More martini snacks and canapes

I’m just going to leave this here…    What could be easier than olives and cheese-stuffed peppers that you picked up at the shops on the way home? I particularly like the colour contrast of these two. Oh and the taste. You can’t go wrong with the lemony-buttery taste of Nocellara olive flesh, while the soft creamy cheese paired very indulgently with the sweet piccante … Continue reading More martini snacks and canapes

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

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 Sri Lankan Arrack Martini – the Serendipitini

   I have been working on this concept for a long time. It’s not a true martini, but it aims to serve a similar purpose, especially for those in Sri Lanka, perhaps without access to gin or vermouth. I resisted pressure to name it the Tamil Tiger Martini (it’s fiery, complex and deadly) as this would feel wholly inappropriate after Sri Lanka’s bitter internal tragedy. … Continue reading The Sri Lankan Arrack Martini – the Serendipitini

Beef yakitori snacks

   I had a couple of people round for a catch up (over drinks of course). I was trying to think of something quick and I easy I could feed them between martini drinking when I came across some beef mince on special offer at the supermarket. I bought a kilogram and decided to make yakitori, a type of Japanese skewer kebab, inspired by izakaya/yakitori-bar … Continue reading Beef yakitori snacks

Korean spinach – Sigeumchi-namul

Annyeonghaseyo.    This is a really tasty, easy and even healthy vegetarian dish that you can serve as a vegetable side, a starter or, most importantly of all, as an appetiser to accompany a martini (obviously). I first ate this delicious dish in Koreatown, Manhattan. Of all the wondrous and unusual dishes I gluttonously consumed that night (my favourite being a gigantic simmered squid, still … Continue reading Korean spinach – Sigeumchi-namul

A Sho-Chu Martini

   We had a family get-together but we ran out of gin mid-way through the night. I know.     Luckily I found a bottle of Japanese sho-chu which I thought I could use as an experimental substitute in a martini. Sho-chu is a spirit distilled from things like barley, rice, sweet potato or one or two other ingredients. It’s normally between 25-35% strength so is … Continue reading A Sho-Chu Martini

Bamboo Charcoal Peanuts

   I think I’ve previously mentioned my interest in black-coloured food, prompted by the 1989 Peter Greenaway film “The cook, the thief, his wife and her lover” in which the chef declares that he charges double the price for black-coloured items on the menu because they resemble death. To eat death is therefore to cheat death, thus giving the diner an additional sense of pleasure … Continue reading Bamboo Charcoal Peanuts

The mango martini

 Growing up on an island off the west coast of Scotland, I don’t think I even saw a mango until I was a fully grown adult living on the mainland. However they almost immediately became my favourite fruit. I love their sweetness combined with a zesty taste that reminds me of the smell of pine needles. This pine flavour might be one of the … Continue reading The mango martini

Non-alcoholic rose and lemon drop martini

Yes, yes, non-alcoholic. I can’t drink all the time you know. After serving martinis, you might, as I do, find your fridge to be full of bald lemons, shaved of their peel but still bursting with juice. You can use them for all sorts of things, like cooking, putting them in hot water to drink in the morning, making ice cubes, or, as I have … Continue reading Non-alcoholic rose and lemon drop martini