27 February 2013

:: UPDATED! :: Eat Cambridge: 8th – 15th March 2013


Finally Cambridge is getting its own proper food festival.
Eat Cambridge is a new annual event aimed at local people and showing off its local producers. The first ever festival takes place in Cambridge from the 8-15 March 2013 and plans are already well under way. It will include everything from supper clubs to sourdough, Michelin stars to street food vans. 

Events include…

  • A huge food and drink fair on Saturday, 9th March in the Guildhall
  • Pop-up restaurants
  • Secret supper clubs
  • Food debates
  • Street food night market
  • Food and wine tasting
  • Behind the scenes tours
  • Cookery lessons
  • Chef talks and demos

We are pleased to announce that some Artisan Food Trail members will be taking part, and so far, those confirmed are:

Capsicana Chilli Co
Chillies aren’t just about the heat! So go along and talk to Ben and he’ll tell you all about his chillies, where they come from, what you you can use them in and also what they taste like.
  PLUS!!  
A brand new range of chilli sauces will be launched at the event.

The Kandula Tea Company
Suppliers of bespoke fresh tea leaves and compostable tea gems from the heart of Sri Lanka. Their passion for real tea and the elephants of Sri Lanka is evident in everything they do.

  :: UPDATE! :: TEA TASTING  
On Thursday 14th March, The Kandula Tea Company will be giving a tea tasting at Duke House B&B (call 01223 314772 to book)

Food Safari
Organiser of ‘field to fork’ experiences for people who really care about their food. Passionate experts on wild food foraging, local meat and fish, and sustainable living.


As part of the fringe events, Food Safari will be hosting 'A Taste of the Wild' on Wednesday 13 March Wild food expert, and Cambridge resident Jacky Sutton-Adam will give a short talk on opportunities and experiences of wild food foraging in Cambridge and the surrounding countryside.

After the talk there’ll be a chance to enjoy some forager’s soup and home made bread and put any questions about wild food foraging to Jacky.

This is a relaxed and fun event that will give an insight into wild food foraging and will whet your appetite for Food Safari's guided wild food forays in Cambridge with Jacky in May, August and October.

For more information about Eat Cambridge visit the website:
www.eat-cambridge.co.uk
You can also download the festival brochure here

24 February 2013

Turkish Style Brown Rice Salad and Labneh

Photo: © childsdesign

***   
This mildly spiced rice dish takes its flavour cues from Turkish cuisine. It is nutty in taste and texture, infused with the earthy warmth of cumin and allspice and a pleasing sweetness from currants and cinnamon.
Freshness is delivered by parsley and mint which add a brightness to the finished dish. It really is totally delicious proving that brown rice need not be boring.
Labneh is a type of curd cheese which can be easily made at home. Just plan ahead as it needs to prepared the day before in readiness for its overnight draining.

Ingredients (serves 4)

For the labneh
  • 200g Greek yogurt
  • pinch salt

For the rice
  • 300g brown basmati rice
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 40g currants
  • 60g flaked almonds
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • quarter tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • handful fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • zest and juice of half a lemon

Method
For the labneh
Place the yogurt in a bowl and add the pinch of salt and stir to mix well.
Line a sieve with muslin or a thin clean tea towel and place over a bowl. Spoon the yogurt in to the cloth-lined sieve and put in the fridge overnight.
Discard the liquid that has collected in the bowl and use the soft creamy curd cheese that is left in the cloth. You can either simply put it in a bowl or roll into individual balls.

For the rice
First soak the rice in a bowl of cold water for half an hour, then drain in a sieve.
To cook the rice, first boil a kettle of water. Place the rice in a large sauce pan along with the cinnamon stick and currants and pour over the just-boiled water until it comes up to a centimetre above the level of the rice.
Place on the hob and bring to the boil, immediately turn down the heat to the very lowest setting and put a lid on the pan. Leave to gently steam for
30 minutes.
Place the cooked rice in a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, put the almonds in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, shaking and stirring them until they are lightly browned and toasted. Remove and set aside.

Lightly crush the cumin seeds using a pestle and mortar.
Add the oil to the pan and when the oil is hot, tip in the cumin seeds and allow them to fry briefly before adding the onions, allspice and salt. Turn the heat to low and cook the onions for 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes until the spices release their aroma and the onions are golden and soft.

Add the onion mixture and almonds to the bowl of rice, along with the vinegar and tear over the parsley and mint leaves. Mix in gently with a fork.

Serve in bowls along with the labneh on the side with the lemon zest sprinkled over and finished with a final squeeze of lemon juice.

19 February 2013

NEWS FLASH!: Alan Coxon's Historic Food Range launches in Partridges

News just in that Alan Coxon's Historic Food Range will be launching at Partridges, Sloane Square, London.
This Saturday 23rd February Alan Coxon's unique range of vinegars, including Ale-Gar, Roman Vinaigre, Ancient Greek Vinaigre as well as the new Macadamia Nut Oil will all be available.
So if you're in the area, do drop by for a tasting and to say hello.
It would even be well worth a
special trip.

For more information about 
Alan Coxon visit his page on 
The Artisan Food Trail here

18 February 2013

Lemon Loaf Cake

Photo: © childsdesgn

***   
The brilliant thing about this cake is that you don’t have to remember to take the butter out of the fridge to soften, before you start. Also, as the cake doesn’t use the creaming method, a minimal amount of equipment is required.
We always find the fresh tangy flavour of lemons is an antidote to any gloomy weather and having some particularly large fragrant fruits to hand, we decided to make this cake as a pick-me-up.
A slice in the afternoon is lovely with a cup of freshly infused green tea.

Ingredients

  • 125g butter, cubed
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 unwaxed lemons

For the topping

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 100g caster sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4.
Grease a 900g (2lb)) loaf tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper, leaving some overhang.

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together, place in the butter and rub in using your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Tip in the sugar and grate the zest from the two lemons directly into the bowl and stir to mix. Add the eggs and squeeze in the juice of the two lemons. Mix together until you have a soft batter, but be careful not to overwork the mixture.

Spoon the batter into the loaf tin, smoothing it out evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown and well risen. To check that the cake is cooked properly, insert a skewer into the centre. When the skewer is pulled out it should be clean.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the lemon juice and sugar together to make the topping.
Prick the cake surface, all over using a skewer or fork, then slowly spoon over the sugar and lemon mixture. This will sink in.
Leave the cake to completely cool, then lift out by holding the edges of the greaseproof paper.

15 February 2013

Alan Coxon’s Ale-Gar™ approved

Photo: © childsdesign
Rich and dark in colour with flavour delivering hints of chocolate,
cinnamon and roasted malt, Ale-Gar™ is quite unique.

After ten years of development and research, Alan Coxon has created a condiment that is like no other.
The closest resemblance could be to balsamic vinegar, but Ale-Gar™ exceeds all expectations with its exceptional taste and versatility in
the kitchen.

Alan Coxon’s recipe uses chocolate stout malt which is then fermented over oak to bring out the full flavour and smoothness. It is then stored and allowed to mature to round off the flavour. There is no harshness at all – it could be enjoyed sipped straight from the bottle!

Ale-Gar™ has been used extensively in the AFT Kitchen, in everything from oriental stir-fries to meat marinades, all to great effect. Our favourite use though, was to make a reduction and drizzle this over slices of succulent roast duck. It has become almost difficult to resist the temptation to splash it on everything, leaving the soy and Worcester sauce to languish on the shelf.

We are pleased to give Alan Coxon ‘Artisan Food Trail Approved’ status for his Ale-Gar™ 


For more information about Alan Coxon visit his page on The Artisan Food Trail here


You can order from foodbyalancoxon.com

To read the full story about Alan Coxon’s Ale-Gar™ visit the page on his website here

7 February 2013

Smoked Bacon, Bean and Savoy Cabbage Soup

Photo: © childsdesign

***   
A good soup should provide satisfaction and nourishment and be a pleasure to make as well as eat. We like our soups to be hearty and a complete meal in a bowl that can be made at the end of a busy day. This one is chunky and extremely delicious served with a few hunks of lightly toasted bread.

Tip: You don’t have to stick slavishly to the recipe – most other beans are interchangeable for borlotti. Try flageolet, pinto, cannellini, they all work equally as well.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1tbsp rapeseed oil (extra virgin cold pressed) plus extra for drizzling
  • 150g thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into small strips
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 400g tin Borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 900ml vegetable stock
  • 1 small savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
  • Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, to serve


Method
Place a large saucepan on the hob over a medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the bacon and fry until it starts to colour.
Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.

Into the pan, add the onion, thyme, carrots, celery and garlic and fry gently for about 5 minutes until soft. Stir occasionally and be careful not to burn the vegetables.

Return the bacon to the pan along with the beans and stock. Stir to combine and bring the pan to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Stir in the cabbage and continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve in bowls drizzled with rapeseed oil and use a vegetable peeler to shave over the Pecorino cheese.

Fragrant Coconut Chicken with Mustard Seeds

Photo: © childsdesign

***    
The beauty of this recipe is that it makes a lot of sauce. We reckon it will do six people generously and although the recipe is for four you could increase or reduce the amount of chicken to suit. Allow two chicken thighs per person but always make the full quantity of sauce. Once the chicken has been scooped out and eaten you can freeze for use on another occasion.

Just defrost and then warm through with more chicken or something different, such as prawns or fish.
This recipe uses fresh curry leaves but if you do have difficulty in obtaining them, then use dried, although fresh is best. You can find them in most Indian stores and, dare we say it, in a supermarket whose name begins
with ‘M’!

Chilli tip: We deseeded our chillies for a milder flavour but if you like it hot, leave the seeds in or use more chillies – it’s up to you.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 8 chicken thighs (bone-in)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • handful fresh curry leaves
  • 3 onions, finely sliced
  • 2 green chillies (long thin type), deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 400g tin tomatoes, chopped
  • 400g tin coconut milk

Method
First grind the cumin and coriander seeds using a pestle and mortar.
They don’t have to be a fine powder – it is preferable for them to have a coarser texture.

Place a flame proof shallow casserole dish or large frying pan on the hob on a medium heat. Put in the oil to warm slightly and then place in the chicken thighs and fry to brown on all sides. You may need to do this in a couple of batches. Remove and set aside.

Add the mustard seeds to the hot oil and fry them gently until they begin to pop. Turn the heat right down for a moment and add the ground cumin and coriander, stirring all the while until the aroma is released. Stir in the curry leaves allowing them to sizzle a little.

Put in the onions with the spices and fry gently until very soft. Make sure you stir them occasionally and don’t allow them to burn. Add the chillies, garlic and ginger and fry for a minute then add the turmeric and fry for a further minute.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk and stir to combine. Place in the chicken thighs, making sure they are covered by the sauce.

Partially cover the pan with a lid and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes or more until the chicken is cooked through.

Season with salt to taste and serve with steamed basmati rice.