26 July 2016

How to make things truly scrumptious

Photo: © childsdesign
Most things are good in their own right but have you noticed when they find a partner they become even better?
It’s like the best comic double acts where the two-way interaction is essential for it to work.

Photo: © Susannah's Sauces
The same principle can certainly be applied to flavours. When we first tasted a spoonful of Susannah’s Scrumptious Savoury Sauce from the jar, it was good, but somehow, there seemed to be something missing. Obviously we wanted to give a fair assessment of this handmade condiment so introduced it to a piece of juicy sirloin steak. They took to each other immediately and a perfect taste relationship was formed.

The warmth from the steak allowed the flavours in Susannah’s Scrumptious Savoury Sauce to be released and in combination, the meat was even more… yes, scrumptious!

To find out more about Susannah's Sauces visit their page on 

6 July 2016

Turkey Steaks with Lemon & Mint Avocado

Photo: © childsdesign
Really, the star of the show in this dish is the avocado which is enhanced with a splash of lemon.
The flavours are fresh and bright and the meal is light, but also satisfying, as well as as being quick and easy to prepare.

You don't have to have it with turkey either. The avocado would go equally well with other meats; a beef steak or lamb, perhaps or even tuna.
It would even be perfect smeared on toast for lunch.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 turkey steaks
  • 2 tbs garlic infused rapeseed oil*
  • 2 soft ripe avocados
  • juice ½ lemon
  • 1 tbs lemon infused rapeseed oil*
  • small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • small handful mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbs capers (in vinegar), drained
  • salt and black pepper

First marinate the turkey steaks by placing on a plate and pour on the garlic infused rapeseed oil, season with salt and pepper. Rub the steaks all over with the oil making sure they are well coated. Leave to marinate for up 30 minutes.

Cut the avocados in half and remove the stones. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh into a bowl and squeeze over the lemon juice. Roughly mash the avocados with a fork.
Add the lemon infused rapeseed oil, parsley, mint and one tablespoon of the capers and stir well until well combined. Season with salt and black pepper
to taste.

Heat a griddle pan until very hot and put in the turkey steaks.
Cook for about 4-6 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Divide the avocado mixture between two plates and place a turkey steak on top of each. Scatter over the remaining tablespoon of capers and a few
parsley and mint leaves and finish with a drizzle of lemon infused rapeseed oil.

* Notes on ingredients                                                                                            
Both Yare Valley Oils and Old Forge Larder produce infused rapeseed oils which can be bought online here and here.

4 July 2016

Pesto, Chicken & Vegetable Tray Bake

Photo: © childsdesign
By all means have pesto on pasta but do try it with other foods too. It is great on fish and has some simple chicken thighs and vegetables singing in the oven.

Make an all-in-one tray roast with sliced leeks, carrots some skin-on potatoes, a few tomatoes and skinless chicken thighs and spooned over some pesto Pesto 20 minutes before the end of cooking time. Delicious!

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 500g new potatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil*
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium leeks (white part only) sliced into chunks
  • 6 – 8 chicken thighs
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp pesto*

Heat oven to 220C / Gas 7. Tip the potatoes, carrots and leeks into a large shallow roasting tin and drizzle with 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 20 mins until the potatoes start to crisp.
Add the chicken thighs to the roasting tin along with the cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with the remaining oil, then return to the oven for 20 mins.
Spoon over the pesto, and roast for the last 20 mins until the chicken is golden and cooked through.

Take a look at our '20 Ways with Pesto' for some more ideas.

* Notes on ingredients                                                                                            

The Hungry Guest makes variety of pestos including a fresh basil one available from their Petworth store.
For cold pressed rapeseed oil try a Berkshire variety from Old Forge Larder their 'RG17' can be bought online.
A Norfolk variety is available from Yare Valley Oils. They sell directly from their website here.

30 June 2016

The Artisan Food Trail partners with the Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo 2016

For the third year running, The Artisan Food Trail is proud to be a media partner for the Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo 2016.

Europe’s leading event for takeaway and restaurant owners is returning to ExCeL, London on the 27th and 28th of September.

You will find everything you need for your food business under one roof at this interactive and educational event that will help you boost profits, build your brand, grow your business and much more.
Plus, there are over 300 of the most innovative suppliers, 1-2-1 advice, workshops, masterclasses, panel sessions, 85 seminars. Be inspired by some of the fastest growing food chains in the UK, and hear the business views from some of the most senior people within the industry.

Running alongside this event are other related shows; Restaurant Tech Live, Restaurant Design Show, Street Food Live and The Food Entrepreneur Show.

Visit the website to register for your FREE ticket

29 June 2016

Competition: Capsicana launches its Latin Flavours into Waitrose and you could win them all!

Capsicana, the Latin American food specialists are to launch their tasty range of easy to use Cook Sauces nationwide in Waitrose on the 4th of July, and to celebrate they’re giving away a mixed case of their Cook Sauces each week for four weeks.

Founder Ben Jackson said:
“I announced the Waitrose listing at the Taste of London food fest in Regents Park earlier this month and the response was amazing. I’ve been a member of Artisan Food Trail pretty much since day one when I was selling Mexican chillies on Hitchin market and it’s great to team up for this competition.”

Capsicana’s sauces will be stocked nationwide in 265 branches of the retailer.

Each pack has two tasty recipe ideas, but if you need more then head over to Facebook where you'll find regular recipe ideas and updates from Ben.

Sorry, this competition has now closed

Capsicana produce easy-to-use, delicious Latin American inspired sauces based on real Latin American recipes.
To find out more about Capsicana visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here.

24 June 2016

Yorkshire Wagyu delights Dorset burger fans

Wagyu meat from cattle reared in the Yorkshire Wolds is proving to be a favourite with customers at an independent Dorset burger restaurant.

Artisan Food Trail member, The Yorkshire Wagyu Company is now exclusively supplying meat to the independent burger restaurant Hao Cow, an eatery based in Pan-Asian café bar Ayya, in the centre of Weymouth.

A chuck steak and short rib Wagyu meat combination is provided weekly which the restaurant chefs turn into 100% Wagyu burgers.

Farmer and co-founder of The Yorkshire Wagyu Company, Jonathan Shepherd, said it’s great to create a buzz about their Wagyu in the town.
“We’d eventually like to supply outlets like Hao Cow nationwide and the fact that an eatery in Weymouth is serving our Wagyu is definitely a step in the right direction. We’re pleased to work with a progressive business that is dedicated to serving the best quality Wagyu meat.”

Famed for its intense fat marbling, Wagyu meat has a deep beefy flavour favoured by Hao Cow, now the only outlet in Dorset where Yorkshire Wagyu is available.

Sacha Phillip, marketing administrator at Hao Cow, said they found out about The Yorkshire Wagyu Company while searching for the best quality Wagyu meat available in the UK.
“We spoke with Jonathan who understood exactly what we needed, and he helped us to create the perfect blend of Wagyu cuts for the ultimate burger.
Our customers say these burgers are the best they’ve ever tasted, and they can’t seem to get enough of them. We love them because they're rich and packed full of flavour.
We don't need to add anything to the Wagyu meat other than some salt and pepper – it’s perfect for our patties.

To find out more about The Yorkshire Wagyu Company visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here.

23 June 2016

Salmon Goujons for Dipping

Photo: © childsdesign
After initially tasting the Succulent Tomato Sauce from Susannah’s Sauces we were thinking about how best to use it, as it tasted so good.
The Succulent Tomato Sauce can be used in a number of ways. Warm it and toss in some pasta, pour over meatballs or, as we discovered, treat it even more simply in the role of a condiment much like ketchup.

The first thing that sprang to mind was fish and chips but we wanted something a little lighter and delicate and perhaps more sophisticated.
We made a pile of slim salmon fish fingers to dip into the tomato sauce.
The juicy pink salmon is so much more interesting than plain white fish and perfectly complements the Mediterranean flavours of the sauce.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 450 – 500g salmon fillets, skinless
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 75g white breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Succulent Tomato Sauce* from Susannah’s Sauces to serve

Cut across the fish fillets to make fingers of about 2cm wide.

Put the flour in a shallow dish along with the salt, pepper and oregano an mix to combine.
Pour the beaten egg in another shallow dish and put the breadcrumbs into a third shallow dish.

Gently toss each piece of salmon in the seasoned flour until evenly coated, then dip into the beaten egg followed by the breadcrumbs until completely coated. Place on a plate and place in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to allow the coating to set.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan. To test that it is hot enough, drop in a small piece of bread until it sizzles and browns.
Carefully add the fish fingers and fry for 3 – 4 minutes, turning occasionally until golden and crisp all over.
Remove the fish using a spatula and drain on kitchen paper.

* Notes on ingredients                                                                                            

Succulent Tomato Sauce can be bought directly from the Susannah’s Sauces website here or pick it up at the many food fairs they attend. Alternatively these shops also stock their sauces.

For fine quality rapeseed oils try Norfolk producer Yare Valley Oils where you can buy online or Berkshire producer Old Forge Larder, also available to buy online.

16 June 2016

Individual No-Bake Cheesecakes

Photo: © childsdesign
A quick-to-make dessert and relatively simple too. The fruit burst comes from a liberal dash of Blossoms Syrup. We used Raspberry in this one and have also tried it with Sour Cherry – both tasted amazing.

This recipe is a good basis to work from so feel free to play with the flavour combinations, using different biscuits, flavours for the cheese topping and
fruit syrups.

Ingredients (makes 6 individual glasses, 150ml each)

For the crumb base
  • 85g digestive biscuits
  • 25g unsalted butter
For the cheesecake topping
  • 225g cream cheese
  • 2 tsp runny honey (or to taste)
  • 4 to 5 drops Vanilla Spice Drops* or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 – 2 tsp lemon zest, optional
  • 240ml double cream
  • your choice of Blossoms Syrup*

Make the crumb base
There are two effective ways to make biscuit crumbs; one is to blitz the biscuits in a food processor and the other is to put them in re-sealable bag and smash them with a rolling pin.
Choose your method and make the crumbs.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Remove from the pan from the heat and tip in the biscuit crumbs. Mix until well combined.
Divide evenly between the individual glasses. Press down the mixture lightly with your fingers to form a layer. Don’t be tempted to compact it as it will be difficult to get out of the glass and eat!

Make the topping
In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, honey, vanilla extract and lemon zest until combined.
In another bowl whisk the double cream until soft peaks form. Make sure you don’t over-beat as you’ll end up with butter!
Use a spatula to gently fold half of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the other half.
Evenly spoon some into the glasses then drizzle over a teaspoon or so of Blossoms Syrup. Top with the rest of the the cream cheese mixture.
Finish by adding a couple of teaspoons of Blossoms Syrup to each glass and swirl into the cheese.
Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

* Notes on ingredients                                                                                            
Blossoms Syrup makes a wide range of fruit syrups encompassing hedgerow berries through to exotic tropicals. They can bought online.
Spice Drops are the go-to for instant and easy natural flavourings. 
Their range includes many spices as well as floral flavours and now citrus varieties. 
They can also be bought online direct from the producer or from Ocado.

14 June 2016

Hibiscus Lily jellies for juicy lamb

Photo: © childsdesign
Even the best grilled meat needs a good accompaniment either to enhance, counterbalance or complement it. Sweet, spicy and tangy flavours are always a welcome addition, particularly the jellies from Hibiscus Lily.

Our lamb steaks* were rich and tender but were further improved with a tangy, fragrant Pomegranate Jelly with Rose Petals* which we used as a glaze towards the end of the cooking time. Just add a few teaspoons to the pan and use to coat the meat before serving.
The jelly has a slight tartness and subtle perfume bringing an exotic flavour of the middle east.

We served ours with a herby tabbouleh and creamy labneh with a generous dollop of Hibiscus Lily’s gloriously sticky Hot Chilli Jam* for added kick.

We are pleased to award Hibiscus Lily our 'Artisan Food Trail Approved' status for 

their Pomegranate Jelly with Rose Petals and 

Hot Chilli Jam.

To find out more about Hibiscus Lily visit their page on 
The Artisan Food Trail here.

* Notes on ingredients                                                                                            

Hibiscus Lily's jellies can be bought online from their website:
Buy Pomegranate Jelly with Rose Petals and Hot Chilli Jam

For a selection of lamb, when in season, take look at:

The Blackface Meat Company and buy online
Town End Farm Shop and buy online or visit the shop in person
Briggs' Shetland Lamb and buy online

26 May 2016

Competition time: Win an artisan cheese selection from The Courtyard Dairy for Father's Day

This competition is definitely for cheese lovers everywhere and would be a perfect gift for your Dad on Father's Day.
Our newest member, The Courtyard Dairy have kindly offered to give away an artisan cheese selection to one lucky winner's Dad (although you might want to keep it for yourself as it's so irresistibly good!)

The Courtyard Dairy is giving away a ‘Strong & Mature Selection Box’ to one fortunate entrant. Containing four 250g chunks of the finest strong and powerful British Cheeses, including the powerful British Camembert Tunworth, an 18-month old tangy Vintage Old Winchester, the soft and runny Rollright and Scotland’s answer to Roquefort: Lanark Blue.

Sorry this competition has now closed.