Why did I start The Underground Restaurant?
“it’s such a nice atmosphere here and I’d like to know more about the other tables so, if you like, perhaps you could say who you are, what brought you here…”
“Do-it-yourself is an ethic that is practiced by many different people.It is an attitude of self-empowerment and openness to learning. Do-it-yourselfers include folks who garden, cook ‘from scratch’, make clothes and handcrafts, build and fix things, and practice healing arts…Anarchist punk culture uses do-it-yourself, or d.i.y. as a slogan to live by. Publishing a ‘zine’, being in a band, dumpster diving perfectly good food, squatting, activism, and skill-share events are all manifestations of the d.i.y. attitude”
- Take off the lid and wrap the bottom of the wooden box in double foil.
- Simmer a clove of garlic in some white wine. Slice thinly and put 2/3 shards into the cheese.
- Add half a glass of white wine.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until bubbling.
- small waxy potatoes like Exquisa, Charlotte or La Ratte, rolled in salt and covered with olive oil, roasted whole with skins on, for 30-40minutes in a hot oven.
- small sharp silverskin onions, cornichons, pickled peppercorns
- bread if need be
- salad with walnut oil and vinegar or lemon juice. Malden salt crumbled on at the last minute.
- Yuzu (a kind of Japanese citrus fruit somewhere between a mandarin and a lemon). This is rather expensive however and only available in Japanese shops.
- Ponzu, a Tamari style soy sauce
- White miso, also available from Japanese shops
- Ginger (I used pickled ginger to garnish)
- Kaffir lime (zest and juice) if available. This is the fruit tree from which lime leaves come, as used in Thai cooking.
- Chopped umeboshi plums
- Fresh limes. I used tons of the juice. I love them.
- Cut off ends and roll cucumbers in salt. Leave for fifteen minutes.
- Mix 100ml soy sauce, 100ml of rice vinegar. Julienne some fresh peeled ginger.
- I added fresh torn dill too to make a Jewish/Japanese fusion pickle.
- Rinse salt off cucumbers, slice them lengthways down the centre and scoop out the seeds.
- Turn them over and bash the skins a little with a rolling pin. (Yeah I know that’s weird, but just do it, don’t argue).
- Slice ’em all up and put them in the mixture of soy/vinegar. Leave them for a few hours.
- Again, you can replace the rice vinegar with wine vinegar if you like.
“I miss this. As an executive chef you aren’t hands on. I want to be filleting fish again”
he explained as I watched a virtuoso display of skill. He worked methodically, and it still took him a couple of hours to do it. It would have taken me a day. One of the things I need suppliers to understand is that as a one-woman domestic operation, I’m short of both time and fridge space. Ingredients such as fish need to be delivered as specified and close to dining time. I desperately need a bigger fridge, and would love a Smeg as it would fit nicely into my vintage style kitchen.
- 600ml of double cream
- 160g of caster sugar
- zest and juice of two lemons
- Boil cream and sugar for 5 minutes.
- Let it cool.
- Add the zest and juice.
- Whip it.
- Spoon into glasses or ramekins or jam jars or whatever.
- Leave it in the fridge for 3-5 hours.