This week’s Foodie Friday is written with summer in mind, albeit at the very back of our minds. As the clocks ticked forward last weekend into British summer time we couldn’t help but notice (as a snow flurry drifted past our window yesterday afternoon) that there is a major lack of the crucial element- the sun! So with that in mind, this week we’re trying to muster up our spirits in another way, by talking about the best in British food.
The Guardian, What A Load of Pollock, James Meikle
The food scandal continues but this time it was the turn of the nation’s favourite seaside dish, fish and chips. The popular family favourite was ‘rocked’ earlier in the week as it emerged that around 7% of all cod sold in fish and chip shops could actually be cheaper fish like pollock, whiting or haddock.
British Food Producers Festival 22nd – 27th April 2013
The Royal Garden Hotel is spending a week celebrating the best of British food in celebration of St George’s Day. The event will showcase top quality ingredients from some of Britain’s leading producers over five exciting nights. Each evening commences with a masterclass presented by one of their selected suppliers, illustrating the path of their produce from source to dinner table. The presentation is followed by a lavish six-course dinner featuring ingredients from each supplier, specially designed by Executive Head Chef Steve Munkley, with accompanying wines and beers to complement the dishes. Masterclasses start at 6.30pm, Monday to Friday. Tickets are priced at £59 per person tickets are £59 per person including a 6 course gastronomic dinner and masterclass with Executive Head Chef Steve Munkley.
For more information about each of the evening masterclasses and to book today, simply follow this link.
Sauce Communications are giving one lucky person the chance to win two free tickets to attend the event on the night of their choice. To enter simply send your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC, Best in Season
In April, we typically celebrate all things fresh and at their best. Those foods topping the in-season bill at the moment are:
The crab season runs from now until November and, if possible, it’s generally best to buy crabs whilst they’re still alive. The crabs to go for are the heaviest, as they will contain the tastiest meat!
When choosing lamb, look for firm, fine-grained meat with a velvety texture; it should be moist, rather than dry or slimy and any fat on the outside of the lamb should be white.
The best spring onions to choose are firm, unblemished with plenty of green fresh leaves.
Watercress is at its best between now and September. All of the leaves and stems are edible; just steer clear of any tough roots.
Now is the start of the fresh garlic season, an indispensable ingredient especially in Asian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Jersey Royals are just coming into season now and with their season only lasting around two months we recommend you get in their quickly!
BBC, Seasonal recipe, Angela Hartnett
As lamb often features heavily on the dinner table during the Easter period, we thought we’d mix it up a bit! Angela Hartnett’s crab cakes recipe makes a refreshing change using ingredients which are at their most fresh at this time of the year.
Prepare the fishcakes in advance and chill. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking, and fry just before serving.
For the crab cakes
- 2cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, peeled
- 2 red chillies, seeds removed
- 250g/9oz white crabmeat
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 2 free-range eggs
- 7-8 tbsp breadcrumbs
- plain flour, for dusting
- 25ml/1fl oz olive oil
- sweet chilli jam
- few handfuls salad leaves
- olive oil, for drizzling
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the ginger and chilli into a mini food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- In a bowl combine the chilli and ginger with the white crabmeat, coriander and spring onions. Crack in one egg and mix well, then stir in 4 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs.
- Divide the crab cake mixture into 6 equal portions and mould into patties. Place on a tray and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/365F/Gas 4.
- Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl with one tablespoon of water to make an eggwash. Place some plain flour and the remaining breadcrumbs in separate shallow dishes.
- Dredge a crab cake in the flour, then dip into the egg and coat in the breadcrumbs. Shake gently to remove any excess breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining crab cakes.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the crab cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden-brown all over. Transfer the crab cakes to a baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until piping hot all the way through.
- Serve the crab cakes with sweet chilli jam and a mixed leaf salad, lightly dressed with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
By Lauren Hill