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  • Posted on February 16, 2018

    Perfect English Townhouse by Ros Byam Shaw

    Perfect English Townhouse by Ros Byam Shaw

    Perfect English Townhouse by Ros Byam Shaw

    Perfect English Townhouse by Ros Byam Shaw

    Perfect English Townhouse by Ros Byam Shaw

    Perfect English Townhouse by Ros Byam Shaw

    Perfect English Townhouse by Ros Byam Shaw

     

    These photographs are from Perfect English Townhouse by Ros Byam-Shaw, photography by Jan Baldwin © Ryland Peters & Small

     


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with interiors, Ros Byam-Shaw, perfect english townhouse

  • Posted on February 15, 2018

    Warm spinach with currants, pine nuts and yogurt

    The Iranians, the Lebanese, the Turks and the Moroccans all have their own variations of this velvety dish of cooked spinach combined with yogurt. Served as mezze in restaurants throughout the Middle East, this is a delicious way to enjoy spinach. Pulled from several traditions, this version includes currants, onions and pine nuts, served warm with dollops of cool, garlic-flavoured yogurt and chunks of crusty bread.

    500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. fresh spinach leaves, thoroughly washed and drained

    250 ml/1 cup thick, creamy, yogurt

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    2–3 tablespoons olive oil

    1 red onion, cut in half lengthways, in half again crossways and sliced with the grain

    1–2 teaspoons granulated sugar

    1–2 teaspoons finely chopped dried red chilli/chile

    2 tablespoons tiny currants, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes and drained

    2 tablespoons pine nuts

    freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

    warm crusty bread, to serve

    Serves 3–4

     

    Place the spinach in a steamer, or in a colander placed inside a large pot partially filled with water. Steam the spinach until soft. Drain off and squeeze out any excess water, then coarsely chop the steamed spinach.

    In a bowl, beat the yogurt with the garlic. Season with salt and pepper and put aside.

    Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and stir in the onion with the sugar for 2–3 minutes to soften. Add the chilli/chile, currants and pine nuts for 2–3 minutes, until the currants plump up and the pine nuts begin to colour.

    Toss in the spinach, making sure it is mixed well, and add the lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper and tip the spinach onto a serving dish.

    Make a well in the middle of the spinach and spoon some of the yogurt into it. Serve while the spinach is still warm with chunks of crusty bread to scoop it up.

     

    This recipe is from Mezze by Ghillie Basan, photography by Jan Baldwin © Ryland Peters & Small


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with savoury, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, mezze

  • Posted on February 7, 2018

    Raspberry Meringue Kisses recipe

    Who will be getting a kiss from you this Valentines Day? A raspberry meringue one that is from Mat Follas' brand new book Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe.

     

     

    PREPARE 20 MINUTES / COOK 45 MINUTES

    RASPBERRIES

    200 g/1 1⁄2 cups raspberries

    freshly squeezed juice of 1⁄2 lemon

    or 40 g/11⁄2 oz. dehydrated raspberry powder

    MERINGUES

    200 g/1 cup caster/superfine sugar

    100 g/1⁄2 cup egg whites (approx. 3 large/US extra-large eggs)

    BUTTERCREAM

    50 g/31⁄2 tablespoons butter, softened

    100 g/3⁄4 cup icing/confectioners’ sugar

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    piping/pastry bag

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 12

     

    For the raspberries (if using fresh raspberries), preheat the oven to 90°C (195°F). Place a sheet of baking parchment over a wire rack.

    Spread the raspberries over the baking parchment and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Place in the preheated oven and leave in the oven overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Once dried, blitz the raspberries in a food processor until they form a fi ne powder, then pass them through a sieve/strainer.

    For the meringues, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6. Ensure the bowl you use is perfectly clean. Sprinkle the sugar over a non-stick baking sheet and place into the preheated oven. At the same time, place the egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk (or use a mixing bowl and a hand-held electric whisk) and start mixing until stiff peaks form; this will take 5–8 minutes. Remove the, now hot, sugar from the oven and turn the oven down to 100°C (210°F).

    Add about one-quarter of the sugar to the egg white mix. Whisk for a couple of minutes, then repeat until all of the sugar has been combined.

    Whisk for another 5 minutes, checking that the mixture is fully combined and that no graininess remains. Finally, add about three-quarters of the raspberry powder and fold together, but leave some patterns in the mixture.

    Spoon the meringue mixture into the piping/pastry bag and snip off the tip. Pipe the meringue mixture onto the lined baking sheets, making about 24–26 5-cm/2-inch kisses. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Check the outer layer of meringue has fully cooked and is crispy; continue cooking in 10-minute intervals if not. Switch the oven off and leave the meringues to cool in the oven for at least 30 minutes. Store the meringues in an airtight container until you are ready to serve.

    For the buttercream, in a mixing bowl, whisk the butter and icing/ confectioners’ sugar together to form a smooth cream. Add the vanilla and a couple of dessertspoons of water. Whisk until a smooth, light buttercream is made. To serve, place a teaspoon of the buttercream onto the flat side of one meringue and stick it to the flat side of another. Sprinkle a little remaining raspberry powder over the top to decorate.

     

    For more delicious recipes from Mat Follas, check out Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe

    Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe

    Photography by Steve Painter © Ryland Peters & Small


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with Valentines Day, baking, valentines, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on February 5, 2018

    A Dickensean Feast

    To celebrate the anniversary of Charles Dickens' birthday, we are serving up some of the classic meals that he would have eaten, and that feature in his most loved books...

    PICKLED SALMON

    Mrs. Gamp, in Martin Chuzzlewit, settles in to nurse her patient by taking his pillows and ordering in “a little bit of pickled salmon, with a nice little sprig of fennel, and a sprinkling of white pepper….” Londoners loved “Newcastle pickled salmon,” but Dickens is amused to discover (in his re-write of Grimaldi’s memoirs, 1838) that it was “an article unknown in Newcastle, all Newcastle pickled salmon being sent to London for sale.”

    SERVES 4 AS A MAIN COURSE OR 8 AS AN APPETIZER

    1 ¼ cups/300ml good-quality white wine vinegar

    1 ¼ cups/300ml water

    3 red onions, peeled and sliced

    1 turnip, peeled, quartered, and roughly chopped

    a bunch of flat-leaf parsley and thyme (tied together)

    1 bay leaf

    ½ teaspoon salt

    2–3 teaspoons sugar

    12 whole white peppercorns, slightly crushed

    1 lb 2 oz/500g salmon fillets, skinned

    a handful of dill

    For the dressing

    reserved marinade olive oil

    Dijon or wholegrain mustard

    To serve

    sprigs of fennel, fennel flowers, or dill

     

    To make the marinade, put all the ingredients except the salmon and dill in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10–15 minutes, then put through a strainer/sieve, keeping the marinade.

    If you wish, reserve 4–7 tablespoons/50–100ml of the marinade for a salad dressing.

    If you wish to poach the salmon, put the strained marinade back in the pan, lower the fish into it, and let it simmer gently for 8–10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

    For salmon that is a little raw and soft in the middle, place the salmon fillets in a glass or ceramic dish in a single layer and pour the hot marinade over them. Set aside to cool.

    When the liquid is tepid, add the dill to the marinade. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

    Remove the salmon from the marinade. Using a sharp knife, slice the fish thinly. Arrange on a plate, decorated with fennel sprigs, fennel flowers, or dill.

     

    ROAST FOWL

    There are innumerable roast fowl in Dickens: the working Gargerys in Great Expectations have a pair for Christmas dinner, and Flora Casby tries to entice Little Dorrit with a leg of fowl for breakfast. Bella Wilfer in Our Mutual

    Friend insists on cooking them for her parents’ anniversary dinner, twirling them on the spit so fast that they are pink inside; “is it the breed?” she asks Cherubic Pa. Alexis Soyer’s lovely recipe is here adapted to pot-roasting, which suits modern-day chickens better than boiling.

    SERVES 4

    2 ¾ –3 ¼ lb/1.25–1.5kg free-range chicken

    ½ a lemon

    a few sprigs of tarragon, plus 30–40 leaves

    2 slices of unsmoked streaky bacon

    oil, for frying

    2 onions, thickly sliced

    2 or 3 carrots, thickly sliced

    1 or 2 turnips, thickly sliced

    2 sticks of celery

    2 bay leaves

    a few sprigs of thyme

    a wineglass of sherry

    or 2–3 glasses of white wine, plus enough stock to make

    about 2 ¼ cups/500ml liquid

    salt, freshly ground black pepper, and nutmeg, to season

     

    Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas 4.

    Rub the skin of the chicken all over with the half lemon, then put the lemon in the bird’s cavity with the sprigs of tarragon. Season the chicken inside and out with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

    Chop the bacon and fry quickly in a very little oil in the bottom of a large casserole. Add the onions and fry until they are beginning to soften.

    Add the remaining vegetables, turn them in the oil, and let them sweat for a minute or two. Add the bay leaves, thyme, and sherry or wine, and bring to the boil; bubble for a moment, then add the stock and bring back to the boil, then turn off the heat.

    Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Put a lid on and put in the oven. Cook for 1 hour with the lid on, then remove it and cook for another 30–45 minutes, to brown the chicken skin.

    When it is cooked through and the juices run clear, take the chicken out of the casserole and keep warm.

    Strain the cooking juices into a small pan and reduce to thicken. Add the tarragon leaves and serve the gravy separately.

     

    APPLE PUDDING

    Henry Dickens recalled a joke his mother liked to tell about a Scotswoman’s view of Eve being tempted in Paradise: “Eh mon, it would be nae temptation to me to gae rinning aboot a gairden stairk naked ’ating green apples.”

    Dickens’ ‘wife, Catherine gives recipes for Eve’s pudding and also this light apple pudding, which she must have encountered in Switzerland, known as a Betty or Charlotte in England.

    SERVES 6

    2 lb 3 oz/1kg cooking apples

    ½ cup/100g soft brown sugar (or to taste), plus an extra dessertspoon

    2 tablespoons/30g butter

    3 cups/175g day-old breadcrumbs

    ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

     

    Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/Gas 5.

    Peel, core, and slice the cooking apples. Place in a saucepan with the sugar and 1 tablespoon water, cover, and cook for 5–10 minutes until soft.

    Melt the butter in a large skillet/frying pan and fry the breadcrumbs until they are lightly golden brown. Sprinkle in the nutmeg.

    Put half the breadcrumbs in the bottom of an ovenproof dish (approx. 2 ¾ –3 ½  pints/1.5–2 litres), pushing them down in the center so they rise up slightly at the sides. Add the stewed apple and put the remaining breadcrumbs on top. Sprinkle the top with the extra sugar.

    Warm through in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes.

     

    These recipes are from Dinner with Dickens by Pen Vogler.

    Dinner with Dickens


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with savoury, sweet, recipe, charles dickens, menu

  • Posted on January 31, 2018

    Tempting Weekend Bakes

    Weekends are for baking, and so as a very special treat we have two brand new and quite frankly totally delicious recipes to share with you from two books coming out this Spring.

    First up we have a banana and rye bread perfect for a lazy breakfast from our lovely author Bronte Aurell and her new book Scandikitchen Summer, then an indulgent chocolate tiffin from Masterchef winner Mat Follas and his new book Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe.

    We couldn't wait to share these books with you guys, so here is a sneak peek of some of the tempting recipes you can expect to find...

     

    Rye & Banana Bread

    At our café, people used to ask for banana bread a lot. As it’s not really a traditional Scandinavian thing, we wanted to make it our own with a Scandi twist. So, we created this version with rye flour to make it more wholesome. We like to serve it with a delicious cinnamon butter, that just melts on toasted slices of this loaf.

    banana and rye bread

    4 very ripe bananas

    100 g/scant 1⁄2 cup Greek/plain Greek-style yogurt

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla sugar

    125 g/1 cup minus 1 tablespoon plain/all-purpose flour

    125 g/1 generous cup wholemeal/ wholewheat rye flour

    1⁄2 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/ baking soda

    125 g/11⁄8 sticks butter, softened

    150 g/3⁄4 cup dark brown soft sugar

    2 UK large/US extra-large eggs

    cinnamon butter, to serve (optional)

    500 g/1 lb. loaf pan, lined with non-stick baking parchment

    Makes 1 loaf

     

    Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas 4.

    Mash the bananas and mix with the yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla and set aside.

    Mix the flours with the salt and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and set aside.

    Cream together the butter and dark brown soft sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand-held electric whisk. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition to ensure they are fully incorporated.

    Add the mashed banana mixture and mix until incorporated, then add the flours and mix briefly until smooth. Do not over-mix.

    Spoon the mixture into the lined loaf pan. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out just clean. Leave to cool a little before turning out of the pan. Cut into slices and serve toasted, with plenty of cinnamon butter (see below).

    Cinnamon butter

    Mix three tablespoons of strong cinnamon sugar (ratio 1:3) with half a packet of soft unsalted butter – re-chill and use as needed.

     

    You can pre order your copy of Scandikitchen Summer here for UK and here for US.

    Plus you sample more of Bronte's recipes from the book in a FREE sample of the book, downloadable from here.

    Scandikitchen Summer

     

    White chocolate & strawberry tiffin

    Delicious with coffee, these tiffins are fun to make with children. Be inventive with swirly toppings and fillings.

    PREPARE 20 MINUTES / COOK 10 MINUTES

    strawverry and chocolate tiffin

    250 g/21⁄4 sticks butter

    120 g/generous 1⁄2 cup caster/ granulated sugar

    120 g/6 tablespoons golden/ light corn syrup

    200 g/7 oz. milk chocolate

    100 g/3⁄4 cup mixed dried fruit and nuts (almonds, sultanas/golden raisins, cherries)

    100 g/1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

    450 g/1 lb. digestive biscuits/ graham crackers, crushed

    450 g/1 lb. white chocolate

    non-stick 30 x 20-cm/12 x 8-inch brownie pan, lightly oiled and lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 18

     

    In a saucepan, place the butter, sugar and golden/light corn syrup. Warm on a low heat until melted and stir to mix together.

    In a mixing bowl, grate 100 g/31⁄2 oz. of the milk chocolate, then add the dried fruit and nuts, strawberries and crushed digestive biscuits/ graham crackers. Pour in the melted butter, sugar and syrup mixture. Fold together until thoroughly mixed, then spoon into the lined brownie pan. Smooth the tiffin base to make it level, then place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

    Melt the white chocolate by breaking it up and heating three-quarters of it in a microwave on high in a microwaveable bowl. Use the microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring the chocolate in-between until it is all melted.

    Now, add the remaining one-quarter and mix together to form a smooth, just-melted chocolate.

    Remove the tiffin base from the refrigerator and pour the white chocolate over the top. Tilt the pan until the topping covers the tiffin base and is smooth and even.

    Now melt the remaining milk chocolate in the same way (melting three-quarters of it, then adding the final one-quarter at the end). Pour the milk chocolate over the white chocolate in thin lines. Use a cocktail stick/toothpick to drag the milk chocolate over the surface to form patterns.

    Return to the refrigerator for at least an hour, before removing and portioning with a hot knife.

     

    Pre order your copy of Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe by Mat Follas here for UK and here for US orders.

    Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on January 25, 2018

    Crispy Mock Duck Pancakes recipe

    Congratulations to everyone who has given Veganuary 2018 a go! It’s been almost a month and we’re sure you’re missing some of our favourite dishes, but don’t give up yet! We’ve got a vegan take on a classic takeaway favourite for you to enjoy as a special treat for the last weekend in Veganuary.

    Everyone loves duck pancakes when you go out for a chinese meal and with a few little tricks, it’s super simple to make a vegan version of this dish. You can also use this ‘duck’ in a warm salad or as a stuffing with some vermicelli noodles in a spring roll. You can buy canned gluten mock duck from a Chinese supermarket, and sometimes they have a frozen version too. The key is to empty the contents of the can into a sieve/strainer and rinse well with warm water, using your hand to rub off any excess brine and squeeze out the water.

    mock duck pancakes

    280-g/10-oz. can gluten mock duck, well rinsed

    4 tablespoons hoisin sauce (see below or use readymade)

    6 spring onions/scallions, trimmed

    ½ cucumber

    10 Chinese-style pancakes, frozen

    2 tablespoons plum sauce (optional)

    To make the hoisin sauce

    4 tablespoons agave syrup

    2 tablespoons black bean paste

    1 tablespoon garlic paste or powder

    1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine

    3 tablespoons water

    2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

    ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice

    2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

    ¼ teaspoon Sriracha (or use a pinch of chilli/chili powder)

    baking sheet, oiled steamer basket

    Serves 2–3

     

    Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas 4.

    To make the hoisin sauce, place all the ingredients into a small pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 4–5 minutes until the sauce is thickened and glossy. Cool and pour into sterilized jars, where it will keep for several months in the fridge.

    Ensure the mock duck is well rinsed, and then shred it into smaller pieces and strips using your hands. Add 2 tablespoons of the hoisin sauce and mix well with your hands.

    Layer the pieces onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20–30 minutes, turning halfway through. Cook until the edges are crispy but not burnt.

    To prepare the vegetables, use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice the spring onions/scallions in half, then slice each piece lengthways, trying to maintain the shape. Then slice each piece lengthways again, several times, to create spring onion/scallion strips.

    Slice the cucumber lengthways and, using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds. Slice each half across the middle, to create four pieces, then cut each piece into thin strips.

    Place the steamer basket over a small pan that allows it to sit atop the pan without falling to the bottom. Add about 5 cm/2 inches of water to the pan and bring it to the boil. Add all of the pancakes to the steamer and place it on the pan. Cook the pancakes for about 10–15 minutes until all the pancakes are softened and warm. If you don’t have a steamer, you can also place the pancakes, still wrapped, in the microwave for 20 seconds.

    To serve, add the remaining hoisin and the plum sauce (if using) into two little pots, alongside the shredded vegetables, steamed pancakes and crispy mock duck. To fill the pancake, spread either hoisin or plum sauce onto the pancake, add a couple of pinches of shredded vegetables and a spoonful of mock duck. Wrap, roll and eat immediately.

     

    For more vegan recipes, check out My Vegan Travels by Jackie Kearney.


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with vegan, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian

  • Posted on January 24, 2018

    Scotch Whiskies from the Curious Bartender

    We're celebrating Burn's Night with a tribute to Scotch Whiskey, with all the facts you ever wanted to know, plus The Curious Bartender's own Highland Blend...

    Broadly speaking, Scotch whisky must abide by the following rules (according to the Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009: it must be made in Scotland from water, cereal and yeast only, whereby sugars are obtained through malt enzymes (diastase). Mashing, fermentation and distillation must take place in the distillery and it must be distilled to less than 94.8% ABV. It must then be aged in oak casks no bigger than 700 litres/739 quarts, for a minimum of three years. Before the three years are up, it is known simply as ‘British New-Make Spirit’. Plain caramel colouring may be added.

     

    SCOTCH SINGLE MALT WHISKY

    Single Malt Whisky must be made from 100% malted barley, but the barley can be grown and malted anywhere in the world. It must be distilled a minimum of two times in a copper pot still; you can distill three times (like Auchentoshan), or even more, but it’s not all that common. As with all Scotch Whisky, the maximum permitted distillate strength is 94.8% ABV, but most Single Malt

    Whiskies run off at 65–75% ABV. Ageing must take place in Scotland, but not necessarily on the site of the distillery. Obviously most bottlings are much older than the required three years, but it is possible to get young whiskies that exhibit a lot more distillery character than the 12-year+ drams most of us are familiar with. During the period in which the whisky is kept in barrels, it’s stored in a governmentbonded warehouse.

    As with all types of Scotch, the age statement on the bottle must refer to the youngest whisky in the bottle. Vintage Single Malt Whisky poses another challenge, as it can be a little confusing when deciphering its age. These whiskies are permitted to list only one year on the label, and it can be either the ‘distilled on’, or ‘bottled on’ date, accompanied by an age statement. As of 2009, all Single Malt Whisky must be bottled in Scotland.

     

    SCOTCH BLENDED MALT WHISKY

    As the name eloquently suggests, this type of whisky is a blend of two or more single Malt Whiskies. In the past, Blended Malt has gone by the title ‘Vatted Malt’ and ‘Pure Malt’, but 2009 legislation put a stop to that. This type of whisky is usually big, bold and not all that often seen, since most people would rather drink a Blended Scotch or a Single Malt rather than something inbetween. As is the norm, the age statement on a Blended Malt refers to the youngest whisky. Johnnie Walker Green Label is a great example of a smoky Blended Malt (partly down to the inclusion of both Talisker and Caol Isla in the blend), and I also love Compass Box’s Spice Tree, which controversially spent a brief spell out of production over a dispute with the Scotch Whisky Association.

     

    SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKY

    Like Single Malt, Single Grain must be the product of one single distillery, but it can be made from any combination of malted barley and other unmalted cereals (but not other malted cereals). It is typically produced in a column still, which produces a much lighter spirit than a pot still. Single Grain Whisky is seldom bottled for consumption on its own, and almost all of the Single Grain Whisky in Scotland is used in blends. If you are in the market for a bottle, check out Cameron Brig, which makes up the backbone of many famous blends.

     

    BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY

    Despite the growing demand for Single Malt in the past 20 years, blended Scotch makes up over 90% of the global Scotch Whisky sales today. It must be made from at least one Single Malt and one Single Grain Whisky. As far as I am aware, there are no blends that contain more than one Single Grain Whisky, but many contain over 30 Single Malts.

     

    Highland Blend

    250 ml/83⁄4 fl. oz. Cameron Brig

    100 ml/31⁄2 fl. oz. Mortlach 18-Year-Old Meatiness, Fruit, Sherry

    100 ml/31⁄2 fl. oz. Macduff 16-YEAR-OLD Green, Mossy

    100 ml/31⁄2 fl. oz. Ardmore Traditional Smoked Fruit

    200 ml/7 fl. oz. Teaninich 10-Year-Old Herbal, Grassy

    200 ml/7 fl. oz. Longmorn 16-Year-Old Nettle, Oats, Honey

    150 ml/51⁄4 fl. oz. Oban 14-Year-Old Earth, Smoke, Rope

    This Highland Blend is what I consider to be a day-to-day drinking blend. It really captures the essence of the whisky-making tradition, and insome ways emulates the classic blends of old. All the whiskies in this blend are from the Scottish Highlands; some are fruity, some nutty and a couple of them slightly smoky.

    When drinking this blend I am transported to a misty Scottish morning. The air is settled, but moisture fills it and the heather is wet with dew. There’s a faint smell of peat bog and the warm fragrance of rotting vegetation underfoot. The effort of walking causes a rush of heat through the bloodstream, which is tempered by the gurgling sound of clear cold water twisting through the glen. From my pocket I produce a hip flask, and this is what’s in it.

     

    For more information and whiskey recipes, check out The Curious Bartender An Odyssey of Malt Bourbon and Rye Whiskies by Tristan Stephenson


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with drinks, whiskey, Burns Night, whisky, The Curious Bartender

  • Posted on January 18, 2018

    Vegan Coffee Toffee Cookies recipe

    Even in Veganuary, sometimes it’s just one of those afternoons and a biscuit is in order! Well with this delicious recipe you don’t have to miss out on the office tea round – sit back wth your cuppa and cookie and enjoy!

     vegan Coffee Toffee Biscuits

     

    30 g raw cocoa beans (or nibs) or 30 g cocoa powder

    100 g coconut oil

    100 g Demerara sugar

    60 ml plain soy milk

    2 teaspoons coffee extract

    1⁄4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

    200 g unbleached spelt flour

    1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

    1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

    1⁄4 teaspoon bourbon vanilla powder

    2 tablespoons ground almonds

    1⁄4 teaspoon salt

    1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    chopped nuts, for sprinkling

    For the icing

    65 g Demerara sugar

    1 tablespoon cornflour

    2 tablespoons plain soy milk

    1 teaspoon coffee extract 

    baking sheets, lined with parchment paper

    Makes 25

     

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    If using cocoa beans, grind them in a coffee or spice grinder to a fine powder.

    If the coconut oil has solidified, put the jar in a bowl of hot water until the oil has softened. Whisk together the oil, sugar, milk, coffee extract and vinegar.

    In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, then stir in the flaxseeds, vanilla powder, ground almonds, salt and cinnamon. Tip into the bowl of wet ingredients and mix into a smooth dough with a spatula.

    Divide the dough into 25 and roll into balls. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheets about 2 cm apart. Gently flatten each ball with the back of a spoon, trying to avoid making cracks. Bake in the preheated oven for 9–10 minutes. Do not overbake them – they should still be a little soft. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets.

    For the icing, it's better to finely grind the sugar in a coffee or spice grinder, but you can also try without grinding it. Mix the cornflour into the milk in a heatproof bowl. Add the coffee extract and sugar and mix. Set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water) and whisk well for a couple of minutes to allow the starch to thicken slightly over the steam. Remove from the heat, then allow to cool for 10 minutes.

    Spoon some icing over each cold cookie and sprinkle chopped nuts over the top. Allow to set for at least 1 hour after which the icing shouldn't be sticky, but smooth and firm to the touch.

    Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or, in the summer months, in the fridge. They will keep for up to 2 weeks.

     

    This recipe is from The Vegan Baker by Dunja Gulin, Photography by Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small

    The Vegan Baker


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with vegan, baking, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on January 15, 2018

    Regal Mary Mocktail recipe

    Thanks to Lottie Muir and her new book Wild Mocktails and Healthy Cocktails, we are totally embracing Dry January! And since it's Blue Monday, we thought we would share with you one of her delicious healthy mocktail recipes to cheer you up!

    Bloody mary mocktail recipe

    Tools: Measuring pitcher, barspoon/ wooden spoon, 2 mixing glasses, cocktail shaker with strainer

    Glass: Collins

    Ice: Cubes

    Garnish: Lovage/celery/fennel stalk and nasturtium leaves and flower (if available)

     

    1 cup (250ml) Water Kefir

    2oz (60ml) Beet Kvass or tomato juice

    1oz (30ml) celery juice

    1 tsp (5ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

    Pinch of sea salt

    Pinch of black pepper

    Dash of hot Tabasco

    2 dashes of Bittermens Xocolatl

    Serves 1

     

    Add all the ingredients to the pitcher and stir. Fill one of the mixing glasses two-thirds of the way up with ice.

    Pour the mix into the mixing glass and immediately “roll” (or transfer) the whole mix, including the ice, into the other mixing glass. Repeat this process, back and forth between the two mixing glasses, until your drink is cold. Strain immediately into the

    Collins glass, garnish with a lovage/ celery/fennel stalk and nasturtium leaves and flowers, and serve.

     

    Beet Kvass

    This fermented beet (beetroot) juice is packed with probiotics and enzymes. It makes a salty and earthy contribution to a virgin or alcoholic Bloody Mary. Alternatively, mix it with an earthy spirit, such as mezcal or tequila, to make a delicious cocktail.

     

    2 large or 4 small organic beets (beetroot), washed (peeled first if non-organic)

    ¼ cup (50ml) whey (the strained liquid from full-fat plain yogurt) or lacto-fermented pickle juice (from a commercial jar of sauerkraut)

    1 tbsp sea salt

    1 quart (1 liter) filtered (chlorine-free) water

    Makes approximately 1 quart (1 liter)

     

    Chop the beet/beetroot into  ½ -in (1-cm) cubes and put in the sterilized jar. Add the whey or pickle juice and salt, then pour in the filtered water. Cover with the fermentation cover and secure with a rubber band. Leave at room temperature for 2 days in a cupboard or on a countertop away from direct sunlight until the mix has fermented.

    Fine-strain the kvass  into a wide-mouthed pitcher, funnel into the sterilized presentation bottle(s), seal, and store in the refrigerator. Consume within 3 months.

     

    Water kefir

    4 tbsp organic unrefined cane sugar

    4 cups (1 liter) cool spring or mineral water

    3 tbsp (45g) hydrated water kefir grains

    Fruit juice, fresh or dried fruit (such as raisins), herbs, or spices of choice, for flavoring

    2 x 1-quart (1-liter) wide-mouthed, sealable jars, sterilized

    Nonmetal stirring utensil (plastic is fine), sterilized

    Fermentation cover (such as a clean piece of cotton/closely woven

    dishtowel/T-shirt or coffee filter) and rubber band

    Plastic or bamboo sieve (avoid metal utensils)

    Makes approximately 1 quart (1 liter)

     

    Dissolve the sugar in a small amount of hot water in one of the sterilized jars. When the sugar has dissolved, fill the jar with the cool spring/mineral water. Make sure the water is at room temperature and no warmer. Add the water kefir grains, cover the jar with the fermentation cover, and secure with a rubber band. Leave the jar in a warm cupboard (preferably at 70–75F/ 21–24C) or on a countertop out of direct sunlight for 24–48 hours. The longer you leave the kefir, the more sugar will be consumed and the healthier it becomes. Any longer than 48 hours and you risk starving the grains. Stirring the grains regularly can speed up the fermentation process. When the kefir is fermented to your liking, remove the kefir grains by straining the kefir through the sieve into the second sterilized jar. Screw on the airtight lid. You now have water kefir.

     

    This recipe is from Wild Mocktails and Healthy Cocktails by Lottie Muir, photography by Kim Lightbody © Ryland Peters & Small

    wild mocktails and healthy cocktails


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with drinks, healthy, dry january, mocktail, bloody mary, non-alcoholic

  • Posted on January 10, 2018

    Vegan Spicy Falafel Salad Bowl recipe

    For our next Veganuary recipe, we have a super healthy, simple and tasty lunch. If you’ve never baked chickpeas/garbanzo beans in the oven, give this recipe a try! This quick and easy dish lets you enjoy the flavours of falafel, without the hassle of deep-frying or the mess of rolling into balls.

    Spicy_falafel_salad_bow

    for the chickpeas/ garbanzo beans

    2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

    1⁄4 teaspoon chilli/chili powder

    1⁄4 teaspoon ground turmeric

    1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger

    1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander

    1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    160 g/1 cup cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans, well drained

     

    for the salad

    20 g/1 cup rocket/arugula

    1 round/butterhead lettuce (about 160 g/51⁄2 oz.)

    6 leaves red leaf lettuce

    2 ripe tomatoes (about 340 g/3⁄4 lb.)

    1 small bunch fresh basil

    1 portion Mediterranean Seed Falafel mixture (do not form into falafels, see below)

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

    1 portion vegan Tzatziki Sauce (see below)

    4 pitta pockets, cut into wedges, toasted, to serve

    baking sheet, lined with baking parchment

     

    Mediterranean seed falafel mix

    120 g/1 cup pumpkin seeds

    70 g/1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds

    60 g/1⁄2 cup walnuts

    6 sun-dried tomato halves, soaked

    50 g/1⁄2 cup fresh basil leaves

    50 g/1⁄2 cup fresh parsley leaves

    1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano

    1⁄2 teaspoon

    Mediterranean dried herbs mix (thyme, savory, marjoram, rosemary, basil, fennel)

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    1–2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

    salt, to taste

    Serves 2-4

     

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    For the chickpeas/garbanzo beans, mix together all the ingredients apart from the chickpeas/ garbanzo beans to make a marinade. Pour the marinade over the chickpeas/garbanzo beans and toss to coat well.

    Spread the coated chickpeas/garbanzo beans on the lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until the chickpeas/garbanzo beans soak in all the marinade and start browning. Alternatively, you could do this in a frying pan/skillet: Heat the pan, add the chickpeas/garbanzo beans, pour over the marinade and mix quickly with two wooden spoons over high heat until fragrant and well roasted.

    Wash the salad leaves well and drain. Tear the lettuce leaves into smaller pieces. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and chop the basil. Place all the vegetables in a big wide bowl, crumble over the Mediterranean falafel mixture, add the baked chickpeas/garbanzo beans and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Mix well to incorporate.

    Divide into separate plates and serve the tzatziki sauce in 2–4 small bowls, so each person can pour it over the falafel salad just before eating.

     

    Vegan tzatziki sauce

    2 cucumbers (about 400 g/14 oz.), peeled and grated

    500 ml/2 cups soy yogurt

    6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar (optional)

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

    1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves

    1 tablespoon freshly snipped chives

    salt

    Makes about 700 ml/3 cups

     

    Mix the grated cucumbers with a little salt and let sit for 15 minutes. Squeeze out as much of the cucumber juice as you can, otherwise the liquid will water down the dip.

    Mix all other ingredients in a bowl and add the cucumber flesh. Chill until ready to serve. There you have it!

     

    For more vegan fella recipes, check out Falafel Forever by Dunja Gulin.

    Falafel Forever


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with vegan, savoury, vegetarian, falafel

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