Monday, 7 September 2015

Peruvian Amarillo Chilli Chicken | Recipe

Chicken is without doubt my favourite poultry. I could totally have a Bubba (from Forrest Gump) moment and replace the shrimp dishes with chicken: There's pineapple chicken, lemon chicken, coconut chicken, pepper chicken, chicken soup, chicken stew, chicken salad, chicken and potatoes, chicken burger, chicken sandwich... I'm always trying to find different ways of cooking and flavouring it. 

I'm a major fan of Encona's West Indian Hot Sauce, which goes splendidly with chicken. I also love their Peruvian Amarillo Chilli Sauce. It's a medium, sweet-flavoured sauce with roasted onions, spices and herbs. 'Perfect for dipping' - as said on bottle - but also makes a fab marinade base. Here's a simple and quick recipe for this side dish. It's so quick, I've not even bothered to measure the ingredients!

Encona Peruvian Amarillo Chilli Sauce
All Purpose Seasoning
Chicken (any: wings, drumsticks, thighs...)
Olive oil
Sesame seeds
Bell peppers (optional)

1. Clean the chicken
2. Generously sprinkle on the All Purpose Seasoning.
3. Pour the Encona sauce over the chicken and work in all over with your hands.
4. Sprinkle the basil on top.
5. Put chicken in a container and place in the fridge overnight.
6. When ready to cook, pre-heat oven to gas mark 5
7. Place chicken in a tray, and pour some olive oil over.
8. Place a sheet of foil on top and put in the oven for roughly 30 minutes.
9. Remove foil and turn the chicken over so that it also cooks well on the other side.
10. If you fancy it, you could add some red and yellow bell peppers in with the chicken at this point.
11. Place chicken back in oven for another 20 minutes without foil cover.
12. Remove chicken, sprinkle some sesame seeds, serve and enjoy!

How do you like your chicken (assuming you're not veggi)?

On an aside, a couple of weeks ago, Blaque Pearl featured on Rebates Zone in a report on the UK's top 50 food blogs! How exciting. You can read more about it here and have a look at some of the blogs listed below.
Top 50 Food Blogs In UK

As ever,


*I was sent a couple of bottles of Encona's latest range for review.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Sticks N Sushi | Eating Out

Sushi? Mmm...Maybe. I can hear you screaming "What?!" in utter dismay at that response, but let me explain: although I'm partial to the odd sashimi and shake daikon, I often turn down sushi based purely on the fact that I don't find it filling. It's one of the more pricy cuisines, and I'm often hungry within two hours of consumption. Plus, in London, very few places do sushi really well.

One of my American colleagues was telling me about her favourite sushi joint in New York where you have to order 48 hours in advance because the chef has the fish and meat specially flown over from Japan. The name of the restaurant escapes me, but that's insane! You don't even want to know how much that kinda sushi costs - it's probably cheaper for you to buy your own jet and get the ingredients from Japan yourself!

Anyway, I digress. When I do give in to temptation, one of my favourite - and trusted - sushi restaurants is Sticks N Sushi, a Japanese/Nordic fusion - reflected in the decor and menu. The high-quality, fresh food is instantly apparent from your first bite.

You're totally spoilt for choice with their menu, and fortunately, if you find yourself unsure about what to order, they'll pick for you. Sticks N Sushi offer a range of options of sushi and yakitori sticks for those who aren't so keen on fish or raw food.

There are a few branches in London - Wimbledon, Covent Garden, and Greenwich. I went to the newly opened one in Canary Wharf, Crossrail Place. Really calm, relaxed vibes, and I always love how when a diner enters, the staff shout "Namaste!".

If the photos below aren't mouthwatering enough, have a look at some of their set menus here.
Chicken meatballs in teriyaki / Tsukune | Bacon wrapped asparagus / Aspara maki | Miso marinated salmon with teriyaki sauce & spring onion / Shake no miso teriyaki
Red Juice: cranberry,  beetroot, carrots, celery, lemon
Nigiri: 1 salmon, 1 tuna, 1 shrimp | Kaburimaki / Topped Rolls: 2 formidable, 2 ebi cocktail Futomaki/ Big Rolls: 2 gypsy big
Fish Bowl Salad - Hand peeled Greenland shrimps, seared salmon & tuna, lettuce, sweet tomatoes, quinoa, snow peas, cucumber, edamame beans, avocado, red onion, radish, ginger, chives, daikon, roasted pumpkin seeds & miso mustard 
Pink Alaska Roll - Salmon, cream cheese, avocado, rolled in lumpfish roe 
Four Wings Salad - Marinated duck breast, grilled chicken & leek, soy marinated free range egg, lettuce, sweet tomatoes, snow peas, cucumber, edamame beans, avocado, red onion, radish, quinoa ginger, chives, daikon, roasted pumpkin seeds & wasabi caesar dressing 
Lamb chop topped with miso herb butter / Ramuyaki
Jasmine tea
What are some of your favourite sushi restaurants?

As ever,

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Red, White, Blue | My Ensemble (OOTD)

I have to start off by saying that when I threw this outfit together, it was not my intention to look a) patriotic; b) fourth of July; or  c) French. However, my colleagues needed persuading otherwise when I walked into the office on Tuesday. They jested that I was a little late for Independence Day celebrations - arf arf! - before expressing approval in the form of nods and remarks, including: "That is one of my favourite outfits on you. Ever." and "Those are awesome pants". I concur.
These high-waisted, vertical striped, wide leg trousers have instantly become my favourite statement piece in my summer wardrobe. They're bold, bright and breezy! Red, white and blue are complementary colours, so you can't go wrong there, and the vertical stripes give the illusion that I'm ever so slightly taller than my actual 5ft 4 inch stature. Totes in love with them.
TROUSERS: Boohoo | BODY SUIT: New Look | CARDIGAN: Bershka | BAG: Lipsy | BELT: ASOS | NECKLACE: Etsy
What's your current favourite summer statement piece?

As ever,


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Salvation in Noodles, Dalston | Eating Out

I'm officially on a mission to find some of London's best Vietnamese restaurants. There are a handful in Shoreditch, namely Keu and On the Bab. Salvation in Noodles would most definitely be on that list.  It's an unassuming little restaurant nestled in Dalston that serves gourmet variations of hot and cold noodle dishes.
Although fairly small, the environment is laid back, so perfect for a meet-up with a friend.
There isn't a huge selection of food on the menu, but what they do offer is more than agreeable. Mains are around £9 each, and appetisers roughly £6/£7. For the excellent quality they serve, I'd say their prices are very reasonable.  
Phu Quoc Wings
The chicken wings were absolutely delicious. Its crispy texture and sweet, caramelised flavour made for some very happy taste buds. 
Xa Lamb Chops
I was a little disappointed that there were only two lamb chops, especially as it was part of the 'Social' section in the menu. My understanding of that was starters to share, so I was expecting four lamb chops rather than two. Nonetheless, it tasted amazing: barbecued with a glaze of sweet and spicy seasoning.  
I loved the selection of some locally crafted drinks: the Dalston Raw Fiyah ginger beer was a refreshing infusion of root ginger, juiced lemon and lime.
Bun Nem Nuong
I was sceptical about ordering the cold noodle salad (actually served at room temperature), because it sounded a bit boring, but oh my; thou shalt not judge a noodle dish by its menu description alone. 

Parsley, mint, carrots, crushed cashews, lettuce, cucumber, rice noodles, teamed with pork patties; all the flavours - sweet, citrus, salty - came together so well. 
Pho Ga
Egg noodles in chicken broth with shredded chicken, bean sprouts, and spring onions. Yum. This flavourful option was surprisingly filling. Although thoroughly enjoyed, some finely-chopped fried garlic on top would have helped to enhance the flavour of the chicken a little bit more. I'd definitely recommend it though.
Green tea combined with roasted brown rice - very nice!
The bare brick wall, and the copper accents with the lighting, give the decor a contemporary feel; canteen meets restaurant.
Gotta love Sriracha hot sauce!
I will definitely be going back to SIN, and soon.

What are some of your favourite Vietnamese restaurants? 

As ever, 


Sunday, 8 March 2015

Dr. Martens and Crop Top | My Ensemble (OOTD)

Happy Sunday! The 'fro is back: it's much bigger, and I'm loving it! I'm wearing it proudly, too! #teamnatural

Now, let's get on to the outfit, shall we? 
If you've ever owned a pair of Dr Martens, you'll know that these shoes can take up to two weeks to break into. The first day I wore these lace high boots (FYI: I was in them for about 12 hours), I endured blistering heels and the occasional pinch on my feet. It's not as traumatic as some of the stories you hear, though you'll have to go through a considerable amount of low-threshold pain before experiencing the light at the end of the tunnel a.k.a comfort - I assure you: it's totally worth it. 
Don't even get me started about lacing these bad boys up! Ha! Luckily, they come with zips on the sides, so getting in and out of them is effortless, and doesn't feel like torture. 

I have big calfs, but still wanted to do a criss-cross lace pattern, so I didn't (and could't, more to the point!) lace the boots all the way to the top, but that's not really a big deal.
BOOTS: Dr Martens (1B60) | CROP TOP: Vero Moda | SHIRT: New Look | JEANS: New Look | BAG: Lipsy
If you're not quite confident enough to show your abs - or generally not a fan of exposing certain parts of your body- then layering is a great solution when you want to rock a crop top. I wore a plain white shirt under this Vero Moda navy check funnel crop top. I love the cashmere-like texture of this top and the complementary blue, white and red check patterning. 
The outfit came together quite nicely: smart on top, casual on the bottom.  Smart-casual = very Rebecca-Monique. 
Do you own a pair of Doc Martens? How do you wear crop tops? 

As ever,


*Photos taken by Instagram: @One2thr33Cheese