Thursday, 7 August 2014

TWO GREEDY MANCUNIANS AT NANDOS


Well the Two Greedy Mancunians were out again on Thursday the 31st July, We had been invited to a evening at Nandos (Arndale) to sample a new menu.
A new menu I hear you say at Nandos surely not!!!
The evening started with a stroll through the Andale which I must admit I hadn’t ventured in for years, because it always had that pants reputation, but what a shock I had there was many restaurants and clothes stores and i will certainly be going back.
When we arrived the Two Greedy Mancunians seemed to be in a Arndale daze as it took us 10 min to realise we were standing outside Bella Italia, eventually we found Nandos which was next door & we were greeted by a lovely member of staff who guided us upstairs to where we were all to meet.
To my suprise there were many foodies & bloggers invited & there was a good atmosphere (could it have been the offer of free beer and wine that did the trick)
There was one couple who arrived late & sat down for all of 10 minutes then left because they were sat next to the toilets.  I'm sure people do this for the attention, just get over it please you are not at a Michelin starred restaurant, you are at Nandos. Just enjoy the company and the atmosphere (and on  behalf of Nandos the toilets were clean and there were no bad smells)

So the manger gave us a brief introduction of the history of Nandos and it was clear she really did enjoy her job which is great to see.
The food we had was a sample of the new menu we were first given a plate of olives, toasted pitta bread, a red pepper dip & a lovely hummous. Then out came our first lot of chicken, we had bonless chicken thighs which i really enjoyed. The chicken was really moist and very tasty,  there was also sweet potato wedges (nice big chunky wedges too) which again were really very good.
More chicken was piled upon us and being Two Greedy Mancunians we did our best to help eat it all up.  They also did a chicken roullette, different chicken in different strength sauces, you had to pick one, and one could have been extremely hot, it was all fun.
Then all of a sudden a giant cock came out of the back, people seemed to be having their photo taken with the cock and some were touching the cock, then I realised it was the Nandos mascot 'Barci'.
There isn’t much more i can say we both had a really good evening, Nandos put on a really good feast, and some people don’t like Nandos, but I do. I have been a few times and always enjoyed it.
I’m not saying I go all the time but if you want a quick lunch or quick evening meal (and you like chicken) then you really can’t go wrong, the food is good, staff are always pleasant and it is all at a reasonable price. And you know Nandos must be doing something right because the restaurants are always busy, which to me is always a great sign.
The night wasnt just about Nandos, it was also in aid of promoting the Arndale's "Get Your Eat On" campaign. Basically for the whole of August you can download or pick up a booklet of vouchers for most of the food places in the Arndale, so what are you waiting for, go get your eat on!

Visit: https://www.manchesterarndale.com/getyoureaton for further details and to download the vouchers.
Thank you to Nandos and the Arndale for putting on a great, fun evening.
Greedy Mancuinan (Alex)


STAY TUNED FOR REVIEWS OF A NEW BOOK I HAVE DISCOVERED CALLED DEATH BY BORRITTO WHICH IS FULL OF RESCIPES FOR MEXICAN STREET FOOD....COMING SOON

Sunday, 20 July 2014

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DISHES: #6 GERMANY: BRATWURST MIT SAUERKRAUT

In honour of a recent World Cup win - I'm cooking some German cuisine this week!
And where would German cuisine be without the humble Bratwurst - so I decided it has to be the classic bratwurst & sauerkraut - served with potatoes with bacon. 
Ingredients:
1 pack of good quality Bratwursts
Butter
1 Granny Smith apple
Light brown sugar
Dark brown sugar
1 large onion
Potatoes
Bacon (not pictured below)
Sauerkraut
Salt & Pepper
Brown Beer/Ale
Balsamic Vinegar
Take a couple of cups worth of sauerkraut from the jar and rinse thoroughly and drain, then thinly slice up half the onion and apple. in a frying pan add 3 tablespoons of butter and melt - then add the onion, fry for a minute before adding the sauerkraut and apple - when these start to soften add a sprinkling of the light brown sugar & a good grind of pepper and add a glug or 2 of beer (you can enjoy the rest of the beer either whilst you cook or served with the meal itself). Turn heat down low and cover - this should cook for 30-40 mins, check and stir occasionally making sure it isn't drying out & sticking to the pan.
Slice up your potatoes about 1/4 inch thick, and dice the bacon and remainder of the onion. Cook the bacon pieces and onion in a pan, adding a few tablespoons worth of balsamic vinegar. Then add the sliced potatoes with a sprinke of salt (not too much as the bacon will be salty too) and a teaspoon of dark brown sugar - finally add a small dash of water, cover and turn to a low heat. As with the Sauerkraut this will need to be checked and stirred occasionally to ensure it isnt sticking - if it is - then add another dash more water. This will need 20-30 mins or until the potatoes are cooked through.
Last but not least - you will need to put on the Bratwursts - using a large frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and put in the Bratwursts - turn to coat the Brats in the butter and add a cup of water - keep at a medium temp, so they cook in the water as is evaporates, top up the water whenever it is about to run dry and turn occationally - after 20 mins, let the water evaporate and brown in the remaining butter.
Plate up your sauerkraut, potatoes & bacon, and 1 or 2 bratwursts (being a Greedy Mancunian I went for 2) - serve with a dollop of wholegrain or brown mustard & a couple of slices of sourdough bread & butter.
Wunderbar!

Countries to go: 74

Countries done:
#1 Peru
#2 Oman
#3 Malta
#4 Sweden
#5 Botswana
#6 Germany

Keep following the Greedy Mancunians to see what country I 'visit' next!  

Saturday, 19 July 2014

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DISHES: #5 BOTSWANA: SESWAA WITH BOGOBE

I now take a turn in my trip towards Africa and the country of Botwana....
What culinary delights will I find here..... only a tasty beef dish called Seswaa with cornmeal porridge (Bogobe) and served with traditional carrot and cabbage side! So join me now as I lead you through how to make this exciting meal.

Ingredients:
Seswaa:
1 pack of diced beef
1 onion peeled & quartered
2 cloves of garlic halved
Salt
4 Bay leaves
water to cover

Bogobe:
Cormeal (fine)
Beef stock
Salt & Pepper

Carrot and Cabbage Botswanan Style:
1 large tomato (or several small ones)
1 Onion
2 carrots
Powdered Ginger
Thyme
Chilli flakes
White cabbage
Pop the beef, onion, garlic & bay leaves in a large casserole pot (I went for an orange one, but any coloured pot will do) - season with a good dose of salt and cover with water - put a lid on and put in the oven at about 160C for 4hrs stir occasionally and if it is drying out too much add a little more water.
about half hour before your beef is done then its time to prepare the rest of the dish.
 next up is the Bogobe - make up a pan of beef stock (500ml) slowly add the cornmeal - stirring or whisking continuously to avoid it going too lumply (mine was a little lumpy - see pic below - but was just about acceptable). Add enough of the cornmeal until it becomes the consistency of thick porridge.
Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 mins.
Slice up the carrots, cabbage and onion, and finely chop the tomato.
In a frying pan fry the onion and tomato in a little oil for 4-5 minutes then add the carrot and cabbage.
Add 2 teaspoons of the ginger, half a teaspoon of the chilli flakes and a tablespoon of thyme. Add salt to taste.
Ok - now get that beef out of the oven & remove the bay leaves - using a slotted spoon scoop out the beef and onion and then pound with a big spoon - the beef should break apart and look flaked.
Finally its time to plate up! Pop a big dollop of the Bogobe on a plate followed by a large spoonfull (or 2) of the Seswaa beef and add some of the cabbage and carrots on the side. Press play on your favourite traditional African music CD and bring your dish to the table.
Enjoy!

Countries to go: 75

Countries done:
#1 Peru
#2 Oman
#3 Malta
#4 Sweden
#5 Botswana

Keep following the Greedy Mancunians to see what country I 'visit' next!  

Sunday, 6 July 2014

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DISHES: #4 SWEDEN - SWEDISH MEATBALLS (KOTTBULLAR)

Its time to put on the Abba CD and assemble some Ikea furniture - yes..... that's right I'm off to Sweden this week on my culinary adventure.
There is only 1 choice that springs to mind really for Sweden, and that's meatballs, here's what you'll need to cook traditional Swedish meatballs (or Kottbullar as they like to call them):

500g of minced pork/beef mixed (about 60% pork & 40% beef)
1/2 cup of milk
3/4 cup of white breadcrumbs
1 onion
1 egg
salt
white pepper
ground allspice
fresh dill
cranberry sauce
shredded cabbage
potatoes
butter
plain flour
500ml beef stock
Firstly to make the meatballs, peel and finely chop the onion (i used my new Kenwood mini chopper to whiz it up into finely chopped pieces) then gently fry in butter - once softened put in a mixing bowl with the beef & pork mince mixed together. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk and when fully absorbed add to the mixing bowl, then add the egg, salt & pepper to season, and a couple of teaspoons of allspice. Finally add a good handfull of finely chopped fresh dill & mix together until all the ingredients are blended together nicely - if it is a bit too wet to make meatballs out of, then add a little more mince or dry breadcrumbs. (usefull tip - use a bigger mixing bowl than the one pictured below - I had to do a transfer as it was a tad too full!)
Meanwhile peel and put on some potatoes to boil in salted water for the mash. You can now make up your meatballs - I made 8 per person and they were about the size of pingpong balls.
Melt some butter in a large frying pan with a little oil and fry the meatballs for about 5-10 minutes until all sides are nicely browned. Remove balls from the pan and rest on a plate whilst you make the sauce. take off the heat - melt a bit more butter in the pan and add 2 tablespoons of plain flour stir until all the butter and juices in the pan have made a paste (add a little more butter or oil if needs be). A little at a time, add and stir/whisk in the beef stock until it has the consistency of a thick sauce. Add a blob or 2 of cranberry sauce and stir in. Put the meatballs back in the pan and turn down to a low heat to simmer.
Whilst the meatballs finish off, make up some creamy mash with plenty of fresh chopped dill. Shred some cabbage (i used savoy) and fry with some white pepper, salt and butter in a separate frying pan. 
to serve - dollop on a good helping of mash onto a plate, add couple of spoonfulls of the cabbage and then ladle on the meatballs and sauce.
Enjoy!

Countries to go: 76

Countries done:
#1 Peru
#2 Oman
#3 Malta
#4 Sweden

Keep following the Greedy Mancunians to see what country I 'visit' next!  

Sunday, 29 June 2014

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DISHES: #3 MALTA - MAJJAL BHAL FIL-FORN

The latest stop on my around the world in 80 dishes it Malta!
Maltese cooking it seems isnt just opening a bag of Malteasers, after a thorough search throug Maltese recipes I cam across the layered pork based dish Majjal Bhal Fil-Forn.
Ingredients:
4 pork loin steaks
savoy cabbage
1 granny smith apple
1 large onion
2 slices of bacon
2 large baking potatoes
dried cranberries
nutmeg
smoked paprika
fennel seeds
100ml water
olive oil
This is a really easy dish to make!
In a large casserole dish layer some of the cabbage and add the 2 slices of bacon (cut into pieces)
Grate a Granny Smiths apple and add that on top, followed by a layer of sliced onion.
Next up is a layer of the pork loin steaks
slice the potatoes and layer on top of the pork, add the 100ml of water the then give it all a good grind of salt & pepper. Add the nutmeg, smoked paprika & plenty of fennel seeds ontop.
Finally, drizzle a good glug of olive oil over the top and throw in plenty of dried cranberries. Put a lid on it and bung in an oven on 180C for 1hr 20mins.
Plate up a portion making sure to keep the pork loin whole & enjoy!
A rather tasty trip to Malta!

Countries to go: 77

Countries done:
#1 Peru
#2 Oman
#3 Malta

Keep following the Greedy Mancunians to see what country I 'visit' next!

Monday, 23 June 2014

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DISHES: #2 OMAN - LAMB KABOULI

For my 2nd stop on my Around the world in 80 dishes, I chose the country Oman.
After a few google searches I came across a very tasty looking Omani dish - Lamb Kabouli.
It's a fantastic dish (and one I'm sure I will return to many a time in the future) that is a little like a lamb biriyani only lighter, more fragrant and with chickpeas, parley and lime juice giving it more a middle eastern taste. Here's how it's done.

Ingredients:
For the Spice Mix:
3 cloves of garlic
A large thumb of fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of cardomon seeds
2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
Half a teaspoon of turmeric
Juice of 1 lime
Glug of olive oil
A dash of water
(Blend all of the above into a paste)

For the rest of the dish:
Basmati rice
Tin of chickpeas
1 large onion
Cloves
Cinnamon stick
Peppercorns
Salt
600g of diced lamb
2 cups of water
Butternut squash
Carrots
Curly leaf parsley
Finely chop a large onion & brown on a high heat in a little oil. Remove half the onion from pan and put aside for later. Add the blended spice mix and fry for a minute. Turn down the heat to a medium heat and add the lamb, season with salt and throw in about 10-12 whole peppercorns. Cover with 2 cups of water and add half a dozen cloves and a cinnamon stick (remember to fish these out when serving). Turn down to a low heat and simmer for 1hr 20.
Meanwhile cube a butternut squash and carrots spread out on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, salt & pepper and roast for 40 mins in the oven.
Throw in the tin of chickpeas to the lamb after an hour and boil up some basmati rice, when the rice is partially cooked - with about 10 mins remaining - gently ladle on the lamb and remaining liquid on top but not stirred in to the rice. Cook for the remaining 10 mins until the rice is finished. Serve with plenty of fresh chopped curly parsley, and the roasted vegetables.
I hope you enjoy the taste of Oman as much as I did!

Countries to go: 78

Countries done:
#1 Peru
#2 Oman

Keep following the Greedy Mancunians to see what country I 'visit' next!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DISHES: #1 PERU - PAPAS RELLENAS

I have embarked on a culinary adventure! Hurrah! I intend to pick 80 countries and cook a dish from each of them in a Greedy Mancunian food voyage. I look forward to trying and sharing some interesting  world cuisine dishes. So....... here I go....... first stop on my voyage is Peru.
The Peruvian dish I have decided to try out is Papas Rellenas.
The dish is a filled mashed potato stuffed with a minced beef mix and coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. I was expecting it to be quite heavy and a bit greasy, but found it to be quite the opposite - it was very tasty!

Firstly peel & boil some potatoes (use some good mashers) once cooked through, mash til smooth and leave to cool. Once cool mix in a large egg and kneed to make your dough. 
For the filling you will need the following:
2 large cloves of garlic
Half an onion finely chopped
Half a green bell pepper finely chopped
10-12 black olives sliced
3 tsps capers
Half tsp of chili powder
Half tsp of cumin
Half tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of oregano
3 tablespoons of tomato purée
Squeeze of lime juice
500g of minced beef steak
1 bay leaf
In a large pan heat some olive oil and throw in the onions & press the garlic. Once the onions have softened throw in the steak mince and brown, breaking it up with a spoon as it fries. Throw in all the other ingredients and cook on a low heat for 15mins. Let the mixture cool.
Taking some of your potato dough, form a flat pancake and put a spoon or 2 of the filling mix in the centre. Fold the potato around the filling to form a large ball.
Fill 3 bowls - one with plain flour, a pinch of chili powder & a tsp of cinnamon. One with a beaten egg with a dash of water. And the final bowl with breadcrumbs mixed with oregano. 
Dip your large balls first in the flour until coated, then dip in the egg, finally into the breadcrumbs again til fully coated. Drop balls in a pan of boiling sunflower oil and deep fry until golden.
Slice in half and serve with a salad drizzled with lime juice.
Delicious!
So that was my first visit on my Around the World in 80 Dishes!

Countries to go: 79

Countries done:
#1 Peru

Keep following the Greedy Mancunians to see what country I 'visit' next!