Green Bean Salad

Green Bean Salad

Over the summer we eat a lot of salad, what goes into the salad often depends on what we have in the fridge.

One salad dish I remember from my childhood was tinned green beans with mayonnaise. Though I haven’t’ had that for years, I have been added cooked fresh trimmed green beans to my salads.

I cook them for about six to seven minutes and then let them cool before adding them to the salad. Sometimes I serve them on their own with a vinaigrette dressing.

Salad, Sausage and Chips

Salad, Sausage and Chips

This was a meal I threw together from what we had in the fridge. We had a couple of   the Greek Tzoumagias-Style Sausages from Lidl. These I cooked and served with a salad and some French fries.

The tomatoes were homegrown. I also used lettuce, cucumber, red pepper,  and pomegranate. I also had some olives and pulses, which I added to the salad.

The French fries were from M&S, these are easy to cook, crispy, and importantly gluten free.

We enjoyed the meal.

Time for the Chicken Shawarma

Tower of London

Having spent the day in London and having made our way back to the Westfield Shopping Centre (to collect the car) we decided to have a bite to eat before heading home.

At Westfield there are plenty of choices available to suit a range of pricing envelopes. In the end we headed to Bills, in the main for the range of choices available.

Most times I eat at Bills I go for quite traditional dishes, usually French or English in style. So going for the Chicken Shawarma was a change of direction for me and an interesting choice.

The chicken was served with garlic flatbread, chopped salad, house pickles, chillies, mint yoghurt & hummus.

plate of food

This was a nicely presented plate of food. I think I should have had the halloumi rather than the chicken, though at the time I did not fancy the red chilli that it was marinated in. The chicken was just okay, nothing special. The pickles and salads were nice. The flatbread was warm and fresh.

Overall I did enjoy the dish. The rest of the table enjoyed their food. The chicken burger was demolished, and the Caesar Salad was also said to be delicious. As for service, well it could have been better. It took about three attempts to get some tap water.

Time for some more Tapas

Last July I went to La Rueda, a tapas bar in Ealing in London. We had an excellent meal of different tapas dishes. In my review I said:

Overall the food was beautiful cooked and it was delicious. I do hope to visit La Rueda again.

It has been a while, but last month I made a return visit to La Rueda and had some excellent tapas again.

La Rueda Tapas Bar is a one-of-a-kind culinary establishment with a menu inspired by the idea of simple and honest cooking. Starting in 2000, we developed a unique dining experience for all of our guests using fresh and sustainable ingredients—taking you on a culinary journey like no other. From classic recipes to new-age kitchen adventures, each dish reflects our passion for high-quality food presented in a simple yet pleasing manner. 

I was given a friendly warm welcome. I looked over the menu. I decided to go for three dishes, a salad, a fish dish, and a meat dish. I went with choices that I wouldn’t normally choose.

For my salad choice I went with the Tomate Y Cebolla – Tomatoes & Onions salad.

Tomate Y Cebolla

The tomatoes were nice and fresh, and the sharpness of the red onions was a nice contrast. The salad was seasoned well.

For the meat dish I went with the Carrilleras de cerdo ibérico – Ibérico pork cheeks braised in Sherry.

Carrilleras de cerdo ibérico

I had seen this on the menu before and liked the sound of it. There was two portions of pork cheek, the cooking sauce, and some deep friend potato strings. The pork was tender and full of flavour. The crispiness of the potato add some textural variety. I think I would have liked some bread with this dish.

For my fish dish I was tempted to have the octopus that I had last year. I also liked the idea of the grilled sardines. However, in the end I chose the Boquerones fritos – fried fresh anchovies.

Boquerones fritos

This dish was similar to whitebait, but the anchovies were bigger. They were nice and crisp, and I liked the aioli, slaw, and lemon. 

I really enjoyed all three dishes.

Nice chicken, shame about the squid!

I was in London I was staying at the Crowne Plaza in Ealing and I had dinner in the hotel restaurant. They have an extensive menu with some interesting choices.

I always think that the way in which a restaurant cooks and serves calamari gives you an insight into what kind of cooking they do, and food they serve.

So seeing Spiced Squid Rings on the menu I thought I would give them a try. They were described as battered calamari dusted with paprika served with garlic and lemon aioli.

Now I will say at this point that I didn’t think that these would be any good, the description of the squid as battered calamari said to me that these was not going to be freshly cooked squid. This would be frozen calamari rings cooked off in the deep fat fryer.

When it arrived, it was as expected.

calamari

The batter was thick and doughy. The squid wasn’t tender, but then it wasn’t chewy either.

Sometimes I think does a dish need a salad garnish, this one did.

I was expecting to me disappointed, and yes I was disappointed.

For my main course I went with the Garlic Butterfly Chicken. Normally this is something I wouldn’t choose, but decided I would go with something different. The hot weather also meant I did actually fancy a salad.

This was marinated chicken served with Panzanella Salad & grated parmesan cheese.

This was a much more impressive looking dish.

marinated chicken served with Panzanella Salad & grated parmesan cheese

The chicken was cooked well, it had been cooked on the griddle, but was still moist and tender and full of flavour.

Now as for the Panzanella Salad. Well if you search online you can find a description of Panzanella Salad.

Panzanella or panmolle is a Tuscan and Umbrian chopped salad of soaked stale bread, onions and tomatoes that is popular in the summer. It often includes cucumbers, sometimes basil and is dressed with olive oil and vinegar.

The salad I got wasn’t quite that, but it was a nice salad. There was stale bread, tomatoes, onions, but it also had quite a bit of sweet peppers as well. I liked the use of grated parmesan cheese. The bread was a little too stale, but did add crunch to the salad.

I liked it, but I think that Florentine traditionalists would disapprove.

So despite the disappointing starter, I did enjoy my main course.

Feta Cheese Salad

Feta Cheese Salad

This salad was a real mix of stuff, which though made from various leftover aspects of salad worked really well.

There were some mixed beans, radish, sweetcorn, red pepper, cucumber, tomato, and cubed feta cheese.

The salad was seasoned and dressed with some white wine vinegar and olive oil.

Nice and fresh.

Chicken Schnitzel

We made our way to Bristol for a meal, and as we had enjoyed our last visit to the Coal Kitchen, we headed there again.

They have quite an extensive menu, but also a set menu. I went with the set menu again, but planned to have something different for my starter and my main course. This time for my starter I had the Beef Koftas. For my main course I looked over the menu. I had the minute steak, this time I wanted something different. I decided I didn’t want a wrap or a burger. I did think about the Caesar salad, but there was a £4.50 supplement to add halloumi. In the end I went with the Chicken Schnitzel. This was a chicken breast in golden crispy breadcrumbs, fried egg, and salad. I recently had a chicken schnitzel at Drayton Court which was a little dry, so was slightly hesitant, but in the end I did plump for the chicken.

The dish arrived, the chicken, was a chicken breast in golden crispy breadcrumbs. This was served on top of a salad which consisted of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and red onion. On top of the chicken was a fried egg.

chicken schnitzel

The chicken schnitzel was a lot better than the last one I had, the chicken was still moist and tender, the breadcrumb coating was crispy and golden. The salad was nice and fresh. The fried egg was a nice addition. I quite like having a freshly cooked egg with a salad. I remember once watching a cooking programme where the chef had placed a freshly poached duck egg on top of a salad.

I did enjoy this plate of food. The waiter had asked if I wanted fries with my food, I think if I was just having a main course, then you might want some fries with it. However having had a starter I decided not to have the fries. I don’t think it needed the fries.

The service was friendly and warm. 

We enjoyed our meal and it certainly was a place I would visit again.

Nice looking salad

Nice looking salad

I was at John Lewis getting a coffee I had a quick look at what they were selling 

They did have a nice salad on the counter. It looked like a Panzanella style salad. On a bed of salad rocket leaves there was torn bread, dressed in what I would guess would be olive oil, parmesan, chicken, pancetta, red peppers, and pine nuts.

Something I would order and eat.

Chicken Schnitzel Caesar Salad

I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. This is a place I stay regularly when working away in London.

For my starter I had gone with the Beef Short Rib Bao Buns and had wanted the pan-fried lemon pepper chicken breast for my main course, but they had run out, so I went with the Norfolk chicken schnitzel with Caesar salad, anchovies and Parmesan.

It wasn’t my first choice because I didn’t really want a schnitzel. I thought it might be quite dry.

When the dish arrived it did look rather good.

Chicken Schnitzel Caesar Salad

The chicken schnitzel was on the bottom of the plate and placed on top was some baby gem lettuce, croutons, anchovies, and dressed with a Caesar salad dressing.

I really enjoyed the Caesar salad aspect of the dish, but the chicken schnitzel really let the dish down, it was slightly overcooked and as a result was quite dry. I think the dish would have worked better with a chargrilled chicken breast rather than the chicken schnitzel.

Time for a Salad

As the weather improves, we have been eating a lot more salad. Sometimes I did individual salads, customised for each person. Other times I do a big bowl of salad.

salad

For this salad I did mixed leaves, avocado, sliced peppers, sliced radish, cucumber, tomatoes, and mozzarella. There was a homemade dressing on the side.