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Sunday
Dec092007

galvin bistrot de luxe, london w1

when i started a new job earlier this year i discovered my new boss was a foodie. his favourite restaurant is galvin which, as a result, has been on my list of places to try since january. last weekend we finally made it!

galvin serves modern french food in a relaxed but smart bistro setting. the restaurant was busy and buzzy and seemed to be full of people who were regulars or there because they knew the food would be good. which it was, really good. i am so pleased that we finally visited.

i started with a lovely, richly flavoured but quite light pressed terrine of guinea fowl, ham and foie gras. this was served with a spoonful of a delicate apricot-coloured quince chutney which was delicious (i am a little obsessed with quince at the moment so perhaps it’s not surprising i liked this!). david’s beetroot, goats cheese and mache was a perfectly judged salad with particularly flavoursome goats cheese. our friends hamish and sade had tuna carpaccio with quail eggs and endive, roquefort and walnut salad respectively. i had little tastes of both and they too were delicious, particularly the tuna which was sparklingly fresh.

once it came to main courses there was no more sharing across the table. i don’t think this was intentional, more that we each become absorbed in our chosen dishes and were quite happy not to try anything else as nothing was lacking. at least this is what happened with me and my confit pork belly with braised red cabbage, chestnuts and apple compote. the pork was full of flavour and the dish was a real pleasure to eat.

we all decided to indulge with pudding. i chose oeuf a la neige with praline. this dish resembles meringue mixture which has been poached rather than baked. served with a light vanilla custard and pieces of toffeed praline this was a lovely light way to finish my meal. having said that, one mouthful of david’s apple tarte tatin saw me ready to order an extra portion – the sticky treacley apples atop light buttery pastry was superb and will be my dessert of choice when i return to galvin.

galvin bistrot de luxe

66 baker street, london w1ud 7dj

t - 020 7935 4007

www.galvinrestaurants.co.uk

menu prix fixe - £15.50 at lunch or £18.50 between 6 and 7pm.

Thursday
Dec062007

autumnal chicken and butternut squash lasagne

chicken-lasagne.jpg 

lasagne is a favourite meal when the weather is cold and something warming and comforting is required. traditional lasagne, or a veggie version, are regular meals for us at this time of year but i fancied trying something new and have been thinking about different takes on the dish.

this, coupled with the fact that we needed to use up various things before going away to paris saw the creation of a chicken and butternut squash lasagne which was stashed in the freezer until this week.

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Monday
Dec032007

roasted stuffed butternut squash with goats cheese

stuffed-bns-goats-cheese.jpg

well, december is here and many of us are starting to think about the festive season and all the parties and celebrations ahead of us. one such person is meeta whose monthly mingle theme is “traditional feasts.”

i don’t celebrate Christmas, or any other feasts, so am exempt from all the madness and rushing about. i won’t shout about it, but i actually find december quite peaceful as everyone else is distracted and i can avoid a lot of the mayhem with a quiet “christmas isn’t my thing” excuse.

however an excuse for a party or a special meal is rarely something i’ll walk away from so here is my offering for meeta’s gathering – a roasted stuffed butternut squash with goats cheese.

this would be a good vegetarian option for a festive meal and it can easily be made vegan by omitting the goats cheese. if you need a wheat-free option try the version i made with black rice earlier this year. seasons greetings!

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Saturday
Dec012007

bang bang chicken!

bang-bang-chicken.jpg

chicken thighs are always in my freezer and a regular choice if i don’t want to have to think too much about what to cook. i love to marinade them overnight (lemon, garlic and herbs or harissa paste being two favourites) and then roast them to accompany a salad and some good bread.

however familiarity is not always a good thing so i decided to branch out this week and try nigel slater’s bang-bang,-it’s-bonfire-night-what-can-i-feed-to-the-hordes chicken with black-eyed beans casserole recipe.

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Friday
Nov302007

chasing coughs and colds away!

well, it’s been a lousy couple of weeks for me – i’ve had the sniffles, a sore throat and chesty cough for most of it and am still suffering. hopefully you’ll all be in better shape than me but if not, or if you just want to make sure you stay ahead of the nasties check out these immune-boosting diet tips.

read more over at the daily tiffin, a blog that helps people have a healthy family lifestyle. i'll write about healthy eating, over at the daily tiffin, every fortnight.