Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Baked Rosemary Polenta Fries

Confession: I had to Google (or 'google' - is google a verb nowadays?): "Is polenta a carb?" in the making of this post.

Does that sound stupid? Carbs are a confusing place.

Well it turns out that polenta is a wholefood, and one of those 'good carbs' that is full of fibre and protein. So we can feel good about that. 

We can also feel good about cutting it up and pretending that it's potato.

These crispy fries are actually baked not fried, giving them more healthy little brownie points. They're also wonderfully easy to make, even more so if you use ready-made polenta.

If you're using the grain from scratch, just cook it according to the pack's instructions to make a firm polenta. The quantities I used were 100g polenta combined with 400ml water, a generous amount of grated parmesan, and approx 1 tsp dried rosemary. Heat in a saucepan for around 4 minutes until thick. Leave to cool a little, then turn out onto a flat surface and shape into a square-ish shape - this is quite a satisfying job if you do it with a few pats of your rubber spatula (!) 

Heat some olive oil on a tray, in an oven heated to 200 degrees. 

Slice your polenta into thick or thin fries, depending on what you fancy. I went for thick but would try thin next time, as the resulting fry has a firm texture that would hold it's shape well. 

Place onto the hot tray. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and toss to coat them in the oil. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and crisp.

Potatoes? Pah! 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sunny Sunday

This morning - Rene Humphrey and I grabbed some fresh orange juice and blueberry muffins from the Holburne Museum cafĂ©, and took a morning stroll along the canal. So nice to chat goals and plans for the future with this lady, she always inspires me. Oh and I think I got a little bit sun-burnt, which I didn't mind because it feels so good to have the sun back!  

Saturday, 8 March 2014


London is becoming something of a hotspot for burgers these days. Ever keen to try out new restaurants, there's a few that I've been wanting to visit for some time - from Burger and Lobster, to Byron, to US import Five Guys. On a recent visit we decided to tick one off the increasing list of 'best burgers in London' and headed to MEATliquor, in a convenient position near Oxford Street but positioned beneath a rather bleak looking car park. 

Don't let the exterior put you off, though. Once inside the restaurant, with its dark lighting, graffiti style paintwork on the walls, and jumbled mix of old wooden tables and leather booths, you feel as if the place has always been there. We liked the relaxed vibe and, unlike some places in London, it didn't feel like it was trying too hard to be hip - the best example of this being the unceremonious roll of kitchen paper on each table for diners to use as napkins! 

But of course, most importantly - the burgers were pretty near perfect. We both opted for the bacon cheeseburger, which came thick, medium rare and fried in butter (so wrong, yet so very right) and were generously topped with American style cheese, mustard, ketchup and pickles. The bun wasn't of the increasingly common brioche variety, but an old school soft white bun, lightly grilled in butter also (*drool*). A definite highlight for me were the fries, which - and this is a complement by the way - had the satisfying saltiness and crispness of a McDonald's french fry. The highlight for my partner was that the ice cold Buds were served in ice frosted glasses - and it's the little touches like that that will guarantee a return visit. And with the bill coming in at just under £30, it's pretty reasonably priced by the capital's standards.

Looks like next time we'll have to try and visit a few other places for comparison. Purely in the name of research!

Where are some of your favourite places to grab a burger in London? 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sunday Morning

A Sunday morning treat.
Croissants are allowed if they're teeny tiny, right?


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