Time for Korean Fried Cauliflower

We went out at lunchtime, myself and a colleague had planned on going to the vegan pasta place by Queens Square, however I had forgotten that the Redcliffe Bridge was closed as they repaired it. So it would have been a a somewhat long detour to get there. Instead, we headed to St Nicholas Market and after looking at what was available, he and I went with the Korean Fried Cauliflower from Daily Noodles by Larkin Cen.

market stall

I had mine with rice and Green Thai sauce, he had his with noodles and katsu sauce.

We took our food back to the office to eat it.

The cauliflower was nice and the batter was crispy. The sauced had soaked through into the rice. It would have been nice to have the sauce on the side, so the cauliflower could be dipped into it. Even so, it was a nice dish of food.

Daily Noodles use to be called Woky Ko and I have had chicken from them before. I did say back then:

The chicken was nice and crispy, the sauce was quite tasty. I did enjoy the dish, but I don’t think it would be something I would have again.

5 Ingredients Mediterranean: Simple Incredible Food

I got Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients Mediterranean book for Christmas.

5 Ingredients Mediterranean: Simple Incredible Food

With over 125 utterly delicious, easy-to-follow recipes, it’s all about making everyday cooking super-exciting, with minimal fuss – all while transporting you to sunnier climes.

It has a range of lovely recipes and ideas. I liked his previous 5 ingredients book. This has a similar concept. Simple and fast recipes inspired by the Mediterranean.

Mowgli in Bristol

I headed out for a walk at lunchtime and went to see the new Mowgli restaurant on Corn Street.

I had first noticed the Mowgli chain when I was looking around the refurbished  Birmingham New Street railway station. What intrigued me, more than the menu, was the swing seats they had.

Mowgli sells Indian street food, and has a nice sounding menu. It looked interesting inside. One day I might give it a visit.

Duck Takoyaki in my Bento Box

If you are a regular visitor to the blog then you will know I am a fan of the bento box from She Sells Sushi, one of the regular stalls at Finzel Reach (and Temple Quay) street food markets.

On a recent visit to Finzel Reach, it was raining, so the queues were shorter, so I didn’t have to wait too long for a bento box for my lunch. This time in my bento box I went with the beef donburi and some duck Takoyaki.

The beef donburi was slow cooked teriyaki beef rib on a bed of rice, topped with crispy onions and pickles.

I have had this dish many times, and it was delicious. The beef is cooked until it is tender. It is served on a bed of rice, and the pickles and crispy onions enhance the dish.

Usually in my bento box, I have the hirata bao bun. Having had that last time, this time I decided I would go for the Takoyaki dumplings. She Sells Sushi offer a choice between octopus and duck, I went with duck. It had been a while since I last had them in my bento box. I had enjoyed them then, so was looking forward to having them again. I was tempted by the XL Bento Box, in which you can add a third dish. I did think about getting a hirata bun alongside the beef and the Takoyaki. However I wasn’t overtly hungry, so I went with the standard bento box.

The Takoyaki were very nice. Nicely presented with sauces drizzled over them and garnished with seaweed and bento flakes.

I really enjoyed my bento box, and it was nice to have a change from my usual bento box.

Pasta Bolognaise

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

This is my go to quick dinner recipe. Well, I say quick, it does take some time. 

When writing this I did wonder if I had written up the recipe before. Well, I hadn’t written my recent bolognaise cooking, but had published a recipe back in March 2008. Looking at this post I realised I had posted a bolognese (note the different spelling) recipe in November 2022.

Those two recipes are very similar, but I have changed how I cook bolognaise, so here is my recent version of the bolognaise.

This serves four people.

      • 500g minced beef, I try and get 5% fat mince, otherwise the end result can be a bit greasy. If you do buy the mince with the higher fat content, I would suggest after browning the mince to drain some of the excess fat or oil from the pan before adding the vegetables.
      • Splash of olive oil
      • One onion, diced
      • One carrot finely diced. The carrot is there to add some veg to the dish as well as flavour.
      • One red pepper, diced, sometimes I only use half a red pepper.
      • Handful of mushrooms, chopped.
      • Splash of balsamic vinegar
      • Knorr chicken stock pot, sometimes I use the beef stock pot.
      • Beef stock cube.
      • Dried Italian herbs
      • Tin of tomatoes, puréed, sometimes I use a jar of passata.
      • Tomato purée.
      • Garlic purée

I usually use a large pan with a lid, for cooking this dish. I heat the pan add the splash of olive oil and then brown off the mince until it is all done. If you have excess fat in the pan then drain the cooked mince and discard the excess oil and fat, then add the mince back to the pan.

Add the onion, carrot, and pepper. You can add extra vegetables at this point, or extra pepper. I have sometimes added courgettes or sweet potato. If you really like it, you could add celery I guess, I wouldn’t.

After a few minutes add the mushrooms.

Once the onion is soft and cooked, add the tin of tomatoes, the herbs, the tomato purée and the balsamic vinegar.

Cook for at least 30 minutes on a low heat. The plan is for all the flavours to infuse and for the beef mince to be cooked and tender.

Serve with spaghetti or a pasta of your choice. Add freshly grated Parmesan to taste, garnish with freshly topped parsley.

I did a variation adding a topping of pan fried pancetta and mushrooms to my dish. Just to be different!

Pan Roasted Lamb Rump

I was up in Birmingham for a roundtable event and staying at the Edgbaston Park  Hotel which is on the University of Birmingham campus. This is a modern conference hotel with a restaurant and a bar, as well as meeting rooms.

I had the scotch duck egg royale for my starter. For my main course I had the pan roasted lamb rump, aubergine purée, glazed shallots, potato purée, mint jus.

On the plate was the jus, then some potato purée onto which was placed two thick slices of rare pan roasted lamb rump. Also on the plate was two spoons of aubergine purée, a glazed shallot, and a broccoli floret. Finally the dish was dressed with some mixed leaves as a garnish.

The lamb was very tender, but was under seasoned. I rarely if ever add salt to my food, this lamb needed some salt. I did though enjoy all the other aspects of the dish. The potato purée was lovely and smooth, the aubergine purée was quite tasty. Not sure the mixed leaves garnish added anything.

I liked this dish, but it needed more seasoning. I had asked for my lamb to be cooked rare. I am not sure in the future I will ask for this kind of dish to be rare, I enjoyed the lamb, but think it needed a little more cooking time for me. Next time I will ask for it to be cooked medium.

I didn’t have dessert, though was tempted by the cheese and biscuits.

Cooked Red Cabbage

red cabage
Image by eurippon from Pixabay

For Sunday lunch I cooked some red cabbage. I didn’t have all the ingredients in the house for my festive red cabbage recipe, so I did a variation of it.


knob of butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced or chopped
1 x 500g (or half a) red cabbage, shredded finely using a food processor (white core discarded) or with a knife.
2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
splash of red wine
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

2 tsp cranberry sauce


Heat the butter and oil in a lidded saucepan. When hot, add the onion and fry gently until softened. Stir in the cinnamon and season. Add the cabbage and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until glossy. Stir in the sugar, apples and Balsamic vinegar, cranberry sauce, add a splash of red wine. Cover with a lid and let it cook gently for 30 minutes.

If you aren’t using the cranberry sauce, taste the cabbage and add a little more sugar if it’s too tart for your taste.

Borlotti Beans

I make this dish quite often, sometimes as a main meal, usually as an accompaniment.

In large frying pan, cook off some diced pancetta with a splash of oil.

When the bacon has been rendered and is browned add some diced red onion, diced peppers, and diced mushrooms. Cook on a low heat until the peppers and onions have softened. The mushrooms are there for flavour.

To the softened onions and peppers, add a spoonful of plain flour. Stir in.

I then add a Knorr chicken stock pot, some garlic puree, and dried herbs.

To this mix I add some water. I then let this cook for about thirty minutes. The key is to thicken the sauce.

I really like the Cirio Borlotti Beans that come in the Tetra Recart™ pack. These are ready to use and once added to the pan, they just need heating through.

If I am doing a main course, I may add a second pack of pulses, sometimes lentils, or cannellini beans.

Other variations are to remove the bacon and use a vegetable stock to make this a vegetarian (or vegan) dish. Sometimes instead of chicken stock, I use a deep rich beef stock, I also use some tomato puree when using beef stock.

You could add some protein, roasted or pan fried duck, slow roasted pork belly or grilled chicken, all work well with the beans. Other times I have added some sausages, I quite like the Polish hunters’ sausage you can get at most supermarkets.

Scotch Duck Egg Royale

I was up in Birmingham for a roundtable event and staying at the Edgbaston Park  Hotel which is on the University of Birmingham campus. This is a modern conference hotel with a restaurant and a bar, as well as meeting rooms.

I had the scotch duck egg royale; this was a soft boiled duck egg wrapped in a duck and truffle mince, breadcrumbs and deep fried. It was served on top of a leek and chive velouté with some dressed leaves.

Well, there was a lot of leaves on that plate, though difficult to make out there was a scotch egg on that plate.

I really liked the idea of this scotch egg, the description sounded delicious, despite the leaves, I think the food looked good. However, the execution wasn’t as good as the description or the way it looked.

This wasn’t the best scotch egg I’ve had in a restaurant. The best thing about the dish was the egg. It was a delicious soft boiled duck’s egg. The mince wrapping was quite thin, I think too thin. As a result, not only was the crumb was quite crunchy, the duck mince was crunchy as well in places. Also, I didn’t really get any truffle flavour in the duck mince.

The flavour of the velouté was overpowered by the addition of mustard. I couldn’t taste the leek or chives.

Yes, this wasn’t the best scotch egg I’ve had, it wasn’t awful, but it could have been so much better.

String Fries

We had peeled too many potatoes for dinner, well we had peeled enough, then at the last minute one member of the household, who shall remain nameless, let us know they weren’t going to be in for dinner!

I had an idea on what to do with the spare potatoes.

A year or so ago, I bought a spiralizer from ProCook. I have used it lot when making salads, it works well with carrots and cucumber.

I decided I would spiralize the potatoes. The spiralizer worked a treat and I had a load of spiralized potatoes, well strings of potato.

I let them dry for a while before deep frying them in sunflower oil. I realised I was a bit short on oil, so I had to toss and turn them quite often. 

I drained them on kitchen towel, before adding some sea salt.

They were a really nice garnish, adding a crunchy and saltiness.

I have had skinny fries before, from GBK, but what I cooked wasn’t skinny fries, more deep fried strings of potato.

Get a spiralizer from Amazon.