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Food & drink | The Guardian

Latest Food & drink news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Vegetables that keep on giving, year after year | James Wong

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 06:00:02 GMT

Perennial crops, like artichokes, asparagus and rhubarb, can produce continual harvests from a single planting for decades at a time

Finally! The first signs of spring are on the horizon. I’ll have to wait a while before I can sow batch after batch of the annual crops, like lettuce, carrots and beans, but there is one group that can be planted now that will give greater harvests for just a fraction of the work. Weirdly, they also tend to be more expensive and harder to track down in the shops: a pretty sweet deal when it comes to the effort/reward ratio, really.

These are the perennial crops, like artichokes, asparagus and even rhubarb, that from a single planting can produce continual harvests for decades at a time. They won’t require the annual ritual of digging, sowing and transplanting each spring, not to mention the drudgery of digging them up and composting each autumn. If you haven’t already dedicated a corner of your patch to these horticultural superstars, now is a perfect time to get planting. If you have, here are three less well-known, but equally tasty, perennial crops.

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David Baddiel: 'Posh food isn't the best food. It's just a genre like Indian or Chinese'

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 12:00:09 GMT

The comedian and writer on his mother’s terrible cooking, his first ever curry and trying to blow £8,000 in Armenia’s top restaurant

My childhood memories of cooking at home are of very overcooked meat, as tough as old boots. And a lot of fry-ups and 70s food like Vesta pancakes and a soup which went on for ever – like an enormous vat of what appeared to be water with one chicken claw in it.

My mother was a terrible cook but I didn’t know that until I was about 13 and my friend – also called Dave – gave me an avocado at his house. I thought, “I had no idea there’s a dimension of taste like this”, and I’ve been obsessed since with trying to find other food that made me so interested in food as avocado.

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Soulshakers’ blood orange mimosa | Cocktail of the week

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:00:06 GMT

An eyecatching and refreshing snifter for brunch or cocktail hour

Blood orange season is in full swing right now, so it’s only common sense to make the most of these ruby-red beauties while we can. After all, they’ll be gone for another year soon enough.

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Channel 4 hits sweet spot with Bake Off as it seeks new sponsor

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 18:06:10 GMT

Broadcaster raises cost to £5m making series most lucrative for broadcaster since Big Brother

Channel 4 is on the hunt for a new sponsor for The Great British Bake Off at a pumped up price, after the new-look show defied critics and proved to be the broadcaster’s biggest hit in decades.

Sponsors Lyle’s golden syrup and baking product maker Dr Oetker are understood not to be seeking to renew their one-year deal, which turned out to be a bargain given the huge success of Channel 4’s first series.

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Turmeric coronation chicken pancakes and banana crepes recipes | Yotam Ottolenghi

Sat, 10 Feb 2018 09:00:55 GMT

Fun DIY pancakes that little hands can fill themselves, and a more grown-up boozy banana crepe for pancake day

In my house, most days are pancake days. My freezer is stocked up with cooked crepes (an ingenious idea I nicked off a friend) that take minutes to warm up from frozen in the morning and spread with whatever’s in the cupboard; unsurprisingly, Nutella is my two sons’ most popular choice by far. So for actual pancake day, I’m thinking something less everyday: a whole meal revolving around DIY pancake assembly. Get everyone together, roll up your sleeves and get stuffing.

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How to make the perfect dan dan noodles | Felicity Cloake

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 06:00:37 GMT

A quick noodle dish laced with smoky chilli oil and tingly Sichuan pepper is the ideal choice for Chinese new year

If you’re not familiar with dan dan noodles, or if you’ve had this fiery, aromatic and addictively savoury snack in a restaurant but never made it yourself, this column will change your life. Named for the cry of the itinerant vendors who once roamed the streets of Chengdu with the tools of their trade slung on a bamboo pole – or dan – across their shoulders, dan dan noodles, as Fuchsia Dunlop explains, are traditionally served in small portions, “just enough to ease the hunger of scholars working late or mahjong players gambling into the night”, and should be eaten quickly, while the noodles are still hot and the fried topping crisp.

Liberally laced with the smoky chilli oil and numbing pepper for which Sichuan province is famous, they’re a fabulous winter warmer, and the ideal supplement to your Chinese New Year feast, should you be celebrating, noodles being a traditional symbol of longevity. Polish off a couple of tangerines for luck afterwards, and the Year of the Dog is sure to be a good one.

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Red wines for Valentine’s Day | Fiona Beckett on wine

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 12:00:46 GMT

Let’s ditch the bubbles and rosé this Valentine’s Day ...

I sometimes think we’re led by what supermarkets think we ought to drink, rather than by what we actually fancy. For Valentine’s Day, for example, that more often than not means anything pink and preferably fizzy, champagne being the obvious choice. But is that what you or your loved one really wants?

Recent research shows that consumers regard red wine as the most relaxing drink, but despite red being as legitimate a Valentine’s colour as pink, red is rarely seen as a romantic choice, with the exception of rather half-hearted injunctions to buy Saint-Amour, one of the least interesting of the Beaujolais crus.

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Roganic, London W1: ‘Already a place for chefs, bloggers and blaggers’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 13:00:04 GMT

L’Enclume’s new sister restaurant in London is a multi-course expedition that inspires and alarms in equal measure

On entering Roganic, it was clear I needed a new false name for booking tables. “Mitford”, after my beloved Nancy (not her Hitler-loving fruitcake sister Unity) had lasted exactly four critical ambushes before being sussed and spread across hospitality’s intelligence network. Actually, that makes the chef grapevine sound far too chic and diligent. In reality, it’s just chefs lying about at 3am in mildewed underpants screaming, “That bitch!” into WhatsApp group chats.

But I live for this mayhem. I pitched up at Roganic on a Saturday night to find the staff suspiciously alert, with several of them huddled behind reception like the cast of Meerkat Manor sensing a Kalahari thunderstorm. Well played: it’s their job to find stuff like this out, after all. This restaurant, which is both the Second Coming of a much rhapsodised former pop-up and a spin-off of Michelin-bestowed Cumbrian mecca L’Enclume, opened just a month ago. Due to chef/owner Simon Rogan’s rep as a scene leader and striver for high standards, it’s already one of those places that chefs, writers, bloggers, blaggers and miscellaneous food chunterers are expressing vocal intention to visit in 2018. They yearn, they’ll tell you, to experience Rogan’s seaweed custard with caviar, his millet pudding laced with Stichelton and his scallop with gooseberry.

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Yotam Ottolenghi’s potato recipes

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 09:00:14 GMT

A gratin, a fritter and an aromatic mash show the humble potato’s ability to bring out the flavours of other ingredients

The most memorable potatoes I’ve ever tasted were at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland. Apart from being a superb example of a local new-season variety, these potatoes were simply boiled with heaps of aromatics before being tossed in butter and salt, but they had a hugely satisfying complexity. It wasn’t until this moment, after a lifetime as a cook, that I fully understood the true power of the humble potato, which is its ability to convey the flavours of other ingredients. It’s a modest quality, but one that gives us outstanding dishes.

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Covert cooking: how to bake a pie in prison

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 11:30:08 GMT

When May Eaton was a writer in residence at a men’s jail, she found the inmates’ real creativity lay in the cakes and curries they made in their cells

I was in my 20s when I got a job working behind bars, a writer in a men’s prison, with the loose remit of fostering creativity. On my first morning I hitched a stiff leather belt around my jeans and was issued my own set of keys. The biggest, draconian looking, was for entry into the prison itself, accompanied by a cluster of smaller keys for the library and my tiny office. As I walked across the prison yard the chain jingled. I felt absurd, like a cat with a bell.

Training for the job had felt shockingly short. A single blurred week of briefings with my fellow writers, each of us having been assigned our own prison. Dress code (comfortable but non provocative), hostage situations (don’t fight back), manipulation and psychological grooming (don’t give away details of your personal life, never traffic any item, not even a Mother’s Day card, in or out of the facility for a prisoner). We were guided through the activities we’d be expected to instigate – plays, prison newspapers, writing workshops. I had zero experience of teaching. Not a natural disciplinarian, my voice when it rose above a certain level grew reedy and thin. How did I expect to hold the attention of a classroom of prisoners? What if a fight broke out?

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Quality versus value wines: can you have both?

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:00:06 GMT

Supermarket wine isn’t a bad place to start if you want to discover unfamiliar wines at reasonable prices

Not everyone has taken to the current series of The Wine Show, including this paper’s TV critic, but I’m impressed by the way it makes wine accessible to new drinkers without descending into excessive silliness or ponderous mansplaining. True, not everything works. The use of the immensely knowledgeable Jancis Robinson simply to pronounce on which of two wines goes best with a particular dish, for example, is a waste of a talented TV presenter, but on the whole the show is commendably ambitious in its scope. Biodynamic wine, Georgian wine, wine from Canada’s Okanagan Valley … no one can accuse The Wine Show of being interested only in supermarket wines.

But are they right to be so wide-ranging? Well, that’s an issue I struggle with every week. Would you rather hear about Aldi or Asda’s latest bargain, or discover a wine or region about which you previously knew nothing? Obviously, it’s partly a question of cash, although it seems it’s younger drinkers, who are not necessarily the best off, are the most curious and willing to try new things. According to I Taste Red, Jamie Goode’s book on the science of wine tasting, that may be because they’re more likely to make “affective hedonistic judgments”– that is, they decide whether they like something on the basis of its taste, rather than comparing it with wines they’ve tried before.

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2017's best restaurant – Pidgin, east London

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 10:00:28 GMT

Their menu changes weekly and no dish is repeated – the winner, as voted by OFM readers, is a small restaurant that’s big on creativity

When the public ballot opened for this year’s Best Restaurant, James Ramsden sent a tweet to his then near-17,000 followers: “If you vote for Pidgin in the #ofmawards I’ll personally empty your dishwasher.” Now the east London restaurant he co-owns has won – by some margin, as it happens – does he not regret making that offer?

The 31-year-old Ramsden laughs. “Yeah, it was actually a fairly clumsily written tweet, but I’m glad it was, because it was meant to say ‘…for a year’. As far as is practical, though, I will honour the offer. I mean, it’s a bit of a weird thing to do, to call me up and say …”

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May I have a word about… lily-livered excuses? | Jonathan Bouquet

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 20:05:02 GMT

Why DHL should have said, ‘We’re sorry, this is a complete cock-up and we’ll fix it’

There are few things that the British enjoy more than a good food story. This is especially the case when it has a decent scary element - think salmonella, chlorinated chicken or the horsemeat “scandal”; or can be stoked to a peak of consumer indignation – the reduction in the size of various confectionary items such as Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, Toblerones or tins of Quality Street is always a surefire winner. Last week’s Kentucky Fried Chicken imbroglio was, joyously, no exception. Having never succumbed to Colonel Sanders’s blandishments, I can’t comment on the nation’s favourite chicken takeaway, although I do think resorting to phoning the police to complain about its absence from the high street is going too far.

In such a situation, one thing is guaranteed to inject yet another level of pleasure – the intervention of the corporate mouthpiece, and John Boulter, the spokesman for DHL, the company supposed to deliver the goods on behalf of KFC, certainly didn’t disappoint.

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Anna Jones’s winter citrus salad recipe| The Modern Cook

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 12:00:56 GMT

Seasonal citrus takes centre stage in this salad of sweet oranges and bitter leaves, and in a simple south Indian lemon pickle to enjoy year-round

Now is the time for citrus. Clementines, blood oranges, heady bergamots, perfect leafy lemons, plump grapefruit, blush and Seville oranges all abound. Citrus is ever-present in my cooking, most often lemon or lime, but during this time of plenty I’ll dress my salads in a vinaigrette made with clementines. Or I’ll throw a halved blood orange into my tray of vegetables, then once its edges have browned and its fruit has turned jammy, I’ll squeeze its juice over the veg. But this week, citrus gets top billing: a salad of sharp-sweet oranges and crisp bitter lettuces; and an ultra-simple lemon pickle inspired by south India. Pickling the season’s lemons makes them a year-round favourite to enjoy with curries, stews and flatbreads.

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Nigel Slater’s fettuccine with fennel and prawns

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:00:14 GMT

A gloriously quick and tasty supper which you can have on the table within minutes of walking through the door

Slice 2 medium-sized fennel bulbs in half and then into thin slices. Melt 30g of butter and warm in a deep-sided shallow pan with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Add the fennel and the juice from half a lemon. Cover with a lid and leave to cook over a low to moderate heat for a good 20 minutes, until the fennel is soft and translucent. An occasional stir is all to the good.

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Thomasina Miers' recipe for winter lamb salad

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 13:00:47 GMT

The salty, garlicky dressing on a crunchy seasonal salad makes a great foil for grilled lamb

While it’s tempting to eat only warm food in cold weather, sometimes something fresh and crunchy is called for, even if there’s a gale blowing. Add some warmth with spices or garlic, say, and you have a proper winter salad. The word salad, incidentally, means ‘salted herbs or vegetables’, so salad is named after its dressing, not the veg in the bowl; in other words, a salad without a dressing isn’t a salad at all. That also applies to these lamb leg steaks (a much cheaper alternative to chops), which just wouldn’t be the same without their garlicky, rosemary-scented marinade.

Related: Rachel Roddy’s recipe for lamb chops with greens

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A Valentine's Day cocktail: Bitter and twisted – recipe

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 11:00:45 GMT

A judicious pick-me-up for the discerning drinker on Valentine’s Day

Bitters are very grown-up drinks, so this one’s for any self-respecting adult, whether coupled up or single, who regards Valentine’s Day with the contempt it deserves. It’s also ridiculously easy to make, so is ideal if you need to drown your sorrows on the 14th, too.

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Cocktail of the week: 10 Greek Street’s port and rum negroni

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 15:00:11 GMT

A classy way to use up any liquor leftovers

Serves 1

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Rachel Roddy’s recipe for pasta cacio e pepe | A kitchen in Rome

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:00:14 GMT

You always remember your first time: Rachel Roddy hails the classic Roman three-ingredient pasta dish

Of all the classic Roman pasta dishes, cacio e pepe was the one I tasted first – and still the one I like best. It has just three ingredients: pasta, cacio (aka pecorino romano) and freshly cracked black pepper. In cooking, though, the pasta creates another ingredient: the cloudy cooking water slightly thickened with starch that has seeped from the pasta as it boils. This cooking water is a sort of culinary negotiator, melting and then emulsifying the cheese into rich, creamy sauce on the strands of pasta.

Unsurprisingly, there are as many ways and opinions about how best to make a cacio e pepe as there are cooks. Some like to add a little olive oil; others have ways with double boilers and grated ice, which, as far as I can see, require the almost gloopy starchy water of a trattoria pasta cooker and the wrists of a chef. But one thing people seem to agree on is that the enemy of cacio e pepe is chilly china – that is, cold plates – which can make the cheese clump into almost plasticine-like blobs from which there is no coming back. Happily, it is an enemy easily overcome by warming the vessel in question. Most agree, too, that the smaller the quantity, the better the result. With this in mind, here are two ways to prepare two main-course portions of cacio e pepe.

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Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for kitchari | The new vegan

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 09:30:14 GMT

A centuries-old rice and lentil dish is given a new spin with wild rice and a baked almond yoghurt topping

Kitchari is a centuries-old rice and lentil dish that’s still eaten across India. Precursor of the Anglo-Indian favourite kedgeree and the Egyptian street food koshari, it’s the country’s original one-pot dish, and both seasonal and endlessly adaptable. This recipe is inspired by one I ate at Swati Snacks in Mumbai, a restaurant with strip lighting, laminated menus and a long queue: the telltale sign of a place everyone wants to eat at. Mainly, I assume, for the kitchari.

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Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life review – all about his great passions: baking, and himself

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 06:00:01 GMT

This vanity project perks up when old blue eyes gets down to some fancy baking – and Prue, Sandi and Noel turn up

Paul Hollywood has a new show, a great British spin-off. It’s about his great passions: baking, and himself. It’s called Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life (Channel 4). The timing might not be ideal, a show about his life outside the Great British Bake Off, coming soon after announcing the split from his wife. It’s difficult to watch without a bit of that in mind.

She doesn’t feature, and he doesn’t mention Mrs H. He does talk about another painful separation though – from Mary, Mel and Sue, when the Bake Off moved from the BBC to Channel 4. And in this one he was the victim, apparently. “For the three of them to walk away from me, and walk away from the tent, it felt like they’d abandoned the Bake Off,” he says. “Three people walked out of the tent, and one person stayed. Why am I getting called a traitor?”

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Henry’s, Bath: ‘A thoroughly lovely expression of the owner’ – restaurant review | Jay Rayner

Sun, 11 Feb 2018 06:00:20 GMT

Don’t worry about data capture, all Henry’s in Bath wants is to cook the food it believes in

Henry’s, 4 Saville Row, Bath BA1 2QP (01225 780055). Meal for two, including wine and service: £90 to £110

Recently I took part in a conference event on the future of the dining experience. Or should I say “experience”? It felt like inverted commas were everywhere. It was all about “data capture” and “personalisation”. Us diners will trade gems of information for a meal that most closely matches our aspirations for it. Much of this was an extrapolation of what already happens. The request for information on allergies and dietary issues has become de rigueur. At best it saves people from going into anaphylactic shock over the grilled shrimp, which really can ruin dinner. At worst it’s a licence for picky eaters, trying to control the world around them through their dreary eating habits, just as they did when they were toddlers.

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The Greyhound Café, London: ‘There are things here I want to come back for’ – restaurant review

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 06:00:02 GMT

A new Bangkok café shows that Thai food can be whatever it wants to be

The Greyhound Café, 37 Berners Street, London W1T 3LZ (020 3026 3798). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £50 to £90

You probably think this restaurant reviewing lark is all truffles, Krug and duck fat, liberally smeared in crevices, as directed. And obviously there is a fair bit of that. We are consenting adults. But sometimes you have to fight for your lunch. One new restaurant phones to cancel my pseudonymous booking because, hilariously, they’ve forgotten it’s press night and they won’t be serving “ordinary” customers. OK. I won’t come then. We call another that I’ve finished writing about, to arrange photography. They tell us they’ve closed for refurbishment and will be reopening soon with a completely different menu. It’s a bullet dodged; I had to wash the blood off my hands after writing that review. No matter. I’ll get back to both of them eventually.

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OFM Awards 2017: Best Sunday Lunch – the runners-up

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 10:00:28 GMT

OFM readers vote for their favourite roasts – from well-hung beef in Wales to whole suckling pig in Nottingham

Blacklock, Soho
This chophouse scooped this award last year for its superlative roasts. Joints are slow-roasted over coals, there’s a £20 all-in meat platter, and you can wash it all down with a breakfast martini.
24 Great Windmill St, W1D 7LG; 020 3441 6996

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Wulf & Lamb, London SW1 – restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 13:00:05 GMT

Not all vegan-friendly restaurants are created equal. Some are flashy setups with mission statements but no idea what customers want

Some critics visit restaurants twice before writing their review. I see valour in this, but at the same time feel it’s expensive folly to dispense second chances when the paying public won’t. “The waitress coughed on my Paris-Brest and my omelette was hairy, but dash it – let’s go back,” no customer said, ever.

I’m reminded of this as I enter Wulf & Lamb, a posh vegan cafe-restaurant in the heart of zillion-pound real-estate Chelsea. Most of my gut feeling about any new opening is formed within the first 10 minutes. When my lunch guest arrives, there’s a look in my eyes, a “distant light” that Celine Dion would know indicates “a storm tonight”. Because that’s what happens when a place charges £15 for a veggie burger or £8 for a slice of vegan cheesecake, in an upstairs restaurant that doesn’t do table service. It also lets you walk up there with no clue, no signage, only to be snottily pointed back downstairs, where a glum-faced waiter is begrudgingly creaming money off diners hand over fist.

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Thomasina Miers’ recipe for smoked haddock souffle with sheep’s cheese

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:00:06 GMT

Souffles are so versatile, and make stars of all kinds of ingredients – and they’re not tricky at all. Honest

There is something inherently thrilling about pulling a light, barely quivering souffle from the oven: on the one hand so pure, on the other so wanton. Souffles are ingeniously versatile, and make all sorts the stars of the show, from healthy greens to fruit and ground nuts. And the results always look fabulous. Most of all, a souffle is a brilliant bet for a low-cost, delicious dinner, as here, where smoky fish is offset by the acidity of cheese and creme fraiche. Perfect.

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Where are all the Kiwi wines? | Fiona Beckett

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 16:00:31 GMT

New Zealand makes some of most consistent wines around, and not just that ubiquitous sauvignon. So why are they so thin on the ground right now?

I didn’t spot it at the time, but there was a dearth of New Zealand wines at the most recent supermarket tastings. Whether that was because the shops didn’t have much to offer except sauvignon blanc and thought we were bored by it (I am, for one), or whether it was a question of expense, I’m not sure: prices have definitely been creeping up, but then New Zealand isn’t exactly alone on that front.

Their absence is odd, though, because the country consistently produces some of the most reliable wines around, with great pinots and excellent, aromatic whites joining that ubiquitous sauvignon. There are even hefty reds, mainly from the Hawkes Bay area on the North Island, where syrah has found an ideal home. The deliciously peppery Terrace Edge Syrah 2015 (£25 Vintage Roots; 14.5% abv), from North Canterbury, say, would certainly hit the spot for fans of the northern Rhône (and it’s on a par price-wise).

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Meera Sodha’s recipe for vegan kimchi pancakes

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 13:30:57 GMT

Salty, spicy and sour Korean jeon pancakes made with kimchi are a delicious savoury vegan alternative on pancake day

I discovered kimchi only a few months ago, but when I did, there were fireworks. I nearly ate a whole jar of Kim Kong Kimchi in a single salty, spicy and sour sitting. Then I went in search of recipes that would justify buying more, and became acquainted with the kimchi jeon at Oshibi, a Korean restaurant in York. A jeon is a forgiving pancake that absorbs tofu and most vegetables, but still becomes crisp, given enough time in the pan.

Related: Meera Sodha’s potato and cabbage curry | The New Vegan

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Salt, Stratford-upon-Avon: ‘I want this restaurant to be great’ | Jay Rayner

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 05:00:21 GMT

Paul Foster won top awards as a young chef, now he’s got his own place in the Midlands. And Jay feels fully vindicated

Salt, 8 Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6HB (01789 263 566). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £70-£110

Paul Foster is living other chefs’ fantasies. He has the thing they all want: the small but perfectly formed restaurant where he can be himself. From a distance he has made this look effortless. I’m sure it wasn’t. I first ate his food at a hotel in Suffolk I had never heard of back in 2011, where he was ravaging the river banks for ingredients, pairing roasted chicken wings with brown shrimps and laying pieces of hake on swollen beads of bright green tapioca, flavoured with fiery wild watercress so it looked like frogspawn. There was a poise and balance to his cooking that won him a bunch of awards, including the Observer Food Monthly young chef of the year award. Which is obviously The Only Award Worth Winning.

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Psychotherapist Susie Orbach: how I eat

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 11:00:16 GMT

What would you expect the author of Fat Is A Feminist Issue to eat? The writer and social critic tells all

I wake at 6.30am and have hot water with licorice root, or fresh mint, followed by mango tea. Much of my work has been about what we’re hungry for and when. So I eat only if I am hungry: toast, an omelette or a grain of some kind (quinoa, oatmeal, polenta); always savoury.

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Felicity Cloake’s marmalade recipe | Felicity Cloake’s masterclass

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:00:52 GMT

Seville orange season is almost over, so now’s your last chance to get peeling

If you don’t make marmalade now, you’ll have missed your chance for another year, because the all-too-brief Seville orange season is almost over. Fortunately, it’s a surprisingly simple task for a lazy day at home, filling the house with a gorgeous, zesty scent, and the cook with smug satisfaction at the months of pleasure to come.

1kg Seville oranges
1 unwaxed lemon
1kg soft light brown sugar
1kg white sugar
1 piece clean muslin
8 x 450ml jars, or assorted jars of equivalent volume

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Mario Batali taking leave from restaurant empire after claims of sexual misconduct

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:50:27 GMT

The celebrity chef said ‘I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain I have caused’ after at least four women reported incidents

The chef Mario Batali has surrendered oversight of daily operations at his restaurant empire following reports of sexual misconduct over a period of at least 20 years.

The online site Eater New York, part of Vox Media, reported on Monday that the incidents involve at least four women, three of whom worked for Batali. One of the women said Batali groped her chest after wine had spilled on her shirt. Another said he grabbed her from behind and held her tightly against his body.

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Can burgundy on a budget ever hit the spot? | Fiona Beckett on wine

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 16:00:33 GMT

Weather continues to limit the availability of good, affordable burgundies – but some quality wines are there to be snapped up by the wily drinker

Like a first love, the first wine you fall for stays with you for ever. For me, like many other wine writers, it was great burgundy, which is unfortunately a taste that’s impossible to indulge on anything other than a City boy’s salary.

That situation has been exacerbated by the fact that burgundy has been having a torrid time of late. Thanks – or, rather, no thanks – to the region having been hit by hailstorms and frost over the last couple of vintages, volumes of the top wines are down and prices inevitably up (and not helped by our current exchange rate – thanks, Theresa).

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The OFM 50: everything we love in the world of food right now

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 11:00:08 GMT

From the taco queen to the king of pies, British Columbia to Skibbereen: presenting our favourite people and places for 2018

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Tamal Ray’s recipe for scones with green kiwi fruit jam

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 06:00:01 GMT

An unconventional, tart jam is just the thing to spread liberally on warm, homemade scones

The humble kiwi fruit occupies an unfairly neglected position in the minds of most home cooks. Before a 20th-century rebranding by savvy New Zealand farmers, it was known as the Chinese gooseberry, but beyond the tartness of flavour and the acid-green flesh, the comparison to gooseberries might seem a bit far-fetched. Once cooked down into a jam, however, the taste is uncannily familiar. Perfect for a batch of scones fresh from the oven.

This is one of the easiest jams I’ve ever made. I’d usually rely on my trusty kitchen thermometer to reassure me that it has reached the correct temperature to set properly, but that’s currently out of action, so I had to rely on more traditional methods instead. The combination of fruits are so full of pectin (responsible for the jelly-ish consistency of jam) that it’s virtually impossible to undercook. Your efforts will be rewarded with a deliciously tart jam, speckled attractively with little black seeds.

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Moules Britannia: why are celebs flocking to Café Rouge in Highgate?

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 15:00:13 GMT

The French-style chain offers a quiet space with a retro feel – and is attracting regulars including Liam Gallagher, Kate Moss and Jude Law

It’s not every day you get to watch Ray Davies enjoy a full English breakfast and a cup of tea. Unless, that is, you spend every day in the Highgate branch of Café Rouge, in north London. The former Kinks frontman comes in “on a daily basis” and always places the same order, says Thea Karmpini, formerly the cafe’s assistant manager.

Davies is not alone. The Highgate branch of the chain, which is scoffed at by foodies, has become almost as much of a celeb hangout as the Ivy or Soho House.

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Wood, Manchester: ‘There’s a lot to love’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 13:00:47 GMT

MasterChef winner Simon Wood’s new restaurant serves up dishes that are devoured in moments and talked about fondly for weeks

During my 14 hours in Manchester, for seven of which I was asleep, four people warned me off walking the 0.9 miles between my hotel and Piccadilly station. It seems the spice-smokers of Piccadilly Gardens have imbued the locals with a weary, unvarnished tilt on tourist info. Manchester’s social problems don’t affect my tastebuds in the slightest, or my yearning for the culinary scene to flourish in my beloved north-west, so I’d booked to eat at Wood, the new baby of 2015 MasterChef winner Simon Wood. Still, how do exciting, scene-building projects such as Wood or Aiden Byrne’s forthcoming 20 Stories, or indeed all Manchester’s great newcomers, prosper in this curious landscape? Do all out-of-towners flocking to the wonderful Adam Reid at The French get this same frightening pep talk?

I reassured said Mancs that there’s a certain Shaun of the Dead quality outside a lot of fancy restaurants down in London, too. And that I’d made a Radio 4 documentary on the zombification of synthetic cannabis users in Strangeways, and felt confident that, even in mid-heels, I could outrun one. But then I gave up and took a minicab.

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Adam Liaw: I've finally got my makeup down to the core essentials

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 23:59:55 GMT

For our series Beauty and the books, the cook discusses the nostalgia of fragrance and the thesaurus he can’t put down

A former lawyer turned MasterChef winner, Adam Liaw is known for his Asian fusion recipes and hosting SBS’s Destination Flavour. He talks about finally getting his TV makeup down to the bare essentials, the nostalgia of fragrance and how a Japanese manga series taught him more than he expected.

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Nigel Slater’s zesty pudding recipes

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 06:00:02 GMT

Zest is the scented soul of the fruit: try it in citrus meringues or passion fruit and lemon mousse

Sometimes, on a peaceful, grey winter’s day, I take a citrus fruit from the fridge – a lemon, a clementine, a yuzu if I can find one – pierce its skin and squeeze. Not enough pressure to send a bead of juice running down its peel, but just enough for its scent to float, briefly, brightly, on the air. The clean smell of citrus zest, rumoured to reduce stress in humans (cats hate it), is also a smell that invigorates and, at least in my case, sharpens the appetite more effectively than a mountain hike.

Earlier this week I put a little pile of lemons, limes and clementines on the kitchen table. I lifted out the grater, the flat one with the piranha teeth, and rubbed the fruits gently back and forth, each one sending a spray of its essence several inches into the air. A pile of fruit whose grated zest ended up in a delightfully retro mousse and in tiny meringues that we ate with black coffee.

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Can I cook like … Paul Newman

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 08:00:13 GMT

If you’re famous enough, you can sell almost anything – just add salad dressing

One of the confusing things about Americans is that because they (mostly) speak the same language as us Brits and (mostly) watch the same television as us, we forget that the US is a billion times more foreign and strange than France, Italy or Germany.

Don’t believe me? There are two foolproof ways to prove it. The first is to wander into a hospital in Italy without any money, then to try to pull the same trick in the US. The second way is to try to cook in the manner of Paul Newman.

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