by - September 08, 2010

What no dinner diary for a while? I have been eating I promise. Too much in fact!

This week I had most incredible meal at (I guess my favourite Brighton restaurant) The Chilli Pickle. It is always great, but this time it was magnificent. My starter of Pani Puri (top image) was so much fun. You pour the pea puree into the puffed crackers filled with crushed chickpea salad and pea sprouts, topped with a little tamarind chutney, then shove the lot in your mouth whole. I HATED coriander until this precise, exact moment. Now I have seen the light.

The main was even more spectacular. I had been tipped off by a couple of Brightonians that a tandoori venison (wild deer from Perth) was guesting. And what a dish it was. Mind bogglingly tender and everything worked so well, particularly the curried apples and the sweet and crunchy kashmiri rice. I really liked the cherry chutney and spiky chilli sauce accompaniments but couldn't bring myself to swamp the venison too much. I was almost delirious after this one. It's still on so catch it while you can.

Work has been cray-zee. We're moving studio at the moment so frantically boxing everything up whilst still juggling client work. I went through a little phase of having supermarket filled pasta in my freezer as a in-case-of-emergency. Being far more disappointed with it than not, I stopped. But then on a particularly heavy day a packet was sent to me. Perfect as I got in at 9 - EMERGENCY!

This is a brand new filled pasta from Giovanni Rana, apparently the number 1 seller of fresh pasta in Italy. I can't say I've ever seen a packet of this in my family's fridge when I go back to visit, but then they always make their own. Saying that, this was noticeably superior to own-brand. The pasta a better texture, the size ("Trattoria") far larger and more impressive and the filling better quality. This Goat's Cheese and Caramalised Onion version was tasty and it was nice to see the filling look like food and not some grey mush. Pop a drizzle of oil and a dinner in minutes few you have. I'll have a pack of this in the freezer again.

Lamb chops with butterbean mash....

...and a Frittata with a everything-left-in-the-fridge filling. Yeah, like I said, HEAVY week.

In other news, me and Betty (that's her above) have been hanging out quite a bit. We're trying to nail down a good focaccia recipe.

Getting there but a little way to go yet.

She was a godsend this weekend as our street had a party (ooh how Victorian!) and my arm would have fallen off without her! I'll post about the party later. My much anticipated Kitchen Aid Book that you get when you register your product finally arrived too - yay! Really looking forward to trying a few recipes - has anyone made anything from it?

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