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Home cooking

TV chef Simon Rimmer at the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A true Italian experience

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

chef’s table


Simon’ssimpleTVdinners JadeWrightcatches upwithSomething fortheWeekendstar, Merseysidechef SimonRimmer


S ONE of Merseyside’s most celebrated chefs, it’s a surprise that Simon Rimmer hasn’t worked with the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival before. “Yes, I’m not really sure why,” he ponders. “But I’m making up for it this year. I’m really excited to be home. “I’ve been all over the world this year doing demos, from the Caribbean to, well, Sefton Park. And as nice as it is to see the world, the home ones are my favourite, because I can be a bit cheekier. People understand my sense of humour here. “Plus, my mum and dad come and see me. Sometimes I wonder why. I always tell the same three jokes. And my mum doesn’t like one of those – she says it’s too rude! But they’re really supportive and they always come down to cheer me on. I’m very lucky.” Simon, 48, is always in demand for demos at festivals – and as a good TV chef, the Something For The Weekend co-presenter makes sure that the dishes he makes are simple enough for people to make. “I’d say about a six or a seven out of 10 in terms of difficulty,” he explains. “Any tougher than that and I can’t talk properly while I’m making it. Ask my mates, I love to talk, so I always make sure I’ve got the opportunity to have a good old chit chat while I’m cooking away.” The advantage of being a celebrity chef, he says, is being used to cooking up a storm in awkward spaces. “I’ve done demos in a number of kitchens where you do quite elaborate food on minimal equipment with not much room,” he says. “The key is to think it through in advance. Consider, ‘How would I make this dish in a small space, not in my own kitchen?’ And if you can’t work it out, don’t do it!” He also tries to show the crowd a variety of techniques. “It has to be visual,” he explains. “So I try to mix it up a bit. Also, I try to do as many things as possible that I can make in real time. It’s no fun if it’s all ‘here’s one I made earlier’.” As well as his TV work, Simon still has his two restaurants – Green’s in Didsbury, Manchester, and Earle in Hale, Cheshire. “It’s funny,” he laughs. “But some customers are genuinely surprised when they see me in the kitchen. I don’t know what they must think I do when I’m not on the telly. Maybe they think I just put my name to it. But no, I’m in the kitchen of one or the other most of the week. I really enjoy it. That was why I got into the business, so I couldn’t sit back and let someone else do all the hard work.” I ask if he’d be tempted to drive a

Simon Rimmer hard at work in the kitchen


Simon’sfavouriterecipes POACHED SALMON WITH POTATO ROSTI (serves 4) Ingredients 2 large baking potatoes Salt and pepper 4 x 150g salmon fillets Water and lemon juice to poach For the salsa: 1 small red bird’s-eye chilli, chopped 20 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters 1tbsp coriander, chopped 1/2 ripe avocado, cut into small cubes 1tbsp sherry vinegar 4tbsp olive oil Method Peel the potatoes and grate coarsely, adding lots of seasoning. Mould into round, 1cm-thick, flat ’rostis’,

then fry over a medium heat for four minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper. For the salsa, simply combine all the ingredients (although leave the avocado until just before serving). For the fish, bring the water and lemon juice to the boil, turn down to a simmer, pop in the fish and poach for about around eight minutes. Serve by sitting a piece of salmon on top of a rosti and spoon over some refreshing salsa. Garnish with lime wedges and coriander leaves.

bit further down the M62 and open a restaurant in Merseyside. “I’d love to,” he says, ruefully. “But I just can’t at the moment. I’d be spreading myself too thinly with the other places. I’d end up with three just about OK restaurants, whereas at the moment I’d say I’ve got two that I’m pleased with. “I couldn’t just put my name to somewhere and not be hands-on. I know some chefs do, but I’m too

LAMB MADRAS (serves 4) For the paste: 1 clove garlic 25mm piece ginger, grated 3 red chillies 1tsp cinnamon 1tsp ground cumin 1tsp ground coriander Pinch of turmeric 50ml malt vinegar 50ml water For the marinade: 1tsp black peppercorns, crushed 3 green chillies 100ml malt vinegar 50ml red wine (optional) 2tsp sugar 4 cardamom pods 4 cloves Salt

much of a control freak. I’d need to be there to see it with my own eyes. I’d need to be there to keep standards up. If I had time, I genuinely would, because nothing would make me prouder. But for now, I can’t. “Plus, when I’m in Liverpool, I always eat at my mum’s – she’s a cracking cook. “That’s my favourite place to eat in Merseyside. “And if we do eat out in Liverpool,

For the rest: 500g lamb shoulder 1 finely sliced onion 200g cubed potatoes Oil to fry To make the paste, chop everything, then mix well. For the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, add the lamb and marinate for at least 20 minutes. Fry the onion until soft, add the paste and cook for five minutes. Add the lamb and marinade (you may need a little water too). Cook covered for at least 40 minutes. Add potatoes and cook for 20 minutes until soft. Serve with plain boiled rice and garnish with coriander.

there are loads of good places to choose from. When I’m in town I see new restaurants popping up all the time. But I’m a creature of habit so I tend to go to the same place though – the London Carriageworks. I love Paul Askew’s food and I’ve never had a bad meal in there, so when I’m in town, I take the family (Simon has two children, Florence, 13 and Hamish, 8, with wife Ali).” As a family, they eat healthily.

“The kids love all sorts of food and I try to encourage them to eat their vegetables. “But I don’t believe in hiding them in their food – I think it’s important for them to be able to taste them. They love all sorts – curry, steak – they’ll try anything.” It’s been a busy few weeks for Simon – he’s also done the Southport Flower Show. “It was nice to do the Southport show. I was a teacher at Southport Art College, it was a great job and the kids were great. I used to live in the Winter Garden Terrace but it’s all been demolished now. The Cheshire Lines used to be my local, you’d always find me in there on a Monday night.” Before Simon stumbled into the food industry, he lectured in textile art. “I’ve worked as a waiter before and I decided I was going to open up my own restaurant,” he says. “I put it down to youthful arrogance rather than actual skill. I taught myself how to cook. I think a lot of people do. “Nowadays it's great to see the enthusiasm people have for food. We're still suffering from three generations of adults that were never taught to cook properly. We turn to junk food and ready meals because often we don't realise how easy it is to make things from scratch. “But thanks to the food festivals and the TV shows, it seems like the tide is turning. Hopefully our children’s generation will be the ones who really enjoy cooking again.”


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

food and drink festival

Cityallsettohonourfav Orange and pine nut sausage rolls RECIPE from Rhubarb and Custard (serves 4) Ingredients: 500g sausage meat 1 pack of puff pastry 20g toasted pine nuts 1 apple grated 1/2 orange (zest) 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons fennel seeds 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley 1 egg beaten Salt & pepper

top of the sausage meat Continue rolling until sausage shape achieved Egg wash the last bit of pastry so it sticks together. Cut the log into four sections creating four sausage rolls. Egg wash the top of the

sausage rolls then sprinkle with the fennel seeds Bake at 180 degrees (gas mark 4 or 5) in a preheated oven for 30 minutes until golden brown and puffed up. Serve with side salad and selection of relishes.

International & Modern British Cuisine

Method: Mix the sausage meat with the apple, orange, pine nuts, flat leaf parsley, salt and pepper. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured bench, then egg wash and sprinkle with the ground cinnamon. Roll the sausage into shape on the bottom of the pastry until covering side to side. Roll the pastry over the


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JadeWright meetstheteambehindthe



T HAS to be every chef ’s worst nightmare. Cooking for the best restaurateurs in the city is always going to be a daunting task. But add to that next Monday’s Liverpool Food and Drink Festival Awards aren’t even in a conventional restaurant, and it makes it all the trickier. But there’s method in the madness, as Denise Harris, managing director of SK Events, the organisers of the awards, explains: “We’ve spent the last few months looking for new alternative venues for the awards dinner and our brief this year was to find something that was completely empty, allowing for the team to use our creativity and produce something that really is unique. “Options included an empty hangar, a former warehouse and a large space within one of the city’s main cathedrals. “We finally went for The Camp and Furnace (formally know as the A Foundation) because it is an amazing open plan building that has a lot of history to it – as it has previously been used as an art gallery, for national photo shoots and for the Liverpool Biennial. “We have been able to use our own catering, we can dress the venue however we like and we get to use our preferred suppliers – it’s all very exciting.” Of course, it also helps that it’s on neutral territory, so that none of the nominees have an advantage over the others. Categories for the 2011 awards, held in association with the Daily Post, include Liverpool’s Favourite Producer, Favourite Independent Cafe/Coffee Shop, Liverpool’s Favourite Restaurant and Liverpool’s Favourite Bar or Pub. “This is a long awaited awards night for the restaurants and bars in the city and they truly deserve the recognition,” adds Denise. “It has gone from strength to strength and we’ve never received so many votes from the general public in such a short space of time – the support from everyone, including the Daily Post, has been overwhelming. “The fact that the night has become a sell out in just four weeks is fantastic as it clearly shows that we have got the backing of the food and drink industry in Liverpool who welcome their own industry awards “The combination of this quirky venue, carefully crafted menu and celebrity musical accompaniment will create a unique experience that will give a new meaning to celebrating the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival Awards.” The chef charged with feeding the best chefs in town is Steven Burgess, who runs Crosby-based catering company Rhubarb and Custard. But it seems he’s not nervous about cooking for his gourmet clients. “As a company, Rhubarb and Custard is used to catering for large numbers,” explains Steven, 25. “Obviously there will be some pressure but nothing we aren’t used to or anything we can’t deal with – it's part of the job.” Steven, who has worked in restaurants, gastro pubs and catering companies across the city, has turned his skills and knowledge into delivering an outside catering business using the best local produce and hired chefs.

Denise Harris of SK Events

"It's important that the festival dinner has a celebratory feel – after all it is a celebration of the region's finest food and drink. "The idea behind a picnic is for guests to be interactive, for people to pick and choose their favourites from a hamper on their table and by doing so discuss the food and explain why they like it. It's a bit of an ice breaker in some ways but I'm hoping it will trigger some great discussions and be a lot of fun. "There will be hot food alongside some tasty dishes such as homemade pork pies, sausage rolls, potted shrimps from Southport, Scotch eggs filled with black pudding, shallot and goat's cheese tartlets, apple and cheddar coleslaw, and beetroot salad with orange and chives washed down with homemade lemonade. “I was delighted that Rhubarb and Custard were chosen for this event. Cooking for so many other chefs and food experts is a genuine privilege. Everyone involved is really excited.” The service on the night will be provided by the De Vere Academy of Hospitality, a unique training company with three Merseyside centres – in Kirkdale, Liverpool and at Tranmere Rovers in Wirral. “The academy trains young people in professional cookery and customer service within two apprenticeship programmes,” explains Kellie Rixon, Managing Director of the De Vere Academy of Hospitality. Guests can expect to be treated to excellent service – customer care is key at the academies, and students leave with high standards. “In our business, it is the only thing that matters,” says Kellie. “ It is not a question of whether it was good or bad, it can only be whether it was good or great. The British had never been synonymous with hospitality but I truly believe with the new breed of talent, the growth of the industry and the upcoming events which will be hosted here we are quickly becoming champions of great British hospitality. “Both apprenticeships are designed to have the perfect balance between training in the classrooms, practical sessions and real work experience in well known hospitality establishments in the area. “Nowadays hospitality is more than just working in a restaurant or hotel. It is important to get the real work experience of what is currently happening in the industry – food festivals, awards, culinary theatres and live food demonstrations.” The team will be waiting on and serving the meal to guests, showing how much their apprentices have learnt. “We will have six or seven members of staff and 30 customer services apprentices on the night,” says Kellie. “Our apprentices also helped at the festival launch. They were prepping for the celebrity chefs that demonstrated on stage and helping the exhibitors whenever needed. From there we were asked to get involved with the awards as well, and our apprentices are very proud to be offered this opportunity.” It will be a proud night for Kellie, as well as her apprentices. “To me it is a homecoming,” she says. I was born and bred in Liverpool. I’m proud to bring my business to this fantastic


Tuesday, September 6, 2011



cupboard love BE INSPIRED and let children’s imaginations run wild with the new range of junior baking products from Renshaw. Their Juniors’ Cool Coloured and Funky Flavoured Sugardoughs is great fun - it entertained our testers for hours. From £1.39, at Asda and Morrisons. TIME your tea to perfection with ProCook’s new glass teapot. With an integral glass handle and an inner stainless steel mesh basket in which to place loose tea or bags, it allows you to view the steeping of your tea to your preferred strength so you can enjoy it at its best. £12 from

Steven Burgess, of Rhubarb and Custard

BRING a little love into your life with this pretty silver plated Amour Toast Rack (£29.95) from Culinary Concepts at John Lewis in Liverpool One. Holding up to four slices of toast, this delicate heart toast rack is the perfect way to serve your loved one that romantic breakfast in bed.

David’s Diary

With a background working in of some of the most exclusive venues in the country David Gillmore has been the executive chef of the multiple AA Rosette winning Lawns Restaurant for over a year. In that time he has created a selection of delicious and indulgent menus suited to all occasions. “I chose these dishes for their seasonality. Now is that transitional time between summer and autumn so I wanted to illustrate that in my menu.

city that I’m so passionate about, it has such a rich hospitality heritage. “We’re not just training people for our own businesses. We’re putting something back in the industry and these awards are the perfect opportunity for our young people to understand where Liverpool is now situated in UK. Hopefully they will realise that hospitality is a great industry to work in. It’s not just something you do while you’re in your 20s – it’s a career you can develop and that can take you wherever you want to go. “Liverpool has always been a fantastic place to eat and drink but since the creation of Liverpool One I believe that this city will become truly a destination for food. The plethora of award winning chefs in the region is a true testimony to our culinary roots and warmth of welcome.” ■ The Liverpool Food and Drink Awards takes place on Monday September 12.

Keeping in mind the clean flavours of the summer that compliment rather than overpower I added a more hearty touch for the autumn which tied in the two seasons nicely. Also, early September is the best time of year for wild mushrooms such as Scottish Girolles, Chantrelles and the tender woody tasting Cepes, so I wanted to take advantage of that. As the mushrooms are a perfect complement to most meat and fish dishes I chose to feature the fillet of brill because it is a more meaty fish but light and flavoursome whilst the oxtail adds that subtle braised flavour that is very fulfilling.

Kellie Rixon, Managing Director of the De Vere Academy of Hospitality

Finally, I decided the chocolate mousse would be the perfect end to the meal as it offers the fresh tangy taste of the sorbet yet has a satisfying indulgent side with the chocolate - a great symbol of the two seasons.”

Dishes selected from The Lawns à la carte Summer M enu: Cured Salmon, Jersey Royal Potatoes & 55 Minute Egg Yolk. Wine suggestion: Ma ison Champy, Chablis 1er cru Burgu ndy, France 2008 Fillet of Brill, Wild Mushr ooms, Wirral Oxtail & Parsle y Pearls. Wine suggestion: Gevrey Chambertin “Vielles Vignes” Franc e 2007 Milk Chocolate Mouse , Passion Fruit and Yogurt Sorbe t. Wine suggestion: Lau rent Perrier Demi Sec

Contact: The Lawns Restaurant at Thornton Hall Hotel, Neston Road, Thornton Hough, Wirral. CH63 1JF Tel: 0151 336 3938


Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Taste the difference

eating out

JadeWrightsamples thenewtastingmenu atTheLawns restaurant,atthe ThorntonHallhotel


HERE’S a moment in Brideshead Revisited, the moment in fact of Charles and Sebastian’s first meeting, in which Sebastian disgraces himself through an open window. But, as he says, “The wines were too various, it was neither the quality nor the quantity that was at fault. It was the mixture.” Thankfully, our visit to Thornton Hall did not lead to such disgrace, but as my boyfriend and I stumbled out into the night air in our inebriated, sated states, we pointed the finger at the variety of wines we’d tried that night. Looking back, it was the quantity too. The nine course tasting menu is accompanied by as many large glasses of wine. Each is a beautiful accompaniment to the food it is served with, but I now realise that we should have been less enthusiastic in our drinking and not tried to finish every one. The problem was that each was so good. We started with a glass of Champagne, the perfect beginning to our tasting adventure, and waited excitedly for the amuse bouche to arrive. It was a great take on that most holy of pub matrimonies, a pint of lager and a packet of crisps. The bouche had the distinct flavour of lager, while the purple crisps got the appetite going for the (many) main events. This was followed by a glass each of Pinot Noir, from Maison Champy, one of my favourite wines. It was superb, with good depth, oak flavours and mouth clinging soft tannin. I was almost too distracted by it to eat my first starter from the vegetarian tasting menu - a salad of pickled carrots. Admittedly, it didn’t sound particularly promising, but the tarragon and raisin dressing was excellent, and the dish was beautifully presented. Across the table, my boyfriend was eyeing the belly pork suspiciously. He’s been overwhelmed with it on a recent trip to China, and vowed never to eat it again, but the meat was succulent and tender, and the characteristic rind was crunchy and well seasoned, to the point that he ate the whole lot, and enjoyed every bite. The accompanying squash, pickled shitaake mushroom and curry spice complemented the meat perfectly. A promising start. Another course, another glass of wine. This time a glass of Pernand Vergelesses white Burgundy, with a fine bright colour, and flavours of honey and hazelnuts. It worked well with the scallops, next up, which were some of the best my boyfriend had ever tried. They melted in the mouth, and were complemented well by the cauliflower purée they nestled on top of. Again, he polished off the lot, despite the generous portion. The vegetarian menu offered a

The dining room at The Lawns, left; and, above, the bar

Dining details THE Lawns Restaurant, Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa, Neston Road, Thornton Hough, Wirral. CH63 1J Telephone: 0151 336 3938. Open: 12-2.30pm for lunch and 7-9.30pm for dinner Interior: Delightfully grand Service: Friendly, polite and knowledgeable about the menu Value: Fair, for the quality and quantity of the food and wine. Bill: £180 for two, including all that wine . . .

dish entitled egg and soldiers – a slow cooked egg yolk, crispy potato and sweetcorn in two styles. It was an imaginative choice, and I enjoyed the combination of flavours and textures. At some restaurants, vegetarian tasting menus can be an afterthought, but the Lawns chef, David Gillmore, showed a playful flair for meat-free cooking that really impressed me. Similarly, the wine and food matching was excellent. Our next glass was a fresh, bright Chablis, which worked well with my favourite dish – big square pieces of parmesan gnocchi, served with a creamy butternut squash puree and parsley pearls. Each pearl was like an edible bath bead, filled with a delicious parsley reduction. I could happily have eaten a bowl full of this dish, and again, the portions were generous. So generous, that by this point my boyfriend and I were both starting to flag. I started to tip

The chef showed a playful flair for meat-free cooking

the last third of each glass of wine into his – I just couldn’t keep up. His menu had delivered slow-cooked brill. While its accompaniment of wild mushroom, oxtail and more of the parsley pearls was flavoursome, the fish itself didn’t have much to flavour to it, although it was cooked to perfection. This was the only dish he left any of on his plate. After a short rest, the next wine arrived, a decade-old Château Trapaud, Grand Cru 2001, from St-Emillion in Bordeaux. It was full of body, and pleasingly smooth, with a good balance between fruit and oak. On the main menu, it was served with Cheshire lamb, which my boyfriend adored. The meat was beautifully tender, pink inside and not at all fatty. It was a quality cut, and worked in perfect harmony with the onion purée and goat’s cheese, which my boyfriend said he wouldn’t have thought of as an accompaniment to lamb. But then he’s not a top chef – yet.

My menu offered goat’s cheese ravioli, with red pepper crumb, black olives and herb oil. I’m not a fan of goat’s cheese, but the dish was well executed, and the crumb was delicious. By this point, because of the generous portions, and all the wine, it was becoming hard to finish each dish. But there were still two more courses to go. Two glasses of Sauternes dessert wine arrived, along with chilled chocolate fondant, with passion fruit and iced yoghurt. Again, both were delicious. I have to admit that the surreptitious notes I was writing about each dish became somewhat confused after this point. The words “the best” appear repeatedly, although I can’t be sure what they relate to. By this point we were very full. My boyfriend was close to tears when he spotted the cheese being wheeled out, and that’s usually his favourite part of any meal. This was a shame, because the selection was really very good. I opted for pieces of

Normandy’s brie-like Brillat-Savarin, Tunworth from Hampshire and a mature Coastal Cheddar. They were all excellent. He can’t remember what he had. I think that says it all. The night wouldn’t have been complete without another glass - a late bottled vintage port. Again, it was delicious, but by this point we’d had so much it was probably wasted on us. The food, on the whole, was stunning, and with the wine the value for money was good. Some of the portions would have been passable as a main course in their own right at any upmarket restaurant. The wines accompanying each course were also extremely generously poured, and by the end of nine courses and as many wines, one could be forgiven for not remembering what one had eaten. But the quality guaranteed this was a meal not to be forgotten, overwhelming in more ways than one. Nine ways, in fact.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

fast food



best bar none: Hanover Street Social


CE creams, salty snacks and fizzy drinks can start to dominate a family’s diet during the summertime. But with autumn peeping over the horizon and a new term underway, it’s time to get everyone eating their five-a-day once more. The innocent team will be out on the road in their HGV (Hungry Grassy Van) durng the month of September to show that fast food needn’t be naughty Anna Jones, the chef behind these recipes and the accompanying cookbook Hungry, says when working out what to feed your kids, a good rule of thumb is to half fill their plates with fruit and veg, and split the other half between starchy and protein-based foods, such as rice and fish. Here are some meals and snacks to get your family’s mouths watering... HONEY AND CINNAMON POPCORN (serves 2) Ingredients A splash of vegetable oil, sunflower or groundnut oil 2 handfuls of popcorn kernels 4tbsp runny honey A pinch of ground cinnamon Find a big pan with a lid. Add a tiny splash of oil and the popcorn kernels. Put the lid on and cook over a very low heat. At first you won’t hear a thing, but once the popping starts, keep giving the pan a gentle shake every minute or so until the noise stops. Then turn off the heat. In another pan, heat the honey and cinnamon over a low heat for a couple of minutes. Put the popcorn on to a large baking tray and pour over the honey mixture. Give the tray a good shake and stir with a spoon to make sure it’s well coated. Pop the tray back into the oven for three to five minutes, to set the honey, then remove and leave to cool. Once cooled, either serve in little bowls straight away or keep in an airtight tin for up to a week, and have some sandwich bags ready for when you next pop out! l HOME-MADE TORTILLA CHIPS AND SALSA DIP (serves 2) For the chips: 8 flour tortillas (you can also use wraps or pitta breads) Drizzle of olive oil 1tsp smoked paprika Salt, if needed For the Salsa Dip:

Home-made tortilla chips and salsa dip

Hanover Street Social is the newest bar and restaurant in the city’s burgeoning food and drink quarter

Build your own burgers are tasty, filling and fun 4 ripe tomatoes 2 spring onions A small bunch of coriander ½ red chilli, deseeded Juice of ½ a lime Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper Preheat your oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4. Cut each tortilla into 8 triangles and place them on a couple of baking trays. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with smoked paprika and toss the chips to make sure they’re all coated. Add a pinch of salt if you like. Bake for 10 minutes, until crispy, then remove from the oven. To make your salsa, roughly chop the tomatoes, spring onions, coriander and chilli on a big board. Using a large knife, sweep and chop them all together until well diced. Place in a bowl. Squeeze over the lime juice, drizzle with olive oil, season and mix together. Taste to see if the flavours are balanced, and add a bit more lime, oil or salt if you think it’s needed. Alternatively, if you’re really short of time, you can bung the whole lot into a food processor and whizz until chunky. Serve with the tortilla chips. BUILD-YOUR-OWN BURGERS (serves 4) For the burgers: Drizzle of olive oil 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 1tsp English mustard 50g Cheddar cheese, grated Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped 2 handfuls of breadcrumbs 1 free-range egg 500g lean minced beef 4 bread rolls For the topping: 3 tomatoes, sliced Handful of round lettuce leaves Handful of gherkins, chopped Heat a pan over a medium heat, add a splash of olive oil and cook the onion and garlic for about 10 minutes, until soft. Put the onion and garlic mix into a big bowl and leave to cool. Beat the

egg and then add it – along with the mustard, cheese, chopped parsley, breadcrumbs and minced beef – to the onion and garlic. Use your hands to mix it all together, then divide the mixture into four and get everyone to shape their burgers. Before you start shaping, wash your hands and then wet them in cold water to stop the mix sticking to your fingers. Take a blob of burger mix, then shape and mould it round and round into a burger shape. Flatten it out to about 1.5cm thick it’ll shrink a bit during cooking. Once shaped and flattened, pop your burgers into the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up. Heat a dry frying or griddle pan until it’s nice and hot. Cook the burgers for four minutes or so on each side, until they’re cooked through, and pop them on to a plate covered with foil, to keep warm until they’re all ready. Wipe out the pan, pop it back on the heat and toast your buns. Then put your toppings on to plates and lay everything out on the table. Let everyone build their own burgers! RAINBOW CHIPS (serves 4) Ingredients 1 carrot 1 parsnip 1 potato 2 sweet potatoes 1 large beetroot 1 courgette Drizzle of olive oil Salt and pepper Preheat your oven to 220ºC/Gas Mark 6. Peel the carrot and parsnip, and scrub the potato, sweet potatoes and beetroot. Cut all the vegetables, including the courgette, into long chip-shaped pieces. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the carrot, parsnip, potato and sweet potatoes, bring back to the boil, and cook for about five minutes. Drain and leave to drip dry in a colander. Lay all the vegetables on a baking tray (use two if necessary). Drizzle with olive oil, season well with salt and pepper, and toss until the veg are well coated. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown and crispy round the edges. Serve with ketchup.

THERE’S something special about a cocktail or two that can make any occasion into an event. After a hectic bank holiday weekend covering the Wirral Food and Drink and Mathew Street festivals, I booked last Friday off, and headed to the newest bar in town for lunch with one of my best friends. Taking one look at Hanover Street Social’s impressive drinks list, and remembering what a busy week we’d both had, we resolved that cocktails were in order. I couldn’t resist a Bramble (£5.75), a heady and beautifully sweet combination of Hendricks gin, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup and creme de cassis – served over crushed ice. But beware, it’s deceptive – the flavours work so well together that it’s easy to forget the alcohol content. Lisa ordered a classic Bellini (£6), an old favourite, served in a large Champagne flute. She was impressed – it had the perfect balance between the sweet Prosecco, the tart peach puree and the tangy peach schnapps. Hanover Street Social is the sister venue to the popular Salt House Tapas, which it sits diagonally opposite, next to The Hub. It’s a corner of the city which has enjoyed a renaissance over the last couple of years, with independent restaurants and shops popping up in the beautiful old buildings. The decor in Hanover Street Social is classically French – reflecting its ethos of being both a brasserie and a bar. As a former waitress and barmaid I can’t help but judge any venue on the standard of its toilets – always a good indication of the cleanliness of the kitchen and the way the drinks are kept. This place scores well – the ladies is big, bright and shiny clean, with good handwash and throwaway towels to dry your hands. But back to the drinks. If beer is your bag, there’s plenty to choose from – with Dortmunder (£3.90 a pint) and Budvar Dark (£4.50 a pint) on draft, and a good selection of world beers by the bottle, ranging from £2.95 for Sol to £4.10 for Alhambra Reserva. There’s a good selection of wines too, most of which can

be ordered by the glass. I chose a Emiliana Reserva Chilean pinot noir (£5.65) and Lisa opted for the Moutard Prestige rose Champagne (£8.50). The pinot noir was superb, with smooth red fruit aromas, subtle tannins and a crisp, clear flavour. I could happily have sipped the afternoon away with glass after glass of the stuff. Similarly, the rose was a big hit – a delicate salmon pink colour, with a light, almost raspberry, flavour. There’s a good value set menu, which offers two courses for £8.95 or £11.50 for three, and a full a la carte menu. The vegetarian platter (£5.50) went perfectly with our wine, or if you wanted something more formal, the scallops with pea puree and Bayonne ham (£8.95) comes highly recommended. The Gordal olives (£2.65) were some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Mains range from £8.50-£16.50, with side dishes coming in at the £2.50 mark. All in all, it’s good value, with hearty portions and excellent quality ingredients. Like Salt House Tapas, the chefs here pride themselves on the provenance of the food, and it shows. But we had cocktails on our minds, so we ordered our friendly waitress’ recommendation – an elderflower Bramble (£5.75 each). It’s not on the menu yet, she said, but if you ask they’ll make one up with gin, elderflower liqueur, sugar syrup and fresh lime. It was our favourite of the three – a refreshing combination of flowers and fruit, lightly sweet and tart on the nose. We would happily have drunk our way through the whole menu, but this was a weekday lunchtime, so we resolved to come back soon and try the rest. Hanover Street Social has been open a just week, but already customers are drifting in, and if our visit was anything to go by, it’ll soon have a loyal following of regulars. I’ll certainly drink to that. ■ Hanover Street Social, 16-20 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 4AA, 0151 709 8784 www.hanover Opening Times: 7.30am until late.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011



SATURDAY’S 6.00pm – 10.30pm

Enjoy the final rays of summer on our gorgeous terrace, dine in style or just enjoy the chilled vibe at our Live Music Saturdays here at your local neighbourhood bar and bistro.

Join local live music supremo

Gerry Murphy

for some laid back Saturday grooves…

DRINK of delicious ‘Aiden style’ tapas, a bottle & DINE of beer or a glass of wine for just...

Enjoy the music in style with a selection

19 Black Horse Hill, West Kirby, Wirral CH48 6DS

0151 625 4525


Monday to Thursday - Midday to 11.00pm | Friday to Saturday - Midday to Midnight | Sunday - Midday to 10.00pm

Menu - Food & Drink Guide - September 2011  

8-page Food & Drink guide from the Liverpool Daily Post

Menu - Food & Drink Guide - September 2011  

8-page Food & Drink guide from the Liverpool Daily Post