Friday, May 25, 2012

Like everyone else, I love to be able to get the last piece of everything, unless I am too full.

But how to go about it without being rude or a bit demanding? Here are great tips to get what you want without seeming obnoxious.

 

Get the Last Bite of That Cake

Get the Last Bite of That Cake

Image by: daftcain

 

Tip 1 – The serve up

The scenario: You and your friend have ordered takeaway, it might be pizza, it might be Chinese, it is definitely something that will be shared out.

 

Sounds like a good plan.

 

The food arrives and you ordered crispy duck and pancakes, absolutely heaven! But how will you get more duck than your friend without looking greedy?

 

Easy! What you have to understand is human nature often gets a bad rep because of all the torture and killing in the world, but more often than not (especially if your friend isn’t a psychopath serial killer) people are courteous and good hosts. So why not let your friend serve up?

 

It sounds risky and you will have to judge the situation and your friends carefully. They might be just as greedy as you are and will take that as their opportunity to get the majority of the bird. In which case you might want to reconsider your circle of friends.

 

But most of the time, purely out of fear to be accused of being self-serving and greedy, they will automatically give you more.

 

SCORE.

Not only have you gotten the bigger portion but you also let someone else do it for you. This is definitely win win.

 

Tip 2 – Stay ahead of the game

Scenario: There is an odd number of chicken wings and an even number of people…

 

In these situations, stay focused, it might just be a casual occasion, but it is easy to lose perspective. This should never ever happen when food is involved.

 

So when the menu hasn’t specifically mentioned how many pieces of chicken wings they will serve, anxiously await the arrival. Quickly scan the plate and count.

 

Identify the situation, play by the rules. If it is an even number, great! You can share it out, if not, we have a culinary problem…

 

Solution: Eat FASTER

 

This is a very easy solution, depending on the speed of your opponents eating. You must match that and speed up by about 1.5, allowing you both to finish your wings at the same time to discover that there are 2 left and share them out. SCORE, you had the extra wing!

 

 

Tip 3 -The non-sharer

Ever had the misfortune to be friends with someone who constantly wants to try everything you eat?

 

Just like the chip tax that partners lay claim on. They don’t order a side because that will be too much but happily munch away ¾ of your food and you are left disgruntled and hungry. If you say anything you are described as “petty” and “typical only child” and also to “stop making a scene, people are looking at us!”

 

In these situations, bite the bullet, there is nothing you can do about the chip tax. Just order more.

 

But what about other kinds of sharing situations, when it isn’t your partner but a friend, who doesn’t take a small bite but considerably more. What to do? You don’t want to look like a non-sharing greedy git.

 

Solution: Divert and distract!

 

When your friend asks to have a bite or taste of your grub, say “Sure, I will leave you some at the end!”

 

Your friend will mostly be pacified and leave you alone to continue to eat.

 

And then… nothing, you just eat the lot and while doing so, engage them in a discussion, let them talk while you eat away. They will be so absorbed in their own story that they will not realise that there will be little left of your food.

 

This not only gets you out of the non-sharing issue, but also makes you look generous at the beginning. If your friend realises what just happened, play dumb, tell them you completely forgot! This works like a charm.

 

With these handy tips, you never have to go hungry again and still keep your generous and friendly persona!

 

 

Lia is a serious food politician and blogger for Lords of Notting Hill, who sell a variety of homeware as well as great outdoor products like the Weber BBQ. These are top quality and ideal for any summer party.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chefs and Their Signature Dishes

 

Chefs and Their Signature Dishes

 

Today, with many chefs becoming media stars, it can be easy to forget all the hard work that goes into crafting a renowned reputation in the business. The signature dishes of some of the most well-known chefs are testament to their dedication and innovation. Here we explore some of the most exciting dishes food lovers

 

Heston Blumenthal


Heston Blumenthal is – alongside Ferran Adria – the poster boy of molecular gastronomy. A self-taught chef, Blumenthall is renowned for his innovative approach to flavours and textures. He runs the Fat Duck in the Berkshire village of Bray, which has three Michelin stars, as well as two pubs in the village, and Dinner at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel. Arguably his most famous dish is bacon-and-egg ice cream. A custard of scrambled eggs is churned to make an ice cream, with bacon added towards the end of the process. It is served a s a dessert, often with French toast.

 

 

Rene Redzepi


Rene Redzepi is at the leading edge of a Nordic food renaissance. Head chef at the two-Michelin-starred Noma in Copenhagen, Redzepi focusses on local ingredients presented in novel, inventive formulations. This approach has led to Noma being crowned the best restaurant in the world at the San Pellegrino awards for both 2010 and 2011. One of his signature dishes is fresh radishes plated in hazelnut soil. Presented in an actual flower pot, the radishes and their leaves are eaten with the crumbling soil and a hazelnut emulsion.

 

 

Michel Roux Jr


As the son of culinary titan Albert Roux, Michel Roux Jr had a lot to live up to. The two Michelin stars his restaurant Le Gavroche in London has maintained for many years testify to his success. Taking over the restaurant from his father and uncle, Michel Roux Jr has been head chef since 1993. Among his signature dishes is Soufflé Suissesse, in which a cheese soufflé is baked on double cream to provide a counterpoint between sweet and savoury flavours.

 

 

Michael Caines


Michael Caines apprenticed under both Raymond Blanc and Joel Roubechon before becoming head chef at Gidley Park in Oxfordshire. Despite losing one of his arms in a car accident, Caines built the restaurant’s reputation up until it gained two Michelin stars. He has subsequently opened a variety of restaurants across the United Kingdom, while he was awarded an MBE in 2006. One of his signatures is a ballotine, whereby a duck leg is de-boned and stuffed with the duck’s liver before being fried.

 

 

Pierre Koffman


Pierre Koffman, who – although a proud Frenchman – has been a mainstay of the London restaurant scene in the United Kingdom for over 30 years. He began his career working for the Roux brothers at Le Gavroche before opening La Tante Claire in London in the late seventies. The restaurant quickly earned three Michelin stars. It closed in 2003 and Koffman retreated from the front-line for some years before re-emerging with Koffman’s at London’s Berkeley Hotel in 2010. His most famous and revered dish is his pig’s trotters. The porcine feet are braised in veal stock for a long time to make them unctuous, and stuffed with sweetbreads, morel mushrooms and chicken mousse – there’s a good reason he’s known as the “chef’s chef”.

 

 

With all these chefs still working, and crafting their signature dishes, there is no better time to book and table and revel in their expertise.

 

 

The author is a huge fan of dining and has had the good fortune of eating in the best Michelin star restaurants in London

Images from:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sackerman519/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mediaflema/#

http://theponderinggourmet.com/172/restaurants/lunch-at-the-fat-duck

http://www.citylife.co.uk/news_and_reviews/reviews/10018927_review__michael_caines_at_abode

Saturday, May 05, 2012

A Beginners Guide to Wine

wine

A Beginners Guide to Wine.

 

WHITE WINE

White wine is a type of wine that is usually made from white grapes. As we all know white wine has less body than red wine, that is red wine is heavier than white wine. White wine is very refreshing because of its lightness and is best served with light meals. White wine is best served in narrow glasses. Because of its refreshing nature, this kind of wine is nice to have during the summer. The best type of white wine (in my opinion) is Chardonnay, though there are other types.

RED WINE

This kind of wine is made or processed from a variety of dark coloured grapes. Most red wines are delicious and i would say, most of them are stronger when it comes to the alcohol effect compared to white wine. I say that with experience. Red wine comes in different flavours, strawberry flavour, cherry, mocha, raisin, raspberry, currant and many others. The different flavours depend on the grapes that were used to make the wine. The red colour is from the skin of the grapes. The process of making wine is the same but when it comes to red wine the major process involves other minor but very necessary processes like the extraction of colour and the flavour of the wine. Most red wines are balanced so to speak and this is because most of them go through the process of fining. There are also different types of red wine types of red wine, these include sweet red wines, dry red wines and semi sweet red wines. Red wine is best presented in a round or oval shaped wine glass that usually narrows at the top of the glass. Red wine, other than drinking is also used in some food recipes and goes exceptionally well with spaghetti bolognese and red meat in general.

DESSERT WINE

Dessert wine is a very sweet type of wine. Its sweetness is mainly because the grapes used to make this kind of wine does not fully ferment. Some wine makers add brandy to stop the fermentation process. Dessert wine is not often taken during the main course because of its sweet character. Some people say that it is too sweet to accompany a main course. Dessert wines have very sweet aromas and usually have a great finish when it comes to the taste. The best dessert wine is the ice wine which is commonly produced in Germany.

FORTIFIED WINE

This is the wine that usually has a high content of alcohol compared to other wines. The high alcohol content is due to the distillation process of the grapes. There are four common types of fortified wine, these are; the marsala wine, sherry wine, port wine and Madeira wine. Fortified wines are also known as desert wines.

SPARKLING WINE

Sparkling wine is a type of wine that has a frizzy taste and usually has bubbles. The common type of sparkling wine is champagne. Sparkling wines usually undergo more than one fermentation process to give the wine its distinctive fizz.

 

About the author: Vim runs 12×75.com a wine blog with a twist.

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