Archive for November, 2010

Spreadable Meat!

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Columbus found America, Epstein discovered The Beatles and Joe Hurd introduced ‘Ndjua’ to the world…

Ok, so you may be thinking I just made up a word but you would be wrong. All the greats (St. Delia of Smith especially) have discovered a new ingredient, product, utensil or some other piece of kitchen/fridge related paraphernalia. I would put money on it that if Jamie Oliver put his grinning ruddy southern face on a jar of fulmar vomit, the Sainsbury’s masses would happily part with their 7-8 quid for the privilege.

The food epiphany I now share with you is golden (its actually more terracotta in colour) and a must for any carnivorous, Italian food-loving connoisseur. Ndjua is a spreadable salami paste originating from the very toe of Italy in the region of Calabria (my very own). This ancient ingredient is a mix of tripe, pig jowels, shoulder and belly, all combined with fiery hot and sweet peppers all stuffed into pig intestine. I suppose in many ways it is something akin to black pudding and it is meant to be eaten much like the almost pate like “boudon noir” of France.

My supplier of this porky treat informs me that it is best spread onto some crusty dry or toasted bread, but is also a delight when swirled through pasta. So far I have had it on toast with a good topping of Parma ham, the salty ham cutting its way nicely through the rich, tingling and yet smooth Ndjua paste.

I have only had my jar three days, but I have a feeling I will soon be forking out another £6.50 for the taste bud scintillating privilege. If you fancy some spreadable heaven I would check out the better Italian delis in your area, it really is a must have.

NB: If you live in London and have had the privilege of recourse to Ndjua for the last 15 years, as is mostly the case with the North/South divide, please forgive me, I am but a provincial with limited gastronomic outlets at my disposal.

A Meal of Two Cities

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Last Friday the office was struck down; famine stalked the edit suite, the meeting room AND the office. Granted, it was only 11.35, but seriously we were very hungry, biblically so.

I don’t know about any of you, but when I get hungry I start obsessing about all the most amazing foods I can think of. I taunt and test my aching, empty stomach with Google image searches of everything from juicy roast joints of beef, thick ribbons of parpadelle with porcini and garlic, to huge beef burgers, smothered in melted cheese and Jalapeños. As a recovering fatty, these actions are definitely steps backwards and wholly futile, however it happens, tragically, every time hunger strikes.

This Friday afternoon however, we went one step further; “If you could eat anything right now what would it be?” My mind skipped through all the most amazing meals I have ever eaten hurriedly trying to find the solution, Saltimboca in Bologna? Giorgio Locatelli’s red wine and Castelmagno cheese risotto, the kebab I had at Zurich train station in 2008? My mind landed on two dishes, the dishes of the gods, Foie Gras and the dish that made Hull famous, the Pattie. Tragically neither would be available in deepest darkest North Leeds and in the end a pack of Seabrook Worcestershire sauce crisps would have to suffice.

Now, when I get food on the brain it is there until I have devoured whatever is the target of my culinary lusts so with this in mind I decided to go to that Mecca of gastronomy! the jewel in the cuisine crown! no not Paris… Hull!

Saturday morning saw a quick bus ride into the city and a mad dash to the legendary Bob Carvers for a battered, deep-fried hockey puck shaped mound of potato, sage and fish. If you aren’t familiar with a Pattie, it is pretty much native to Hull, like a little grey sponge full of flavor, covered in vinegar and salt, served with dark, evil looking (but fantastic tasting) mushy peas. I always ask for “an old one”, one which escaped the jaws of one of last weeks eager customers and has now become hard and chewy, only to soften with the addition of Christ’s last drink (vinegar). It was delicious, a tour de force for the mouth and set me up perfectly for a day of loitering and pub stops. By hook or by crook, I managed to locate a little, delicious nugget of Foie Gras while I was in Hull that made the weekend! Lovingly fried and served with a bit of crusty bread nothing else bothered me that weekend, football results, girls, trains, weather. All these paled in my gastronomic accomplishments!

My Time With

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Emily was the presenter for our University of Liverpool shopping guide and put together a little blog entry for us about her day with us and what she learnt -

So on starting at uni the last thing I was thinking about is what I was going to feed myself over the year to come; rather I was thinking about the societies I was going to join, where my lectures and seminars were and the most important point of where was best for a night out. However it was not long before I had got through my food stash supplied by the parents for the first week of uni (which may I add had been devoured in a few days with only cans of sweetcorn and such left, only to be ignored!). Soon enough I was facing the issue of what to buy and where to buy it. Initially I fell into the trap of the Walmart, going once or twice a week to the popular destinations for students of Tesco or ASDA and spending about £30 on mainly the basic fruit and meat with the odd treat thrown in! Needless to say I’d often return thinking I had nothing to eat and before I knew it any fruit or veg I had bought had gone off and a lot was being wasted. Thankfully I decided to help with student cooking tv in making the University of Liverpool Shopping Guide and it opened my eyes to all the great places in Liverpool to get great food on a student budget!

This opportunity enabled me to look past the world of Walmart and opened my eyes to the variety of local markets that are on offer all around Liverpool, such as St Johns market which not only specialises in food markets but also clothes and bags. (Not great if your aim is to save money on your trip as you may end up poorer having looked at these stalls too!) Both here and along the town streets are stands of fresh fruit and vegtables that help you on your way to having your 5 a day- something the regular student struggles in managing!

As well as this I headed to China town where I was shown that I could pick up numerous spices and oriental ingredients to aid in my cooking for a small price too. This is particularly good if you’re either bored of your typical food and like to experiment or in fact you enjoy the cuisine of other cultures such as Chinese, Japenese ad Korean. Being a self- confessed ‘lazy cook’ I acknowledged the fact that by simply adding a different spice or sauce to a pasta, rice or meat dish I could create an entirely new meal.

A key lesson I learnt making this video was the importance of making a list beofre you go shopping so you don’t lose track of what you set out for which in turn will help you over spend. Similarly by making some sort of meal plan for the week you give yourself a sense of direction and idea of what you have and can eat in that week without needing to go out to spend more.

Thanks to looking past the big supermarket signs with the help of student cooking tv crew, Rob and Eastwood I am well on the way to eating better this year whilst also saving myself pennies- both of which I benefit from now and in the long-term! Cheers guys!

Emily x

Food On Campus – Southampton Solent

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Food on Campus

The Square Artisan Café

Sir James Mathews building, refurbished in summer 2010, overlooks Guildhall square, offers hot/cold drinks, snacks and hot meals

Students and Staff get 22% discount when they show their campus cards


It’s opposite the main reception, offering Costa coffee, snack and sandwiches. Everything you’d expect from your high street costa but on campus.

The Dock – Eat and Connect

Main University Restaurant it has a broad range of meal options available, from breakfast form the ‘brunch’ bar, sandwiches form the ‘Bonde Deli’, full hearty meals from ‘the Bowl’, Pizza and chips from ‘Streat’ or healthy jackets salads and smoothies from ‘Natural’

More info at soon

Aspretto and Millais retreat

Located in the Christopher Cockerel building corridor, Apretto is a small coffee outlet where you can grab a triple certified coffee when running between lectures.

You also have Millais Retreat which is just like Aspretto but its just in the JM building.

Campus news

Small newsagents on campus for a quick grab and go, sells newspapers, magazines, snacks, drinks, and plenty of sweets /chocolate

Students union bars

Bottom Bar

The SU Bottom Bar is located on the ground floor of the Students’ Union and aims to provide top notch food at low, low prices. With a great menu, fantastic drinks offers and a friendly atmosphere; it is the top spot to hang out in the day between classes. The Bottom bar menu is available to download form the Solentsu website.

The Venue

The Venue, located on the 2nd floor, is Solent SU’s top spot for partying – hosting various big events throughout the year and a weekly entertainment program, as well as showcasing the very best of Solent talent in our student event nights.

Student union shop

Sells drinks snack and sweets along with university hoodies and supplies for studying also right next to the cash points

The Warsash campus

At the Warsash campus you have a fully licensed café, a bar and The Warsash restaurant. Here you have a fully licensed cafe  as well as bar called mariners where people can buy the usual draught beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks as well as Costa coffee and small hot snacks. Its open late to all staff and students and also offers sky TV. The Warsash restaurant area has a large servery area offering a range of local and international foods plus a salad bar and choice of snacks and Sandwiches.

The Science Behind The Salad

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The science behind the salad – Tuna ‘n’ Noodle Salad

Oily fish is a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids that are great for your brain. It’s also a great source of protein! In fact, its so full of protein that many bodybuilders include tins of tuna in their daily diets (if you’re in to that kind of thing).

Also the complex carbs in the noodles are a great source of brain energy as well.  To top it off, whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of heart diseases by decreasing cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood coagulation! Not too bad!

Use whatever salad leaves you want – I’m using watercress and baby spinach cause that’s what I like! Spinach is a powerhouse of health among leafy green vegetables. It is loaded with a whole host of vitamins, including Vitamin B, folate, iron. Being rich in fiber, it has long been considered one of the healthiest foods in the world

Same goes for the veg you want to throw in, I just had some peppers and tomatoes left over in the fridge but  – Radish, cucumber, carrot, pretty much any other vegetable Would work just as well in this. We all know how important your “5 a day” is and, although you’re probably sick of hearing about it, this salad is a perfect chance to get all 5 fast!

To add that little extra sprinkle of health you’ve got the Lemon. Lemons a great source of vitamin c and the acid in it also helps break down fats!

If you feel that way inclined you could always add Pine nuts. Pine nuts are a miniature marvel, brimming with health benefits! For one, if your looking to lose weight, Pine nuts are nature’s only source of pinoleic acid, which stimulates hormones and helps diminish your appetite. Amongst many other things, they contain magnesium; great for alleviating muscle cramps and are full of iron, a key energy giver!