It was Feeding Franklin x 3 (plus my fiance) last week as my mum, sister and I descended on Jose Pizarro’s Bermondsey Street restaurant to celebrate my sister’s birthday. She works in Bermondsey so was the obvious choice, along with Zucca which is still on the list! We’ve munched up his lovely tapas at ‘Jose’, the more casual outpost up the road, so had high hopes for the restaurant.
I stumbled on Angels & Gypsies whilst passing through Camberwell, and was intrigued – the area isn’t somewhere I’d normally head as a destination, but this place looked lovely. Its the restaurant of the Church Street Hotel, and the theme runs throughout – the seats are old pews and there’s stained glass on the walls. It was pretty quiet for a Saturday lunch and I grabbed a coffee – a very good cappuccino.
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.