Thursday, 18 January 2018

DOWN THE HATCH LIVERPOOL (MATTYB RECOMMENDS)



I used to love going to the old Le Bataeu club on Duke Street when I was younger (we were over 18 obviously!) so nostalgia meant I was very sad to see it close down a few years ago. This sadness was quickly replaced with excitement however once I found out that it's basement would be taken over by Down The Hatch, Liverpool's very first real veggie/vegan junk food restaurant. It was about time that Liverpool city centre got it's very own modern meat free venue and last week was when we finally got round to being able to booking a table and giving it a try after all the Christmas and new year madness.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

AMAZING ARMENIAN NUTMEG CAKE



It was with great trepidation that I made this nutmeg cake. Nutmeg can be such an strong spice if it's used too much and I just thought that 2 teaspoons of the stuff in a cake batter would be too overwhelming. I was wrong! The nutmeg flavor becomes muted and you are left with a deliciously spiced sponge which invokes the spirit of Christmas with it gorgeous aroma. A traditional Armenian cake, its a little different as it has a biscuit like crust on the top which is such a good idea as it adds a bit of texture to the bake. It's also incredibly simple to make. Bonus!

Saturday, 13 January 2018

STICKY AND SWEET MUSHROOM BAO BUNS



Asian cuisine is my absolute favorite and I love trying to create my restaurant favorites at home too. Last weekend I decided to try and make some of my own bao buns. I discovered a recipe by "£1 meals" chef Miguel Barclay for a no fuss yeast free bao bun and adapted them to create this vegetarian friendly version stuffed with sweet and sticky mushrooms which have been fried in honey, soy, garlic and five spice. As they don't need yeast, these bao buns are foolproof and can be whipped up in less than one hour. 

Friday, 12 January 2018

TRATTORIA CAPRICCIO, DUBROVNIK (MATTYB RECOMMENDS)



For the last day of our holiday to Croatia we decided to spend the night in Dubrovnik to really take in the sights rather than just passing through on the way to the airport as we had done last year. There are hundreds of restaurants up and down the alleyways of the old town so it can be quite overwhelming trying to decide on one place to go and eat. After consulting Tripadvisor we decided to head over to Italian restaurant Trattoria Capriccio located behind the aquarium on the east side of the city. Being highly rated on Tripadvisor we had high hopes as we headed over late to take in one last meal in this beautiful country.

PERFECT CITRUSY POLENTA BICCIES




These have to be the best biscuits I've ever made. Yup, I'm going to open with that line. It's true though, these polenta based biscuits which are flavored with fresh lemon and clementine juice and zest are to die for. They look amazing with their little cracked tops and they have the most incredible texture of any biscuit I've ever made thanks to the addition of the polenta into the dough mix. I was in love on first bite and quite frankly I don't see a reason why I would ever have to buy a shop bought biscuit ever again!

Saturday, 6 January 2018

THE RETURN OF OUR PERFECT NUT ROAST



We loved our nut roast when we made it a couple of Christmases ago but then we neglected it! This year however we resurrected this old favorite and it was still as good as we remembered. So much better than a shop bought nut roast, this mixture of herb and garlic mushrooms and nuts is bound together with rice and cottage cheese to make a beautifully plump and moist roast that is perfect not just for Christmas but for the whole year. It’s even got a good glug of wine in it for good luck. Who could resist that?

Friday, 5 January 2018

RED HOT RICELLA SALSA



So as with every Christmas I got a great selection of new cookbooks as presents. Two of my favorites were Nigella Lawson's new offering and Rick Stein's Road To Mexico. Both are fabulous and both also contained a recipe for a roast tomato salsa. I didn't know which one to try first so I decided to bang both the recipe's together to create a "Ricella" salsa (see what I did there!). I've taken the red peppers from Nigella's recipe and combined them with the lime and coriander leaves from Rick's and the combination really works well.

Monday, 1 January 2018

HANDMADE NO FRILLS GORGEOUS GUACAMOLE




Now I know I’ve already posted a recipe for guacamole before but this is my new take on the Mexican sauce to try and be a smidge more authentic having been inspired by Rick Stein's TV series about his road trip to Mexico. It’s a simple guacamole without any bells and whistles that you bash up using a pestle and mortar followed by a fork before seasoning to taste. No machines used here which is a good thing as your guacamole not only tastes better with its more interesting texture but also because you know you’ve put the effort in!