Oh wow, its been a while since I’ve written in this. So long that I’m going to stop counting weeks of being veggie since I’ve lost track. So long, in fact, that I am no longer a student. I finished my exams around 3 weeks ago, handed in my dissertation even before that, and I’m currently on the long-haul job hunt. Although right at this moment, I’ve got a rather nasty kidney infection, so I’m laid out with that. Even had to cancel one of my trips this year, with a friend to Copenhagen, which sucks SO MUCH. BUT looking on the bright side, I’ve got a number of awesome things to post about, all food related, and all so full of NOMS you will be happy to read them I hope.
SO on to business. Last time I wrote about chinese food and the Boy coming home from tour, and the last few weeks before my dissertation hand-in date. For now, I’m going to write about snack food for vegetarians. Not the most difficult thing to dream up, I am willing to concede this, but always fun, and really quite a practical consideration, since I am relatively lazy, can get very busy, and have been known to forget to eat when these things collide. Which is not a sensible thing to do, I agree. One of my happiest discoveries was the Quorn scotch egg snack things. WOW those things are awesome! They taste so much better than meat ones too, since I guess the creators decided that they needed them ultra spiced and herb’d to appeal to our taste buds. Well it worked. Those things are brilliant. And I’m more than willing to admit that they may well be junk food, but that’s ok. I don’t live off them, but I’ve definitely been known to enjoy them. And honestly, as far as junk food goes, they really aren’t that bad, guys, c’mon.
Now, the next thing that I got in to, just by chance really, was tapas. I know that’s a kind of no-brainer for a lot of people, but honestly, coming from a Turkish area where humus, pita bread, tzatziki and all sorts of other yummy things are available literally 24 hours a day, its easy to not get excited about tapas. ‘Cause that kinda what you eat all the time when you’re feeling lazy. Or tired. Or just fancy bread and dips. The place that converted me to tapas, is called Cuba Libre, and it lives on Upper Street. Apparently it was the first Cuban restaurant and tapas bar in London, which I’m certainly willing to believe. They’ve got all sorts of deals on tapas- you know the kind of thing- 3 dishes for £6 or something like that. And I met my mum at the Angel one saturday after an early wake up with the Boy going to football, and we went there for lunch. I was prepared to have to order multiple bowls of patatas bravas to make up for a lack of veggies, but there was no such lack.
As you can see in the photo, I got olives, patatas bravas, spanish omelette (SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOU CAN COMPREHEND FROM IT BEING CALLED A SPANISH OMELETTE OMG), and stuffed mushrooms. Now, really I didn’t eat the mushrooms- they were in a pink-ish sauce that I didn’t really like, and were a little dry on the outside, but JEEZ the rest of it was good. And it was all served on little wooden dishes on a big wooden tray! So cute!
One of the things I really like about Cuba Libre is the atmosphere there. The staff are always friendly and helpful and attentive but not annoying. I’ve heard their 2-for-1 cocktails in the evening are also really good, and I cannot lie about my partiality for mojitos…They also do paella on the weekends, with meat-free ones available too. All sorts of fun stuff like that.
In terms of things that I would cook myself at home, the spanish omelette was definitely something that got me interested. Yeah, it was essentially just a potato omelette, but really this was done more like an egg and potato dauphinois, with less cheese and a tonne of garlic. It was also definitely on my incentive list for getting a cast iron skillet (frying pan), which is firmly on my birthday/employment list. I figure the best way to do something like that would be do prepare it a little like a dauphinois or gratin, and pour the eggs in to the pan, hot, in layers, with sauteed garlic slices, maybe some spring onion too, and then whack it under the grill to finish the top, perhaps with some cheese too. So much potential for variations there really, since eggs and potatoes are such a great base. Bare in mind I’ve not tried this myself yet, but certainly intend to, and will probably cover it here at some point if I do…
- The Little Tapas Book (thefoodielist.co.uk)
- Tapas! (1garamchai.wordpress.com)
- Patatas Bravas (kiefferscooks.com)