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COOKING NEWSLETTER - SEPTEMBER 2012

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

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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 . . .

Dessert of the Year Award?

Hub-UK does not have a Dessert of the Year Award but if it did . . .

I had hoped to be able to write a detailed description telling you how wonderful this particular dessert tastes but find myself lost for words. It is certainly yummy, in fact it is very, very yummy!

The dessert in question, Lemon Possets with Raspberries, is from Morrison's, part of the M Kitchen Bistro range.

Lemon Possets with Raspberries

I have always associated Morrison's with more down to earth basic foods so it has been interesting over the last year or so to see them develop a whole range of luxury meals and accompaniments. Some have featured in previous Newsletters (October 2011) and I am also particularly taken with the Chicken Tikka Massala which to my mind tastes as good as any takeaway.

But back to Lemon Possets with Raspberries. I think what appeals is the balance of sweetness and creaminess, and of course I love raspberries! The raspberry compote is just enough to provide the flavour without being overwhelming. The lemon flavour which is the “double cream, Spanish lemon juice” is hardly noticeable which is where this dessert really wins, as most desserts with lemon are ruined by too strong a taste.

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to make bread - www.cookingholidays.co.uk

The dessert was recently on offer at £2.00 (there are two pots in each one) but the price has now gone back to £2.50. Personally I think £2.00 is too much to pay for a dessert but I like to try things at least once. I tried this several times whilst it was on offer and I have to say I am unable to resist having it again so am not put off by the price! A high recommendation in itself.

The photographs do not do this dessert justice so the best thing to do is try it for yourself. You will not be disappointed.

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

OUT AND ABOUT  

London Restaurant Festival 2012 from 1St October to 15th October

London Restaurant FestivalThe London Restaurant Festival 2012 starts on the 1st October and goes on until the 15th October. There are some new and exciting events taking place this year including Graze, Street ThEATre and The Big Debate:

  • Street ThEATre . . .
    I nvites guests on a theatrical journey through London’s largest street food extravaganza. Taking place at the Old Vic Tunnels and partnering with Eat St this free event is suitable for all the family. Street Food stalls will include Big Apple Hot Dogs, Kimchi Cult, The Ribman, Pizza Pilgrims and Bhangra Burger and to bring the market to life there will also be a host of entertainment including music, poetry reading, exciting performance art and puppet shows.
    13th October

  • The Big Debate . . .
    The Big Debate will see Grace Dent, Oliver Peyton, Jonathan Meades and Matthew Fort go head-to-head for a heated discussion at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill. Set to be the sell-out event of this year’s London Restaurant Festival, The Big Debate will be the food fight to end all food fights. In partnership with live events company 5x15, this controversial and particularly topical motion - THE MORE WE LOOK, THE LESS WE COOK: TOO MANY TV CHEFS ARE SPOILING A DOMESTIC CRAFT will be subjected to a real flame grilling.
    8th October

  • Graze . . .
    Arestaurant hopping experience where you enjoy dinner across one street for one evening. London’s most iconic streets have been identified to host the evening and include Bermondsey Street, Exmouth Market and Soho. Restaurants including Caravan, Moro, Bubbledogs, Jose, Copita, French & Grace and Trishna have all signed up and key-ring holders are entitled to a free glass of wine at each restaurant.
    1st to 15th October
Graze Graze
  • Gourmet Odyssey . . .
    Festival favourite the Gourmet Odyssey, created by London Restaurant Festival, returns to showcase London’s most original gastronomic road trip. Festival goers will be taken by a Routemaster bus on a culinary journey around London enjoying a starter, main course and dessert each at a different restaurant. This year, the Gourmet Odyssey will be themed and focus on new restaurants as well as institutions still overseen by the masters. Restaurants participating include Old Bengal Bar, Tramshed, HIX Mayfair, Wilton’s, Banca and Brasserie Zedel.
    29th September, 6th and 13th October

  • Tapas Tour . . .
    Following the success of last year, The Tapas Tour is back by popular demand allowing ticket holders the chance to experience traditional Spanish style tapas crawls across the city during the festival fortnight. Participants this year include some of London's finest and specialist tapas bars: Fernandez & Wells, Brindisa Soho, Iberica, PIX and Copita.
    6th, 7th, 13th, 14th October

Tapas Tour

  • Eat Film . . .
    Also Returns this year in partnership with Firmdale Hotels and Grey Goose vodka, London Restaurant Festival invites a food personality to curate a three course dinner inspired by one of their favourite films. Hosts include Russell Norman of Polpo and Bermondsey’s favourite foodies – Lady Velo and the Farietale Foodie.
    1st and 3rd October
EASY TO MAKE RECIPES . . . CUTTING CORNERS  

Apricot VerrineSummer may have gone but some recipes can bring back the memories, none more than a dessert recipe like this one from Natoora.

APRICOT VERRINE

Ingredients:

500g fresh apricots
120g caster sugar
50ml fresh double cream
4 tbsp cherry jam
100g flaked almonds

How to make:

Choose 4 beautiful glasses to house your verrines.

  • Wash the apricots.

  • Boil for 3 minutes, and leave to cool until you are able to handle them. Then halve and stone them, setting aside half an apricot for each of your glasses and a 2 more, cut into strips.

  • With the rest of the apricots, blend them until smooth and add the sugar.

  • Whip the cream and add to the pureed apricots.

  • Place the saved apricot halves in the glasses, then spoon over half the apricot puree.

  • Add a spoon of cherry jam in each and sprinkle some flaked almonds on top.

  • Then fill the glass with the rest of the apricot puree.

  • Decorate with a few flaked almonds and the fresh apricot strips.

www.natoora.co.uk

SOUP OF THE MONTH  

CARROT AND PEA SOUP WITH CINNAMON CROUTONS

This recipe was sent to me (along with hundreds of others) by a lady called Shirley Cline, who lived in San Francisco. Shirley was passionate about cooking and food and it was a great pleasure to have communicated with her for a few years. Sadly she passed away in 2004 and there were no more emails with her wonderful and varied recipes. If you search the site for her name you will find a wonderful selection of recipes.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion chopped small
2 cups carrot chopped small
1/2 cup leeks, white part only, split and thinly sliced
1 quart vegetable stock
1 pinch sugar
1 small potato, peeled and finely diced about 1/4 cup
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cinnamon Croutons:

1 1/2 cups 1/4 inch crustless bread cubes, made from Brioche or French bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Method

  • Coat a saucepan with olive oil and place over medium heat.

  • Add onion, carrot, leek and saute them stirring frequently.

  • After 5 to 8 minutes add the vegetable stock.

  • Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.

  • Bring to a boil.

  • Add the potato, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

  • Add the peas and keep simmering for another 10 minutes.

  • Transfer the mixture in batches to the container of an electric blender or food processor.  Process until very smooth.

  • Return the soup to a saucepan and bring back to a simmer.

  • Adjust the consistency of the soup by adding a little vegetable broth or water, if too thick.

  • Now add the cream and taste carefully to correct seasoning.

  • Keep hot and prepare the cinnamon croutons.

  • For the croutons heat the olive oil in a heavy medium pan over a medium heat.

  • Add the bread cubes and stir until medium brown, about 3 minutes.

  • Then sprinkle with cinnamon powder. The croutons can be prepared ahead, transferred to a small tray and set aside at room temperature.

  • Serve the soup in shallow soup bowls with the cinnamon croutons on the side or floating atop the soup.

Serves 4

WHEN SCHOOLS TAUGHT DOMESTIC SCIENCE  

WEETABIX TREACLE TART

I am always fascinated by hand written recipes or cut-out recipes that have been stuffed into the pages of old recipe books. Another fascination is for the recipe pamphlets food manufacturers used to publish. One such pamphlet I came across was for recipes using Weetabix as an ingredient. There is no date on when it was published but teh style suggest perhaps the 50s.

Ingredients 

6 ozs Short-crust pastry
3 - 4 tbsps golden syrup
Juice and grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1 crumbled Weetabix

Method

  • Line a greased pie plate with pastry and prick the bottom well.

  • Add the syrup mixed with the lemon juice and rind.

  • Sprinkle the Weetabix crumbs on top.

  • Roll out pastry trimmings, cut into 3 strips, twist, damp ends and place crosswise on top to decorate (optional).

  • Bake for 20 - 25 minutes in a fairly hot oven (230C / Gas mark 8).
THE MIXING BOWL . . . RANDOM BITS AND PIECES  

Food tip on removing excess salt from stocks, sauces, soups and stews

If your stock, sauce, soup, stew, etc is too salty; add a peeled potato or potatoes into it, depending on how salty it is and how much of the stock, sauce, soup or stew you have.

As the potato cooks it will absorb a lot of the salt. The cooked potato can then just be discarded (or used if really wished). Repeat if necessary

If it is only a little salty, a little sugar or honey can be added to counteract it

Tallyrand

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