Friday, 30 January 2015

Places To Eat In Canterbury: Chez Joël (Now Closed)

Yesterday I headed into Canterbury for a very exciting lunch at the cities newest opening: Chez Joël. It's a modern, family run French bistro serving up French cafe classics, fresh seafood and by the glass wine from their extensive list. They're only running a limited menu at the moment (they're having some problems with the council so they can't serve cooked food yet, but you'll honestly not really notice), but we had a delicious sharing lunch of some French classics made with wonderfully fresh ingredients. 
Seafood Bar at Chez Joël in Canterbury

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Lunchtime Notes: Crunchy Winter Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

Unless I'm eating out, lunch is a bit of a funny meal for me. I've been talking about my breakfasts recently, and you usually see things I have for dinner like Chicken Fajitas, Bolognese and Sausage Roasts popping up here in recipe posts. But unless you follow me on Instagram where I throw up the occasional snapshot, I don't usually share what my usual lunch time looks like. In all honesty, it is because most of the time for me lunch is what I throw together from what I can find last minute in the fridge, whatever recipe I'm testing at the time, or leftovers (successful or even just edible) from the recipes I've been working on, such as roasted vegetables, dressings, cold cuts, ragged bunches of herbs or the ends of loaves of bread. 
FIVE bt Rachel de Thample Review

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Recipe: Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes on Avocado Toast + Taylors of Harrogate Kew Gardens Fruit & Herbal Teas

Something I have learnt in almost 6 years of blogging is that new ideas are not necessarily the be all and end all. Anyone who thinks that avocado toast is anything news ought to crawl back under their rock and stay there. The idea of topping my avocado toast with slow roasted cherry tomatoes for me came from Diana Henry's brilliant book A Change Of Appetite which I've been vaguely obsessed with since I was given it for Christmas, but Waitrose have done a version this month too. But I wanted to share it with you all anyway, because it does make a brilliant breakfast. And I think both of those recipes overcomplicate matters. I've tried to make things as simple as possible. This is a weekday breakfast, after all.
Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato Avocado Toast

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Places To Eat In London: Koba, Fitzrovia

Apparently one of the big food trends in London in 2015, carried over from last year a little is going to be Korean food. I've been a massive fan of all things Korean and edible, but particularly Korean Barbecue since I stumbled across Soot Bull Jeep, an unassuming Korean barbecue joint in Koreatown, Los Angeles (which doubles as one of my favourite restaurants in the world) in November 2012. I've been yet to try Korean barbecue in London, afraid I'd be disappointed, for quite some time, but last week looking for somewhere to dine out near Sherin's workplace (I still can't seem to get a table at Honey & Co.) we landed at Koba, one of London's better known Korean barbecue joints so I could give her her first experience of Korean food. 
Korean Barbecue

Friday, 16 January 2015

Weekly Love: Week 144

So, the first Weekly Love of 2015! It has taken me a while to get back into the swing of things, but I'm now rather energised for what is to come, and I've happily jumped head first into my freelance work for the New Year. A new publication for me contributing to is Buzzfeed, and I just wanted to thank you all for all your love you've sent my way for the first two pieces I've published over there. In case you missed them, I'm flying the flag for food in my hometown in '21 Things You Have To Eat In Canterbury Right Now' and running through some of the quirks of training in one of my favourite sports in '18 Secrets Rowers Will Never Tell You'.
1. Planning the return of my Borough Market column next month browsing their beautiful veg displays.  | 2. Wrapping up walk in a nice thick scarf on the farm.  | 3. Discovering my new ingredient obsession, Vita Coco Coconut Oil with Hemsley + Hemsley. So far, I love cooking my scrambled eggs in a teaspoon of it for great texture and flavour, and using it as a lip balm. | 4. Getting my cold pressed juice fix at the Pressed London counter in Selfridges. My favourite is Greenhouse 2. | 5. Quick lunchtime salad with a cup of tea and the new Boden catalogue. | 6. Beautiful view of St Paul's across the Thames while strolling down Southbank.

7. Baking a gluten-free version of Top With Cinnamon's Swedish Chocolate Cake. | 8. A delicious Thai vegetable curry for lunch at KITCH in Canterbury. | 9. My first Korean Barbecue since I moved back from Los Angeles at Koba in Fitzrovia. Full review to follow soon! | 10. Golden light in the church yard visiting my grandmother on a crisp January afternoon. | 11. Brainstorming Valentines Day at Borough Market with my fishmonger, Furness Fish. | 12. Currently Reading: My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz.

And finally, I want to leave you with Maroon 5's new video for 'Sugar', my favourite track from their latest album. So, basically one day in December the band went around crashing and performing at unsuspecting couples weddings across L.A. Even if you're not a big fan of their music, watch it and I promise it will leave you with a massive smile on your face. And Los Angeles? You're looking beautiful, by the way.

What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm hoping the weather stays cold and crisp, rather than wet and windy tomorrow so I can go out on the lake rowing, and I'm back in London on Sunday for a Chinese Afternoon Tea, which I'm rather excited about!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Marmalade Brown Bread & Butter Pudding

Over Christmas I spent a lot more time at home than usual. And by that, I mean not really leaving the house unless it meant to buy food. While towards the end I did start to will it to be January again (self employed lesson number one: taking the week before everything winds down for the holidays off to go to France is an error. You'll be bored by the end!), it did mean I had a lot of time to do things in the kitchen I don't normally have time to do. One of the things that usually falls to the wayside with me is dessert.
Bread & Butter Pudding

Saturday, 10 January 2015

A Few Notes On Choosing Your Ingredients

For something a little bit different today, I want to talk about buying ingredients. While I wholeheartedly believe that you get what you pay for with food, I can appreciate that we all can't afford the very best of everything. I've recently also been reading some brilliant books on food economy (the one must read I need to push you in the direction of is Guardian restaurant critic Jay Rayner's A Greedy Man in a Hungry World: How (Almost) Everything You Thought You Knew About Food Is Wrong), which has made me think a bit more about where I shop and where my ingredients come from, but not necessarily in the way you'd think.
Ted's Veg at Borough Market

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Recipe: How To Make Your Own Labneh with Olive Oil & Za'atar

As I have several books on Middle Eastern cooking, I have several books telling me how to make labneh, a type of strained yogurt that tastes like slightly tangy cream cheese that is traditionally served in a puddle of olive oil, sometimes with spices. My most recent Middle Eastern cookbook acquisition, Honey & Co. instructs me to mix together plain yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice and salt, before straining in a nylon stocking. Jerusalem (the book that got us all properly re-obsessed in the first place with food from that part of the world) takes a far simpler (but equally as easy) approach: equal parts cows and sheep yogurt are mixed with salt and again suspended, in cheesecloth or a tea towel. All in all, what I have learnt is that as long as you mix whole, thick yogurt with a little sea salt, and strain it for a day in a cool place, you'll get some sort of tangy cream cheese. 
How To Make Your Own Labneh with Olive Oil & Za'atar | @rachelphipps

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Places To Eat In Canterbury: KITCH

My new favourite place to grab breakfast or lunch in Canterbury is KITCH. A little cafe tucked away half way down the High Street, it was a Twitter discovery of mine a bit before Christmas. KITCH serves up delicious, healthy and wholewheat breakfast, lunches, smoothies, cakes and steaming pots of tea, and provides the perfect stop gap between shops. At the moment it is the perfect place to pull of our hats, coats and scarves and hide from the cold with a spot of something delicious (and January approved) to eat. 
Comfort Bowl at KITCH in Canterbury