Thursday, 24 May 2018

Chaophraya Restaurant Review

Located in Saint Martins Square, Chaporhya restaurant is one of Birmingham's leading restaurants specialising in Thai cuisine. The two floor restaurant is fantastically located in the heart of the Bull ring and features outdoor seating. Inside, the decor is light, striking and there is a chefs cooking area where you can watch the chefs prepare your meal. The feel of the restaurant is light, airy and welcoming.

Image from the Bullring website

Image from the bull ring 

The restaurant is ideal if you fancy a quick drink with friends or want to do business with colleagues as there are flexible spaces and a private room. Chaoporhya also offers Thai masterclasses if you want to become a culinary expert in Thai cook. The waiting  staff were attentive and helpful, they were able to offer recommendations and suggestions for the new menu.

Chaophraya has a brand new menu which is worth checking out. To start off with, I ordered the Grilled Pork Skewers £7.45, pork marinated with coconut milk, coriander, garlic, palm sugar, honey & oyster sauce. My friend  ordered the Thai Fish Cakes £7.95, spicy fish cakes blended with green beans, lime leaves and red curry with a sweet chilli sauce and crushed peanuts. Both starters were beautifully presented and tasted delicious. The pork was tender and the dipping sauce complimented it well. My friend said the fish cakes were crispy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside.




For our main courses I ordered Prawn Pad Thai £11.95, the national dish of Thailand, restaurants own famous recipe of Thai rice noodles, stir-fried with egg, vegetables and tamarind sauce. The Prawn Pad Thai had a fiery kick to is and the prawns were succulent. I liked how the tamarind had a tangy flavour. The portion size looked deceptive small but I was pleasantly surprised at how filling the Pad Thai was.



My friend ordered the Royal Sous Vide Lamb Massaman Curry £14.95, Caramelised slow cooked lamb, with home-style massaman curry, coconut milk, carrots and potatoes topped with crispy shallots and cashew nuts. The steamed Jasmine Rice £3.45 was served separately.  My friend said that the curry had a good balance of flavours. 

A lovely dish of what I can only describe as Thai fried chicken, crispy chicken pieces marinated in Thai spices and deep fried was also served. I really enjoyed the crispy fried chicken and could of teen much more.



For desserts my friend and I shared the coconut milk pudding £7.45, A Creamy Rich Coconut Milk Pudding, Served with Sweet Coconut Milk and Toasted Coconut. We also ordered the Sticky Thai Rice £7.45, sweet sticky classic fragrant sweet mango, with sticky rice and warm coconut sauce. I'll be honest the milk pudding was not what I was expecting as it was very wobbly. I much preferred the sticky rice with mango.





Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of Chaophraya.

xxx

Share:

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Basque Scrambled Eggs

There's so many recipes and breakfast ideas I feel I'm spoilt for choice. I'm trying to eat much more eggs in my diet especially for breakfast so I'm always on the look out for recipe inspiration. This recipe is incredibly easy and takes the average scrambled eggs to another level. The chorizo is full of flavour and the peppers added a crunchy flavour.




Serves 4 -6
Ingredients
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 large green pepper, deseeded and chopped
55g chorizo sausage, sliced thinly, outer casing removed if preferred
35g butter
10 large eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper
4-6 thick sliced country style bread, toasted to serve.

Method

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and peppers and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Add the tomatoes and heat through. Transfer to a heatproof plate and keep warm in a preheated low oven.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the frying pan. Add the chorizo to the reserved vegetables.
Add a little extra olive oil, if necessary, to bring it back to 2 tablespoons. Add the butter and let it melt. Season the eggs with salt and pepper then add to the frying pan and scramble until cooked to the desired degree of firmness. Return the vegetables to the pan and stir through. Serve immediately with hot toast.
Share:

Friday, 11 May 2018

Date Crunch

Baking and healthy eating are not words that are normally associated with each other. It is possible to enjoy delicious baked sweet treats with some clever twists and baking methods. My latest cookery book purchase, Weight Watchers Seriously Satisfying has two chapters dedicated to sweet treats. I made the chocolate flapjacks a few weeks ago, but my new favourite is the date crunch. The crunch reminds me of a shortbread and the gooeyness from the dates reminds me of the cornflake tart I baked a few weeks prior.





Ingredients
Low fat cooking spray
150g pitted dates
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
125 g self raising flour
125g semolina or cornmeal
75g low fat spread
75g light brown sugar
3 teaspoon of strawberry jam (optional).

Method
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190C/Fan Oven 170C. Spray the baking tin with the cooking spray. Place the dates in a small pan with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water. Simmer gently for 5 minutes until soft and mushy. Beat or mash to a smooth paste and set aside to cool.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the semolina. Place the low fat spread and sugar in a small pan over a low heat and gently, then stir in the lemon zest. Pour over a low heat and melt gently, then stir in the lemon zest. Pour over the flour and mix to a stiff dough. Press half of the dough into the tin. If using the strawberry jam, spread this over the dough mixture. Spread the date mixture over the dough, then top with the remaining dough, passing down gently. Bake for 30 minutes until golden.
Remove from the oven.  Cut into squares. Leave to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

xxx
Share:

Sunday, 6 May 2018

April 2018 Monthly Eatings

Another month, more fantastic restaurants to indulge in. I visited restaurants in Stafford and Wolverhampton in April.

Zizzi Stafford 



Bella Italia Wolverhampton


The Crown, Wergs Road



Fiume Restaurant Wolverhampton

Chiquitos Wolverhampton


Share:

Friday, 4 May 2018

Vegetarian 101 Recipes Celebrating Fresh Seasonal Ingredients Review

This classic vegetarian book by Alice Hart has recently been reissued. The first edition published in 2011 was a classic and critically acclaimed cookery book specialising in Vegetarian cuisine. There are many vegetarian and vegan cookery books being released at the moment, but this book in my opinion will be a classic. There are a number of fresh and delicious recipes which challenges people to change the way they think about vegetarian cooking. I like the flavour combinations and innovative recipes used throughout and although the recipes are innovative, the recipes are accessible. The cookery book has a sleek design with illustrations on the cover and there are a number of accompanying recipes. Vegetarian is currently retailing at £9.99  and is a welcome addition for any discerning cook. 


The cookery book is split into the following chapters:
  • Breakfast and Brunch, recipes to try include: Pear and Walnut Bircher Muesli and Blackberry Milkshake.
  • Small Bites: stand out recipes include Cumin Potato Skins and Guacamole Salsa, Spring Vegetable Pakoras and Pressed Leek Terrine with Dijon Rice.
  • Big Salads: recipes to try include Warm Salad of Slow-Roast Tomatoes and Labne on Murjadhara, Blood Orange, Mozzarella, Toasted Sourdough and Radicchio Salad.
  • Soups: Stand out recipes include: Summer Minestrone , Beetroot and Porcini Broth.
  • Breads: Recipes to try include: Quick Soda Bread and Pizza Bianca.
  • Fast: Stand out recipes include: Chilli and Crushed Walnut Rigatoni, Potato Cakes with Olives and Poached Eggs and Cashew Fried Rice.
  • One Pots and Bakes: Stand out recipes include: Malaysian Egg Curry and Mushroom Basil Lasagne.
  • Special: Recipes to try include: Pan-Fried Mushrooms and Sour Cherries and Rich Almond Tart. 
There's also handy bits in this cookery book such as sharing a variety of tomato recipes, salad toppings and flavoured water. So far, I've made the Camembert, Watercress and Marinated Figs with Walnut Dressing. Not only was this salad incredibly fresh and light. 


Recipe for Camembert, Watercress and Marinated Figs with Walnut Dressing.
Serves 4
Ingredients
200ml balsamic vinegar
100g caster sugar
2 garlic cloves, brushed
6 thyme sprigs
6 plump figs, halved length ways
4 tablespoon walnut oil
a large handful of watercress, thick stalks trimmed
150g ripe Camembert or brie, sliced
75g walnuts

Method
Place the vinegar, sugar, garlic and 4 of the thyme sprigs in a saucepan and add 100ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute to dissolve the sugar and cook out some of the vinegary flavour. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then pour the halved figs and leave to marinate for an hour or two.
Discard the thyme sprigs and garlic from the marinade and spoon 5 tablespoons into a small lidded jar. Strip the leaves from the remaining 2 thyme sprigs and add to the jar with the walnut oil, a little salt and plenty of pepper. Screw on the lid and shake well until combined to make a dressing.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and sear the drained figs, cut sides down for a minute or so until they caramelise. Remove the pan from the heat, turn the figs over and set aside.
Put the watercress in a large bowl and drizzle with a little of the dressing , tossing to coat the leaves. Add the Camembert or brie, walnuts and divide among serving plates. Spoon the remaining dressing over each plate of salad.

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publishers.

xxx
Share:
© Charlene Flash | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig