Saturday 3 February 2018

The Saturday List #163 - My top five tasty shopping tips for your Sunday Lunch in the Mill Hill area

The French call the British "RosBifs", because they believe that the British only eat roast beef for lunch. They believe us to be incapable of cooking anything else. I have a confession to make. My favourite Sunday lunch is indeed Roast Beef with all the trimmings followed by a nice apple pie and custard (although sadly I am off dairy). But we are lucky to live in an amazing place, where we have a choice of so much more. So here are a few tips for an alternative. I believe that Sunday Lubch should be a shared, sacred time for all the family. Here are some of my favourite dishes and where I procure the key ingredients from.

Image result for elias fish mill hill
Elias Fish
1. Roasted Seabass. Why not nip down to Elias fishmongers in Mill Hill East. They do the finest quality fish. The seabass is exquisite. And if you want a fantastic tapinade to really make a great dish.. I wrap in foil greased with Olive oil and bake for 20 mins at around 170 degrees.
Elias fish do a whole range of absolutely top quality fish and other seafood. If you haven't tried them, I strongly advise that you do. We are lucky to have such an amazing resource in our community.

2. Tomato and olive tapinade. Make your own. There is a fantastic greengrocer in Mill Hill East. Buy plum tomatoes. Thinly slice the skin and then boil for five minutes. This will enable you to peel off the skin. Then mash the tomatoes and fry them on a medium heat to reduce. Add grated garlic, sea salt and pepper and sliced olives. A dash of white wine vinegar also helps bring out the flavour. When the mix has the consistancy of porridge it is ready to be sprad on the seabass. A good tip is to make a big load of it and freeze it in ice cubes for later use. One ice cube is enough to season one sea bass!

Boucherie Gerard
3. Choriso Sausages. Boucherie Gerard in Daws Lane do the most excellent Choriso Sausages. I'd recommend some of their English Providender Caramalised Red Onion chutney to go with it. They also do organic vegetables. The Shallots are particularly wonderful. These are best served with Chips. I have a little tip for you on the chips front. If you fancy doing the sausages, buy a bag of Chips from Cannons Fish and Chip shop on Saturday night. Put them in the fridge and then fry them up in Coconut oil in Sunday for about five minutes, turning frequently. They are delicious when refried. It may not be a traditional Sunday Lunch, but it will not disappoint!

4. Go Vegan! There is a myth that vegan food is like eating deflavoured cardboard. I eat vegan three days a week. I don't think eating too much meat is healthy or good for the environment, however when I was fully vegetarian, I developed health issues related to vitamin deficiencies. So I have come to the conclusion that a happy medium is the best way forward for me. I have a whole stack of great vegan dishes that I find most satisfying. Mill Hill East is a great place to source the vegetables. I don't do dairy, but my wife will often ask for cheese to be added.  Here is one of my favourites. Baked Stuffed Flat Mushroom. 1. Boil up amount of Red Lentil. Remove the middle stem of the large mushroom, chop up and add some more finely chopped mushrooms, a chilli or two to taste, a finely chopped shallot. Fry up with coconut oil  on medium heat until brown. Then mix in the cooked lentils. Fry for another couple of minutes, then spread onto the mushrooms, wrap in foil and bake for 16 minutes. If you've sprinkled cheese, you can cook for 12 minutes and then grill till cheese is melted.

5. The Mother of all Sandwiches! The very best lunch you can have in Mill Hill is to have it in the middle of a walk along the Totteridge Valley. Sadly this weekend is not looking too promising for this, unless you are hardy. The one thing I miss most about not doing dairy is cheese. A cheddar cheese and pickled onion sandwich is one of the most glorious delights known to man. These days, I buy the polish smoked ham from Rota Express in Mill Hill Broadway. It is absolutely delicious in a Sandwich. Gerrards Butchers sell excellent dijon mustard, which is an ideal accompanyment to the ham. We like to do this and take the dog along as well.

And finally.......

Image result for Mill Hill Wines
Mill Hill Wines
Why not wash it down with a bottle of the finest plonk from Mill Hill Wines. They have an amazing selection and they will offer the best advice to help you select just the right option for whichever of the tasty treats above you decide on.

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