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14 December 2016

Turkey Pastilla

Photo: © childsdesign
Pastilla, pronounced 'bast-eeya', is a Moroccan dish which is very much like a pie with an interesting filling of sweetly spiced meat, almond, eggs and herbs encased in crispy filo pastry and dusted with icing sugar. Sounds weird? Actually it is rather good and would make an ideal Boxing Day meal using leftover Christmas turkey.

The combination of fragrant spices including cinnamon and sugar is surprisingly agreeable and don't be put off by the scrambled egg either as it turns out less eggy than you'd expect. The texture is soft and moist and carries the flavours really well.

Ingredients (Serves 6)
56g flaked almonds
28g butter, plus more for melting
3 onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely crushed
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp turmeric
salt and pepper
1 tbs pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
handful flat-leaved parsley, chopped
handful coriander, chopped
500g cooked turkey (a mix of breast and leg meat), cut into large chunks
8-10 sheets filo pastry
icing sugar to dust

Essential equipment
One 20cm springform/loose-bottomed cake tin.

In a dry frying pan, on the hob, gently toast the almonds, stirring them occasionally, taking care not to burn them. They should take on a light brown colour. Set aside.

In a large pan, gently melt the butter and drop in the onions and garlic and cook very gently until soft.
Stir in the grated ginger and spices, season with salt and pepper. Add a little water and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the sugar and pomegranate molasses, taste and add more seasoning if you wish.
Next add the beaten eggs, parsley and coriander to the onion mixture and cook gently, stirring all the while over a gentle heat for about 4-5 minutes until the mixture is scrambled. Leave to cool

Preheat the oven to 200C / 400C / Gas 6. Butter the cake tin.

Place the filo pastry on a board and brush the first sheet with melted butter. Line the tin with the filo pastry sheet so it fits well inside and has the surplus overhanging the outside. Continue with the remaining three sheets, brushing with melted butter and laying the second at 90 degrees to the first and so on, so that all the pastry covers the tin and is well overlapped.

Lay the cooked turkey in the bottom of the pastry case.
Add half the toasted almonds, crushing them through your hands as you do so.
Spoon in the scrambled egg mix and top with the rest of the crush almonds.
Bring up the overlapping pastry and form over the top of the pie in a random fashion.
Brush the top with plenty of melted butter.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and heated through.

Take the pastilla out of the oven and leave to rest in its tin for 5 minutes before serving.
Remove the pastilla from the tin and dust with icing sugar using a sieve.

Cut into wedges and serve.

  Notes on ingredients                                                                                            
The turkey in this recipe is a free range Norfolk Bronze from Morton's Traditional Taste.
Spices can be sourced from Spice Kitchen and bought online.

Photo: © childsdesign

13 December 2016

Turkey Cacciatore

Photo: © childsdesign
This is our version of an Italian dish and although not entirely authentic, it is ideal to use up leftover turkey.
‘Cacciatore’ means ‘hunter’ and this recipe is hearty, rustic and full of rich flavours with our added spike of chilli heat.
For an extra twist we topped with Mozzarella for a lovely gooey layer.
It is good served with some pasta on the side or a hunk of country bread to mop up the juices.

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g mushrooms. sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 50ml white wine
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp capers in vinegar, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp splash red wine vinegar
  • 500g cooked turkey, shredded into chunks*
  • 125g ball mozzarella
  • 2 handfuls fresh breadcrumbs
  • few sprigs flat-leaved parsley, chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan and add the sliced mushrooms and fry until lightly browned. Tip into a bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and fry the onion, garlic and chilli in the oil until softened.
Add the tomato puree and stir in and fry for a further minute.
Pour in the wine and cook for a further 2 minutes until the wine has reduced.

Add the tomatoes, vinegar, oregano, capers and season with salt and black pepper, then simmer for approximately 20 mins until thick.
Stir in the turkey, fried mushrooms and parsley and transfer to a baking dish. Heat oven to 220C / Gas 7.

Tear over the mozzarella in chunks, scatter over the breadcrumbs with some more ground pepper.
Bake for 20 mins until turkey is piping hot through, and the top is golden and bubbling.

  Notes on ingredients                                                                                            
The turkey in this recipe is a free range Norfolk Bronze from Morton's Traditional Taste.

Photo: © childsdesign

12 December 2016

Turkey Farmer’s Pie

Photo: © childsdesign
Shepherds have got one so why not turkey farmers? When we came up with our recipe we were going to call it a turkey herder’s pie but that sounded somewhat euphemistic (stop giggling!)
It is inspired by the shepherd’s version and is equally as comforting. It is also the perfect opportunity to use up some dark meat which often gets left as everyone ends up having a preference for breast meat on Christmas day.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized carrots, chopped into small dice
  • 160g piece of swede, peeled, chopped into small dice
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp Worcester sauce
  • few fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 275ml chicken stock
  • 500g cold cooked turkey thigh/leg, finely chopped*
  • 1 tbs cornflour mixed with a little water to make a paste
  • sprig fresh tarragon (optional), finely chopped
  • handful of of fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the mash topping
  • 1kg potatoes, peeled, halved or quartered
  • 25g butter
  • 100ml milk, warmed
  • salt and white pepper
  • 25g Cheddar cheese, finely grated*
  • a few fresh sage leaves to garnish

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan, add the onions and fry gently until lightly golden, add the garlic, carrots and swede and fry gently for a further 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring all the time. Add the Worcester sauce, rosemary, sage and chicken stock, stir to mix and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the cooked turkey leg meat and heat through, then thicken the sauce by adding a little of the cornflour mixture at a time, stirring constantly, until the sauce reaches a gravy-like consistency.
Add the tarragon, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
Tip the meat mixture into an ovenproof dish.

For the mash, boil the potatoes until tender (approximately 10 minutes).
Drain into a colander and allow the steam to come off for 5 minutes.
Place back in the pan in which they were cooked and add the warm milk and butter, then mash until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Dollop the mash over the meat mixture and spread until it is all evenly covered. Use a fork to create a rough texture then sprinkle over the grated cheese. Press in a few sage leaves to decorate.
Put into the oven 200C / 400F Gas 6 and cook for around 30 minutes until piping hot and the mashed potato top is golden and crisp.

  Notes on ingredients                                                                                            
The turkey in this recipe is a free range Norfolk Bronze from Morton's Traditional Taste.
The Courtyard Dairy has a range of cheeses including specialist British varieties including Hafod Welsh Organic Cheddar.

9 December 2016

Turkey & Ham Croquetas

Photo: © childsdesign
With their crunchy exterior and irresistible creamy centre, these croquetas are delicious with a cool beer or glass of white wine.
This recipe is based on a Spanish dish and although wouldn’t normally include saffron, we thought we’d make them a little more special.
Eat them dipped into either a rich tomato or chilli sauce or even a chilli jam.

Ingredients (makes 16)
  • 500ml whole milk
  • half an onion
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pinch saffron threads (optional)
  • 60g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 60g plain flour
  • 100g Serrano ham (or any other well-flavoured ham), finely chopped*
  • 100g cooked cold turkey, finely chopped*
  • 25g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • nutmeg for grating
  • black pepper
  • 150g fine breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • oil for deep frying

Put the milk into saucepan. Stud the onion with the cloves and add to the milk along with the bay leaves and saffron. Bring the milk to a gentle simmer and allow everything to infuse for 20 minutes, watching that it does not boil over.
Turn off the heat and remove the onion, cloves and bay leaves.

Heat the oil and butter in a medium, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter melts, add two-thirds of the ham and cook until the ham fat begins to melt.

Reduce the heat and gradually stir in the flour, cooking gently and stir regularly for about 8–10 minutes.

Gradually stir in the hot milk and beat in well, until it becomes a smooth paste. Cook for another 15 minutes until it has the consistency of smooth mashed potato. Stir in the rest of the ham, add the turkey, the cheese and season to taste with a grating of nutmeg and some black pepper. Put the mixture in a bowl and allow to cool. Place some clingfilm on to the surface of the sauce to prevent it from forming a skin and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. If you can leave overnight, all the better, as the mixture needs to be very cold to make it easier to work with.

Put the beaten eggs into a bowl, and the breadcrumbs into another. Roll spoonfuls of the mixture into cylinder shapes and roll them in the breadcrumbs. Next, dip them into the egg and coat them in the breadcrumbs again. Place them on plate and put in refrigerator for an hour to firm up.

Either use a deep fat fryer or carefully use a wok. Heat the oil to 180C, or until it begins to shimmer. Prepare a baking tray with kitchen roll. Fry the croquetas in batches of four for a couple of minutes until golden all over. They will start to make a sputtering sound when done. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper-lined tray. Keep warm in a very low oven while you make the rest.
Serve warm.

  Notes on ingredients                                                                                            
The turkey in this recipe is a free range Norfolk Bronze from Morton's Traditional Taste.
In place of the Serrano ham you could also Yorkshire Pancetta available from Town End Farm Shop.
For the dipping sauce try Susannah's Sauces Succulent Tomato Sauce or 
for something with more bite, perhaps Hot or Sweet Chilli Jam from 
Hibiscus Lily, or Pure Heat Chilli Sauce from Edible Ornamentals.

8 December 2016

Turkey ‘Vatapa’

Photo © childsdesign
This recipe idea is based on the fiery Brazilian stew know as Vatapa and is very straightforward to make as Capsicana has done most of the work for you.
It’s full of flavour with a good kick of chilli to perk up your taste buds.
If you need to feed more, for example four people, you’ll need another pack of Capsicana Cook Sauce and double up the other ingredients.

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 courgette, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon, fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 pack Chilli & Coconut Brazilian Cook Sauce*
  • ¼ tsp turmeric*
  • ¼ tsp paprika*
  • 25g roasted peanuts
  • 1 tomato
  • 200g cooked turkey breast, cut into bite-sized chunks*
  • juice of half a lime
  • small handful coriander leaves, chopped

If your peanuts are salted, place them in a sieve and run under the cold tap. Leave to drain then chop very finely.

Skin the tomato by cutting a cross into the skin, at the bottom and put into a bowl and pour over boiling water Leave for a few minutes then remove the tomato from the water and peel off the skin, which should come away easily. Chop into largish chunks.

Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions, red pepper and courgette and fry gently, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes.

Add the Chilli & Coconut Cook Sauce and stir well to mix. Stir in the chopped peanuts, turmeric and paprika and simmer for a couple of minutes. If the sauce becomes a little thick, just stir in some water.

Add the cooked turkey and tomato and simmer lightly until it is warmed through (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Stir in the lime juice and chopped coriander and serve with rice.

  Notes on ingredients                                                                                            
The turkey in this recipe is a free range Norfolk Bronze from Morton's Traditional Taste.
Chilli & Coconut Brazilian Cook Sauce is simple to use – just add meat or fish and vegetables – available from Capsicana.
Spices such as turmeric and paprika are available from Spice Kitchen.

7 December 2016

Turkey, Brie & Cranberry Sandwich

Photo: © childsdesign
Once the turkey has played its part on Christmas Day there’s usually quite
a lot left. One of the most popular ways to carry on eating it, is to stuff it into
a sandwich.
Perhaps, after a while, turkey sandwiches could be boring but that does depend on what else goes into the sandwich with it.

If you’re lucky enough to have a lay in on Boxing Day a turkey sandwich happens to make a very good brunch.

First choose your bread. It could be a couple of nice slices of crusty bloomer, sourdough or even a baguette. Spread the bread liberally with butter then slice up some Brie, or any of your favourite creamy cheese and lay it on the bread. Place generous slabs of cooked turkey on top, spoon on liberal amounts of cranberry sauce (although we prefer lingonberry), season with salt and black pepper. Put the second slice of bread on top and eat.

  Notes on ingredients                                                                                            
The turkey in this sandwich is a free range Norfolk Bronze from Morton's Traditional Taste.
Handmade real bread can be sourced from The Hungry Guest.
The Courtyard Dairy has a range of cheeses including specialist British varieties.
If you fancy a different relish try Hibiscus Lily and Edible Ornamentals.

6 December 2016

Bray's Cottage Christmas Pie Offer

© Bray's Cottage


Good news for pork pie lovers, Bray's Cottage has given Artisan Food Trail readers and supporters 10% off any pie orders up until the end of December.

Visit www.brayscottage.com to order online.
Use code AFT10 at the checkout to receive your discount.

Everything is sent in beautiful chilled packaging which is a real joy to receive not only for personal pie feasts but as a perfect gift too.

Choose from small and medium pies cooked and ready to bake at home in a variety of flavours. They also have large pies available and you can even add bespoke a message for a very personal pie gift.

The last delivery date before Christmas will be for pies to arrive 
on 21st December.


© Bray's Cottage

5 December 2016

A whole host of artisan food and gifts to be won in our '12 Days of Christmas' competition

We're excited to be able to bring back our 
'12 Days of Christmas' competition again.

We're very grateful to our producers who are taking part and donating some fantastic prizes which means we have a great selection of food (and a few gifts) to suit all tastes.

This has to be one of our greatest competitions yet with a cache of 32 prizes up for grabs!
Already, hundreds of entries have come in and we expect many more as there are so many wonderful things to be won.
As usual, the competition will run over a 12 day period and entrants can pick their favourites from the list and there'll be a chance of winning one of those selected.

We have a wide range of artisan and handmade food, drink and gift items as well as experiences, training and of course the Christmas turkey.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to The Artisan Food Trail website, get entering and good luck!

Sorry this competition is now closed
Thanks to our members/producers for taking part and offering prizes making this such a spectacular competition:

Blossoms Syrup
Breckland Orchard
Edible Ornamentals
Fudge Kitchen
Great Glen Charcuterie
Hafod Cheese
Hibiscus Lily
Max Olive Oil
Morton’s Traditional Taste
Needwood Ice Cream
Oakley Grange Farm
Ragini’s Mauritian Curry Powder
Red Cat Partnership Ltd
Susannah’s Sauces
Tg Green Teas
Truffle Hunter
Yare Valley Oils

2 December 2016

Coronation Turkey

Photo: © childsdesign
This is our version of a chicken dish which was originally created to celebrate the coronation of our current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Love it or loathe, since then, it has become a popular sandwich filling which sometimes can be a little sloppy and bland.

Ours has a bit more oomph with the help of some quality curry powder
and is nice and chunky in texture. It is also a great way to perk up leftover Christmas turkey.

You could serve it, traditionally, with rice but we like it wrapped up in a chapatti with some baby gem lettuce leaves. Slightly messy but very delicious!

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder*
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 10 dried apricots, chopped
  • 150ml mayonnaise
  • 75ml natural yogurt
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney*
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • dash of hot chilli sauce/Tabasco
  • 450g cooked turkey breast*
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 50g flaked almonds, toasted lightly in a dry frying pan
  • baby gem lettuce leaves and chapattis to serve

In a small frying pan, heat the oil and gently fry the onion for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and continue to fry for a minute or so.
Add the tomato and curry powder and add a splash of water and continue to cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally until the water evaporates.
Put the curry mixture into a large bowl and allow to cool.
Remove any skin from the turkey breast and cut the meat into bite sized chunks. Set aside.

Put the apricots, mayonnaise, yogurt, mango chutney and lemon juice into the bowl with the curry mixture and stir well to mix.
Add salt, pepper and chilli/Tabasco sauce to taste and mix in.
Add the cooked turkey breast and stir until it is coated with the sauce, add the chopped coriander and mix in.

Serve scattered with the toasted flaked almonds and some baby gem lettuce leaves and chapattis.

  Notes on ingredients                                                                                            
The turkey in this recipe is a free range Norfolk Bronze from Morton's Traditional Taste.
We have a couple of choices on The Artisan Food Trail for curry powder; Ragini’s Mauritian Curry Powder or the Sri Lankan Curry Powder from Spice Kitchen.
Try the Mango & Apricot Chutney from Hibiscus Lily made using traditional methods without the use of artificial preservatives.

30 November 2016

What to do with the leftover turkey?

© Morton's Traditional Taste
If you've bought a large turkey for Christmas it is inevitable that there will be leftovers no matter how many people sat at the table on the day.

The thought of eating cold turkey day after day can be daunting and unfortunately quite boring, so we have put together a collection of recipes to make the most of the money you've spent on the bird.

After testing the turkey, we received from Morton's Traditional Taste, we made sure not to waste a scrap and stripped all the meat from the carcass, packed it into portions and froze it ready for using later.

If you'd like to know how to deal safely with leftovers, there is some solid advice on the Food Standards Agency website.

Use up your Christmas turkey leftovers with these recipes:

Coronation Turkey
Turkey, Brie & Cranberry Sandwich
Turkey Cacciatore
Turkey Farmer's Pie
Turkey & Ham Croquetas
Turkey Pastilla
Turkey 'Vatapa'

28 November 2016

Not all olive oils are the same

© Max Olive Oil
Much like wine, olive oil has different characteristics depending upon where the fruit is grown, the olive variety and how the raw ingredients are treated to achieve the end product.

Olive oil has become very much the norm in our British kitchens, far removed from the time when it was reserved for medicinal use.
One thing is for certain, is that we have become more discerning about olive oil and there are a few truths to know to help you choose the best.

Supermarket shelves are awash with olive oil. With so many types from various countries and various prices, it can be difficult to know which one
to buy.
Obviously everyone's tastes differ and so it may be trial and error until you find one that you like. The key to a fine tasting olive oil, is it’s freshness – we’ve heard that some olive oils in the supermarkets can already be quite old.
Another detracting effect on taste is the practice of blending it with an inferior quality product to ‘bulk’ it out.
If you’re a keen food lover, no doubt you’ve heard all this before as it’s not news – television programmes have already highlighted these issues – but it is worth reiterating.

© Max Olive Oil
Max Olive Oil produces the finest extra virgin olive oil from the fruits grown in the family orchards in Puglia, Italy and it was a real pleasure to test out two of their specialties.
Max Paiano is based in St Albans, Hertfordshire and you’ll find him at the local monthly farmer’s market selling his fresh-pressed oils. For those unable to get to the market will be pleased to know they can also buy online.

Max Olive Oil's oils are single estate artisan products. The olives are handpicked by the family and then milled within 24 hours of harvesting to ensure the freshest and purest product.
Max travels back to the orchards, each year, to help with the harvest himself,
an activity he very much enjoys.

First of all we tasted the oils very simply so as not to allow interference of other flavours and then tried dipping some bread into it.

Donna Lucia Riserva (clear bottle)
Light golden green in colour, Donna Lucia Riserva is made from Leccino
olives and is described as having a fruity, grassy flavour followed by just a hint of pepper.
The ’greenness’ was the first thing we noticed, both in aroma and taste. It is certainly redolent of freshly mown grass and very pleasant. The general mouth-feel of the oil is not at all greasy, being rather light and refreshing.
Its light flavour is perfect with fish, salads and vegetables.

Donna Lucia Etichetta Nera (dark bottle)
Again, a light golden green in colour, Donna Lucia Etichetta Nera is made from Ogliarola and Cellina di Nardò olives and is described as having pleasant notes of artichokes and wild rocket, with a slightly bitter undertone.
A nice feel in the mouth and the flavour is robust and slightly peppery.
The flavour of wild rocket is very detectable making this oil an ideal addition to more strongly flavoured foods such as soups and grilled meats.

To enjoy Max Olive Oil at its best, do not cook with it. An olive oil of this calibre was never meant for frying as this just destroys the taste. The finest extra virgin olive oils are best when used to drizzle over foods or made into dressings but never exposed to high temperatures.

We enjoyed both olive oils and it would be unfair to pick a favourite as they both achieved ‘first place’ in our evaluation.

We are pleased to award Max Olive Oil our 'Artisan Food Trail Approved' status for their Donna Lucia Riserva Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

and Donna Lucia Etichetta Nera Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

To find out more about Max Olive Oil visit their page on 
The Artisan Food Trail here.

28 October 2016

Chicken Tikka with a Mauritian Twist

Photo: © childsdesign
These tasty pieces of chicken are bursting with tang and spice and take no time at all to make, just the marinating takes a while, leaving you to do something else or just relax.
Easy to cook under a hot grill, or if you prefer, over glowing barbecue coals.

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 800g skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 150g natural yoghurt
  • 80g ginger, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tbsp Ragini’s Mauritian Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • salt

Cut the chicken into 4cm cubes.

Put the yogurt, ginger, garlic curry powder, lemon or lime juice and tomato purée into a bowl and stir to mix well. Stir in the melted butter.
Add the chicken pieces and stir until they are all evenly coated.

Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours or preferably overnight, to marinate.

To cook the chicken, preheat the grill to medium-high.
Thread the chicken pieces on to metal skewers.

Grill the chicken for 8-10 minutes, turning now and then and basting occasionally with the yogurt marinade.
To check the chicken is cooked through, take one of the biggest pieces and
cut it in half. There should be no sign of pink and the juices will run clear
when it is done.

Serve with rice, flatbreads, such as roti or chapattis, and salad

26 October 2016

Chicken, Fennel & Apple Pasta Salad

Photo: © childsdesign
Chicken goes so well with creamy textures and the aniseed flavour of tarragon and fennel.
Our salad uses Susannah’s Sauces Tasty Tarragon Mayonnaise to create an unctuous herbal sauce which combines with pieces of crunchy tangy apple.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 300g penne pasta
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp Susannah’s Sauces Tasty Tarragon Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp natural Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced,
  • 1 dessert apple, cored and chopped into 2cm chunks
  • few fennel fronds, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper
  • parmesan shavings

Cook the penne pasta according to the pack instructions.
Drain and set aside to cool.

Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a medium sized saucepan.
Season with salt and pepper.
Fill the saucepan with cold water until it reaches about 4cm above the chicken breasts.
Bring to the boil, then place a lid on the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Lightly simmer until the chicken breasts are cooked through, about 15 minutes. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken.
Remove the chicken from the saucepan and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl mix together the Tasty Tarragon Mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lemon zest and spring onions.
Cut the cooled chicken breast into 2cm chunks and add to the bowl along with the fennel, apple and penne pasta. Mix well to combine making sure everything is well coated with the mayonnaise mixture.
Add the fennel fronds, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste and mix in.

Scatter over the parmesan shavings and serve.

25 October 2016

Traditional Taste: Turkey on test

Photo: © childsdesign
Christmas can be stressful enough for most of us, what with all the presents to find and wrap, not forgetting someone on the card list and then there's the food preparations to be made.

The one time of year when you just want everything to be perfect and get it right, especially if you have certain 'difficult' family members, you feel the celebratory meal has to be faultless.

A big turkey is a traditional choice but has gathered an unfortunate reputation for being bland and dry. Not what you want on the day when no amount of gravy is going to rectify the situation.

Christmas delivered
Christmas came early for us this year as we were delivered a turkey to try from Morton's Traditional Taste from Norfolk. To be honest it did engender feelings of trepidation as we don't usually have one, there being just the two
of us.

When the courier dropped off the rather large and heavy insulated box,
we knew it was going to be big.
Morton's sent us one of their frozen turkeys, presumably from the previous year's flock, as their current livestock are still in the final stages of being fattened for the table.
The turkey was indeed huge and required a bit of muscle to manhandle it.
This must have been a greedy beast with a very healthy appetite!

Preparation time
Morton's rear both Bronze and Norfolk Black turkeys and judging by its size, ours was a Bronze, the Black being naturally smaller at maturity and also longer in shape.

So how best to cook this bird? Wanting to do justice to all the hard work and time put into producing a fine free range turkey, which Morton's promises to be flavoursome and moist, we decided to get the knives out and remove the legs and wings.
Granted it may not make a fantastic centrepiece presentation but it does make it easier to cook the meat to perfection. By roasting the breast and legs and wings separately, the method gets around the problem of parts of it drying out before others are cooked properly.

Going back a little, it was noted how there was no 'funny' smell on first taking the turkey out of the polythene bag. We've noticed an odd odour with some poultry bought from certain shops and most likely attributed to its freshness.

Get the oven on
On with the roasting. Morton's guides you through the process in their handy booklet which comes in the box. Advice on storage, preparation, cooking and even a delicious stuffing recipe all gives more confidence in being able to achieve good results and avoid any food safety mishaps.

We followed the suggested oven temperatures and tips on cooking the turkey, breast side down, for half the time. This allows all the juices to run into the breast meat keeping it moist. Just turn the turkey on to its back for the remaining time to get a lovely burnished skin.

We opted to roast the turkey simply so we could really taste the meat, so that meant no onions, garlic or herbs to distract from the final flavour. Of course, when cooking for Christmas Day, include these as they all add to the pan juices for your rich gravy.

As pointed out in Morton's guide, oven temperatures do vary so our advice is to get a meat thermometer. These come in either a 'pop-up' format, which you leave inserted into the meat whilst cooking, or a probe which you insert to check now and again. All poultry should reach a temperature of 74C (164F) and the juices run clear.

We think it's probably one of the best kitchen gadgets to own. Not only you can be sure your meat is cooked safely but it also prevents you from making the mistake of over cooking – something best avoided when it comes to turkey.

Photo: © childsdesign
Rest and serve
Once the turkey was cooked we took it out of the oven and allowed it to rest for a good thirty minutes or so.
This is essential to help retain all the juices. If you start carving right away, the liquid will just spurt out!

We removed each breast as whole single pieces to make carving easier.
This way it can be placed on a board for slicing and cut across the grain of the turkey meat. Carving across the grain ensures that the meat fibres are short making for a tender texture. If you've ever eaten turkey that was all stringy and chewy, that's because it was cut with the grain – not good.

We were pleased at how well this turkey carved, it was already so tender and above all succulent.
The legs and wings are substantial enough to be carved also or they can be pulled apart.

Photo: © childsdesign
How did it taste?
Put it this way, there's no going back to bland after you've tried a free range, slow grown, pampered bird. And if you've vowed never to eat 'boring' turkey again, then at least try one like this.

No doubt the breed makes all the difference as does the careful rearing and the final game hanging that Morton's gives each bird to maximise on flavour.

The breast meat was full flavoured, the dark meat even more so and the texture was dense yet yielding. All that exercise the turkeys get while happily running around their field In Norfolk most definitely contributes to the consistency of the meat.
A top turkey indeed!

How can I get one?
Thanks to the wonders of the internet you can order your fresh turkey online direct from Morton's Traditional Taste. Visit their website for details.
If you're nearby you can pick up your turkey at the farm gate or have it delivered in time for Christmas.

Cold turkey aka turkey leftovers
Let's face it, there's always going to be leftover turkey, but that doesn't mean you need to be eating cold turkey sandwiches for days on end.

There's lots you can do with it to make whole new meals. Just make sure, once the turkey has cooled enough, to get it into the fridge as soon as possible.
The best thing to do, is strip all the remaining meat from it and put into a covered container/plastic box.

Cooked turkey can also be bagged up into portions and frozen. Refrigerated turkey should be used in 3-4 days and frozen turkey used within 2-3 months.

We have a fair few ideas for the leftover turkey so look out for further posts on this blog with recipes and suggestions.

We are pleased to award Morton's Traditional Taste our 'Artisan Food Trail Approved' status 

for their Free Range Bronze Turkey.

To find out more about Morton's Traditional Taste visit their page 
on The Artisan Food Trail here.

21 October 2016

Small business, small budget, no problem.

If you’re visiting the Farm Business Innovation Show at the NEC, Birmingham on the 9th and 10th November and are interested in getting the best out of your limited marketing budget, we invite you to attend the Small Business Marketing On An Even Smaller Budget seminar.

Graham Childs, co-founder of The Artisan Food Trail will be talking about how getting your name out there should be your first priority.
Surprisingly this part is often forgotten about and barely budgeted for in a new business, so how do you get people beating a path to your door?

The seminar will look at how online marketing and social media can get you seen by your prospective customers and clients, helping to build your brand’s recognition.
Your business can hold its own amongst much bigger businesses with much bigger budgets.
All it takes is a little time and effort, a simple strategy and a want to win.

When The Artisan Food Trail began back in 2011 it was a seed of an idea with a starting budget of less then £50 plus lots of creativity and tenacity!

The seminar takes place on Thursday 10th November in Food Theatre 2 at 11.45am. The seminar is completely free to attend but spaces are limited so arrive early to secure your seat.
If you'd like to meet us at the show please visit our stand 1480.

Tickets to the Farm Business Innovation show are FREE just register to attend on the website: www.farmbusinessshow.co.uk

17 October 2016

Meet us at the Farm Business Innovation Show

We’re looking forward to exhibiting at the Farm Business Innovation Show and we’re busy preparing everything we need for the two day event on 9th – 10th November at the NEC, Birmingham.

The Farm Business Innovation show is actually a combination of three shows (all in the one place) – Rural Entrepreneur Live, Country House Business Innovation and Holiday Park & Resort Innovation.

Under one roof, over two days this will be the only place in the UK a rural land or business owner can source information and advice on funding, grants, planning, new products, new services, new ideas, troubleshooting, business tips, marketing tools, networking, inspiring keynote sessions, like-minded professionals, potential partnerships and so much more. Visitors go into their next venture fully equipped!

The show is aimed at a variety of people primarily in the rural sector
looking to bring in more money, either from their land or property and much more besides.
The Artisan Food Trail sits nicely into this area which is the reason that the show organisers asked us to team up with them and become a partner.

Not only will there be over 300 suppliers exhibiting but also over 150 free seminars all with your business in mind. Our very own co-founder Graham Childs will be talking on the first day and we'll be posting more details at a later date.

Who should visit The Artisan Food Trail stand?

The Artisan Food Trail promotes and champions small and artisan food and drink producers throughout the United Kingdom. We create awareness of your brand and your produce.
By supporting your businesses with a number of member benefits we can help make running your business easier and more cost effective.


  • have a small artisan food or drink business or are thinking of starting one (you could become a member)
  • are looking for a branding and design service
  • need a website
  • need help with social media
  • need professional photography (food, product and reportage are our speciality)
  • have a farm shop/deli and are looking for suppliers to complement your own products
  • own a restaurant, café etc. and are looking for suppliers of top quality products with provenance
  • run (or thinking of opening) a cookery school (you could also be a member and benefit from promotion as well as help with equipment)

As you can see, we offer a wide range of services and you don’t need to be a member of The Artisan Food Trail to take advantage of them.
Even if you don’t see exactly the thing that fits your description above, you can still come and talk to us. We’ve found out ourselves, that you never know who you’re going to meet at these types of events and often a conversation can lead to a positive outcome.

Visit us on stand 1480 to find out how we can help you

The show is completely FREE to attend and all you need to do is register for
your ticket.
Visit the website for the show you are interested in where you’ll find a link
to register.

11 October 2016

National Curry Week: 10th – 16th October 2016

Curry is undeniably a favourite dish in Britain, so just as well it’s National Curry Week!
We're certainly not short of producers of the spicy persuasion on The Artisan Food Trail, so what better time to focus on those that make exotic flavours their speciality.

© Spice Kitchen

Spice Kitchen
For making those gorgeous aromatic curries, the freshest spices are needed and Spice Kitchen from Britain's curry capital, Birmingham have everything that's on your shopping list.
They are true artist in that everything is hand selected, hand ground and blended and then hand packed making sure that you receive your spices in optimum condition.
Find out more about Spice Kitchen

Photo: © childsdesign

Ragini's Mauritian Curry Powder
If a more specific curry is preferred, in this case Mauritian, then Ragini's are your answer for a superb Mauritian Curry Powder which is authentic to the end. The combination of spices is heady, sweet and aromatic with a gentle amount of heat meaning that you can make a delicious curry very easily as all the flavour balancing has been expertly taken care of.
Find out more about Ragini's Mauritian Curry Powder

© Holy Lama Naturals

Holy Lama Spice Drops
Maybe having lots of dry spices in the cupboard is not your thing, so Holy Lama Spice Drops have come up with an innovative approach to flavouring foods.
They have cleverly extracted the pure and natural essence of spices and concentrated them into tiny bottles. Just a few drops will give an amazing and effortless flavour to your dishes.
Find out more about Spice Drops

Are you looking for some cooking inspiration? Alan Coxon's Birmingham to Bombay book is filled with lots of delicious Indian recipes gleaned from his travels through the Punjab, Amritsar, Goa and Bombay.
Visit the website to find out more and to buy

Photo: © childsdesign

Rummage through our recipes

Ragini's Chicken Curry (Cari Poule)
Chicken & Spinach Curry
Aloo Mutton Shakkarwala (Caramelised Lamb Curry)
Spiced Lentil Soup with Lime & Mint
Fragrant Coconut Chicken with Mustard Seeds
Mutta Roast (Egg Roast)

For further information about National Curry Week

10 October 2016

Chocolate Week: 10th – 16th October 2016

Whether it's sweet and milky or bitter and dark, chocolate is very popular all over the world, in fact, Britain ranks sixth in the chart of chocolate lovers, consuming on average, 7.6kg per person per year.
It seems almost everyone enjoys chocolate in one way or another, although we do know of one person that says they don't like it!

This week is Chocolate Week and a good reason to focus on our producers on The Artisan Food Trail who either make it or use it in some way to create the most delicious sweet treats.

Photo: © childsdesign

Pure Chocolate
Mortimer Chocolate Company
For the best tasting cakes, homemade confections and of course a delicious hot drink, Mortimers have perfected powders in a range of different origin chocolates such as West African and Ecuador.
Find out more about Mortimer Chocolate Company

© Hibiscus Lily

Raw Nibbles
For devotees of raw food, Raw Nibbles produce a range of raw chocolate bars as well as other treats such as a very rich brownie.
Find out more about Raw Nibbles

Fudge Kitchen
From creamy fudge to fudge sauces, Fudge Kitchen has got it covered including chocolate varieties. From a very grown up Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt to a nostalgic Black Forest Gateau Fudge.
Find out more about Fudge Kitchen

Hibiscus Lily
Aside from their condiments and preserves, Hibiscus Lily also creates fudge including Chocolate & Walnut and Chilli Chocolate.
Find out more about Hibiscus Lily

Photo : © childsdesign

Cakes and bakes
The ultimate in gorgeous gooey brownies (dark chocolate) and blondies (white chocolate). There's such a broad range and almost too many to list! We loved the Candied Orange and the Peppermint & Chilli.
Find out more about #brownies

Love at First Bake
Wonderful gluten free cakes, perfect for teatime or anytime! You could have a large layer cake or small mini loaf cake. From Chocolate & Beetroot to Peanut Butter & Chocolate and everything in between.
There are also muffins like Cherry Chocolate or just Simply Chocolate. We really like the Raspberry & White Chocolate.
Find out more about Love at First Bake

Monkeypoodle Cake Company
Handmade gluten free cakes that everyone will enjoy. Indulge in a Triple Chocolate cupcake, a gooey, sticky brownie or push the boat out with a big cake in Chocolate Chestnut.
Find out more about Monkeypoodle Cake Company

Don't be fooled when you visit their page and see lots of pork pies and sausages, Samphire also make their very popular Chocolate Tiffin.
Find out more about Samphire

© Simply Ice Cream

Ice Cream
Simply Ice Cream
Silky smooth and creamy and ever so dreamy try the Divine Chocolate ice cream.
Find out more about Simply Ice Cream

© Susannah's Sauces

Sauces and spreads
Susannah's Sauces
Spectacular Chocolate Spread is delicious on bread or toast, on ice cream, pancakes or as a filling for cakes. It can even be stirred into hot milk for a delicious hot drink.
Find out more about Susannah's Sauces

© The Tipsy Tart

The Tipsy Tart
For a different way to consume chocolate, The Tipsy Tart have the solution with their alcoholic drinks. Try either a dark or white chocolate vodka. Guaranteed to make the party go of with a bang!
Find out more about The Tipsy Tart

Rummage through our recipes

Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate Orange Fudge Torte
Chocolate & Beetroot Cake
Ginger & Apricot Tiffin
Coloradito – Chicken or Pork with Red Mole Sauce
(this is a savoury dish with chocolate in it!)

For further information about Chocolate Week
(If you'd like to know more about the history, facts and figures on chocolate we can highly recommend hitting the 'About Chocolate' tab)

7 October 2016

Seafood Week: 7th – 14th October 2016

Did you know that it's recommended to eat two portions of seafood each week?
Fish is high in protein and low in calories so eating it will help you keep in good health. But more importantly it tastes great and as there are so many types of seafood to choose from, there are almost endless opportunities to enjoy it.

We're celebrating Seafood Week which runs from 7th – 14th October 2016 which we thought would be a fantastic way to showcase some of the more fishy things on The Artisan Food Trail.
From products to recipes there's so much to enjoy and we hope you'll join in by supporting our food producers.

© Thule Ventus


© Thule Ventus

The fish

Try some salted dried fish from
Thule Ventus. Everything is handmade up in Shetland where the fresh cool wind blows for a superior product.
The fish is caught right off the Shetland coast ensuring it is the freshest it can be before being salted and preserved.
Soak the fish before using in your cooking and if you need some recipe ideas, have a look on the Thule Ventus website.
Find out more about Thule Ventus

© The Artisan Smokehouse
Smoked salmon is a popular treat and is expertly handmade prepared by The Artisan Smokehouse in Suffolk. They produce both cold and hot smoked salmon using their own curing recipe.
The salmon is sustainably and ethically reared in the cold, wild seas off Shetland.
Smoking over maple wood in small batches produces a succulent and subtly smoky result.
Find out more about The Artisan Smokehouse

Perfect partners for fish


The oils we mention here are not so much for frying but more for drizzling and flavouring.

Max Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil pressed from olives grown on the family orchards in Puglia Italy.
Donna Lucia Riserva signature single estate extra virgin olive oil is very good drizzled over fish.
Infused olive oil are also available in oregano, basil, rosemary, chilli, garlic, lemon or orange varieties.
Find out more about Max Olive Oil

Old Forge Larder
RG17 Rooksnest Estate cold pressed rapeseed oils grown and pressed in Berkshire. As well as plain you could try an infused oil in either Lemon, or Garlic.
Find out more about Old Forge Larder

Yare Valley Oils
Extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oils grown and pressed in Norfolk. Available in plain or infused; Natural Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary or Oak Smoked.
Find out more about Yare Valley Oils

Condiments & Sauces

We're not saying fish is boring, but there are times when you may want to add a little extra pizazz to your dinner. Here are some products we've selected to help liven up mealtimes.

Go Latin American and add zing to seafood with Capsicana's Cook Sauces. The Peruvian Chilli & Lemon or the Brazilian Chilli & Coconut are particularly good with fish.
Find out more about Capsicana

Edible Ornamentals
Dunk some prawns into their Sweet Chilli Sauce or if you dare, try the Pure Heat Chilli Sauce or Inferno Chilli Sauce.
Find out more about Edible Ornamentals

Hibiscus Lily
A little spice, a little sweet, choose from a variety of chutneys. The Spiced Apple & Lemon is fabulous with oily fish like mackerel.
Find out more about Hibiscus Lily

The Hungry Guest
All handmade by expert chefs, The Hungry Guest makes a wide variety of preserves, pestos and sauces suited to seafood.
Find out more about The Hungry Guest

Scrubby Oak
True artisan sweet vinegars with wonderful flavours to complement fish dishes Try Lemon, Basil or Rosemary. The Horseradish vinegar would be a perfect accompaniment to an oily fish such as mackerel.
Find out more about Scrubby Oak

Susannah's Sauces
Ideal to dip in some prawns or fish goujons try Susannah's Sauces Succulent Tomato Sauce or Tasty Tarragon Mayonnaise.
Find out more about Susannah's Sauces

Womersley Foods
These speciality fruit and herb vinegars are steps up from your classic malt vinegar with just fish and chips. Add a zesty kick to seafood with their Lemon. Basil, Bay & Juniper Vinegar – it's superb drizzled over salmon before baking in the oven.
Find out more about Womersley Foods

Get Spicy

When you really want to make a meal of it, these products will take your seafood dishes to new heights.

Ragini's Mauritian Curry Powder
A traditional Mauritian-Recipe curry powder which works very well with fish and seafood. Can be used to make a curry 'sauce' or as a rub.
Find out more about Ragini's Mauritian Curry Powder

Spice Drops
Try pure natural extract of herbs and spices for an effortless way to add different flavours to seafood dishes. Spice Drops have a variety of recipe ideas on their website.
Find out more about Spice Drops

Spice Kitchen
From single spices to exotic spice blends, Spice Kitchen has a wide variety to make any fish dish more exciting.
Find out more about Spice Kitchen

Photo: © childsdesign


Rummage through our recipes

Salmon Goujons for Dipping
Spiced Mackerel with Fennel Slaw
Grilled Mackerel with Pepper Salad
Fennel & Lemon Butter Dressing (for fish)
Cajun Salmon with Mango Salsa & Beany Rice
Hot Pepper Prawns with Caramelised Cauliflower
Octopus & Chorizo Salad
Sea Bass with Sizzled Ginger, Chilli and Spring Onion

For further information about Seafood Week
#SeafoodWeek on Facebook and on Twitter