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16 April 2013

Win the chance to have your recipe published in our first cookbook

We hope you have been inspired by our blog and website to cook some great food and we have a wonderful opportunity for you.

How would you like to have your recipe published in our first cookbook? 
Well this could be your chance.

We're looking for recipes from home cooks, secret chefs, foodies or bloggers that can be created using at least one ingredient from any of the producers featured on The Artisan Food Trail.

You can enter up to three recipes – one in each category: Starter, Main and Dessert. You can enter just the one category or even all three! It's up to you.

Time is running out as the competition ends at midnight on Sunday 21st April 2013, so time to get busy!

There's more information about how to enter, rules etc. and an online entry form, over on our competition page so enter now!

Good Luck!

15 April 2013

Capsicana Chipotle Sauces are approved

Photos: © Capsicana Chilli Co

Just recently, Capsicana Chilli Co launched a brand new product range. Using their carefully selected chillies, they have created a selection of chilli sauces allowing consumers to experience Capsicana’s gourmet chillies in a ready-made, off-the-shelf condiment.

We have been gradually working our way through all seven varieties and will be bringing you our little reviews in installments. The first is the Chipotle Sauce which is available in two heat levels, so if you like your chilli sauce to have more bite then choose the Hot Chipotle Sauce.

Capsicana’s original Chipotle Sauce recipe uses delicious Chipotle Meco chillies. Chipotle Meco are a variety of Jalapeño, grown in Mexico and then cold smoked over Mesquite wood fires for two days giving them a beautifully deep smoky aroma and flavour. The Hot variety gets its additional kick from added Habanero powder.

The sauce has a deep red colour with a smooth consistency, a rich smoky flavour and aroma with a nice tang. The original is spicy giving a nice tingle. The hot one is warmer with a building heat that lingers a while but not for too long. Both are extremely tasty and we found they go well with so many things.

The Chipotle Sauce certainly livens up a cheese toasty. We grated some cheese and then mixed in the Chipotle Sauce, squidged it between some slices of bread, then toasted it in the panini machine. Lunchtime was brilliant – crunchy toast encasing gooey, hot (careful!) smoky, spicy cheese – yum.

Used as either a condiment or ingredient, Chipotle Sauce is so versatile and seems to go with most foods such as chicken, fish, prawns, pork, beef or vegetables, we even found it was the perfect table sauce to accompany bacon and eggs. Make a delicious dip for seafood by stirring it into mayonnaise or make a salad dressing – mix olive oil, red wine vinegar, a splash of Chipotle Sauce and a little yoghurt – to wake up a lettuce.
And the last bit that you can’t get out of the bottle? Pour in a little water, give it a shake and then add to a casserole or pasta sauce.

Being 100% handmade in small batches in the UK, containing no artificial ingredients, gluten free and suitable for vegetarians, Chipotle Sauce gets our seal of approval.

We are pleased to award Capsicana Chilli Co our 'Artisan Food Trail Approved' status for their Chipotle Sauce and Hot Chipotle Sauce.

To find out more about Capsicana Chilli Co visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here. You'll find links to their website where you can buy the sauces online.

Look out for more reviews on the rest of the chilli sauce range coming soon!

12 April 2013

Wherstead Park Food Show – 20th April 2013

Following last year's successful first event, The Food Show returns for a Spring date at Wherstead Park, Suffolk on 20th April 2013.

The Food Show promises to have a fantastic mix of quality stands made up of local food producers and suppliers where you can taste, sample and buy.

Amongst all the producers, we're pleased to say that there are number of Artisan Food Trail members attending – these are:

The Artisan Smokehouse A small family run and owned smokehouse on the Suffolk coast producing award-winning smoked food, made in small quantities to ensure quality and freshness.

They will be sampling a new luxury meat product and if enough people like it, it will become a permanent part of their food range.

Breckland Orchard Award winning ‘Posh Pop’. Produced with passion and available throughout the UK!

Yare Valley Oils Producer of a high quality Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil in Norfolk.

So if you are visiting, please be sure to visit our members' stands, we're sure you won't be disappointed!

For more information about the event visit: whersteadpark.co.uk

4 April 2013

Spiced Lentil Soup with Lime and Mint

Photo: © childsdesign
Spring is supposed to be well and truly sprung and the clocks have gone forward, but this cold weather hasn't made us want to switch to salads just yet.
Warming food is definitely still on the menu and this is a healthy meal, full of flavour and simple to make. The addition of lime juice, lime zest and mint really brighten the soup making it exciting on the palate.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil*
  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder (use a good quality one)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds*
  • 200g red lentils, rinsed in cold water and drained
  • 1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • 50g sultanas
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, coarsely chopped (reserve some for garnish)
  • 150g natural yogurt

Place a large saucepan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the oil and when hot add in the onions, curry powder, garlic, ginger and cumin seeds and fry gently until the onions become soft for about 3 minutes.

Add the lentils and stock and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the sultanas and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add the lime zest and juice and most of the mint (saving some for garnish) and stir in. Taste to check the seasoning and add pepper and salt if necessary. Depending on your stock you may not need to add any salt.

Ladle into bowls and spoon a dollop of yogurt on to each and finish with a sprinkling of mint.

Serve with warm naan bread or chapattis.

Photo: © childsdesign
TIP: If making the soup for two, you could make the full amount and freeze what’s left. The remaining soup can be used for the base of a curry, just add vegetables, such as aubergine, spinach, tomato or whatever you like. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, adding a little water if the sauce becomes too dry.

*Notes on ingredients
Cold pressed rapeseeed oil is available from Yare Valley Oils or if your prefer something smoky, try the one from The Artisan Smokehouse.
High quality whole cumin seeds can also be got from Spice Kitchen.