High-Class Crisps

Hey folks! It’s been a long time since 💀my last restaurant review💀 but, today, I’m coming to you from all the way out in london’s trendy soho district to feature the craziest establishment that I’ve ever seen.

HipShop

HipChips – A sit down or take away restaurant dedicated to providing the most gourmet version imaginable of a dish that I call “chips and dips”. But no, there aren’t any wide fries here. Every slice of potato is a wafer-thin crisp with a tonne of crunch.

It’s not usually a complex or well-balanced meal but it’s a darn good snack and I’m ever so curious to see what they’ve done to improve it. To spice it up, if you will.

And alright, they’ve provided a free lunch to entice me in but, honestly, I doubt I could have stayed away anyway. It’s just such a wild idea for an eatery!

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Vin D’ Blue

Greetings, hot things. This week, I’m back for another fiery twist on a traditional recipe but, this time, the traditional recipe is my own. My vin d’ aloo. I’m returning to that recipe, and to Exban’s place, to put a newer, bluer twist on it, using this sauce:

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Bravado Spice Co’s Ghost Pepper and Blueberry.

Why? Because the two are a perfect match. A sauce that’s full of dark berry tanins and pepper but has a tad too much vinegar tang, and a curry that wants more fire and a wine-like flavour but previously wasn’t the most religiously appropriate of dishes.

The sauce gives the curry all the depth and slight fruitiness that it needs without actual alcohol, while the curry gives the sauce a highly spiced base to tone down its unpleasant acidity.

All that’s left is to swap from pork to a more halal meat in lamb.

I will mention, though, just to be completely upfront and clear with you all, that this dish will still be only debatably halal. The vinegar in our sauce comes from white wine and, while it has been fermented to a point where it no longer has any chance of affecting one’s sobriety, some muslims may still be upset by the idea of alcohol byproducts in their food.

I’m sorry to say that makers and eaters of this recipe will have to assess the situation themselves and make their own decision as to whether my recipe matches their beliefs. All I can say for sure is that making vin d’ aloo with wine vinegar, rather than wine, has a historic and religious precedent behind it and that the added berries in this sauce make for a far more accurate flavour substitution than simply using such a vinegar alone.

It’s not going to be the same as our previous dish, of course, since this vinegary sauce adds rather more heat and tang, but it’s still going to be a fiery-flavoured, garlic and ginger-heavy, goan delight full of red meat, rich berry undertones and soothing spuds. A proper vindaloo, despite the extra acid.

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Refritos Sweet Potatoes

It’s the last weekend of the month again, folks, and I’m sure you know what that means by now. It’s recipe time.

This february’s main dish, however, isn’t entirely my own. It’s an adaptation of one of Sorted Food’s latest and, if you haven’t heard of them, I strongly suggest that you check out their 📽️ baked potato recipe video 📽️ before continuing.

They’re a great fun channel, fully focussed on food, with the knowledge of professional chefs but far more of a down to earth approach. I’ve been hooked on them for months.

Yet, for the first time today, I feel like I’m qualified to take on one of their recipes and give my own twist. Maybe even improve it. Because real mexican food has been passed down to me, through the generations, from real mexican chefs. And chillies, well, they’re kind of my thing.

So, for this month’s recipe, I’m taking their sweet potato stuffed with refried beans and giving it what they would call a “level up”!

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The True Vindaloo

Hey there spice lovers, this month I’m hanging out at my buddy Exban’s place for a nice romantic wine and dine.

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Why? Partially because his girlfriend dumped him but mostly because I felt like making a proper vindaloo and needed someone to finish off the booze with. An explanation that, if anything, only raises more questions.

Since when did a vindaloo have wine in it? Why is there alcohol in an indian dish when the nation’s religions are so against it? And why can’t I drink it all myself?

Well, for starters, the vindaloo, or vin d’ aloo, isn’t an indian dish. It comes from goa and uses indian spices, certainly, but goa wasn’t a part of india at the time. Goa was officially portuguese and portuguese cooking had no such anti-alcohol restrictions. They were more than happy to be working with wine.

Their earlier dish, the “carne de vinha d’alhos” from which the vindaloo was derived, got its name from its three key ingredients: Pork, wine and garlic. Three ingredients to which the goan people added coriander, turmeric, chilli and a whole host of other spices, along with potatoes to bulk it out and keep the heat from getting too high.

Because, unlike today’s vindaloo, their vin d’ aloo wasn’t meant to be the hottest dish on any menu. All they wanted was a full-on fiery flavour to their marinated meat.

And, while even most “traditional” recipes pull from a later date, once the wine had been swapped for vinegar, I’m going to be taking it right back to its origins, today, with a rich and fruity red wine.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

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Indian Potato Cakes

Hey folks, it’s recipe time again.

Not that you haven’t already had a couple this month but both of those were little, product specific recipes I came up with on the fly. Today’s is a touch more thought out.

This time, we’ll be making one of the best carriers for sauces – Potato pancakes.

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