Chicory, pear, blue cheese and walnut salad
4 heads of chicory
100ml white wine
100ml white wine vinegar
100ml caster sugar
4 pickled walnuts
3 ripe, firm pears
100g blue cheese, such as Cornish Blue, Bath Blue or Stilton Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing
2 free-range egg yolks
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp caster sugar
100ml olive oil
150ml double cream
A bunch of watercress, leaves picked
Trim the bases from the chicory and separate the leaves. Put the white wine, wine vinegar, water and sugar into a medium pan together with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Place half the chicory leaves in a bowl and pour over the pickling liquor, making sure the chicory is fully submerged or it will start to brown. Cover with cling film and leave until cold. To make the dressing, put the egg yolks, lemon juice and sugar into a blender and blitz until smooth.
Add the olive oil in a steady stream until it is all incorporated. Add the cream and blitz briefly to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until needed. To assemble the salad, drain the pickled chicory and place in a large bowl with the raw chicory. Slice the pickled walnuts and add them to the bowl. Peel, halve, core and slice the pears, then add to the salad.
Crumble in the cheese and toss gently to mix. Add a good drizzle of dressing and mix carefully so as not to bruise the leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
Lay the salad on a large platter, scatter over the watercress and drizzle with the remaining dressing to serve.
Crispy duck leg and cucumber salad with mint and chilli
I adore crispy duck and always order it if I see it on a menu. At home, I prepare and serve it like this with a cucumber salad, which is lovely eaten on its own too. This recipe also works well with pieces of leftover roast chicken or leg of lamb in place of the roasted duck leg.
4 duck legs, skin on
Oil for deep-frying
4 tbsp cornflour
3 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
70ml white wine vinegar
50g caster sugar
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
20 mint leaves, finely sliced
Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 165°C/Gas 4. Score the skin on the duck legs in a few places and season all over with salt and pepper. Place the duck legs on a wire rack over an oven tray and roast for 1 hour.
In the meantime, for the salad, peel, halve and deseed one of the cucumbers, then slice thinly and place in a large bowl. Put the chillies, shallots, wine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds and water into a pan and bring to the boil. Pour the boiling pickling liquor over the cucumber slices, making sure they are all submerged. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to cool and lightly pickle the cucumber.
Food and drink news
Food and drink news
1/31 Gluten-free diets 'not recommended' for people without coeliac disease
Avoiding wheat, barley and rye in the belief that a gluten-free diet brings health benefits may do more harm than good, according to a team of US nutrition and medicine experts
2/31 Starbucks launches two new coffee-based drinks
Starbucks is launching two new coffee-based drinks in the UK, as it strives to tap into consumers’ growing appetite for healthy beverages. The Cold Brew Vanilla sweet cream and the Cappuccino Freddo, will both be available in stores throughout the UK from the start of May
3/31 Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Tiffin is making a permanent comeback after 80 years
The Cadbury Dairy Milk Tiffin, first produced in 1937, is making a permanent comeback to the UK. The raisin and biscuit-filled chocolate bar is being launched after a successful trial last summer saw 3 million chocolate treats – at the cost of £1.49 for each 95g bar- purchased by nostalgic customers
4/31 Pizza restaurant makes ‘world’s cheesiest’
'Scottie's Pizza Parlor' in Portland Oregon has created the world’s cheesiest pizza using a total of 101 different cheese varieties.
Facebook/Scottie's Pizza Parlor
5/31 A pizza joint in Portland Oregon has created the world’s cheesiest pizza using a total of 101 different cheese varieties. Why not eating before a workout could be better for your health
A study published in the American Journal of Physiology by researchers at the University of Bath found you might be likely to burn more fat if you have not eaten first
6/31 New York restaurant named best in the world
A New York restaurant where an average meal for two will cost $700 has been named the best in the world. Eleven Madison Park won the accolade for the first time after debuting on the list at number 50 in 2010. The restaurant was praised for a fun sense of fine-dining, “blurring the line between the kitchen and the dining room”
7/31 Why you crave bad food when you’re tired
Researchers at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in Chicago recently presented their results of a study looking into the effects of sleep deprivation upon high-calorific food consumption. Researchers found that those who were sleep-deprived had “specifically enhanced” brain activity to the food smells compared to when they had a good night’s sleep
8/31 Drinking wine engages more of your brain than solving maths problems
Drinking wine is the ideal workout for your brain, engaging more parts of our grey matter than any other human behaviour, according to a leading neuroscientist. Dr Gordon Shepherd, from the Yale School of Medicine, said sniffing and analysing a wine before drinking it requires “exquisite control of one of the biggest muscles in the body”
9/31 British dessert eating surges after people ditch healthy eating in February
: In heartening news for anyone feeling guilty about quitting their New Year diet, it seems lots of us have given in to our sweet tooths once again. New data from nationwide food-delivery service Deliveroo reveals there was a surge in Brits ordering desserts in February compared to the first month of 2017
10/31 US congress debates definition of milk alternatives
A new bill has been created that seeks to ban dairy alternatives from using the term ‘milk’. Titled the DAIRY PRIDE Act, the name is a tenuous acronym for ‘defending against imitations and replacements of yogurt, milk, and cheese to promote regular intake of dairy every day’. It argues that the dairy industry is struggling as a result of all the dairy-free alternatives on the market and the public are being duped too
11/31 Cadbury’s launches two new chocolate bars
UK confectionary giant Cadbury has launched two new chocolate bars, hoping to lure those with a sweet tooth and perhaps help combat some of the challenges it faces from rising commodity prices and a post-Brexit slump in the value of the pound.The company’s new products will be peanut butter and mint flavoured. They will be available in most major super markets as 120g bars, priced at £1.49, according to the company
12/31 You can now get a job as a professional chocolate eater
The company responsible for some of your favourite chocolate brands – think Cadbury, Milks, Prince and Oreo – have officially announced an opening to join their team as a professional chocolate taster. The successful candidate will help them to test, perfect and launch new products all over the world.
13/31 MSG additive used in Chinese food is actually good for you, scientist claims
For years, we’ve been told MSG (the sodium salt of glutamic acid) - often associated with cheap Chinese takeaways - is awful for our health and to be avoided at all costs. But one scientist argues it should be used as a “supersalt” and encourages adding it to food.
14/31 Lettuce prices are rising
Not only are lettuces becoming an increasingly rare commodity in supermarkets, but prices for the leafy vegetables seem to be rising too. According to the weekly report from the Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, a pair of Little Gem lettuces had an average market price of £0.86 in the week that ended on Friday, up from an average of £0.56 in the previous week – that’s an almost 54 per cent increase.
15/31 Food School
Kids celebrate Food School graduation with James Martin – a campaign launched by Asda to educate young people on where food comes from. New research has revealed that children across the UK just aren’t stepping up to the plate when it comes to simple facts about the food they eat – with almost half of children under eight not knowing that eggs come from chickens
16/31 ‘Do-It-Yourself’ restaurant
To encourage more people to cook and eat together, IKEA has launched The Dining Club in Shoreditch – a fully immersive ‘Do-It-Yourself’ restaurant . Members of the public can book to host a brunch, lunch or dinner party for up to 20 friends and family. Supported by their very own sous chef and maître de, the host and their guests will orchestrate an intimate dining experience where cooking together is celebrated and eating together is inspirational
Mikael Buck / IKEA
17/31 Ping Pong menu with a twist
Gatwick Airport has teamed up with London dim sum restaurant Ping Pong to create a limited edition menu with a distinctly British twist; including a Full English Bao and Beef Wellington Puff, to celebrate the launch of the airport’s new route to Hong Kong
18/31 Zizzi unveil the Ma’amgharita
Unique pizza art has been created by Zizzi in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday. The pizza features the queen in an iconic pose illustrated with fresh and tasty Italian ingredients on a backdrop of the Union Jack
19/31 Blue potatoes make a comeback
Blue potatoes, once a staple part of British potato crops, are back on the menu thanks to a Cambridge scientist turned-organic farmer and Farmdrop, an online marketplace that lets people buy direct from local farms. Cambridge PhD graduate-turned farmer, Adrian Izzard has used traditional growing techniques at Wild Country Organics to produce the colourful spuds, packed with healthy cell-protecting anthocyanin, which had previously disappeared from UK plates when post-war farmers were pushed towards higher-yielding varieties
20/31 France plans to usurp Scotland as the home of the world's best whisky
France is planning to usurp Scotland’s reputation as the home of the world’s best whisky, fired by a growing national obsession with the drink. According to a study by retail consultants Bonial, the French drink more whisky than any other country – an average of 2.15 litres a year, compared to 1.8 litres in second-placed Uruguay and the US in third on 1.4 litres
Bloomberg via Getty Images
21/31 The price of an avocado is set to rise
Britain’s avocado lovers are facing a significant increase in the cost of their favourite salad food because the so-called superfood is becoming too popular. High demand from health-conscious consumers has led Peru to triple its avocado exports since 2010, with exports to the UK up 58% over the past year
22/31 Eating cereal may not be the healthiest way to start the day
The old saying goes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so many of us do as we are told and grab a bowl of cereal before we head out the door. But an expert has warned that while many cereals boxes claim their contents are the perfect start to the day, many are packed full of sugar and carbohydrates with little nutritional value. Even some seemingly-health muesli cereals have a lot of added sugar in the form of honey, malt, molasses, dried fruit or “even fruit juice”
23/31 Crisps made with real ingredients
Michelin starred chef, Simon Rogan in action cooking a menu inspired by the provenance ingredients in the new Chef’s Signature range from Kettle Chips. Kettle Chips, the nation’s favourite premium crisp brand, has launched the new range of crisps with exciting new seasonings, made with the highest quality food ingredients rather than chemicals or artificial flavours
24/31 Japanese whisky crisis
Suntory’s chief blender Mr. Fukuyo San blends component whiskies to create Suntory Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve, a blend of young and old single malts. Japan’s warm climate and varied seasons makes it perfect environment to age and blend whiskies, creating subtle, refined and complex expressions.The recent trend for Japanese whisky has put the spirit on the verge of a global shortage
25/31 Non-alcoholic cocktails are seriously chic
We are living through a new era of creative, non-alcoholic drinks that go way beyond a coke or sweet mocktail. The world is becoming more health conscious. There's the war on sugar, and teetotalism is on the rise, with more than one in five not drinking at all (especially young adults), according to The National Statistics for Adult Drinking Habits. This abstinence is even more pronounced in London, with almost one in three turning away from alcohol. An increasing number of mixologists are applying their talents to the creation of non-alcoholic drinks that taste as good as their boozy alternatives
26/31 'Heat map' shows which areas of Britain enjoy the spiciest curries
After Bradford was named the Curry Capital of Britain for the fifth year running, a map has been released showing which regions of Britain enjoy a spicy curry and which prefer the milder variants. According to the map developed by Hari Ghotra, Kent, Essex, West Yorkshire and Lancashire are the heat-handling kings of Britain, while Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all prefer milder curries. The data was collected by monitoring the location of social media posts that mentioned names of curries. These were then given a spice rating and were then collated to give each area a score out of 1000
27/31 Guinness to become vegan-friendly
Guinness is set to become vegan friendly for the first time in its 256-year history, as the company announced its plan to stop using fish bladders in its filters
28/31 Why the salmon on your plate might not actually be salmon
Salmon that ends up on the dinner table may not be salmon at all, a study has suggested. The problem of salmon mislabelling has become an increasing issue in the US in the winter months, according to American research published by Oceana. The findings show that 43 per cent of the salmon tested was mislabelled – the most common instance of this being when farmed Atlantic salmon was sold as wild salmon
29/31 How dangerous is a bacon sandwich
A recent WHO report warning that processed and red meats can cause cancer may have left you thinking a little harder about whether to pick up that bacon butty for breakfast or ditch a beef-filled Bolognese for dinner - but how worried should we be? The review of 800 studies for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) prompted global health experts to cast processed meats - including bacon, ham and sausages - into the ominous-sounding list of group 1 carcinogens, where they joined formaldehyde, gamma radiation and cigarettes. Eating just a 50g portion of processed meat – or two rashers of bacon - a day increases the risk of bowel cancer by 18 per cent, the experts concluded
30/31 New Zealanders are behind a lot of the interesting food and drink stuff happening in the UK
Dark beers are more suited to cold months, so the thinking goes, but in one part of the world they're always popular. "Lots of breweries in New Zealand have got stouts and porters among their best sellers," says Stu McKinlay, one half of the duo behind Wellington brewing company Yeastie Boys. McKinlay recently swapped Wellington for west Kent in order to launch Yeastie Boys in the UK, and he's joined forces with four other breweries (8 Wired, Renaissance, Three Boys, Tuatara) as part of the New Zealand Craft Beer Collective, to promote his country's finest over here
31/31 Additives in popular chicken nuggets
Ingredients, a new book co-created by photographer Dwight Eschliman and food writer Steve Ettlinger distils 25 products, including popcorn, Red Bull and chicken soup, focusing on 75 of the most common food additives and revealing what each one looks like, where it comes from and why it is used. McDonald’s chicken nuggets were found to contain 40 different ingredients. These included dextrose, a sugar also used by shoe makers to make leather more pliable, and corn starch, used for thickening food as well as also being a substitute for petrol
When the duck has been in the oven for 1 hour, cover it with foil and cook for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle comfortably. Meanwhile, halve, deseed and slice the other cucumber. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or other deep, heavy-based pan to 180°C.
Mix the cornflour and five-spice powder together in a large bowl. Tear the duck skin into pieces and pick the meat off the bone. When the meat is fairly cool, toss it through the cornflour mix, then season with salt. In batches, carefully fry the duck meat and skin in the hot oil for 2 minutes until crispy. Drain on kitchen paper; keep warm.
Drain the pickled cucumber. In a large bowl, combine the pickled and freshly sliced cucumber, sesame oil and soy sauce. Add the fried duck and toss to combine, then divide between warmed bowls and scatter over the sliced mint to serve.
Rabbit, celeriac and sugar snap pea salad
This salad is incredibly tasty. Earthy pickled celeriac marries perfectly with the rich walnut salad cream and succulent confit rabbit. I’ve also used kohlrabi, Jerusalem artichokes and turnips in place of the celeriac – they all work well.
For the cured rabbit legs
4 farmed rabbit legs,150–200g each
200g sea salt
100g soft light brown sugar
2 tsp thyme leaves
1 litre duck fat
For the salad
1kg celeriac Juice of
1 lemon 100ml red wine
100ml red wine vinegar
100g soft light brown sugar
200g sugar snap peas, sliced
A bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp chopped chervil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad cream
2 free-range egg yolks
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
60g walnuts, finely chopped
50ml walnut oil
100ml sunflower oil
150ml double cream
4 pickled walnuts, sliced
Walnut oil to drizzle
Put the rabbit legs in a plastic tub. Blitz the salt, sugar and thyme in a food processor for 1 minute then rub all over the rabbit legs. Leave to cure in the fridge for 3 hours. Wash off the cure and pat the rabbit legs dry. Preheat the oven to 130°C/Fan 115°C/ Gas 1. Heat the duck fat in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Lay the rabbit legs in a casserole dish in which they fit snugly, but comfortably. Pour over the fat and then cover the dish with foil. Cook in the oven for 4 hours.
Meanwhile, for the salad, peel and quarter the celeriac; immerse in a bowl of water with the lemon juice added to prevent discoloration. Bring the wine, wine vinegar, water and sugar to the boil in a saucepan. Drain the celeriac and carefully slice it very finely, using a mandoline, into another bowl. Pour on the pickling liquor and cover the surface with cling film to keep the celeriac slices submerged. Leave to cool.
To make the salad cream, whisk the eggs yolks, mustard, sugar, wine vinegar and walnuts together for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the oils, then the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
When the rabbit legs are cooked, remove from the fat and allow to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, pick the meat off the bone and pull into shreds.
Drain the celeriac and place in a bowl with the sugar snaps, spring onions and chervil. Add 2 tbsp salad cream and carefully mix together. Spoon some salad cream onto each serving plate. Share the salad between the plates and top with the rabbit meat. Finish with pickled walnut slices and a drizzle of walnut oil. Serve warm.
Nathan Outlaw’s Home Kitchen by Nathan Outlaw (Quadrille, £20). Photography ©David LoftusReuse content