world according to sam

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain

Tag: food blogger

Lemon ūüćč Sorbet – Sorbetti di Limone

img_6443I would love an ice cream maker but loathe kitchen worktops cluttered with electrical gadgetry so aside from my trusty Magimix (my mother had one of the first models that cost a then princely sum and lasted over 25 years and aside from replacing the plastic bowl still worked until it was discarded in a move to a new house) and of course my Vitamix ( the worlds most expensive blender that you can read about here) I have no room in my life for anything more (though I am VERY tempted to find out more about the Revolutionary Thermomix!)

So it is with the Magimix that I make my sorbet (the recipe is from their cookbook circa 1981). Sorbet is the perfect pudding for a dinner party especially if , like us, you are a fan of cheese and biscuits… Refreshing, not too filling or sweet … And without sounding too pretentious… ‘a palate cleanser’
So when I made my Limoncello a couple of weeks ago using the zest of the lemons, rather than wasting the rest of the lemons I juiced all six and made a sorbet for over the festive period.

TIP : this will last in the freezer unopened for a month or so but once you have opened and served from the container you should use within a week as ice crystals form. Also homemade sorbets tend to defrost more quickly that shop bought versions.


6-8 Lemons juiced (and zest of one lemon)

175g Sugar

300ml Water

2 Egg Whites

Dissolve the sugar in the water, bringing to a steady boil to create a syrup 

Once sugar syrup is ready, leave to cool a little and then add Lemon juice and zest

Stir thoroughly and then pour into a plastic container and freeze. 

TIP : use a large but shallow plastic container to speed up the freezing process

When frozen, remove from freezer Рbreak into pieces and place in Magimix (or other food processor) Рwhizz to a creamy texture.  In a large mixing bowl whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and then fold in the lemon mixture, return to a plastic container and freeze until solid.


For a Christmassy variation you can make an Orange or Clementine version (it’s an orange version pre-final freeze that’s pictured above)




Cocktail Masterclass Harvey Nichols 5th Floor

So my #FortyTen celebrations entered their fifth month (spoilt, moi?)  and what with holidays etc this celebration had been scheduled as a post-holiday-blues-pick-me-up.

When I was 18, my first legal drink was a sweet, creamy Pina Colada at Peppermint Park in Covent Garden. I feverishly knocked back¬†the delicious and intoxicating nectar without one care for sophistication nor that this had cost someone other than me a small fortune …. And so began a love of cocktails. There is something decadent about cocktails, studying the menu, choosing which creation it will be, watching the artful performance of the mixologist as they add the spirits and mixers, with the brave twirling bottles and slamming them back onto neatly lined shelves. The rattle of ice cubes as your barman flamboyantly shakes the cobbler* (not a tawdry euphemism – but the professional name for a shaker)¬†and the final flourish as your concoction is poured into the appropriate glass, whether the retro styling of a martini glass, a tall hi-ball or a champagne flute …
Cocktails fell out of fashion for a while, seeing a brief resurgence when Carrie Bradshaw and the SATC girls drank Cosmopolitans at the Carlyle in NY but now they are back, with not only the traditional but new flavours and infusions. Mixology has become an art form and to learn about it is fascinating.  We are not talking the syrupy happy hour version of cocktails here. This is an altogether more refined drinking practice.

The choice of victual you drink from is almost as important as what goes into the mix. Teapots, teacups, copper beaker, crystal stubby, jam jars, schooners.¬†The Harvey Nichols Cocktail Masterclass is the perfect girls day out, though boys will love it too (as did Mr H and his brother) and would be a great Hen celebration for those looking for something entertaining, educating and a little intoxicating. Be warned, I think phallic deely-boppers would not be welcomed at the √ľber cool and sophisticated 5th Floor champagne bar at HN.

The day starts at 9.30 with a breakfast buffet of pastries, yoghurt and granola and fresh fruit with plenty of tea or coffee. 9.30 on a Saturday or Sunday morning seems an ungodly hour to even think about ¬†imbibing alcohol but it doesn’t take long to ¬†get into the swing of things.
There are several choices of class themes, Italy, Cuba, US, French and British each with three cocktails to be instructed on.

The class opens with a run through of all the equipment required to create the perfect cocktail. A muddler, strainer, cobbler, jigger¬†… Each element has a crucial part to play in the making of your cocktail.
First spirits are added into the shaker (never ice first for fear of diluting your precious alcohol too soon, nevertheless essential to ‘soften’ the alcohol) and finally your mixers, bitters or essences. An elaborate shake, with the length of time and ferocity dictated by the type of cocktail and your own personal choice in¬†ostentation, you can keep it ‘tight’ and snake hipped or go all out Carmen Miranda. For example a Martini Espresso requires a LOT of quite enthusiastic shaking to also emulsify the ingredients and create a slight froth at the top – pour into a¬†glass shaker to check all is well and the correct texture has been achieved before pouring into a chilled Martini glass and finishing with a couple of coffee beans.
We chose the Italian influence for our masterclass so not only were we tutored in making the delicious Espresso Martini we learned to make a Breakfast Negroni; ( a traditional Negroni with a HN twist of the addition of a little marmalade to add texture and bitter-sweet finish to this Florentine classic and La Dolce Vita; an Aperol and Tequila cocktail again served in a chilled Martini glass.
Following the instruction and tastings from our Italian selection we were given the opportunity to make our own cocktail from a list of favourites … Mr H made a delicious Mojito with lashings of fresh mint, his brother made a Ginny Hendricks – gin based deliciousness, the lovely Sue made a Cosmopolitan and I made a Sky Cruiser known in less salubrious surroundings as a Pornstar Martini … Vanilla Vodka, passion fruit and champagne – heavenly!

Two and a half hours after starting the masterclass you are taken back to the restaurant with the effects of your imbibery making the path perhaps not quite as straight as your entrance,  to enjoy a two-course lunch served with red or white wine.
The masterclasses run on Saturday and Sunday throughout the year and can be booked here.

Spaghetti Carbonara from Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina


I received the recipe for this delicious Carbonara from Edoardo at Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina (see the review of this fabulous Florentine Wine club here) Рthis is so far removed from the creamy gloop bought from the cold section in supermarkets and it takes only a fraction longer to cook the real thing than heating the pre-made stuff! No cream, no preservatives, no added sugar or thickeners just simple store cupboard ingredients!

Ingredients – the ingredients below are per person so scale up for as many as you are cooking for

Spaghetti or Rigatoni (approx 90g dry pasta p/person)

1/2 Shallot per person diced (small dice)

Pancetta – one slice per person

1 egg per person

Salt & pepper

Freshly chopped parsley

Freshly grated Parmigiano (parmesan)

Cook pasta al dente, so about 1\2 minutes less than the instructions recommend.

While pasta is cooking, heat a little bit of butter, the shallot and pancetta, when golden, (not burned), set aside in the pan.

In a bowl put 1 egg p.p., some grated parmigiano, some salt, chopped parsley and black pepper and stir all together for 5 minutes with a fork.

1 minute before pasta is ready, put the pan on the heat again with the cooked pancetta and shallot.  When the pasta is cooked, put it in the pan and stir for 30 seconds.

Take off the heat, add the egg and about 2 tablespoons per person of pasta cooking water, some more parmesan and black pepper, and stir a lot, (approx 1 minute).

If too ‘stiff’¬†, add some more of the pasta cooking water, if too soggy, keep on¬†the heat¬†for 10\15\20 seconds more until it becomes¬†creamy again.

And some wise words from Edoardo at Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina who shared his recipe with me

Now , very important are those 20 seconds from creamy raw eggs, to toocooked like frittata! ¬†ūüôā carefull and do all on slow fire and maybe non-stick pan!”

Red Cabbage Coleslaw Recipe

  • Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 09.09.55300g red cabbage – Finely shredded
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1 red-skinned apple, coarsely grated
  • onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar (you can adjust this depending on how much you like vinegar – me? I love it!!)
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Add all the vegetable ingredients to a large bowl (to allow for turning and coating in the mayo/vinegar dressing)

In a separate bowl or jug add all your ‘wet’ ingredients – mayo, wine vinegar and olive oil and stir in¬†thoroughly, add salt & pepper to taste and then mix through the shredded vegetables¬†until everything is coated with the dressing

This is my favourite ‘side’ for homemade burgers or panko crumbed chicken

For a healthier version you can use greek yoghurt instead of mayonnaise – you can also change the flavour by adding fennel, radish or mooli – a good coleslaw is all about the crispy textures and natural heat from raw vegetables


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