A Lazy Night In: Great British Menu, Yumea & Banana Bread

We’re watching Great British Menu – one of our favourite shows where Britain’s best chefs in each region compete against each other, all to get into the final to cook a dish at the banquet (only 4 courses: Starter, Fish, Main, Pudding but 8 regions).  This year’s banquet will be to cook for the Olympians for London 2012.

It’s awesome because we get to watch how they source their produce (foraging, breeding animals specifically for that dish, growing own kind of vegetables) and the use of different ingredients like sea buckthorn, cuckoo flower and rosehips “picked at altitude” (literally).

What’s the most interesting is the molecular gastronomy eg. making edible sand, edible snow, using liquid nitrogen, dry ice and setting sorbet on fire – WOW – They got SKILLS!

The best part is that we get to see 1-2 Michelin starred chefs, up and coming Michelin star chefs and chefs from UK’s top 5 / Europe’s top 5 restaurants, in their element.  It’s just fun to watch – from the concept and inspiration, the design of the dish, the sourcing of the produce through to the execution and what other chefs think of it as well as the food critics.  If we see dishes we really love the look and sound of, or chefs we really like, we put it on our mental wish list for all the restaurants we want to eat at 🙂

And why have we decided to shut down and just watch TV?  Because both of us have been working incredibly hard today, so much so, that we ordered Take Away  (Home Delivery) from our favourite local Chinese place Yumea.  It’s cheap and cheerful but still very enjoyable food.

Here’s what we ate:

Deep Fried Crispy Shredded Chilli Beef – this one’s my favourite.  It’s crunchy beef and has that sweet and sour flavour with pickled carrots and chilli.  YUM – a taste of China

Here it is again 😉

Kai Ka-Proa – this one didn’t have much taste compared to the rest, very mild and unfortunately, the chicken was a bit gelatinous (tasted like jelly) – Tones said it might be that they put bicarbonate soda on it to make it softer and left it for too long, or put too much.  It’s chicken sautéed with basil and chilli – a taste of Thai.

Lamb with Sambal Sauce – this one was another new dish we ordered to try.  Tones decided to order 2 of the stinkiest things to cook (Lamb and Sambal Sauce) and put them together.  His words, “at least we don’t have to cook it in the house”.  The result?  Pretty average.  We probably won’t be ordering it again.  Think the Sambal will be alright with chicken but it didn’t quite taste right with the lamb – this was our taste of Malaysia.

Monks Vegetables – another favourite because it had all my favourite vegetables in it (mushroom, corn, broccoli, carrot, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts) and tofu.  I have to say, if I only had these vegetables with rice, I’d be pretty happy to be a Monk.  Lucky for them they get all sorts of different (and yummy) vegetable / vegetarian dishes.  I got some insight into this when I did a 3 day silent retreat at the Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong.  The food was pretty good and you get to appreciate it because you can’t talk  😛

And now, as we watch “Two Greedy Italians… still hungry”, we are going to munch down on some Banana Bread (baked yesterday) and we’re using the left over cream cheese icing (made for the coffee cake) to spread on it.  DELICIOUS!!

Here’s a picture of the Banana Bread

and here’s the recipe 🙂

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bananabread_85720

Enjoy!

Joy & Tones

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