Our Blog Has Moved

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

4 October 2016

Does this herby mayonnaise live up to its name?

Photo: © Susannah's Sauces
You need to be pretty confident to call one of your own products ‘tasty’, after all, taste can be a very subjective thing when it comes to food.
We took Susannah’s Sauces at their word and gave their Tasty Tarragon Mayonnaise a try to see whether it really does live up to its name.

The mayonnaise is rich and creamy and perfectly spoonable and little flecks of green tarragon look enticing.
Susannah’s Sauces use free range egg yolk and also add some cream, no doubt this contributes to the texture.
The smell was as you’d expect from a good mayonnaise, although there didn’t seem to be much of a herby aroma from the tarragon. However, this turned out not to be disappointing on tasting.

The flavour is rich yet light with just the right amount of acidity. The aniseed-like flavour of the tarragon combines with the good quality olive oil for a fresh almost grassy flavour.

We concluded that Susannah’s Sauces Tasty Tarragon Mayonnaise is indeed ‘tasty’. Added to hard boiled eggs for an egg mayonnaise sandwich it certainly banishes boring lunches and the tarragon marries so well with chicken, steak or fish.
Be naughty and dip some crispy chips into it or make our tasty chicken, fennel and apple salad (recipe coming soon).

We are pleased to award Susannah's Sauces our 'Artisan Food Trail Approved' status for their Tasty Tarragon Mayonnaise.

To find out more about Susannah's Sauces visit their page on