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Food & drink | The Guardian

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

Nigel Slater’s three onion soup recipe

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:00:12 GMT

Roasted red and yellow onions, banana shallots, bay and rosemary all star in this stirring soup

Put the oven on at 200C/gas mark 6. Peel 2 large banana shallots, 2 medium red onions and 2 yellow ones. Roughly chop them all and put them in a roasting tin with 5 tbsp of olive oil, the needles from 3 bushy sprigs of rosemary, 2 bay leaves and a sprinkling of salt and black pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes, moving them round the pan from time to time.

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Cocktail of the week: Aqua Shard’s C’est la vie recipe

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:00:00 GMT

A vodka cocktail that’s the ideal winter pick-me-up

There’s a reason vodka’s so popular in northern Europe – it’s the perfect antifreeze to help us through the cold winter months. You’ll need to freeze some grapes in advance, for the garnish. Serves one.

40ml vodka (I use Ciroc)
25ml fresh lime juice
15ml sugar syrup
7.5ml pear eau de vie, to finish
Frozen grapes, to garnish

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Have your cake and eat it: Thomasina Miers’ recipes for Christmas baking

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 08:30:31 GMT

Christmas baking is all about keeping the work to a minimum and the flavour to the max

’Tis the season to be jolly, but while many of us would love to sit back and bask in the warm glow of Christmas, most of us know that it takes a lot of work to get there in one piece as we navigate the office parties, family gatherings and long shopping lists. So I’ve pulled together a celebratory collection of festive puddings that shouldn’t tie you up in knots and that will, hopefully, have something for everyone, be that a tray of lightly spiced roast pears in port (perfect for using up last year’s bottle), delicately scented and flour-free baked cheesecakes, a decadently moist chestnut and chocolate cake or a lighter, creamier take on the minced pie.

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Yule logs and trifles: Jeremy Lee’s 12 puddings of Christmas part 4

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 12:00:09 GMT

Christmas isn’t just mince pies and Christmas pud. Here’s a rich chocolate trifle, a winter poached fruit salad and a bûche de Noël yule log.

•Jeremy Lee’s 12 puddings of Christmas, part 1
•Jeremy Lee’s 12 puddings of Christmas, part 2
•Jeremy Lee’s 12 puddings of Christmas, part 3

This really is better made at home. And it’s useful to have a sugar thermometer when making it.

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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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Thomasina Miers’ easy recipe for roast chicken with black pepper, oregano, bitter leaves and jerusalem artichokes

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 17:00:00 GMT

You can use black pepper as an ingredient as well as for seasoning

I was at the Good Life Experience in north Wales this autumn when an old friend from school thrust a mysterious package into my hands. Intrigued, I opened it to find a treasure trove in the shape of small packets of black, red and white peppercorns. But this was no ordinary pepper: Kampot pepper, from Cambodia, was awarded protected geographical status in 2010, and is so floral and fruity in flavour, it was once known as the “king of pepper”. In the dark days of the Khmer Rouge, this pepper all but died out, but a small group of producers have since worked tirelessly to reintroduce it to the world. The result is Kadode Kampot pepper, which claims to be able to trace each peppercorn right back to the Cambodian farmer who grew it.

I slung a bundle of these peppercorns in a mortar and rubbed them all over my roast chicken the other weekend, with fantastically aromatic results. The proof, as ever, is in the eating.

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Home, Leeds: ‘One holds food this ambitious to a higher standard’ – restaurant review | Rhik Samadder

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:00:04 GMT

I’m in Leeds, I wail, I want something hot

Can any restaurant called Home be good enough? When I go home – I mean primal, family home-home – there’s a way of doing things. It includes watching Frasier in my underpants, a critical inspection of the boiler and addressing my mother like a room service attendant. You will have your own ceremonies. But unless they include a seasonal tasting menu with wine flight (in which case, salut!), surely none of us can be truly accommodated? Let’s see.

Related: Temper City, London EC2: ‘There’s so much going on here, you don’t know where you are’ – restaurant review | Rhik Samadder

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A cunning plan: Yotam Ottolenghi’s main course recipes for a Christmas party

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 09:00:03 GMT

The secret to cooking for a festive get-together? Organisation, so you can join in with all the fun, too

Feeding a crowd is fun, but it requires a fair bit of organisation. Three practical tips, then. First, plan and prepare as much as you can in advance: marinate meat, make sauces and dressings, toast and chop nuts, grill vegetables. Next, picture the plate you’re planning to serve: more is not always more, and you don’t need to offer 12 different things to choose from. I often draw a quick sketch of the dish as I imagine it: does everything fit on the one plate, and would I want to eat it? Finally, give a thought to portion size: if a recipe says a dish serves four and you have 12 to feed, chances are you’ll be able to double (rather than triple) the quantities without your guests going hungry – especially if you’re making a range of dishes. Also, bear in mind that the more guests you have, the less, proportionately, they’ll eat. So, plan, picture, portion. Then party.

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Rambla, London W1: ‘Italy stand down: Catalonia wins at cannelloni’ – restaurant review| Felicity Cloake

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:00:00 GMT

We have a small difference of opinion concerning the acceptability of drinking from serving bowls in public

We nearly don’t get to eat at Rambla at all. After a fat-fingered mistake with the online booking process, I call 95 increasingly desperate times to try to snag our table back. And when my friend resorts to travelling to the restaurant in person, they’re amused by her tale of woe: “Yes, the phone’s been ringing all afternoon!” the friendly front-of-house lady laughs as she pencils us back in.

Our panic is sparked by the fact that, since my original reservation, this latest opening from Barcelona-born chef Victor Garvey has received a glowing review in the London Evening Standard, but though agreeably buzzy on a Friday night, the atmosphere remains as laid-back as the staff. We don’t even have to fight our way through a hungry crowd at the door, unlike at Barrafina just up the road.

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20 best Christmas recipes: part 4

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 08:00:05 GMT

Whether it’s an alternative festive feast of duck fattee, a vegetarian Christmas cracker of roast onion squash, ceps and polenta, or a classic stuffed turkey, we have the perfect recipes for your season’s eatings

  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 1
  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 2
  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 3

The sanest words ever written about the Christmas turkey come from a Frenchman, Marcel Boulestin. “Take a turkey about nine or ten pounds [a good 4kg] in weight. There is no point in having a larger bird unless you are particularly fond of cold turkey. As it is, the one chosen will do once hot, once cold, once for rissoles, and the bones, etc, will be the making of a perfectly good soup.”

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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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The big name TV chefs are back – are any of them cooking with gas?

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 15:51:41 GMT

The humble cookery show seemed on the ropes until Nigella, Jamie and Mary Berry returned to our screens. But not all of them have retained their culinary magic ...

For a while, the cookery show was on the ropes. The entire form had started to eat itself, with an endless parade of identical nobodies cooking identical recipes in front of identical soft-focus fairy lights, identically soundtracked by someone whose music collection consisted of 10 copies of Back to Black: The Instrumentals.

But no more! Suddenly there has been a resurgence of the big beasts. Stick a pin anywhere in the terrestrial schedules at the moment and you’re likely to find an A-list celebrity chef roaring out of the woodwork to show these anaemic youngsters what they’re missing. Jamie’s there. Nigella’s there. Rick’s there. Paul and Mary are both there, snarling at each other across the channels like a pair of scorned ex-lovers. But life is full and nobody has time to watch them all, so here’s a quick ranking of all the big cookery shows, ordered from worst to best.

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High-street heroes: 10 of the best supermarket wine bargains for Christmas 2017

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:00:00 GMT

Our drinks writer picks her favourite high-street treats to make Christmas 2017 go with a bang, from reds and whites to fizz and sweet

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20 best Christmas recipes: part 2

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 08:00:10 GMT

From a traditional British cold ham to a Mexican bacalao for Christmas Eve, you can’t go wrong with these festive dishes

  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 1
  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 3
  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 4

Serves 4
Little Gem lettuce hearts 2, finely shredded
mayonnaise 4-5 tbsp (see below)
tomato ketchup 1-2 tbsp, or to taste
Tabasco sauce 3-4 shakes
cognac a dribble or two
spring onions 2, trimmed and thinly sliced
cucumber ¼ small, peeled, deseeded and finely diced
prawns 400g cooked, whole shell-on, then heads removed and peeled
lemon wedges 4 small
paprika a touch

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Turkey with a twist: Felicity Cloake’s recipes for smart spins on traditional Christmas ingredients

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 09:30:03 GMT

Tired of the standard festive menu? Felicity Cloake takes five Christmas favourites – smoked salmon, turkey, spuds, sprouts and trifle – and turns them into something way more exciting instead

The idea that Christmas is a season best enjoyed in a state of abject exhaustion is one festive tradition that needs knocking on the head: if you have to get up at 6am to start cooking, it isn’t worth it. Here are three ways with five Christmas classics: one designed with maximum ease in mind, one requiring just a little effort, and one guaranteed to knock their Santa socks off – and all guaranteed delicious. Recipes serve six.

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'We saved your kebab': MEPs vote against ban on doner meat additive

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:55:14 GMT

Doner kebab industry says it needs to use phosphates to keep meat juicy but others argue they increase risk of heart problems

The European parliament has narrowly defeated plans to ban an additive considered key in industrial meats for the doner kebab.

Needing an absolute majority of at least 376 votes for a ban on phosphates, the chamber was three short, voting 373 to 272, with 30 abstentions.

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‘Too poncey’? Delia Smith’s just going to the wrong restaurants | Felicity Cloake

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:05:41 GMT

Some eateries do place too much emphasis on ‘theatre on a plate’, but still I’m surprised Delia can’t find more traditional pleasures

I have some sympathy with Delia Smith, who has been roundly set upon online after declaring on Tuesday, following her elevation to the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to cookery, that she no longer enjoys eating out. “Cooking has become very poncey, very chefy,” she complained. “If I get one more plate put in front of me with six dots of sauce on it, I will go mad.”

Related: 'Poncey, chefy food'? The UK is full of eateries that Delia Smith would love

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Nigel Slater’s short ribs recipes

Sun, 03 Dec 2017 06:00:33 GMT

Marinated and slow cooked, a row of thick beef short ribs and mash will add cheer to the grimmest of winter days

It’s wet and cold, and the wind is rattling down the chimneys. I need meat on the bone. Flesh to usher towards tenderness in stock and aromatics or maybe something to roast slowly and sweetly.

The stock introduces a deep, sweet-sour note and a shiny, sticky glaze

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Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for parsnip and carrot mulligatawny soup

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 09:30:28 GMT

Here’s my take on the classic soup of the British raj

The first time I ate mulligatawny, I was being watched by a man called Rudolph who was wearing stockings. In fairness to him, he was meant to be waiting the whole dining room at the hotel Windamere in Darjeeling, but I happened to be the only diner in it and the stockings were part of his “heritage British Raj” outfit.

So that we didn’t both feel awkward, I commented on the soup he’d brought in – “Tastes like it’s 200 years old” – and he smiled, probably out of courtesy. But I meant it. This heirloom of a recipe, which outdates any written records I have for my own family, tasted as if it could have only originated from some homesick Brit wanting a taste of home, but cooked for by Indian chefs. Not quite as soul-soothing, brave and committedly Indian as a dal, say, but still warming and elegant enough to sup with a silver spoon.

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The best white wines for the Christmas feast

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:00:19 GMT

Is there a quintessential Christmas white? Our wine writer considers the contenders

In an attempt to make life a bit easier over the festive season, last week I suggested focusing on a single type of red. But is there a quintessential Christmas white?

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Yotam Ottolenghi’s lentil recipes

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 09:00:19 GMT

Need help to get through the run-up to Christmas? You could do a lot worse than turn to lentils, a safe haven from everything the season can throw at you

A day after Black Friday and with just a month to go until Christmas, now is a time I turn to lentils. Lentils are, for me, the culinary equivalent of the calm before the storm, a simple, clear and perfect moment before the party kicks off.

For better and for worse, the next four weeks are a marathon that we all forget properly to train for. Diaries are packed with plans and wallets are emptied, with little heed paid to how much of a toll it’s all taking. It’s irrational, of course, but somehow hard to resist the logic that sees the need for more stilton sparking the need for more wine, which sparks the need for more nuts (and then yet more stilton, wine and nuts).

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‘Pretend your food is disgusting’: Romesh Ranganathan’s Christmas survival guide for vegans

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 09:00:31 GMT

Vegans have an unfair reputation as difficult guests, especially at Christmas. So here are my tips on what to say, what to serve – and why you probably need to pack your own pudding

Veganism is a point of contention all year round. So much so that many vegans cut themselves off from the rest of society, huddling together for warmth and smugness, and using online forums to vent their disgust at the morally corrupt dairy- and meat-eating savages who make up most of the populace. But at Christmas, vegans are forced temporarily to reintegrate into mainstream society, which can be incredibly stressful for both them and the omnivores who host them. Here, then, are some basic guidelines for a happy vegan Christmas.

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20 best Christmas recipes: part 3

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 08:00:11 GMT

Festive recipes that are sure to impress your holiday guests, including Anna Jones’s vegetarian celebration pie, Florence Knight’s buttered lobster and Claire Ptak’s pineapple trifle

  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 1
  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 2
  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 4

I love how exotic it is to have pineapples in the kitchen, and the holidays, when local fruit is scarce, is the perfect time to buy a few plump ones. Pineapples and kirsch have a long history together. A French bistro classic is chunks of the tropical fruit soaked in the cherry-flavoured liqueur, served simply, perhaps with a thin crisp biscuit on the side. Turning this combination into a version of the beloved British trifle makes so much sense. I grill the pineapple with a little sugar and some kirsch to the point that it almost catches and softens to a tender consistency. After that wonderfully warming meal we wait all year for, this cold, bright and boozy pudding is just the thing. Look for fruits that are fragrant and heavy with a green crown that isn’t drying out.

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Meera Sodha’s recipes for a vegan Christmas dinner

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 08:30:02 GMT

Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to settle for second best at the festive table

Christmas in the Sodha family is a movable feast. We usually eat British or European food, rather than the Indian we have every day, because to us it feels more celebratory. Every year, each of us chooses something we most want to eat and, to honour that household tradition, every recipe on today’s Christmas menu is based on one of my family’s favourite ingredients or dishes.

I love being in the kitchen on Christmas Day, preparing the day’s meal while family and friends wander in and out. That said, I am well aware that this is not everyone’s idea of fun, so I have tried to come up with recipes in which many of the elements, if not the entire dish, can be prepared in advance. Happy Christmas, everyone.

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Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for cooking with hot sauce

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 09:00:08 GMT

Hot sauce is the fast-track way to bring savoury complexity and heat into a dish

I was tickled by a recent interview with Wole Soyinka, in which the Nobel laureate revealed that he never travels without his own hot chilli sauce. The interview took place over lunch in the UK, and Soyinka had left his sauce in Russia, where he’d just been, so when his spaghetti vongole arrived, he pulled out a substitute from his pocket: a plump green chilli. “This one I got when I arrived in London,” he explained, “because I forgot my paste in the fridge in Sochi.”

I had a similar experience last year, when a famous chef sat next to me at a party cooked for by another respected member of our profession and attended by many others. When dinner was served, this chef pulled out a nifty case loaded with little bottles of chilli oil and proceeded ceremoniously, and not at all discreetly, to apply different oils to the various components on his plate. “You need to match the right oil to each food,” he boomed. (Luckily, our cook for the night was in the kitchen while this was going on.)

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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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Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for butternut squash and black bean mole

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 09:30:08 GMT

When you have the time, it’s time for a mole, the dish that is the cornerstone of Mexican cuisine

I once had a flatmate who loved good food and cooking, but had no patience or time, so everything she cooked was awful. Tinned tomatoes were left watery and raw, never to reach their full rich and sweet potential, while her pasta took al dente to a tooth-shattering extreme.

These days, we are too busy to cook, so 15-minute dinners, ready meals and recipe boxes have sprung up to fit in around our fast lives. Dinner has been made to squeeze in, shuffle up and be a good team player. But as often as I need cooking to be quick, I also need it to be a slow and selfish act, like a bath, a book or a long walk, and to enjoy the process as much as the end result.

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Matt Moran's Thai-style fish curry recipe

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 21:00:17 GMT

Known for his Sydney restaurants Aria and Chiswick, the chef makes the most of the diversity of Australia’s fresh produce in his latest cookbook

A good curry is as much a part of many people’s repertoire as meat and three veg, and it’s all the better when made with a homemade curry paste.

If I have time, I use a mortar and pestle to make a double batch of paste and then freeze half of it, so I’m a step ahead next time a curry craving hits. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll make it in a food processor instead. Green curry is meant to be spicy and hot, but if you prefer a milder curry, adjust the chilli quantity to suit.

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The 50 best Christmas wines for 2017

Sun, 26 Nov 2017 11:30:08 GMT

Observer Food Monthly’s selection of the best bottles from high street bargains to the top of the range

De Bortoli DB Family Reserve Botrytis Semillon, New South Wales, Australia 2013 (£6.98, 37.5cl, Asda)
Making use of all this firm’s expertise with “nobly rotten” late-harvested grapes (De Bortoli makes one of Australia’s finest sweet wines, Noble One) this golden, sticky, tangy elixir works like an antipodean sauternes for pairing with puddings or stilton.

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Tamal Ray’s winter warmers: plantain stew and slow-cooked oxtail – recipe

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 07:30:01 GMT

At this time of year what we most need is something warming and filling. There’s no better cut of meat for a stew than oxtail, while a vegetarian broth can pack a punch with plantain

There’s a stillness to this time of year. We wrap up and bed down to avoid the cold weather. What we want most of all is a warm and filling meal, something to reinvigorate both mind and body: a pot of winter vegetables or meat, slowly bubbling away for hours on the stove – a stew.

If you were presented with a whole oxtail to cook, you might find yourself a little confused. It’s certainly a strange cut if your usual bovine encounters are limited solely to steak. But there is, I think, no better cut of meat for a stew. With enough time, the tough but flavoursome meat falls apart into a broth given depth and body by the bones. Inelegant perhaps, but delicious. The chicken livers in the recipe are a vestige of an earlier poultry-based experiment. Although the chicken breast I used in that was far too flavourless to ever be worth putting in a stew, the livers – finely chopped and dispersed throughout the sauce, gave it a great meaty and moreish quality.

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Simpson’s in the Strand: ‘I can’t love it any more’ – restaurant review | Jay Rayner

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 06:00:28 GMT

After serving Londoners for 189 years, Simpson’s needed a makeover. But did they have to change the menu, too?

Simpson’s in the Strand, 100 Strand, London WC2R 0EW (020 7420 2111). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £200

There is a great difference between wanting to love something, and genuinely loving it. I want to love Simpson’s in the Strand. I want to adore it, in the way I once did; as you might a dotty elderly relative who can be infuriating, but is still a wonderful person to have in the world. I last ate here a few years ago, when it was firmly set in its ways. The huge, high-ceilinged room – the Grand Divan – smelled like a stately home, on the edge of having to let the National Trust in to make ends meet. It was that intoxicating mixture of boiled cabbage, damp dog and dust being burned off by the cranky central heating. The food was very brown, and the staff mostly quite senior and rather cross.

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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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20 best Christmas recipes: part 1

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 08:00:04 GMT

From a traditional Scandinavian roast goose and an Asian take on sprouts to Nigel Slater’s classic Christmas cake, here are the dishes to offer seasonal cheer to all

  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 2
  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 3
  • 20 best Christmas recipes part 4

Old ingredients in a new light. It’s great to shake up the Christmas sprouts with some Asian assistance. Frying them for just a few minutes means they retain the bite they so often lack when boiled and overcooked, and also helps keep that bright colour. Try to get hold of smaller Asian peanuts for this; failing that, just chop regular ones in half.

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Wreckfish, Liverpool: ‘You can tell a lot about a restaurant by its paté’ – restaurant review | Felicity Cloake

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 14:00:44 GMT

It’s been open for only a couple of weeks, but Wreckfish already feels like part of the local furniture

It may be a dream job, but this reviewing lark is, I’ve realised, a surprisingly nerve-racking business: there’s too much blood, sweat and cold hard cash invested in any restaurant simply to enjoy a good dinner, then dash off the requisite word count on the bus home. In Wreckfish’s case, the responsibility weighs especially heavy: 1,522 people, including a fair few big culinary cheeses, coughed up to help Gary Usher open his new place in Liverpool, making it Kickstarter UK’s biggest restaurant campaign to date.

Admittedly, not many of them are there to keep a beady eye on me on this particular midweek lunchtime. But if the big communal table in the centre remains empty, we’re by no means alone: not only are there the chefs in the open kitchen to keep us company, but on the next table, as if to hammer home the point that this is a relaxed bistro, sits a toddler, merrily working her way through the adventures of Peppa Pig while her parents eat. A couple of pensioners are getting stuck into some juicy gossip and a bottle of wine over by the door, through which the occasional passer-by pops to make a reservation. It’s been open for only a couple of weeks, but this former watchmaker’s workshop in the city’s cobbled merchant quarter already feels like part of the local furniture.

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Ramen noodles with fresh greens and chilli miso

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 12:00:00 GMT

Few dishes can provide all five flavours in a simple bowlful. Which is why this recipe is so seductive. Deep umami flavour is cut through with zingy freshness and satisfying warmth

There are few foods that lure me in more than a bowl of ramen. I like to hedge my bets when I’m making my dinner choices, so I’m a fan of any dish where a little of everything – a note from every family of flavour – is in attendance. And nowhere is this more the case than with this Japanese noodle dish.

There is something quite solitary about a bowl of ramen. Maybe it’s the inevitable slurping that comes with noodles and soup, which is why I often find myself eating it on my own, a calm meditative pleasure in the middle of a hectic day or when I’m in need of some bolstering warmth.

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Cocktail of the week: Behind This Wall’s lickety split recipe

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 16:00:47 GMT

Bourbon, red wine, lemon, bitters and a herby honey syrup: what’s not to like?

Picon is a French orange bitters that’s great in beer, too, ideally a good pilsner. This makes enough syrup for 10 drinks. Serves one.

2 sprigs rosemary, washed, picked and chopped (this releases the oils)
125g honey
35ml hot water
15ml fresh lemon juice

15ml rosemary honey syrup
25ml Picon
35ml Kentucky bourbon (eg, Four Roses)
Red wine, to float (nothing too fancy)

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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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Nigel Slater’s roast mallard, bramley and blueberry sauce

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:00:33 GMT

A quick and tasty roast supper

A roast wild duck for two with a sharp fruit sauce.

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All shook up: Hawksmoor’s favourite winter cocktail recipes

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 09:00:38 GMT

Fancy creating a stir this Christmas? The award-winning restaurant group has a drink to suit every occasion

The essence of what makes for a good drink is basically the same as what makes for a good meal: it’s an excuse to get people together to enjoy themselves. And that applies at home as much as in a restaurant. Sure, every now and then you want to pull out all the stops and serve something really special, but most of the time it’s best to keep it simple and delicious, and focus on having fun. In our new book, Hawksmoor: Restaurants & Recipes, we tell tales of epic nights out with mariachis and stormtroopers, and of how we come up with most of our ideas while drinking with friends. Along the way, we’ve embraced the humble boilermaker (beer and a shot) and championed disco drinks from old-school tiki classics to modern marvels such as the nuclear banana daiquiri. We hope you have as much fun with these.

All recipes serve one.

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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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