NEWSLETTER - MAY 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
. . .
been told that you have to be on Facebook
if you are anyone Hub-UK now has a Facebook
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or not. Perahps you can surprise us by taking
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Marco Pierre White . . . another fascinating journey?
Apples and oranges? Chalk and cheese? Marco Pierre
White and Bernard Matthews?
I've eaten Bernard Matthews products when times were
hard or I needed to save money. They are cheap food
and I think that is the way I view them - cheap food
for the masses. What self respecting foodie would
ever admit to cooking or eating Bernard Matthews meat
products? So what should we make of Bernard Matthews
teaming up with Marco Pierre White, two extremes of
the culinary world?
Obviously this is a marketing exercise on the part
of Bernard Matthews Farms which is still trying to
recover from the devastating effects the outbreak
of Bird Flu at one of its farms caused. For BMF it
is a bold stroke to raise awareness of their products
and get people to perceive them as more up market
whilst keeping them within the price range of the
average household. So still turkey for the masses
but with a bit of class!
When Marco started pushing Knorr Stock cubes (did
he get the contract before or after he pushed them
on Hell's Kitchen) I could go along with the logic
of that - making stock at home isn't really practical
and the product itself is top quality. But why would
he want to associate his name with a product or brand
that has previously been regarded as being at the
bottom end of the food market. Loads of money no doubt
but I am sure he is very conscious of maintaining
his reputation so on that basis the product has to
be given a go.
For my taste testing I selected Marco's Wild Mushroom
Crust Turkey steaks . . . and I have to say I was
pretty impressed. I am not going to be serving it
for a dinner party but served with a veg and some
potatoes this makes a very tasty meal. I tried it
on its own and when I had finished I wanted more which
has to be a good sign. Quick? Twenty minutes in the
oven just about gives you time to do some potatoes
and steam a veg so there is really no excuse for not
cooking a hot meal. I will certainly try the others
in the range and, if they are as good, it takes care
of one meal each week for when I am busy with work.
Having been pleasantly surprised by how good it was
I have decided to try Marco's Turkey Breast joint
with Sage & Onion Stuffing for dinner this evening
accompanied by Jersey new potatoes and fresh purple
sprouting broccoli. And I have to say it was excellent.
There was a lovely smell as it was cooking and when
served the meat was moist and tasty. Certainly to
be recommended if you are looking for a turkey roast
for two people.
For anyone new to cooking and wanting to do a roast
dinner but scared about what to do this would make
an excellent starting point as it couldn't be easier
to do as the gravy is included and all you need to
do is cook the vegetables of your choice.
The critics may mock Marco Pierre White for getting
involved in this sort of promotion but if people are
going to be encouraged to cook and eat fresh food
then it needs more top chefs to climb down from their
pedestals and get involved in the real world where
most of us don't have the time to prepare meals after
a hard day at work.
Note: Since publishing newsletter have also tried
Cracked Black Pepper Crust Turkey steaks .
. . just as good!
Wild Mushroom Crust Turkey steaks
Parmesan and Rosemary Crust Turkey steaks
Cracked Black Pepper Crust Turkey steaks
Turkey Breast joint with Sage & Onion Stuffing
Turkey Thigh Joint with Sage & Onion Stuffing
Have a look at the TV advert featuring Marco and
Editorial note: This site is not
paid to promote products for Bernard Matthews Farms
Roast Chicken and more . . .
this part of the world, up to the end of WWII most
people were dirt poor share croppers working the land
but giving half what they produced to the Aristocrat
landlord. Very little money was in circulation and
people ate what they could grow. So there was no point
in rearing a cow for beef or a pig for pork, you could
not eat it all before it went off and no one had any
money to buy the extra.
So if you ate any meat at all it would have come
from the animals scratching around the farm yard or
in the coup, they needed little food or fed themselves.
Pigeons, rabbits, ducks and chicken were and still
are the main ingredients of the Sunday roast,
Whereas in the UK we tend to cook a bird whole, often
stuffed, here they are all jointed first then cooked
with various herbs in the oven. Today we have guests
over to eat so we will use the big wood oven, like
those for making pizza but a bit higher inside.
We fill it up with wood, light it up and then go
off to prepare the roast. The oven dome is at first
black then turns white as it heats up, we close the
front hatch for a while to turn the wood into glowing
coals. The whole process takes about an hour and a
The poultry and rabbit are cut into eight pieces
along the joints and one cut across the breast piece
for the chicken. Having everything the same size means
that it all cooks in the same time and does not dry
out. In the pan is placed garlic, fresh chilli pepper
and bay leaves. Then the olive oil, not a drizzle
more like a down pour, sprinkle with salt and pepper
then roast. After about twenty five minutes it all
gets basted and splashed over with white wine.
Today we are having it with roast spuds and roasted
bell peppers and courgettes, these last two only take
about 15 minutes.
Chef Jonathan Arthur
Sorrento cooking holiday 9th July www.italywithrelish.it/sorrento
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THE GOOD LIFE IN SPAIN
Spanish Ham Tapas
ham is one of those versatile foods that has a number
of uses, not only is it tasty on its own it can also
be cooked with and used in a number of dishes both
hot and cold. For cold tapas slices of good ham can
be paired with some other famous Spanish foods, the
most popular probably being Manchego cheese from La
Mancha, a classic combination with a real flavour
punch! Here are some other ideas:
Broad beans - Habas con jamon is a famous
starter in Andalucia, the beans can either be boiled
first or simply eaten raw straight from the shells.
Usually served with slices of Serrano ham on top of
bread with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive
oil broad beans are one of those vegetables that really
bring out the hams flavour.
Almonds - Almonds are another good pairing and again
very popular in Spain. Usually served in tapas bars
either in two separate tapas dishes or as a round
presentation of ham with almonds in the centre the
wafer thin ham slices are wrapped around each nut
before being enjoyed with a short beer.
Tomatoes - Tomatoes on the vine (especially cherry
vine tomatoes) are sweet and compliment both Serrano
and Iberico ham slices. For a fusion of real Spanish
flavour try a drizzle of extra virgin finished with
cracked black pepper over the tomatoes before serving
with short ham slices which can be placed over the
top of the fruit.
Fruit - Serrano ham and melon is probably the most
famous, turning the tables in the flavour department
where the mild saltiness of the ham compliment the
melon (cantaloupe is best) There are however other
fruits which match equally well try peach,
nectarine, orange and the other firm Spanish favourite
figs, either raw or baked.
The suggestions above are of course very simple (as
tapas should be) but for the more adventurous you
can also include the ham in cooking, try a cold green
gazpacho with iberico or serrano ham shavings, stuffed
chicken breast or mackerel and other favourites such
as on a tostada or lightly fried with a poached egg
for breakfast, the list really is endless!
and ham pieces >>>
TO MAKE RECIPES . . . CUTTING
This makes a simple starter which anyone can make.
HADDOCK AU GRATIN
1 smoked haddock fillet, skinned and diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 button mushrooms, chopped small
3 tsp light soy sauce
Basil leaves (15 to 20) chopped
Grated parmesan (or similar)
How to make:
Gently sauté your onion, garlic, chilli and
mushrooms until the onion is soft
the haddock and soy sauce and continue to sauté
for another three to five minutes.
basil leaves and stir in to evenly distribute.
from heat and divide between two ramekins.
the top of each ramekin with parmesan cheese.
ready to cook place in the middle of a preheated
oven at 180°C and cook for ten or twelve minutes.
AND GARLIC SOUP - AJO BLANCO
Spanish Tapas recipe for Almond and Garlic Soup (Ajo
Blanco) comes from Chef Ewa of Finca
Alta Cocina, a wonderful country house in Southern
Spain with its own cookery school, swimming pool and
six acres of grounds offering relaxing holidays and
superb food, with or without cooking classes.
g whole blanched almonds
75g stale bread, soaked in water
750 ml iced water
3 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with some salt
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
200g white grapes
a food processor grind the almond to a smooth consistency,
add 5 tablespoons of water.
Process again until you have a paste, add the soaked
bread and garlic.
again until very smooth.
the motor running add the olive oil and the rest
of water, season with vinegar, salt and pepper.
to a bowl and chill.
Just before serving check the seasoning and add
the grapes cut in half.
Food is all about great tasting, sustainably and
ethically produced food and we're aiming to connect
you to the most extraordinary food experiences you
will find anywhere.
From large scale annual food festivals to regular
produce markets, with the best of British street
food thrown in, you can explore the very best
that this nation has to offer.
The next Real Food Festival takes place from
5th - 8th May 2011 at London's Earls Court.
Following the success of last year's British
Tomato Week, the British Tomato Growers' Association
is approaching this year's event with even more
energy and enthusiasm than usual. The next British
Tomato Week will take place between May 15th and
May 22nd 2011.
launch the week there will be an event in Manchester
city centre, Meat Free in Manchester is on Saturday
21 May, hosted by the Vegetarian Society, packed
with skilful chefs, tasty treats, fun and frolics.
Get involved in National Vegetarian Week by attending
an event, tasting or trying one of the many mouth-watering
recipes on offer. How about organising a Come
Dine at Mine event or doing something silly to
raise a few funds for the Vegetarian Societys
charitable projects? Whatever you do, get involved
and tuck into a tasty seven days.
National Vegetarian Week is co-ordinated by the
Court Foodies Festival
Visit Hampton Court Foodies Festival in the beautiful
grounds of Hampton Court Palace for a celebration
of fine food and drink over the May Bank Holiday
Meet Michelin-starred and top chefs in the Chefs
Theatre where award-winning chefs prepare their
favourite dishes live on stage, passing on hints
and tips for you to try
Shop for ingredient from local producers selling
fresh seasonal produce and buy speciality food
and drinks as well as try hands-on food and drink
masterclasses led by industry experts, with plenty
SCHOOLS TAUGHT DOMESTIC SCIENCE
6 ozs flour
3½ 4 ozs margarine
1½ dessert spoons water
Pinch of salt
For custard filling:
½ pint milk
2 level tbsps castor sugar
Pinch of nutmeg
the oven to 190°C / Gas mark 5
make the flan case:
will need a 7 inch flan ring.
the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
in the margarine until the mixture looks like fine
in the water to form a firm dough.
out into a round large enough to line the flan ring
or sandwich tin.
rolling-pin to lift pastry over flan case and carefully
(without breaking) press the pastry smoothly round
sides and bottom.
off surplus pastry with a sharp knife.
the inside of pastry case with greaseproof paper
and fill with baking beans or dried peas to prevent
the pastry from rising.
in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
lift out the paper and beans or peas. Return to
the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes to partly
cook the pastry.
slightly and remove pastry case from the flan ring
and place on a baking tray.
make the custard filling:
the eggs and sugar together.
the milk but do not allow to boil.
milk over the beaten eggs, stirring well.
mixture and strain into a bowl.
pour the custard into the flan case and sprinkle
the top with nutmeg.
in the preheated oven for 25 25 minutes or
until the custard has set.
can of course buy your pastry ready made and you
might also want to add some vanilla extract to your
custard for added flavour.
1 x 7 inch tart
MIXING BOWL . . . RANDOM BITS AND PIECES
to tell whether an egg is fresh or not
the egg in a glass of cold water
A fresh egg will sit horizontal at the bottom :
these eggs are suitable for baking (but preferably
not meringue) and will maintain a good tight shape
when fried or poached and the yolk should stand quite
high with a good semi-circular shape.
the egg increases in age and the air pocket gets bigger
it will tilt upwards slightly:
these eggs are suitable for meringues, baking and
will maintain a reasonable shape when fried or poached,
the yolk will be flatter in shape.
egg that sits vertically is stale:
these eggs are not really suitable for baking,
are best used for scrambling or omelets, will not
maintain even a reasonable shape when fried or poached,
the white will spread and the yolk will be quite flat.
When trying to separate, the yolk will probably break
as the egg white that surrounds it will be weak.
egg that floats should be disposed of . . . carefully!
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