Thursday, October 29, 2009

WOW. Struck upon this little beauty recently. I guess it's kind of Russian styled, or it's at-least my own interpretation of what a beet-root soup should be. All I know is it's dead easy. Give it a go your self, here's how I did it:

Make a fresh vegetable stock with loads of onion, celery, parsley, carrots, garlic, salt flakes, and pepper.
Strain off the veg from the liquid to leave a nice stocky soup base. Bring that to a simmer and add some peeled and chopped beet-root and cook for about 15 minutes or until the beets are tender. Taste, season, taste, serve. As the bowls are served add a shelled hard boiled egg. A side of sour cream and dill rounds off the dish nicely. 
A nip of vodka to wash it down wont hurt either. 

I'll get to the pasta later.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh Dear, Almost A Year.

My word, almost a whole year has past and not a single posting in sight. I really truly promise to be much more faithful to my blog in the future.

Soooo much has happened since my last post that I don't even know where to start.

There's been no slow down in the kitchen department, instead a steady refinement of technique, and taste has been the standing order. 
Brewing has risen to a whole new level in both quantity  and quality.
A  complete  revolution has taken place on the photography front with the purchase of camera equipment that provides a broad range of shooting solutions. 
I am really looking forwards to bringing some first rate photos to this blog, hope you enjoy.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Broad Beans

Hi, tonight I've cooked pasta with broad beans. It was yum.
Here are some beers that I have drunk over the last week or so:
Blanche de Namur.

I Think the slogan on top of the lable says something like, 'beer for life'. The slogan on the bottom of the lable reads something like, 'the tradition of brewers since 1858'. This was a well rounded brew. I'll give it the old reveiw...
A darker gold, showing a classic German head, not tall but foamy and sustained. The aroma was neutral, neither dominated by hop or malt. In the mouth it was slightly grainy, with simaltanious hop/ malt flavors first up, they then fade to floral hops, finally a nut malt with good lenght as a finish.
Overall quiet a good brew even if a little boring, but technally close to the mark for german biere.
P.S Needs more pizazz...


First up Yay Obama.
Now to the beer... The yanks do a funny beer. In my experence, from the limited range of american beers I have tryed they tend to be a little uninspired. Lets face it, American beers haven't exactly been popular on the world stage.. Have they?
Raftman on the other hand, well it's not bad, maby its even good.
The colour is golden, the head is sparse. Hops are only mildly detectable, the malt

Sunday, October 19, 2008

From Super Fruit to Hyper Toffie

In this posting I'll be talking about three great but diverse beers. They have been presented in the order that they were tasted, and in order of hop-malt intencety. What we have in this selection are the two poles of beer flavor, from super fruity Germans, to hyper toffie English.

Weihenstephaner Vitus (Weizenbock)

My first thoughts on this brew were how totally and unbeleveably hop driven this beer is. It's allmost to hoppy. I think the Vitus referes to 'vitamin' or some type of health beer. The health benifits of hops are not in dispute, but. The hop hit is HUGE.
As a beer:
The colour is a rich wheaty amber thats slightly clouded. A quality German head formed by the big medium speed bead is sustained through out. The nose is a floral and with an abundant boquet of fruits and flowers to numerous to mention. To taste, ah, to taste. Well it's some what of an oral assult for this poor old Celt. The hop flavor burst is like a grenade going off. There is some bitterness but it's mostly complicated fruits. The malts come later and are quite caramel for a krout beir, but are totally over ridden but the hops. A drinkable brew but with a recomendation for serving that differs from the recomended suggestions.
Serve in a English pint glass not the brandy balloon, and chill it to somewhere around 4-6C not the 7-9C as listed on the back lable.

Hoegaarden Grand Cru
In order to progress through the beer spectrum, one has to balance things out abit.
The Grand Cru fermentation is revered the world over and is regarded as one of the finest beers ever made. Hoegaarden go to great lengths to ensure people can enjoy their beir as it is ment to be. In order to serve the Grand Cru, premises are requied to meet several critera. These include, the right way of cleaning the glass, the correct use of a spatula to scrape the head, the use of a unique and specific glass.... So on, and so on. Only after these strict critera have been meet do the Hogaarden brewery grant access to the hallowed keg key. This key is unique to the Grand Cru keg. This is to insure that non accredeted premises are unable to serve the Grand Cru.
Hows that! AA+ for effort...
The beer turns out like this:
The colour is clasic golden wheat. A head is formed by a high quality,fine,numerous,slow speed bead. The result is a very foamy fine head that remains to the last drop. The nose is quiet well balanced, with the distinction that the malts permiate first, hops arive late and exhibit citrus, fresh grass, and jasmin tones. For taste, some how the master crafts men have managed to reverse the order of flavors customary to all other beers. That is the malts arive before the hops. It really is a five count untill you get a decent idea of the hops, then they just keep on comming untill they've mirrored the strengh and fade out of the malt. Grand Cru defenently fits into the miracle beer catagory. It's so good as to be almost without fault. One of my all time favourates.


Innis & Gunn original

To painfully over simplify things it could be said: German beers favor the hops, English beers favor the malts.

This is where we arive at the other end of the beer spectrum.

Innis & Gunn original is by far and away the most malty beer I have ever tasted! Try this one: Take an old fashion toffie, a blade of grass, and two drops of lemon juice. Gob the lot and there you have it. Innis & Gunn original. It really tastes like that. But in the intrest of fairness I'll do the breakdown thingy...

Beautiful in color being that of golden honey. The head is slim but sustained, haveing formed as a result of a small, fine, and slow bead. The aroma on the nose is built from a base of toffie, dark honey, golden sryip and roasted barley. The hops play a backround roll and provide a faint grassy taste. An ambitious and prodigus lingering after taste of golden toffie, darkend honey, and roasted nut, combine to leave a sweet, oh so sweet finish.
This beer comes highly recomended. But only in the rareified group of beers reserved for serving with dessert....Yes, a dessert beer!

Gum Gum Marinara. (Brock style)

Hello all.
Tonight we are talking gummy shark, and what to do with a shit load of it.
Ofcourse we're all familiar with the problem of going down the coast and hawling in a 3 meter long shark, and just how much meat there is on the bugger!
So we get it all home, dish some out to friends and family, have a huge feed of flake, and there's still slabs of it left over. We know how I have a thing about next day fish. To get around this some, I recon you can't go wrong with useing it in a marinara.
I'm not guna do the recipe thingy. But rich tomato, garlic, and parsley flavors go a long way to disguising the fact that the fish isn't prefctly fresh. If you don't know how to do a marinara. It's easy, go look it up.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Goosey Scanpan

What an egg..
Brock: 'How big do you think the chook was that layed this egg'?
Ivy: 'Was really, really big one daddy'!

The latest knife acquisition is a ceramic job from kitchen ware brand "Scanpan".

I bought this one for my wife. I think she will like it. It's very light, and will stay very sharp. The blade is made from a material known as zirconium dioxide. As a knife it is both good and bad. The hardness is allmost off the Rockwell scale, somewhere around 650 if you can beleive that. A super high quality Japanise damascus knife comes in at around 65 RHC. So it's about 10 times as hard as what is considered a bloody tough knife. The draw back, and it's a biggy, is a very brittle blade. If you drop it, there's no 'thunk' as it sticks into the floor boards. It's a smash as it shatters into a thousand peices. Also, blades this brittle can't handle a fine pointed tip, so they are a bit half arsed at the pointy end. But as far as edge retention goes, zirconium just keeps on going, and going, and going.
Hope you like it Juzzy.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Steaky Wakey

The amount of space given to cooking steak within this blog is way over the top. Re: High steaks posting. I'll spare you the punishing writen assault.
Before cooking, finley chop fresh sage, generously season, and roll the edges of the meat to coat.
Spring has well and truely sprung round my way. Cold mornings, warm days. Mushy have gone, but herbs are in, so is lamb. So when I'm out and about is looks abit like this. Misty but sunny, f-ing cold yet warm in the sun.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Olive & Ivy.
Duchy Originals
Organic ale.
One of the finnest English beers I've ever tasted. Duchys Originals Is a superbly balanced extreamly well crafted beer. I was bloody hard pressed to find fault with this beauty.
A colour unique. Rich amber with a ruby tint when held to the light. Quality english head, formed by a fine but fast bead, foamy yet creamy. In the mouth the silky head delivered what would be a perfect measure of malt and hops. The brew actually tasted unrefined and very natural. The malts tasted husky, while the hops gave up there canabonoids wich were grassy and herby in equal measure.
This is what the lable says:

Duchy Originals Ale has been brewed in the traditional way, useing a blend of the finest aroma hops and malts made from Plumage Archer barley harvested from selected organic farms in Britain including the Home Farm at Highgrove. This traditional ale has a ruby colour and is rich in body with a balanced bitter flavor.
When HRH The prince of wales created Duchys Originals in 1990 it was because of his belief in the clear advantages of organic farming: the production of natural and healthy foods and sound husbandry which helps to regenerate and protect the countryside and wildlife. This Duchys Originals Organic Ale is the result of such endeavours.