Size doesn’t matter – it’s what you do with it that counts…

Gavin WrenFood Blogging, The World of Food

lepetitoeuf old kitchen window and Jennifer
To start, I’d like to apologise for the lack of activity on my blog over the last few weeks, I had hoped to avoid such a gaping hole in my posting, but here we are. However, the stark lack of online activity in the world of le petit oeuf is at odds with a frantic and exhausting time offline. A few super-large contracts have rolled in at work, calling for up to 7 day working weeks and longer hours, which synchronised perfectly with moving house. It all built up to the perfect storm. So now we’ve moved I thought I’d quickly log on to show you what I’ve left behind, the place where I produced the subjects of all the blog posts up until now. Looking back at the photos, I realise that it was a pretty small kitchen, but I don’t remember ever getting annoyed at the space, you…

Smoked trout salad with fennel & dill and a horseradish, lemon & yoghurt dressing

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Salads

smoked trout fennel and beetroot with dill salad
You really can’t go wrong with this recipe. I mean that in two ways as it’s both easy to make, so no scope for going wrong there, and it also holds it’s ground in the fabulous tasting stakes, so no wrongness to be found there either. Originally, I was determined that this receipe was to be made specifically with hot smoked trout, rather than the cold smoked fish that I’ve used. If you’re unsure of the difference, hot smoking uses hot smoke, which cooks the fish leaving it light pink in colour, as if cooked normally. Cold smoking, which is the type applied to ‘traditional’ smoked salmon, is done with cold smoke, leaving the fish looking more like raw fish. However, monsieur Sainsbury and his staff were against me when I went shopping. Despite prolonged efforts and no matter how intently I stared at the chilled fish section, hot smoked…

Guardian Cook Feature – Recipe of the Week!

Gavin WrenFood Blogging, The World of Food

Guardian Cook cover, your spreads
I can’t help but feel a little bit proud of myself. My Feta, rosemary and hazelnut crunch spread, which I entered into the Guardian Cook supplement’s recipe swap was crowned recipe of the week! As well as being published in the print version of the paper, it was also published online here, at the Guardian Readers’ recipe swap page. “…recipe of the week goes to Lepetitoeuf for their feta, hazelnut and rosemary crunch; it’s sweet, savoury, and unbelievably moreish. Spread it on crackers, or sourdough, or forego the vehicle and just tuck in with a spoon.”
Eve O’Sullivan
I must admit that I feel giddy with excitement, and am slightly unsure how to deal with this newfound high level exposure; whether I need a publicist, PR representative, biographer etc now. Of course I won’t let the success effect me, I’ll be the same old Gavin. So if you want to…

Ironic Thai fried rice with Tofu & (or) Prawns

Gavin WrenFish & Shellfish, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Thai fried rice with tofu beans pak choi lime and chilli
Occasionally, I spend some time online reading other food blogs (although I try not to, as it’s an endless task). Quite often, as I work my way through the first few sentences or even paragraphs of a post, I find the introduction is some kind of whimsical, limp wrested observation which has little or no relevance to the subject in hand; food. It reminds me of listening to dreary, insipid sermons at church*, where awful analogies were dragged out, such as comparing God to a carrier bag, because carrier bags are very useful in our day to day life, they hold our food and keep everything together. You could feel that every last thread of energy that could be summoned had been twisted and squeezed into the creation and delivery of that sermon, yet it was merely killing time, it wasn’t contributing to the enhancement of anyones faith. Yet, we…

Feta, rosemary and hazelnut crunch

Gavin WrenRecipes, Spreads & Dips, Vegetarian

Feta hazelnut and rosemary crunch spread in a bowl
Two weeks ago, Guardian Witness asked for people to submit recipes on the theme of ‘poached’, with the best entries to be published in the Saturday edition of the newspaper’s ‘Cook’ food supplement. I looked at my nearly-brand-new blog, knowing that my third recipe featured a poached egg, and, somewhat scared, submitted the recipe. I was completely shocked when a few days later, I got an e-mail informing me that they were posting my recipe on their facebook page! Surely the glory of seeing my own recipe in print was within grasp! So, on the Saturday of reckoning, I rushed home from the shops with the newspaper, clawed my way past the Sport, Family and Money supplements (but had a quick look at the magazine) and then got to Cook. But alas, my moment in the spotlight was short lived and I had managed to snatch defeat from the jaws…

Cooking in a field; Pineapple and chilli prawns

Gavin WrenFish & Shellfish, Main Dishes, Recipes

Prawns with pineapple chilli cooked on a camp stove
Firstly, I’d like to offer my apologies for the lack of recent posts. My absence was due to a lovely, yet short, holiday in Sussex, where we stayed in an absolutely delightful shepherd’s hut at Hawthbush Farm, an organic working farm with added ‘glamping’. We stayed in a little hut made for two named ‘Aggie’, who was tucked away in her own peaceful and secluded field. She came fitted with a wood burning stove and a very comfy bed featuring a wool duvet; these are absolutely brilliant and now on my ‘want’ list. She also had a little field kitchen to one side, which, of course, became my home for the week. And I did spend quite a lot the week in the kitchen, as our morning routine of porridge and coffee for two, made on a single camping stove with little shelter from 20mph winds can take a…