MoreSouth London food days
Last week we went into central London for a day of market research. Our Hertfordshire location is very near and MoreSouth often caters for events and parties in the capital. Window displays were dotted with Halloween pumpkin lanterns like this arrangement in the famous Fortnum & Mason.
We had coffee in’ L’Eto’ in Soho before walking to Selfridges Food Hall.
The cakes were elaborate and quite pretty.
I was particularly amazed by a pale pink chocolate eclair which had three different coloured crystalled rose petals poised on top.
(No, it’s not here; too beautiful to photo.)
Of course all shops are ready for Christmas sales.
Are you buying any of this year’s festive cookbook best sellers?
Around lunchtime we made our way to the outdoor food stalls in Covent Garden. Last week we served hundreds of lunches of Couscous Royale, and handmade Merguez sausages in organic rolls at the ‘Wood, Wool & Food stall’ at Hemel Hempstead. Here is the stand we liked best from Karantania Delicatessen.
On our Menu page you can find our selection of MoreSouth Christmas Canapés. We’re taking orders for parties and corporate events.
Breakfast goes on holiday
What is food indulgence for you? A dessert after dinner to linger over or a special breakfast to start your day?
If you are a morning person it can be great fun to invite friends over at the weekend. Start with a jug of juice, a loaf of fresh bread and a large platter of summer fruit on the table.
Dishes like ‘Fresh Baked Beans’ (cf. Recipé below) can be prepared the day before and warmed in the oven. Or you could create a hotel buffet of breakfast side bowls with roasted tomatoes, grilled mushrooms and crispy potato cubes.
Or maybe you prefer breakfast in bed? (You just need to know a Morning Person to collaborate here!)
There is an intimacy about breakfast that cannot be recreated in even the most gourmet restaurant dinner.
What about a delicious bowl of red, white + blue (supporting Team GB ,of course, in London 2012) of Raspberry Swirl Yoghurt with Blueberries? Purééd redcurrants or strawberries work just as well.
Can’t get away?
Holiday is time as well as place. It’s a change or a surprise. It’s doing what you want and eating what you love.
Whether you want a Balcony Breakfast (=newspaper, coffee + view) or a Spa Breakfast (Avocado Salsa with lemon, coriander leaves and finely cut spring onions ) just make sure you grab the day and make it what you love.
Recipé: Fresh Baked Beans
handful of ripe cherry tomatoes
2 tbs of olive oil
can of cannellini beans
Small pinch of chilli flakes
1 red onion
Large pinch of fresh basil or oregano leaves.
- Fry the onion lightly for 2 minutes in olive oil, adding garlic & chilli flakes.
- Add the tomatoes and beans, and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Bake covered in a medium oven until the tomatoes are slightly shrivelled.
Garnish with fresh, shredded basil ororegano leaves.
(Optional extra: add prociutto when you are frying the onion.)
What breakfast really makes your day?
I’d love to know what your favourite holiday breakfast is!
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Mediterranean abundance: the Horn of Plenty
Summer in the mediterranean promises a glut of luscious fruit, fish and vegetables. It’s no wonder the ‘The Mediterranean Diet’ evolved in an area of such rich, natural surroundings.
And generosity is inherent in mediterranean hospitality.
How much would you like?
At the market mangos are in season next month. Why not take a kilo of almonds now – freshly picked, and still in their soft, green velvety husks? Or a carrier bag full of lychees? Plums, apricots, nectarines and peaches - reminiscent of the heavy, golden sunlight ooze with sweet and sticky juices.
(TIP: Can be devoured in quantity over the kitchen sink to save on wiping up.)
Then there’s the watermelon, inspiration for a hundred crisp, cool salads – if you can carry it home!
No one’s counting
Breakfast can be a mini banquet but make sure to leave room for lunch. (Remember, you can siesta later.) This is the time to make the most of the mediterranean tradition of mezze.
Our family loves to visit the falafel stand by the sea where we can pile up our pitta breads with as many freshly cut vegetables and sauces as we want, to complement the delicious deep-fried chickpea balls.
Sometimes we prefer to sit on the restaurant terrace. Before our main dish arrives the salads start coming, and soon the table will be crowded with 15-20 plates - a delight for all the senses. We didn’t order any of these – they’re on the house, but my daughter notices that her favourite shredded cabbage has not been included this time. It is brought, together with another basket of warm pitta and an extra dish of houmus, broad beans and virgin olive oil (my husband’s favourite) at no extra cost.
And more of The Good Life…
at the shared table. Dinner is usually a celebration of family ritual coming from the innate confidence in cooking that most mediterraneans enjoy.
If you are fortunate enough to be a guest you will be offered plates of nourishing, colourful food. It’s hard to say ‘No.’ There is little packaging and complicated processed recipés. Maybe this is why the food is so good?
We can all learn to be satisfied with the fruits of the earth. Even if we don’t have a pomegranate tree at the bottom of the garden, grape vines swinging in our faces or a handful of fresh dates to make the most regal of desserts it is picking the simple, good produce around us that inspires great dishes.
Don’t you think?
Eating healthy meals when on holiday abroad
By guest writer, Angelika Davey
If you read the MoreSouth blog regularly then you are clearly interested in healthy food and hopefully eat a lot of healthy food.
So what can you do when you go abroad?
If you don’t care what you eat just try any meal in a restaurant or look around at what others eat. Maybe the meal on the next table looks absolutely delicious, so go for it, tell the waiter or even just point to it if you can’t speak the language.
If, however, there is a particular food that you would like to try, it makes sense to find out the words in the language you need. For example, if you have heard of a northwest German dish with kale and sausage make sure you know it’s called ‘Grünkohl mit Pinkel.’
On the other hand, if there are things you really don’t like to eat, make sure you also know those words. So, if you can’t stand garlic, make sure you avoid German dishes with ‘Knoblauch’, Italian dishes with ‘aglio’ or Spanish dishes with ‘ajo.’
More importantly, if there is anything you are allergic to make sure you definately know those words. If you are allergic to, say nuts you must know they are called ‘Nüsse’ in Germany or ‘noisettes’ in French. The last thing you would want to do is jeopardise your health.
Otherwise just go for it. If you don’t have the slightest idea which meal to choose or if you can’t read the menu at all, just point to one and let it be a surprise. You never know, you may even even enjoy it.
Go on, I dare you ; )
Angelika is very happy to teach you some German food words before you go on holidays, and can also help you with any other German tuition or translation issues.
Family fun in the sun, healthy Mediterranean eating
By guest writer, Garth Delikan
My sister had promised us a BBQ, and as my brother and his partner and two young kids were going to be there, it was an afternoon we were all looking forwards to, - and the weather was gorgeous which is a definate prerequisite if you want to enjoy the alfresco experience fully.
Well instead of the usual British BBQ what a treat we had waiting for us. My brother’s partner, who is a Greek Cypriot had decided to take charge and had spent the day preparing lovely fresh skewers of Souvlakis which were roasting beautifully on the spit as we arrived. Prime pork from one of the best butchers in north London, yummy!
I was immediately transported back to every holiday I have ever had on the wonderful Greek islands over the years.
The cook got me busy helping her to prepare the Tsaziki, and as I had only bought mine from the shops before this was a real treat for me. I grated cucumber while she chopped up garlic, then mixed it all together with fresh Greek yoghurt, flavoured with lemon and salt.
She then got all the ingredients together for our Greek salad with feta cheese. Next came her recipe for Houmus, which got my two teenagers involved, -and once you have made your own I defy you to ever buy it from the shops again.
Then we were ready to eat.. but no,- one final touch, the wholemeal pitta bread had to be warmed up on the BBQ before we were allowed to tuck in.
It was one of the best meals and nicest afternoons we had had, and a cheeky little Rosé added to the fun, and all of a sudden it seemed like the sun was shining even more brightly as everyone sat down on the grass or on the logs to chat and eat.
Having fun with food and using natural ingredients is what the healthy Mediterranean eating experience is about, and I want to share this wonderful afternoon with you through the recipe below.
Place in a bowl:1/2 medium grated cucumber (with liquid strained and removed– just drink it – shame to waste it.) 1/2 tub of Greek full fat yoghurt 1 clove garlic (grated or crushed) juice of 1/2 lemon salt to taste
Mix with a fork, altering proportions according to taste. I prefer more lemon, and those keeping an eye on their waistline will use reduced fat yoghurt.
Both Tsaziki and Houmus are delicious
- as part of Greek mezze
- as salad with Souvlaki
- with raw veg as a starter
- as a light lunch
Breakfast goes on holiday (to the mediterranean)
Holidays are for changes and surprises so do not pack your Cornflakes. Holidays are for doing what you want to do and eating what you love on blue skied summer mornings on your terrace by the sea.
Sunday summer breakfasts are for getting up when you like and giving yourself a fresh, colourful and delicious promise for a lovely day.
What is your favourite holiday breakfast?
Let’s pass on the ubiquitous hotel ‘Continental Breakfast’ of orange juice from concentrate, formerly frozen croissant, ‘filter (going cold) coffee’ and cute little jams and butters in plastic boxes.
What about a Fruit Smoothie to begin the day? Blend fruit from your market trips with ice cubes and yoghurt. No blender in the villa? Poach some figs and apricots the night before, and add creamy milk or yoghurt in the morning.
Take out some more market buys from the fridge, then go out to the nearest bakery for some good, fresh bread.
Lightly toast a thick slice, then drizzle with a little olive oil and add chopped tomatoes for an Andalusian style breakfast. Mozzarella and avocado go well on the side.
We are skipping Bacon& Eggs but for some people breakfast does not deserve this name without an egg. If you like your’s scrambled why not add some parsley, chives and strips of smoked salmon? Getting on to brunch-time….- you could add your eggs to a base of fried charcuterie and mushrooms, or half a grated courgette and red pepper, throwing in a handful of feta cheese and sprinkling of crushed cumin seeds.
Phew! You may only be wishing for a quiet coffee and biscotti. My Moroccan family eat a piece of cake at the weekends with a milky coffee before cooking a large, midday lunch.
If you really need a change go to Alexandria where Egyptians do not say, ‘Good morning,’ but something like,
‘Hi, a morning of goodness to you,’ — to which you will always reply,
‘And a morning of beans!’
before going off to devour a warm bowl of ‘ful’ (broad beans) with raw onion and a tomato… to make that perfect day.
What is your dream holiday breakfast?
(Special thanks to photographer Stephen Bray, who lives on a mediterranean beach in Turkey.)