Home Cook Liverpool 9: Salt and Pepper Chicken, Mussels Arrabiata & Mint Brownies on the menu this week - The Guide Liverpool

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Home Cook Liverpool 9: Salt and Pepper Chicken, Mussels Arrabiata & Mint Brownies on the menu this week


Until we can get our fabulous fill of the city’s amazing restaurants and bars, some of Liverpool’s best chefs have given us another sample of their amazing cuisine for us to recreate ourselves for our series – Home Cook Liverpool. 


Each week we have been getting Liverpool’s best chefs to send us the recipes to the dishes that we all know and love! Check out over 45 different recipes from Liverpool restaurants in our full Home Cook Liverpool series here.

Don’t forget you can also tuck into our Delivery Directory which now has over 750 local restaurants, bars and more featured with 90% of them delivering to your door. Choose your next meal here.

Lu Ban – Salt and Pepper Chicken

“This is really healthy and tasty Salt and Pepper Chicken with brown rice,” says executive chef, Dave Critchley. “It isn’t your deep fried dry old chicken strips drowned in salt with a few chillis and spring onions chucked on!)

Ingredients for 2 people:

30g cornflour

1 tdsp fine salt

1 dspn Chinese five-spice powder

1 dspn ground black pepper,

100ml vegetable oil or coconut oil

2 chicken breasts or 4 bonelessskinless, chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized strips

3 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 red chilli

1 small piece fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves

0.5 red pepper

Handful of baby spinach

0.5 white onion

1 small cup or 150g Brown rice

Method: Rinse the rice in a colander under cold running water for a couple of minutes to remove any excess starch. Add 2 small cups (the same one you measured your rice with) of boiling water (use a kettle) to a pan and bring back to the boil. Add the rinsed rice. When water boils, turn down to a simmer and pop a lid on.

In a large bowl, mix the cornflour, salt, five-spice, and black pepper together and set aside.

Slice up the chicken into thumb sized chunks not too large . 

Heat the oil in a wok or large pan or until a piece of chicken sizzles when lowered into the pan. (WARNING : Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

Toss the chicken in the flour mixture, working in batches. Carefully add it to the oil and cook for 2–3 minutes on one side, until starting to crisp up and slightly golden. Turn and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. The chicken should be virtually cooked though. Drain on kitchen paper. And set to one side the residual heat will continue to cook the chicken.

When the chicken is all done, set the wok aside and allow the oil to cool down.

Lu Ban

Now the veg!… Peel the ginger with a spoon and slice into thin slices, crush the garlic and chop roughly, trim the spring onions at the top and also a small section off the bottom off the green end. Slice two ‘cheeks’ off the red pepper and chop into chunks. Slice the chilli in half lengthways and remove the seeds, then slice each half into about 6. Peel the onion and dice roughly.

Remove excess oil from the wok you will only need about 10ml to 20ml or 2 dspn.. Heat the oil in a clean pan over a medium heat. Add the spring onions, chilli, garlic and ginger and a good pinch of pepper, salt and 5 spice. Fry for 1–2 minute until the aromas are definitely apparent and the veg is softening.

Add the peppers, onions and stir fry for a good 2 minutes until peppers are softening slightly and onion is starting to brown slightly. Then lob in the cooked chicken. Toss and cook for a further 2 minutes, until the chicken is coated in the onions, garlic and chilli and is hot throughout. 

Throw in a handful of spinach and stir fry with a splash of soy. Remove from the heat.

Your rice should have absorbed all the water and be cooked perfectly now! Turn off the heat, fluff up the rice in the pan with a fork, and serve rice straight onto a plate.

Spoon over your salt and pepper chicken ensuring plenty of that colourful veg on each plate.

And, eat!!!

Cucina di Vincenzo – Mussels Arrabiata

Chef Gabriella Margiotta shows how simple can be oh-so-stunning with this amazing dish. She says: “Arrabiatta is literally translated as ‘angry’, so these are Angry Mussels.”


Fresh mussels (about 1 kg)

Cherry tomatoes (handful)

3 cloves garlic

Two sliced chillies

Two generous tablespoons passata

Fresh parsley

Small glass of white wine (or fish or veg stock)



Method: Always use fresh mussels and prep them first. Make sure they are closed -throw any that are open away; they should look clean and smell fresh ‘like the ocean’, and remove the beard (that’s the bit of seaweed at the side, which you jiggle and slide out).

In a medium-high pan with hot oil, add the chopped garlic and chillies and saute until soft.

Add the mussels, the tomatoes and the passata and the wine (or stock).

Add salt and freshly ground pepper and get the heat high.  After 30 seconds, put a lid on for two minutes.

When the mussels are ready they will open. Discard any that don’t.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley and finish with a drizzle of Olive Oil, oregano and sea salt.

Serve with toasted bread.

Dockleaf – Mint Brownie

Ooh, this is a glorious brownie with a hint of mint – and, go on, you don’t have to wait until After Eight to enjoy it.

185g butter
185g dark chocolate
85g flour
40g cocoa powder
3 eggs
275g caster sugar
100g After Eight Mint Chocolate

Heat the oven on 180 degrees.

Melt butter and dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water(leave to reach room temperature).
Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl.

Mix eggs and sugar together on high speed for around 6-8 minutes (it needs to be a mousse consistency)

Fold cooled chocolate and butter into eggs and sugar – be gentle you need to keep the air in the eggs, don’t over mix
Sift flour and cocoa powder into mix. It will become very thick and congealed.

Add After Eight Mints

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Pour mix in, spread to corners.

Pop in oven for 25 mins. Give it a shake, if it jiggles in the middle, give it another 5 minutes.

Serve with a scoop of mint choc chip ice-cream

Ma Boyles Alehouse and Eaterie – Ma’s Famous Steak and Ale Pie

Serves 6


500g of diced steak

Half a white onion (diced)

Salt and pepper to taste

3-4 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil

3 large carrots (diced)

1 single Swede (diced)

Half a leak

I pint of Best Bitter (or non-alcoholic dark beer)

100g of beef gravy granules

1 roll of pastry (cut to size of dish)

1 Egg (yolk)

Method: Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the diced steak over medium heat until brown – season with salt and cracked black pepper. Add chopped onions and fry until soft.

Add gravy granules and add 500ml of best bitter and stir thoroughly. Now add the chopped carrots, leak and swede. Add more water so all ingredients are fully submerged and season again. Cook on a light simmer for 40 minutes until beef is soft and flaky adding water as required for individual consistency. Season to taste.

Cut pastry to size of top of ovenproof individual dishes or large tray/ pie dish, brush pastry with egg yolk – put on a greased baking sheet and cook for 14 mins at 180degrees. Pastry should be golden brown.

Add pie mix to dish and place pie lid on top and serve with buttery mashed potato and seasonal greens as required.

Dash – Sticky Ginger and Toffee Pudding

Perfect for a dinner date in – who could resist?!


250g dates (pitted and chopped)

200g self-raising flour

125 butter (softened)

2 eggs

125g dark brown sugar

1 piece stem ginger

½ tbsp sodium bicarbonate

200ml hot water

Method: Sock the dates in boiling water and add the sodium bicarbonate. Leave for 30 mins and blitz with the stem ginger until smooth. Cream the butter and sugar together in a kitchen aid/food mixer.

Next, add the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.

In a large bowl, fold the egg mixture into the date puree and sift in the flour gradually until well combined. Pour the mixture into a greaseproof paper-lined oven tray (about 20x15cm)and bake at 160C for 40 mins.

Place a small ovenproof dish half-filled with boiling water at the bottom of the oven to add moisture. Use a wooden skewer to check it’s cooked -it should come out clean.

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