On The Menu: Truffled mushrooms on toast; conversation menus; mymuesli.com; Marshmallow Fluff; Ummera's smoked duck breast
Samuel Muston is deputy editor & food editor of The Independent Magazine. He writes a weekly food column – On the Menu – which appears in The Independent on Friday and i on Monday. And also travel and general features. Follow him on Instagram at @smuston
Friday 17 February 2012
This week I've been eating... Truffled mushrooms on toast
What makes for a good lunch on a cold day? Heartiness is pretty important, I reckon (you don't want a cube of sashimi after half an hour's walk in Baltic winds); portion size plays a part, too; and it helps if it isn't all broccoli and celery. Cream and cheese and earthy flavours are the things you want when the mercury falls.
The truffled mushrooms at the schoolroom-esque A Little of What You Fancy restauarnt in Dalston, east London, could have been created with that checklist next to the cooker. Everything was big for a start: the olive oil-toasted sourdough bread was big, the mushrooms were big and the quantity of grated truffles made sure the flavour was bigger still.
Steaming hot, too, with the smell of the truffles wafting up as it came from the open kitchen to the table, with its thumpingly big slices of parmesan on the rocket leaves on top. Tick, tick, and tick again.
The latest innovation in the 100-odd restaurants in the two Westfield shopping centres in London? A conversation menu. Shoppers who pause for a pit stop at Jamie's Italian, GBK or Wahaca no longer have to think about what they might talk to their partner about. Instead they consult the "Dine & Debate" menu, which, it's promised, will "entertain [and] infuriate". First they took the hassle out of shopping and now they've, er, taken the "hassle" out of a lunchtime chat. Hmmm...
We're told breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and with mymuesli.com you can also make sure it's the best, too. The site allows users to create their own personal muesli blend from a newly enlarged choice of 80 organic ingredients. You pick an oaty base, then choose the dried fruit, nuts, seeds and extras (read chocolate) you want in your mix – and it sends it direct to your door. All you have to do is remember to pick up the milk. mymuesli.com
We all have guilty pleasures, and I think I've found one to add to my list this week. Imagine a bag full of marshmallows run through a blender, heated up until it's molten, cooled and plonked in a jar. It's called Marshmallow Fluff. The suggestion that you mix it with peanut butter and put it in a sandwich may be enough to make a nutritionist faint, but it's just so damn moreish. £2, asda.com
Love a duck
Looking for the perfect nibble to impress the Joneses? Take a look at Ummera's smoked duck breast. The Irish smokehouse won the maximum three stars at the 2010 Great Taste Awards for its Silver Hill hybrid duck from County Monaghan, and it now delivers to the UK. Slice it up and serve on its own with a glass of red. From £5, ummera.com
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