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24 December 2012

Have a great Christmas!

We would like to wish all our Artisan Food Trail members, food lovers and friends a very Merry Christmas.

We're looking forward to the New Year and what 2013 may bring.

18 December 2012

Stuffing your Turkey

You can make your turkey even more special with some tasty stuffing by stuffing the neck end of the bird right before cooking and seal by tucking in the skin. Make sure you weigh the turkey after stuffing to calculate the correct cooking time. Alternatively spoon into a dish and cook separately.

Here are some tips and recipes for great homemade stuffing:
  1. You can prepare the stuffing a few weeks beforehand and freeze, and then allow to thaw completely before using. Or prepare on Christmas Eve, allow to cool and store covered in the fridge. Always allow the stuffing to come back to room temperature before using to ensure the cooking times are not affected.
  2. Turkeys should be stuffed just before cooking. Do not stuff the night before as this can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
  3. Only stuff the neck cavity – never the body cavity – the body cavity can have sliced onion or lemon or orange and fresh herbs placed to infuse the meat with additional flavours.
  4. Spoon stuffing into the neck cavity and seal the end by tucking in the skin and securing with cocktail sticks or darning needle and thread. Bread based stuffings tend to swell up slightly so do not pack in too tightly. Generally 350g will be enough for a 4.5-5kg bird.
  5. Weigh the turkey after stuffing to calculate cooking time. If the bird is under 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg + 70 minutes. If the bird is over 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg + 90 minutes.
  6. If you do not want to stuff the bird or have leftover stuffing mixture simply roll into little balls (use wet hands to make this easier). Brush with oil and bake for 20-30 minutes at the end of the turkey cooking time. Alternatively, spread stuffing mixture in a baking dish, bake for 30 minutes and serve cut into squares.

Green Herb, Lemon & Onion Stuffing


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 250g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
  • 125g shredded suet
  • 2 lemons, grated rind of one and juice of two
  • 4 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped marjoram, or 1 tbsp dried
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill, or 1 tsp dried
  • 75g chopped walnuts, optional
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • stock or white wine to mix
  • salt and ground black pepper

Boil the onions in a little stock or water for 5 minutes, then chop, reserving the liquid for use later.
Mix with all the other ingredients until you have a firm, moist mixture, using the reserved liquid or wine to moisten if necessary. Season well and chill until required.

Fruit & Roasted Nut Stuffing


  • 125g dried, stoned prunes
  • 75g dried apricots
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 medium cooking apple, peeled and grated
  • 50g butter
  • liver of turkey, finely chopped
  • 125g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
  • 50g roasted chopped hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt and ground black pepper

Chop prunes and apricots finely and soak for at least an hour in hot water, then drain, reserving some of the liquid. Fry celery, onion and apple in the butter for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally then add liver and fry for a further 3 minutes until firm and cooked.
Put crumbs and nuts in large bowl and stir in fried mixture together with fruit, egg and seasoning, moistening with some reserved liquid, if necessary. Allow to cool before using.

Mushroom & Bacon Stuffing


  • 175g mushrooms, wiped and chopped
  • 175g streaky bacon, de-rinded and chopped
  • 175g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50-75g butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 medium eggs

Mix the mushrooms, bacon, breadcrumbs, onions, herbs and seasoning together in a bowl
Stir in the melted butter or margarine and sufficient egg to bind the mixture together.
Use to stuff the neck cavity only. Cook any remaining stuffing separately.

Oatey Apple & Cranberry Stuffing


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, diced
  • 450g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and grated
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 175g fine oatmeal
  • 175g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 75g dried cranberries
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and bacon and sauté for 5 mins until pale golden. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season with a little salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
You can make this stuffing the day before required if liked. Simply cover the bowl with clear film and refrigerate until required.
Use the stuffing to fill the neck of turkey. Roll the remainder into balls and roast in the oven alongside the turkey for 20 mins or until golden.
Makes enough to fill the neck cavity of a 2.2kg (10lb) turkey.

Sausage, Chestnut & Bacon Stuffing

50g streaky bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp dry sherry
250g good sausagemeat
1 tbsp fresh chopped sage or 1 tsp dried
75g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
125g canned chestnuts, drained and chopped
grated rind 1 lemon
salt and ground black pepper

Dry fry bacon in a small frying pan until the fat runs, then fry the onion in the juices for about 3 minutes.
Add sherry and cook until evaporated. Remove, tip into a big bowl and allow to cool. Mix in sausagemeat, sage, breadcrumbs, chestnuts, lemon rind and seasoning.
Chill and stuff before roasting.

Tips, photos and recipes reproduced
with kind permission of British Turkey

How to carve a turkey

So you've bought the best turkey and cooked it to perfection, so what's the best way to carve it?
This step-by-step guide should put you on the right track to getting those lovely slices of meat off the bird that you'll be proud to serve to your family and guests.
Step one
With a sharp knife, cut the skin between leg and breast.
Bend leg outwards and cut straight through the joint, removing the whole leg. Repeat on the other side. If the turkey is properly cooked, the legs will fall away easily. Do the same with each wing, leaving the breast meat intact.

Step two
With the legs removed, slice horizontally at the base of the breast until your knife reaches the carcass. Do this on both sides. Then, slice downwards in neat, even slices.

Step three
Slice the dark meat off the legs (hold the drumstick with a piece of kitchen paper if this makes it easier). Arrange round the edge of the serving platter. Pile the slices of white meat in the centre and carry into the dining room.

Step-by-step, photos and illustrations reproduced
with kind permission of British Turkey

6 December 2012

Tea gifts all wrapped up

If you're looking for the perfect gift for a tea lover, The Kandula Tea Company has something for everyone.

Pink Ceylon Tea Gift Set
Award winning Pink Ceylon Tea, a unique Single Estate 
green tea blended with hibiscus for a beautiful pink 
cuppa, with a bespoke pink batik print tea towel and 
pink elephant tea saucer.

Ebony Ceylon Tea Gift Set
Classic Orange Pekoe tea, especially blended to enjoy
black, it makes a bright and refreshing cuppa, with a
bespoke black & white batik print tea towel and batik
tea saucer.
Their beautifully packaged whole leaf teas and bespoke tea time accessories make the perfect Christmas gifts for tea devotees and elephant lovers alike.

Choose from a lovely selection of gift ideas from their online tea and gift shop – or put together your own ideal Christmas presents – and they will gift wrap for free! Visit the online shop to order here

Last order date: 
17th December

3 December 2012

10 tips for a healthier Christmas

With all the edible temptations on offer it’s all too easy to over indulge during the festive season. We asked Priya Tew of Dietitian UK what she would suggest to avoid some of the ‘bad’ things but also not miss out on a delicious Christmas and importantly to feel good.

On average people eat 6,000 kcals a day on Christmas day, that’s three times the recommended daily intake for a woman and over twice that for a man! It’s no wonder people gain an average of 2kgs over the festive season.

Here are my top tips on a healthier Christmas:

On the day
  • Keep breakfasts healthy and start the day right. Choose special but lower fat treats like currant buns, fruit bread, your favourite fruit and greek yoghurt, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on a wholegrain bagel or wholemeal toast and chocolate spread. This will help keep you full and mean you are less likely to snack throughout the morning. Steer away from the pastries and save yourself for treats later in the day.
  • Choose smoked salmon, a soup or melon as a starter.
  • Turkey is low in fat and high in protein, so a great food to be eating. However watch those portion sizes! Have plenty of vegetables and don’t eat the skin.
  • Those roasties may be delicious but stick to just a few. Cut them into large chunks so they absorb less fat. Use a vegetable oil instead of goose fat, if you want to support local producers look for a UK rapeseed oil.
  • Christmas pudding is quite low in fat, but cream and brandy butter aren’t! Watch those portions and have a low fat custard or low fat creme fraiche as an option.

Through the festive season:
  • It’s often the extras that cause the weight gain. Plan your treats in and don’t over buy. The supermarket bargains are tempting, but if you always know you have too many sweet treats around buy less this year.
  • Snacks are tempting! Get some yummy olives, dried fruit and chestnuts instead of crisps, chocolate coated nuts and too much cheese. Try rice cakes, breadsticks, carrot sticks and homemade vegetable crisps with salsa instead of crisps and dips.
  • Make your own open top mince pies, less pastry = lower fat. Have a fruit salad to hand as an option too.
  • Alcohol contains calories! Get in some tasty no alcohol drinks in, make non alcoholic cocktails and use these to alternate drinks.
  • Stay active. It’s so easy to stay indoors especially when it’s cold, but make a plan to stay active. Walks, bike rides, trips to the park with the children – it all counts.

Priya Tew is a registered dietitian who runs her own nutrition consultancy business, Dietitian UK.
As a mum and food lover she is passionate about helping people to discover good quality food and to show them how healthy eating is not just tasty but vitally important.

Stay food safe this Christmas

Christmas is a time when a lot of food is bought and consumed, sometimes rather too much of it too. We're often faced with the prospect of cooking unfamiliar things, after all it's not everyday we cook a huge turkey or rib of beef. And then there's the issue of all the surplus - what to do with all the leftovers.

Ultimately there is pressure on us to become the ultimate domestic goddess or even god – but what food safety issues do we need to think about?

Sarah Daniels of The Red Cat Partnership has given us a few simple tips to follow to ensure your Christmas is a merry one.

Buying and storing food
Firstly do not buy or prepare food too far in advance.
When buying food you must consider the use by date – this is the date the manufacturer/ producer can guarantee that if we have stored it correctly
(in the fridge) that it is safe to eat.

Do not buy food that you cannot eat before the end of this use by period.
You will also need to be mindful of the ‘once open consume within’ guidance given – this will over ride the shelf life and may only be 2 days.
So do not buy your perishable foods too far in advance. If you need to buy early then freeze as soon as you can after purchasing – more on defrosting later.

Best before dates are just that. The food tastes best before that date – it won’t harm you afterwards, though it may not taste as good as it should.

Keep perishable foods in the fridge and do not overload the fridge.
I know we want a chilled beer or glass of wine, but the foodstuffs that support nasty bacteria growing need to be kept refrigerated to ensure the food is safe to eat.

Also we should not overload our fridges – if air cannot circulate this can cause a rise in temperature which can cause a dangerous growth of bacteria.

Also we need to keep raw and ready-to-eat foods apart.
Keep raw meats/ fish/ eggs and veg, particularly soily veg at the bottom of the fridge.

Preparing food
When preparing foods, this too, must not be done too far in advance.
If you're still eating the turkey on New Year’s day it is pushing it from a food safety perspective – prepare what you can eat within 2 –3 days.

If you are not going to eat it, portion it up and freeze as soon after cooking as you can.
Do cool foods quickly by portioning them, or taking them out of their cooking container as this will prevent nasty poisons / toxins developing.

Preparing the festive bird
There is no need to wash the bird – this can cause bacteria to be splashed and therefore spread around the kitchen. Those stomach upsetting bugs will be killed if the bird is cooked thoroughly.

Cooking and defrosting
If you need to defrost foods, do it in the fridge. This will take longer but it is safer. If there is no room in the fridge do it overnight whilst the central heating is off.
Ensure that all foods are thoroughly defrosted before cooking, otherwise the oven temperature will just defrost the meat and not cook it thoroughly.

Allow enough time for the cooking process.
Be mindful of how much food you need to cook at once and the order it needs to be cooked in. Most shops and magazines have countdown guides.
I would rather have a delayed festive meal than food poisoning, or a hard potato rather than an undercooked pink turkey!

Always check that poultry is cooked thoroughly – you do not need a probe – but pierce the bird/dish at the thickest point and ensure that juices are clear and the food is piping hot.

And lastly enjoy without the fear of a festive food poisoning!

Sarah Daniels is director of The Red Cat Partnership a health and safety consultancy based in Norwich.
Courses are available covering food safety with a team of chartered environmental health practitioners.

28 November 2012

Taste of Christmas: 7th – 9th December 2012

Taste of Christmas 2012 takes place from 7th – 9th December at ExCeL London.
A selection of the capital's top restaurants will be serving up seasonal menus full of dishes designed to inspire. Between bites, some of the country's best chefs will be taking to the stage to help you finesse your light entertaining, refine that ambitious festive menu and prepare for the ultimate season of extravagance. Plus, over 200 producers will be on offer, displaying the ideal gift, essential ingredient or winter warmer in Taste's boutique market, then settle down to a fine wine, cheese or chocolate tasting.

Edible Ornamentals grow a huge variety of chillies which they make into sauces, salsa and relishes. Stand PR34

Morton’s Traditional Taste rear free range Norfolk Black and Bronze turkeys on their farm ready for the Christmas table. Stand PR38

Cotswold Gold produce a pure extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil grown and pressed on the farm which is used to make a range of herb, spice and truffle infused oils, dressings and drizzles. Stand PR29

David’s Chilli Oil make a richly aromatic and spicy oils inspired by oriental and asian cuisine. Stand PR19

You can also find more AFT producers at British Fine Foods who stock products from Great Glen Game – producers of wild venison charcuterie, The Artisan Smokehouse – a wide variety of smoked meats including beef and duck and Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars – amazing infused fruit vinegars. They can be found on stand PR01

For more information about the event visit: www.tasteofchristmas.com

27 November 2012

A turkey with taste from Morton's

For most people Christmas is probably the only time they will buy a whole turkey to take centre stage on the festive table.
Christmas comes but once a year, so why not invest a little more in making sure you have the best bird for the occasion. To get the best you really need to think about buying a turkey that has been reared in the most natural way as possible and also consider the breed – Bronze or Norfolk Black are unrivalled when it comes to taste and succulence.

All Morton's turkeys are free-range
We are proud to have Morton's Traditional Taste on The Artisan Food Trail. They rear their free range turkeys in Norfolk to the highest welfare standards – all birds are free range and have been grown slowly which develops into a true traditional taste to savour.

At Morton's you can be sure of a true tasting turkey this Christmas as they follow a quality code to guarantee that their turkeys do not disappoint.

A big bird too much?
Maybe you find a whole turkey a little on the large size if your family gathering is small, so Morton's have the perfect alternative – the Two Bird Roast – a part-boned free range chicken filled with duck breast and layered with chestnut, orange and thyme stuffing.

Place your order now!

If you wish to order your Christmas turkey from Morton's Traditional Taste then please visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here where you'll find more information and links taking you to their website where you can place an order online.

26 November 2012

Open a box of smoky delights

An exciting range of beautiful hampers are available from
The Artisan Smokehouse which have been carefully put together to meet all tastes and budgets. Choose from British, Italian, Vegetarian, Spicy, Award Winners, or Chef's Ingredients hampers, or why not spoil someone (or yourself) with the ultimate Luxury hamper. All products are beautifully presented in an elegant black presentation box and hand tied with ribbon.
Hamper prices start from as little as £17 and Spice & Herb gift packs from just £4.50, so giving a gift of the finest smoked produce couldn't be easier.

We can recommend the stunning Luxury Hamper which is guaranteed to impress the most committed food lover.
It contains a fantastic range of smoked and unsmoked foods including:

  • Smoked British beef
  • Smoked free-range duck breast
  • Hot and cold smoked salmon
  • Smoked Milano salami
  • Smoked Spianata Calabra salami
  • Smoked Suffolk garlic
  • Smoked Italian olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Smoked Stilton
  • Smoked Cheddar
  • Smoked goat's cheese
  • Membrillo (quince paste)
  • Artisan cheese biscuits
  • Smoked dried forest mushrooms,
  • Smoked coarse sea salt
  • Smoked paprika

Orders required in time for Christmas need to be placed by Tuesday 18th December (last delivery date will be Friday 21st December).

To find out more about The Artisan Smokehouse please visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here where you will find links to their website to place your order.

A sweet gift – Fudge Lovers hamper

Do you know someone who adores fudge? Want to get them something exciting and unique this Christmas? Then how about this amazing hamper from Fudge Kitchen which has lots of scrumptious treats and even some exclusive new products that will tantalise any fudge lovers taste buds. Presented in a beautiful deep green hamper box hand tied with luxurious gold ribbon – at a reasonable £40, this stunning gift will prove a festive hit well into the New Year.

The Fudge Lover Hamper contains the following items:

  • 3 piece Gourmet Christmas Selection
  • 230g Jar of Chocolate Orange Fudge Sauce
  • 230g Jar of Classic Toffee Fudge Sauce
  • The Wooden Spoon Luxury Jam Gift Set containing flavours: Strawberry & Champagne, Gooseberry & Sloe Gin, Orange & Whisky and Apricot & Amaretto
  • Drinking Fudge Classic Selection box of 6 sachets including Winter Spice & Indulgent Irish Cream
  • Packet of marshmallows containing 6 portions

For more information about Fudge Kitchen visit their page on 
The Artisan Food Trail here

22 November 2012

Quality meat from Yorkshire

You’re probably making plans on what to put on the Christmas table this year, so if you’re looking for some top quality poultry, meats and charcuterie, Paganum Produce offer a wide selection.
Buying couldn’t be simpler as everything is available online or if you prefer the old fashioned method of communication, the people at Paganum are more than happy to take your call.

Stars of the Christmas table

Herb Fed Bronze Turkey
"For a bird with taste" these free range bronze birds are fed on fresh herbs from Thirsk and feed produced in a local mill for a true Yorkshire bird with a difference, moist & full of real turkey flavour.

Yorkshire Rib of Beef
Paganum Yorkshire Dales beef is sourced from breeds that give superior eating qualities and includes Short Horn, Welsh Black, Highland and Belted Galloway. All beef production and suppliers farm using traditional methods by farmers who are committed to animal welfare, sustainable agriculture and conservation.

Yorkshire Lamb
The lambs sourced by Paganum are from the Yorkshire Dales. Blue Faced Leicester rams crossed with Swaledale ewes produce superior tasting lamb, with the guarantee of traditional farming methods.
The lambs are grazed on a mixture of rich lowland Dales pasture and the high moors, where clean air and limestone grassland contributes to the assurance of great tasting lamb. The lamb is matured slowly, producing more succulent tasting meat.


The festive time would not be complete without a variety of cured meats.

Yorkshire Bresaola
Marinated and cured Yorkshire Beef, first marinated then cured and air dried to produce a fantastic Italian style Beef Bresaola, serve with oil & lemon.

Pickled Yorkshire Beef
Prime Yorkshire Beef wet cured or pickled to the traditional Wildman Family Recipe. 
1.5kg Pickled Joint ready to cook, slice and enjoy, proper old fashioned fayre.

Yorkshire Pancetta
Dry cured home reared Malhamdale Oxford & Sandy Black Pork. 
A fantastic 400g (approx) slab of our own Yorkshire Pancetta, special cure, dry aged and peppered.

Yorkshire Guanciale

Dry cured home reared Malhamdale Oxford & Sandy Black Pork Jowl (cheek). 
A fantastic 300g (approx) slab of our own Yorkshire Guanciale, cured with juniper, thyme and garlic, dry aged and peppered.

This is just a selection so remember to visit the Paganum Produce page here on The Artisan Food Trail to read out more about them and to find links to their website and contact information.

20 November 2012

Quality Street Food comes to Hitchin

There’s been something of a revolution going on when it comes to street food in the UK and a north Hertfordshire town is about to get its first taste when Hitchin Street Food Monthly launches on 1st December.

Say goodbye to dubious burgers and sad hotdogs as the food about to be served up will be from people who really care about what they make and sell, making sure customers experience the tastiest dishes made from the best ingredients.

There will be a variety of cuisines to choose from starting with Mexican street food specialists Cantina Carnitas who cook up some irresistible slow cooked meats and tasty treats, which we hear are spiced up with chillies from AFT producer, Capsicana Chilli Co.

Another AFT producer Cardona & Son will be making regular appearances over the coming months selling their amazing rare breed pork which is reared locally and naturally. The sausages are wonderfully meaty with a full flavour that you’d expect to have come from a pig that led a happy life.

For a great British tradition there will be fish and chips from Rock & Sole, South African street food from Now Now, some celtic flavour from the Irish Cake Company and to round off, some delicious cupcakes from Crumbly Wumbly.

Not only will there be great food but also a licensed bar and live acoustic music to keep the toes tapping.

Hitchin Street Food Monthly looks set to become a firm favourite on the calendar and will be held on the first Saturday of every month from 10am – 4pm, located by the riverside steps opposite St Mary’s church in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Although there is no website at the moment, it is possible to keep up-to-date with the latest goings on and new stallholders etc., by following Hitchin Street Food Monthly on Twitter here @HitchinStFood

19 November 2012

UPDATED!: BBC Good Food Show Winter: 28th November – 2nd December 2012

Join the UK's finest artisan producers and top celebrity chefs for a feast of winter food at the NEC, Birmingham. With live demonstrations, top tips, seasonal produce, there are a hundreds of ways to feed your culinary inspiration. And all in time for Christmas.

The Great British Bake Off team are back at the show this year with demos from Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry live in the Supertheatre.
Plus brand NEW for 2012, there will be the new The Great British Bake Off Stage. Watch celebrity chefs cooking up a storm in the 2,000 seater Supertheatre.  See the Hairy Bikers, James Martin, Gino D'Acampo and John Torode and Gregg Wallace and many more live in action.

The show will also be hosting the prestigious World Cheese Awards for the third year at BBC Good Food Show Winter plus brand new for this year, The World Cheese Awards Deli opens its doors for the first time.

The Producers' Village is one of our favourite areas of the show. Packed with small artisan producers who specialise in local and seasonal produce, every year it's full of delicious flavours and not to be missed.

      ++ NEWS FLASH! ++ NEWS FLASH! ++ NEWS FLASH! ++       

There will be a chance for visitors to grab a free sample of very special ice cream from Simply Ice Cream!
Samples of the new CocoCherryFudgetastic flavour will be handed out for all to enjoy.
Simply Ice Cream ran a competition in conjunction with LEC Refrigeration  for people to come up with a new flavour. The winning flavour was created with the help of Fudge Kitchen who made the very special fudge which features in the ice cream.

Amongst those producers will be some Artisan Food Trail members. Those that are already listed as taking part are:

Edible Ornamentals grow a huge variety of chillies which they make into sauces, salsa and relishes. Stand SLTBC

Fudge Kitchen hand make delicious creamy fudge in a wide range of tempting flavours. Stand H80

Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars make amazing fruit infused vinegars. Stand FLF60

Cotswold Gold produce a pure extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil grown and pressed on the farm which is used to make a range of herb, spice and truffle infused oils, dressings and drizzles. Stand FLF14

Davids’ Chilli Oil  makes a richly aromatic and spicy oils inspired by oriental and asian cuisine. Stand C66

Online deli, British Fine Foods who stock products from AFT producers; Great Glen Game – producers of wild venison charcuterie and The Artisan Smokehouse – a wide variety of smoked meats including beef and duck. They can be found on stand C40

For more information about the event see the website: www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com

13 November 2012

Just our cup of tea

Photo: © childsdesign

To enjoy a good cup of tea it is important that it is infused with care so that the flavours are released from the leaves properly. Unlike a mug of ‘builder’s tea’, quality tea needs to be treated with a little more respect. So that you can enjoy all the Sri Lankan Single Estate Kandula teas, each one has its own brewing instructions.

Read full review

We are pleased to give The Kandula Tea Company ‘Artisan Food Trail Approved’ status for their teas and infusions.

For information about The Kandula Tea Company visit their page on The Artisan Food Trail here

5 November 2012

British Sausage Week: 5th – 11th November 2012

British Sausage Week is back and is being celebrated with stand-up star and comic genius, Al Murray’s ‘The Pub Landlord’. He has taken on the coveted crown of 'King of the Sizzle' when he tours the country during the week, rallying troops to stand up for British bangers.

Types of sausage
There are many regional sausages throughout the British Isles that use traditional recipes that go back many generations.
There's the long coiled Cumberland sausage which is meaty with a coarse, chunky texture and black pepper giving a spicy bite; The Lincolnshire sausage, an old fashioned favourite scented with sage; West Country ones with pork and apple and maybe a touch of cider and Oxford sausages that contain veal, as well as pork. These are just a few of the many varieties made and the list continues to grow as producers experiment with different flavour combinations.

With a national competition that will reveal the land’s finest bangers, a host of delicious new recipes to try out and plenty of opportunities to get involved, it will be impossible not to stand up and be counted.

We can't resist a nicely cooked sausage. They should be cooked carefully over a medium heat so they cook slowly allowing the outside to gently caramelise so it becomes slightly sticky and the inside should be juicy.
Don't have the heat too high or the sausage will burst and definitely do not prick them, this will make all the tasty juices escape.

Where to find the best sausages
And of course we have the best of British sausages right here on
The Artisan Food Trail.
All the producers on our food trail that make the finest sausages using
meat from animals that have a led a healthy and happy life, so when you buy sausages make sure you choose British, local and bangers made with passion.

More often than not the animals are rare breeds too which means that these sausages have an unsurpassable flavour and texture. The sausage mix is skilfully blended with a variety of herbs and spices from the mild to the spicy to suit everyone’s preferences.

So whether you are making a hearty casserole, a Toad-in-the-Hole or just good old Bangers & Mash make sure you choose the best.

Samphire's Simple Sausages  Photos: © childsdesign
Samphire is an award winning smallholding in Norfolk rearing rare breed pigs and sheep. Ethical farming is at the heart of Samphire and they have been recognised by the RSPCA for their commitment to animal welfare.

 It’s not just their regulars who love their rare breed meat, Gary Rhodes said their sausages were the best he'd ever tasted

For more information visit Samphire on The Artisan Food Trail here

Capsicana Chilli Sausages  Photos: © Capsicana taken by childsdesign
Capsicana Chilli Co
Capsicana has teamed up with a whole host of independent butchers across the the UK to bring you an absolutely delicious chilli sausage! They use a variety of authentic Mexican chillies to make their special chilli & spice blend and their selected butchers combine this with their fabulous sausage-making expertise and hey presto...  the best chilli sausages in the UK!!
Perfect for the BBQ, spicing up favourites like bangers & mash or making a Mexican style sausages and bean casserole.

Details of butchers using Capsicana’s chilli sausage blend 
available here 
For more information visit Capsicana Chilli Co 
on The Artisan Food Trail here

Paganum Produce
Yorkshire producer, Paganum’s selection of Premium Pork Sausages made in their traditional butchery to age old family recipes.

For more information visit Paganum Produce 
on The Artisan Food Trail here

1 November 2012

BBC Good Food Show London: 9th – 11th November 2012

The BBC Good Food Show, featuring The Wine Show returns to London's Olympia next month where visitors can watch their favourite TV programmes come to life – live in the brand new 600 seat Supertheatre.

There will be the opportunity to shop from the finest regional produce at the Producers' Village, dine at London's top eateries in the Restaurant Experience, stock up your wine rack at The Wine Show and much, much more.

The Supertheatre features favourite chefs cooking delicious seasonal recipes live on stage, with entertainment from John Torode and Gregg Wallace to MasterChef: The Professionals with Michel Roux Jr and Monica Galetti. Also for the first time The Great British Bake Off will be taking to the stage on Friday and Saturday Kitchen on Saturday.

The Restaurant Experience
For those who appreciate fine cuisine and love dining out, The Restaurant Experience offers the chance to eat food  from a hand picked selection of London's top restaurants. Sample signature dishes from the capital's leading lights from an array of tantalising menus.

The Producers’ Village
Meet the producers at in the Producers' Village at the heart of the show. Packed with small speciality producers who specialise in local and seasonal produce and full of delicious flavours. It's the perfect place to go and find something different that you can't find on the high street and definitely not to be missed.
This is the place to find the very best artisan producers and speciality food retailers. Discover new flavours, meet the makers of your favourite produce, indulge in delicious hand-made delicacies and stock up on gifts, ingredients and goodies.

Amongst those producers will be some Artisan Food Trail members. Those that are already listed as taking part are:

Edible Ornamentals grow a huge variety of chillies which they make into sauces, salsa and relishes. Stand PV39

Fudge Kitchen hand make delicious creamy fudge in a wide range of tempting flavours. Stand PV22

Morton’s Traditional Taste rear free range Norfolk Black and Bronze turkeys on their farm ready for the Christmas table. Stand PV60
The Artisan Smokehouse based in Suffolk produce a range of smoked foods ranging from beef and duck to salmon, salamis, cheese, garlic, mushrooms and even spices. Stand GF12

Cotswold Gold produce a pure extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil grown and pressed on the farm which is used to make a range of herb, spice and truffle infused oils, dressings and drizzles. Stand PV23

David’s Chilli Oil makes a richly aromatic and spicy oils inspired by oriental and asian cuisine. Stand PV16

Online deli, British Fine Foods who stock products from AFT producers; Great Glen Game – producers of wild venison charcuterie, The Artisan Smokehouse – a wide variety of smoked meats including beef and duck and Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars – amazing infused fruit vinegars. They can be found on stand PV37.

For ore information about the event visit: www.bbcgoodfoodshowlondon.com

30 October 2012

Pepper Prawns with Caramelised Cauliflower

Photo: © childsdesign

Perhaps prawns and cauliflower don’t sound a likely combination but the way the cauliflower is cooked makes a great flavour match.
The cauliflower is first coated in a honey mustard dressing which creates sweet and slightly charred edges to the vegetable.
The prawns are given a spike from a chilli sauce with added lemon for brightness and all the flavours marry well in a sweet, nutty, sour combination.

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the prawns
  • 250g raw king prawns
  • quarter tsp Capsicana Chilli Co Habanero Sauce
  • grated zest from quarter of a lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • pinch sugar

For the cauliflower

To garnish
  • few coriander leaves
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • squeeze lemon juice

First marinate the prawns. Put the prawns into a bowl with the pepper sauce, lemon zest, salt, sugar and lemon juice and stir making sure the prawns are completely coated. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes.

To prepare the cauliflower remove the florets, keeping them in large chunks then take each floret and slice into 1cm thick pieces. Place in a bowl and add the honey mustard dressing, stirring to coat all of the cauliflower evenly.

Heat a large frying pan until it is very hot then tip in the cauliflower and let it sizzle and brown. Turn the cauliflower to sizzle the other side. Turn down the heat to continue cooking until the cauliflower becomes tender but still has a nutty bite to it.
Roughly crush the cumin seeds with a pestle and mortar and sprinkle the seeds over the cauliflower, stir gently to mix.

Add some oil to another frying pan, heat some olive until hot and tip in the prawns and cook them, stirring occasionally until they turn pink. This should only take a minute.

Arrange the cauliflower slices on plates, spoon over the prawns and garnish with the coriander and springs onions, finishing with a squeeze of lemon juice.

29 October 2012

Go large with elephant garlic

Elephant garlic is considerably larger than its cousin. The normal garlic cloves in the foreground are around half the size.
Photo: © childsdesign

We can't think of many meals that we cook that don't contain garlic in some way. The versatile bulbs have a permanent place in our kitchen and usually occupy a small box inside the spice cupboard.

Recently we tried some elephant garlic from The Elephant Garlic Company. It was recently harvested and has to be freshest garlic we've eaten, each enormous clove still juicy from the last drink in the field.

Technically, elephant garlic is not a true garlic and botanists have classified it as a close relation to the leek. While the top of the plant does indeed have leek-like leaves, the bottom is very much a huge garlic bulb complete with the individual cloves.
The flavour too is also like garlic, perhaps a little sweeter and not so pungent, but unmistakably garlicky.

Because of the elephant garlic's more subtle flavours we found it was very palatable even when eaten raw. There is some hotness which quickly subsides to reveal a sweet nutty garlic flavour.
Cooked it can be used in the same way as normal garlic and is particularly good when roasted whole.

Photo: © childsdesign

We also tried it mixed with tomatoes to make a delicious topping for toast. Drizzled with some olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and a grind of fresh black pepper then grilled it was very good. You might want to call it it bruschetta but we like to call it 'Posh Things On Toast'!