Winter edition 2011
Your slice of culinary exploration
Four continents, one holiday... A look at Christmas around the world
New Year’s cocktails
Ring in 2012 with NOSH-worthy drinks
Hot chocolate Vol 1, Issue 1
Alternative winter warmers to satsify £5.99 any chocoholic’s sweet cravings
whatâ€™s on this season 5
Intro to NOSH Who we are and what we do
Winter food Eating seasonally has never been easier with NOSHâ€™s winter food guide
The rise of the food blog We showcase two of our favourite ladies that are a big part of a growing trend
Hot chocolate Luscious liquids to enjoy on a cold, frosty evening
The fifth sense A new and unusual take on dining in the heart of London
Recipes Starters, mains and desserts guaranteed to staisfy everyone 3
Cultural Christmas A look at traditions and festivities from around the world
The perfect Christmas The big day made easy with our secrets to the best festive feast
A vegetarian Christmas All the flavour and flourish - just without the meat!
New Year’s cocktails A touch of sparkle and a dash of fizz to help start 2012 with a bang
Reviews Our round up of fantastic restaurants around the UK
We are a food adventurous, hungry collective of culture loving and ever-curious souls who love obsessing about their love affair with food. We are an independent magazine, devoted to providing in-depth coverage of exciting new places and experiences, emerging sensations and great thinkers alike. Because our readers are always hungry for more than just a great meal, we will deliver a stylish and entertaining take on food covering areas that intersect with our readers’ passion for food. We want our quarterly print issues treasured and treated like your favourite coffee table book – read, re-read, and passed down to family or friends rather than a glossy disposable saddle-stitched rag. We strive to create and capture content that is timeless, producing content that reflects the current modern day culture.
“Christmas is a time for family and friends, for tradition and treats.” Welcome!
- Nigella Lawson Your slice of culinary exploration
At Nosh, we believe that delicious food should be enjoyed by everyone, whether they’re young or old. We aim to bring you delicacies from all over the world to tantalise your families’ taste buds and bring you flavours from somewhere new. In this edition of Nosh, we have embraced the holiday season. And we’ll be bringing you foody hints and tips that will help to make Christmas and New Year less stressful for everyone. In our winter edition of ‘What to eat in...’, we are taking on comfort food, focusing on delicious winter warmers that are going to bring your body temperature up from the inside as well as discovering the many types of hot chocolate you can devour while sitting on the sofa by the fire on cold, frosty evenings. For the festive season, and with a little help from some of our favourite chefs, we have brought you our perfect Christmas dinner - from the turkey to the trimmings - you won’t be disappointed! And to help guarantee that your new year starts with a bang, we’ve taken the time to sample a few cocktails and highlight which ones will work best to get all of your guests in the party spirit. Nosh also guides you through the issues that may pass you by at this time of year, showing you how people cope when they don’t have family engagements or anywhere to go on this special day. Plus, we also see what happens overseas while we’re celebrating in the traditional British way. We hope you enjoy this season’s Nosh magazine and that it helps to keep you warm throughout the chilly months to come. If you want to send in any comments, you could follow us on Twitter @ noshfoodmag or drop us an email at Noshmagazine@live.co.uk. Don’t forget to download our app!
Adele Jones, EDITOR
Editor in Chief Adele Jones Art Director Jill Blaeser Creative Director Yen Hoang Features Editor Beth Jinks Production Editor Amanda Hayward Sub Editor Sarah Asiedu your slice of culinary exploration. Vol. 1 - Issue 1
“It’s my favorite time of year” exclusive interview with Nigella Lawson
You can eat this? ferns, flowers, and fruit for your spring menus
Growing a garden planting produce and herbs that you’ll actually use Spring 2012
CAN’T GET ENOUGH NOSH? To subscribe to NOSH, email us at noshmagazine@ live.co.uk or give us a call at (020) 7756 8461 All images used in this publication have been used for purely educational reasons with no intention to publish for profit.
Eating through the seasons by Amanda Hayward With the onset of modern transportation, agriculture, and refrigeration techniques, it’s possible to eat almost anything you could possibly want at any time during the year. But haven’t you ever eaten raspberries in January, or pumpkin in June and thought, “something’s not right?” But is this a good thing? Before these advances, people around the world had to rely on eating whatever their crops produced in season. They couldn’t just run down to the corner shop and pick something up; they had to grow it and harvest it on their own and do the best with what they had. Flash forward to modern times. We are faced with unprecedented economic and environmental concerns that, seemingly, are not going away any time soon. Climatechoice.co.uk says that our food travels 30 billion kilometers every year. This includes travel by boat, train, airplane and truck. These 30 billion kilometers add over two million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. So how do you cope with these concerns and still eat in a way that you can enjoy and that is healthy? Eat seasonally.
What’s in season now? Vegetables:
Beetroot, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, horseradish, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rocket, shallots, spinach, turnips and watercress. About the beetroot: The beetroot came from a wild sea beet that is native to Indian and British coastlines. After mastering cultivation, the round beetroot, most commonly seen today, was developed during the 16th century. Beets are high in Beta Carotene and folic acid. It helps to cleanse the liver and can also help reduce the risk of heart disease When buying a beetroot, look for one whose skin is smooth and undamaged. Smaller roots are more tender than larger roots. To store beetroots, cut off the leaves and store the roots in an unsealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. The root will last a couple of weeks. >>
Thyme-roasted beets • 1 kg raw beetroots (different colours if you wish) • Salt and freshly ground black pepper • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves • 70-80 ml olive oil • A good knob of butter Put your beetroot in a pan, cover with cold water and add a good tablespoon of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour or until tender. You can test by just putting the point of a knife or skewer into the centre of the beetroot, they may take longer depending on the size. Drain in a colander and leave to cool. Remove the skins by rubbing them off with your hands; a pair of rubber gloves will save you getting red stained hands. Cut the beets into even sized chunky wedges, quarters or halves if they are small. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Put the beetroot in a roasting tray with the olive oil and seasoning and roast for 30 minutes, giving the occasional stir. Stir in the thyme and return to the oven for another 15 minutes, again stirring every so often. Add the butter, stir well so it melts over the beets, and serve. 7
Apples, clementines, cranberries, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, quince, tangerines About the pomegranate: Pomegranates are native to Iran. They spread to India, China and Europe about 2,000 years ago. Pomegranates made the journey across the ocean with Spanish sailors because the tough skin and durability of the fruit made it ideal for long ocean voyages. Pomegranates are high in antioxidants, as well as potassium, vitamin C, niacin and fiber. Buy a pomegranate that feels heavy, with glossy skin that is unbroken Store them in a fridge, or other cool dry place. They should last for up to a month. You eat the seeds of a pomegranate, not the surrounding lightcolored pulp. In order to get to the seeds, cut the fruit in half and scoop the seeds out, discarding the light-colored pulp because of its bitter taste.
Herbs, nuts & funghi Almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, chives, coriander, hazelnuts, mushrooms, parsley, sage, truffles and walnuts. About the chestnut: Chestnuts grow in trees across China and Japan. They were an important food staple for Europeans in the 18th and 19th century, because they were used to make polenta before corn was introduced. Chestnut trees take 20 years to produce fruit. Chestnuts are high in carbohydrates, and lower in far and protein. They also contain fiber, potassium, iron, zinc, and manganese Store fresh chestnuts in a cool temperature in order to slow the aging. Once they are picked, they go from being crisp to tender and chewy fairly quickly. Look for chestnuts with smooth, shiny shells. Squeeze the nut to see that it is plump.
Mediterranean feta salad with pomegranate dressing For the salad: • 2 red peppers • 3 medium aubergines , cut into chunks, or 15 small, halved • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • tsp cinnamon • 200 g green beans , blanched (use frozen if you can) • 1 small red onion , sliced into half moons • 200 g feta cheese , drained and crumbled • seeds 1 pomegranate • handful parsley , roughly chopped For the dressing: • 1 small garlic clove , crushed • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat the grill to its highest setting. Cut the peppers into quarters, then place them, skin-side up, on a baking sheet. Grill until blackened. Place peppers in a plastic bag, seal, then leave for 5 mins. When cool enough to handle, scrape skins off, discard, then set the peppers aside. Place the aubergines on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and cinnamon, then season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden and softened - about 25 mins. Meanwhile, combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well. To serve, place the aubergines, green beans, onion and peppers on a large serving plate. Scatter with the feta and pomegranate seeds. Pour the dressing over, then finish with the parsley.
Fish & seafood Brill, clams, cockles, cod, crab, eel, haddock, halibut, lemon sole, mackerel, monkfish, mussels, oysters, plaice, scallops, sea bass, skate, turbot About the scallop: Scallops have been eaten for thousands of years, though they were not widely consumed until modern fishing techniques came into play. Commercial scallop fishing started in the 1930s off of the western coast of Scotland, and the area is known for having some of the most delicious scallops anywhere. Scallops are a bivalve mollusk. They are rich in vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and magnesium, as well as a good source of protein and phosphorus. Buy scallops that are plump and firm, with a sweet aroma. Buying hand-dived scallops supports environmentally sustainable fishing efforts. Scallops go bad very quickly, so they should be refrigerated immediately after purchase, and used within a few days, ideally on the same day as purchased.
Hazelnut butter grilled scallops with salad For the scallops: • 1 tsp olive oil • 1 shallot, peeled, finely sliced • 75 g butter, softened • ½ lemon, zest only • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chervil • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives • 45g hazelnuts, finely chopped • salt and freshly ground black pepper • 6 scallops, cleaned For the salad: • ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard • ½ tbsp good quality white wine vinegar • 1½ tbsp good quality rapeseed oil • 1 Little Gem lettuce, leaves separated • 1 punnet pea shoots For the scallops, heat a frying pan until warm, add the olive oil and shallot and fry gently until softened but not coloured. Place the butter into a bowl and add the cooked shallot, along with all the remaining scallop ingredients, except the scallops. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Preheat the grill to high. Place the scallops onto a grill tray and top each scallop with a spoonful of the hazelnut butter. Place under the grill for 3-4 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove from the grill and set aside to rest for one minute. For the salad, whisk the mustard, vinegar and oil together in a bowl. Place the lettuce leaves and pea shoots into a bowl, drizzle over the dressing and stir to coat. To serve, place three scallops onto each of 2 serving plates and serve with a pile of salad. 9
Meet the women of the new culinary frontier by Beth Jinks The internet has brought many incredible things into our lives: a wealth of information on just about anything, enhanced communication with anyone and mail-order everything. But most importantly it has given people blog platforms so they can express their creativity to like-minded people. Since their invention, there has been a colossal explosion in the amount of blogs published and the range of subjects that they cover. According to BlogPulse, there are over 152,000,000. Many of these will be inactive – created to display the spark that someone had in their mind but then forgotten about and left derelict. But some are very active indeed, some are beautiful packets of online writing, some are musings, some are portfolios of photographs and some are diaries. By far my favourite kind of blog, however, is the type that matches pixel-perfect photography with mouth-watering recipes, aka the food blog. For me it all started when a friend showed me TasteSpotting. com. The site consists of pictures of temping food pictures that click through to thousands of different blogs from around the world. After the temptation of this addictive website was first set in front of me, I found it very difficult not to check it several times a day or go through the archive of the site to see what I had missed. I started to bookmark recipes and write shopping lists for extravagant ingredients; it was incredible to me how generous people were being with the recipes that would usually flow through families. People wanted to share, and make others happy – all for free. That was the clincher for me, I was hooked. From that day to this, I, and many other people I know, have checked the website religiously, eager not to miss something that’s possibly life changing. And it might sound like I’m over exaggerating but I tell you now, knowing how to make amazing nacho cheese dip or the biggest, best and gooiest chocolaty fudge cake can be life changing. Food will bring you up when you’re down, it can cure a headache in three bites. Well, at least it can for me. >> 11
Christmas tree cake pops by Bakerella
Angie Dudley aka Bakerella
Reindeer cake pops by Bakerella 12
These women don’t just blog about food, they welcome you as a visitor into their lives. Alongside most recipes on the blogs you will find a story, usually a monologue of how they came about making this meal and talk of what their inspiration was. Some of these women are hugely successful, too, like Angie Dudley aka Bakerella, a selfconfessed baking addict and the woman confessed by everybody else to be the primary trendsetter for the cake pop. These little balls of cake sponge covered in coloured chocolate catapulted her into the baking blogosphere in a matter of weeks, which is something that no one would have anticipated. Especially not Bakerella herself, who on the original blog for first ever ‘cakesicles’ wrote a modest post about messing up a recipe resulting in having to mould the little cakes to a different shape. Now she has over 100,000 subscribers to her Facebook page alone. It’s easy to understand why she’s so popular; Bakerella is like a book that you cannot put down. She perfectly tunes food photography, witty narrations and delicious recipes all together to create something lovely, and her fans are not the only ones that have noticed. She has baked on television with Martha Stewart, and has been linked to by every notable food blog worth its sugar. But she’s not finished yet. Last year she was approached by US publisher Chronicle Books to write a manual on her signature confectionary, and since then she has travelled the length and breadth of America to promote and sign her book, Cake Pop. If you ask any pro food blogger who their favourite
online writers are, my prediction is that they will give you two names. One will be Bakerella, but the other will the culinary goddess who goes by the name The Pioneer Woman. This woman (who’s real name is Ree Drummond) is the Bakerella of home cooking and she is probably the most well known blogger of them all. Her blog is not just about food, its about the beautiful life that you can make for yourself outside of the city, and how all the commodities in the world (weekly manicures in L.A.) aren’t worth as much as being able to watch the sunset over your own land. Her type of food is true American home cooking; from warming chilli con carne to handmade buffalo meat burgers with onion chutney that gets slow cooked for 2 days to mature. And she uses ingredients from the land, not the supermarket, so you know that the buffalo in that burger has been raised on her farm since it was a calf. There’s something aspirational about the life that she writes about, which is why her blog has grown to something much bigger than just a website. She has written several recipe books, and this year she premiered on the Food Network in America with her own cookery programme. The uses of internet are expanding for the good with these women at the front of the revolution, they are on top of the cookery world, and they have both earned their rightful places in the hearts of anyone that has ever searched for a recipe online. They allow you to live vicariously through them, and follow their every culinary move, what could be better?
Baked lemon pasta by The Pioneer Woman
Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman
Fig-prosciutto pizza by The Pioneer Woman 13
Hot chocolate The world’s favourite cold weather beverage
by Jill Blaeser Hot chocolate is one of the most beloved winter warmers across the globe. When the days get short and the weather gets blustery, many retreat to their sofas with a good book, a warm fire, and a cup of their favourite cocoa. How did this delicious treat become a staple of the winter months, what exactly is the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa, and, most importantly, how can you make the best cup of chocolate you’ll ever have? Hot chocolate and its relatives have been delighting drinkers for nearly 2000 years. A beverage made from cacao pods is believed to have been drunk by the Aztecs around 1000 BC. When Spanish explorer Hernan Cortez landed in the Aztec kingdom in the early 1500s, its ruler, Montezuma, was drinking up to 50 cups of a cocoa, chili, and vanilla concoction. Cortez was not a fan of the drink, but brought it back with him to Spain anyway. There the chili was replaced with sugar and the drink became a delicacy of the Spanish royals. The 1655 seizure of Jamaica led to an English stake in cacao plantations. Hot chocolate houses opened across London a few years later, and eventually the English were responsible for replacing boiled water with hot milk. It was during this time as well that hot chocolate was revered for its medicinal uses, which ranged from treatment of liver disease to fighting off fits of anger. In the 19th century, a Dutch chemist discovered a way to make cocoa more soluble in liquid, leading to the creation of Dutch cocoa. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the drink made its next leap forward with the introduction of instant hot cocoa by Carnation, Nestlé, and Swiss Miss. The terms hot chocolate and hot cocoa are generally used interchangeably, but experts in the chocolate field agree that hot chocolate is made by melting solid chocolate and whipping it with milk, cream, or water, while hot cocoa is made by combining powdered cocoa with a liquid. Other variations on the beverage are drinking or sipping chocolate. These are similar to hot chocolate in that they utilize solid chocolate, but these drinks are usually considerably thicker and richer than the standard hot chocolate. Even the worst of hot chocolates can be a warming treat on the coldest winter day, but why suffer through a watered down powder version, when you can make a decadent cup of cocoa in under ten minutes? Variations on the usual hot chocolate have become popular in recent years, so whether it’s a traditional cocoa you’re after or a new take on an old favourite, Nosh has you covered. And remember, every cup of hot chocolate is better with whipped cream on top.
Traditional cocoa 250 g powdered sugar 130 g cocoa (Dutch-process preferred) 300 g powdered milk 10 g cornstarch 900-1400 ml of semi-skimmed milk
1 Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. 2 In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of milk 3 Fill a mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot milk. Stir to combine. 4 Seal the rest of your mix in an airtight container. It will keep indefinitely for future cups of cocoa.
Peppermint hot chocolate 340 ml whipping cream 350 ml semi-skimmed milk 30 g powdered sugar 170 g bittersweet chocolate, chopped 3 drops peppermint oil
1 Combine cream, milk, and sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat. 2 When the mixture just beings to steam, add the chopped chocolate at stir until melted. 3 Stir in the peppermint oil and heat through. Pour into mugs and serve.
White hot chocolate 200 g white chocolate chips 240 ml whipping cream 900 ml half cream 5 ml vanilla extract
1 In a medium pan of medium heat, combine white chocolate chips and whipping cream. Stir continuously until completely melted. 2 Mix in the half cream and vanilla extract 3 Stir occasionally until heated through. Pour into mugs and serve.
Mexican hot chocolate
900 ml semi-skimmed milk 240 ml whipping cream 30 g powdered sugar 5 g chili powder 10 g cinnamon 170 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped 1 In a saucepan, combine chocolate, sugar, and cream over a medium-low heat and stir until chocolate is completely melted. 2 Add the milk, chili powder and cinnamon. 3 Stir occasionally until heated through and divide between mugs for serving
C U L I N A RY
E X P E R I E N C E
T H E F I F T H S E N S E by Yen Hoang Some fear bald people, others distress in crowded places, my fear is not being able to see. Scotomaphobia is the technical and intellectual word I use for it, to cover my pride. After watching a documentary about blind chef Laura Martinez, I thought it might loosen my fear of being sightless. It didn’t. And I questioned; with a recipe of high heat, razor sharp knives, and all the kitchen commotion, how could someone totally blind, like Martinez, make it as a chef? I mean, some of us can’t even cook or tell good food apart with sufficient eyesight! The intrigue of her skills sparked a curious talk amongst my friends of heightened senses. “I know she can’t see, but the sounds, the smell, and her touch are amplified,” analyses my savvy psychologist friend. I was so fascinated by the thought of having a culinary experience from a blind person’s perspective that after I stumbled upon the restaurant Dans le Noir, I had to give it a go. The English translation of ‘in the dark’ is a restaurant where you experience a meal in complete darkness. Dans le Noir is the closest you can come to a total brain reboot without taking some serious Class A drugs. It’s exhilarating, exhausting, and everybody should do it once. Once. It remains to be said whether the concept is about having an experience of a blind person, or whether it’s to experience what it’s like to be a sighted person who can’t see in the dark. >>
Our friendly waitress Lisa reassured me that I was going to reevaluate the notion of taste and smelling through their gastronomic and pedagogical process. It is believed that if you take away sight then concept of taste is completely reborn. Perception of flavours becomes subtler and more intense. On my arrival we were given a colour-coded menu that we could select our options on. After, you are led through a curtain holding on to the person in front’s shoulders and into le noir. As you wait for your eyes to adjust (they don’t), you may start to feel empathy for the blind, or wonder about how you’ll get your bottled wine into your glass. My brain just shouted, ‘Why?’ as I faced one of my biggest fears. On the other hand, my vegetarian companion feared she might be tricked into eating meat for the first time in her life. Luckily, the eating options of meat, fish, surprise or veggie eased her anxiety. But she still doubted the genuineness.
The idea seems to be a little strange to you at first; it is maybe because by suppressing the dominant sense of the sight, each person naturally starts a deep self-questioning.
It was absolutely black. Completely pitched black. I had thought that you would be able to see outlines or fuzzy renders of the restaurant, but in fact I could not see my hand in front of my face! This was surreal for the first few minutes and then actually quite liberating. The idea seems to be a little strange to you at first; it is maybe because by suppressing the dominant sense of the sight, each person naturally starts a deep self-questioning. Ten thousand thoughts went running through my neurons. Eating a plate of what I thought to be crocodile or sushi, and maybe some chocolate–covered turkey, and salmon probably with kimchi or pickles and tomatoes, oh and maybe cucumber. Turned out in reality it was overly salty Prosciutto ham, a nice but boring salad of olives, tomatoes and cucumber, two parcels of bland cream cheese wrapped in salmon and a few tasty slithers of carpaccio of venison with chocolate and chilli. Judging by the quality of my one dish I’d say you’re best off settling for the briefer and cheaper wine tasting. Unless you’re particularly excited about the thought of consuming food in the dark, just stick to getting drunk and have fun talking about whether or not you think your own eyeballs are missing, or how stupid you must look to the front of house staff watching you on infrared CCTV. What a great job. I’d also really recommend going as a large group particularly one that was unfamiliar with one other, because, as I found out whilst seated next to eight strangers, the sheer novelty of the experience is a great icebreaker. I imagine that doing the same with a date could mean that once the novelty had worn 18
off, you’d quickly realise the basic nature of the overpriced cuisine and wine. On that note, what a great idea for a first date. You could avoid all sorts of insecurities and low self-esteem issues in the dark whilst building conversations about the experience in front of you. Or, visually lack of. But really the food wasn’t the point, the entire experience was dominated by the fact that everything we did occurred in total and absolute darkness. Guzzling three glasses of passable wine from large tumblers helped everything along. Nothing was as difficult as you’d imagine, mostly due to our incredible partially sighted waitress. She was there from the very start and guided us through the entire experience in a friendly, funny and welcoming manner. She led us in and out of the pitch blackness, seated us carefully, orientated us so we could find our own cutlery and quickly committed all of our names and table positions to memory so that she could, over our squeals and shouts, guide glasses of wine into our raised hands and deliver water, bread and the dishes without fuss. It’s weird to review a restaurant and think negatively of the food, but still end up recommending it, but that’s just what I’m doing here. As we all stumbled out of the room ninety minutes later and significantly drunker, and stood blinking and rubbing our eyes at the harshness of daylight, we met the other 20 strangers we had just shared this experience with. Suddenly putting smiling faces to the voices heard prior, we knew we’d just experienced something kind of special. I’d probably never go back, I’ve now had the experience, but if you haven’t you should really learn what it’s like to be unaware of your surroundings whilst you try to convince yourself you’re not eating a jellyfish.
slices of crusty bread 3 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp pesto 2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion chopped 100 g unsmoked chopped streaky bacon 2 large carrots 2 sticks celery 1 medium potato 2 garlic cloves finely chopped or crushed 400 g can chopped tomatoes 1L vegetable stock (from granules or a cube) 2 tsp chopped sage leaves few cabbage leaves, shredded 400 g can haricot beans handful chopped parsley
1 Heat olive oil in a large pan and add the onion and bacon and fry for about five minutes until the onion starts to brown and caramelize. 2 Tip in the chopped carrots, celery, potato and garlic, stirring well after each addition. 3 Leave to cook for a few minutes. 4 Next, add the tomatoes, stock and the sage and bring to the boil while stirring the mix-ture. 5 Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook partly covered for 30 minutes, stirring in the cabbage after 15 minutes. 6 Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pan with the parsley. 7 For the pesto croutons, cut three to four slices of crusty bread into chunks, about 2cm thick. 8 Mix the olive oil and pesto, then add to the bread, tossing it with your hands until the croutons are evenly coated. 9 Bake in a moderate oven for about 10 mins until crisp. Season the soup to taste and ladle into bowls, adding a couple of pesto croutons on top. >>
1 Preheat oven to180ยบC and grease and flour a 9inch square tin. 2 In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until mixture is light and fluffy. 3 Gradually beat in the egg, and then mix in the treacle. 4 In another bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
100 g caster sugar 125 g butter 1 egg 225 ml treacle 300 g plain flour 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon salt 250 ml hot water
5 Blend into the creamed mixture, stirring well after each small edition. 6 Once mixed, add in the hot water, stir and then pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted comes out clean the cake springs back to touch. 7 Allow the cake to cool in tin before cutting into pieces and serving.
Roasted Caprese Quesadilla
winter minestrone with pesto croutons
Simple Gingerbread Cake
1 Set oven for 150ยบC or gas mark 2 and chop tomatoes into chunks. 2 Arrange tomatoes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic, salt, pepper, and splash with olive oil.
3 Large Tomatoes 35 g Minced Garlic 400 g Mayonnaise 35 g Chopped Basil 300 g Fresh Mozzarella 6 Tortillas Olive Oil Salt Pepper
3 Bake in oven for 2-3 hours until the tomatoes begin to brown and leave to cool slowly. 4 Heat a large flat pan to medium heat and add a small amount of olive oil. 5 Mix the mayonnaise with the basil and spread on all of the tortillas and then spread roasted tomatoes and mozzarella on one side. 6 Fold the remaining tortilla over and press shut. Place the quesadilla on the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes a side until the tortillas are crisp and the mozzarella melted. Cut into wedges and serve.
4 Fresh Duck Legs, trimmed of excess fat 1 tbs Olive Oil 2 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 stalk Celery, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 small Onion, sliced 3 cloves Garlic, smashed 1 whole Star Anise 1 Butternut Squash (about 2 pounds), peeled/cut into 1-inch pieces 2 cups Water 2 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar 1 tsp Butter 2 tbs chopped Parsley Cooked Brown Rice, for serving
1 Heat oil in a heavy, oven safe pot over medium heat. Season the duck with salt and pepper. 2 Place the duck legs pot, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is brown and crisp – 10 minutes. 3 Remove the duck legs and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat. 4 Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pot. Cook until just softened – 5 minutes.
ISP Y DUC
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5 Stir in the star anise and squash and pour in the vinegar and enough water to just cover the vegetables. 6 Place the duck, skin-side up, on top of the vegetables. Cook until the liquid boils. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake for 1-1/2 hours, or until the duck and vegetables are both very tender.
CREME BRU LE E
7 Remove from oven and heat broiler to high. Remove duck legs from pot and transfer them to a broiler pan.
AGON FRUIT R D
1 litre heavy cream 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped 120 g sugar 6 large egg yolks 2 litres hot water 2 dragon fruit 2 tbs confectioners sugar Crème fraîche A couple of sprigs of mint
8 Grill the duck legs, skin-side up, until the skin is very crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the butter into vegetables until it melts into the sauce and then season with salt and pepper. 9 Serve the crispy duck legs with the braised vegetables over brown rice. Drizzle with the pan sauce and garnish with chopped parsley.
1 Preheat oven to 160ºC and boil 2 litres of hot water. 2 Add cream and vanilla bean with scrapings to sauce pan on medium to high heat until it begins to boil. Turn off the heat and cover for about 15 minutes. 3 In mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar and beat until it’s smooth and turns a light yellow colour. 4 Add your cream and continuously stir for about five minutes until all the mixture is combined. 5 Place four ramekins in a deep baking tray and pour in the hot water to cover the bottom half of the ramekins.
6 Then pour in the creme brûlée mixture and bake until set (firm but the center jiggles when nudged). This should take 35-40 min-utes. 7 The brûlée’s needs to cool for around two hours. 8 Using a melon baller, make “pearls” of dragon fruit and finely chop the mint. 9 Ready to serve, evenly spread a layer of sugar over the crème brûlée and torch or grill until golden brown. 10 Top the crème brûlée with dollop of crème fraîche, dragon fruit pearls, and mint. Sift over a fine layer of icing sugar to serve.
2 CONTINENTS 1 CHRISTMAS by Yen Hoang
Picture the scene: it’s Christmas Eve. You’re with your family and loved ones, sitting by the Christmas tree. Maybe there are chestnuts roasting on the open fire. Maybe you’re helping your child put out milk and cookies for Santa. Maybe there are Christmas carols playing softly in the background. Have you ever wondering how the rest of the world celebrates Christmas? Trek 10,500 miles south east from England to Australia to discover how Santa shows up with kangaroos and board shorts. Then head 6,000 miles east from London to Japan to see Christmas cakes line the windows of bakeries. >>
メリークリスマス meri kurisumasu
Christmas in Japan is like a Western-Asian restaurant fusion. All the ideas are there but the tastes aren’t similar. Christmas has only recently brushed on the modern Japanese calender. It’s a holiday recognised but half of the population have no idea what they are actually celebrating, because a majority of the people are Buddhists or come from a Shinto heritage. It is more a commercial holiday than a traditional one, but is popular, nonetheless, and the Christmas atmosphere in the cities is enchanting. Christmas in Japan is not known as a family occasion. The media has also hyped Christmas Eve to be an occasion for romantic marvels. Instead of staying in Christmas Eve, most couples go out. The evening is seen as an opportunity to spend time with one’s significant other, much like Valentine’s Day, which means most fine dining establishments and luxury hotels are booked up. Revealing a crush on Christmas Eve has become a tradition too. All in the spirit of giving. Dinners are usually not prepared for like the Westerners. The arrays of heavily decorated Christmas cakes, however, decorate the windows of patisseries and bakeries. You’d usually find a vanilla or green tea sponge
cake underneath a ten-inch snowman or Yule log. Don’t be mistaken though, it’s not like any Christmas cake. At the sight of one, the cake is decorated with many sugar figures and buttered-icing Christmas ornaments. Think of a snow dome on a cake. Minimalist designs do not exist in this case and less is better does not apply. The filling is usually tiramisu or durian, and sometimes you will find winter melon or rock melon slices hiding in there too. These ingredients are common to find in Japanese cakes even though at first impression, the different elements together seem odd. It has become a tradition to gift these cakes to friends and partners or to take to a Christmas gathering. But Christmas for me is a festival of lights and just another ordinary day. Christmas trees, angels, Santa Clauses, reindeer, sleighs, garlands, bells and assorted other Christmas paraphernalia festoon streets, shops and hotels from Kyoto to Tokyo, creating a blaze of colored lights. And only during this time do trees, lights, and deer pop up in strange places. The results are often incongruous but fun. At night, on weekends or in our spare time we head to the streets and admire the decorations with family or friends. It’s like we’ve just witnessed the invention for Christmas merchandising and buildings draped with lights for the first time. Everyone becomes a tourist in their own city. Though every year, the decorations become bigger and brighter. Excuse the pun. Like a new exhibition in an art gallery, every year is different. 25th of December is just another day. Business as usual. It’s an excuse to go out and be with friends, a reason to take off work or convincing our partners to buy us an unnecessary gift purely because the world believes that it is a time for giving. But who’s complaining?
Summer weather and the southern hemisphere, Santa arrives in a ute with his kangaroos, wearing board shorts and a tank top. Why would he arrive in a long-sleeved-wool-trouser combo when it’s 35 degrees? He’d probably get heat stroke. Yep, that’s Christmas in Australia. Growing up, society teaches us that Santa comes from the North Pole, he arrives on a sleigh with his reindeers and there’s snow. But in every single stereotype you can pin point about Australia, almost all of them runs true during this festive season. I still don’t know whether I should shame away or embrace it. Christmas is never white. There’s the difference. The heat begs us as southern hemisphere citizens to be outside. After the Christmas lunch – possibly in an outdoor scene, a walk across the road gets us to the beach and it’s here where I sit in my bathers soaking up that Vitamin D whilst watching the boys play an intensive
game of beach cricket.As the day progresses, I look forward to a big Christmas dinner feast, that anticipates on the tables of my back garden. What food you question? The food is guided by the original Anglo-Celtic influences. Yes, an English style of Christmas served, right down to the traditional roast and steamed pudding despite it being 35 degrees. But more commonly, replaced is a barbeque. A meal that requires everyone to be outside to enjoy the declining heat of the summer’s day and of course, safety reasons. A humble caesar or potato salad consumed next to a juicy, rump of lamb, pork sausages and seafood sets the standards. One year, we had Christmas damper for dessert. It is enjoyed with jam, butter, honey or maple syrup. Damper is a traditional Australian soda bread that was developed by stockmen who traveled in remote areas for weeks or months at a time. Bush tucker we call it. Similar to the British scone, but on a much larger scale it consists of simple ingredients of flour, water and milk. Baking soda is often used as for leavening. The damper was cooked in the ashes of the campfire, like the traditional method. My personal favourite is the pavlova or a trifle. The meringuebased dessert, is topped with summer, tropical fruits such as passion fruit, strawberries and kiwi. Nothing too heavy or warming. The only thing that does that is the copious amounts of cold beer consumed.
From turkey to trimmings, Adele Jones has cooked up brilliant food ideas for a mouth watering Christmas dinner along with some drinks that are guaranteed to bring some sparkle to the table.
rise and shine
Waking up on Christmas Day should be peaceful, only disturbed by the shouts of children excited that Santa has arrived making it an altogether magical moment. Jumping out of bed overwhelmed with the amount of jobs that need to be done is something that a Christmas host should not do. Structuring your day is the easiest way to get around the holiday demons, and with the help of Nosh, all the hints, tips and recipe ideas to get your family sat around the dinner table, hungry and smiling are right here.
Knowing that you have got an amazing Christmas dinner to come sometimes disheartens people from making an effort at breakfast time. Nosh, however, thinks there is nothing to stop you doing something nice for your loved ones early in the morning, especially when the children have been up for hours opening presents. French patisserie classics, if prepared correctly, can go down a treat on a festive morning and will not spoil your Christmas dinner that’s to come. Michel Roux has a wonderful recipe for quick croissants, but buying fresh from your local bakery would still taste just as delicious. “The secret behind a good croissant is love, butter and good ingredients,” says Arnaud Delmontel, the owner of a Boulangerie in Paris, and as long as you abide by these rules, the family will be satisfied. Serve your croissants with good quality butter and a range of preserves, or for something more filling, stuff with scrambled eggs and crispy rashers of bacon. 28
“The secret behind a good croissant is love, butter and good ingredients...” Arnaud Delmontel
Turkey ❆ tales ❄
Every house on Christmas day should have the privilege of
Delia Smith is another chef that claims she can guarantee a
playing host to the smell of turkey, roasting away in the oven. Many
fool-proof juicy bird with her method. This involves basting the bird
chefs over the years believe that they have perfected the technique
generously with melted butter, seasoning it, topping with streaky
of getting the perfect turkey, but almost everyone does it
bacon and then wrapping it festively in foil. She indicates “I think the
differently. One of the biggest challenges a lot of people don’t
secret of success is to give the turkey a good blast of heat to begin
realise they face is that the legs take longer to cook than the breast,
and let the turkey cook through more gently.”
but Jamie Oliver has a solution for that. “I like to push stuffing
with, and once you’ve got it going you can then turn the oven down Another tip Delia gives which mirrors that of Jamie Oliver,
between the turkey’s skin and breasts, increasing the thickness of
Gordon Ramsey and Heston Bluemental, is that your feature
the breasts so they take the same time to cook as the legs.” This
food needs time to rest before serving so that any juices that have
is a perfect way to ensure you serve a juicy turkey to your table,
escaped can be reabsorbed. >>
removing the risk of it being dry and tasteless. 29
all the trimmings ❄
Keep them coated: Make sure your potatoes are lovingly kissed with seasoning and fat to give them flavour.
“It doesn’t matter how good your meat or gravy are, if you get the roast potatoes wrong - it’s all over...” Jamie Oliver
If you have got small children in your family, dessert on christmas day can sometimes be a bit of a conundrum. If you place a hot christmas pudding drenched in fine whiskey and full of fruity goodness in front of the average adult their mouth will probably water, but to a child it’s probably nowhere near as appealing. Chocolate Yule logs are a tradition that has been around for years, and whether you store buy them or bake them yourself, this is the dessert that is guaranteed to put a smile on your children’s face and have them back, begging for more. Delia Smith’s Squidgy Chocolate Log filled with whipped cream and chocolate mouse that has been dusted with icing sugar is a Christmas spectacle for all the family. If the thought of baking your dessert along with making all the different parts of your main meal feels a little daunting, there are some places that have fashioned a large selection of Christmas sweet treats for all the family. Marks & Spencer have an exquisite array of desserts on offer this year from luscious layers of creamfilled profiteroles with deliciously rich chocolate sauce to the rich Christmas pudding cheesecake set on an all-butter shortbread base. 30
In Jamie Oliver’s opinion: ‘It doesn’t matter how good your meat or gravy are, if you get the roast potatoes wrong - it’s all over.’ and many others agree. The secret to a good potato is what you bake them with. There are many different options out there such as goose fat, olive oil, butter and groundnut oil, but ultimately, it depends on what herb you pair these different fats with. Two of the options Jamie Oliver gives is to drench your already boiled potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary or add a couple of tablespoons of goose fat, a few of sprigs of thyme and two bay leaves to the roasting tray. As long as the potatoes are crisp and crunchy, they will be perfect with the luscious turkey. Ready made stuffing is something that many people turn to on Christmas day as they believe making it from scratch is too time consuming, but it’s not difficult at all. Mixing together 6-8 good quality meat from sausages, a finely chopped onion, 100g breadcrumbs, 100g chopped chestnuts and an egg will make a perfect stuffing mixture. Once all the ingredients are combined, separate the mixture into 8 small balls, sprinkle with sage, wrap in thin bacon rashers. These only take 30 minutes in the oven and once they’re cooked and golden, their fragrant smell will compliment that of the turkey.
Let it snow! Dust your chosen dessert with icing sugar to give it the frosted effect.
touch of sparkle
There are many variations of what people drink on Christmas day from spiced ginger beer to mulled wine and champagne, but something special is sometimes in order when greeting your guests to begin your festive feast. Jamie Oliver’s Lychee Martini made with cans of lychee, good vodka, white vermouth and a good shower of ice is a perfumed delight that will go down a treat before the extravagant dinner begins. If cocktails aren’t your thing and you’re looking for something slightly less fussy, Bucks fizz made with good champagne and freshly squeezed orange juice is something that can be enjoyed by the young and old around the dinner table. Another twist on this is Nigella Lawsons’ Filthy Fizz or Prosecco Sporco which literally translates to ‘Dirty Prosecco’. This can be made with two different additions to a glass of Prosecco, Campari; a bitter, spicy, sweet alcoholic aperitif or Chambord; a black raspberry liqueur that, when drizzled on the top leaves a pink swirl of sweetness. Fruity fizz! For some additional flavour try adding a slice of fruit to your champagne or cocktails.
after the feast
Once the feast is done, settling down in front of the fire to watch a classic Christmas film or exploring your gifts is a really good way to relax. Digesting all the delicious food you have just indulged in will take some time, however you can almost guarentee that after an hour away from the table the children will be complaining they are hungry. “I usually find myself nibbling on a platter of cheese like a greedy dormouse.” says TV presenter and wine connoisseur, Olly Smith. Having some additional snacks and nibbles on hand is something that any good host should do to make sure those people who always want more are satisfied. Serving a smooth silky coffee with some salted caramel truffles or other chocolatey treats normally goes down well to help finish your celebration. For the grown ups, why not try a simple liquor cream coffee by adding a dash of Bailey’s or other irish cream liquor to an already prepared filter coffee.
“I usually find myself nibbling ❄ on a platter of cheese like a greedy dormouse!” Olly Smith
By following the easy suggestions and keeping a cool head, you will be sure to create an atmosphere worthy of anyone’s perfect Christmas day dreams.
Easy ways to turn your favourite Christmas traditions into a vegetarian-friendly feast by Jill Blaeser Christmas dinner is about traditions. The family and maybe some friends sit down in the afternoon of December 25 to a full feast. At the centre of the table is a golden turkey or a goose. Perhaps your family prefers something a little meatier; maybe it’s a roast ham at the middle of your dinner. No Christmas meal is complete without the side dishes, though: a rich stuffing cooked inside a bird, potatoes topped with thick brown gravy, maybe a cottage pie or some sort of bake. No dinner is finished without a Christmas pudding, of course. Tradition is wonderful, unless you have a vegetarian at dinner. Whether you, a family member, or another guest have chosen to live meat free or you just want to try something different and a little healthier this holiday season, there’s no reason old traditions can’t be adapted and new traditions can’t be made. Every holiday meal can be made vegetarian so those special guests can have a little something more than plain potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Meat replacements If the Christmas fowl isn’t exactly mouth-watering for every guest at the table, but a few stubborn carnivores aren’t quite ready to give up their meat-eating ways, there are plenty of meat substitutes that should satisfy everybody’s cravings. For those unwilling to dive headlong into the world of vegetarian cooking, most major supermarkets around Britain sell meat replacements. Leading vegetarian brand, Quorn, produces a vegetarian cottage pie or just the mince, which can be used in many traditional recipes. Other brands offer a full vegetarian roast that mimics turkey more than anything else, which can stand alone as the centrepiece of your meal. A trip through the vegetarian foods aisle of your local shop should provide plenty of options for your alternative dinner guests. Pre-packaged vegetarian fare tends to be a bit expensive, however, especially if you’re buying for a whole family. You can make your own tofu turkey using some crumbled tofu, prepared stuffing, and a shop bought marinade. Just press your tofu into a bowl, hollow out the middle, and fill with your stuffing. Cover the stuffing with the remaining tofu, place on a baking pan, and baste with your marinade. Bake your faux-turkey until it begins to brown and the stuffing is heated through. If tradition calls for something more beefy, try a meatless loaf. Made up of a mash of tofu, beans, soy sauce, oatmeal, and any vegetables and seasonings you want, a meatless loaf is a chance to experiment. After you mix your ingredients together with an egg to bind them, form your mixture into a loaf shape on a baking sheet and put it in your oven at 200ºC or gas mark 6 for 40 minutes or until the centre is firm. Slice up your loaf for your main entrée. >>
Vegetarian main dishes When everyone is onboard with the vegetarian meal, you have a bit more freedom to make a meat-free main dish. The possibilities here are endless, but for those wishing to stick to something in the traditional holiday mould, there are several excellent options. Nut loaves are similar in many ways to the meatless loaf, but donâ€™t try to mimic any kind of meaty flavour or texture. The foundations of a nut loaf are sautĂŠed vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery. These are combined with a powder of crushed nuts and grains, which may include walnuts, almonds, or cashews and rice, barley, or quinoa. This is another opportunity to use your creative side. Form your mix into a loaf at which point you can either bake it as is or wrap it in a pastry crust. Either way, bake the loaf until the outside is browned and the inside is firm, then slice up to serve.
A good way to put your favourite stuffing to use without a fowl to stuff is to use large vegetables instead. You can use your favourite stuffing recipe, something pre-made from the store, or any combination of ingredients you like to stuff vegetables. Some good winter vegetables for stuffing include butternut and spaghetti squash and pumpkins. You can also prepare individual servings by stuffing smaller vegetables like aubergines, bell peppers, tomatoes, and portabella mushrooms. If your family is feeling bold and willing to throw tradition completely out the window, many cuisines of other cultures endear themselves to vegetarians better than standard British fare. Mexican, Italian, Indian, and Chinese foods all have wonderful vegetarian entrĂŠes. An enchilada bake, pasta, curry, or stir-fry might be just the thing to spice up your holiday dinner.
Traditional favourites adapted It just wouldn’t be Christmas without some favourite family recipes, so what do you do when those favourites aren’t vegetarianfriendly? Luckily, it’s fairly easy to make a few simple substitutions to most recipes to make them completely meat free. Stuffing and gravy are holiday mainstays for most. Most are also made with chicken or beef stock and may include the drippings from the turkey. Substituting vegetable stock will still give you a full flavour for your stuffing and gravy, just without the animal products. Either make it on the stovetop or fill one of the meatless options with it. Supermarkets also offer vegetarian gravy and stuffing options if you’re looking for convenience or don’t have a preferred recipe. Many holiday feasts end with a Christmas pudding. Of course, traditional Christmas puddings are made with beef suet, making them a vegetarian’s worst nightmare. You should be able to find a vegetable based suet at many supermarkets, which will give your pudding a similar texture, but a lighter appearance and flavour. If you can’t find vegetable suet, another option is to freeze a stick of butter and grate it into your recipe as you would use shredded suet.
Something for the vegans If you have a vegan at your Christmas table, you may be presented with more of a challenge when cooking dinner. Since vegans do not eat eggs, dairy, or anything else that comes from an animal, a large majority of your recipes will call for adjustments. Thankfully, milk and eggs have simple replacements. Soy, rice, or almond milk can be substituted evenly for milk in most recipes and provides a similar flavour, especially when combined with other ingredients. Egg substitutes are readily available at most stores and will have directions on how much to use. Margarine and other vegetable oil spreads are a successful replacement for butter in most recipes. When in doubt, just ask your vegan what they would prefer you use. A vegetarian holiday can seem like a daunting task to a carnivore cook, but with some careful consideration, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to please your vegetarian guests. If you yourself are newly vegetarian or have decided to serve a meat-free meal as something different or healthier than your usual fare, you should soon find out that there are an abundance of options to centre your table. A Christmas feast lacking in meat doesn’t have to be lacking in tradition and festive cheer.
Flawless New Year’s Eve cocktails
Picture the scene; you and all of the people that you love (and don’t) scattered around the gently warmed living room, Christmas tree still standing tall. Everyone is counting down to the beginning of a new year, but instead of wine in your grasp, you have pomegranate champagne punch. Or maybe your New Year’s Eve will just be you and that one person, cuddled on the sofa with a glass of cranberry ginger fizz and the fire smoldering away under the mantelpiece. These four cocktails that we’ve lovingly tried and tested for you are the perfect alternatives to the usual drinks that are toasted at any celebration, and we think they are the ideal way to make your New Year’s Eve go with a real bang. >>
Hibiscus sparkle ´´ 1 edible hibiscus flower (available from thecookingsource.co.uk) ´´ Prosecco or sparkling wine Position the hibiscus flower at the bottom of a champagne flute and slowly fill it with your favorite sparkling wine. As the champagne fizzles, the hibiscus flower will open up and bloom in your glass. Once you have finished, you can refill or simply eat the flower! 37
Cranberry ginger fizz (our favourite!) ´´ 230 ml water ´´ 120 g sugar ´´ 170 g fresh cranberries ´´ 1 lemon, cut into wedges ´´ 1/2 orange, cut into slices ´´ 350 ml cups dry gin ´´ 230 ml chilled Ginger Ale ´´ 4 mint springs Bring the water and sugar to the boil in small pan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Then bring the syrup to the boil and reduce heat to medium. Add the cranberries and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they just begin to burst and then let everything cool down. Place 2 tbsp drained cranberries and 6 tbsp of your syrup in a bowl; add the lemon wedges and orange slices. Then using a muddler or wooden spoon, vigorously mash the fruit. Stir in gin and let the syrup and fruit infuse for at least 5 minutes, then strain the mix into a pitcher. Fill your serving glasses up a quarter of the way up with ginger ale and plenty of ice and then top up with the gin mixture.
Candy cane cooler ´´ 50 g fresh mint leaves, de-stemmed ´´ 1 bottle vodka ´´ 1 tbsp crushed candy cane ´´ 8 ml Brandy ´´ 14ml single cream ´´ Ice ´´ A candy cane and mint leaves to garnish Wash the mint leaves and place in a jar, add the vodka and crush the mint slightly to release the essential oils. Place crushed candy cane bits into a cocktail shaker with ice, add 45ml of the mint vodka, then the brandy and the cream. Shake lightly to chill and strain into a glass full of ice. Add a candy cane and a mint leaf for garnish.
Pomegranate-Champagne punch ´´ 230 ml water ´´ 120 g sugar ´´ 2 bottles sparkling wine ´´ 350 ml white rum ´´ 300 ml pomegranate juice ´´ 1 large lemon, thinly sliced ´´ Pomegranate seeds ´´ Fresh mint leaves ´´ 1 bag of ice Bring the water and sugar to the boil in small pan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes and then cool the syrup completely. Combine Champagne, rum, and pomegranate juice in punch bowl and then add the syrup to sweeten to your taste. Mix in the lemon slices, pomegranate seeds, mint leaves and the ice and then grab a ladle and make sure there are enough glasses! 38
The Ice Bar at Below Zero 31-33 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London It is the city’s coolest cocktail menu, quite literally. You should not aim to get more than just a little merry here, but rather enjoy the novelty experience of the igloo like bar. In your quick 45-minute session (the maximum allowed – plenty of freezing time) make sure you grab a drink with vodka, rum, whiskey, gin or tequila in it to enable your body to warm up from the freezing environment. How else does the Northern hemisphere survive in winter? Sip on a cocktail from glasses that are entirely made of ice, your order is “in the rocks, not on the rocks”. Vodka is king so the popular choice is the “cold sweat” beverage that contains Smirnoff Black vodka, lychee liqueur, ginger syrup and passion fruit juice. Or upgrade to a premium cocktail, like the “under pressure” with two more
shots of flavoured liquor. The emphasis is the novelty ice cups and the abundance of frost yet there were no warming, winter elements to the ingredients. Nevertheless, the menu offers you 20 drinks for your delight. On arrival, you get your first cocktail for free but you always have the option to buy more. To keep you warm, everyone is given a designer thermal jacket. Recommended for birthdays, special events but especially the upcoming holiday season. The time limit may seem short but it’s just long enough to enjoy your drink, pose next to ice sculpture and generally act like you have your own personal snow day, but short enough that the novelty doesn’t wear off!
The Breakfast Club 33 D’Arblay Street, Soho, London A “dining room” with an eclectic collection of furniture. Walls decorated with Polaroids from past customers, and currency from around the world. A menu with items named “Reggie the Veggie” and “Ham so excited.” Is this a restaurant or someone’s art gallery? If you like a laid back, relaxed atmosphere with good food, then The Breakfast Club is your kind of restaurant. Its bright yellow façade stands out from the normal grey and brick tones found on the back streets of Soho. The cheery exterior is continued throughout the restaurant. The Breakfast Club offers a brunch menu (served 9am5pm every day) and a lunch/dinner menu. Regardless of your appetite and personal taste, there is something on this large menu that will satisfy you. They have ‘The Full Monty’ which consists of all your favorite breakfast foods, such as bacon,
sausage, and hashbrowns. Our suggestion if you want to get the full Breakfast Club experience, try out the Chorizo Hashbrowns or the Bacon and Banana French Toast. You won’t be disappointed. The lunch and dinner menus are similarly diverse offering everything from wraps and sandwiches (“When Halloumi Met Sally” and “The Number 3” Wrap) to hot dishes, burgers and burritos. We bet you anything that you can find something that you like on this menu. The prices for the breakfast club are very reasonable. Two people could eat breakfast for £20 total, and £25 for dinner. With four locations throughout London (Hoxton, Angel, Soho, and Spitalfiels) that are within a five minute walk of the nearest tube stop, The Breakfast Club is easy to find and easy to love.
Jamie’s Italian 24 locations around the UK and 2 international As a starting point for his restaurants, Jamie Oliver wanted to replicate fantastic Italian dishes that embodied the rustic and authentic feel that you get from all of their classic food. Inspired by the traditions of Italy, he wanted to create restaurants with a close, intimate atmosphere that made his visitors feel comfortable. His hope was that this would help to bring families closer together by enabling them to enjoy rich Italian food that was affordable and accessible but the taste wasn’t compromised.
pickles and salads. Pasta lovers will definitely appreciate Jamie’s big selection of pasta including meatball carbonara and chicken liver tortellini, which are all homemade and packed with flavour. For the carnivores among you, there is also a wide range of fantastic meats such as flash grilled feather steak pounded with sage and prosciutto, served with a spicy tomato & chilli salsa and also Osso Bucco Milanese, a slice of British veal that is cooked slowly overnight for your enjoyment.
Jamie’s Italian menu features many spectacles over the range of courses. For a show-stopping entrée you can try one of the amazing antipasti planks that showcase everything from seasonal cured meat such as Tuscan fennel salami and San Daniele prosciutto, Italian cheeses like creamy buffalo mozzarella and chilli and mint pecorino as well as a mixture of freshly prepared
With restaurants in 23 cities in the UK from Reading to Oxford to Glasgow, and two international locations, Jamie’s Italian is growing stronger. Bookings can be made for any night no matter how big your party is. Finding your closest Jamie’s and taking your family for a night of luscious Italian cuisine and quality wine is something you can’t do soon enough.
The Stable at the Bull Hotel 34 East Street, Bridport, Dorset Nestled behind the courtyard of the grand Bull Hotel in the coastal town of Bridport, west Dorset is the beautifully rustic Stable cider house. Boasting more than 60 regional ciders, made from many different fruits, the bar attracts a huge crowd every day of the week. We went on a Wednesday evening, and sat either side of the long, bespoke wooden table with our first recommended pint: Weston’s Vintage (£3.50). Deeelicious! Talking to the bar man it seems that no one could sulk at the lack of range. If you’re a cider novice then you can roughly tell them what you like and they’ll pick something yummy for you. They even have an in-house drink comically named Unstable, which is a mix of a huge amount of different ciders, along with brandy, orange juice and secret ingredients that wouldn’t be revealed! All this creates a fruity concoction of cider that’s
alcohol volume could only be guessed at. It was clear what our next pint would be. After tasting the cider, we couldn’t help notice the deliriously good smell coming from the kitchen. You see, The Stable is a triple threat; it has a great location, a great range to drink, but also its food menu is bursting with handmade pizzas and pies – all created from locally sourced produce and all in the £8-£11 price range. The ‘Lamb Roast’ pizza with caramelised onions and sweet potato was my pick, whereas ‘The West Country Porker’ with local chorizo and salami was chosen by my plus one. Both were unsophisticated, alluring but most importantly they were both delicious. The Stable offers 10 different pizzas, including vegetarian and gluten free options, wines, beers and 67 different ciders from the West Country, there really is something for everyone.
The Orangery at The Grosvenor Rockcliffe Hall Café and Cinema Hurworth-on-Tees, Darlington, County Durham
Ashton Lane, Hillhead, West End, Glasgow
Supporting local suppliers and keeping food affordable yet exquisite, is something that The Orangery by Kenny Atkinson has achieved. Set in the beautifully restored Rockcliffe Hall Hotel, Darlington which boasts spectacular panoramic views over the surrounding countryside, Atkinson has combined a lot of ingredients to create different menus for diners to select from.
If you find yourself in Glasgow during the holiday season, consider heading to Ashton Lane and the newly refurbished Grosvenor Café and Cinema. While the Grosvenor has been a Glasgow West End installation for years, it has undergone extensive renovations in the last 12 months and is prepared to host its first Christmas and Hogmanay celebrations.
The restaurant features two sharing menus, the ‘Prestige’ (£67.50 per person) and the ‘Taste of the Market’ (£57.50 per person), that present local ingredients from North Sea turbot with spiced scallops and baby turnip to Michel Cruizel chocolate with popcorn ice cream and salted caramel. As well as this, two-time Michelin Star winner Atkinson also offers an individual ‘Market’ (£47.50 for three courses, per person) menu where diners can enjoy such delights as Yorkshire partridge terrine with marinated celeriac, pickled pears and hazelnuts, Neasham beef served with artichokes and smoked bacon, and a warm vanilla rice pudding with raspberries, lemon balm and praline. This is just a small selection of the magnificent array of local foods that Atkinson presents in his well rounded menus that feature many bold dishes mixed with strong flavours and contrasting textures.
The café offers a set menu costing £17.50 everyday for all the family for three courses including baked brie in butter pastry for starter, the Grosvenor beef and pork burger with bacon, cheese and homemade tomato relish, and their ‘cheesecake of the moment’ made fresh that day.
Within nine months of opening, The Orangery was awarded three AA rosettes and has fast become one of the best finedining restaurants in the North of England.
After feasting, step over to the bar for a drink to ward away the winter chill. The cinema is screening the timeless Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, throughout every day of the holiday season.
Rockcliffe Hall also plays host to The Cocktail Bar which is the perfect place to finish off your evening. With modern twists on classic cocktails and inventions of their own, Rockcliffe Hall’s mixologists have created a extensive menu full of sophisticated liquors and fun flavours to be enjoyed in the warm atmosphere of luxurious bar area.
However, if Christmas cheer is what you’re after, the café offers a choice of two or three course meals in the lead up to the big day. Their menus feature winter favourites such as spiced fennel and potato soup with croutons for starter and a slow cooked blade of beef with horseradish mash, root vegetables and a rich red wine gravy for main. They also have a Christmas Day menu of three courses with a choice of starter, roast dinner with two of the succulent roast meats and a sumptuous dessert.
The end of Christmas in Glasgow means the city is gearing up for Hogmanay. The Grosvenor plays an important role in Ashton Lane’s infamous end of the year party. You can grab dinner in the café before the festivities officially start or sign up for the Grosvenor’s drink deal, which will keep you with a drink in hand for the entire evening. Enjoy the live music, DJs, and fireworks as you ring in the New Year with local Glaswegians and the Grosvenor.