not using tesco value). In the last minute of cooking flatten the burger with a spatula, slap that cheap cheese on it and wait for it to melt. Transfer the burgers into the buns, cover with some lettuce and tomate (and some extra sauce).
Enjoy one of the best burgers of your life.

Review – Amore

EDIT: Amore no longer exists and has been replaced by what looks like a Mexican restaurant (but as of 21/08/2012 that hasn’t opened either).

Amore is a newly-opened Italian restaurant in Dalston with puzzlingly few customers as they serve delicious and good value rustic Italian dishes. (Although, rumour of their dishes may have spread as I spied it almost full yesterday). As the name implies, and the website clearly states, the theme here is romantic – Eros Ramazotti in the speakers, roses on each table, candles lit, dark place. In fact the romance is so exaggerated it must be a little tongue in cheek.

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Potato, Beet’s Leaves and Poached Egg Salad

This recipe came out of necessity..I had just bought loads of beetroot and being a poor student felt bad about discarding the leaves…So I went online and found out you can just use them as you would use spinach. I had some salad potatoes that were starting to sprout and one egg left in my fridge so I decided to experiment with these three ingredients. It turned out amazing!

You will need (for one person):

  • 5-6 small salad potatoes
  • 2 handfuls of beet leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 shallot or half a red onion (finely chopped).
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped).
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Coriander or Parsley

1. Start by cooking the potatoes with the chopped garlic. I cooked mine in a cast iron pan but you can roast them in the oven too, whatever is easiest.

2. When the potatoes are almost cooked heat a frying pan with some olive oil and fry the shallots.

3. When they start browning add the beets’ leaves and cook until they become soft (add a little bit of water if needed).

4. Take the potatoes and the beets’ leaves from the heat and put them in a salad bowl with some olive oil, some salt and pepper and some fresh herbs (I used coriander, but parsley would work great too). You can also add some balsamic vinegar or some lemon juice if you like.

5. Poach the egg. The easiest way to do this is to boil some water, add a tablespoon of vinegar to it (helps the whites stay together) and slide it from a bowl into simmering water. Take it out after three minutes, taking care not to break the yolk.

6. Serve the salad into a bowl or plate, add the egg on top. Break the egg and enjoy!

Review – The Blue Legume

The Blue Legume in Islington serves cheap, tasty and beautiful breakfast dishes, mains and lush fruit juices. It is very popular with fashionable mothers and their sustainable designer-wear babies, but despite of (or perhaps because of) the background noise of the odd child it is a place that leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Read the rest of this entry »

Lunchbox Extravaganza Pt. 2 – Mini Quiche

Today the Meatball and Salted Cod bring you bacon mini quiches and another episode of our Lunchbox Extravaganza! This looks a lot more complicated than it is, but is actually quite easy and is so worth it. You can have it as a normal quiche or as mini quiches to take for lunch.

Start by making the dough, Gordon Ramsay style. It’s really easy and only takes a few minutes actually working on it (although be prepared for a lot of rolling), the rest is resting time.

Yep the dough does stretch that long...

While your dough is rising in the fridge prepare the filling. We used fried bacon, mushrooms, cheddar and thyme but you can make any combination – salmon and ricotta is really good, as well as mediterranean grilled vegetables. You then combine these ingredients with a milk and egg mixture. You can also use cream instead of milk (or half and half) but after the crazy amount of butter going into that pastry we decided to save our growing stomachs from any more grease. We didn’t really use any measurements, but you should use a minimum of two eggs and make sure the mixture is not too liquid, otherwise it won’t settle properly.

All the butter that went into the pastry...

Cut the pastry in the shape of the tin you are using (we cut in in small circles for our mini quiches) and fill them up. Put them in a preheated oven at 180 for 15mins, but keep checking to make sure the pastry is not burning.

These quiches are great served hot or cold, so you can make a big batch and eat them throughout the week. They can also be frozen and reheated later.

Review – Ali Baba Kebab (riot food)

Some of the rioters who smashed up shops in Hackney last summer were so fond of Ali Baba’s kebabs that owner Cerkan was pre-warned by masked people on bikes before things kicked off on the 10th of August. Rumour has it they demanded free kebabs before heading on (but whether they went for lamb kofti or chicken shish in unknown). The threat was countered by anti riot-page on Facebook, and instead of closing up, the kebab shop workers and store owners of Dalston took to the streets with döner knives and broomsticks to defend the community, and in a bizarre turn became Daily Telegraph heroes. Oh well, that’s how it goes in Dalston.

These kebabs are in my opinion the best post-club grub in Dalston, and they are also incredibly edible during the day. The döner and chicken shish kebabs sold in here are similar to other kebab shops (yet of high standard) but the feat of Ali Baba’s if their lamb kofti. The large lamb kofti at £5 is succulent and herby, and strongly recommended with mixed garlic and home made chili sauce. For its location one would have expected it to be slightly cheaper, however, and they sometimes get orders mixed up. 6.5 meatballs out of 10.

144 Kingsland High Street, E8 2NS

The Meatball and Salted Cod’s Mini-guide to London’s Food Markets

In preparation for the weekend and hopefully some sunny weather, we’ve decided to give you a mini-guide of some of our favourite markets in London. In procrastination-overdrive we even made a map with details on where they can be found.

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