Bunny Chow Soho

Tuesday, May 26, 2015



Bunnychow is a South African street-food concept that has recently landed in Soho's Wardour Street.

With a menu that centres on feisty, flavoursome ‘bunnys’ - freshly baked buns, hollowed out, crammed with delicious hot fillings and topped with a bread ‘lid’ - Bunnychow has transformed a traditional Durban workers meal into a London lunchtime staple.

Bunny Chows began in Durban in the 1940s as a portable lunch solution for migrant Indian plantation workers that were often banned from certain cafes during Apartheid. Since the traditional Indian meal of roti and beans tended to fall apart easily, they filled loaves with curry and topped it with the bread lid.

The bunny chow was created and has developed over the years to become a hugely popular street food. While travelling across Africa, Bunnychow CEO, Atholll Milton, saw their potential and introduced them to London in 2013.



Last week I visited the restaurant with a few friends to try our very first Bunny Chow, and oh my we were impressed! We all agreed the quality of the ingredients was such good value for money, with each Bunny packed to the brim.

The ‘Chakalaka Bunny’ (left), is inspired by a spicy relish first developed in the townships of Johannesburg whist the ‘Durban Bunny’ bears the most resemblance to the original Bunny Chow.



The 'Piri Piri Pork Bunny' (left) features 8 hour pulled pork with Piri Piri sauce and 'Veggie Bunny' contains a delicious mix of spiced cauliflower, chickpea and potato. 


Torn apart with messy fingers, scooped out with a fork or dunked into like a soup, the only way to eat a bunny is with pure unadulterated delight!
Cauliflower, chickpea, potato, spicy Durban sauce

BBQ Pulled Quorn and pink coleslaw recipe

Friday, May 22, 2015


Last week I joined Quorn UK at The Underground Cookery School to find out more about their products and learn how to cook with them.

Growing up my family would enjoy Quorn in family meals such as Spaghetti Bolognese as my sister is vegetarian and it made it easier for my mum to cook. However, after I moved out I stopped buying Quorn products  (with exception of buying the off pack of 'scotch eggs' for when my sister visited).



I was stunned to find out that Quorn contains 90% less fat and sat fat than the same amount of lean beef mince, 50% less calories and 500% times the fibre.

Swapping surely is a no brainier, right? Having spoken to my boyfriend, he explained the main reason why he's not too keen on 'making the swap' is because he believes it compromises on flavour.

At the event I discovered I had been cooking with Quorn wrong the whole time! Quorn is a great flavour absorber, and to ensure your food is tasty, you must marinate it first - something I had never done. 

This revolution has resulted in lots of delicious recipes, including curries, Shepard's pie and even 'pulled pork' style buns. I've posted the recipe below, and will be following up with others soon. Enjoy, and thank me later!


Ingredients for 10 
10 Quorn fillets, defrosted
200ml BBQ sauce
10 bread buns

Coleslaw
150g white cabbage, finely shredded
150g red cabbage, finely shredded
150g carrots, grated
100g red onion, finely chopped
4tbsp mayonnaise, low fat variety or natural yogurt
1tsp Dijon mustard (optional)

Method:

1. Cover the Quorn fillets with the BBQ sauce. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.



2. Mix together all the coleslaw ingredients and season to taste, chill until required.



3. Tip the Quorn onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180C/Gas Mark 4 or until core temperature is reached.



4. Divide the coleslaw between the buns. Shred the Quorn fillets and fill buns with all ingredients.

Thanks to Preston Perfect Photography for providing some of these images.

Dubliner Irish Whiskey Liqueur

Wednesday, May 20, 2015



Last week I was sent a sample of Dubliner, a new spirit in the UK. 

Dubliner is an incredibly versatile liqueur containing Irish Whiskey from the Midleton distillery in County Cork blended with sweet Irish Honeycomb. 

The sweet caramel flavour works well in cocktails, straight over ice or in coffee - no sugar needed!

I've also baked with the liqueur by throwing it into my apple pie and bread & butter pudding - both were delicious!I'm planning to stir it into cream come winter to make a decadent whiskey cream... mmmm!

Available for £20 here.
 

Basement Sate | pastry master class

Friday, May 15, 2015


Last week I visited Soho’s coolest cocktail and dessert bar, Basement Sate, to learn how to create the perfect lemon meringue pie. Led by newly appointed Pastry Chef Kelly Nadjarian, masterclass was held in the venue's cosy kitchen.

Hailing from Paris, Kelly has worked in many prestigious establishments throughout France and the UK. With a great sense of humour and unbeatable pastry knowledge, Kelly put our group instantly at ease (even when using the blow torch!).



 
Our three hour course consisted of learning how to create lemon curd, the pastry case and French meringue topping all from scratch. From juicing the lemons to whipping eggs, Kelly was behind us teaching us her tips and tricks. I got to take my lemon-y masterpiece home for the family to try, and boy was it a hit! The case was soft, the filling was zingy and the meringue was light and fluffy... what a dream!

Kelly will be offering afternoon Pastry lessons available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for groups of up to 5. Guests can choose which dessert the lesson will be based on, from delicate macaroons to scrumptious mille feuilles. With lessons priced at £70 for the group (yes that's right, for the whole group, not per person) this is a great activity for friends to learn some new skills in the kitchen.


Basement Sate will continue to offer their special drinks and dessert pairing menu on Tuesdays, which consists of 3 desserts and 3 cocktails for £36, and their cocktail master-classes, priced at £30, also available on Mondays.

The black farmer | Coeliac Awareness week

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


With one in 100 people in the UK suffering with Coeliac Disease, and over half a million believed to be undiagnosed and suffering needlessly, gluten free food seems to be in high demand.

Only 24% of those with the condition are medically diagnosed, which means half a million people in the UK are living with undiagnosed Coeliac Disease.

This week sees the launch of Coeliac UK’s Awareness Week, which aims to halve the length of time to confirm a diagnosis (which is currently on average a staggering 13 years!) and reduce misdiagnosis of IBS by 50%.

 
Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, aka The Black Farmer, alerted me to these staggering figures by email, stating he will be supporting Coeliac UK’s Awareness Week by featuring “Get Tested” stickers on its packs of gluten-free foods.

After working as a chef and a producer/director for the BBC, Wilfred bought a small farm on the Devon/Cornwall border, and ten years ago launched The Black Farmer food brand whose products are now available in all major multiple retailers.

The brand markets award winning gluten free sausages which I recently took to a friend's BBQ - both sufferes and those non effected enjoyed the sausages (we couldn't event tell the difference!) and the 'get tested' was a big talking point over lunch.

If you believe you may suffer with Coeliac disease you can find more info here.