Every month, I get a wonderful fish box from Coast & Glen that always has a good variety of fish. This helps when trying to do meals plans & experimenting with new recipes as you have to get your thinking cap on. This month’s box contained some squid which was a no brainer what to do with it – salt & pepper squid.
Handily, I had been given Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food for my Christmas which featured a relatively simple recipe for salt & pepper squid. I have no idea what I did wrong but instead of lovely golden & aromatic squid, I was left with some chewy, anaemic squid. It was edible but let’s just say I won’t be in a rush to make this again!
I had better success later in the week with Red Thai Pork that I made for the first time. It was a bit of a mish mash of a recipe as I had some red thai paste left. It all came together to make a lovely dinner, which I will post the recipe for later this week.
This week coming is my sister’s birthday & she absolutely loves macarons. I had heard nothing but good things about Mademoiselle Macaron & her wonderful macarons. There was a slight problem with my plan of getting some for my sister in that I live in Glasgow & the shop is based in Edinburgh. A bit of a jaunt to go through just for some cakes. Then Billington’s in Lenzie came to my rescue as luck would have it, they started stocking the macarons last week!
Billington’s has been awarded best deli in Scotland by the BBC Good Food Show 2 years running & I met the lovely Mark & Sue at the show last year. When we entered the shop, I could see exactly why they had been awarded the prestige – it’s like an aladdin’s cave for foodies! They stock lots of small suppliers I have come across at shows but never seen their stock anywhere to buy. Aside from the macarons, I managed to contain myself & pick up some other goodies including Poporopo popcorn, some craft beers & possibly the best brownie I’ve ever tasted in my life from Woods. Honestly, this was a fudgey, salty, caramely piece of heaven (and I only had a couple of bites!!). I did state that I had to walk out with blinkers on so I didn’t buy more stuff! Definitely worth a trip out to Lenzie to see what they have in store.
After my sunday dinner of goulash & tempranillo, the waffle maker broke its cherry & produced some half decent waffles! It was the first time I’ve ever made them so I knew they wouldn’t be up to belgian waffle standard but it is the goal!
PS if you haven’t seen my foodie bucketlist post, then why not?! Check it out here.
For our last meal out of 2012, we decided to go somewhere we hadn’t been before. As I had the choice, I opted for Central Market, a recently opened restaurant in the Merchant City of Glasgow.
We went along & were seated upstairs in the balcony area which I was quite happy with as you could see everything that was going on. It isn’t the largest of restaurants but they can easily accommodate large parties as a table of around 12 with children were next to us. A couple of nice touches Central Market has is to have their oysters on display at the front of the bar, proving that they are fresh & also having a relatively open plan kitchen, allowing you to see exactly where your food is coming from. The toilets are unisex which is quite unusual! Another mention is that a pint of Bierra Moretti is only £4, much cheaper than Italian restaurants in the city – this was a big tick for Al.
Central Market’s menu can’t really be describe as run of the mill. They offer a lot of brunch items, with a range of sandwiches for lunchtime. Their main menu has the usual items such as terrine, mussels, steak & burgers but they also offer more unusual items like sardines, steak tartare & pork shoulder steak. Part of the reason for choosing the Central Market was that they served oysters & I had been wanting them since The Grill On The Corner had run out the night we were in. For starters we opted for 6 Oysters & Sardines to share and for mains I went for the Spatchcock Poussain & Al went for the 6oz Burger.
We managed to get the last portion of sardines available & I have to say I wasn’t too sure about them when they arrived as they came whole which meant fish bones!! I have to admit, my first thoughts were soon set aside after tucking into them. They were excellent! The meat fell off the bones & any bones that were left over were big enough for you to notice them. The sardines came with a lime & chorizo oil which really complimented the fish. The lime was a good contrast. We soon tucked into the oysters which came with 3 accompaniments – tabasco (yay!), soy sauce & a red onion viniagrette type sauce. I tried all 3 & they all went very well, with only the red onion one maybe being a bit too tart for my liking.
There wasn’t a long wait between our starter & main. The spatchcock poussain was delicious! I don’t know what seasoning they had put on the chicken skin but it was slightly crunchy with a salty taste to it, really nice. It was accompanied by roast anya potatoes & a sprout salad. It tasted a bit like coleslaw as it was quite creamy but it went really well with the spatchcock & I wish they had a deli section so I could go & get a tub of it to take home!! Neither myself or Al are big tomato fans so when I noticed him tucking into the burger without taking the tomato out I asked him if he’d forgotten. He pointed to the bottom of the burger where the tomato was mushed up & he said it actually didn’t taste like a tomato, it was more of a smokey flavour. I had a taste of the burger & to me it tasted a bit like a hot dog! Not that it was unpleasant, just a bit different from the usual strong beef flavour you would expect. The french fries were also nice & crispy & not overly pre-salted.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our first visit to Central Market. I’ve since recommended it to a few people & intend on going back to try Steak Tartare for the first time!