Monday, 19 May 2008

Chocka Bloc

It has to be a special day when an ice cream van parks right outside your house. Especially when that ice cream van is the travelling Choc Star containing the one and only Petra and her collection of chocolate related goodies. This weekend, South Tyneside was Petra's stop off on her monumental tour of Britain and we welcomed her with open arms, especially as she had a Choc Star style pudding in tow! Cerys was besides herself with excitement to see an ice cream van right outside of her house, and with a free ice cream given to her inside the beast with chocolate sauce poured all over it, this was about as good as it gets for a 3 year old.

If you haven't been checking out her adventures, Petra has decided to pack her bags and tour this gallant land in an effort to get inside the real chocolate loving Britain. With a different stop off each day, Petra and the Choc Star (AKA Jimmy) have been having the most amazing gastronomic adventure, meeting amazing characters and sampling foodstuffs of different styles.

And what do we get for offering her a bed and meal? Well, a superb pudding for one. But best of all for us was to finally meet Petra who is one of the most interesting people we have had the pleasure to meet. What she is doing is the stuff that dreams are made of and if I had the time and less commitment, I would love to do something like this. It must be so interesting finding out about people, the real people and the true reflection of this land. I guess you have to be a people person, and Petra is definitely that.

I decided to put out a bit of a Greek and Turkish combination of dishes along with flatbreads. One of the favourite dishes was a roast beetroot, chard and caper concoction. Simple and tasty, just how I like it. Then Petra dished out the best chocolate mousse cake we have ever eaten, especially as it was made using Willy of Willie's Wonky Chocolate Factory fame Venezuelan Black 100% pure cacao. Sensational.

So bon voyage Petra and Jimmy, and we cannot wait to see you back in these parts for the Choc Star Tour Part 2!

Roast Beetroot, Chard and Caper Salad
Serves 4 as an accompaniment or 2 as a main course

6 whole beetroot, peeled and cut into quarters
2 tbsp olive oil
4 handfuls of Swiss chard, cut up roughly

For the dressing
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
A handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper

1 - Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C, GM6.
2 - Place the beetroot into an oven tray and toss with the olive oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes until tender and beginning to colour.
3 - Wash the chard and with the water that clings to it, place into a hot pan or wok. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly until wilted.
4 - Combine the beetroot and chard in a serving dish. Mix together the dressing ingredients and pour all over the vegetables.

11 comments:

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Thank you David!!!! :)
I replied here:
http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/?p=2296

Wow, I can imagine how Cerys was to meet Chocolate van in front of her door :) And I love the salad... roasted beetroot is one of my favourites... I must try your salad(!)

Have a wonderful week, Margot

Sylvie said...

Your salad looks lovely and what a great thing to become part of Petra's adventure!

Lisa said...

David, that is my kind of salad! I'd pay to have dinner at your house. Maybe I could bring dessert :)

theboydonefood said...

great to see you guys had fun! can't wait to get my laughing gear round more of that chocolate, and would love a go at that salad beforehand. Triffic. Mint and beetroot...mmm...

Cynthia said...

You lucky man!

Sam Sotiropoulos said...

Ah, so Petra made it! I am sure having her truck parked right outside of your home was a sight for the children in your neighbourhood!

David Hall said...

Margot - she was in a dream I can tell you!

Sylvie - nice salad but even nicer visit

Lisa - I'm flattered!

Wil - you have more chance of sampling the choc before me next with you guys living close to each other - jammy git!

Cynthia - oh yes!

Sam - we hogged it all to ourselves!

Petra Barran said...

You forgot to mention the Stone Roses medley!...don't worry - I'm on it. Just got to get myself up to Aviemore and get caught up with the story.

Can't wait for our next greedy session!

XXX

Aimée said...

Petra sounds like a cool person. I'll be checking out her adventures for sure!

Holler said...

Lovely, both the dish and the visit! That looks like a happy little girl!

Rosie said...

This looks a great salad David and how exciting re: Petra :)

Rosie x