Thursday, 19 May 2011

Humpty Dumpty

 I'm pretty skint at the moment, having decided to finally jack the day job in and concentrate on the cooking malarkey full time (hence the quietness on here for a while). I was meant to go to the Isle of Wight this weekend for my amazing friend's birthday celebrations, but have had to pull out at the last minute due to lack of funds. To cheer myself up over the fact I could no longer go to the Isle of Wight, I went on a bit of a food splurge, thanks to Marky Market and a lull in concentration at work. I ordered some Barnsley chops and a live crab (which is currently resting in my freezer), but it was the mention of  Gull eggs which had lured me in.

Gull eggs are only in season for a few weeks, from the beginning of April through to mid May. The eggs are a speckled green colour, gamey in taste and are bloody expensive !! The high price of gull eggs is down to both the short season and the fact that there are only about 25 Defra licensed Gull Egg collectors in the whole of the UK.

So when I got my delivery dropped off with the news that one of the two eggs had been broken in transit, I was both deflated at the fact that one had been broken, whilst been slightly pleased that I now had to only pay for one egg ! I was kindly given the broken Gull's egg in a ramekin - a bit of a double win for me there been a from Yorkshire and all that - and was told to make a omelette with it.

I knew that it would be a sacrilege to add some of the mild cheddar which had been languishing in the fridge for a week or two to the omelette.The previous day I had been at a little of what you fancy for a great lunch of Asparagus, Parmesan and Fried Duck Egg, with the Old Man. After thoroughly enjoying the lunch the day before,  I picked up some English Asparagus and some Berkswell Cheese on the way home

Gulls Egg, Asparagus and Berkswell Omlette


1 x Gulls Egg lightly beaten and seasoned
2 x Stems of Asparagus sliced
Grated Berkswell Cheese
Knob of butter

1. Melt butter in a frying pan and add asparagus, cook for a minute.
2. Add the egg and make an omelet, sorry I can't explain step by step how to make an omelette - sorry its just making an omelette, my grandad taught me how to by showing  me rather than telling me how to do it. If your stuck check out  Delia here .
3. Just before folding the omelette, grate some Berkswell over the top, fold and then eat straight away.

So there you have it, probably the smallest most expensive omelette I have ever cooked and ever will cook.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

2nd Birthday celebrations with a Secret Easter Sunday Lunch

I will have been doing secret suppers and hidden dining for two years now. Starting from humble beginnings with a crazy idea over a pint of Guinness with the Boy Wonder to now serving 200 people in two nights at Shacklewell Nights, it seems that the crazy idea has paid off with fun and lots of laughter along the way.
Fingers crossed the next two years will prove to be even more exciting and full of more amazing adventures in the culinary world.

To celebrate the 2nd Birthday of  Green Onions, we will be a Secret Easter Sunday Lunch  on the 24th April 2011 in a zone 1 location.

The menu will be prepared by an ex Gordon Ramsey Holdings chef and who currently works in one of East London's cutting edge restaurants 


Sloe Bellini 

Grilled Radicchio, Pecorino, Black Olive &  Lemon Oil

Seven Hour Lamb or Caramelised Chicory & Roquefort Gratin (v), Roast Potato's, Carrots, Kale and Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Lemon Curd Trifle & Pistachio Shortbread

Please expect Easter egg fun as well !!

Price for an afternoon of great food and company will be £35 
Please note Menu may change due to availability of Ingredients

Book your places please email

If you or anyone in your party wants the vegetarian option, please let us know.

For further information please email

Would also like to thank everyone who has partaken, eaten and supported Green Onions over the past two years, but most of all I would like to personally thank everyone who has worked along side me at both Green Onions and Shacklewell Night s as none of this would have been possible without them.

Friday, 11 March 2011

More adventures into Hidden Dining with Shacklewell Nights

We are pleased to announce new dates for Shacklewell Nights and our adventures in to Hidden Dining.

After a small break we return with a great seasonal menu in a brand new location in the depths of Hackney.

We will be holding two nights of great food, drink and company on Friday 25th March and Saturday 26th March  2011 in relaxed, informal and unusual  surroundings .

Menu will be 


Smoked Trout, Pickled Beetroot & Horseradish
–or– Perroche, Pickled Beetroot & Watercress (v)

Snails, Bacon, Borlotti Beans & Wild Garlic
–or– Wild mushrooms, Leeks & Borlotti Beans (v)

Orange & Cardamom Cream, Yorkshire Rhubarb & Hazelnuts

Neal’s Yard Cheese Plate, Oat Cakes & Hackney Chutney


Please note Menu may change due to availability of ingredients

Book your places with — if you or anyone in your party wants the vegetarian option, you can set this after entering payment details on the Eventbrite booking page.
Hopefully see you at the end of  March 

Friday, 25 February 2011

How to get what you want....

I once received a pearl of wisdom about life and love from a elderly lady who lived over the road from my parents when I was a kid. I would go and help the said lady with her weekly baking every Saturday afternoon.
Every Saturday afternoon, when I was a child I would alternate between my Grandad's Kitchen and an amazing lady called Dina's, who lived over the road from my parents. In was in these two kitchens on a Saturday afternoon I learnt how to bake.
I spent Saturday afternoons creaming sugar and butter for cake batters and learning how to make all different kinds of pastry. It was during one of these afternoons of baking pies, tarts and cakes that a valuable pearl of wisdom about love and life was uttered by an aunt. I must admit it somewhat went over my ten year old  head, having not at all been aware of boys at that age and far more interested in ponies and Cindy dolls at that point. The pearl of wisdom was uttered whilst rubbing butter into flour as I was learning to make rough puff pastry for the first time "if you ever want anything from a man then the best way to do it is to feed them first with the best home cooked food you can.  Then once they finished and have sat down and got comfortable, then you ask them for whatever it is that you want, mind you don't be unreasonable or greedy with your asking and no doubtably the answer will always be - Yes."
 So in the latest bid to find a venue for the Green Onions Supperclub I employed the very same tactic that Auntie Dina had passed on to me. I used the bribery of good old honest food to wheedle my way into a venue that I had an eye on for sometime - a very nice workshop that a couple of my lovely furniture maker friends have. Mind you it take a couple of weeks of going around with dishes of food to try and get my way, but in the end it was the Rhubarb and Blood Orange Crumble that worked the magic with the guys and we were given the green light to go head with the supperclub

Rhubarb and Blood Orange Crumble
8 Stalks of Forced Rhubarb
2 Blood Oranges
100g of Golden Caster Sugar
1 Vanilla Pod
200g Plain Flour with a pinch of salt
150g Chilled, Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes
50g Dark Brown Demerara Sugar
40g Golden Caster Sugar

Couple of handfuls of rolled oats 

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Cut the rhubarb into 5cm long sticks and place on an oven tray, zest the blood oranges over the rhubarb, pour juice of blood oranges over rhubarb, add split vanilla pod  and caster sugar and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
3. Fill an ovenproof dish about 4cm/1½in deep with the rhubarb.
4. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar to make the crumble topping or blitz the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor. Once resembling bread-crumb like mix add the rolled oats.
5. Cover rhubarb with topping mix and add some dark brown sugar on the top and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the crumble topping is crisp and golden-brown and the rhubarb filling has softened and is bubbling.
6. Serve with Clotted Cream or Ice Cream 

Friday, 28 January 2011

The Simple Life

Its been a tough few months since I was last spouting off on here. To be honest I've not had time to post or to be fair actually felt that I have anything interesting to write. Thanks to now having to start leading a more frugal life than last year, the clatter of pots and pans can be heard night and day round our way and I'm slowly getting back into writing down my witterings on all things food related.

The flat has now turned into Piccadilly Circus on a weekend with friends and family dropping round to share a pot of tea and on the off chance of some late breakfast. My new favorite weekend breakfast dish at the moment is the humble leeks on toast. Totally inspired from a lunch last year at the Railroad Cafe and a small plate from St John Bread and Wine (which was possibly one of the best things I ate last year). A some what light dish, which surprisingly ticks every breakfast box especially with a poached egg on top of the buttery leeks. It even clears the aftermath fugs of hard and busy weeks on a Saturday morning with a pot of tea and the weekend papers. Oh and its a really really easy dish to make - you see I'm easing my way back into all this very slowly !

Leeks on Toast 

Slice of Sourdough

1 - 2 leeks depending on size
1 Egg
Fresh thyme
Dijon Mustard
Maldon & White Pepper

1.  Toast slice of Sourdough
2.   Slice the leeks as thinly as possible
3.  Melt a knob of butter, don't scrimp with the butter the more the better as the leeks taste better with the     more butter you add in my opinion
4.  Let leeks sweat down in the butter for a couple of minutes and then add the fresh thyme.
5.  Sweat for a few minutes more, so that leeks are fully sweated down
6.  Add a small spoon of Dijon if your feeling in that kind of mood and cook for a few moments more
7.  Place leeks on top of Sourdough, and place a poached egg on top if wanting something more substantial. (I would let you know how to poach an egg but to be honest my method is unorthodox and I have been repeatedly told off on many occasion for it not been the correct way  - so I'm not going to share my method !)
8.  Enjoy with a pot of tea and the weekend papers

New Green Onion Dates for a weekend of Retoxing Secret Dining

We are pleased to announce that we will be holding a weekend of retoxing secret meals to chase the January blues away in a secret and unusual location in Hackney .

We will be providing a Secret Supper on Saturday 5th February starting at 8pm and then a Secret Sunday Lunch On Sunday 6th February starting at 1.30pm 

The menu for each meal will be :

Rhubarb Prosecco,

Smoked Mackerel, Apple & Beetroot Slaw,

Tamworth cooked in Hay, White Beans and Confit Garlic,

Blood Orange Jelly, Caramel Cream & Shortbread

Vegetarians options will be available 

The menu will be prepared by Jon Rotherham and 
Therese Gustafsson, two of London's most up and coming chefs 
We will be operating a BYO policy all weekend without any corkage fees 

Price will be £35 per person 

For further information or to book places please contact

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Drink more Gin

Its no secret, I love drinking Gin in every form. From the simple and classic Gin and Tonic with ice and  a slice to high grade martini's in some of the best cocktail bars in the capital, my current favorite bar been 69 Colebrooke Row in Islington. I love the stuff, the refreshing botanical flavors that hit you in a thirst quenching moment, the decadence of a Gin cocktail in a great bar that transports you back to the roaring twenties or understated fifties  and of course the ceremony of making a great G n T.

A month ago or so I became kind of obsessed by making Sloe Gin and sent out a plea on the best way to make your own Sloe Gin to the Twitter Ether. The flurry and amount of tweets I got in return was astounding. Sagely advice on the topic ranged from don't do anything yet as its to early in the year to start making Sloe Gin as there hasn't been any frosts yet , don't bother pricking them all with a pin just bash them with a rolling pin. Thankfully, the best tweet of the day was from a dear friend in Dorset.

 "Don't worry there are shedloads down here, I will pick them and send them up to you"

True to his word, within three days a courier dropped off a small box with a kilo and half of the beautiful deep dark berries carefully wrapped up in bubble wrap for me. I must admit when I opened the box, I squealed with delight like a small child discovering a new toy.

 Apparently the key to a good Sloe Gin is to put the Sloe berries in the freezer, as this simulates the berries  been left out until the first frost, something that is apparently key to making Sloe gin according to English folklore. So as soon as they arrived I popped them in the freezer for a day or two, until I was ready to make the Gin

Sloe Gin
Makes 2 1/2 litres roughly 

Ingredients & Equipment

3 sterilized bottles or jars
2 litres of Gin - there is no point buying really expensive gin for this recipe as it s a waste of money
1 Kg of Sloe Berries
600g of Caster Sugar


First of all I took the Sloe berries out of the freezer and let them slightly defrost for a hour and a bit

Normal advice is when making Sloe Gin is that every berry should be pricked with a pin or needle, and after reading about the process some folklore says that the berries should be pricked with a thorn off the very same bush the berries were picked from. Now those that know me will know, I neither have the patience or the time for any of this malarkey. So on the advice of @lickedspoon , I bashed the hell out of them with a rolling pin.

Fill the jars a third full of the berries and then add about 200g of Caster Sugar to each of the bottles. The sugar draws out the juice from the berries and thus in turn color the gin.

Then fill the bottles/Jars up with Gin, don't make the fatal mistake that I did and not buy enough Gin  - i had to do a mad dash to the local off license for another litre bottle of Gin (the shopkeeper, bless him asked me if  i was alright after buying my second litre bottle of the evening from him an hour after buying the first one).

Once filled with gin, the hard part comes. Place the bottles in a dark cupboard somewhere and then remember to shake or turn the bottles once a day for a week and then shake once a week there after for at least two months. Two months seems like a long time, bit the key is to wait for even longer so that the gin takes on more of the flavor of the berries. I know some one who has had theirs proving for four years !!!
So I'll let you know how it tastes in a couple of months time, thats if I can last that long !