9.21.2015

USE YOUR LOAF - LOVE FOOD HATE WASTE

Yesterday I went to the Cookhouse of Borough Market for a special meal. It was hosted by the Love Food Hate Waste organisation and the meal was cooked by the reigning Great British Bake Off champion Nancy Birtwhistle.
Every year in the UK, around 24 million slices of bread are thrown out every day. Love Food Hate Waste’s campaigns aim to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste and help up take of action. Their new campaign is Use Your Loaf, and is focused on giving tips on how to use your loaf up or store it differently in order to reduce food waste.

During this event, Nancy Birtwhistle and LFHW shared their tips and recipes to recycle a good old piece of loaf. The first dish was a niçoise salad, it was served with olive tapenade croutons made from stale white bread. I wasn’t very impressed by this recipe as I usually use stale bread to do croutons to go with my salad or soup.
The second recipe was a thrifty moussaka with a breadcrumb topping. The dish was very light and delicious. I really liked this recipe because it tasted so healthy despite the cheesy breadcrumbs. I think I will do this recipe again with quorn mince to get a 100% vegetarian version. The dessert was a summer pudding terrine with berries. This recipe was the most original, the pudding was very moist and had a great bitter sweet taste (see the recipe further down below).
As a French girl, my motto is a bit like the Boursin advert: "Some bread, some wine, some Boursin”. BTW...this motto works for me with any kind of cheese.  I love bread so much, it is a sacrilege to waste it.

My top 5 tips to keep your loaf a bit longer or use it after ‘best before date’:
1- Put your loaf into the fridge from purchase day, it lasts longer.
2- Cook pain perdu for breakfast, sweet snack or dessert. It is such an easy and quick recipe: mix 3 eggs with 25cl of milk, dip your slice of old/stale bread and pan fried with butter. Served with a bit of sugar or jam on top.
3- Invite some friends around, toast your bread/loaf and serve it with some cheese and charcuterie and a nice bottle of red wine.
4- Create breadcrumbs and freeze them to use with your future recipes.
5- Try to plan your meals and buy smaller amounts of bread.
 
Niçoise salad
 Thrifty moussaka with a breadcrumb topping
 Summer pudding terrine

Nancy's Summer pudding terrine

Ingredients:
  • 4 slices sliced white bread crusts removed (Stale bread of course!)
  • 350g fresh summer berries (redcurrant, blackcurrants, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 25ml Ribena
  • 30ml water
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp fruit jam
  • 20g French Morello flavour glace cherries chopped 9with scissors) not to be confused with standard glace cherries - these have much more flavour
Method
  1. In a medium saucepan place the sugar, ribbon, orange juice, zest and water, then allow to dissolve over a low heat until the sugar has gone. Add morello cherries, the jam and all of the berries - apart from the very soft raspberries and strawberries.
  2. Bring the ingredients to boil and simmer for a couple of minutes until soft. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the strawberries and raspberries - stir and leave to breath.
  3. Follow the above by lining the loaf tin with a large piece of cling film, with it over lapping the edges. Use a rolling pin to flatten your four slices of bread and line the tin with them ensuring there are no gaps.
  4. Add the fruit mixture into the tin but set aside a small amount for serving - cover with bread and fold over the sides. Place the second tin over the top and weigh down with weights from your kitchen scales.
  5. Place in the fridge and leave for 12 hours or overnight
  6. When ready to serve = remove the weights etc and upturn on an oblong plate, pour juice over any white bits and serve garnished with fresh berries with creme fraiche ou double.
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9.08.2015

L'ANNEXE DE LA BRAISIERE

One of my favourite areas to go out in Toulouse is around Place des Carmes, there are plenty of bars and nice restaurants. I went to L'Annexe de la Braisière, for an 'apéritif dinatoire' as we like to call it in France.
L'Annexe is a tapas restaurant on Rue Pharaon which is the sister restaurant of La Braisière, an institution in Toulouse if you like South Western cuisine with a convivial spirit.

My friends and I ordered a few tapas : razor clams, serrano mix, patatas braisas, salmon and mango tartare, scallops and avocado tartare, pan fried scallops and duck heart skewers. 
We started the apéritif dinatoire with some razor clams. I am always scared to order them, as sometimes they have a very strong iodised taste and they are not properly washed, so they have bits of sand. These were perfectly washed, seasoned and cooked. 
The second dish was the serrano mix, nothing can really go wrong with a mix of charcuterie...especially if you have a nice bottle of red wine served with it. 
The apéritif continued with salmon and mango tartare which was light and quite unusual. I really like this combination and will definitely try to do the same at home when I'm back in London.
The scallop, avocado  and lime tartare was ok, it tasted a bit like a ceviche but it was a bit bland. It needed more seasoning or maybe a little kick of spice somehow.  
Three and a half bottles later we had some scallops and duck hearts cooked on a plancha. This time the scallop dish was good, perfectly pan fried and seasoned with parsley. 
I am a huge fan of duck meat: foie gras, breast, confit, scratchings... but I never ate duck hearts before  that night. The hearts had a very strong taste, it was not my cup of tea but the dish was well executed. To compliment our last plates we ordered some patatas braisas, it was good but they could have been a bit more generous with the sauce.

Overall I had a very good night at L'Annexe, it was a great way to start my night in Toulouse with my friends, some wine and excellent tapas. The experience could have been better if we were seated outside as it was a bit very noisy inside and slightly hot - reminder for next time : request an outside table when I book. 

 7/10
 Razor clams // Assiette de couteaux
 Serrano mix: Serrano, magret and chorizo
 Salmon and Mango tartare // Tartare de saumon & mangue "avion" fraiche
 Scallops, avocado and lime // Tartare de St Jacques & Avocats et citron vert
 Pan-fried scallops // Noix de Saint Jacques fraiches persillées
Duck heart skewers // Brochettes de coeur de canard français
Patatas braisas

L'Annexe de la Braisière
42 Rue Pharaon 
31000 Toulouse 
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