An Introduction to Baking at Leiths, week 4…

The last week has rolled around and whereas with the four week class at LCB, I was sad to finish, here I’m actually sad that I don’t feel sadder. I’m a baker at heart and I was hoping I’d have got more out of this class than I actually did.

We were finishing with red onion focaccia and fruited soda bread plus a practical demonstration of spicy corn muffins…again, if I’d not long completed a one day workshop in artisan bread-making at LCB, I would have more than likely loved this class because I do have something of an addiction to bread. Unfortunately the variety and volume of products from that workshop meant that the focaccia and soda bread created here, although undeniably tasty (especially warm with Famous Five style lashings of butter) didn’t quite reach the same heights. Read More

An Introduction to Baking at Leiths, week 3…

Week 3 brings us treacle tarts and smoked haddock and spinach gougeres, neither of which were in my everyday repertoire. The gougere involves choux pastry so is always going to get the seal of approval from me and treacle tarts always seems a fabulously old school pudding to be, one that should be served in Mallory Towers with hot custard that tastes so good you eat too much and have to visit Matron…can you tell I have an unfulfilled fantasy  to go to the boarding schools of Enid Blyton’s imagination…?! Read More

Taqueria, Westbourne Grove…

In my thirty something years, the best soft tacos I have ever had have come from a tiny little taqueria in Los Angeles. It’s probably one of many, hole-in-the-wall shopfronts that you wouldn’t even give a second glance to unless someone gave you the heads up. Luckily someone did that for me and now, 5000 miles away, I’m passing the taco buck as best as I can…

Trendy, upscale, Westbourne Grove based restaurant Taqueria is as far as you can get from a low key, LA taco outlet but as far as I’m concerned, it makes the best soft shell tacos I’ve had outside the city of angels and that’s about as high a piece of praise I can give.

There’s something pleasingly primitive about eating with your hands and when what you’re eating is soft and steamed, warm and loaded with fall-apart-at-the-touch meat, avocado, tomato, onion, coriander among other things, it’s just outstanding. My advised course of action here is simply pick several dishes and share…by ‘share’ I mean, everyone has a bit of everything sure, but by all means dig in and make sure you get your fill. No standing on ceremony here, it’s every taco lover for herself…

I can wholeheartedly recommend trying Carne Asada, Carnitas and Choriqueso with a side of sliced fried plantains that are so good you’ll want to order them again and again and again…I could eat multiple portions of them on their own as my breakfast, lunch and dinner. What you’ll get with these tacos is charcoal grilled steak with marinated cheese and salsa roja; my absolute favourite of shredded, slow cooked and superbly seasoned pork with green salsa, pickled jalapeño and crackling crumbs and home made Mexican chorizo encased in browned cheese.

Each taco comes with a sprinkling of onion and coriander and frankly, each taco could be quadrupled in size and I’d still want more. I tell myself that the small size is part of their charm and that I shouldn’t want them to be any bigger but who am I kidding?  I don’t even believe myself when I say that…