Buenos Aries – Bar Doreggo And Tango

Interior Of Bar Dorrego

Interior Of Bar Dorrego

The San Telmo bar Dorrego was dark, an early morning scattering of customers sipping coffee and quietly chatting, waiting for the weak Autumn sunshine to warm the day.  Bent wood chairs, all matching but worn with a pale patina, were tucked under scrubbed wood tables scratched with time and the initials of previous drinkers.

Graffitti At Bar Dorrego

Graffitti At Bar Dorrego

In fact this slightly dusty and seemingly time forgotten bar was a wonder of graffiti.  Every surface textured with the names, messages and drawings of those who’ve been and gone.  A one hundred and thirty year old  canvas, constantly changing in a bar where the decor has remained the same.

Eighty Year Old Coffee Machine

Eighty Year Old Coffee Machine At Bar Dorrego

Mr Glam and I toss up wine or coffee and opt for the warmth and fragrance of a strong Argentinian brew. The door opens more frequently and snatches of music make their way through the narrow gap. Turning to look through the large plate glass windows I’m fascinated to see a couple roll out a long sheet of lino on the pedestrianised square.  Swaying gently over to a bundle on a chair the woman stops, touches a blue box and the ripple of tango spreads across the square and into the bars and cafes surrounding it.

Argentine Tango In San Telmo

Argentine Tango In San Telmo

Gracefully she peels off her coat and scarf and taking the firmly upheld hands of her partner, begins a slow tango.  Steeping towards him and then across him, with an intricate intertwining of legs and an exchange of steps almost too complicated to comprehend the pair spin, sway and ripple up and down the strip.

Not yet 11am and we were drinking in the culture of the Argentine Tango along with our coffee.

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Review – Chicken The New Classics By Marcus Bean

Marcus Bean's Chicken The New Classics

Marcus Bean’s Chicken The New Classics

Is your favourite cookbook the one your Mother used?  Or the one you learnt to cook from?  Perhaps it’s a spotted and spattered tome that could never be replaced?  I have a shelf of recipe book treasures, well thumbed and well used, but just occasionally there’s a book that can sit beside them.

Recipe Page From Marcus Bean's Chicken The New Classics

Recipe Page From Marcus Bean’s Chicken The New Classics

With a wife who doesn’t eat red meat, Marcus Bean has created and eaten a lot of chicken dishes.  ‘Chicken The New Classics’ is a book based on experience and creativity.  The straightforward method of the recipes makes them extremely achievable.  You can rediscover and explore chicken with this single ingredient book that pushes the boundaries and the taste buds.

Chicken, Spinach, Goatscheese & Slow Roasted Tomato Terrine Made from Chicken The New Classics By Marcus Bean

Chicken, Spinach, Goatscheese & Slow Roasted Tomato Terrine Made from Chicken The New Classics By Marcus Bean

Split into three sections there’s Chicken Waterzooi, a rich thick Belgian soup from Weekday Meals. Deep flavoured Chilli Chocolate Chicken from Weekend Main Meals a new take on Chilli Con Carne.  Finally from Dinners And Celebrations a beautiful layered terrine of poached chicken, goat’s cheese and sweet slow roasted tomatoes.  This is a book for beginners and enthusiasts, with enough recipes to cover just about any occasion.  It might even find a place on my ‘treasures’ shelf too.

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Honey Baked Figs With Thyme, Honey And Pistachio Ice Cream

Honey Baked Figs And Thyme With Honey And Pistachio Ice Cream

Honey Baked Figs And Thyme With Honey And Pistachio Ice Cream

Figs plucked straight from the tree, plump, sweet and juicy, warmed by the sun.  But if you have to settle, like me, for the ones from the supermarket this is a delicious way to put the sun back into them.  A little honey and a sprig of thyme brings a real Mediterranean flavour to even the unripe fruit.  Team that with a creamy honey and pistachio ice cream and give a last salut! to a wonderful Indian Summer.

RECIPE Continue reading

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Smoked Haddock Natas

Smoked Haddock Natas

Smoked Haddock Natas

It was six o’clock and Mr Glam came barreling through the door arms laden with bottles of white and red announcing that he’d invited some friends for drinks in two hours.  We had a few cashews in the cupboard and a bag of crisps, I was going to have to pull something together from whatever was in the fridge. Continue reading

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CiCi CoCo Cookery School And Tagliatelle With Beetroot And Walnut Sauce

Tagliatelle With Beetroot And Walnut Sauce

Tagliatelle With Beetroot And Walnut Sauce

I arrived in Cuddington, an archetypal  small english village, complete with beamed and thatched cottages, a church, dating back to the twelfth century, that hosts the village fete in summer and a welcoming carol service in winter, a tiny village green, a lovely local school,  and even a village shop.  To top it off it’s played host to a few episodes of Midsummer Murders.  This was the venue for my Italian cooking day. Continue reading

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Parma Ham Wrapped Cod Loin On A Bed Of Samphire And Chorizo

Parma Ham Wrapped Cod Loin With Chorizo On A Bed Of Samphire

Parma Ham Wrapped Cod Loin With Chorizo On A Bed Of Samphire

As a small child picking my way through piles of warm sweet muscles or bashing apart fat red crabs, I couldn’t imagine fish ever being as juicy or full of flavour.  I loved how long it took to get to the ‘good’ bits.  Picking out the flesh from the claws, teasing out the plump muscles and downing them with the creamy, wine redolent sauce.  That was seafood to me and fish just didn’t get a look in. Continue reading

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Eating Rio – Part Two

Rio Fruit Juice Bar

Rio Fruit Juice Bar

As we burst out of the end of the  street market into the bright sunlight and roar of traffic, there was time to take a deep breath and then on to the next taste of Rio.  A juice bar.  With the plethora of amazing fruit much of which we’d never heard of, It might have been a little daunting to try this without a translator and guide.  From a long alphabetical list we were handed a flimsy cup of peach pink Goiaba (Brazilian Guava) Sweet with a flavour reminiscent of a mix of pear, mango and strawberry.  Then another bendy cup with Caju – (cashew nut) fruit juice, which is sweet and slightly astringent. Having already had our fill of the pressed sugar cane juice, I was nearly at stopping point when the final cup arrived.  Umbu juice – sweet aromatic and slightly acidic.  Well refreshed, if a little awash with liquid (I could have said no) we sauntered down the busy street to our next stop. Continue reading

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Stokes BBQ Sauce Burgers And Bloody Mary Corn Salsa

BBQ Burger With Taleggio Cheese And Corn Salsa

BBQ Burger With Taleggio Cheese And Corn Salsa

The weather has been great so far this summer, but now the unpredictable rain has set in.  We still want the smoky flavour of BBQ even if I can’t persuade Mr Glam to stand in the wet to cook it.

Stokes Bloody Mary Sauce, Barbecue Sauce And Tomato Ketchup

Stokes Bloody Mary Sauce, Barbecue Sauce And Tomato Ketchup

BBQ Sauce burgers are the answer.  Good quality lean mince mixed with chopped shallots and sweet, smoky Stokes BBQ sauce generously spooned into the meat and massaged well to make a fabulous, flavourful burger.  Team that with charred corn, fresh tomatoes and a Stokes Bloody Mary Sauce to give depth and fire.  A perfect accompaniment to a beautiful burger. Continue reading

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Rio Maracanã And Coconut Beijinhos

Hoarding Outside The Nearly Complete Maracana

Hoarding Outside The Nearly Complete Maracana

“We’ve arranged a very special tour for you,” the guide announced. “the Maracanã Stadium.” I groaned inwardly.  It was three weeks before the start of the World Cup in Rio.  A football related ‘something’ was inevitable, but a whole morning!  We piled onto sleek coaches and set off across Rio.  It was our first day and so first glimpse of the diverse city.  Favalas like coloured matchboxes tossed in a pile, huge engineering structures with rather more than three weeks until completion.  Stuccoed colonial houses, dripping with architectural detail and shiny shopping centres filled with goods many of the population couldn’t afford. Continue reading

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A Touch Of Nostalgia – Milo Ice Cream

Milo Ice Cream

Milo Ice Cream

Dusk would settle in, as would we in our old fashioned ward.  Nine metal beds lined up facing each other and one by the door for the very ill.  It was all relative, as this was a school infirmary and the usual complaints were coughs, colds and the occasional Streptoccocol throat that warranted the bed by the door.  At 6.30, our faded flowery quilts pulled up tight and pillows plumped for the night, Nurse would come round for bedtime drinks orders.  The universal request was MILO!  The malted granules would float on the cold milk, no one wanted it hot, and we’d spoon them off, one crunchy mouthful after another reluctantly finishing the milk. Continue reading

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