I used to live on Streatham Hill but haven’t been that way for a while, so we headed over on a Saturday morning to go to Nineteen for breakfast. I was craving one of their lovely fry-ups with thick, meaty sausages and bright orange runny eggs – the surprise on arriving was that it is currently a building site. I don’t know if it’s coming back or been bought by someone else, but will keep an eye out as it was great.
I love tapas and the general idea of having a big selection of dishes for everyone to dive into and share. Just as well really as you’ll come across this concept in a huge number of London restaurants at the moment. So for a little girly night last week, tapas was the theme (mainly as I’m going through a Cava phase) and I managed to throw together a feast with very little skill and hardly any time away from the ladies. *Disclaimer: this is probably not all completely authentic but all goes well together and tastes lovely! Also this is certainly not an innovative recipe or anything groundbreaking – just a bit of inspiration if you have people coming and not much time.
So for something similar, you should buy: roasted peppers in jars, fresh anchovies, fresh artichokes, Serrano ham, Manchego cheese and some decent chorizo. This is the assembly-job stuff.
You can also easily knock up: chilli and garlic prawns, a leek and potato Spanish tortilla, tomato garlic bread, grilled sardines and herby lamb chops. These things are relatively quick and not particularly difficult.
I started with parboiling some sliced new potatoes with half a leek for about 5 minutes, then spreading them in a frying pan with melted butter, salt and pepper. Pour over 8 whisked eggs and let it cook on a medium heat until it’s firm at the edges and wobbly in the middle. Then grate some cheese on (I used a mixture of chedder for flavour and gouda for stringiness) and put it under the grill until the cheese bubbles. Then set aside.
For the prawns just finely chop red chilli and garlic, gently fry for a couple of minutes in olive oil then add the prawns. Once they’re warmed through take off and put them in a bowl. The sardines and lamb are just griddled for a few minutes, a squeeze of lemon compliments the oily sardines perfectly, and lamb loves a sprinkling of oregano. Cook the chorizo in a pan for a few minutes until heated through and releasing the lovely red oils.
Then serve! Arrange all the pre-bought things in bowls and let everyone dig in. With the bread, have everyone grab a cut garlic clove and half a tomato and rub both onto the toast – you get the lovely flavours of the tomato and garlic and it’s fun to to. I also served a green salad to add colour and something light and fresh.