Lust Liquor and Burn – Manchester

J’s birthday was at the beginning of this month and I am finally getting around to writing about the restaurant we visited, Lust Liquor and Burn. Now, I heard great things about this place from various sources and when I suggested places J might like to eat I was secretly hoping he’d pick this place. Now, I have fairly limited experience of eating Mexican food out. I mean, Ive cooked it at home from this book and I love it and I’ve eaten a lot of Tex Mex food in various chain restaurants but I don’t really feel like I’ve eaten enough lovely Mexican food.

Anyway, here’s what we ate:

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Pint of shrimp and squid

This was lovely, the squid was perfectly cooked and the batter was delicious and crisp. Both of us are calamari lovers and this really hit the spot.

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I forget what this cocktail was called but it was based on the concept of Old Fashioned

This Old Fashioned was simply glorious. Really tasty and different. After drinking this we went to the cinema in a bit of a tipsy haze (or I know I did).

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I took two pictures of this….
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Look at this…the Baja beach board.

Now I adored the Baja beach board. It surpassed all my expectations and was simply excellent. I particularly loved the shredded beef tacos and crab and bacon tostada.

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Salted caramel brownie and ice cream

I really loved the richness of this brownie. I was a little bit disappointed though as I didn’t feel like the salted caramel was quite salty enough. Overall I really enjoyed it though.

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Pineapple and coconut cheesecake and ice cream

This is apparently an updated version on the cheesecake that was already on the menu. J hoovered this up so I think that says it all.

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Here is just a picture of the menu we took…because I made J do it

Now I honestly do not want to recommend this restaurant to you. Really I don’t, I want to keep it a secret forever as its so lovely and I don’t want to have to wait to chow down on tacos. But alas, you really should give this restaurant a try. Lust Liquor and Burn has a great atmosphere and friendly, enthusiastic staff. They don’t take bookings so you may have to wait a while to get a table – J and I visited on a Sunday night (we were those annoying people who took Monday off so were fully able to enjoy ourselves) and we had a half hour wait. We didn’t mind given the quality of the food. The bar also does food and I was tempted to order tacos while I waited to be seated upstairs. What a greedy guts I am!

You can find out about Lust Liquor and Burn here.

Lemonly loveliness – lemon drizzle cake

I don’t know why but lemons really make me thing of summer. Maybe its the yellow colour and because they taste so fresh. Either way I have always been made on lemons, when my parents cooked with lemons my brother and I used to ask for the remaining lemons to suck; something I didn’t realise not many people did until adulthood.

Anyway, this makes an absolutely huge loaf cake, like take to a party and still have a little bit to take home and have as a midnight snack huge. I took a huge chunk of this into work and it was pretty popular. One of my friends described it as “lemony, but not too lemony” which pretty much describes it to a T. I made this on a hot evening, and managed to cream my butter and sugar in half the time in normally takes because my butter really didn’t take much softening.

To make this cake you will need:

For the loaf cake

225g unsalted butter, softened

225g caster sugar

4 eggs

The finely grated zest of 1 lemon (unwaxed is best)

225g self-raising flour

For the drizzle topping

The juice of 2 lemons

110g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a loaf tin – I got some liners that look like giant cupcake cases because they look lovely and make lining your tin a bit easier.

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It’s like a giant loaf shaped fairy cake

Cream your butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

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Creamy butter

Add your eggs one at a time.

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After the eggs are added it should look like this

Sieve in your flour and the lemon zest and beat until well combined.

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Floury
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Lemon zest should make your kitchen smell amazing
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Possibly the quickest I’ve made cake mix ever

Put your cake mix into your tin, making sure that it is even. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the cake clean when pierced.

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Bye bye cake – see you in just under an hour
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Cakey goodness

While your cake is still hot make your drizzle topping by combining the lemon juice and icing sugar. You can get extra juice out of your lemons by microwaving them for 20 seconds.

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I took this picture out of sheer excitement of my housemate buying a juicer

Add your drizzle topping to the cake while it is still warm. I dusted my cake with a little more icing sugar to make the topping crispier.

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Lemon based excitement
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Icing sugar dusting makes everything a tiny bit more sophisticated looking

Serve this cake. I like this cake with a cup of tea. It’s very cheering on a grey summer day when you are hoping for a bit of sun.

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Enjoy!

Blue cheese, walnut and apple salad

This salad is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but the flavours and textures in this work really well together. It’s very similar to a Waldorf salad but without the heavy dressing. This is quick to make and is lovely when made with crisp, juice apples. Granny Smith, Braeburn and Cripps pink apple would all work well in this recipe.

To make this you will need:

A good handful of lettuce leaves

An apple

30g blue cheese

A handful radishes

A handful of walnuts

Your favourite salad dressing (although I wouldn’t recommend yogurt based dressing)

(Serves 1)

Wash the lettuce. Cut the apple, cheese and radishes into approx. 1cm pieces. Put the lettuce into your salad bowl as a base to the salad. Add the apple, radishes and cheese to the salad. Sprinkle over the walnuts and dress the salad.

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Roast harissa poussin with giant cous cous, brocolli and courgette

Roast harissa poussin with giant cous cous, brocolli and courgette

This recipe is a really lovely one when you want to spend a little more time on cooking a tasty meal that looks lovely and impressive. If you would prefer the recipe can be done for more people with a chicken or with chicken thighs. However, I do think meat on the bone works best in this recipe as it stays juicy. (Mum and dad, if you’re reading this I apologise for putting this in my post, I promise I’m still horribly bad at picking meat off bones!) Anyway, I made this for J last Friday and he really enjoyed it.

To make this you will need:

1 poussin

1 teaspoon harissa

Olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon ras al hout

Chicken stock (approx 1/2 pint)

200g giant cous cous

1 courgette

A handful of pumpkin seeds

Tenderstem or purple sprouting brocolli (about 3 stems each)

1/2 a lemon

(serves 2)

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Spatch your poussin. I can offer you no better advice that looking on this blog post.

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Pre spatch
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Post spatch

Drizzle olive oil over your poussin, crush over some garlic and spoon over your harissa. Rub onto the poussin well until the whole bird is covered. Wash your hands after handling raw chicken. Roast the bird for 45 minutes.

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I was going to caption this picture “spread em!” until I remembered my mum might be reading this…..

After the poussin has been cooking for around 30 minutes heat the garlic and a good slosh of olive oil in a large frying pan.

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Once the garlic is soft add the cous cous, stock and ras al hanout to the pan.

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Cous cous
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Spice is nice

Add the brocolli to the pan and keep stirring. If the cous cous starts to dry out add more stock or water.

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Remove the poussin from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes.

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Lovely and crispy

Slice the courgette and add to the pan along with the pumpkin seeds.

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Looking very green
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You’ll be reaping in some serious vitamins and minerals with this meal

When the cous cous and vegetables are cooked add the lemon juice to the pan and stir in. Half the poussin and add to the pan. You don’t have to do this but it makes the dish look seriously impressive.

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Serve to a very hungry person. For some reason I find dishes cooked with chicken stock extremely comforting.

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Enjoy your meal that is both hearty and healthy.

Prawns baked in their shell with garlic and lemon

Prawns baked in their shell with garlic and lemon

I seem to have fallen into a pattern of making recipes that I would describe as looking impressive but really raking the bare minimum when it comes to effort in preparation. Now prawns cooking in their shell can be fiddly to eat, so it’s perhaps not a recipe for a first date, but cooking the prawns like this changes their flavour slightly and it looks really impressive.

To make the prawns you will need:

10-12 large prawns in their shell

1/2 a lemon

2 cloves garlic (I used smoked garlic but normal is perfectly fine)

Olive oil

Approx 20g butter

Parsley

(Serves 1 very hungry person as a main course or 2 as a starter)

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Wash the prawns with cold water.

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Place the prawns in a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Crush the garlic and sprinkle in over the prawns.

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They look a bit weird I admit
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Mmm garlic

Squeeze the lemons over the prawns and then cut it into wedges and put in the roasting tray. Cut the butter into small pieces and put un the tray too.

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Lemons make me think of summer

Top with the parsley and cook the prawns for 15-20 minutes or until the prawns are all pink and opaque.

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Parsley time

My pictures of the cooked prawns in the tray turned out pretty blurry so I decided not to include them. I served my prawns with rye bread which I used to mop up the lemony butter from the roasting tray (not something to do in polite company).

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Don’t forget to serve your prawns with an extra plate so you can put discarded shells onto it. I hope you enjoy making these.

Handmade in Yorkshire

As mentioned in my previous post DC accompanied me to the Handmade in Yorkshire food market in Leeds last weekend. We had a lovely time browsing the stalls and eating. DC, who is from New Zealand, also got her first chance to watch a Punch and Judy show (strings of sausages and all). The weather was fantastic which made walking round the stalls a wonderful atmosphere and I really wish I could have tried all of the food. Next time I will….

Fresh clams in a chilli and tomato sauce

Last Saturday my friend DC (my favourite Kiwi) and I went to Leeds to go to the Handmade in Yorkshire market in Victoria Gardens (more on this in my next post!). While we were in Leeds we took advantage of the wonderful indoor and outdoor Kirkgate markets where we stocked up on fruit and veg, fish, meat and I visited a haberdashery (I have a new sewing machine). We had a lovely time browsing the markets at a leisurely pace and looking for potential wedding inspiration for DC (she is getting married soon!) I picked up some fresh (live) clams, something I haven’t eaten in the UK, let alone cooked before.

I decided to keep it simple, clams have a delicate flavour and I didn’t want to overpower them. The only time I really remember eating clams was on a family trip to Barcelona where we had them with lovely tomato based sauces. Luckily I remembered that although clam shells are pretty large, the actual seafood inside isn’t massive so you need to make way more than you’d think for a light meal.

To make this you will need (per person)

2 large handfuls of fresh clams

2 cloves garlic

Olive oil

2 handfuls cherry tomatoes

A dash of chilli sauce (I used Srircaha hot sauce)

Half a glass of white wine

Wash your clams and check for any broken shells (as with mussels).

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I probably need to sort out the peeling paint on this colander

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Leave the clams to one side. Fry the garlic in the oil on a medium heat until the garlic is soft.

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Garlic-tastic

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Quarter the tomatoes and add to the garlic and add a dash of the chilli sauce. Fry until soft.

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Add the clams and pour over the wine. Cover for 5 minutes.

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Every so often stir the clams and cook until their shells have opened.

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Serve with some crusty bread to dip your sauce into.

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Sometimes the loveliest recipes are the most simple ones!