What we’ve been up to…. Serena (London Film Festival)
A young lady rides her horse carefree in the woods. Suddenly, a man appears behind her. “What are you doing?” she justifiably asks. “Just came to say hello,” he answers. “Hello,” she replies. The man presents himself. “George Pemberton,” he says. “Serena Shaw,” she responds. “I think we should be married,” George tells her. She laughs. Three minutes later, after a quick succession of shots depicting the joyful moments that these two lovebirds share, we find them newly married in Louisiana. You may think that romance was easy in the 1930s but the fact is that these two characters are played by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. It’s their third movie together (after Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle) and we know that they have strong chemistry together, so this romance seemed inevitable from the start.
With a modest duration of 102 minutes the film wastes no time in putting in place all the pieces that make an engrossing depression-era drama: there’s two fierce but flawed central characters who have their own demons to face, supporting characters who are there to make the protagonist’s lives difficult (a sheriff and a henchman gamely played by Toby Jones and Rhys Ifans respectively) and a tragedy that concludes a bigger-than-life romance. So nothing in this film is particularly original but acclaimed Danish director Susanne Bier treats the story with her characteristic sensibility, getting under the skin of the characters. A special mention must be given to the beautiful landscapes and the high production values that transport you back to the 19th century.
For lovers of old-school melodrama then, Serena will be a good-night out. The cynics amongst the audience though may well think that all this drama unfolding in the screen could be avoided if Mr’s Pemberton pick-up line was something different from a marriage proposal. (Words: Apostolos Kostoulas)
Serena had its world premiere at the 58th BFI London Film Festival and it will be released nationwide on 24 October.
One week to go till the magnificent @djjazzyjeff alongside @djmk @djmrthing @cjbeatz & more at Plan B.
Only 100 tickets left so don’t hang about!
Something you should serve… Methi and Chickpea Tikki with Red Cabbage Achar and Tandoori Baby Chicken
These delicious recipes come from Carom, the pan-Indian restaurant in Soho that unveiled a new look and menu this summer. The dishes only take 30 minutes to whip up, making them a perfect choice for starters (or a quickie tapas-style meal with a bit of naan bread on the side). Enjoy!
The Methi & Chickpea tikki with Red cabbage Achar (Serves 4)
For the tikki
- 300g Fresh Methi (Feugreek leaves)
- 200g Cooked Chickpeas
- 100g Boiled Potatoes (Grated)
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 20g Green chilli
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- 20ml Vegetable oil
- Salt (to taste)
For the Achar / Pickle
- 250g Red cabbage
- 50ml Vinegar
- 5ml Vegetable oil
- ½ tsp Mustard
- 1 Whole red chilli
- Salt (to taste)
Prep for Tikki: 10 mins
- Roughly chop the methi and green chilli, grate the potatoes and smash the chickpeas
- Heat oil in a pan, add cumin until oil crackles and follow by adding the green chilli then methi. Sauté over slowly, add turmeric powder.
- Add the chickpeas and potatoes and mix thoroughly. Add salt to taste.
- Cook until if forms a good mixture and a consistent green shade. Remove from pan and allow mixture to cool.
- Roll out balls of approximately 60g, place between palms and press gently to form a patty. Keep refrigerated.
Prep for Achar / Pickle: 10 mins
- Shred red cabbage as thin as possible. Rinse in cold water, to remove excess colour. Soak in vinegar for 1 hour. Drain excess water
- Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and allow to crackle. Add chopped red chilli, cabbage, sauté for few minutes, add salt to taste and the remove the pan from the hob
- Once cool, store in an air-tight container
Cooking & Presentation: 5 mins
- Heat a thick bottomed grill pan over a slow flame, add oil sparingly. Gently add patties, turn around after two minutes or until golden brown on either side
- Add a spoon full of your favourite chutney, push it across the plate with spoon edge to make a nice arch, place two patties per person, and a tsp of red cabbage pickle
- May add red wine vinegar instead of normal vinegar, to enhance flavour
Tandoori Baby Chicken (Serves 4)
- 300g Baby Chicken-Poussin
- 1 lime
- ½ g Saffron
- 200g Greek Yoghurt
- 10g Cumin powder
- 15g Garam masala
- 30g Ginger & garlic paste
- 3 chopped Green chillies
- 15g Vegetable oil
- Salt (to taste)
Prep: 10 mins
- Cut chicken in halves and remove skin
- Mix all your marinade ingredients together
- Apply this over the chicken, cover and leave in fridge for an hour
Procedure to cook: 20 mins
- Pre heat oven to 180oC, place the chicken in centre and cook for approx 15 minutes
- Baste the chicken applying butter or oil regularly while cooking. Check the thickest part towards the bone is fully cooked before serving
- Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven, apply a knob of butter and finish with a generous squeeze of lime
Vishnu Natarajan, chef: “This is not a normal red coloured Tandoor chicken that you find most places. It should be a yellowish colour due to saffron, with golden brown marks obtained from roasting. Personally I love to have it with a bit of curry – presented on a bed of curry in a serving dish with the Tandoori chicken on top to bring all the senses together: colours for eyes, flavours, temperatures, textures and finally the taste to remember”
Beauty in a Bowl!!! This is @rachaelrayshow ‘s hot and sweet sliced steak noodle bowl; uses wholegrain spaghetti, beef, onions, plenty of garlic, ginger, tamari and siracha sauce. I added the peppers for colour. The aroma alone is just WOW!! Tastes great too 😊#theartofeatingwellcontinues
Finally got the chance to soak the base ingredients for the @hemsleyhemsley mango cashew cream, a great (and healthier!) topping for pancakes, oats, cakes, etc. Extra ingredients are honey, vanilla essence and a pinch of salt and they’re all blended together - turbo speed! #theartofeatingwellcontinues
Rachel Ray’s poblano cream linguine with shrimp remixed - I used prawns, wholemeal spaghetti and peas instead! #theartofeatingwellcontinues
Sausage lovers! We’ve just got word that a brand new Herman ze German restaurant opens on Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia next week (9th October). If you’ve never checked ‘em out, put it on your hitlist this month - their currywurst is legendary!
Something you should serve… East London Liquor Company Gin Cured Salmon
This recipe comes from Natalie Coleman, the former credit controller and techno DJ from Hackney who won Masterchef in 2013. She teamed up with East Village London earlier this month to create a menu which used locally sourced ingredients from the East End.
East London Liquor Company Gin Cured Salmon
Serves 12 people
- 1 side of Salmon Fillet – skin on and pin boned (1kg)
- 300g Rock Salt
- 100ml of dry gin (preferable East London Liquor Company)
- 250g Caster Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Juniper Berries
- 1 Teasp Black Peppercorns
- 35g Dill – Roughly Chopped
- Zest of 2 Lemons
- Zest of 2 Limes
- Crusty Sour Dough
- 250ml Crème Fraiche
- Cornichons – small jar
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Dill – finely chopped
- Toast the peppercorns and juniper berries in a dry pan for 1-2mins.
- Once toasted then crush them in a pestle and mortar. You don’t want to grind then to a powder, only lightly crush them.
- Then in a large mixing bowl place all of the ingredients (except the salmon) and mix so everything is incorporated well.
- On a clean work surface, then lay cling film for the salmon to sit on. It’s best to use two lengths and overlap so they make one sheet. I like to let the cling film overhang the work surface to its easy to roll up, and you want to roll around 50cm in length.
- Place the salmon fillet onto the cling film and pat dry using kitchen paper, and then spread the curing mixture over the fillet evenly.
- Then carefully wrap the fillet up. Once wrapped, re-wrap in 3 more layers.
- Place this into a roasting tin or something of similar size, and then place another roasting tin on top of the salmon to weigh this down. You can use tins/jars for added weight.
- Then put this into the fridge and leave for 2-3 days. After this time remove from fridge and unwrap, and then discard cling film and rinse under a cold tap to remove the rest of the cure. Pat dry using kitchen paper.
- To serve, slice the salmon into thin slices and serve with toasted sour dough and crème fraiche.
Natalie’s cookbook Winning Recipes: For Every Day comes out on 2nd October. For more info, visit: www.nataliecolemanchef.co.uk/book.
Good morning! About to go in on this super-easy breakfast Bircher: oats soaked in Apple juice overnight, topped with yoghurt, raisins, stewed apples and cinnamon… #theartofeatingwellcontinues
Friday night, pizza night! Chorizo, basil, cheese and chilli on a cauliflower base! #foodiesdelight