Nigel Slater’s summer salad with meat recipes

The combination of hot sizzling meat and cold fresh leaves or fruit, put together at the last moment so the contrast is not lost, makes the ideal summer dishWe left strips of pork belly, cut into squares, in a paste of finely chopped chilli, ginger, lemon and fish sauce, turning them every 20 minutes or so. Then we roasted it, so the marinade caramelised into a dark and intense coating, then tossed it, still hot enough to burn our mouths, with chunks of sweet watermelon and hot watercress.Sizzling, sticky and refreshing, a touch Vietnamese perhaps, the pork and watermelon salad is one for a hot day. But we also made a gentler salad this week, one of roast chicken (unusually, we used only the white meat), a lot of crisp, cool cucumber and then a little raw rhubarb. Eating the stems uncooked reminds me of sitting, about six years old, on the garden steps at home, with slices of sour, pink rhubarb and the sugar bag. There is no sugar here: the rhubarb is there to contrast the sweet roasting juices of the chicken and does so, delightfully. Continue...

Mr Cooper’s House & Garden: restaurant review

There’s all manner of unrelated food on offer at Mr Cooper’s, and eating there feels like playing ‘ingredient bingo’Midland Hotel, Peter Street, Manchester (0161 932 4128). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £110At the bottom of the menu at Mr Cooper’s House & Garden, which is neither a house nor a garden but a hotel restaurant in Manchester, it says : “Stay true to your roots.” In the context of a restaurant named after the renowned 19th-century garden that once occupied the same site, this makes sense. Plants have roots and so, I suppose, should good cooking. And if you have roots, perhaps you should stay true to them. Continue...

Time for a sherry?

Every year someone predicts that sherry is about to have a moment. It never does, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t one of the best value and most complex drinks you can taste. Here are three great bottles to get you started Continue...