NEWSLETTER - JUNE 2011
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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
. . .
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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.
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.
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
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,
You can do many other shapes, latticed for salad
or cone for ricotta or tomato with anchovy.
Chef Jonathan Arthur
THE GOOD LIFE IN SPAIN
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, dont 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.
on rustic Spanish cooking >>>
TO MAKE RECIPES . . . CUTTING
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.
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:
the oven to 190ºC / Gas mark 5
the onion and place in the bottom of the pastry
the tomatoes and arrange on top of the onions.
black pepper to taste.
a medium bowl, combine mozzarella, parmesan and
this mixture evenly over the top of the tomatoes.
for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
cooked, roughly rip the basil leaves and garnish
OF ASPARAGUS SOUP WITH POACHED EGG
2 bundles British asparagus, trimmed
1 leek, washed and trimmed
400ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp olive oil
4 medium eggs, poached
the asparagus into 3cm lengths. Reserve the tips
and set aside.
the leek lengthways and cut into 1 cm pieces.
the butter in a large saucepan and add the leek
for 3 minutes, until the vegetables are starting
the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes,
until the asparagus is soft and cooked through.
the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender,
to taste with sea salt and black pepper and return
to the pan.
the double cream and warm through.
toss the asparagus tips in the olive oil, and heat
a ridged griddle pan.
the asparagus for 2 minutes.
the soup in warmed soup bowls, topping each bowl
with a lightly poached egg and some asparagus 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.
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 email@example.com
SCHOOLS TAUGHT DOMESTIC SCIENCE
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
the flour, baking powder and mixed spice together.
in the lard and butter.
the sugar and currants.
the egg and sufficient milk to form into a firm
out on a floured board to a thickness of 1cm and
cut into rounds
on a greased griddle or a heavy based frying pan
for about 3 minutes on each side or until a golden
and sprinkle with sugar if desired
like to eat my Welsh Cakes still warm with a thick
spread of butter!
MIXING BOWL . . . RANDOM BITS AND PIECES
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 will keep longer if stored in the freezer.
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
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
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