Le Val. Kingston.

I can’t even put into words the sheer excitement I had to dine at Le Val. I flipping love the food there and recommend it every time. I have been going to this restaurant for many years now and has always been at the top of my list of restaurants to go to when I venture to Kingston.

As the lockdown rules have eased I had the chance to meet up with a friend of mine who recently moved to London. I have ranted and raved about this restaurant since they moved and when we decided to meet we thought it would be about time to dine there; wahoo!!!

Le Val has quite an extensive menu offering a selection of Lebanese dishes from cold and hot mezze to main courses, to express lunch options. I have tried a fair few things on their menu, just to put it out there, their houmous is the one!!! SO damn good. Anyways, my go to meal is the chicken shawarma wrap, which consists of chicken, salad, pickle and a garlicky dressing all wrapped up in a flat bread. This normally comes with a portion of chips and a soft drink of your choice at an incredibly affordable price. They also bring you a whipped garlic mayo and a chilli sauce, which when added to the wrap just makes a whole other party in your mouth come to life; it’s also so good to dip your chips into. I’ve only just had this meal and I am already ready for another round of this quality yumminess!!

I was one happy lady at the end of my meal and was so glad to go there after all the things that have been going on.

Fantastic meal, fantastic company, a fantastic day!

C0529F5B-43F0-4A3A-80D8-B3A8B91FC599

 

My First Bundt Cake!

I’ve never really had a massive sweet tooth, I am definitely a more savoury kind of girl; as I’m sure you’ve seen from my recipes they are more focused on more ‘main meals’ rather than sweets and desserts. To be honest, I don’t think I am very good at the whole ‘baking thing’, but hey, I do actually quite enjoy it and am willing to give it a go.

I was gifted a bundt tin a while ago now and hadn’t got round to using it. Of course, during this weird lockdown time I thought I’d do some experimenting and give it a whirl. For my first bundt cake bake I was quite proud of myself, it turned out better than I thought it would. I attempted to make a spiced bundt cake that consisted of ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg-  delish, I know. There is definitely room for improvement though, I found that the spices were not as prominent as I’d’ve liked, the texture was soft but not as light (hence the icing to give it some added moisture) and the mixture rose a lot more than I thought it would; perhaps too much cake mix or baking powder. Considering the tin I have is smaller than the ‘standard’ sized bundt tins, the end result was bigger than I expected.

Now that I have given it a go I am slightly more confident to try again and to also try other bakes.

Hope you’re having a lovely friday 🙂

Carla x

70B6D07A-3FDD-41D7-95F3-7B8992C6A527

Lemon and Herb Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1tsp garlic granules
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp butter

Method

  1. In a bowl put the chicken, grate the zest of the lemon, oregano, garlic granules, pepper, a sprinkling of salt and mix. Then add a heaped tablespoon of plain flour and mix again. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a frying pan and fry the chicken on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, flipping occasionally until the meat has browned.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  4. Add the fresh garlic, sage, thyme, butter, wine and the juice of half a lemon and leave to cook for 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat.
  5. Put the chicken back in the pan and cover. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Flip the chicken every now and then and add a splash of water if the sauce looks too dry.

Best served hot and with some roast potatoes and salad.

2020-06-02 17.32.31

 

Castle Terrace Restaurant. Edinburgh

I was having a cheeky scroll through my @isaporidelmondo Instagram yesterday when I came across a message on the Castle Terrace Restaurant page. Unfortunately, they have had to make the decision to shut the restaurant due to the coronavirus.

I am not going to lie… I am gutted. Gutted.

The first time I visited Edinburgh was actually in 2017, that was when I dined at the Castle Terrace restaurant. Even though it was a while ago I still remember my experience there as if it were only a few days ago. I loved every single thing about it: the staff, the service and the food; just ticked all the right boxes. I remember having a Bloody Mary which, to this day, I can still taste- it was that good! Even the canapés just blew me away, there were three lined up in a row all with completely different flavours that just burst into life in your mouth; especially the green one which, if I remember correctly, has the flavour of a caesar salad. My favourite course was actually the first, Mackerel tartare, it just brings a massive smile to my face just thinking about it. Whenever I have spoken about Castle Terrace to friends, loved ones and colleagues I have never failed to mention that particular starter- a culinary memory that I will treasure forever. I managed to find some of my pictures from when I dined there and have fitted them at the end of this post; excuse the quality though, they are a bit old.

I am so sad as there are so many restaurants and outlets within the hospitality industry that have been massively impacted by this pandemic; it’s so awful and such a shame to see the collapse of some truly amazing establishments.

I am grateful to have had the pleasure to dine at Castle Terrace, a truly wonderful dining experience that I will never, ever forget. To the Chef and all the staff there, thank you and I wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

Carla x

 

Simple Chickpea Curry

One of the good things about lockdown is how much more time I am spending in the kitchen. Not going to lie… I am loving it.  I have reduced the amount of meat that I am having at the moment so I am trying to get more experimental with more vegetarian and vegan recipes. Below is the recipe I used for my simple chickpea curry which I served with basmati rice. Hope you enjoy 🙂

Serves 3
Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (drained)
  • 1/2 can of peeled plum tomatoes- chopped into pieces
  • Couple of handfuls of spinach
  • 3 cloves of garlic- chopped
  • 1tsp of grated fresh ginger
  • 1 shallot- chopped
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1tsp of mild curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (you can add more if you’d like more spice)
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. In a pan put a couple table spoons of olive oil and the garlic, ginger, shallot and fry for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the chickpeas and the chopped tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes and stir occasionally.
  3. Add the spinach and cook down until wilted.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and add the curry powder, cayenne and salt and pepper. Mix this together consistently for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Then leave the curry to infuse for 10-15 minutes- stir occasionally.
  6. Finally, remove from the heat and serve with rice.

 

2020-03-30 12.54.54