HB&B Blog — Claire Bullen

Wine & Food Killers: Confit Salmon with Citrus Herb Salad and Camillo Donati Malvasia Secco Pet Nat 2018

Claire Bullen Italy Natural wine Natural Wine Killers Sparkling wine

Wine & Food Killers: Confit Salmon with Citrus Herb Salad and Camillo Donati Malvasia Secco Pet Nat 2018

This Thanksgiving, I roasted a chicken instead of a turkey. I reduced the myriad sides down to two dishes – crunchy, golden roast potatoes and green beans with shallots and pistachios. In lieu of the classic dessert spread, I made one single pumpkin pie for the two of us, which we shared over the course of days. And I was much happier for it.  2020 is forcing us to celebrate our holidays differently, to downsize and to cut back. There is much to mourn in that, much painful loss to try to digest. But there's a small culinary upside in...

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Wine & Food Killers: Persian Fried Rice and Weingut Brand Wilder Satz 2019

Claire Bullen Germany Natural wine Natural Wine KiIllers

Wine & Food Killers: Persian Fried Rice and Weingut Brand  Wilder Satz 2019

I've been making a lot of fried rice during lockdown(s). I'm sure I'm not alone. It’s not just that fried rice is cheap, fast, flexible and made using basic pantry ingredients, it's also entirely comforting, can be eaten for any meal and does an admirable job of sopping up the prior night's beer. No fried rice I make is the same, but generally I'll add soy sauce and sesame oil, hot sauce and ginger, garlic and fish sauce; I might eat it with salmon or tofu or vegetables, or just on its own, satisfyingly spiced and glistening with oil. Despite...

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The Beer Lover's Table: Braised Duck and Barley Stew with Braybrooke Beer Co Harvest Festbier

Beer Lover's Table Braybrooke Claire Bullen Lager

The Beer Lover's Table: Braised Duck and Barley Stew with Braybrooke Beer Co Harvest Festbier

I had a relatively mild case of COVID-19 in March and, after losing my sense of smell, I found it has returned mostly intact… barring one or two peculiarities. The first is that certain hop varieties – as well as passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc and figs – taste less sweetly musky now and more like savoury spices and sweaty onions. The second is that alcohol and solvents smell to me like fresh bread, which makes the regular hand sanitiser ritual surprisingly appealing. It also makes malt-driven beer styles taste like manna from heaven. As a result, I've stopped drinking quite so...

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Wine & Food Killers: Pumpkin, Mushroom and Ricotta Pie with Gentle Folk Village Pinot Noir 2019

Australia Claire Bullen Gentle Folk Pinot Noir Red wine

Wine & Food Killers: Pumpkin, Mushroom and Ricotta Pie with Gentle Folk Village Pinot Noir 2019

In my early days of learning about wine, Pinot Noir intrigued me from the start. There was its fickleness, its delicacy: thin-skinned Pinot is sublime in good years, but can be easily destroyed by early frosts, hail or other inclement conditions. For many winemakers, it's a heart-breaker. And it happens to make the kind of wine I like most of all: relatively light-bodied, glittering, vibrant with red fruit characteristics, silkily tannic. Pinot Noir is often described as having cherry and floral notes, though it is perhaps most distinguished by its forest floor character. I love “forest floor because it sounds,...

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The Beer Lover’s Table: Mediterranean Orzo with Prawns and Marinated Feta and St Bernardus Wit

Beer Lover's Table Claire Bullen St Bernardus Wheat Beer Witbier

The Beer Lover’s Table: Mediterranean Orzo with Prawns and Marinated Feta and St Bernardus Wit

Remember beaches? The faraway ones, I mean. The ones that took a train and an airport bus and an ungodly early budget flight to reach? Remember the hassle of it all? The too-full carry-on bags and the boarding passes that wouldn’t scan properly and the obligatory Prêt breakfasts? Remember finally arriving, dropping off your suitcases, heading out of your Airbnb or hotel and feeling the sun of somewhere else on your shoulders? Sure, it was the same sun as the one you had back home, but it never felt like it. I recall reading a tweet early in lockdown that...

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