So long, farewell…..sort of

byeI started this blog in 2012, as a means for me to put my recipes/thoughts down, a way of expressing my views on all things food. Since 2012 I have had so much fun, frolics, highs and lows and the blog has been a big part of my life. As time went by I became a much more confident writer, cook and reviewer. This blog has taught me a lot, that much is true.

Alas, things change, people change and the world around us changes. Peoples habits changes, their likes and dislikes. Trends come and go, and today’s hot new thing will be tomorrows ‘that was so yesterday’. Blogging has changed considerably since I began way back in 2009 (I used to run a men’s lifestyle blog before this). Back then, people were much more fixed to a desk, at home or on a laptop. Smart phones and tablets were emerging, and a lot more expensive than they are now, and youtube was only just emerging as a new medium for serious content creators. Traditional written blogs were the norm, and they were where people got their news, stories, tutorials, funny cats etc.

I am moving on, to a new exciting venture….

I few years ago I wrote a post telling you all that I wanted to start making youtube videos alongside the blog…yeah, that never happened did it? This was a combination of lack of equipment, time, and a deep fear of being on camera. I didn’t think I could do it, or that I would be any good at it. Well, I have bitten the bullet and jumped right in the deep end. I HAVE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL! WOO HOO! The channel is basically everything I have been doing on here, but in video form.

So what is going to happen to the blog Adam!?

Ok, the long and short of it, is the blog will be disbanded. I won’t be updating it any longer. Why? Well, I just cannot manage both, and I want to focus all my efforts on youtube, as I feel it allows me to be more creative, and I can interact with people more. Do not panic, I do have a plan! So the blog will stay up for a while, as I figure out how and when I am going to do things. Ultimately what I will do is make video versions of all my recipes, so they won’t be lost. I will then download all of my posts to then re upload to a new domain, related to my youtube channel. So you will still be able to access my blog as such, just that this domain ‘thebritishmenu.com’ will eventually be deleted. I am also considering offering all my recipes in a downloadable format, so you can keep them on your computer, laptop, phone etc.

Social media

Ok, you may or may not have noticed that all of my social media profiles have changed to ‘adamseats’ rather than the british menu. Un surprisingly this is the name of my youtube channel, so I have changed them to fit in with the new name. Nothing will change in terms of these profiles, so if you follow me on twitter, facebook, instagram etc, you don’t need to do anything. If you haven’t followed me, and would like to, I will put links below for you.

Thank you

It wasn’t easy for me to make this decision, and that was because of you guys. I love each and every one of you, whoever you are wherever you are. If you have been with me from the start or started reading last week, I consider you my friends, and you all mean the world to me. I really hope you will understand the decision, and will follow me into this new exciting era of blogging. Plus, you get to see my devilishly handsome face, and my witty rapor on camera! HA! I hear you decry! Please note, that I am new to this youtube stuff, so don’t expect steven spielberg quality just yet, still finding my feet with it.

The past 6 years have been a blast, and I look forward to the next 6 years as a youtuber! it’s still sinking in a bit that I’m actually doing it!

Linkage

Ok, so I have compiled a list of links for you to follow me on, most importantly is the link to my youtube channel. Click on the red subscribe button, and that’s it! You’ll get a notification when i post a new video, pretty nifty, and simple.

My youtube channel is called ‘Adams Eats’ and cane be found here; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGt3YurGl3xteH_-JIeor5Q

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Adamseatschannel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Adamseats

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adamseats

Thank you again for being such a fantastic bunch of readers. Much love.

Adam x

 

Brioche burger buns

Brioche buns

Someone, somewhere had an idea. An idea to marry sweet brioche buns with salty, meaty burgers. And that person… is a hero in my books.

A few years ago, I stumbled across a simple recipe for burger buns. Nothing fancy, but when I made them, they came out as the most pillow soft buns I’d ever created. So impressed was I, that I went and lost the recipe! And I’ve not been able to recreate them since, until now (well, an adaptation by accident anyway).

I’ve thought about making brioche a number of times, but I’d considered it one of things that only professional bakers, and French people could do. So I consigned it to the ‘i’ll just buy it from a shop’ pile, along with crumpets and macaroons. Today I bit the bullet, and decided to give it a whirl. I’m so glad I did, because they turned about pretty flipping good, if I do say so myself.

The recipe was adapted from an American one I stumbled upon, which I tried the first time around. I wasn’t that impressed with it, as I found the dough completely un-manageable, too wet and it didn’t seem to prove all that well. Maybe I did it wrong, maybe I got the measurements wrong, who knows. So I changed a few things, and it worked out!

Round of applause?

Brioche is basically a sweetened, enriched dough with butter, eggs, sugar and milk. A sweet, yet not overbearing bread that should be verging on the side of savoury. Too often, shop bought brioche is far too sweet, loaded with goodness knows what and generally tastes of diabetes.

These brioche rolls are very simple to make, and even easier to eat. I had one with a burger, but I mean they would go so well with some good ham, pickles and cheese too. Or just toasted and slaked with butter. It’s your life, and your brioche.

Brioche burger buns makes 8

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 3 tbsp full fat milk
  • 1 medium free range egg, plus 1 yolk only
  • 10g packet of dried yeast
  • 2 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50g cubed unsalted butter at room temp
  • 240ml water

To finish the buns

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Method

  1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, then add the egg plus the one yolk, sugar, salt and butter. Mix everything together until the butter has been incorporated into the flour, so it has a sort of breadcrumb like texture.
  2. Put the milk and water in a pan and bring it up to a luke warm temperature. It needs to be just warm, too hot and it will kill the yeast. Once warmed, add the dried yeast and mix it up a bit. Then add to the flour mixture
  3. First start to combine it with a wooden spoon until it forms a loose dough, then tip out onto a floured surface. Knead heavily for about 15 minutes, adding a little flour when needed. {if you are using a mixer with a dough hook, you won’t need to do this part, and can just leave it to knead whilst you bathe in your own glory}. The dough is a little wet, so will be quite difficult to knead at the start, but will become easier. The dough is done when you can press your finger into the surface and it springs back, and it has a nice smooth feel, much like the cheek of a Swedish mountain girl.
  4. Place the dough in bowl, lightly greased with vegetable oil, then cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place until it’s tripled in size, which should take about 1-1 1/2 hours.
  5. Once it has proved, take the dough and divide it in half, then each half in half again, then each piece in half so you have 8 equally sized portions. Roll them into nice rounded balls *sniggers and place on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray, and press down gently to form a bread roll shape. Make sure you leave a good inch between each roll, to allow them to prove.
  6. Lightly cover the tray with a clean tea towel, and leave to prove again for around 30-45 minutes until they have almost doubled in size.
  7. Pre heat your oven to gas mark 6 (200¬įC). Beat the egg with the water to form an eggwash. Now brush the buns, making sure you coat them evenly. Then lightly sprinkle with sesame seeds if using them. Place the buns in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until they are a nice golden brown and shiny in appearance. leave to cool completely before using.

…..Smashing ūüôā

 

Do you deliveroo? Well you should do!

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Ok, so I have been absent again for some time, for which you must be thoroughly bored of by now, and I can only apologise. The main reasons for my blogging siesta is to do with hosting. No not the party kind, of passing around vol-au-vents and champagne to bleery eyes guests at a dinner party. More like, the ‘Oh look everything is broken on my site, and I have no idea how to fix things properly and my life is a mess’ kind of hosting problems. I won’t bore you with the details, but basically, I’ve been unable to login to the back-end of my blog for about 8 weeks now.

And people think I live this glamorous lifestyle of PR events and free stuff sent to me…

Ok, so recently the good folks at deliveroo asked me to review their service. And me being the obliging chap, of course I agreed. Now for those of you that don’t know what deliveroo is, it’s essentially a service that delivers restaurant food to your door, from eateries that don’t traditionally offer a takeaway service. A sort of posh just eat if you like, but way better.

So how does it work?

It’s so simple to use. If I can do it, anyone can..and i’m really simple. It works by using the downloadable app, which is available on iTunes and the google play market for android. You sign up, log in, order from the menu of your chosen restaurant and bam, just wait for it to be delivered! It really is that simple.

So what did I eat?

Meat, lots and lots of deliciously slow cooked meat from grillstock. I’ve eaten there before, so I knew I was in for a treat. I picked what I wanted from the menu, which was added to my cart. Then at the end, a very reasonable Deliveroo fee of ¬£2.50 was added, and of course you have the option to tip the driver…which I did, because I’m not a stinge…well maybe a touch.

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The app tells you whats going on in real-time. From the moment you have paid, it tells you when your food is being prepared, when the driver is on their way to the restaurant, and when they have left and on their way to you! All in real-time.

Time wise I was very impressed. I ordered early evening on a saturday. The delivery time said 52 minutes – which I was prepared to wait for – but actually, it arrived in just over half an hour. Deliveroo say the average delivery time is 32 minutes, which wasn’t far off how long I had to wait. Of course, some nights are busier than others so it’s going to differ.

The only down side I would say is locations. When you sign up you have to enter your postcode, which will then tell you if they can deliver to you or not, and unless you live close to a city or town centre they may not be able to get to you. I understand why this would be, as transporting hot, restaurant quality food needs to be swift. And trying to deliver a lovely, freshly made moussaka, to some old house on a hill in a village, isn’t viable. But maybe it’s something they are working on. Delivery by drones perhaps? Unicorns? Moles would be good too, can avoid traffic underground.

What I really really love about deliveroo, is it gives accessibility to people who might not otherwise be able to get out and enjoy a nice restaurant, through disability or illness. The sheer amount of restaurants available is also great. Where I live, I had a choice of about 25 restaurants, including zizzis, grillstock, bonzai sushi bar, meatcure and a bunch load more. This will obviously change depending on your area.

I wonder also, if this type of service will breed a new genre of armchair critics, free to chastise or praise a chefs hard work from the comfort of their stained, sweaty, brown armchair. Cackling, as they bash out some half-baked review on twatadvisor…..God I hope not!

Verdict: 9/10

A fantastic service, a reasonable fee structure, easy to use app and very, very quick, considering this is restaurant food, and not a takeaway. I love how quick these people are, most of the drivers are on push bikes zipping through the city, which again, you can see in real-time. As I said, my only wish is that they expanded their reach a bit more, so more people can enjoy.

Go and download the app and give it a go, share your experiences in the comments. Let me know what you think of them!

Arrivederci folks!

The Croque Monsieur aka Posh cheese toastie

Croque monsieur

Firstly, apologies for the state of my blog. I have had such a bad time with my – now ex – hosting company, meaning my blog is well and truly hammered at the moment. I am in the process of laboriously re uploading each and every image post whilst also trying to sort out the mess that’s been left in the wake of leaving said hosting company. I won’t bore with the details, but let’s just say that I will not be using them again.

Back to the food…

I don’t mind admitting that I’m a bit of a cheese addict. We have a relationship. I love it, and it loves me, it’s that simple. If someone tried to make me give it up, I think I’d commit horrific crimes….

I remember a good few years ago in the states, the FDA banned mimolette (a cheese with live mites in) on the advice of some people in suits that probably never experienced cheese outside the realms of dairylea, or luminous squared burger cheese. Needless to say, it seems it has made a return to the tables of cheese connoisseurs that simply wont be dictated to by the government. Good for them.

Would I try a cheese with live mites in? Yes, I probably would.

You may or may not be pleased to know, that this recipe does not call for mite infested cheese, but more of a soft, nutty, mellow, buttery cheese called Gruy√®re. It’s one of the best melting cheeses, and no substitute will do for a Croque monsieur. Yes you can use cheddar, yes you could use edam, but it just wouldn’t be half as good.

A croque monsieur is basically a posh ham and cheese toastie, posh because it requires a little more effort than just putting slices of cheese between bread and toasting it. However, the reward is much more satisfying. I added a smidgen of Dijon mustard to mine, if you don’t like it then you can just omit it from the recipe.

How to make a Croque Monsieur (makes 2 sandwiches)

Ingredients

for the bechamel

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 250ml milk
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 50g grated Gruy√®re cheese
  • Salt and white pepper

To make the sandwich

  • 4 slices of thick cut bread such as a farmhouse loaf
  • Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 100g good smoked ham
  • 80g grated Gruy√®re

Method

  1.  First thing to do is lightly toast the bread, you just want a light brown, even colour, not too dark otherwise it will burn when you finish them in the oven. Put them to one side to use when ready.
  2. Now to make the bechamel sauce. Place the flour and butter in a pan on a low heat, and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter melts and forms a paste with the flour. Cook it for a minute or two in order to cook out the raw flour taste. Now turn up the heat to medium and add a little of the milk, say about 35ml ish. Stir it in until it’s absorbed into the flour, it will thicken up into a lump, this is normal so don’t worry. Repeat by adding more milk and stirring in until the lumps dissolve through the sauce. You should end up with a thick smooth sauce but it doesn’t matter too much if you have a few lumps, just strain them out. Finish the sauce by adding the grated Gruy√®re, nutmeg and season with salt and white pepper. Mix on a low heat until the Gruy√®re has melted completely. Take off the heat and cover until needed.
  3. To assemble the sandwich is easy. Take one slice of your pre done toast and lightly spread with Dijon mustard, then add 50g of ham for each sandwich, then spoon over some of the bechamel you have made, before finishing with around 40g of grated Gruy√®re per sandwich. Place the other toast on top before lastly spooning over even more of that delicious bechamel sauce over the top. Now place the sandwiches on a baking tray lined with parchment, and bake in a hot oven for about 5 minutes until golden and bubbling. Be careful they don’t burn though, they can catch quite easily.

Enjoy

 

Sausage and egg muffins

sausage muffins

Well, my new camera lens has arrived! As you can probably tell, it has made a vast improvement over my kit lens – which lets be honest, has produced some pretty dire pictures on this blog. I’m really happy with what this inexpensive 50mm lens can achieve, and photographing these sausage and egg muffins was much, much easier. I simply just don’t know why I didn’t make the purchase sooner. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though, right?….

You may have guessed by now, that I’m an advocate for eating what the ruddy hell you like, when you like – in moderation of course. If it tastes good, and happens to be healthy, then great. However, I don’t generally go out of my way to create healthy alternatives of food, that is meant to trip you over the edge in to a fat-laced, hedonistic moment of euphoria. I mean… who wants a cheesecake made with quark and ryvita? Not me that’s for sure, I’d rather go without thanks and eat a salad (a nice one though).

That being said, it is easy – and beneficial – to make your own versions of your favourite fast food. I don’t know what the famous burger chain puts in theirs, but I know that I shouldn’t feel miserable, bloated and hungry after 5 minutes of eating it. I think the last time I actually bought one of these, I felt extremely ill. I spat it out – got so mad that I’d wasted money on it – and kicked the remainder of it violently at a wall. I realise I probably need some sort of anger management, but when something that should be simple and tasty, is cheapened so much it makes you sick…. I’m gonna get mad folks. On the plus side, the pigeons were happy about it.

sausage muffin closeup

Relax, mine won’t make you sick. It just contain nice things.

Making them is a pretty easy affair. You need only to assemble some pork mince in a bowl with some herbs, add a bit of seasoning and they’re ready to go. The muffins are way better toasted by the way. I’ve made these without before, and for some reason they’re just not quite as good. I think the toasting adds texture, and a bit more of a savoury kick. You can also swap the cheese if you like. I’ve gone for the classic American cheese, because it does add something that others don’t, call it cheese wizardry if you like. You could use cheddar, Emmental, Gruy√®re or even slices of camembert. It’s up to you.

Top these off with a nice, runny, crispy edged fried egg, and you’ll wonder why you even spent ¬£2 on gut rot and depression.

Sausage and egg muffins – makes 5-6 muffins

 

Sausage and egg muffins
Recipe Type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Adam Garratt
Serves: 5-6
A much tastier healthier version of that famous sausage and egg muffin.
Ingredients
  • 500g pork mince
  • 1/2 a medium onion finely diced
  • 1/2 tbsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 + 1/2 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
  • Black pepper and salt for seasoning
  • Small knob of butter
  • Oil for frying
  • 5-6 Muffins cut in half and toasted
  • 5-6 eggs
Instructions
  1. Take the pork mince and add to a bowl, then add the thyme, sage, breadcrumbs, parsley and pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill.
  2. Next put the knob of butter in a small pan and gently fry the diced onion until translucent and soft. Remove from the pan and spread out on a plate to cool.
  3. Once the onions are cool, add to the pork mince then mix everything together with your hands. This part is important as you don’t want to find a lump of herbs in a finished patty!
  4. Pinch off a tiny piece of the mix and fry it off in a pan. Once cooked, taste it and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  5. If the taste is to your liking, form in to patty’s by pulling off lumps a bit bigger than a golf ball and shape in to burger patty’s, about an inch or so bigger in diameter than the muffin bases, to allow for shrinkage.
  6. Place them in the fridge for about an hour just to firm up. You can also freeze these by stacking them on top of each other with a round of baking paper in-between each one.
  7. When ready, fry 2 or 3 at a time in a little oil for around 4-5 minutes each side, on a moderate heat until golden brown and cooked through. Place on some kitchen paper to drain off excess oil.
  8. To assemble, place a 1 or 2 squares of cheese on the base of the muffin, then the sausage patty, then lastly, top with a runny fried egg. Place the muffin top on and devour.