Monday, 31 December 2012

Voracious is Square Meal's Food Blogger to Follow in 2013

New Year’s Eve dinner tonight. Our host is cooking venison, and I have been charged with preparing something to amuse the bouches. My first thought was to make my friend Sonia’s bloody Mary cherry tomatoes (tomatoes filled with infused vodka and worcester sauce) but I lack some basic equipment (syringe and needle). Perhaps Hix quail’s egg shooters instead - the insides still wibbly and topped with crunchy bacon and chives - each to be downed in one. We have plenty of time to decide, plenty of time until countdown.

Whatever it is, it needs to be fabulous to round off a fabulous year. Last week, the restaurant authority Square Meal tweeted me to say that I was one of their fifteen ‘food bloggers to follow in 2013’. What a marvellous accolade, especially when amidst the company of the likes of Hugh Wright, the perfect Felicity Cloake, gloriously acerbic Chris Pople and Niamh Shields among others. It’s also heartening to discover quality blogs - more reading to look forward to next year. 

I also write about food (and the arts and culture) for Harper's Bazaar, so if this blog does go a bit quiet, I may be at my Bazaar blog here or writing for their restaurant guide here instead. 

Anyway, thank you kindly for reading my culinary tales and I hope you continue to enjoy them fully in 2013. 

Happy New Year!


Click here for the full Square Meal feature.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Clementine Champagne

I'm feeling festive. 

The rustle of present wrapping accompanies the camp jazz-hands neon lights on the tree. We're looking forward to the hearty out-of-tune warbling at midnight mass tonight, the sprouts (with bacon, chestnuts and a splash of soy sauce, if you please), roast duck and crispy potatoes tomorrow.

And of course - the drinks. Instead of Buck's fizz, we’re having clementine champagne in the Lee household. I don't like the idea of drowning out a crisp Champagne with a potent juice, so this is my alternative.

Squeeze out the juice from 10 clementines after zesting one of them, bring the juice and zest to a simmer with 200g of caster sugar and a cinnamon stick for 3 minutes. Strain. Cool on a wintry kitchen ledge, then on Christmas morning, pour a splash in each glass and top up with Champagne (or sparkling water for the children). 

A fresh, boozy, merry start to the day.

Happy Christmas for tomorrow!