Thursday, 26 March 2015

Mishkin's, London

Mishkin's, London
I have this weird thing. Despite not having a scrap of spirituality myself, I have a fascination with Jewish culture. It started in GCSE Religious Studies, and then I did my degree dissertation on the Jewish community in Manchester - it was a toss up between that and Lord Lever, my other strange love. Don't even get me started on Cyril. 

The food. Oh the food. It's all about comfort and company. A couple of years ago we went to Katz's Deli in New York, and I've been on the hunt for something similar over here ever since. I'm still toying with the idea of making my own salt beef after my mission came up fruitless. 

We were planning a trip to London for my birthday, and decided to invite some of our besties along for the food fuelled ride. As soon as the train tickets were purchased, I set about planning our culinary escapades. We wanted something fairly light for lunch, as we were doing a bigger meal in the evening. My pal Lee suggested a nice sandwich style gaff. And so happy memories of Katz's sprang into my little mind. My quest led me to Mishkin's.Mishkin's, London
Similar to Katz's, Mishkin's is a Jew-ish deli. Neither are actually kosher, but are still steeped in the tradition that ensures some wonderful, homely food. Thinking back, Mishkin's is actually nothing like Katz's, but it really didn't matter. Although it's been on this site in some form since 1931, the masterminds behind Spuntino and Polpo took over in 2011. It feels old, in a down with the kids trendy kind of way... 

We arrived after spending a couple of hours cooped on a train, and despite our 'train picnic' of pastries and prosecco, we were starved. 
Mishkin's, London
We were greeted warmly and shown to a cosy booth at the back of the restaurant. Drinks arrived promptly whilst we perused the menu. We resisted the urge to order everything, yet still managed to have a table packed with food when it arrived!

Slider - Chickpea, spinach & ricotta: I love the idea of mix and match sliders! Ideal for those with smaller appetities, or indeed greedy pigs like us who want to sample lots of different dishes.
Mishkin's, London - Sliders
Slider - spicy fried chicken & jalapenos
Mishkin's, London - Sliders
6oz Reuben burger - beef patty, pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese & Russian dressing: Now that's one good looking burger. Behold that dripping cheese... They actually do a 12oz version of this. Hell fire.
Mishkin's, London - Reuben Burger
Chicken soup: One of us had to. Lee was very quiet whilst eating this. This is proper chicken soup potent enough to see off colds and general train induced fatigue.
Mishkin's, London - Chicken Soup
Steak tartare, grilled sourdough: Perfect spiced tartare with crisp sourdough. Heavenly.
Mishkin's, London - Tartare
Fried chicken & slaw: Good god. This was my choice. I'm just a bit mad I can't remember it in more intricate detail (I think copious amounts of fizz and a cocktail helped with that...). It's the same kind of chicken I had at Pies and Thighs in Brooklyn rather than the Southern fried type. That jalapeno mayo was ridiculous.
Mishkin's, London - Fried Chicken
Thick cut chips and macaroni cheese: Like we needed sides. Crispy chips and lovely soft mac and cheese with a grilled breadcrumb topping. Loved.
Mishkin's, London - Sides
Peanut butter and jelly cheesecake: 'We'll share a dessert' we said... Little did we know that it would still finish us off. So much for the light lunch we had planned! I'm not mad keen on peanut butter, but remembered the amazing offering from Red's in Leeds, so ran with it. This was surprisingly light in texture, but still managed to pack a peanutty punch.
Mishkin's, London - Cheesecake
Chocolate milkshake: The boys opted for milkshakes as they thought they wouldn't be as filling. Wrong.
Mishkin's, London - Milkshake
We left with full bellies, sore sides from laughing, and each of us being referred to as 'Mishkin' at least twice a minute - this one's still ongoing.

I adored our little Jew-ish deli trip with the other Mishkins.

Mishkin's on Urbanspoon

Lemon and White Chocolate Bundt Cake

Lemon and White Chocolate Bundt Cake
Strangely, Blogger insists on changing the colour of this pic. Go to my Instagram for a better picture...
I used to have an obsession with white chocolate, so this was a bit of a risk. I'd rather not be off the wagon when it comes to this white stuff. Five family sized Milkybars a week may be considered to be excessive by some. Luckily for me, one day I woke up and just didn't fancy my 2500 calorie a week habit any more! Two stones lighter, I have come out of the other side...

A lemon and white chocolate bundt had been on my mind for some time, so I took one for the team and bit the bullet. The result was one of my favourite cakes ever. I am never making it ever again. It's too damn risky! Everyone at work loved it, and agreed that the white chocolate covering isn't too sickly as there's only a thin (scrumptiously gooey) layer covering the cake. I'm trying not to think about it. In fact, I can't say much more on the matter. Too painful.


Ingredients:
  • 225g butter
  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 250ml lemon yoghurt 
  • Zest and juice of one large unwaxed lemon
  • Jar of white chocolate spread

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c
  2. Prepare a regular sized bundt tin - 2.4l, 10 cup, 10 inch with Cake Release spray and dust with flour.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Add the extracts.
  6. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ginger.
  7. Pour the yoghurt into a jug and add the zest and juice.
  8. Sift in a third of the flour mix followed by half the yoghurt. Repeat this until everything is combined. 
  9. Give everything a quick mix on a low speed for about 10 seconds.
  10. Pour the mix into your prepared tin. 
  11. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  12. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before removing from the tin.
  13. When completely cool, warm your white chocolate spread in the microwave until slightly runny and tip over the cake. I used my Bavaria tin because it has lots of pretty nooks and crannies for the chocolate to fall into.

Bloggers: Please respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and basic recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Aspinall Arms, Clitheroe

The Aspinall Arms, Clitheroe
Apparently the Queen wants to retire to the Ribble Valley - who can blame her? It's a beautiful area of the country, with rolling hills, babbling brooks, Roman ruins and some of the best pubs and restaurants in the country. I'm convinced that a pretty view makes the food taste better too. 

The Aspinall Arms in Mitton near Clitheroe used to be a pub we drove past on our way to The Three Fishes. When it was suggested we take a trip, I remembered it being in Mitton, but that was about it. About seven years ago we had just discovered Nigel Haworth's Ribble Valley Inns, and thought no-one would ever come close to their amazing home cooked pub food. Then folk started to considerably up their game. We no longer had to drive for an hour to get food worthy of the Good Food Guide; the Hearth of the Ram and Eagle and Child opened in Ramsbottom, and Manchester got the belly warming Beef and Pudding. The new breed of gastropub have been popping up everywhere ever since. This is great news for greedy folk like me, because there are more places to sample. 

The modern 'pub grub' establishment is a far cry from the wildly patterned carpeted, smoky kind of gaff serving up scampi and chicken in a basket, whilst the the football on the telly talks to itself in the background. These days it's all about roaring fires in the winter, al fresco dining in the summer, and more often than not, chalk paint in duck egg blue.

After extensive renovation in 2014, The Aspinall Arms is a real contender in the area. Some of our family live nearby, and were excited to take us there to try it for ourselves. We went on a Saturday evening (post cake club might I add...), when it was just starting to get busy. I needed something savoury more than I needed oxygen (slight exaggeration - granted). 
We had a good look at the cask selection whilst we waited for the rest of our party to arrive, which included a healthy selection of local breweries such as Hawkshead, and hometown favourite, Bank Top. By the time we sat down, I was absolutely ravenous, but luckily our order was taken pretty sharpish and I avoided nibbling on a beermat.

8oz steak burger topped with grilled bacon and Cheddar, served with coleslaw and chips: I'm always a bit dubious about ordering burgers from places like this. It generally goes one of two ways with little in between. It was truly scrumptious. Just the right ratio of toppings to burger, crisp home made chips and a dollop of coleslaw. The perfect savoury antidote to an afternoon laced with sugar.
The Aspinall Arms, Clitheroe - Burger
Braised shoulder of lamb with dauphinoise potatoes, green beans and lamb jus: A little more refined than my oozing burger. This rich slow cooked lamb fell off the bone. I'm presuming my husband would have preferred it with chips though, as he kindly liberated some of mine...

Other members of the party had the humongous fish and chips, the venison and the crispy beef salad. Turns out the haddock was the winner amongst the group.
The Aspinall Arms, Clitheroe - Lamb
Crème brûlée with shortbread biscuit: I was way too full for a dessert (clearly sabotaged by cake club gluttony), but I had to get a snap of this impressive dessert.
The Aspinall Arms, Clitheroe - Creme Brulee
A quick cuppa was required to revive several flagging diners, who were already rather wriggly indeed. The shortbread biscuit definitely helped...
The Aspinall Arms, Clitheroe - Tea and Coffee
We all really enjoyed our trip to The Aspinall Arms. The service was attentive, the food was warming and the ambience was restorative. The Three Fishes have some serious competition from their new glam neighbours.

Aspinall Arms on Urbanspoon
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...