Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Recipe: Sausage Rolls - Christmas treat! (These rock! Mum's are much better!! But these still rock!)

by Simon Fernandez of ferdiesfoodlab

First things first! No sausage roll is ever going to beat the sausage rolls that my mum's made for time immemorial for the family at Christmas -  and sometimes on my birthday fair amount of bargaining for that to
happen though! - years of honing and perfecting!

That said you can always practise! I was clearing bit of space in the freezer and found a couple of bits of pastry too small to be useful on their own, but together . . . . it might just work! A little more hunting rewarded me with a couple of rather nice looking sausages which I put on the side immediately to defrost (whilst putting the pastry in the fridge). A quick root around the fridge found me some chives that wouldn't have lasted much longer, and a little thyme. All I needed now was an egg for shiny loveliness and I was good to go!

I made these sausage roles in about 10 minutes flat from spare parts! It's really just an assembly job!

INGREDIENTS (makes 12 mini or 4 man size)
150g flakey pastry (buy if you want, but here's how to make it!!)
2 good quality sausages
6 pieces of pepperoni
5g chives
3g soft thyme
1 egg for wash and seal

rolling pin
pastry brush

METHOD (preheat oven to 220C / Gas Mark 7 / cooking time ~20m)

Beat the egg in a bowl.
Finely chop the pepperoni, chives and thyme.
Remove the casing from the sausages and add the meat to the chopped ingredients.
Mix them all together and using a little flour on the counter roll into a sausage shape about 1inch (2.5cm) in diameter.

Cut in half at it's centre  - one sausage for each piece of pastry!
Take the pastry from the fridge and roll it out into an oblong, around 9 inches (~23cm) wide. Then cut along it's length into 2 pieces.

Take one of the sausages and place it at the top of one of the lengths of pastry and roll it towards you leaving an inch wide flap, brush this with egg, and finish rolling towards you.
Cut it into 6, 4cm rolls and and brush with beaten egg. Place on a greased baking tray.  
Repeat for the second roll.
You can cut them to any size you fancy!
Pop them in the oven for 20mins or until golden brown! 
(I usually check them after 15 minutes)
Cracking treat for all the family!! : ) Thanks Mum!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Leluu & Oliver

By Leluu (I have moved to www.leluu.com)
Photography by Simon Fernandez of ferdiesfoodlab
I love Jamie Oliver, I have always loved him and I have grown up with him via the television and he is my hero. He is not just a hero chef but he is an activist, a phenomenon, he moves our society to the better.

The universe, the guardian angel or the gods have a way of taking me through to the magnitudes of depths and glorious blooms of this life. Stories vary from one polar opposite to another. Here is a story of a day I will never forget, a day of great happiness and exhilaration, the day I first met Jamie Oliver.

I have been wanting to tell about the day Jamie came to my house, had a basic Vietnamese cooking lesson, cooked with me for a supper club and served it to our guests. It was one of the best days of my life. I wanted to shout about it for an entire year but couldn't because it was due to be aired for Jamie's Great Britain.
Continue Reading More Here

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Article in Verdens Gang - VG Weekend Food Journey

by Nilas Johnsen (Journo) and Fredrik Solstad (Photographer)

Post by Simon Fernandez of ferdiesfoodlab

Verden Gang - which translates to "World Affairs" is a Norwegian news paper. VG is one of the most award-winning newspapers in Norway for its journalism and has the second largest circulation there. It was established by members of the resistance movement shortly after the country was liberated from German occupation in 1945! The things you find out on wikipedia!

Article opens with Chefs London

Above: Toynbee Hall, a once elegant ballroom, in the East End of London, repurposed and now the venue for Simon's laboratorium. (ferdiesfoodlab entrance)

Inside: It lives! Yeeeaahs it lives. . whoar har har!
Nilas Johnsen (Journo) and Fredrik Solstad (Photographer) for Verdens Gang came to dinner here's what they had to say . . .

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eating, Little Sardegna, Francesco Mazzei & Wishing

By Leluu (I have moved to www.leluu.com)
....And then, as destiny has it, we landed on Francesco Mazzei - (acclaimed Italian chef of L’Anima), who happened to be sitting by the open shop front of a lovely Italian restaurant called 'Little Sardegna' with his wife and children. The boy from Alassio and Francesco knew each other and Francesco invited us to join the family for lunch.

Francesco, his beautiful wife Maria and their two stunning children live around the corner and regularly visit Little Sardegna - a charming place that only remind me of being in Italy. All it needs is a view of cobble streets and some clothes blowing gently in the wind on a clothes line and few cats staring at height from windows and a mama sweeping the outside of her family home with a twiggy broom.

Continue reading here

Friday, October 14, 2011

Recipe: Mum's Orange & Almond Cous Cous

by Simon Fernandez of ferdiesfoodlab

Cous cous is one of those foods that can be mind numbingly bland. In the hands of any would be - or accidental - food assassin,  it could have everyone around the table slumped over with their tongue handing out, bored to death.

First time I tried this was at Marc's house. (old school friend) I think I was 7 or 8 years old! I'd never seen anything like it, and filled my bowl with trepidation. I'm glad to say Marc's mum was no food assassin and I snorked my portion along with various other French bonne bouche that his mum had put out for us after a hard day's climbing!

I've traditionally made cous cous with hearty winter flavours provided by roast vegetables and nuts, raisins and chicken stock.

But orange juice used to make the cous cous -  add a really fresh dimension, fantastic!

This recipe is my mum's, and jolly good it is too . . .

ferdiesfodlab recipe mums orange cous cous and almonds

ingredients and tips and tricks here at ferdiesfoodlab !

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Leluu & Blyde

By Leluu www.leluu.com
I will be doing a small series of supper clubs with guests chefs as I also love eating and cooking food other than Vietnamese. This gives me a chance to learn from my friends,  peers and heroes. I am excited to combine ideas and influences to create fun, witty and very delicious dishes.

The first - Leluu & Blyde

I met Douglas Blyde (freelance restaurant writer) in April 2010 when I invited him to attend a Fernandez & Leluu event with Paris underground restaurateur, Jim Haynes. Douglas wore blue or green and perhaps a waistcoat. Might there have been tweed? I am not sure if I can remember talking to him that much. But he seemed eloquent, English and ‘proper’. He was very impressed by my sparkling mini skirt - from the Leluu Disco Collection - as was Mr. Haynes who got me to sit on his lap! Neither was impressed by the baked goods on offer, but Leluu's fresh summer rolls left an impression in their minds.

I was to not see Douglas again until this summer. We discussed our love of food over beautiful maraschino and juniper scented Aviations, supple, deftly spiced steak tartare, lustrous oysters on the half-shell with green vinaigrette, freshly boiled crab with wasabi mayonnaise, pink rack of salt marsh lamb with chicken jus and truffle, and a pour of rosé Champagne.

I think it would be great fun to share Douglas' enthusiasm for cooking - he is brilliant and inventive - at my supper club. A creatively delicious British menu, eg. minted pea and Manzanilla soup, Konik’s Tail Bloody Mary lolly with soy, tile of flighted animals, and roast figs with violet sugar.

Leluu & Blyde occurs Fri 18th & Sat 19th November 2011

To attend, please email uyen.luu[at]gmail.com

Thursday, September 15, 2011

When We Were The Greatest, Rolling In The Deep & Two Weddings

By Leluu www.leluu.com
Photo By Meemalee's Kitchen
What a great few weeks its been for me! I've been partying & dinning out a lot! The single life is settling in nice and snug and it is great to leave the past in the past and move on, a fresh, a new, all the richer and all the wiser (!?)

The Secret Larder
I've been drinking inside the fridge of The Breakfast Club; eaten at the wonderful Roganic; The Corner Room was so-so but Viajante's bar is excellent; went to the home of James Ramsden and his Secret Larder Supper Club; got a few martinis in at the fabulous Off Broadway Bar & even went to a Vietnamese Night at Fin & Flounder Supper Club - yes - even the fish monger is doing supper clubs these days; ate yum dim sum at Princess Garden whilst nursing a hangover with Mr Noodles; did a night drive tour of London in my Figaro with my best friend Fatima, visiting home from Barcelona; lunched at The Geffrey Museum with Julia, more old friends visiting home from Barcelona; had one too many at Hawskmoor; went to Miss Immy's garden tea party; died and went to heaven eating risotto at The Ship and discovered delicious black cod at SeeWoo Cafe in Paddington; 'ended up' in The Dolphin; kissed the floor of my fabulous photographer friend Camille Sanson's penthouse-warming; introduced Rachel McGormack to ma boyz in da hood with fantastic pizza in The Regent and someone with a foot fetish cooked me a beautiful meal of live/raw things.
In between there were amazing supper club nights and one of the most amazing nights ever- The Singles Supper Club during the bank holiday weekend - a spectacular night that was purely about meeting nice people and making friends and without monomania on finding the one.

Usually, I circulate people around but no one wanted to move because everyone was so happy to be sat where they were although they wanted to meet other people too. I actually surprised myself by finding enough men to come in the end - I think men want to be cool and last minute, don't they!

In euphoria, we sang our hearts out to songs like Rolling In The Deep, Rio and Umbrella - Ella Ella, slammed our feet so hard to the ground, "we could have had it all…" throwing our arms into claps and kicking our feet to the beat, "you had my heart and soul in your hands…"  we propelled our cares and embraced our youth, our freedom and danced like no one was watching - the noise and the energy was immaculate -  Someone was even rapping! Read More HERE

Monday, September 12, 2011

My 7 Links By Leluu

By Leluu from www.leluu.com

The Skinny Bib nominated me to write My 7 Links. This is what it is about:

Bloggers publish his/her 7 Links on his/her blog. One link for one category and the categories are: the most beautiful, the most popular, the most controversial, the most helpful, a post whose success surprises you, a post that doesn’t receive attention it deserves and the post the blogger is most proud of..

I have been blogging since the end of 2008 and but more seriously so from 2009. What I tend to blog about always evolve and sometimes, I can not really define what this blog is about - its mainly about food, Vietnamese food but also travel and stuff in general. Its a place where I can write about what I think too.
Most Beautiful: Flying Home My Trip To Vietnam 2011
Its about the feelings, the sights and sounds of going to a place where I was born.

Read More Here

Friday, August 26, 2011

Leluu & Fernandez

By Leluu from www.leluu.com
Photo By Guilherme Zauith
When Simon Fernandez gate crashed a dinner party of mine, that day changed both our lives. I fell in love with Simon, his contagious giggles and his ability to have endless fun. One year later, we set up Fernandez & Leluu (we couldn't think of another name) and we had the most amazing time cooking, playing with food and actually have people come and eat it.

I had the apartment, the props and all the bits. We both put in £200 to buy extras. We started for fun, we both love cooking and I generally have people around for dinner all the time, throwing big feasts. We had no idea that it would explode into such a huge success with word getting mouthed, blog posts and reviews making us bigger than we had anticipated. It was amazing and a real buzz and we both made many friends along the way and did things we never expected to do.

We both threw so much love into the project and it became bigger than us. Not long into it, our relationship suffered more and more, this wasn't a fairy tale and it was not all glory like it appeared. We were real people who had their own sets of problems and it clashed with each other. Holding supper clubs are extremely hard work - at first anyway, when you are not trained chefs and just figuring it out - it was stressful. Click Here To Read More

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ferdiesfoodlab - first review

by Simon Fernandez of ferdiesfoodlab
When I put the menu together for the test run opening, there were a number of things I was bearing in mind, first and foremost was that the only working equipment in the kitchen was a 6 ring burner and and oven. The next thing was that it may be a total disaster!

I certainly don't advocate thinking like that, but you cant help those little moments, when you're exhausted - partly because you've been so busy you've forgotten to eat and partly because 16 hours in front of a computer or stove will do that to you - and then one of those sneaky doubts creep in, I certainly find it's when I'm most tired!

So it might be the only one I do so I'm going to put some things on the menu I'll possible never get another chance to cook with again, question is what!?

I remember sitting down in the restaurant at the hotel I was staying in in New York, and a friend of mine who'd stayed in the same hotel recommended I try the King Crab, he said it was the biggest crab he'd very seen! Well, I had my doubts, but I tried it anyway - I'd had a good day in the office and decided I could do with a reward : )

In typical American style, it was also the biggest crab I'd ever sean, I couldn't possibly ; ) eat a whole one!! Really quite beautiful to behold, and a delicate sweet tasting meat . . . hmmm!

As I reminisced, I thought, that's got to go on! Later . .  fek it's expensive! Sod it, it's the first and possibly only run, I'm putting it on! Can't pic that up in the super market I can tell you . . . 

Anyway needless to say I put my heart and soul into creating ferdiesfoodlab.

This is what the London Foodie thought of it. . . .

I don't know what to say, except thank you Luiz.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sweet & Sour Pork

By Leluu from www.leluu.com
Without fail, sweet and sour pork would be ordered when my friends and I eat out at a Chinese restaurant. Its something about it that is completely addictive and satisfying. Often enough though, it is a goo of florescent orange and you can't really see which is pork and which is veg. When you do find a  piece of pork, you are then wondering if you are eating pork or pork substitute or just plain old batter. Still, we order it!

For Seewoo, I have decided to recreate this favourite in the kitchen, with fresh vegetables and pork belly and pork ribs. (You can use chicken instead). I am not sure how it is done in a typical Chinese kitchen but this is how I did it. Read More Here

Seared Tuna Steak With Dark Soy, Ginger & Shallots

By Leluu from www.leluu.com
I can be the most laziest person when it comes to cooking for myself and so it really suits that I love the most simple foods. This is a great recipe to cook for one or two and its still impressive because of the amazing ingredients.

To continue reading my series of Chinese recipes for See Woo: here
Other Chinese recipes to enjoy:
Fresh Egg Noodles With Kai Lan
Baked Seabass With Soy, Ginger & Spring Onions

Friday, August 19, 2011

Recipe: ferdiesfoodlab - building a new supper club from scratch

by Simon Fernandez (@ferdiesfoodlab)

I've spent the last month creating ferdiesfoodlab and it's been a very, very, busy month I can tell you. There's been a lot of hecticness (it's a real word), and a fair amount of, is this really going to work? Anyway, here's the recipe. . .  

INGREDIENTS (serves 28)
1 passionate ferdie (with an idea and nowhere to do it)
1 passionate organisation (with a venue and nothing to do with it)
some willing friends in the kitchen and front of house (Albert, Jo, Marc)
2 extra chefs (Jen aka Cook School Cat & Robbie of NoReservations)
2 photographers (Jo Maynard, Steve Berryman)
1 wine connoisseur (Nathan Nolan of Mr Drink n Eat)
1 bar of self belief (broken into chunks and snorked at regular intervals)
a pinch of doubt (to keep it real)
a small dose or terror
      (again to keep it real - you can substitute with fear but doesn't keep it as real)
as much luck as you can get hold of (very scarce ingredient, seems to come in packs of 3)
1 surprise concert pianist
1 table of guests (not the grumpy sort - good quality ingredients are critical!
      (including London Foodie & Claudia of Whiteroom Supperclub)
small hoard of unknown quantities (these are a bit like luck and really add to the depth of flavour)
I'm sure I've forgotten something . . .  : ? oh yes, a menu!

1 6 ring burner
1 convection oven
1 blender
10 baking trays
sharp chefs knives
various kitchen utensils
white board pen (not permanent!!)

Be invited by passionate organisation (in this case Toynbee Hall) to use their venue. Go to look at venue and meet the passionate custodians of the hall.

Be blown away by the venue, and spend the weekend cooking for friends at their engagement party and talking about it.

Return to Hereford (or other homely sunny place), and get some sunshine on your face. I remember one time a very long time ago, a friend of mine told me, "If you stand facing the sun all the shadows fall behind you". I love the sun on my face it always puts me in such a good mood!

I love you sunshine! Please don't take my sunshine away!!
Facing the sun! You're not doing it right!

Now use those positive thoughts to work some ferdie magic and go and find some cool things that would create a nice atmosphere in the venue.
Harry Copper! : ) Ferdie magic! Get it? - I couldn't help myself
Once you've found them get to work restoring them so they're all nice and shiney!

A bit of elbow grease, a drill and some rotary sand paper.
It didn't look much in the reclaim yard. . . .
We served 5hr "will you marry me" slow roast lamb in it  -  Photography by Steve Berryman

to be continued . . .             
don't forget, upcoming dates Fri 9th Sep, and Fri 23rd Sep 
near Aldgate East.

in the next episode . . . .

Barents Sea King Crab - Stunning Ingredient
A really lovely crowd came to help test run : ) Photography by Jo Maynard (Artist)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fresh Egg Noodles & Kai Lan

By Leluu from www.leluu.com
I've been asked to write a few recipes for SeeWoo of which I will also post here as a series. Last one was Seabass With Ginger, Spring Onion Soy Sauce & Fennel. It is certainly a pleasure to be playing around with Cantonese cuisine and I get to revisit some of my favourite things that I always order in a Chinese restaurant.

The best meals are the ones that are the most simple. Nothing beats a simple plate of food and it whats even better is that it hardly takes any effort or time to prepare. Read Recipe Here

Monday, August 15, 2011

Baked Seabass With Soy Sauce, Spring Onions & Fennel

By Leluu from www.leluu.com
Soy sauce is made from fermenting soy beans in water - I've much to learn about the technique and process. I often find myself asking what is the difference between dark and light soy sauce. Dark soy has been fermented for much longer and has a thicker texture and is richer in taste. It is great for marinading red meats and making sauces as it has a caramel richness to it. Light soy sauce is thinner and saltier and is used to season and flavour dishes, similar to using salt. You can read more about soy sauce here on waiyeehong

Based on the famous and my favourite Hong Kong dish - Steamed Fish With Soy, Ginger & Spring Onion, I've developed this quick and easy recipe because my steamer wasn't big enough to fit the fish - I decided to put it in the oven and it works perfectly. Read More here

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fishing For Summer Rolls

By Leluu from www.leluu.com

My family, they love going fishing. When I was in The OC, we went fishing in Newport Beach, there is a pier and at night, all the families get together and fish. Eat ice-cream and fish.
We caught lots of mackerel and sardines. We had to have it everyday, in one way or another to eat it up. One afternoon, we had a mackerel summer rolls. The table was set with rice paper, herbs and salad, a water bowl and everyone would make their own summer rolls at the table.

Read More here
Vietnamese food and culture and Leluu featured in London Confidential. You can read about dinner etiquette and the way the Vietnamese eat here:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's your beef!!?

by Simon Fernandez (@ferdiesfoodlab), in partnership with East London Steak Co for The Jamie Oliver Foundation

Introduction to East London Steak Co:  The East London Steak Co. is a new online delivery concept launched by acclaimed chef Richard Turner and butcher James George. This new venture offers the finest naturally reared beef from selected rare breeds to customers within the M25 area.

The East London Steak Co. source the highest quality beef from British farms. Every animal is hand-picked and selected using strict criteria, which ensures all cattle are grass fed, have been traditionally farmed and reared in an environment which meets the highest standards of welfare.

The East London Steak Co. only use five main rare breeds of beef, including Dexter, Galloway, Longhorn, Shorthorn. The beef is dry-aged on the bone for a minimum of 28 days or longer on request.

Richard Turner, director of the East London Steak Co. is a restaurateur and chef who has worked with renowned chefs including Michel Roux Jnr, Pierre Koffman and Marco Pierre White.  James George, also director of the company, has worked as a butcher for over 10 years; their professional background brings a unique partnership to the business, as they both understand first-hand the necessary components needed to enhance the quality and taste of the beef.

The Experience
I was expecting delivery of the meat in between 5am and 8am. At around seven I received a text msg to inform me that my meat was 20 mins away, and delivery was imminent.

Got up, had a shower and got a coffee on the go . . .  and waited with baited breath.

It arrived in a very cute van! And I don't mean that it was a nice colour or anything like that. It was a micro van, and clearly with green credentials.

A very polite - and frankly, for that time of the morning, quite cheerful guy handed over a couple of boxes: nicely packed, and in tact - had clearly been treated with care.

It's nice to know where your meat is from, the type of animal it came from and it's provenance, how it's been reared and butchered.

Types of steak that we used - before I go any further it's important to note that East London Steak Co sponsored the event and the beef, both for some of the test runs and on the night were contributed by them. The quality and taste of the beef was the amongst  the highest I've ever encountered, the marbling and fat content of the fillet and the forerib gave them both astonishing flavour and tenderness.

For the test run I picked cuts that I've been meaning to use but just haven't had occasion or time to - things like ox cheek, hanger steak (onglet), forerib and bone marrow.

Here are some of the things I tried out:

Ideas, recipes and ingredients tested for supper club - posts to follow
Liquorice "Smoke Cured" Hanger Steak

Hanger Steak, Chips and Ginger Carrots w/ Tarragon Sauce and Horseradish Sauce

Fore rib with to be served w/ roast potatoes and ginger carrots

Ox Cheek - and Garlic
Braised Ox Cheek

Roast Bone Marrow

Briased Oxtails w/ Onions & Green Beans

Fillet Roulette - something I came up with in the Alps at Christmas thought I'd share!

Recipes for each one to follow . . . . . look out for the Jamie Oliver Foundation fundraiser series. 8 fab recipes!!!


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