Dear <<First Name>>,

And I know that because I got all excited at the market and suffered from “punga”  overload and I now an staring at an awful lot of nettles (excited to use them tomorrow night in our Italian dinner fest  together with the spinach in one of the risottos), a lot of “leurda” and a bunch of  deep purple “loboda”  - I really hope that these superfoods will chase any last vestiges of winter blues away.  So I’ve put a load of the loboda in the salad at the Bistro, we are whizzing up some “leurda” (fresh wild garlic) pesto which is just amazing with the gnocchi made with “urda”…its just so simple and so good.

English versus Romanian Muffin: Not so good has been my experience with “mamaliga”.  Ive tried to like it really I have…ive added rosemary to it…I’ve cooked it in chicken stock, added huge amounts of butter and parmesan and still no…that is until I had my “malai” epiphany.  We were making these little central American “torrejitas de mais” and I had to try one…CHING!  These are absolutely delicious…kind of like a cross between a scone and a scotch pancake but yellow and crisp on the outside and of course gluten free at the same time… now where is this diatribe leading you might ask? The answer dear friends is to an improvement on the English Muffin and a gluten free Eggs Benedict.  This is my new favourite thing apart from the Thai Fish Cake Benedict which is also my new favourite thing.

Fish & Chips: Except that I already decided that the chick pea chips with harissa aioli were my new favourite thing so I reached three favourite things and no contradictions in terms at all.  But finally I’ve got a fish dish I am happy with.  This is Romanian perch with a crust of walnuts and fresh herbs and a nod in the direction of the Sublime Porte with sumac and cumin added. The “chips” are in fact batons of chick pea dough and the dip harks back again to the Eastern Med.   The dish is on this week’s weekly menu here at the Bistro. Read the menu

I thought you might like
I love hummus and lentils in general so I wanted to have a go at the chick pea chips featured in Two Greedy Italians visiting Genoa for a long time and I am really glad I did.
Hit it here at 45 minutes to see the chick pea chips or pour a glass of vino and enjoy the whole hour.

Australian Wines – this month we are featuring some astonishingly good wines from the land down under as together with Richard we have a limited stock of some very fine Penfolds.  On Thursday 13th Richard will be a man at work offering you a tasting of them here/ wines to stock up on and buy. Check them out here

Try this at home
I’ve been rubbish at blogging this week and have a load of things to blog.  Please nag me so that Vegan Fruit Cake and the Mamaliga Muffins appear soon!

Food Heroes
“Mirodenii” : These guys pioneered rare and hard to find spices and the original shop is well worth a visit (plus it happens to be round the corner from us here).  You can buy the spices at mega Image but its nice to visit a spice shop. Check them out

Whats Cooking?
Weekend Brunch Sat& Sun   Lots of fresh home made bread, “those” muffins and this week’s breakfast from around the world special – Tiramisu.  Yes really it (so the story goes) was originally a breakfast dish supposedly meaning “pick me up”
Cook! Eat! Drink!  Friday 28th  7.00pm 250 Ron incl wines Cook octopus salad, risottos and tiramisu and drink  some top Italian wines.  I quality controlled the Eduardo Miroglio Blanc des Blancs on Monday and its just beautiful – all rising bread and yeasty on the nose.  I’ve found the oxtail and while it does look a bit rude…it will cook down to create beautifully soft meat and a stock for a really rich and sticky earthy risotto.  Mike is going to explain all about the wines and help us appreciate them all. Couple of places left so call us or email on

At a Glance

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