Favourite Photos from 2017

Well that’s another year gone and already we are well on the way into 2018! Last year I started out full of good intentions which somehow never materialised, some would say “events, dear boy, events” but whatever the reason I thought it worth a look back at the last year to see some of the things that I actually did do and to share with you some of my favourite photos from 2017.

2017 was in many ways a year of change both at a personal and a national and indeed international level. Here in Scotland we saw the opening of the new Queensferry Crossing and I was fortunate to have the opportunity of sailing under the bridge just before it opened in August.KG170806106aWeb1H

While change and regeneration continues apace throughout much of Scotland there is much that remains little changed such as this view taken in December looking down Loch Leven from Glencoe village. There are many tourist hot spots  such a Glencoe but there are still many places when you can drive let alone walk and scarcely meet a sole.171228627aWeb1H

Even along the banks of Loch Lomond it is possible to go out for a mornings walk and at most only meet a couple of people.KG170104796aWeb1H

While the opening pictures have all been landscapes it is inevitable that as a food photographer there should be some pictures of food, and drink! Taking good bottle photos can be immensely challenging due to unwanted reflections and highlights but when it all comes together it can be very rewarding; especially when it comes to the clear-up. KG171009804bWeb1H

Another change that 2017 brought, in Glasgow at least, was a slow down in the number of  hamburger openings with some venues even closingKG170623733WebH1

However, elsewhere in Glasgow eating out was decidedly on the up this summer with  a number of the city’s leading restaurants offering dinners the opportunity to enjoy a meal while suspended 200 feet above George Square

KG170614919iWeb1HGlasgow has been unusual for the last few years in having its own Whole Foods Market but in November, a few months after the company’s take over by Amazon, it was announced that both it and its sister store in Cheltenham would be closing leaving only the 7 stores in London remaining in the UK.KG171009737Web1H

Although I couldn’t compete with the variety of fungi that the Whole Food Market was offering this autumn I did manage to successfully forage for chanterelle throughout much of the summer and early fall. In my opinion chanterelle are really the best of mushrooms with such a wonderful flavour that you only need a few in a dish to totally transform it, if in doubt try 2 or 3 chanterelle halved and sauteed in a little butter and served with a couple scrambled eggs on a two slices of olive ciabatta seasoned with Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.KG170714610Web1HOf course you can be more adventurous and cook something “fancy” such as roast duck breast with pan fried new potatoes and chanterelle as  head chef Owen Morrice from No. 1 The Grange in Edinburgh is cooking here.KG1707181466Web1H

You can’t but help notice when you shoot in as many kitchens as I have done that chefs and tattoos go together as can clearly be see with Gavin Elden’s (Head Chef at Best Western Braid Hills Hotel, Edinburgh) fabulous tattoos.KG1707181564SqWeb1H

Enough of food and drink let’s wrap up with a few pictures very different pictures starting with the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern which with its massive interactive public artworks is a must go to place on any trip to London (and of course Borough Market is only a few minutes walk away!).KG171021980bSqWeb1H

In total contrast this space is while equally a must see location can hardly be called modern with the building of Ely Cathedral dating back almost 1000 years!KG171021863Web1H

History and tradition also continue to play an important role in Cambridge even if the students are changing.KG171021846aWeb1H

Little in the way of tradition here just two gannet skulls I found while walking on the beach at Troon in SW Scotland. Increasingly I like to combine text with pictures, maybe it reflects a desire to see my wr on more magazine covers!KG171130508Web2

Finally a reminder that warmer days are just round the corner and even sooner if you are prepared to travel as in this case to the eastern Algarve in Portugal.KG170515130P57Web1H

With all best wishes to all for 2018!

Sicilian blood….

oranges and lemons were routinely wrapped in tissue paper when I was a child and each paper carried colourful pictures and strange words hinting of far off lands which at the time seemed impossibly distant and exotic. Now, even though it is many decades later the magic persists and I find it impossible to walk past a store selling fruit wrapped in tissue paper without buying a totally unreasonable number of oranges, lemons, etc. .So last week when I made my regular weekly visit to my favourite greengrocers, Roots and Fruits, here in Glasgow I found it impossible not to buy some Galletto Blood Oranges from Sicily, wrapped as they were in their blood red tissue papers.

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Of course they made a colourful addition to the kitchen but they deserved a better fate than pure ornaments and the obvious answer was to use them in a salad, combining the sweetness of the orange with the saltiness of dry black Greek olives and the flavours of finely sliced fennel combined with a blood orange dressing (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/217313/orange-and-fennel-salad/).

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A great combination of flavours and a wonderfully refreshing summer salad. If you haven’t any fennel to hand try chicory whose bitter leaves work as a superb contrast o the sweetness of the orange segments.

Roast Duck Legs & Stir Fry Vegetables in a Rich Plum Sauce

This dish is one of my favourites not the least because of its simplicity but it also tastes and looks great! However, be warned, it is not a quick meal to prepare with the duck legs taking 90 minutes to cook but actual hands on time is very short and the wait is definitely worthwhile! Although many would regard it as cheating the dish relies on a ready made . Sharwoods Plum Sauce, a gloriously sticky, sweet and spicy concoction. Strangely the sauce is becoming increasingly difficult to find here in Glasgow but both the Coop and Tesco continue to stock it.

Ingredients

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The meat

2 x Duck legs (I used ones from Gressingham which are widely available. Don’t use wild duck as the legs are much smaller and contain a lot less fat).

For the stir fry

1 x Red Onion, medium sized 

1 x Red Bell Pepper

1 x Yellow Bell Pepper

1 x Pak Choi

6 x Chestnut Mushrooms

You will also need

Soya sauce

Olive Oil

Plum Sauce (Sharwoods)

Maldon Sea Salt

3-4 Star Anise

 and rice; white long grain, 1/3 of a cup per person.

Method

  1. Place the duck leg in an oven proof dish, sprinkle about a teaspoons worth of Maldon sea salt over the skin of the duck legs, add the star anise, cover with a tightly fitting lid (I first cover the dish with a sheet of aluminium foil and place the lid of the dish on top of this) and placed in the oven at 180oC to cook for 60 minutes.
  2. While the duck legs are cooking cook the rice in boiling water, depending on the type of rice that you are using this will take around 15 to 20 minutes after which time the rice can be tipped into a sieve and be left to drain with the sieve hanging over the pan used to cook the rice and loosely covered by the pan lid. When it is time to plate up the rice is gently fluffed up using a pair of chop sticks and rinsed with a litre or so of boiling water. I am sure that many people will think that this way of cooking rice is heresy but it works for me and adds a great degree of flexibility to the timing of the cooking of the other dishes.
  3. After 60 minutes in the oven the duck legs will have released any excess fat and water and this should be poured off before returning them to the oven, this time uncovered, for a further 30 minutes.
  4. KG150413641a1bWeb1During the final 15 minutes of cooking the duck legs roughly cut the peppers, pak choy and onion into chunks about 2 to 3 cm square and stir fry in a hot wok in a little olive oil.Stir fry red and yellow peppers with red onion
  5. Once the onion and pepper begins to soften add  thinly sliced mushroom and continue to stir fry all the ingredients in the wok. I  prefer to keep working the contents of the wok with a broad wooden spatula while more accomplished chefs will  undoubtedly keep things moving with a simple flick of the wrist.Stir frying peppers onion and mushrooms
  6. As the sliced mushroom begins to take on a little colour add a splash of soya sauce and the pak choy, again cut into 2 to 3 cm squares, and mix well.
  7. Remove the duck legs from the oven and place on a chopping board and using a couple of forks pull the meat off the bones in large chunks and add to to wok together with a third to a half of a jar of plum sauce and continue to work with the spatula so as to ensure that the sauce evenly coats all of the vegetables as well as the meat.
  8. Finally reheat and rinse the rice that you set aside earlier with about a litre of boiling water, allow the rice to drain for a minute or so and then plate up onto a warm plate.

Sharwoods plum sauce makes a wonderful addition to a duck stir fry

Enjoy!

It’s all a matter of taste: part II

In my previous post I said that one of my pictures had been commended in the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition but I was not allowed to publish it until it appeared on the competition web site on the 24th of April, well the 24th has come and gone and in fact it is now the 24th of May so it’s high time I posted “the Picture”
The photo was taken at the Scotland Street School Museum in Glasgow and was submitted in the “An Apple a Day” category and is therefore called:

An Apple for Teacher

KG130122008Web1The other pictures which I submitted are shown below.

Arbroath Smokies

Arbroath SmokiesThis picture was taken last August in Edinburgh at the “Foodies Festival” where Iain Spink was doing a brisk trade in selling freshly smoked Arbroath Smokies. The fish, locally caught haddock, are filleted, dry salted and tied in pairs over a wooden baton before being smoked in a half whiskey barrel covered with hessian. After 30 to 40 minutes the fish are ready to eat, warm, smoky, moist and sweet – truly mouth-watering experience.

Partick Fishwife

Partick Fish Wife I have been visiting the biweekly Farmers Market at Partick in Glasgow’s West End for many years and for all that time Macmillan’s have been there come rain or shine but always with a smile and the best of Scottish seafood.

Voluptuous Red Peppers

Voluputous Red PeppersFood is not just a matter of taste it engages all the senses, smell, touch, even occasionally sound and of course always  sight! These bright rounded peppers look good in their own right but also hint at all the other things that they can contribute to from crisp salads to roasted and stuffed peppers.

Man Cooks Breakfast!

Man Cooks Breakfast!This picture is really just a bit of fun but there is also some truth in it as anyone who has seen me at work in the kitchen will attest with every pot, pan and utensil being used and every surface covered with the fallout from my cooking!

The Voluptuous Red Peppers shot is my personal favourite picture and when it was posted on Flickr it had an amazing 6800+ views, most of which occurred on just one day! However, different audiences react in very different ways to the same image. Clearly it’s all a matter of taste, if you have the time I would love to hear which picture you like best!

It’s all a matter of taste

Last year Pink Lady, the apple brand, launched an annual international food photography competition with the winner not only being awarded the prestigious title of Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year but also walking away with a cool £5000 in prize money. With such an incentive it’s perhaps not surprising to learn that entries in its second year have increased by 70% with some 5500 images submitted. As the competition becomes better known around the world this number will no doubt continue to grow, after all 5500 images is small beer compared to the 49000 entries submitted to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Anyway 5 of the entries to the Pink Lady competition were from me. Sadly 4 of them failed to get even an honourable mention but one was “commended” and it will appear in the competition’s on-line gallery on the 24th of April until then I can’t even tell you the title of the work let alone let you see it! However, here are my remaining entries at least two of which I think were far better than the picture that ended up being selected. I would love to hear what you think:

Arbroath Smokies

Arbroath Smokies

This picture was taken last August in Edinburgh at the “Foodies Festival” where Iain Spink was doing a brisk trade in selling freshly smoked Arbroath Smokies. The fish, locally caught haddock, are filleted, dry salted and tied in pairs over a wooden baton before being smoked in a half whisky barrel covered with hessian. After 30 to 40 minutes the fish are ready to eat, warm, smoky, moist and sweet – truly mouth-watering experience.

Partick Fishwife

Partick Fish Wife

I have been visiting the biweekly Farmers Market at Partick in Glasgow’s West End for many years and for all that time Macmillan’s have been there come rain or shine but always with a smile and the best of Scottish seafood.

Voluptuous Red Peppers

Voluputous Red Peppers

Food is not just a matter of taste it engages all the senses, smell, touch, even occasionally sound and of course always  sight! These bright rounded peppers look good in their own right but also hint at all the other things that they can contribute to from crisp salads to roasted and stuffed peppers.

Man Cooks Breakfast!

Man Cooks Breakfast!

This picture is really just a bit of fun but there is also some truth in it as anyone who has seen me at work in the kitchen will attest with every pot, pan and utensil being used and every surface covered with the fallout from my cooking!

Commended

Image 5

Sorry but I can’t show you this image or even tell you it’s title until it is published on the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the 2013 on-line gallery on the 24th of April!

I posted the Voluptuous Red Peppers picture on Flickr a week ago and  since then it has had an amazing 6800+ views, most of which occurred on just one day! This picture has been a personal favourite ever since I first took it but it is often difficult as a photographer to be really objective about your own work, there are just too many associations with the image to allow a really unbiased view. But even different audiences will react in very different ways to the same image. Clearly it’s all a matter of taste, if you have the time I would love to hear which picture you like best, just use the voting form below and of course any comments are very welcome!

Neigh Worries!

Local butchers are not being slow to cash in on the ongoing horse meat debacle. I saw this sign at weekend  outside Andrew Reid’s on Great Western Road in Glasgow’s West End.

Neigh Worries

Copyright: All photographs and text in the blog “Brunch at Goodies” are subject to copyright. © Keith Gooderham 2011-2013. All rights reserved. Do NOT copy material without requesting permission to do so. If you would like permission simply contact me.

Pasta With Love

Tagliatelle by “Pasta With Love”

Given that tomorrow is Valentines’ Day the title of this post my be regarded as a little contrived, however, the title has made itself in that it is the name of a small startup company which has been making a big impact on the farmers market scene in both Glasgow and Edinburgh ever since they first started business a little under a year ago. “Pasta With Love” is the work of a young couple, Duncan and Ness Fildes, who are clearly on a meteoric trajectory after winning a Great Taste Gold Taste Award for their linguine only three weeks after they started to trade!

“Pasta With Love” are to be found at the Mansfield Park Market in Glasgow every second and fourth Saturday each month and they also attend the markets at Queens Park, again in Glasgow as well as at Edinburgh’s Stockbridge Market. For more information visit their FaceBook page and see also Caroline von Schmalensee’s excellent article about “Pasta With Love” in her blog the “Edinburgh Foody”

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Tagliatelle with cheese sauce, tomato, mushrooms and bacon

This is a simple and quick dish packed with wonderful flavours and makes a perfect meal. For an even easier version use smoked Bavarian ham (Lidl) instead of bacon, a great taste and no need to cook it, though it is fantastic on pizzas!

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Serves 2 ready in 15 minutes.

Switch on the oven and set to 190oC, put a large pan of water, half full, on to boil, adding a glug of olive oil to the water; extra virgin (Is there any other? This will help stop the pasta sticking together once it has cooked). Wash a dozen or so freshly plucked basil leaves and 4 to 8 ripe tomatoes, depending on size, before slicing the tomatoes; crossways is best and leave to one side. Place 4 or 6 rashers of smoked bacon (pancetta or streaky bacon is fine too) in a baking tray lightly coated with olive oil and put in to the oven. Take 6 or so chestnut mushrooms, brush off any dirt and cut off the base of the stems before slicing vertically and placing in a frying pan with a good glug of oil and sauté. By this time the water for the pasta should be boiling, remove the saucepan lid and add the pasta, approximately 300g will be ample and boil for 3 to 4 minutes (4 to 5 minutes if cooking from frozen). While the pasta is cooking finish off the mushrooms by adding a dash of dark soya sauce and stir well. As soon as the pasta is ready tip it into a colander and allow to drain, covering with the saucepan lid. Return the pan to the stove and tip in 250ml of four cheese sauce (widely available from most supermarkets, alternatively make your own but we are keeping things simple!), reduce the heat to medium, tip in the pasta and mix thoroughly with the sauce. Put the plates in the oven to warm, (pasta hates cold plates!) while removing the bacon. Cut the bacon into stamp sized pieces and together with the mushrooms add to the pasta – cheese sauce mix and stir in. Take the plate from the oven and plate-up not forgetting to add the sliced tomato and basil! Season to taste and enjoy!

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Copyright: All photographs and text in the blog “Brunch at Goodies” are subject to copyright. © Keith Gooderham 2011-2013. All rights reserved. Do NOT copy material without requesting permission to do so. If you would like permission simply contact me.

Loch Fyne Oyster Bar and Restaurant Closed!

Before I start a nationwide panic I should say that I am referring to The Loch Fyne Oysters at Cairndow and not the nationwide chain of Loch Fyne Oyster Bars!

After days of snow, ice rain and wind Saturday dawned bright and clear and from my kitchen window I could see Ben Lomond capped with snow in the distance. The highlands were calling!

Ben Lomond and the mountains beyond

The roads were dry and the driving was easy as I headed north across the ErskineBridge and on through Dumbarton to the shores of Loch Lomond. From there it was on up to Tarbet and across to Arrochar and onwards along the A83 towards Rest and Be Thankful, though as I approached the climb up to Rest and Be Thankful there was a sanity check with a car lying upside down beside the road, a victim of a patch of ice which had formed where water had being draining across the road and frozen. Driving more carefully I made my way towards the summit, working my way through the road works which seem to be a permanent feature of this road where landslips regularly close this vital link to the west and north of Highland Scotland. At the summit I turned off along the B828 heading for Lochgoilhead and then turning off before reaching Lochgoilhead and heading along the B839 for the Dunoon road before rejoining the A83 for Cairndow and Inverary. Apart from giving a quieter and more scenic route to Loch Fyne my real purpose was to prospect for some new locations for taking photos along the streams and in the oak woods that are so much a feature of this route and while I found some good sites they will have to wait another month or two as the winter sun is still too low to reach into the deep valley bottoms to make photography really worth while. However, while I wasn’t to get any new pictures I was at least assured some oysters once I reached the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. However, as I approached the shop the normally busy car park was almost deserted and the restaurant was clearly empty! Heading into the shop the reason soon became apparent the restaurant was indeed closed while the shop was preparing to close on Sunday in preparation for a two month long refit. The plan is that they will reopen in time for Easter. Luckily I had got there just in time and they still had oysters though I am at a loss as to know what I am going to do for the next two months!

Shop, Smokery and Restaurant, Cairndow has it all.

Clearly I will be counting the days not only for my regular supply to be re-established (mail order is still a possibility for the whole Loch Fyne range but at this stage at least ordering half a dozen oysters by mail order would seem a little decadent even for me!). It is also going to be very interesting to se how the remodelling works out. It has always seemed to me that both the shop and the restaurant fail to make the full use of their potential and while there is no doubt the demand for a full formal restaurant (the place is always busy) I think that there is an opportunity for a brasserie style restaurant offering a wide range of small dishes (just as Harvey Nichols does at their Forth Floor restaurant in Edinburgh) backed up by an extended range of products, especially seafood, in the shop. Anyway we will just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile I carried my oysters home and had a very special brunch of oysters au naturale together with a dash of Tabasco and a squeeze of lemon accompanied by a few slices of Ciabatta and a glass or two of Sauvignon Blanc.

Loch Fyne Oysters naturally!

Loch Fyne Oysters naturally!

Copyright: All photographs and text in the blog “Brunch at Goodies” are subject to copyright. © Keith Gooderham 2011-2013. All rights reserved. Do NOT copy material without requesting permission to do so. If you would like permission simply contact me.

Oysters au naturale

 I tend to find that people either love them or loath them but for me oysters are an all time favourite and a perfect late brunch accompanied by a dash of Tabasco and a squeeze of lemon juice together with some slices of fresh bread (butter optional) and of course a glass or two of crisp white wine; a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is ideal or for a really special occasion a dry champagne! I suspect that oysters are more frequently eaten in restaurants than at home and there are certainly many great seafood bars and restaurants in Britain including Riddle & Finns in Brighton Randall & Aubin in Soho or for somewhere really special try the J Sheekey Oyster Bar in Covent Garden  and off course there are the Loch Fyne Restaurants which are now found widely throughout the UK. Alternatively if you are flying there are always the Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bars which provide a tranquil oasis combined with a touch of luxury before you board your budget airline flight!  In all of these place oysters perform a star role but they are so easy they should be not only for restaurants after all there is no cooking!

Oysters all too frequently have a bad reputation being associated with food poisoning but if you get them from a reputable supplier who has a high turn over and a reputation for quality and freshness the risks are no greater than for any other uncooked food. In Spain, Portugal and France finding top quality oysters is easy with even the large supermarkets such as Auchan having superb fish counters but in the UK you are best finding a specialist fish monger. The Pacific Rock Oyster is the most widely available oyster in the UK but it is possible to find the native oyster especially in the south of the UK; though I must confess that I actually prefer the rock oyster but my all time favourite are the French Fines de Claire. Whatever sort of oyster you end up getting you are always faced with one seeming “insurmountable problem” i.e. how to open them! There are countless tools and even chain mail gloves that you can buy to protect yourself during the process but the chances are that you already posses the best possible tool; namely a small screwdriver!

OYSTERS AU NATURALE

Prep time 15 minutes Cook time n/a Total time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 Oysters per person
  • 1 Lemon cut into large wedges
  • Tabasco sauce (McIlhenny Co.)
  • Bread – a French stick or Ciabatta loaf is ideal.
  • Salted butter
  • Crushed ice (optional)

 Method

  1. Oysters are best eaten the day they are bought but they can be kept for up to 24 hours in the fridge. As with mussels if any of the oysters are not tightly closed when you come to use them they should be discarded.
  2. Rinse the oysters under the cold tap and use a stiff brush to remove any loose pieces of shell, grit, etc then place in a colander to drain.
  3. To open the oysters place each oyster in turn on a wooden chopping board with the flat side facing uppermost. Holding the oyster firmly in one hand work the point of the screwdriver into the hinge at the pointed and of the shell and then lever the shell open. Once the shell has opened a little hold it open with your forefinger and thumb and slide the blade of a small sharp knife between the two shells so as to cut the abductor muscle that holds the two shells together.
  4. Remove the flat top shell and place on a serving plate (see photos), this will help stop the lower shells containing the oysters and the liquor from tipping over. Alternatively use crushed ice to form a bed upon which to arrange the oysters.
  5. Then use the tip of the knife to remove any broken flakes of shell which have fallen into the lower shell containing the oyster and arrange on the serving plate.
  6. Add a couple of lemon wedges to the plate, serve with Tabasco sauce, freshly cut bread and butter together with a glass or two of Sauvignon Blanc.

Share and enjoy!

Copyright: All photographs and text in the blog “Brunch at Goodies” are subject to copyright. © Keith Gooderham 2011-2012. All rights reserved. Do NOT copy material without requesting permission to do so. If you would like permission simply contact me.

Welcome to Brunch at Goodies

Welcome to Brunch at Goodies, an eclectic collection of recipes, ingredients, suppliers and even the occasional restaurant review thrown in just for good measure.

So why yet another food blog? In part, purely for my own satisfaction, as a place to collect and store my cooking and food experiences but also as a way of spreading the word! Breakfast is far too often a neglected meal, especially during the working week. Even those that do indulge restrict themselves to a rushed slice of toast and a swift slurp of coffee, or if they are really pushing the boat out a boiled egg! (What did you have to eat this morning?). And then there are those supposedly health conscious muesli and yoghurt eaters and yes they have their place (muesli and yoghurt that is) but seriously is this what is going to keep you going all morning until you go to the snack van or supermarket for one of their stodgy and vastly expensive sandwiches and the inevitable torpor afterwards as the long haul of the afternoon sets in. The recipes given in this blog are all simple and quick to make and will cost you far less than a trip to the snack wagon or sandwich counter at your local Tesbury’s or Asroses.

The views expressed in this blog will frequently be opinionated, not, because for example I believe that there is only one marmalade in the world worth buying and that of course is Frank Cooper’s Fine Cut Oxford Marmalade. I am sure that there are many other fine marmalades but this is the one that I like and for me it wins hands down. Food is all about sharing and it should always be done with passion. So please come join me on this journey, let’s share the experience; feedback welcome!

Keith

Brunch @ Goodies

Copyright

All photographs and text in the blog “Brunch at Goodies” are subject to copyright. © Keith Gooderham 2011-2020. All rights reserved. Do NOT copy material without requesting permission to do so. If you would like permission simply contact me.