Tag Archives: Food

My my, my American style pumpkin pie…

It started with a pair of pumpkins. My boyfriend arrived home with the suggestion of a carving challenge, but I fancied a cooking challenge!

Pumpkins

Pair of Pumpkins

If you think about it, there aren’t many obvious things to make with a pumpkin, other than soup or pumpkin pie. I searched online and through cook books for inspiration but decided since I hadn’t ever made pumpkin pie that I’d give it a go.

Pumpkin

The Victim

I searched through various pumpkin pie recipes and loosely based it on Felicity Cloake’s Pumpkin Pie Recipe. I added bourbon instead of rum, allspice instead of ground cloves (I couldn’t be bothered to grind up my whole cloves!) and also made my pastry really easily in my Magimix.

I started by roasting the pumpkin, which was different to the BBC Good Food Pumpkin Pie Recipe which calls for boiling. After roasting, the pumpkin is peeled, whizzed up to a puree then strained over a sieve to remove the liquid (there was loads!).

Roasting Pumpkin

Roasting Pumpkin

I hadn’t made pastry myself for years so thought it would be nice to give it a go. I overfilled the pastry a little and had excess too, so filled my little pumpkin coloured Le Crueset pots and made a couple of baby pies too.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie & Mini Pie

Sadly, I didn’t quite cook the pastry enough on the blind bake, so created myself a bit of a soggy bottom! The pie was delicious though, and was the perfect end to a delicious American Feast! It wasn’t too sweet, had a lovely autumnal feel to it and a perfect amount of spice. Despite the soggy bottom, the pastry was deliciously crisp round the edges.

Pumpkin Pie Slice

Pumpkin Pie Slice

Look out for my next post which will include Tom Kerridge’s amazing fried chicken, the star of the feast! What will you be making with pumpkin this Autumn? Let me know if you have any recipe ideas!

I’ve started blogging at www.fabulousfoodfinds.co.uk so if you want the most up to date posts and news, please sign up to posts by email, or follow there. Thanks!

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Filed under Foodstuffs, Recipes, Sweet Things

Food Find of the Week – Well Seasoned Spring Pesto

This food find was delivered to my desk and there is no doubt that this is the tastiest thing I’ve eaten in ages! Well Seasoned won a bursary to attend the BBC Good Food Show London last year and I’m so glad to have found them, and that they sent me their latest delicious Spring flavours!

From a brilliant blog based on seasonal food and cooking Well Seasoned was born – versatile pestos/dips that change with the seasons. The new Spring flavours are stunning – wild garlic, basil and mint which was gorgeous in colour and packed full of flavour and roasted spring onion and parsley which was rich and again had an incredible flavour. Both pestos tasted so fresh and not only could you identify the different ingredients by looking at it, but you could taste all the ingredients too – cobnuts, rapeseed oil, cheese and the seasonal additions.

In keeping with the ethos of seasonal and British, Well Seasoned use Kentish cobnuts, extra virgin rapeseed oil and Old Winchester cheese in all of their pestos. The ingredients change with the seasons so back in the Winter (yes I know it seems like we are still there with the bitter cold at the moment!) their flavours were roasted parsnip and thyme and caramelised shallot and rosemary. Take a look at their website to see the other flavours, and be sure to check out their summer flavours when they launch. You can buy from Partridges in London or a box of 6 online for £19.50 + £3.50 postage (don’t worry they freeze really well).

I ate mine at my desk for lunch two days running… on Ryvita thins, with bread, stirred into plain pasta and on its own too! So worthy of being my food find of the week!

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Salone del Gusto 2012

The Salone del Gusto is an incredible gathering of food and people; organised by ‘Slow Food‘, it runs on the principles of a good, clean and fair approach to food. Back in October, my MD and I took a flying visit to Turin to experience Salone del Gusto and see if there is anything we could learn from the event and of course do a spot of shopping and eating too!

We were led from massive meat displays to towers of cheese, from interactive workshops to lecture theatres, street food to circus food – we totally immersed ourselves in the world of Slow Food and the food of the world.

The Street Food area was extremely popular and after a review of everything on offer we decided to share a fritto misto, which was incredible!

There are huge halls dedicated to the different regions of Italy, and from large companies to small artisans you could taste your way around the Country, trying and buying some of the most amazing, exciting and delicious produce available. Below is a quick walk around the highlights of the regions:

Chillis galore…

Lots of nduja (soft, spicy salami) in the Calabria regional area…

You could even buy nduja warmers!

One man and his boar…

Wall of ham…

Pasta growing on trees…

In the centre of these nests of hay lay delicious cheeses…

I was intrigued by a crowd around one stand and was pleased to find them selling arancini balls – this one was filled with beef ragu and mozzarella and was packed full of flavour.

Beautiful jars of peppers…

Pasta making lessons…

A caper tree and lots of caper products…

Rather special giant onions…

We then went on to visit the world food area, where representatives, and their produce were showcasing their wares.

Pit fermented cabbages from Germany…

Beautifully branded spanish canned fish…

Biscuit heaven (we stopped here for a coffee and a biscuit)…

Happy lady from Thailand proudly showing off her rice…

Snails and snail caviar from Vienna…

We had to try the snail caviar, which were like little bursting pearls of saltiness.

Black honey bread from Vienna…

We were there to experience everything we could, so when we heard about a Michelin starred dinner, in a big top with circus entertainment we made a beeline to get ourselves tickets. We were delighted that after waiting in the rain there were tickets left to the event, and at only 22 euros thought we were on to a winner! Sadly for me, two of the courses had a strong goats cheese as their main ingredient – I’m not one to be too fussy, but with two pungent anchovies laying on top of a goaty risotto I was gutted not to be able to eat it. I really don’t like goats cheese.

Dessert was very exciting, and based around vegetables sweetened with what we concluded must have been sugar beet. It was pretty and deliciously absorbing and as we ate tension mounted as one of the circus acts climbed higher and higher on her trapeze… the result was rather shocking and to keep it brief we didn’t get a chance to finish our dessert and decided not to mix circus and food at our shows!!

I hope you have enjoyed this whirlwind tour of the Salone del Gusto – take a look at my Flikr page if you would like to see more images. Did you go to the show? If so, what were your highlights?

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Food Find of the Week – Iberico Blood Chorizo

After a boozy afternoon at the AEO Excellence Awards on Friday, where I was delighted to be part of the team that contributed to the BBC Good Food Show Summer to make it win best consumer show 2011, I stopped off at The Real Food Market for some dinner. That’s me rather smug with the award below, and the team collecting the award…

Anyway, enough showing off, back to the food! After a couple of bites of my boyfriend’s delicious Jacobs Ladder burger it was time to find my own dinner… I went for one of Black Acorn‘s flame grilled Iberico chorizo rolls, with grilled red peppers, rocket and chilli sauce which was really delicious, especially with a large glass of their special recipe sangria!

I was intrigued by their Iberico blood chorizo so bought one (£5) to take home and try. It is made from acorn fed black Iberian pig meat mixed with some of its fat and blood, which is then minced and flavoured with pimentao paste, garlic, wine, vinegar, salt and spices. I had planned to eat with scrambled eggs, but didn’t have the eggs so ended eating dry fried on its own as a pre dinner snack. I like the richness that is similar to black pudding but the added texture, saltiness and spice that comes from a chorizo style sausage really made it unique and delicious. Next time I would probably try with scallops or prawns, perhaps on the BBQ.

You can buy Black Acorn’s range of Black Iberican pig charcuterie from their website, or if you are in London why not try one of their chorizo rolls and a sangria down at the Real Food Market on the South Bank?

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Magazines and Blue Cheese

I love the first week of the month in the office, when we get an abundance of food magazines delivered! I love the bright and colourful covers that front the spring issues, and the fresher, lighter recipes that can be found within them.

In front of me I have BBC Olive, BBC Good Food, Delicious and Great British Food and don’t they look pretty!

I look through for new producers, recipes, ideas and to find out about new restaurants too. I’ve already found a couple of recipes I want to try, especially the Gluten Free Lemon and Orange Cake made with mashed potato and the Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya, both from BBC Good Food. There is also a lovely looking Sticky Lime Roast Chicken recipe from Barney Desmazery which sounds like a great way to jazz up a simple roast chicken.

I also really like it when I see some of my favourite BBC Good Food Show producers featured in the magazines. Clare Hargreaves, the BBC Good Food seasonal and local expert, has given The Cornish Cheese Company a great write-up.

I was watching as Philip Stansfield* was awarded ‘World Champion’ in the World Cheese Awards at the BBC Good Food Show 2010 – it almost brought tears to my eyes to see him so emotional! It was also quite funny to see him celebrating in the bar later that night – there were certainly quite a few bottles of Champagne being drunk!

I would also highly recommend the cheese, but would have done before the award too. It is a really creamy blue cheese with a delicate flavour. They have a stand at the BBC Good Food Show Summer if your planning to visit… lets hope they don’t run out of cheese first though!

*Interesting Fact – Philip used to play for Sale Rugby Club before his dairy farming days.

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On Broadway

I took a trip out to the dirty east end of London at the weekend to explore Broadway Market, which has a brilliantly eclectic mix of shops, cafes and market stalls. I refer to this side of town fondly as the ‘dirty east end’, as it is so far from the conventional and clean streets of Northcote Road/ Hampton Court to which I have become used to. I couldn’t live there, but love being a tourist!

I was delighted to find the ‘DIY’ smoked salmon producer that I had read about in a recent article in the Observer Food Monthly magazine. I will go into more detail in another post (because it was truly AMAZING) but the picture below was such a great souvenir from the market visit that I had to include it here.

Lunch was a delicious mushroom sandwich from Spore Boys, which is made using a mix of fresh mushrooms fried in garlic and salted butter then topped with fresh parsley, olive oil and pecorino cheese all sandwiched between fresh sourdough bread.  You can also buy all sorts of mushrooms from this stall which are displayed beautifully!

The Polish Deli had a lovely looking stand with all sorts of polish charcuterie, hot pastries and some very interesting mushroom lard!

Italian artisan meats and Cheeses…

There were even ducks to feed to complete the day out…


Of course there is much more to see than I have listed here. Definitely worth a visit, but for a glimpse of what the market has to offer take a look at their website.

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