eat - drink - indulge
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” - Julia Child
4. A How-to Guide on making chocolate orange fudge cakes 5. coffee shop of the month
6. aberdeenâ€™s annual food festival
8. a country gem..
10. a review of jamie
Chocolate and Orange Fudge Squares Go on, have a little indulgence... Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 mins Ingredents: 200g plain chocolate, broken into cubes (I used Bournville) 200g dark muscovado sugar 175g butter, plus extra for greasing 3 eggs, separated 140g plain flour 1 tsp vanilla extract zest of 1 orange For the topping: 200g tub soft cheese Â˝ tsp vanilla extract 50g icing sugar Method 1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a traybake tin, 23 x 23cm or thereabouts. Put the chocolate, sugar and butter in a pan, then heat very gently for about 5 mins, stirring every min until the butter and chocolate have melted. Leave to cool for 10 mins. Beat in the egg yolks, flour, vanilla and half the orange zest. 2. Put the egg whites into a large, very clean bowl, then whisk until they stand up in peaks. Stir Âź of the whites into the chocolate mix to loosen it, then carefully fold in the rest with a metal spoon. Pour the mix into the tin, then bake for 25 mins or until evenly risen and just firm to the touch. Cool in the tin, then cut into squares. Can be frozen for up to 1 month. 3. Beat together the cheese, vanilla, sugar and remaining zest until smooth. Spread over each chocolate square and serve. If youâ€™re making ahead, spread the topping over just before serving.
Mug Of The Moment.....
Looking for a quaint spot for a coffee and scone? Books and Beans is a coffee-come-bookshop, a bookworm’s heaven, which sells homemade cakes daily. Situated on Belmont Street, Aberdeen City Centre, it’s easy to walk straight past it in a rush, but it is worth going in and checking it out. It boasts to be Aberdeen’s first independant coffee shop which uses fairtrade products. If you’re rather peckish, something on the menu, whether it be a baked potato or a bowl of soup and a sandwich, will be sure to take your fancy. They also offer discounts to students and pensioners.
Winter festivites Aberdeen’s annual International Food Festival graced us with its delicious presence on Union Terrace earlier this month. With so many different cuisines on offer, it’s a great way to try something new. It’s a cold winters day. Fancy something warming? Try the “Curry In a Hurry” for a traditional Indian stall, made for you from scratch. Or simply looking for a new favourite coffee? One particular stall offered over 50 different varieties of flavoured coffee beans, from strawberry to Bailey’s. This year’s stalls included food from India, China, Spain, Germany and France, but a pleasant surprise of this year went to a stall from Poland, which offered traditonal casseroles and sweet treats. Even if you aren’t keen on conquering new cuisines, it’s great to watch as everything is cooked infront of you, made to order to cater your needs. The general atmopshere is great too, with traditional music from every country at each stall. Until next year, Food Festival...
A country treat The Drovers Inn is a tiny gem situated in Memus, the foot of the Scottish Glens, offering both a traditional pub food and a fine dining experience. With a small ristic bar with a fireplace and a modern dining room, the restaurant boasts to be able to cater for everyone, whether you’re after a traditional steak pie or their best seller, venison steak. Head Chef Eden Sinclair has had 16 years of experience in the catering industry, and having worked in restaurants all over Edinburgh has built a good reputation in the business. Having said his proudest moment “was when the Drovers won its first AA rosette”, coming second place in the Scottish Licensed Trade Awards last week was a sure contender for his best achievements. He says: “With a passion for using the finest, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, our aim is to deliver simple dishes with exceptional flavours, cooked to perfection and delivered with impeccable service.” When asked what he would order off his own menu, he replied: “Confit duck leg with chorizo & pearl barley risotto - its rustic, autumnal and robust for a big guy like me.” “I love my job. Being Head Chef is stressful but that’s what I enjoy about it. Having a great team is essential and I believe we at the Drovers show that. The best part of the job is when customers ask to speak to me at the end of their evening to tell me they’ve really enjoyed their meal.” 8
Speaking to customers after a busy Saturday night certainly proved this. One man said “To cut to the chase, service fantastic, food amazing and for your money it is superb. I would 100% recommend this restaurant. If carry out and fast food muck is your idea of a good meal then be my guest. If good food is what you are after, then stop here and enjoy. Well done to the owners for creating such a jewel.” Another said: “We came after seeing The Drovers noted in both the Michelin guide and the AA guide. It’s a charming venue and was filled with friendly clientele and attentive staff who gave it a warm and characterful atmosphere. Their local and seasonal food was served as promptly as good home cooking allowed. The grouse was delicious. Good wine list, too. I recommend strongly.” The Drovers offer deals on a Tuesday, Friday and a Sunday which have all proven to be winners with the locals. Tuesday is known as “Steak Night” which offers a steak for £10. “Freeloader Friday” offers a free buffet to the punters in the bar between five and six o’clock and a Sunday lunch always comes under £12. Eden was kind enough to intive me into his kitchen to watch him and his team in action during a lunchtime service. Although lunchtime doesn’t start unttil 12 o’clock, the team begin work at 9, preparing the freshly sourced food for the whole day. When I went in, two boys were chopping tomatoes for the “side salads” and another was folding crab into pasta shells.
Eden explains that the lunch service isn’t usualy busy during the week, but at the weekends it is usually booked out by families and couples. He lets me try one of his homemade chocolate truffles (he is also a trained chocolatier) which are served with teas and coffees - absolute heaven. The first food check comes from a waitress and the team jump to it. One member of staff cooks the haddock fillets, one serves the minty peas and another decorates the plate with crushed potatoes. “SERVICE PLEASE!” Eden shouts and the waitress scurries away with the two plates. It’s clear that it’s not just about good food at the Drovers Inn, it’s about presentation, with each dish worthy of an fine art prize. “It’s just part of our aim,” Eden says. “good food tastes even better when it looks great on the plate.” After a not-too-hectic two and a half hours, the lunch service ends and the kitchen team retract for a few hours of well-deserved rest before the dinner service starts at half past five. The experience of watching the restraunt kitchen at work left me extremely impressed and eager to have a meal cooked by these professionals. If you ever find yourself near the Drovers Inn, treat yourself with a fine-dining, wholesome evening, and I assure you, you will not come away disappointed. For reservations, call: 01307 860322 or you can book a table online at: www.the-drovers.com/bookatable.
A Slice of italy... I stumbled into Jamie’s Italian on a miserable, wet Saturday evening. From outside, the restaurant looked particularly busy, with all the tables near the windows taken up by parties of five or six. The soft lighting was like an angelic glow, hazy and cosy. Exactly what I was looking for after a strenuous afternoon of retail therapy. My guest and I were greeted by a young woman with an earpiece and a walkie-talkie, and after tapping on a touch-screen board, she directed us to the bar to wait for our table. Looking around, the place buzzes with the sound of people enjoying fairly priced food. The and style of the restaurant shows Jamie’s passion for Italy, with open kitchens where you can watch the chefs and a corner designated to two pasta makers. I ordered a strawberry daiquiri and waited for my table to become available. When we finally did get taken to our table, the waitress was more than apologetic for the wait and went through the “Daily Specials” before taking our order. We did enjoy the splendid “Crispy Arancini” for a starter. In English, they translated to risotto balls stuffed with sweet red chili, tomato and mozzarella, which the waitress recommended as her favourite. We also asked for “Olives on Ice” which could have gone a miss. After waiting a while for them to arrive as only a handful of green olives on a bed of ice with “music bread”, (which was essentially a fancy crisp) we were rather disappointed. Both myself and my guest thouroughly enjoyed our main courses, however. I put the classic Tagliatelle Bolognese to the test, where it passed with flying colours. It was a delight. My companion had the “Free Range Chicken”, which was grilled in garlic and rosemary, and found it over salty. He also ordered a size of chunky chips, which he struggled to finish. 10
The portions were so lavish that we didn’t exactly need a third course, but after a good 20 minutes we ploughed through a delectable Tiramisu. It was so thick but, as rich as it was, I found myself scraping every last morsel off of the plate. The prices were very reasonable for the superb food and the whole experience was very enjoyable. Jamie – you’ve done well.
FoodStuff Magazine Issue 1 November 2013 Caitlin Oâ€™Callaghan