Toasty Treacle Tarts

Welcome back to winter, everyone. As we head back into the UK’s native time zone, it’s time for another weekend recipe but, I’m going to be honest with you, this one was a little bit rushed.

Between being ill and all my foreign friends returning to the country (quite possibly related occurrences), I’ve had very little time to perfect this month’s warming pudding and I may well come back to do so later. Yet I’m not exactly unhappy with how it turned out.

TreacleTart

These treacle tarts are sweet, caramel-y and filled with the autumnal taste of toasted habanero fragments. Not exactly a pumpkin-like squash but a distinctive, strong overtone of savoury orange fruit all the same. And a high

3.5/10

Heat

once the namesake treacle flavour fades away.

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Stir-Fried Spuds

Sup peeps. Earlier this week, we looked at some szechuan-style peanuts from Brighton Hot Stuff that I highly recommended using in a stir-fry.

I stand by that recommendation but, today, I’m going to add a caveat. They went really well into both noodle and rice-based stir-fries and they’d be just as good in a veg-heavy one but there’s a lesser known type of traditional stir-fry that I don’t see them working in. Potato Stir-fry.

Yep, you read that right. There’s a real chinese dish where they slice potatoes into ultra-fine strips and cook them like noodles. Albeit a touch more al denté.

I’m not going to lie, it’s super weird the first time you try it. It’s completely unlike any western form of spud. Yet keep going, for a few mouthfuls, and you’ll soon come to love it.

I discovered this dish at Xi’an Impressions, in london, on route to Challock Chilli Fest. I picked up a taste for it there that turned into a craving, during my recent brighton trip, but, unfortunately, I never made it back.

Instead, I’ve had to learn to cook shredded potato stir-fry myself. And now I’m going to teach you.

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Mexican Buffalo Corn

Howdy folks, today’s recipe is another one of my crazy fusion foods. It’s mexican and its american but it’s definitely not tex mex.

What it is is an invention all my own, cobbled together from random pub grub and then remade with slightly better ingredients back home.

It’s a quick, tasty, somewhat messy appetiser that I like to call “Mexican Buffalo Corn” and I really want to share it with you. But first, let’s clear up a few potential misconceptions:

First, it’s not mexican. It uses mexican hot sauce and mexican herbs for a mexican-style flavour but the closest actual mexican dish is a spicy, cheese-laden corn one known as “elotes”. This isn’t that.

Second, this dish is vegetarian. It doesn’t contain actual buffalo but rather a buffalo-style wing sauce, made from the above-mentioned mexican hot sauce. My own twist on a creamy and buttery, yet really rather tangy, american classic. Using corn on the cob where you’d normally find chicken.

And, finally, this is not my main recipe of the month. It’s a mini one that uses the black label Valentina sauce, even if small adjustments will allow you to use anything with a similar mexican flavour. So expect another recipe next week.

For now, though, let’s get started.

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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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Beardy Butter

Hello again, everyone, and welcome back to the last of my Gingerbeard reviews. At least for now, since I’ll probably be picking up something new when I go back for more of their fabulous piccalilli.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves too early, though. That product may have been a real winner but today’s was always the one that I was most looking forward to. And the one that sounded most representative of the company, themselves.

This Gingerbread Satay may be another of their many collaborations but it’s the only one to give their namesake spice and company logo a starring role.

GingerbreadSatay

Plus, are those almonds chasing down the gingerbread man? Could this perhaps be a little more indian and a tad less thai than its “satay” name implies?

Well, the label’s light-green, bamboo-patterned background does say asian but I’m intrigued, either way, and, as always, I intend to get my answers in the form of a taste test.

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Choc Chip Cheese

Hello again everyone. This time around, we have something weird and rather horrific-sounding, I’ll be honest, but it comes to me from a company that we’ve seen before. One who’s cheeses I thoroughly enjoyed.

Today, though, we’re looking at the latest from them, The Great British Cheese Company. A much madder creation, if you ask me, because it contains chocolate. Chocolate, chilli and lime, to be precise.

GBCChocCheese

And, while it barely looks any different on the outside, it makes no attempt to hide its uniqueness once I’ve peeled back the wax:

GBCChocNude

It’s a pastel shade of cocoa-brown, with whole chips of chocolate and small flakes of both red and green pepper all throughout.

It’s not the most tempting looking snack, even by cheese standards, but the aroma wafting from it holds far greater appeal – An overtone of something akin to green candy, with subtler notes of smooth, creamy chocolate cheesecake. None of their usual strong cheddar here, just a gentle scent that reminds me of either chocolate limes or a mint aero.

It’s rather enticing but smell can only get you so far. What do The Great British Cheese Company have in store for its taste?

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Bunster’s Imposter

Hope you’re doing well, my fellow freaks. Today, we have something slightly novel. A sauce post on a sunday.

Why? Because it’s not a review but a look at the hot sauce making kit that Bunster’s kindly sent me back in january. And, more importantly, at what I made from it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A certain bold-flavoured, crazy concoction that I whipped up to feed my friends in a blind taste taste. To see if they could decipher which of the six sauces from that kit was actually my own recipe.

I’m not going to say anything more specific on my front page, so as to let you play along with 📽️the video📽️, but, once you click that “Continue reading” button, it’s about to be full on spoiler territory. You have been warned!

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The Jam Man Cometh

Happy tuesday, folks. Today’s review has been a long time coming.

BhutJamMan.jpg

This particular jar was found at a food festival by my buddy, 📽️ Lord Grim 📽️, but I’ve known about the Chilli Jam Man for longer than I’ve had this blog.

Because, while I don’t know what festival my jar of bhut jam came from, it really doesn’t matter. The Chilli Jam Man is one of the biggest names in artisan fiery food, possibly even the biggest, and you can find him and his “jambassadors” at just about every food-themed event this side of london. His coverage is a wonder to behold.

But it’s not just the one jar that I have from him, today. No, I picked up a couple, myself, to round out the range and better showcase his brand:

GroupJamMan

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Lantern Fruit Gulab Jamun

Hey folks, I’m back again for another recipe and, this week, it’s something special from my childhood. Not, this time, anything involving the nesparo from my summer holidays in spain but, instead, something both closer to and further from home.

Today, I’m going to be making gulab jamun – An indian dessert that I grew up sharing with my muslim neighbors and one that is, in fact, named for its similar appearance to another regional fruit.

Yet I’m not making them just to relive my childhood. No, I have indian supermarkets near me if I need a quick fix of those sweet milk dumplings. And they’d be rather more traditional than mine.

What I’m making are, in fact, the “lantern fruit” gulab jamun from one of my favourite cooking games, Battle Chef Brigade. And I’m going to be using some rather more authentic ingredients than the other recreations that I’ve seen. Properly highlighting the flavour of fire that the in-game dish is known for, without sacrificing the fictional fruit’s lighter, more refreshing qualities.

Gulab

Before I get started, though, I’m sure you’re all wondering what exactly the “lantern fruit” really is.

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Hopping to It

Alright, everyone, you’ve heard of hot sauce but, today, we’re looking at hop sauce. A green and herby bird’s eye blend from Hop Burns & Black. The most well known chilli retailer in london.

I picked up a few things, when I was last there, but today’s “Hoptimo” is special. Not just because it contains hops but also because it’s a custom creation from Slow Richie’s and Brick Brewery, made specially for the store. This is a Hop Burns exclusive:

Hoptimo

But it does, indeed, contain hops. The signature ingredient in one of the shop owners’ other passions: Craft beer.

And, in this review, we’re going to find out what those hops do for hot sauce flavour.

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