Change energy supplier
  . . . cooking recipes, cookery, food, cooking vacations  
   
 
     
Cooking courses :
Cooking courses
Cooking vacations
Cooking holidays
Culinary tours
Cooking tours

COOKING NEWSLETTER - JUNE 2011

Welcome to the Hub-UK Newsletter. If you have ideas that you think might work we would love to hear from you and by the same token if you think something is rubbish let us know . . . but do it nicely! newsletter@hub-uk.com

Bookmark and Share
   
AROUND THE SUPERMARKET  

There is always something happening in supermarkets - new products, product demonstrations, shelves reorganised so you can't find anything. Not always interesting, quite often boring and sometimes a chore but just occasionally something catches your eye, something is interesting . . .

Having been told that you have to be on Facebook if you are anyone Hub-UK now has a Facebook page. . . not sure whether it is a good idea or not. Perahps you can surprise us by taking a look, leaving a comment or two and clicking on the Like button.

Look What We Found?

I struggled a bit this month as to whether I should write about this product or not but in the end decided there was not much else to get excited about on the supermarket shelves by way of something new.

Look What We FoundThe title “Look What We Found ” is actually the food brand that caught my eye. Looking at the web site there is quite a wide range of products but on the shelves of my local supermarket there were only two to choose from, so I tried Fellside Beef Chilli con Carne. The idea was to have a nice simple meal that would not take any longer than the 10 minutes it would take to cook some Uncle Ben's boil-in-the bag Basmati rice.

There are days when you are just too busy to take the time to prepare a meal but It does not mean you do not want something tasty and interesting to eat. Choosing Fellside Beef Chilli con Carne
might not have been the most sensible of choices as I pride myself on making a rather good Chilli con Carne of my own.

So what was the verdict? Well it certainly was not as good as my Chilli con Carne but then to be fair it was never going to be. The Chilli con Carne comes in a sealed pouch which you can heat through in the microwave. You can warm it up on the hob but why bother when the microwave is so much easier . . . and it's one less pan to wash! Everything was done in the ten minutes it took to do the rice so it was a quick meal.

It was all right to eat but not Chilli con Carne to my taste so I would not buy it again but it certainly had enough flavour and texture that I would consider trying other meals in the range . . . and I would not put anyone off trying it for themself.

Ever fancied a cooking holiday? Ever fancied learning
to make bread - www.cookingholidays.co.uk

I was going to write something about the brand, Look What We Found, but the web site does a good job of telling you all about it and the products. You can also order online and having had a quick look at the delivery charges it looks like a practical option if the meals are not available to you locally.

I am not advocating that you give up cooking but when you need a quick meal option because of a busy day, or someone in the family needs a meal outside normal mealtimes, then these might well be worth a look. They do not need keeping in the fridge or freezer so storage is easy.

There is a good selection and plenty of information to be seen on the web site - www.lookwhatwefound.co.uk

Editorial note: This site is not paid to promote any of the products featured in this newsletter.

A NOTE FROM TUSCANY  

Parmesan Cups

The weather over here has been very warm lately and the locally grown salads are just showing up at the markets. Which made me think about Parmesan cups these are made very easily by melting grated Parmesan, (or Grano Padano and I would guess just about any hard cheese) and forming the it into the shape you want. It gives plenty of scope for the imagination and creativity.

For the simple cup, take about a table spoon of the grated cheese and pour in a heap onto a lightly oiled non-stick frying pan at a medium heat - for the first few times to make life easier, add 10% fine breadcrumbs. Using the spoon spread the cheese into a circle about five to inches (or 12 – 15cm). As it starts to bubble give the pan a shake so it does not stick and tidy up the edges pushing back into the disk any that has drifted off. Make sure the entire disk has melted and bubbled a little bit before taking it out with a spatula and dropping over an upturned shot glass. Smooth down a bit so it fits the glass and allow to cool for at least fifteen minutes. Turn it up and fill with whatever takes your fancy, salad, olives, humus.

You can do many other shapes, latticed for salad or cone for ricotta or tomato with anchovy.

Chef Jonathan Arthur
www.italywithrelish.it

Sorrento cooking holiday 9th July www.italywithrelish.it/sorrento
- a few places remaining: mention Hub-UK in your first email & get 10% off.

 

LIVING THE GOOD LIFE IN SPAIN  

Spanish Caldo

Spanish CaldoCaldo is a very rustic Spanish recipe, an Andalucian favourite and something which has remained in Spanish recipe books through the generations. Caldo basically means ‘stock’ and to make a good one you will need a full chicken carcass. As probably one of the most versatile recipes we have come across during our time in rural Granada the humble caldo lends itself to a whole range of ingredients - this is the kind of old fashioned recipe with absolutely no rules and there is, no right or wrong way of making it.

Caldo originally comes from the ‘campo’ or countryside where workers would need something both nutritious to fuel the body for the hard work in the fields but also be fairly light. Caldo, depending on how you make it can be a soup or served on a plate.

Stock is key, don’t throw away that chicken carcass! Boiling up the chicken with some peppercorns, bay leaf and a pinch of salt produces a lovely flavour and is the base for the dish. After an hour, remove the carcass and strain the liquid, then the fun starts! Caldo is a great fridge or larder clearer, use up all those leftover carrots, cabbage, onion, leek or any vegetables looking like they may see better days by the end of the week. Forget the vegetable peeler as this is a recipe with real rustic character, break the carrots and roughly chop everything else leaving the skins on. Simmer for an hour or so until the vegetables are tender then serve with fresh crusty bread.

Making this soup is great way of using up all those vegetables that may otherwise be destined for the compost heap. Use turnip, potatoes, onions or add some earthy flavour with a pinch of smoked paprika and for a little meat try some serrano ham either diced or in thin strips. A typically rural recipe caldo is indicative of the hard times endured in the past but is one that has remained in almost every Spanish kitchen. Spain is the home of simple easy food with great flavour – also tapas, many of which vary from the simple to the extravagant, caldo however remains to this day as a reliable recipe and packs a deliciously rustic flavour punch as well as being tremendously simple.

More on rustic Spanish cooking >>>

EASY TO MAKE RECIPES . . . CUTTING CORNERS  

With fresh grown tomatoes now in the supermarkets it is time to start taking advantage of the wonderful flavours by using them in more dishes. Here is one idea for you to try.

FRESH TOMATO PIE

Ingredients:

1 x 9-inch savory pastry shell*
6 to 8 ripe tomatoes
1 medium onion
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh basil leaves, garnish

*You can make life easy by buying a pre-cooked pastry shell from the supermarket.

How to make:

  • Preheat the oven to 190ºC / Gas mark 5
  • Slice the onion and place in the bottom of the pastry shell.
  • Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top of the onions.
  • Add black pepper to taste.
  • In a medium bowl, combine mozzarella, parmesan and mayonnaise.
  • Spread this mixture evenly over the top of the tomatoes.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Once cooked, roughly rip the basil leaves and garnish pie.

Serves 4

SOUP OF THE MONTH  

CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP WITH POACHED EGG

Cream of Asparagus Soup with Poached EggIngredients:

2 bundles British asparagus, trimmed
1 leek, washed and trimmed
50g butter
400ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp olive oil
4 medium eggs, poached

How to make:

  • Cut the asparagus into 3cm lengths. Reserve the tips and set aside.
  • Halve the leek lengthways and cut into 1 cm pieces.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the leek and asparagus.
  • Sauté for 3 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to soften.
  • Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the asparagus is soft and cooked through.
  • Blend the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender, until smooth.
  • Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper and return to the pan.
  • Add the double cream and warm through.
  • Meanwhile, toss the asparagus tips in the olive oil, and heat a ridged griddle pan.
  • Griddle the asparagus for 2 minutes.
  • Serve the soup in warmed soup bowls, topping each bowl with a lightly poached egg and some asparagus tips.

Hot Tips:

When poaching the eggs put them into boiling salted water with a dash of vinegar as this helps to keep the egg together. The eggs can be poached in advanced and placed into a bowl of cold water then when the eggs are required they can be dropped back into boiling water.

Serves 4

www.british-asparagus.co.uk

FOOD CALENDAR  

As the newsletter is a work in progress I have decided that the Food Calendar section is probably something that can come out as there is nothing in it which is not listed elsewhere on the internet, and no-one is sending in details of events. If you have any thoughts or comments send an email to info@hub-uk.com

WHEN SCHOOLS TAUGHT DOMESTIC SCIENCE  

Welsh CakesWELSH CAKES

Ingredients 

200 gm flour
50 gm unsalted butter
50 gm lard
75 gm castor sugar
30 ml milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp mixed spice
1 pc egg
50 gm currants

Method

  • Sieve the flour, baking powder and mixed spice together.
  • Rub in the lard and butter.
  • Add the sugar and currants.
  • Add the egg and sufficient milk to form into a firm paste
  • Roll out on a floured board to a thickness of 1cm and cut into rounds
  • Cook on a greased griddle or a heavy based frying pan for about 3 minutes on each side or until a golden brown
  • Cool and sprinkle with sugar if desired

I like to eat my Welsh Cakes still warm with a thick spread of butter!

THE MIXING BOWL . . . RANDOM BITS AND PIECES  

Fresh celery!
A better way to keep celery fresh (and it works for Romaine lettuce as well) is to wrap it with a damp paper towel and then put it in a plastic bag with as little air as possible and refrigerate.

Popcorn
Popcorn will keep longer if stored in the freezer.

Brown Sugar
Keep brown sugar wrapped in another plastic bag in the freezer to make it last longer without hardening. Take it out to thaw about 15 minutes before you need to use it, then return the remaining portion to the freezer.

Red wine spillage?
If you spill red wine on a carpet, pour white wine right over it. The white will neutralize the red wine. Follow with light soap and water and blot with a thick towel.

Bookmark and Share

The newsletter will be published online to avoid creating potential spam problems so if you would like to be notified when the next newsletter is published just send an email to newsletter@hub-uk.com

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com