“Carbonara is one of the dishes that epitomises Italy’s cuisine. It’s simple, beautiful, and pure, but so easy to mess up.
When I was young my understanding of a carbonara was any pasta, sliced ham, mushrooms, double cream, and cheddar cheese. It wasn’t until 2002 when I was 20 years old and picked up a copy of Heston Blumenthal’s Family Food and read his recipe. Whilst it wasn’t 100% authentic it changed the way I thought about this dish, and I wanted to find out more. I fell in love with the technique of creating the rich sauce through the egg, cheese and pasta water. There is skill and discipline in getting it just right. Too much heat and it’s scrambled egg, not enough and it’s thin and raw tasting without the gloss.
The classic recipe calls for guanciale which is a cured pig cheek bacon that has a high ratio of fat. I get mine from Salt Pig Curing who are my favourite English charcutier company. Guanciale is hard to get hold of in this country so don’t guilt yourself if you have to use pancetta just get the best you can afford, and you will still produce a lovely dish.
This dish will be quite tricky for novices, but stick at it as practice makes perfect. For professionals, you will notice a little difference in this dish. Whilst I have full respect for the original, this method is slightly tweaked to get a better sauce.
I had read into this method and was inspired by visit my visit to Lucciano Cucina in Rome. Chef Luciano Monosilio is known as the carbonara king which is a very worthy title in my opinion. He uses the same ingredients apart from switching out some of the pecorino for grana padano, I agree that this gives a better flavour balance.
The key difference is that instead of making a paste of the cheese and egg yolk he makes almost a hollandaise style sauce using the egg yolks and cheese then whisks in them and guanciale fat. It was without doubt the best carbonara I have ever eaten I was so inspired by this I have done a similar technique below. This gives a more of a custardy kind of feel to the sauce. I will never make it another way now.”
We don’t know about you, but Paul Foster’s Carbonara is now our ONLY Carbonara!
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A few words from Paul…
“In the UK we tend to think of paella as a seafood rice dish. As tasty as that version is, the original comes from Valencia in Eastern Spain and contains chicken, rabbit, and snails but no seafood.
I like nothing more than eating a seafood paella full of fresh mussels, langoustines, prawns, and squid with a bottle of white wine by the coast, but as there are so many variations of this dish across Spain, I wanted to develop a recipe that fully respected its origins.
Eastern Spain is one of the most important rice growing regions in the country. 1200 years ago, rice was introduced to the Spanish moors and the farmers would cook rice in a pan over a wood fire to share for lunch.
For this dish its best to use the leg, shoulder and wing cuts as they don’t overcook and have a better texture. There are many stories about where the name paella is said to come from but the most likely is that it came from the name of the pan it is cooked and served in.
Once you have mastered the technique for a paella then you can experiment and adapt the ingredients. The key is the cooking of the rice… don’t be scared of keeping the heat high as that’s what builds the ‘socarrat’ which is the crust that forms on the bottom and sides of the pan, and in my opinion the best part of a good paella.”
Serves: 2 Medium skill
Ingredientsfor Paul Foster’s Valencia Style Paella
Paul brought us this game-licous recipe for Hay-Smoked Roe Deer, Red Fruits, Vegetables and Leaves. The smoked roe deer and red fruits have us dreaming of cosy autumnal nights, not to mention using hay to smoke the deer! It really is the epitome of modern British cooking. Paul says:
“this dish is perfect for a several reasons , its flavours come bang into season as we enter autumn here , it elevates great British ingredients such as red cabbage , blackberries and Beetroots and utilising the end of summer Hay crops.
Game is such a great ingredient and we have some of the best in this country , this dish showcases deer but many others can be used instead be it Mallard, wood pigeon or Hare, the use of blackberries can be added after the Elderberry season ends, preserving them when at there best allows for use through the winter.”
Written by Eliza
SMOKED ROE DEER
1 roe deer loin, cut into 4
2 handfuls of hay, dried
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
50g of butter
RED CABBAGE GEL AND POWDER
1 red cabbage, juiced to yield 500g juice (pulp reserved for the red cabbage powder)
To make the red cabbage gel, bring all of the ingredients to the boil in a medium-sized saucepan and allow to set on a tray in the fridge.
Once set, blend the jelly into a liquid gel, season and set aside until ready to plate
To hay-smoke the deer:
Trim the deer loin of any sinew. Place 2 handfuls of dried hay in a deep tray and light with a match. Once burnt out, place the loin on top, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for minimum of 2 hours
Preheat the water bath to 57°C
Remove the deer from the fridge and roll the loin in the burnt hay powder. Roll tightly in cling film and cook in the water bath for 20 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the water bath and remove the cling film
For the sauce:
To make the sauce, caramelise the shallots in the oil in a medium-sized saucepan. When golden, add the pepper, juniper and herbs, then deglaze with the vinegar. Reduce until the pan is almost dry, then add the port and reduce by a third
Add the wine, reduce by half, then add the chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with cling film and leave to infuse for a further 20 minutes
After this time, pass through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan. Return to the heat and reduce until a sauce consistency is achieved. Season to taste and set aside
For the vegetables and berries:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Wash and trim the baby beetroot then season and wrap in a single layer of foil. Bake for 30–45 minutes until tender. Leave to cool slightly and peel
For the macerated blackberries, bring the water, sugar, port and thyme to the boil in a saucepan and pour over the blackberries. Reserve
For the pickled beetroot, peel the beetroot and slice to a thickness of 2mm. Bring the pickling ingredients to the boil, then remove from the heat and chill. Pour the liquid over the beetroot and place in the fridge to pickle
Now prepare the salsify. Add the port, red wine and chicken stock to a saucepan and place over a medium heat with a pinch of thyme. Peel the salsify and poach in the liquid until tender. Remove the salsify and reduce the liquor by half to create the glaze. When ready to serve, pour the glaze over the salsify
Just before serving, heat a frying pan over a high heat with the butter and a dash of oil. Once hot, sear the loin on all sides until caramelised
Finish the sauce with the a dash of liquor from the blackberries just before serving and heat
To plate, slice the deer and give 3 slices per plate. Arrange the beetroot, salsify and pickled beetroot around the deer. Pipe dots of the cabbage gel and arrange pickled blackberries around the plate. Sprinkle the cabbage powder over the top and garnish with the beetroot leaves and puffed brown rice. Serve the warmed sauce on the side
Visiting Edinburgh for the Fringe this year? Or perhaps the famous Air Tattoo? Well, make sure you exploit this beautiful capital city’s impressive reputation as a foodie’s heaven and check out our top foodie picks.
With 4 Michelin starred restaurants, Edinburgh is full of must-visit places, from top restaurants to tiny hole-in-the-wall sandwich bars. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite for you but, of course, there will always be so many more…
For trendy, playful dishes and local ingredients, look no further. Fhior prides itself on an accessible culinary experience and even gives you the option not to see the menu! The amazing produce of Scotland is showcased in a seasonally changing menu with reasonable tasting menu pricing. You can have their 7 course dinner for £80 pp (plus paired wines for £60 pp) or 10 courses for £105 (plus paired wines for £85 pp).
Where: 36 Broughton Street, Edinburgh EH1 3SB
Vibe: Celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or 5* Edinburgh Fringe review!
For a great, reasonably priced tasting menu, look no further. This nook in the heart of Stockbridge describes itself as “all about, fresh local produce with a mix of old and new techniques using worldwide influences”. Head Chef, Paul Gunning, has worked internationally, from London to France and Australia. This is reflected in the modern, rustic and inventive menu. Featuring and showcasing local produce, a real highlight is the 5 or 7 course tasting menu. With the 7 course menu priced at £65.00 per person or £105.00 per person with Matching Wines and £130.00 Per Person with Premium Matching Wines, you can’t find much better than this for this quality of food.
If your budget has gone mainly on theatre tickets or sightseeing then definitely consider their fab set lunch menu. At just £16.95 fora two course set menu or £19.95 for a three course set menu, it’s available everyday Wednesday to Sunday. Reasonably priced wine pairings available.
Where: 33a St. Stephen Street, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH3 5AH
Vibe: A special date night or a holiday meal. Fit for an occasion but one that won’t break the bank!
The menu at Taisteal will have you ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ at flavour combinations you didn’t even know you thought you would want. Their current sample menu features exciting prospects like Pea and Jalapeno soup, Lobster Ravioli, Bisque with Mango Chilli Salsa, alongside classic pairings like Cured & Smoked Duck Breast with Duck Ragu, Sweet Potato & Cherry Jus, and Tonka Bean Creme Brulee.
Their tasting menu options are so reasonably priced that you’ll be rushing to book (remembering that they are closed on Sundays and Mondays and open from 5pm during the rest of the week.
The 5 course tasting menu is £45pp and the 7 course tasting menu is £55pp. Matching drinks are available for £28 or £35pp.
Where: 1 Forth Street, Edinburgh EH1 3JX
Vibe: Innovative, adventurous food that won’t break the bank
Located right on the choppy seafront, the team from Ondine bring you Newhaven’s Fishmarket. Featuring some of the freshest seafood you can get, rustic and packed full of flavour, the famous lobster thermidor (pictured) does not disappoint.
Where: 25 Pier Pl, Newhaven, Edinburgh EH6 4LP
Vibe: A relaxed lunch you’ll be dreaming about for weeks to come.
Architecturally impressive, this hidden gem lies just off Princes Street, a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Waverley Station. Highlights include freshly caught Scottish catches of the day and fresh produce from Loch Fyne. The cold and dressed oyster, ‘Macbeth’ toastie, and cocktails can’t be missed either!
Where: 19 W Register St, Edinburgh EH2 2AA
Vibe: Opulent in decor but not in price. Great for a pre-train journey snack or drink, which we do as a family tradition!
One of Edinburgh’s Michelin-starred restaurants, Condita offers a surprise tasting menu from chef Conor Toomey. If you’re an adventurous foodie and don’t mind the unknown then this could be perfect for you. The menu is £130 per person with paired wines for £70 pp. Make sure to reserve and note that they’re open Tuesday to Saturday evenings. Given the element of surprise, we can’t share much, but the Condita Instagram page will give you some mouth-watering insights on what could be in store if you book.
Where: 15 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SL
Vibe: Surprise! Adventurous foodies eat your hearts out.
The sister restaurant of Kora by Tom Kitchin, The Kitchin and The Bonnie Badger, this gastro pub boasts an impressive selection of spirits and whiskies, even by Scottish standards! Holding a Michelin Bib Gourmand, The Scran and Scallie is a friendly neighbourhood pub with incredible award-winning food and drink on offer.
Where: 1 Comely Bank Rd, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH4 1DR
Vibe: Rustic-chic and whiskies galore.
Ondine’s food is a fusion of Scottish produce and worldwide flavours, inspired by the global influence permeating Edinburgh since the first spice boats docked at the Port of Leith. The classic Fish Soup is married with North African saffron, orange, and Harissa based Rouille. Locally sourced fresh Dunbar crab in the Crab Risotto is paired with Spanish saffron and tarragon and Salt and Pepper Squid comes with a Vietnamese dipping sauce.
If these taste combinations appeal to you then you must book in at Ondine.
At El Cartel, you really do get a taste of Mexico. Each dish is made to order from scratch and even their tortillas are made from scratch each day, using traditional Masa Harina. Each dough ball is individually hand-pressed to make the tortilla shape. Having eaten at El Cartel, this attention to detail definitely shows! Even their hot sauce is made in house! There are also veggie and vegan options; the whole menu is very reasonably priced. El Cartel is owned by the Bon Vivant Group who also own one of our favourite bars in the city, The Devil’s Advocate, in the heart of the Old Town.
Where: 1, Roxburgh’s Court, 323 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1LW
Vibe: Solo buenos vibos! Whether it’s Margerita Monday or Tequila Tuesday! Lots of fun and authentic Mexican food.
Wedgwood was a fantastic location for Hogmanay dinner before midnight. Their produce is locally-sourced and the atmosphere is cosy, classy, and comforting. The ‘Wee Tour of Scotland’ tasting menu is £65.00 (£60.00 for vegetarian) and is packed full of delicious seafood dishes in particular.
If you’re interested in foraging and sustainable eating, Wedgwood also offer foraging tours in East Lothian followed by lunch at the restaurant for £125 pp. This sounds like a must-do for any foodie visiting the city!
Where: Royal Mile, 267 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BQ
Whether you’re performing in the Fringe and living scantily (but happily) off one meal a day, or if you’re looking for a hearty, quick lunch after climbing Arthur’s Seat, Bross Bagels is the place for you.
With a cornucopia of bagel options, there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for traditional Scottish flavours, try the McBross with haggis,smoked applewood, latke, caramelised onion chutney and Mama Bross’ Rock Sauce. If you’re after breakfast then The Goy will sort you out (bacon,fried egg, latke, smoked applewood cheese and Mama Bross’s Rock Sauce), or for a light, vegan any time snack, try The Hungry Vegan with smashed avo, cherry vine tomatoes, chilli oil and rock salt.
Where: 177 Portobello High Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH15 1EU; 72 Saint Stephen Street, Edinburgh EH3 5AQ; 4 Little King Street, Edinburgh EH1 3AR; 165a Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh EH10 4DG
Vibe: The best bagels in town… one of Grace Dent’s favourite snack stops.
Famous amongst Southerners as Rick Stein’s favourite Edinburgh pub, this nook really is a gem! With a great selection of wines, ales and the firm favourite locally brewed Innis & Gunn, it’s a great stop off for lunch, drinks or just if you need a rest!
Photo credit: Canny Man’s – www.cannymans.co.uk
Where: 237 Morningside Road, Edinburgh EH10 4QU
Vibe: An unforgettable spectacle in a down-to-earth traditional, Scottish environment.
Over the Easter weekend we were lucky enough to visit chef Jude Kereama’s flagship restaurant Kota in the heart of coastal Porthleven, Cornwall. It was a truly phenomenal culinary experience that went beyond its Michelin Bib Gourmand and 3 AA Rosettes.
If you want to extend your stay, Kota even has some gorgeous accommodation that can be found here and we thoroughly recommend exploring Porthleven and surrounding areas including Marazion (home to St Michael’s Mount!)
We did the 6-course Tasting Menu with paired wines and thoroughly reccomend. Here’s what we had…
Cocktails and Oysters
We kicked things off with some refreshing cocktails, one Yuzu Sake and Cucumber Martini (House infused wakame vodka, yuzu macerated sake, lime, sugar and cucumber), and one Kota Fizz (House infused cucumber vodka, elderflower liqueur, Prosecco, cucumber twist).
Now, when you’re eating in a harbour on the Cornish coast, you absolutely must have oysters (or we think so anyway!) We ordered two of each, one a Tempura with baby gem, wasabi tartare, and pickled cucumber and the other a Natural oyster with rice wine cucumber granita, ponzu lime dressing. We were advised by the staff to ‘chew’ the natural oyster rather than the traditional ‘down in one’ approach to oysters and boy was it a treat! The granita was such an intense burst of flavour it really brought the oyster and its flavours of the sea to life. And this was just the beginning…
The Miso Butter with the Amuse Bouche was another show-stealer and we could have had a whole starter portion of the soup which was zingy and had a great depth of flavour.
The first course was a Scallop with crispy onions, leeks and XO Sauce. I’m not sure I’ve had XO Sauce before and it was a real delight. Sweet and spicy, it lifted the scallop and was one of my favourite dishes of the night – such an inspired combination of flavours!
Venison Tartare & Katsu Panko Fish Goujon
We parted ways on this course and had one meat option and one pescatarian. The first was a venison tartare, hazelnuts, apple, celeriac, gochujang dressing and the pescatarian alternative was a Panko coated white fish goujon, katsu curry sauce, carrot & daikon pickle. The apple and celeriac cut through the naturally rich venison deliciously whilst the goujon was hands down the best fish goujon we’ve had!
The favourite dish of the menu was the Monkfish dish: Crispy Kataifi wrapped monkfish, hake, lemongrass, kafir lime leaf & coconut bisque, yuzu saffron mayo. The bisque was velvety, and to-die-for whilst the Kataifi wrapped monkfish was unlike anything we’ve seen before. Just as with the cocktail back at the beginning, yuzu was used in such an inventive way, elevating all the flavours.
Next was a Moorland dry aged sirloin, short rib, beets, and horseradish. Just look at the colours on that plate! We think it speaks for itself! Such incredible flavours…
Honey & almond cake
Ok, coming up is one of the most interesting (and delicious) things we’ve ever tasted. We’d not had it before but the goat’s cheese sorbet was fantastic. It wasn’t too sharp, the sorbet was soft, and it was the perfect accompaniment to a honey-based cake. The whole dish consisted of lemon, thyme & honey syrup, goats cheese sorbet, and a walnut crumb. As if this wasn’t the perfect ending to an amazing tasting menu, there was more…
This chocolate, hazelnut & cherry baked alaska was delightful. The mousse inside was so light and technically really impressive. Served with a 10 year-old Tawny Port, it was a magical ending to the menu. The cherries and crumb gave such a satisfying crunch – a real, indulgent treat!
Despite being very full, we still managed some delicious petit fours afterwards (see left).
All in all…
This is a meal we won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Jude’s team took such great care of us and we couldn’t recommend visiting Kota more. Check out the menu here and book now. There are lots of great options but if you can, go for the six course tasting menu. You won’t regret it!
Looking for a summery pud for your next date night dinner, sunday lunch, or dinner party? Look no further! Michelin Starred Hide Restaurant‘s Head Chef Josh Angus has created a super light and completely delicious dessert for you.
Butter a 20cm square tin. Stir the caster sugar and golden syrup together in a deep saucepan over a gentle heat until the sugar has melted. Try not to let the mixture bubble until the sugar grains have disappeared.
Once completely melted, turn up the heat a little and simmer until you have an amber coloured caramel (this won’t take long) add your pistachios at this point, then as quickly as you can, turn off the heat, tip in the bicarbonate of soda and beat in with a wooden spoon until it has all disappeared and the mixture is foaming. Scrape into the tin immediately – be careful, the mixture will be very hot.
The mixture will continue bubbling in the tin, simply leave it and in about 1 hr-1 hr 30 mins the honeycomb will be hard and ready to crumble or snap into chunks.
For the Rice Pudding…
Place the milk in a medium saucepan and add the rice and sugar. Split the vanilla pod lengthways with a sharp knife, scrape out the seeds and add both the pod and the seeds to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook gently with a lid on, stirring frequently, for 25-30 minutes or until the rice has absorbed most of the milk & cooked through. Remove the vanilla pod but save for presentation and stir in the cream. The rice should be glossy now & fall off a spoon; leave to cool.
Cut the figs in half & ripe peaches in to quarters, bring to boil the sugar & water in a frying pan to make stock syrup, once the sugar has dissolved add the peaches on a medium heat & cook for 1 minute either side just to soften the peach & glaze them up with stock syrup remove from pan.
Add the figs & do the same but this time add two splashes of red wine & reduce to a syrup consistency. The figs & peaches should be slightly soft but hold their shape & not messy!
To serve have the cooled rice pudding on the bottom with the glazed fruit on top, sprinkle with chunks of honeycomb & chopped pistachios. Then drizzle with the red wine syrup.
What a treat! We can’t thank Josh enough for this summer sensation. Check out his other recipes for us here.
One of our favourite pieces, our Stainless Steel Tri-Ply 35cm Roasting Pan was put to the test by Hide‘s Head Chef Josh Angus recently and look what a culinary masterpiece he concocted! If you thought cooking octopus at home might be inaccessible, then think again with Josh’s recipe…
150g edamme beans or broad beans popped & blanched if needed
1 cucumber sliced at angle
Green or black olives (optional)
4 tbsp Red wine vinegar
½ Lemon juice
5 tbsp good olive oil
Salt to taste
500g new potatoes
5 cloves garlic finely chopped
15g Rosemary chopped
Salt to taste
Turn the oven on 170c full fan, once the octopus is fully defrosted. Give the octopus a rinse under the sink. Then cut the octopus in half having 4 tentacles either side, place in the cast iron dish with the roughly chopped vegetables & a splash of white wine. (optional)
Cover with greaseproof & foil, then put in the oven & cook for 2 to 3 hours until the octopus is completely cooked through & not chewy! A knife should easily go through the octopus.
The meantime chop the new potatoes in half or quarters if large, mix in a bowl with olive oil, salt, chopped rosemary & chopped garlic.
Roast potatoes in the oven for 35mins same temperature as octopus until really crispy & cooked through. Mix time to time in the oven so they become really crispy.
For the salad wash the chickpeas under cold running water & mix with chopped feta, tomatoes, broad beans & cucumber. Dress the salad with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice & salt to taste.
Once the octopus is cooked & rested for 20 minutes, take each tentacle & detach them from the head individually, then grill them in hot pan with splash of olive oil to get crispy on the outside, 2 minutes on each side will be enough.
Serve immediately with the hot crispy potatoes & cold Greek salad. Also could serve with aioli or romesco sauce as a dip.
We can’t get enough of this recipe, perfect for a summer dinner party with friends who love seafood. Thanks Josh!
18-20 dim sum papers or cut out circles of baking parchment
(For the Chicken)
500g Cotswold white chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into bao sized pieces
200g plain flour
25g rice flour
15g korean red chilli flakes
salt to season
rapeseed oil for frying
(For the Mayonnaise)
200ml kewpie mayonnaise
1 tbsp gochujang paste
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
4 spring onions, sliced ultra thin
Firstly start with the kimchi.
Cut the chinese leaf into quarters keeping the root attached, then rub in the salt.
Put the leaves into a container & pour over cold water just to cover, leave the cabbage at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
Drain the water away from the cabbage & ring the leaves out to remove as much of the water as possible.
Taste the leaves to see how salty they are, this will deter how much salt you add to the rest of the recipe.
Mix the remaining kimchi ingredients together in a bowl & add either 1 tablespoons of salt or the full 2 tablespoons depending on how salty the leaves were tasting, then mix everything into a paste, add to the chinese leaves, rubbing the paste all over the leaves & into the layers.
Add the leaves to a large kilner jar or vaccum pack bag (if you have the luxury!) and lay the quarters into the jar or bag, upright & add the excess paste, seal the jar or bag & leave to ferment at 28c-30c for around 10 days.
Fast forward 10 days & now it’s time to make the bao.
Mix all of the dry ingredients for the Bao dough together & add the water.
Knead for around 3 minutes, add it to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it prove for 2 hours at room temperature.
After 2 hours, roll out the dough into a long sausage shape, about 3cm thick, then cut into pieces that are about 3cm wide, you will probably have more buns than you need but don’t worry- you can freeze them if you do!
In the palm of your hand, roll each piece of dough into a ball and leave to rest for 2-3 mins.
Use a dumpling rolling pin to roll out each ball, one by one, into an oval shape about 3-4mm thick. Rub the surface of the dough ovals with oil and brush a little oil over a chopstick.
Place the oiled chopstick in the centre of each oval. Fold the dough over the chopstick, then slowly pull out the chopstick.
Lay out the dim sum papers or baking parchment and put a bun on each. Transfer to a baking tray, cover with a clean tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hr, or until doubled in size.
Set the buns aside to reheat later & the excess buns can be cooled & frozen.
For the chicken, heat 2cm of oil in a deep sided frying pan to around 180c.
Season the chicken all over with the salt.
Mix together the flours & chilli flakes with a whisk then dredge the chicken pieces into the flour mix, fry the chicken in batches turning occasionally for around 5-6 minutes, remove the chicken with tongs & drain on kitchen paper.
Whisk together the kewpie mayonnaise & the gochujang in a mixing bowl & transfer to a squeezy bottle.
To assemble the bao buns, steam the buns for 1-2 minutes in the bamboo basket & remove.
Add the chicken to the bun & dress with an equal amount of kimchi alongside it, squeeze a healthy amount of mayonnaise over the chicken & sprinkle with the sesame seeds & the spring onions then shove it it in your big, drooling mouth.
Why not try it at home? Thanks so much for Brad for this amazing recipe. What are you waiting for? Head over to our online shop to purchase your Steamer now!
With the world finally opening up again, we were thrilled to be able to go to Ollie Dabbous‘ renowned Piccadilly restaurant Hide and meet their incredible Head Chef Josh Angus.
Nestled amidst bustling Green Park, and a stone’s throw from The Ritz, Hide’s Terrace is a modicum of sophistication and quiet charm.
Opened in 2017 to immediate acclaim, Hide is a collaboration between Hedonism Wines and Ollie Dabbous. Set over three floors, with glorious views of Green Park, Hide‘s Michelin-Star is more than deserved.
We decided to embrace the nature of grazing and try nearly everything! Particularly amazing was the Goose with Sage & Fenugreek on the Charcuterie Board; if you closed your eyes you could’ve been in another country at a fiesta, so rich and intense was the taste (pictured below right).
A work of art, the flatbread (pictured above), was almost too beautiful to eat. Note: almost… we definitely managed! Even the Giarraffa green olives were perfection, done simply in garlic, lemon and rosemary.
We were blown away, and this was only the beginning!
It’s always a great sign when you can’t decide what to have from the start and we were definitely spoilt for choice. Settling on the Spring Vegetable Tartlet and Fresh Linguine with Brixham Crab, Garlic and Parsley, we were again blown away, particularly by the tantalising freshness of the ingredients.
The vegetables on the tartlet were the stars of the show, zinging with flavour and refreshing, tasting like a sunny Spring day. The linguine was perfectly cooked and the classic combination of crab, garlic and parsley was perfectly balanced.
Onto the Main Courses. The Barbecue Octopus was tender, with a perfect char and tasted like summer in the South of Spain! In fact, the running theme throughout the evening was the food’s ability to transport you anywhere in the world. The halibut melted in the mouth and was lifted by fresh mussels and artichoke; everything on the plate worked perfectly.
Dessert, and the famous Acorn Cake!
Well, we couldn’t come to Hide and not try the famous Acorn Cake. Coated in Smoked Caramel and a liquor of your choice (we went for Bumbu Rum) we’ve never had anything like it. It was unique and a truly seminal dish. We were treated to freshly baked lavender madeleines which were soft, warm, and had the perfect amount of lavender. Accompanied with a dessert wine from Wolffer Estate, New York, it was the perfect end to an incredible experience.
The meal, from start to finish, was like a symphony! Building from the clever and intricate grazing dishes to a crescendo of flavour in the halibut and octopus main courses, we were completely blown away by the ingenuity of the flavours at every stage. Each plate was a work of art and we’ll certainly be returning very soon!
To find out more about Hide and book a table, click here.
Pixar’s animated movie Ratatouille won our hearts when it was released in 2007 and now, thanks to star chef, Josh Angus, you can make the beautiful signature dish yourself!
About Josh Angus…
Head Chef at Michelin Starred restaurant Hide Ground in the heart of London, Josh Angus has worked everywhere from Raymond Blanc’s renowned Le Manoir to Hong Kong with Shane Osborn. He was even the private chef for the American Ambassador! We’re so grateful to Josh for showing us how to make our very own Pixar-style Ratatouille!
Josh says: “This dish very visual & has the wow factor, perfect for a party, can be eaten on its own with some eggs or a perfect side dish with leg of lamb or Roast chicken.”
1 large yellow courgette
1 large green courgette
2 small marrow
2 small aubergines
1 large white onion
2 red peppers
2 large tomatoes
2 bay leaves
½ bunch basil
10g red wine vinegar
5 sprigs thyme
40g grated parmesan (more for grating on top if wanted)
30g double cream
1. Place the red peppers whole with olive oil rubbed all over them then in a hot oven at 180C for 15 to 20 minutes until they break down & colour. Then leave to rest in a bowl with cling film.
2. First slice the courgettes, marrow & aubergine on a mandolin to about 2cm thick, if you don’t have mandolin you can use a sharp knife but take your time so it is tidy for presentation. Next slice 3 tomatoes the same thickness as other veg & lay all the veg on a tray nicely stacked together. Place a damp cloth over the vegetables & store in the fridge for later.
3. Don’t discard the trim from the vegetables roughly chop to use in the sauce later, just discard the roots.
4. Finely chop the onions, celery & garlic, lightly sweat in olive oil on a medium heat in copper tri ply saute pan with lid on until soft & translucent. Make sure to keep checking them there not catching on the pan.
5. Blanch the rest of tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds then into ice water. Peel skin off & discard. Then roughly chop.
6. From the peepers earlier discard the seeds & skin, then roughly chop.
7. Add all the rest of the chopped vegetables to the onions in the pan then continue to cook on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Deglaze with the vinegar
8. Add salt, sugar, bay leaf, thyme & 3 basil stalks with leafs on. Cover with water then cook down simmering on a low heat.
9. Once reduced remove bay leaf & thyme, then blend until smooth adding the cream, grated parmesan, 6 basil leaves whilst hot & still blending. Taste may need more salt & add a little pepper to your taste buds.
10. Building the ratatouille, have the sauce evenly spread on the bottom of a copper tri 24cm saute pan you don’t have to use all the sauce you can leave some on the side to have later, I used around half to ¾.
11. On top of the sauce you want to take the vegetables you sliced earlier & create a pattern around evenly until the whole pan is full & no gaps, take your time & be precise if you can. (See picture) season the veg with salt & brush or drizzle with olive oil.
12. Bake in oven at 160c with a lid of greaseproof for 45 minutes or until veg is cooked though & bubbling. Remove grease proof & bake in oven for 5 minutes.