14 July 2014

Cooking with Bruce : Fennel and Blue Cheese Souffle Tart

This is fantastic. And even better cold. Just make it. It also allowed me to deliver the line "look, the kitchen is not your place".

large head of fennel (or 2), chopped into sixths
olive oil
cup of milk
1T of butter
1T (heaped) of flour
3 eggs, separated
1/2c greek yoghurt
1t Dijon mustard
zest of lemon
40gm of grated parmesan
200gm (ish) of blue cheese (or even better, gorgonzola)
50gm toasted walnuts (ie cooked gently in butter/olive oil for 3-4mins) and broken up
Pastry (puff)


  • Preheat oven to 180C/Gas5
  • Blanch fennel heads in boiling water for 2mins then roast in oven with olive oil, salt, pepper until browning and caramelising
  • Melt butter in small pan, stir in flour until thick, add the milk slowly - stop when reasonably thick roux (was around 3/4c for me)
  • Mix egg yolks, yoghurt, mustard, zest and add to roux with salt and pepper
  • Grease tin, and cover with pastry, sprinkle parmesan over the base, chopped fennel, and walnuts
  • Beat egg whites until stuff, and fold into roux. Spoon over the base. 
  • Bake until 30min until set.

4 July 2014

It's 27 years of Sin

My Record Collector calendar (which came free with the Jan edition before you accuse me of being old and stuck in the past etc. -I prefer to phrase it as hipster chic), reveals that today (4th July) in 1987 the Pet Shop Boys hit number 1 with "It's a Sin". Ok, so the 27th anniversary isn't really that significant, but y'know ...

It is one of my favourite tracks. Perfect. And definitely on the playlist should I ever die :) Which raised the valid question of which 12" version (thanks Neil), and so has prompted the following Collection of Sin. A far more fun version of the Axis of Evil.

There's an Ian Levine mix released on 12" single which I haven't been able to track down, or rather I cna't find it on YouTube - pretty sure it's sitting at home. And Neil, can't find any record of the Shep Pettibone mix...

The Official Video

The Disco Mix

The Phil Harding PWL Miami Mix

But like all great tracks, there are covers. And that's really the point of this post.

First up, GammaRay, a German power metal band who Neil (yes, he does appear to be featuring far too much in this post) thought I'd like. In a gorgonzola way. He's right. But while googling, I found out they did a cover of It's a Sin, and it's genius. Starts of pretty much like the original, just more guitar, and then dissolves into power metal. Brilliant.

What's that? Bit safe? Why yes, I'd have to agree with you. Don't worry, those wacky Italian black metal kiddiwinks, Graveworm, have a real treat for you:

Like those two, but need some middle ground? By god sonny jim, you're in luck - more Italian metal, this time from the delightfully named Lord Vampyr. Useful Wiki fact, Lord Vampyr graduated with a degree in Psychology. His band, and album, names are good enough I sense myself spinning some shortly (I've got some theatres des vampires somewhere, no, I don't know why either). 

That's the metal kids happy then, what about the emo's? Always remember, emo's have feelings too. Why just yesterday I was listening to MCR, and it never occurred to me that a MCR or GreenDay type band covering It's a Sin could be brilliant.
Thankfully the Finnish band The Jade, have a full video for you. All floppy hair, disaffected glances, peeling wallpaper, and black jackets with fabulously shiny buttons.

I did scan through the rest of the covers, and decided to not inflict anything that started with 'My interpretation...', although I will note that anyone who decides they have to describe themselves as a transgender musician, rather than a musician, probably isn't good enough to be called a musician. It's not like I describe myself as a cynical-fuck-blogger is it?
There are a worrying number of hard rock covers of It's a Sin. None add anything more than those above. And so, to end this momentous day with something more civilised, the LSO version.

Happy Sin Day !!! 

3 July 2014

abba. and yngwie.

yngwie malmsteen, does abba.

best spam this morning

my work email address is usually pretty spam free as i don't sign up for much with it.

however this gem came through this morning:

Hope you won't feel repulsive towards a young lady who is now working for a professional printing company based in CHINA. 

Should you need to print something, like tags, stickers, invoice books, books, paper bags etc., maybe we can do for you. 

Write me back, and then you will get a Chinese printing quote, most likely to be half of your local printing cost. Hopefully you can give us a chance to test it. 

Best regards

Emma     Sales Specialist  

Thank you Emma, you've quite overcome my natural repulsion to Chinese printers....