Chilled scallop canapés with smoked paprika, seaweed-butter and lime

These sound fancy but they were quite easy to put together and can be made in advance, so they’re easy to serve if you’re having a party. Get about one scallop per guest (or two if you want to make it a more substantial dish than just a canapé). I love scallops. My dad was a scallop diver so they’ve never been far away from … Continue reading Chilled scallop canapés with smoked paprika, seaweed-butter and lime

Martini Izakaya Dishes

An Izakaya is essentially a type of Japanese pub that specialises in food to accompany drinks. It’s basically my favourite type of drinks setting. I love the post-work, instantly friendly and relaxed atmosphere, completely free of pretension. Comparable to Spanish tapas or Turkish meze, the Izakaya-way is healthier than simply guzzling down a bucket of booze before staggering off for some fish and chips or … Continue reading Martini Izakaya Dishes

Asparagus skewers to accompany a martini

   This is dead easy.    Asparagus is tasty and a bit of a luxury so it naturally pairs well with a martini. I love its distinctive flavour, visual appeal and most of all, its satisfying fresh and crunchy texture.    My brother and I were having a martini before dinner, but after we had drunk the first one we really just wanted to have … Continue reading Asparagus skewers to accompany a martini

Shime Saba (pickled mackerel sushi)

I love mackerel.   You’ve got to eat it fresh, it looks beautiful, it tastes really strong and it reminds me of fun times trying to catch them in the summer from a very young age.     I also love sashimi, or meat and seafood that is lightly cured, smoked or marinaded rather than cooked outright. So here is a simple recipe for preparing mackerel to … Continue reading Shime Saba (pickled mackerel sushi)

The Japanese Pickled Ginger Martini

Get ready for winter with this ice-cold Japanese-Russian-British infusion. If Moscow cuts off Europe’s gas supplies this is how to stay warm! I love gari (Japanese pickled ginger) and wanted to incorporate it into a drink for ages. Similar to making Limoncello the aim is to infuse clear spirit and add it to a classic martini. Take 1 small pile of gari slices (as in … Continue reading The Japanese Pickled Ginger Martini

The Squid Ink and Octopus Martini

    This one goes by many names… The Octopus-tini The Octopussy Martini The Loch Ness Monstini The Nautilus-tini The Maritime Martini The Tako-tini (tako no matini / タコのマティーニ) And finally, the Spectre Martini Add squid ink and octopus tentacle soaked in balsamic vinegar to make an unusual variation of a dirty martini and Le Jacques Coustini.    Get yourself some sea legs by drinking one … Continue reading The Squid Ink and Octopus Martini

The Jasmine martini

While I was jogging this morning I was arrested, not by the intense heat, the failing of my heart or the police, but by the scent of jasmine flowers growing on a bush in the neighbour’s garden. As usual, my first thought was ‘how do I martini-fy this?’ I picked a handful (don’t tell the neighbour), but I’m sure you could use normal jasmine tea. … Continue reading The Jasmine martini

The Apple Martini (aka the Appletini)

This drink, the apple martini, took several attempts (and a strong liver) to perfect. My first recipe simply involved sour apple spirit (there are several brands) mixed with vodka (stored for at least a day in the freezer) garnished with an apple slice. 2 parts sour apple spirit 4-5 parts vodka Apple slice While visually appealing with its clear green hue, I thought its chemical … Continue reading The Apple Martini (aka the Appletini)