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25 August 2011

UPDATED!: Out & About: Events coming up this week and over the Bank Holiday

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We've been keeping our ears and eyes open and have found out that some of our listed producers will be at a variety of events this week and over the August Bank Holiday…

When: Wednesday 24 August
What: Felbrigg Hall Honey Fair
A celebration of the sweet stuff and the insects that produce it! Various stands with products made using honey and wax and beekeeping items. Information for those interested in bees and displays of beekeeping equipment.
Where: Norfolk
Who: Bray's Cottage Pork Pies have been busy making some limited edition honey and mustard pork pies especially for the event – well worth a try.
Info: Felbrigg Hall
Honey Fair
Bray's Cottage Pork Pies

When: Thursday 25 August
What: Monmouthshire Show
Over 150 years celebrating the best in farming, rural interests and country living in Monmouthshire and the border counties.
Where: Monmouthshire, Wales
Who: Breckland Orchard will be travelling the breadth of the country to bring a variety of 'Posh Pops'. From real lemonade to delightful dandelion & burdock – ideal thirst quenchers.
Info: Monmouth Show
Breckland Orchard

When: Saturday 27th August
What: Malham Show
Held in the heart of beautiful Malhamdale in the Yorkshire Dales, under the shadow of Malham Cove this traditional agricultural and family country show has been taking place for over 100 years.
Come to The Malham Show Farmers Market which includes many local food suppliers and producers from the Yorkshire Dales.
Where: Yorkshire Dales
Who: Paganum Produce – pick up some beautiful traditional breed beef, pork or lamb and don't forget to take home a Yorkshire Chorizo.
Info: Malham Show
The Malham Show Farmers Market
Paganum Produce

When: Saturday 27th August, 11am – 3pm
What: Capsicana Tasting Event
Held in The Natural Kitchen a deli and cafe, some dishes will be prepared using gourmet chillies for you to try and hopefully inspire you to get creating your own meals using them.
Where: The Natural Kitchen, Marylebone, London
Who: Capsicana Chilli Co – If you like what you try, then do buy some chilli products to take home and have a go at cooking something up yourself. Capsicana's website has all the recipes.
Info: The Natural Kitchen
Capsicana Chilli Co

When: 27th – 29th August
What: Voewood Festival
Described as the literary garden-party of the year, this festival is set in the grounds of the magnificent Arts & crafts style Voewood House. Entertainment carries on through the evening with live music from top names.
Where: Norfolk
Who: Samphire will be selling fine festival sustenance in the form of pork pies and their famous sausage rolls.
Info: The Voewood Festival

When: 28th – 29th August
What: Hedingham Castle Joust with Food & Craft Market
An echo of sounds of the past, the Knights of Royal England show their worth to the mighty medieval lord. Wander the streets of food and crafts traders and buy some medieval style goods to take home.
Where: Essex
Who: Alder Tree will be on hand to help you cool down with a delicious fruit ice.
Info: Hedingham Castle
Alder Tree

When: 28th – 29th August
What: Benington Lordship Chilli Festival
Started in 2006 the Chilli Festival is a very popular family event attracting thousands of visitors over two days, offering a chance to buy Chilli plants, products and sample foods from around the world. Stalls are set up in the sheltered courtyard and Rose Garden where many different dishes are cooked fresh. A wide range of refreshments is provided to help you cool down, including cold beers and ice creams.
The garden is open as normal so after sampling the produce visitors can relax in the grounds.
Where: Near Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Who: Capsicana Chilli Co will be cooking up some wonderful adobo sauce to try. Edible Ornamentals will be selling their Bedfordshire-grown chillies and plants as well as a variety of chilli sauces and relishes.
Who Else: Don't quote us, but a little bird told us that none other than The Hairy Bikers will be there for a chilli eating competition.
Info: Benington Lordship Chilli Festival
Capsicana Chilli Co
Edible Ornamentals

When: Monday 29th August
What: The Aylsham Show
The Aylsham Show is a traditional one-day agricultural show and, with an average attendance in the region of 16,000, is the largest one-day agricultural show in East Anglia. The parkland setting of Blickling Park, a National Trust Estate, is one of the most beautiful sites in the Country with fine views over the lake and towards the Hall.
Where: Blickling Park, Norfolk
Who: Samphire will be selling rare breed pork goods produced on their Norfolk smallholding. Bray's Cottage Pork Pies will be selling... er... pork pies!
Info: The Aylsham Show
Bray's Cottage Pork Pies


4 August 2011

Stuffed Poblanos with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

We recently visited Edible Ornamentals and came back with a nice little haul picked fresh from inside one of their hot polytunnels. Walking along row upon row of the dense, lush chilli foliage, every plant was heavily laden with peppers of every shape and colour, from cool green to fiery orange and red.

Poblano chillies
We hadn’t tried poblano chillies before, so Joanna Plumb, owner and passionate chilli grower, plucked several for us try. Poblanos are not hot but very flavoursome and later we found them much much nicer than a standard green bell pepper which can be bitter and indigestible. Poblanos have a fresh, subtle taste.

Jalapeño chillies
As well as growing chillies, Edible Ornamentals cultivate tomatillos (shown in main photo), a common ingredient in authentic Mexican cuisine. They are also known as husk tomatoes and are related to the Cape Gooseberry or Physalis. The size of a large tomato, green and encased in a paper lantern-like structure, they looked very attractive hanging from the bushy six footer bushes. We took some to make salsa based on a recipe by Thomasina Miers.
The flavour is fruity, fresh and tangy, reminiscent of pineapples with a hint of kiwi fruit, we’re now addicted.

We couldn’t leave without some heat, so Jo dropped some big shiny green Jalapeños (for the salsa) into our bag as well as a few incendiary Habaneros for more explosive kitchen creations.

The recipe

For the Tomatillo Salsa

  • 250g fresh tomatillos (about 4 large ones)
  • 1 garlic clove, skin left on
  • 1 jalapeño chilli
  • handful coriander leaves
  • quarter white onion, finely chopped
  • juice half lime
  • salt

For the Stuffed Poblanos

  • 4 green poblano chillies
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • generous pinch ground cinnamon
  • generous pinch ground cumin
  • pinch chilli powder
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • handful raisins
  • 250g good quality minced beef
  • handful green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1tsp tomato puree
  • 1tsp dried tarragon
  • handful coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • sour cream or creme fraiche to serve

To make the salsa
Peel the husk from the tomatillos and wash them under cold running water and pat dry.

Place a heavy based frying pan over a medium heat and add the whole tomatillos, jalapeño and garlic until they start to blacken and blister slightly. Turn them over to roast evenly. You will have to remove the garlic and jalapeño before the tomatillos as they will roast more quickly. Just be sure to watch that they don’t burn too much.

Rinse the chopped onion in a sieve under cold running water, Leave to drain.

Peel the garlic and remove the stalk from the jalapeño. If you want a milder salsa remove the seeds and membrane, if you like it hotter leave them in.

Remove the tomatillos from the pan and allow to cool slightly before quartering them. Drop them into a food processor along with the garlic, jalapeño, onion, coriander and lime juice. Chop/pulse them briefly so that you end up with a coarse consistency.

Season to taste with salt.

Put in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the stuffed poblanos
You will need to remove the skin from the poblanos. This can be done by either placing them under a very hot grill or holding over a direct gas flame (using tongs) until the skin blackens and blisters. Place the peppers in a bowl covered with cling film or put them into a sealed plastic bag and leave them for 5 minutes or so.
You can now remove the majority of the skin by rubbing it off under a slow running tap. Set to one side while you make the filling.

Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas 6 and place an oven proof dish in to heat up.

Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until soft and translucent.

Add the cinamon, cumin, chilli powder, oregano and raisins and fry gently for a further 1-2 minutes.
Add the mince and tarragon and cook the meat until golden brown.
Stir in the tomato puree and olives, cover and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, adding a little water if mixture seems too dry. The mince should be moist but not wet.

Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Take each poblano and make a slit lengthways in one side, being careful not to cut through the bottom.
Remove the seed core. This can be a little tricky and you will need to use a small knife to release it and then twist the seed core out with your fingers.

Take spoonfuls of the mince mixture and pack well inside each of the poblanos.
Remove the heated dish from the oven and place the poblanos in it. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 10 minutes until they’re heated through.

Serve with a blob of sour cream or creme fraiche over them and finish with a generous spoonful of the tomatillo salsa.
Photos: ©childsdesign 2011

2 August 2011

Events News Flash!! Felbrigg Hall Chilli Festival

If you're in Norfolk tomorrow (3rd August) and love all things chilli, try to get along to Felbrigg Hall for a day of tongue tingling food and drink as well as all the fun of the fete.

We're pleased to announce that several of The Artisan Food Trail's
listed producers will be there representing the best of all things edible
in East Anglia:

The Artisan Smokehouse
Brays' Cottage Pork Pies
Breckland Orchard
Edible Ornamentals
Peachey's Preserves

The weather forecast is looking promising too.
More information about the event can be found here
Photo: ©childsdesign 2010

1 August 2011

Getting a kick out of British chillies

As August (hopefully) hots up, British chillies are at their seasonal peak
with growers' greenhouses and polytunnels full to bursting with the ripening fiery fruits. There are numerous festivals throughout the month celebrating the chilli's flavour and versatility, including Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk (3 August), West Dean in Sussex (5-7 August) and Benington in Hertfordshire
(28-29 August) giving visitors the opportunity to try chilli in a variety of foods and drink.

All these festivals are great fun, but have you ever wanted to get up close and find out how the chillies are grown?
Edible Ornamentals run tours around their award winning nursery based in Bedfordshire giving people a real insight in to how it's all done plus there's plenty of excitement and goodies to be had too.

The fully escorted tour covers everything you'd want to know about the piquant peppers from culinary inspiration and cooking tips, growing advice, history and culture to learning about their natural health benefits.

Are you brave enough to try the hottest chilli?
Edible Ornamentals grow a diverse range of chilli peppers from the mild to the ragingly hot, so whether you're an appreciator of taste or a hardened chilli head there's something for everyone. Are you brave enough to try the hottest chilli? Then take the challenge!

Joanna Plumb
The on site commercial kitchen is open to explore where the sauces and preserves are made using chillies picked fresh from the farm. Fresh chillies can be sampled so you can decide on which ones to pick to take home. There's also a chance to taste the delicious range of gourmet sauces, if you want to find out which ones you'd like to buy.

Chilli Tour & Tasting for Two is bookable through 
Virgin Experience Days – see website

Photos: ©childsdesign 2010