Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About chinaski

  • Rank
    Registered User

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. I love squid and octupus too so feel your pain. I've cooked it many times but rarely ever come away thinking I've nailed it. I have learnt some aspects of cooking it though which may help. I've never had good results using British octopus that just has a single row of suckers and I've tried all methods such as feezing, the quid dip and so on. However, if you can find the larger mediterranean beasts with 2-3 rows of suckers then it is always far more tender. Simmonites used to sell them but no longer and I've never seen them at the Moor market. When I was in Gran Canaria a couple of years back you could buy 2 frozen for around £10 at the local spa! You could boil them for 20 minutes and they'd be lovely and tender with lemon juice and paprika. I buy squid a lot and even though everyone would say "fresh is best" I tend to buy the large pack of squid tubes from the Chinese supermarket for a fiver. They tend to be thicker so less likely to go rubbery. I also find swapping squid for cuttlefish helps as, again, cuttlefish tends to be chunkier and retain a softer texture. As a huge fan of Chinese (Cantonese) salt and pepper squid I've spent many a cooking session trying to perfect. I've used every type of flour and mixture imaginable; egg coatings and so on. However, I FINALLY found the recipe in Fuschia Dunlop's book and it's near perfect. Try and find it on the internet or it's in her "Every Grain of Rice" book. The main trick is that it's actually szechuan pepper she uses, not black like I have been. But the main technique I didn't know is that after deep frying the squid she then puts all the spices in a dry wok and returns the squid which gives it that extra crunch and salt and pepper taste. She also uses rice flour which I'm constantly using too now - very light and crispy. I'm actually having squid for my tea too!
  2. Hi, My 11 year old enjoys drawing and has requested a graphics tablet for Xmas as she wants to start animating. I haven't a clue about the hardware/ software required and I'm not 100% confident she does. Undertaking some basic research my feeling is that she is going to require a graphics pad, but this then needs hooking up to a PC and the animation side will be delivered from purchasing or using some free animating software on the pc. Also, I've seen graphics pads with good reviews for £50 on Amazon but also ones for £200+ and I'm not sure whether the extra shillings will be worth it as I doubt she's going to utilise all the functionality as a novice. Also, some come with screens, others not. Can anyone offer any advice on where to start for a beginner? Thanks
  3. Crikey, that sounds delicious. I'm assuming the general quality of chicken in France is far superior than our over eaten battery reared specimens. You can get a medium chicken in supermarkets now for around £3! I've been having a game feast currently. Head down to Sheffield Moor market and the first stall after the egg guy has all sorts of game birds I've never been able to get hold of. He has grouse which he sells for £2.50 (they were £12.50 at Chatsworth Farm shop) and pheasants, but he also has teal and all sorts of breeds of duck. The teal is absolutely delicious - I don't fart around with boning and taking the breasts off but simply season, roll around in butter and then transfer to the over for around 8 mins and eat like a King. My wife screamed last week as I came to bed after a teal supper and had forgotten to wipe the blood from my chops! He doesn't have the birds on display you have to ask. I'm not sure if that's to do with it being illegal to sell some game!
  4. That's some serious prep but looks lip smackingly good. I suppose you could use pork hocks instead of trotters as they'd produce that gelatinous consistency for the broth. I wonder if Sheffield has any good ramen places? I know there's some seriously good outlets in London, even chains. I remember having a bowl at Yama sushi which was good but nothing special.
  5. I've seen them in Morrisons and the Moor market. There was a famous Pierre Kofmann recipe I heard of some while back but, other than that, I've never known what to really do with them although I've always found them intriguing. I did used to make trotter Scotch eggs some while back in a cafe I ran which were delicious (well, I thought they were). I'm a massive Ramen fan and still eating those Nongshim Shin spicy noodles Alistair recommended some time back. I'd love to make a good pork stock but I've always deferred when I thought about the impact on my gas bill simmering pork bones for 6 hours or more! https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/stuffed-pigs-trotter-recipe
  6. Finally got hold of some fresh black truffle from the Farmers Market at Bakewell. I've recently had some amazing cheese with black truffle from the Porter Brook Deli that had a wonderful taste and aroma so I was holding out big hopes for the real thing. The next morning I made soft scrambled eggs and grated a generous portion of truffle over. It tasted of very little so eventually the whole truffle was grated onto the eggs. A huge disappointment! It tasted of nothing and had clearly been out of the ground far too long. I should have bought some ceps instead. On a side note I'd highly recommend the indoor market at Bakewell. I've become a bit jaded with the usual suspects of buffalo burgers and chutney stalls, but this had many new producers I've never come across and the chicken liver pate stall in Hall 2 was selling by far and away the best pate I've ever tasted.
  7. A female friend of mine got turned away from this place last night because she didn't come with any chaps.
  8. Having some great success with curing my own bacon recently. My last attempt was a purchase of a nice slab of belly pork from The Real Meat butchers on Banner Cross and they gave me a curing rub. I applied as directed and hung in a ventilated dry place for a week to find a sorry mouldy specimen that had to be thrown. I threw out all scientific rationale this time and simply purchased belly pork, took off the hard skin (this was then deep fried and made into a crackling treat) covered both sides with a generous but not overly so covering of salt, brown sugar and some crunched up dry bay leaves. Every day I'd pour out the liquid, dry and repeat. Sometimes I'd also add a feint covering of maple syrup. After 8 days you have streaky bacon. It's near impossible to get the bacon thin enough without the correct tools so I'd slice some cuts off the pork and then cover with foil/ cling film and roll them out with a rolling pin. The result is you get a fantastic tasting bacon which, due to the sugars, also caramelises in the pan. All I need to do now is work out how to make my own eggs and each Saturday will gorge on true home made bacon and eggs to start the day.
  9. Thanks again all. After much deliberating we've decided to refuse the plot - it just felt like it was going to be a full time job as opposed to a hobby. I fully appreciate there will be work to do, whatever plot and it's not going to be easy, especially in the first year but this plot just felt insurmountable. SCC did say they'd get a ranger to strim but the rest would be up to us. We can reject 2 and still stay top of the waiting list so we just thought it'd definitely be worth taking a look at another one before committing. I'm thinking of having an allotment party where everyone brings there spades and I'll provide snacks and drinks. I'll ensure you're all invited.
  10. Many thanks for all your suggestions. Would love to see your invention in action Rollingroad but it's a bit too early for that at the moment. I've been down again today and noticed a couple of small areas already covered with tarpaulin and I've found 2 further sheets folded that may come in use. I've been checking out the glyphosate option and, although there's a lot of debate, realistically it seems the only option and hopefully the ground will be ready for clearing after the winter. I like the flame gun idea, but I reckon I'd need the one you linked to Janus to make any impact and I can't quite fork out £150 at the moment. I'm going to ring the council tomorrow and see what other site they can offer as I'm allowed to reject 2 and stay at the top of the list. Whatever option you're not going to escape the hard work so I suppose you just have to take the plunge at some point.
  11. Hi, I've just been offered an allotment on the Highcliff Rd site. My excitement turned to horror today when confronted with a huge piece of land, all massively overgrown. I'm still tempted to take it as the potential would be enormous. My better half is a gardener so she knows what she's dealing with but physically I can't see how we can manage the land. Although it's only £80 per year, I did feel SCC would be taking the proverbial by taking this money. Do they offer any additional support? Is there a management team that may clear the weeds/ grass? I appreciate they're not going to dig over the land, but even just using an industrial strimmer to help get us started??? Any advice would be appreciated. My back aches just thinking about it
  12. I honestly don't think I hate any food. I love offal including tripe and always look forward to game season. I even quite enjoy a pot noodle now and again and I used to be partial to a spreading of Cheese and Ham Toast Toppers for supper. I did used to eat a lot of "bag" but I made the mistake of thinking about it too much and have now given up on anus altogether. The celebrated American chef Chris Cosentino cooks a lot of offal dishes in his restaurant and I have to say I may think twice about his Pork Blood Soup, Foie Gras, Avocado and Chilli before dipping my spoon in it: https://bonbonfoods.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/pork-blood-soup.jpg
  13. I'm a "mystery diner" with HGEM and they're actually a decent company. The bottom line is that if you have no interest in the subject (food/drink) then it's not for you; secondly, if you don't need the money or you feel writing an hour to two hour report is not worth the free food and drink and maybe £10 - £20 on top then, again, it won't be of any interest. Personally I'm happy to make time to write the reports and even though the financial payments are small, it's still worth it. In the last few months I've eaten at 2-3 places that I'd consider really good quality. The idea is you then try and reach Paltinum status so more highly rated restaurants or hotel visits become available to you. It's definitely more of a hobby than in any sense "work" or employment. The reports generally have to be quite objective so don't sign up thinking you're going to be the next Jay Rayner.
  14. I received one of these from Berkeley Precinct some months back. After 5 minutes parking there was an unfortunate accident whereby an elderly guy was knocked down and received severe leg injuries. The paramedics couldn't move him for over an hour and no cars were able to enter or leave the car park. After no sign of movement I decided to go to a local cafe as I had my young kids with me and they needed to be fed and watered. On return I went 17 minutes over the 2 hours. I was amazed that even providing links to the accident both appeals have failed. There's no way I'm going to pay as I couldn't actually leave the car park! My only concern is that I don't want any ccj's as I may be applying for a mortgage in the next year or two.
  15. I was wondering the same thing recently as im a big game fan and never tried grouse. Apparently the cost of shooting them is ridiculously high, and I wondered how that may effect supply. I actually came across them last week in Iceland of all places, 2 for £8.95. I've never seen them fresh and ready to pluck. They had a very intense 'gamey' flavour, far more so than pheasant. Next time I'll make some acidic sauce for some balance.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.