How to Make a Salsa

Though never the main event of a meal, salsa is always a great garnish to have to hand.  It freshens, lightens and complements flavours. From barbecues to curries, salsa is a must-make side-dish. Everyone has their own recipe, of course, but there’s no harm in sampling something new and a little different. Here’s my recipe for Tomato and Red Onion Salsa.

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Scottish Oatcakes Recipe (2)

It’s with some trepidation that I dub this a recipe for ‘Scottish Oatcakes’. You see, it isn’t entirely clear what fat should be used to bind a traditional Scottish oatcake, but it almost certainly isn’t olive oil. Everyone appears to hold differing opinions and methods, but the flavour of olive oil and the crispness it brings really does it for me. Honestly, these are so far above what you find in the supermarket you’ll never revert.

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Golden Ale Vegetarian Chilli

Chilli is one of the best dishes with which to experiment – if an ingredient is dark, rich and flavourful, it can probably be put to good use in this classic American dish. Indeed, Stout Chilli was on our menu not so long ago and the intense, rich notes of the Bristol Beer Factory’s ‘Milk Stout’ resonated wonderfully with the meat. Vegetables, however, seem to work better with something lighter than stout, so it seemed only natural to develop a recipe for Golden Ale Vegetarian Chilli.

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Chickpea Burgers

The one quality that makes chickpeas so fantastically versatile is their rather marvellous texture. More uniform and slightly drier than other pulses, chickpeas possess an almost claggy characteristic perfect in hummus, as a crispy ball of falafel or even a “meaty” chickpea burger. What is more, chickpeas have a culinary coup in reserve; their flavour is a little less prevalent than that of other pulses. With chickpeas a delightful ambience of taste is assured, one that is easily peppered with high points from a wealth of suitable ingredients.

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Tarka Dhal

Dhal is one of my very favourite Indian foods. It’s both simple and honest, not to mention so pleasantly frugal that one could it all day every day and never notice it make a dent in one’s finances. To the uninitiated, dhal may at first appear sloppy and unappealing – rather like porridge – but once you’ve had a chance to experience its dense and satisfying texture your views on Indian cuisine will be forever enhanced.

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