Wednesday 20 April 2011

Cookie's crab celebration

Derek Essex: Cookie's of Salthouse, watercolour
Dressed crab, prawn, mackerel salad
Crab Royal Salad
The highs and lows of any trip are usually accentuated by the successes and failures of the food enjoyed. Norfolk, like Cornwall, profits from its geographical remoteness and the propensity of its own locally produced fresh food. Serendipity can play some part in hitting upon a particularly pleasurable meal but recommendation is usually your best bet. This was the case with a recent visit to the North Norfolk coast. A friend and long time Norfolk resident had pointed me in the direction of Cookie's Crab Shop at Salthouse near Holt.

Cookie's opens 9am-7pm every day except Christmas day and has been doing so for more than fifty years. This monumental undertaking is truly a labour of love on the part Suzanne and Peter McKnespiey, the third generation to run the shop, and guarantees for any visitor the freshest of ingredients. 

The intimacy of the surroundings is summed up in Derek Essex's watercolour - tables and chairs spilling out for those who want to take in the spectacular view of the salt marshes, a small garden gate separating diners from the back of the McKnespiey's house, local vegetables and of course a full selection of all that is on offer for those who wish to relive something of the pleasure of lunch at Cookie's on their return home.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

I Camisa & Son

I Camisa and Son Old Compton Street Soho London
I Camisa and Son Old Compton Street Soho London
I Camisa and Son Old Compton Street Soho London
I Camisa and Son Old Compton Street Soho London focaccia with mortadella and provolone, tomato and basil sandwiches
I Camisa and Son Old Compton Street Soho London focaccia with mortadella and provolone, tomato and basil sandwiches
I Camisa and Son Old Compton Street Soho London

I Camisa on Old Compton Street in Soho is the place to get the tastiest sandwiches in London. 
Fresh bread, meat and cheese cut to order, all you have to do is choose - focaccia or ciabatta, mortadella or prosciutto, provolone or mozzarella, the list goes on. 

In a city where time is a premium the pace is positively southern Mediterranean - with an easy banter and leisurely pace, ten minutes wait gives opportunity for a perusal of the prodigious stock, and a delicious lunch for two at only £6.30 - truly, time well spent.

Friday 8 April 2011

Fish cakes with bite

Mackerel, smoked paprika, caper, cornichon and mashed potato fish cakes with beetroot and carrot salad

Smoked mackerel and sardine fish cakes with beetroot, carrot and blood orange salad and a caper and cornichon tartare sauce.

This is an easy option if you've got some smoked mackerel lurking in the fridge.

4 potatoes boiled and mashed
1 packet of smoked mackerel remove skins and flake
1 tin of sardines in olive oil
a cup of fresh breadcrumbs
a good teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 tablespoon of capers and 4 cornichons roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
bunch of parsley finely chopped
black pepper to taste

Mix all together well and then make into 8 balls and flatten down a bit.
Breadcrumbs help bind the mixture together and keep the fish cakes nice and light, the smoked paprika goes particularly well with mackerel and adds a bit of bite, while the capers and cornichons give texture.

Chill in the fridge until ready to cook - cover a grill pan with foil, lightly oil with olive oil and pop under hot grill until brown.

The beetroot, carrot and orange salad with a lemon and olive oil dressing makes a refreshing accompaniment.

The tartare sauce
2 egg yolks with 1/2 a teaspoon of English mustard powder blended together and olive oil slowly added until required consistency. Juice of half a lemon and 1 heaped teaspoon of capers and 2 cornichons finely chopped. 

Thursday 7 April 2011


Once again you hide your secrets.
Enclosed in the discarded and unread sports section -
Sunday supplement supplying a loving shroud in print. 
Your cork indicates your readiness to avail your contents.
You are a manifestation of the loving hand that replenished you, 
wrapped you, gifted you, secured your safe passage -
from one kitchen to another.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Three of a kind

                                Burpees Golden, Candy Stripe and purple Beta Vulgaris

Monday 4 April 2011

Breakfast, lunch or dinner

Edo eggs, watercress, rocket and tomato salad with a slice of 
The Old Post Office Bakery's Three Seed bread. 
Anne Loriot on Vimeo