Friday, 20 July 2007

Antipasto

For my boyfriends birthday, I organised a small surprise get-together at his home. The theme for the menu was Italian and two of my close friends volunteered to make the starter. Although it was quite simple, it was thoroughly delicious and I thought it was a great idea for a big dinner as it's very easy to prepare before hand.

Antipasto
You will need a collection of the following:
Olives (green, black or a mixture - your choice)
Sundried Tomatoes
Vine Cherry Tomatoes
Mozarella Cheese
Slivers of Parmesane
Salami or Pepperoni
Parma/Serano Ham
Good Quality Anchovies or Tuna
Roasted Peppers or Aubergines (home-made or from a jar)
Globe Artichokes (Steamed or from a can)
Salad Leaves to garnish
- Before hand, you can marinade your olives if you have time by covering them in a little cider/white wine vinegar and adding herbs. Keep them chilled in the fridge until you need them.
- This is very easy! Simply arrange everything on a big plater; start with the salad leaves to thinly cover the plate then add the meat or fish in the middle, followed by the cheese around that and then the vegetables. Or if you're catering for many people, have one plate for the meat and fish and another for the cheese and vegetables. It really is as easy as that! Serve with crusty bread, green pesto to dip, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil!

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Review: Riverstation, Bristol

I have to share a particular culinary gem with you all. Riverstation is a forward thinking fusion restaurant in the heart of Bristol (a city very close to my heart). My parents have been lucky enough to go several times whenever they get shot of us kids and have a few pennies to spare but we were lucky enough to be taken along on this particular occasion. Being a bit of a "foodie", I was in heaven! Not only that but the architecture is rather exquisite too; creating an uplifting (if a little noisy) atmosphere that makes the most of it's riverside location. During our meal, I enjoyed the Crab Ravoli with ginger, chilli and lemon grass, which was subtle but a good set up for my main of Sea-Bass Fillet with crushed jersey royals, asparagus and sauce vierge. It was trully delicious and rather citrusy but a fab summer dish. Then to finish, I had their summer pudding with clotted cream. We shared a fantastic bottle of white rioja (a family favourite), Conde de Valdemar Blanco 2005, which complimented everything beautifully. I was surprised to find that their Fois Gras starter (which a member of my party had) was really very good; I'm not usually a huge fan of Fois Gras due to it's production and the fact that it can be very heavy but this was beautifully light and flavoursome. Well worth trying. Okay, so admitedly it's pretty pricey but great for a treat or important celebration plus the service really can't be faulted. You can look up their menu online before you go and, if it's a few too many pennies for you, it makes a great venue for a light lunch or drinks with friends!
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