Friday, 25 July 2014

Hot Steak Ciabatta Sandwich with Mustard Mayo

Cooked correctly a good steak is something truly special.  Easy, simple no fuss cooking is all that's needed.  Oh yes this is thing of deliciousness.  But of course a good piece of steak and mine came from Meat Porter.  


Apologies to any vegetarians out there.  Personally I'm a fan of rump steak over sirloin - why?  Because it seems to have more flavour than sirloin.  A decent amount of fat around the edge is vital for cooking in a grill pan since it adds flavour and keeps the steak moist and tender.  Rump steak also happens to be cheaper than sirloin too!
Medium rare is the way to go, although being awkward I like my steak to be more rare than medium, if that makes sense - I know what I mean anyway!

Giveaway - Set of ZING Silicone Kitchen Tools

How do you fancy winning a this lovely set of kitchen tools?  Well one lucky reader will do just that in this easy to enter giveaway.  ZING silicone kitchen tools from Premier Housewares are already available in seven ZING colours but now they've added new Sunshine Yellow making a total of eight fabulous colours to choose from. Spatulas, spoons, whisks, colanders and sieves all feature as well as trivets, spoon rests, kitchen scales and rolling pins!


Made from silicone, the range is durable and heat resistant to 240 ᵒc so it not only looks good and performs better for longer.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Banana Caramel and Chocolate Dessert Pizza

The Italian Restaurant Zizzi recently set me a challenge to create a dessert pizza or any savoury dish that could be turned sweet.  I first came up with a possible of a Cinnamon and Caramelised Apple Lasagne but sadly although it tasted okay it wasn't somehow quite right and certainly didn't work photography wise.
I'm not one to give up easily and although I had to let it go this time, I'll work on it!


 If you'd like have a go at making my easy to make Banana, Caramel and Chocolate Pizza you can find the recipe here.

After an amazing meal at Zizzi and feeling inspired by the new addition to their new dessert menu - 'Strawberry and Chocolate Pizza' I took on Zizzi's challenge and made my own dessert pizza.  Banana and Caramel Drizzled with Dark Chocolate.  I was really pleased with the result especially because I very rarely make dessert and never know where to begin.  I must say that trying their new dessert really did inspire me to get thinking and have a go.  Hopefully after reading this post then you also might want to have a go yourself.

Here are a few snapshots of our visit to a Zizzi restaurant and more about their 
Strawberry and Chocolate Pizza: 
While we were in the restaurant, part of the challenge was to Tweet/ Instagram using #SweetPizza - it was so funny. We'd purposely gone to the restaurant earlier in the evening than we'd usually go since people would be wondering what an earth we were doing!

Please excuse my poor photographs as you will appreciate I couldn't take my proper camera and as you would expect restaurants just aren't set up with the correct lighting for food photography.

Since we were sitting directly in front of the chef I just had to ask if I could take his picture - it's okay he knew it would end up in this blog post and thought it was cool!


Our starter dishes arrived, we ordered different dishes so we could share and we absolutely loved this one - Fonduta Formaggi a pot of melted cheese, gorgonzola, gruyère and pecorino with baked dough sticks and focaccia bread for dipping.

To the side of the picture you can just see part of the other dish we had ordered, Arancini - Risotto balls with mozzarella, peas and a breadcrumb coating. There are three risotto balls and they're served with a chunky tomato peperonata dip. Warning - they are very moreish!
 

Now for the main course - Oh my word just look at the size the pizza Paul chose!
The Rustica Sofia pizza had lots of lovely spicy chicken, pepperoni, spicy sausage and mozzarella along with chilli and rosemary.  Yep he managed to eat the whole thing!  I was allowed a tiny bit to try it and we both really liked it.


 Here I am not quite knowing where to begin as the Spiedini Pollo (Roast chicken breast with red onions, courgettes and peppers) was as you can see, also huge.  It came with a side of Tuscan potatoes with a white wine and lemon sauce.  It was too nice and it had to be eaten!  The chicken was lovely and tender and the potatoes and sauce were a treat to eat.  But I was getting concerned by now, as we'd already eaten loads and still had to try the Strawberry and Chocolate pizza!


Now I must tell you about this dessert Pizza - Melting Marshmallows and Fresh Strawberries drizzled with Warm Chocolate and Hazelnut sauce - what's not to like?


Yes this is something that has to be ordered.  I must admit even though I'm not a fan of sweet things, this pizza wasn't too sweet at all and the base thin, crispy and light.  The strawberries work really well and take away the much of the sweetness so it isn't overly so and we both thought it was just perfect.

My one recommendation is that after eating a huge meal at Zizzi you seriously only need one of these pizzas to share between two people.  But us greedy pair just had to order the Chocolate and Banana Calzone as well as the pizza which you just see in the background of my picture.  Yes that was also seriously good although it was of course a lot sweeter than the Strawberry and Chocolate pizza which I personally preferred.  Paul however, is a huge fan of both desserts!

  Make sure you try out the ultimate sweet treat from Zizzi this summer.  You can find your local restaurant here.  If you're feeling inspired to turn more savoury things sweet, share your creations with #SweetPizza


  If you'd like more information on Zizzi pop over and visit them here.  

Disclaimer:  Many thanks to Zizzi in Shrewsbury and the fantastic meal and service from their staff.  I was set a challenge by Zizzi to create my own sweet pizza.  We were guests at Zizzi restaurant and I have been compensated for my time and the ingredients used.   All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Caramelita Ice Cream Sundae with Caramel and Mascarpone Whipped Cream

Along with a few other food bloggers, Mövenpick recently set me a challenge which was to create an Ice Cream Sundae using Mövenpick ice cream and I could add any additional non-ice cream ingredients I fancied.  But I had another challenge of my own, which was to try to take photographs before it melted!


That said, this Sundae made with Mövenpick Caramelita ice cream makes for perfect eating with the lovely hot weather we're currently enjoying here in the UK.

 Mövenpick Ice Cream is a luxury Swiss ice cream that doesn't contain any artificial additives or colours and tastes truly delicious.  It can be purchased at Ocado and besides Caramelita it is available in many other flavours.



Saturday, 19 July 2014

Meat Box Delivery from Meat Porter - Review

There's nothing quite like a good sized English Breakfast to keep you full pretty much all day long.
Of course good quality ingredients are essential.  Proper bacon (smoked back bacon is the only way to go in my opinion) and nicely seasoned meaty sausages  - both have to be just right.
Okay that's the meat sorted so now for the mushrooms, I love these baby portobello mushrooms.  A nice big tomato is essential, baked beans are good too and any leftover cooked potatoes are perfect - just fry them till they start to brown along with the rest of the breakfast.  Another essential is a lovely golden yolked fried egg or two.  Pop some fresh crusty buttered bread on the side of the plate and you're done.
Having recently been sent a rather nice box of meat from Meat Porter, a full English breakfast just had to happen.


Meat Porter is an online artisan butcher, sourcing and delivering high quality fresh meat to your door. We source from the same producers as top London restaurants, guaranteeing you that gourmet experience every time you dine.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Cherry and Chocolate Meringue Dessert

How can anyone resist a bowl of lovely cherries?  This simple dessert can be made in a flash - Meringue nests and whipped cream topped with fresh cherries and drizzled with melted chocolate.  


Did you know that tomorrow July 16th is National Cherry Day?  Cherries are so nice to eat but the pesty stone inside does make them a bit messy.  However, the new Cherry/Olive Pitter from OXO Good-Grips makes it a doddle to remove cherry stones without mess, making them so much nicer to eat and ready form some sort of dessert or make a sauce.

Here are a couple of pictures I've taken showing the Cherry Pitter in action:

Remove the stem from a cherry and pop it into the holder - stem side up.  Press down to remove the stone.  
 

The OXO Good-Grips Cherry Pitter also works on large cherries too.  Once you've finished just remove the splatter shield by twisting to clean.  Dishwasher safe but it really isn't necessary, hot sudsy water will do the trick. 

Why Cherries are Good for You - text from The Guardian Online.
Anthocyanins in cherries appear to have a marked anti-inflammatory action. Specifically, these compounds seem to be highly effective in treating gout, a condition that causes painful swelling in joints. Last year, a Boston Medical Center study reported that eating cherries reduces gout attacks by 35%. Cherries are also one of the few food sources of the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep patterns. A study published in 2011 in the European Journal of Nutrition, reported that eating tart montmorency (or morello) cherries significantly raised levels of melatonin and improved sleep. Compared to most other fruits, cherries are low in sugar, which makes them an ideal choice for people who want to lose weight.

 To find out more about the Cherry/Olive Pitter and their other great products pop over to the

Celebrate National Cherry day and have a go at this dessert!
 

 Ps:  All the while I was typing this post I kept typing the word 'cheery' instead of cherry - but if they help you get a good nights sleep then that in turn will make you cheery!

 Many thanks to Zara and OXO Good-Grips for sending me this product to review.
Disclaimer: All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Fro-Fru Frozen Fruit Dessert Maker - Review

Frozen Fruit (Fro-Fru)
This refreshing pineapple sorbet was made in less than a minute (after freezing the fruit beforehand) thanks to this great little gadget 'Fro-Fru' from Judge Cookware.  
Of course you can use whatever fruit takes your fancy, bananas, strawberries, blackberries, peaches, raspberries - the list is endless.  Dairy products - milk, cream and yogurt can be used to conjure up a delicious dessert in no time at all.  Kids and adults alike will love this little machine! 


 Here's a few proper pictures of the Fro-Fru from Judge Cookware:




Sunday, 6 July 2014

Butternut Squash Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Looking at the ingredients list at first glance this may seem like a bit too much faffing about for your liking, but let me tell you the result is so worth it.
Panch Phoran is a bland of a few simple spices and doesn't require grinding - the spices are kept whole so it can be made very easily in just one minute.  Fantastic to keep in the store cupboard and will make a huge difference to any Indian style curry you make. You can see in a previous post of mine just how easy it is to make Panch Phoran - also known as Indian Five-spice.


The butternut adds lovely vibrant colour and a slightly sweet taste to this richly spiced curry.  Be assured that the word 'spiced' does not actually mean this is extra hot (as in spicy) this is just a lovely warming delicious and very tasty curry.  That said if you do want it hotter just add more chilli.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Giveaway - Strawberry Huller and Berry Bowl by OXO Good Grips

You might have seen a recent post of mine in which I reviewed the new Strawberry Huller and Berry Bowl from OXO Good Grips?  Well I have some good news - one lucky reader will have the chance to win one of each of these products for themselves.


The Berry Bowl comes complete with a colander and a clip on lid so you can keep your strawberries nice and fresh.  Of course it's not just for strawberries, it's great for salad too.

The Strawberry Huller is so easy to use and makes quick and tidy work of removing the hulls from your strawberries as you can see:

  
Now for the Giveaway:
One lucky reader will win a Berry Bowl and a Strawberry Huller from OXO Good Grips - but there's more!
The winner will then be entered into a separate giveaway (outside of A Glug of Oil) and will be in for a chance to win  A Years Supply of Strawberries from Berry World!

This giveaway ends 15th July 2014 or as shown in the Rafflecopter widget
 Entries to this giveaway must be via the Rafflecopter widget. Please note the prize can only be sent to the UK mainland only. 
 To see a short video on how easy it is to use Rafflecopter click here.
*Inappropriate comments will be deleted and entry/entries to the competition removed.  
 For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here - Entries that do not show the URL of the Tweet will be removed.
There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries.
Competition end time is as shown on the Rafflecopter widget.
Good Luck Everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note - since Raffflecopter won't allow me to add the Terms and Conditions in the widget I've posted them here:
    This giveaway is open to all readers over 18, who live in the UK mainland only.
The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.
The winner will be contacted by e-mail, if they do not respond within 3 days another winner may be chosen.
There is one prize consisting of one OXO Good Grips Berry Bowl and one OXO Good Grips Strawberry Huller.
I am running this competition in good faith on behalf of OXO Good Grips. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
They reserve the right to substitute the prize for one of a similar type / value if the prize above is not available.
Instructions form part of the terms and conditions. Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified.
The organiser reserves the right to alter the closing date of the giveaway, either closing early or extending without notice.
Changes to the closing date if they occur will be shown on this page via the Rafflecopter widget.
Where prizes are to be provided by a third party A Glug of Oil will have no responsibility for the acts or defaults of any other persons.
There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries.
Follow the instructions in the form above. If you already like/follow please comment in the Rafflecopter widget and let me know to get your entries.


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Chicken with Chorizo and Chilli - Ragu Pour Over Sauce

As someone that really enjoys cooking I don't often use ready made sauces.  That said, of course I do if I'm in a hurry or on a day when I simply can't be bothered.  Ragu have recently launched a new range of pour over sauces and I was sent some to try.  The sauces can be used with meat of your choice, chicken, fish or of course over pasta. 


There are four sauces in the range (although only three are shown in the lovely hamper I was sent) because one pot had sadly met with a bit of an accident in the post!



Each pot serves 2-3 and comes in a microwavable 370g pot and is ready to serve in just 2 minutes. With a RRP of £1.69 a pot I think that's excellent value - the range consists of:
Arrabbiata, Primavera, Sun-dried Tomato and Black Olive and Chorizo and Chilli.

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