Caribbean Food Week Street Party Spread – by Lauren Heath

Here at EEDD HQ, as well as local food and restaurants, we like to experiment at home with both recipe books, free-for-all cooking as well as national food initiatives including the Ultimate Crisp Sandwich with a national crisp company and trying out new recipes with British leeks.

I recently got the opportunity to sign up to Caribbean Food Week (celebrated 21st to 28th August), thanks to Grace Foods, and thought – why not! Something different to try at home; I already know of some of their products from the world food aisles in supermarkets, and as we are fairly adventurous at home, thought this would be great.

So my lovely parcel turned up, filled with plenty of goodies to try as well as a token hat, flower garland and funky straws – filling me with the caribbean spirit.

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‘Caribbean Food Week was launched in 2012 by Grace Foods UK; the week presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy a taste of the Caribbean, whether it’s jerk chicken, curried goat, or a delicious Caribbean cocktail!’

Having looked at what we’d received, our menu on the eve of Caribbean Food Week was as follows:

  • Hot & Spicy Jerk Chicken – using the jerk chicken fry mix, we coated our drumsticks and thighs, and cooked them on our ProQ smoker BBQ. The skin was incredibly crispy with a lovely heat (This can, of course, be cooked in the oven or the fryer for maximum crispness). I just love crispy chicken and it keeps the meat moist.
  • Caribbean Spiced Cauliflower Dumplings – local farm shop purple and white cauliflowers (marinated in Jamaican Hot Curry Powder) coated in a spiced tempura based batter then deep fried for an amazing crunch!
  • Jamaican Seasoned Rice – boiled brown rice was then pan fried with the tin of mixed beans, finishing it off with cooked ackee and some spring onions for added texture.
  • Jerk BBQ Sauce Minute Steaks – lovely thin steak marinated in Jerk BBQ sauce and quickly cooked on the griddle – perfect for a bit of sweetness.
  • We had the Jamaican hot sauce and West Indian hot pepper sauce on the side for extra bite where needed.
  • Drinks included a Caribbean Cocktail (our own concoction!) of gin, ginger beer and smooth coconut water!

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Thanks to the unpredictable British weather, our street party spread turned more into a Sunday indoor dinner, but we didn’t mind! Hubby braved the rain (avec brollie!) and smoked our meats and potatoes on the smoker which just added that extra dimension. Our son helped to coat the jerk chicken by getting his groove on and shaking it all in a big tub to ensure it coated evenly!

 

The point is, it’s all about giving something new a go, and livening up that home cooking with easy, flavoursome products – and get family or friends involved.

“Come rain or shine, bring the taste of the Caribbean into your home this August.”

Get involved in Caribbean Food Week #CFW2017! For inspiration and events during the week of 21st – 28th August (or anytime for that matter!) visit:

Website: www.gracefood.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/caribbeanfoodweek

Twitter: @caribbeanfoodwk

Instagram: caribbeanfoodweek

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*Grace Foods supplied this complimentary hamper of dried goods as part of Caribbean Food Week but all cooking ideas, recipes and fresh food items were our own and all my honest opinion.

 

 

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Upcoming courses at Exeter Cookery School

At Eating Exeter, Dining Devon we are massive fans of the Exeter Cookery School. We have seen them develop and flourish from their launch, and they’ve continued to grow from strength to strength. We recently went down to help them celebrate their 1st birthday in their current premises with the owners, Jim and Lucy Fisher.

For more information visit http://www.exetercookeryschool.co.uk or click on the title of each course!

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The sheer range of courses that are available is mind-boggling, from seafood to sugar-spinning, you can sharpen your culinary skills whilst admiring the beautiful surroundings on Exeter’s historic quayside.

Exeter Cookery School Launch - read more at www.eatingexeter.co.uk

One Day Vegetarian/Vegetable Cooking Course

Are you a seasoned vegetarian looking for some fresh inspiration to pep up your repertoire?Maybe you’re new to vegetarianism and want some guidance and are keen to learn a few key veggie techniques.

Or perhaps you’re an omnivore, but are thinking that you’d like to be able to cook for your vegetarian friends or family members.Well, whichever is the case, this is the course for you. You’ll learn how to prepare and cook vegetables and vegetarian dishes from scratch in a fun and friendly environment.We’ll teach you all manner of professional cookery tips including cook-ahead and pre-prep methods.

Dishes might include the tower of riddled Mediterranean vegetables, the classic Greek Spanakopita, or freshly made raviolis.


What do you do on the first morning of your long-awaited French holiday? If you’re anything like us you seek out a popular cafe or patisserie, pull up a chair, sit down in the sun and order your first croissant of the year!
 

If you’ve been to France before you’ll know that the locals eat theirs just as they are, or dunk them into a bowl of hot cafe crème. We Brits like ours with a knob of butter and a spoon of jam, but either way there’s no denying the exquisite pleasure that is the archetypal French breakfast. 

But, returning home for work on Monday, France seems a million miles away. So what better than to knock up a batch of croissants in order to relive your moment in the sun? And while you’re at it, you may as well make some other staples as well. 

That’s where we come in: we’ll show you how to make authentic croissants and, using the same dough, you’ll also create some pain aux raisins and pains au chocolat. While we’re on a roll (pun intended), we’ll also make some crusty baguettes to have with lunch.And who knows, maybe we’ll even get to sit in the sun!

One Day Advanced Dessert Cookery Course

Taking things up a notch or two from our Classic French Dessert Cookery Course, the Advanced Dessert Cookery Course takes you into the realms of the professional pastry chef.Taking two complex restaurant-quality desserts as springboards for some pretty advanced techniques, we cover many facets of the Patissiere’s art:

Dessert Louis XV (pronounced “Louis Canze”)

Dessert Louis XV is the invention of Alain Ducasse of the three Michelin-star restaurant Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo.It is a many-layered chocolate extravagance: the base is a thin Dacquoise (hazelnut meringue) followed by a crunchy feulletine layer, then a rich sumptuous chocolate mousse. The whole is then draped with liquid chocolate and topped with a hazelnut spun-sugar droplet and a flutter of gold leaf.

Lemon Posset

Lemon Posset with Raspberry SorbetStrawberry LeatherStrawberry & Black Pepper Shortbread – Our chef’s signature dessert.

Half Day Ice Cream & Sorbet Making Course

Let’s get one thing straight: eating ice cream is about experiencing that luxurious cool texture and rich tongue-coating flavour we never forget from childhood. And herein lies the secret to making and serving great ice cream: it’s about using full-fat cream, free-range egg yolks, sugar and strong natural flavourings.

Forget your skimmed milk, reduced sugar, yoghurt-based grainy horrors – we’re talking full-on guilty pleasure here!But, making ice cream brings with it a fear of curdling the custard base which can put a lot of cooks off.

So, on your Half Day Ice Cream & Sorbet Making Course, you’ll learn how to make a perfect Crème Anglaise custard base, but with a little twist that makes use of a small amount of natural chemistry knowledge.

Don’t worry, we won’t be using any weird chemicals, but you will gain a fascinating glimpse into the world of proteins, sugars and gels. And it never fails!

We’ll answer a few questions, too – for instance: what makes a custard curdle, and what, if anything, can be done to rectify it; is there a correct temperature at which to serve ice cream; how to achieve that professional smooth finish, but without having to buy expensive gadgets.

One Day Bread Making Course

Our one day bread-making course covers more than just making rolls and loaves: after a brief introductory chat by the chef over coffee and biscuits, you’ll be shown how to choose the correct flour, yeast and other ingredients for each bread type.

You’ll be preparing everything from scratch, which means weighing, mixing and kneading the ingredients to form the various required doughs.

During the day, while you’re kneading and stretching dough around the communal central island, our chef will explain the chemistry involved in making bread and how you can take advantage of this knowledge to achieve consistent results at home. For instance; the reasons why one batch of dough will rise perfectly one day while another might fall flat the next; how temperature affects the rise; how you can refrigerate or even freeze active bread dough; why we choose a high gluten content flour for one type of bread, but a low gluten flour for another.While your breads are proving, you will be making various fillings and preparing tins, etc, prior to baking.

Lunch will be a buffet laid out by us and will include some of the bread you’ve made.At the end of the course, you will be able to take home everything you’ve made in order to show off your new-found skills to family and friends.

Half Day Children’s Cookery Course

Learning all about using fresh ingredients, the basics of following a recipe and the core principals of how to cook should be an integral part of a child’s education.

At Exeter Cookery School, we firmly believe that children should be inspired to cook from scratch so that they can truly explore the joys of cooking as well as giving them a firm founding in food education that will last them a lifetime.
On our half day children’s cookery course we will be teaching children between the ages of 10 and 14 how to cook a basic bread dough, which they will use to create a delicious pizza and garlic pizza bread or dough balls.
The children on our half day children’s cookery course will also learn how to make and pipe Swiss meringues, combining them with a Chantilly cream to form a delicious pudding for the summer. Add handfuls of fresh summer berries and you have the makings of a dessert that will delight the whole family.

Cake baking, the epitome of all that is good in the world. With cake baking becoming ever more popular (and competitive) than ever thanks to TV shows such as the Great British Bake Off, we thought it was high time we offered a half day cake baking cookery course. So here we are…

Cake baking: How to make the perfect Victoria Sponge

Want to learn how to bake a cake for the loved ones in your life? Or have a better chance in your workplace charity bake off events? Or even just love cake and want to be able to recreate it yourself with better results, this is the course for you.

You’ll learn how to make a traditional Victoria sponge with buttercream icing.This classic cake first came to popularity way back in the 1840s, made possible by the invention of baking powder.
The sweet-toothed British public embraced the gloriously patriotic recipe with aplomb. Mrs Beeton’s version of how to bake a Victoria sponge may have been slightly underwhelming as they contained no eggs. However, over the last century and a half there have been many different incarnations of the classic Victoria sponge cake, all baked with love and in many cases accolades. We can help you create your own Victoria Sponge award winner.

Learn how to make chocolate brownies

Cake baking: Learn how to bake gooey chocolate brownies at Exeter Cookery School

Then comes the chocolatey gooey bit, where you’ll learn how to make failsafe chocolate brownies using the melting technique. Whether you want to learn how to make brownies for a school bake sale or are hosting a coffee morning and want to impress your friends, our chocolate brownie recipe will tick all the boxes.

And the best bit…

We can’t really think of a better way to spend the morning or afternoon, and what’s better, you get to take away with you what you’ve cooked.

Local Exeter Food Producer Eat The Smoke Makes it into South West Morrisons Stores

Earlier this year the supermarket Morrisons put out a call for ‘The Nations Local Foodmakers’, a mission to find local producers to stock in their stores within each region or city so that customers can buy more British and local. If successful at application stage, the food or drink producer would have the chance to meet their buyers, local store colleagues and customers at one of four regional events that were held, where a final decision would be made.

The mission stated: ‘At Morrisons, we want to feed the nation with a bigger portion of food and drink that is sourced from local suppliers. That’s why we’re now starting a fresh search for a new crop of foodmakers – who we hope can grow with Morrisons and maybe even become household names in their own right.

When it comes to finding local suppliers, we go further. We’re already doing lots to help regional food and drink suppliers ‘make it’ at Morrisons. And now we’re doing even more to meet local tastes – with our search to find The Nation’s Local Foodmakers, and products that are grown or made ‘just down the road’ from their local communities.’

Now we all have our views on shopping local or which supermarket is best, but this is a great initiative to get the deserving small producers in front of more customers and be able to grow more successfully.

One such producer that has been successful is Exmouth-based Eat The Smoke, owned by Christian Sculpher, who produces a variety of BBQ rubs, nuts and sauces.  Now in his 4th year of business, Devon-born Christian has been an avid BBQ’er for 20 years, smoking for 6 and left his stressful 9-5 job to pursue his passion.

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He is already well known on the food festival circuit, and has his products stocked in local farm shops, London distribution in place and they are available to buy on his online shop. His products have also won various Gold and Silver Taste of the West awards 2016 and he was a Devon Life Food and Drink Winner 2016 in the Best Food Product of the Year category. His range includes five BBQ rubs, two varieties of smoked nuts and two BBQ sauces – all made with natural ingredients, are gluten free and can be used for outdoor cooking as well as indoors and the BBQ sauce works amazingly as a ‘ketchup’ too.

Out of this great product range, two rubs, BBQ Hot Rub and Buffalo Hot Wings and Poultry Rub, will be stocked in South West branches of Morrisons from Bristol down to Cornwall.

Although buying direct from him or a local farm shop may seem the more obvious way to buy your goods, if you buy from Morrisons it could result in a better return for Eat The Smoke on the whole as, the more sold in store the greater the possibility of Morrisons stocking more of his range of products both locally and possibly even further afield.

If you’d like to find out more about this awesome local producer and his products, read our write up and Q&A from last year here. Otherwise – pop to Morrisons and vote with your basket, and help the small guy make it big as he so deserves.

Find Eat the Smoke on:

Twitter          Facebook          Website

One Day Shellfish Course at Exeter Cookery School

You might have seen over the weekend that I headed down to the Exeter Cookery School to help them celebrate their first birthday.  It was a stonking event which, despite the weather, brought in lots of people all eager to have a peek and eat delicious scones with fresh cream and jam.

A course which is an absolute must for seafood or shellfish lovers is their Shellfish and Seafood Cookery Course. The next one is taking place on the 10th August.

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Have you ever wanted to know how to create a bisque or a demi glaze? How about cooking and dressing a crab?  Under the expert tutelage of Chef Jim Fisher, you will be armed with the skills and know-how which will allow you to get stuck in yourself.

“Devon is the UK’s only county with two coastlines. Consequently, wherever you start from, you’re never more than 35 miles from the sea! Which means we get the pick of the crop when it comes to fresh sustainable seafood.

Whether it’s mussels from Exmouth, oysters from Salcombe, or crabs, prawns and scallops from the pristine waters of Start Bay, we have access to some of Britain’s finest.

So, how to do it all justice? Come with us on a trip around the two-coast county and learn to select, prepare and cook a variety of maritime fauna and create some classic and modern seafood dishes.

These are examples of the kind of dishes you could be making

  • Tian of Crab with Granny Smith Apple, Lime Vinaigrette, Tomato Concasse
  • Spaghetti Vongole
  • Moules a la Creme
  • Mouclade
  • Seafood Bisque with Rouille Croutons
  • 21st Century Prawn Cocktail
  • Oysters with Devon Cider Sabayon”

If this tempts your tastebuds, take a look on the Exeter Cookery School website

Summer Lamb – Recipe from Jamie Coleman, Overall South West Chef of the Year & SW Professional Chef of the Year 2016

Earlier this month, Jamie took up the position of head chef at the prestigious Michelin-starred Masons Arms at Knowstone, near South Molton, working under highly respected chef and South West Chef of the Year judge, Mark Dodson.

At the time of entry into South West Chef of the Year, Jamie was head chef at the Saunton Sands Hotel in North Devon.  Twice a finalist, Jamie took the title of South West Professional Chef of the Year in his final, going on to win the overall title of ‘South West Chef of the Year 2016′.

Jamie says that this recipe is “A great crowd pleaser, excellent for a summer version of a Sunday roast with family and friends.  Just plate on a platter, to be enjoyed with a good bottle of wine or a G ‘n T, with lots of mint and cucumber. Let everyone dive in. mmm yummy!!!!”

Slow-Cooked Lamb with Caeser Salad
(serves 4)

Caesar dressing

2 anchovy fillets

1/3 tsp English mustard

1 1/4 tsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped

1 egg yolk

1 1/4 tsp lemon juice

10g of Parmesan, grated

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch of black pepper

120ml of vegetable oil
Slow-cooked lamb

1 leg of lamb

2tbsp mustard

1tbsp honey

1 bulb garlic crushed

1 lemon

2 sticks of rosemary
To serve

2 gem lettuce

30g parmesan shavings

6 anchovy fillets

crispy streaky bacon

croutons

4 boiled eggs
For the lamb

Rub all the ingredients over the lamb. Marinade over night. Pre-heat oven to 160c.

Place lamb on a tray, cover with foil and cook for around 4 hours until tender.

On a preheated BBQ place some Applewood smoking chips.  Once it is smoking, place the lamb leg on the BBQ and colour until well roasted and falling off the bone – it is then ready for serving!

For the Caeser dressing

In a blender add all the ingredients except the oil, turn on blender and blitz until smooth, then add the oil slowly until emulsified.

To finish, dress the leaves in the Caeser dressing and place on a serving platter with the other ingredients.

Serve with a cold glass of white wine.

Enjoy!

Don’t forget! Entries for this year’s South West Chef of the Year close Monday 31st July – read more about it here and get entering! There are amateur and professional categories!

Heritage Tomato Salad courtesy of Timothy Kendall, South West Young Professional Chef of the Year 2016

Timothy is the Senior Chef de Partie at The Idle Rocks Hotel in St Mawes, Cornwall, working under Head Chef, Guy Owen. At the time of entry into South West Chef of the Year, Tim was working at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow.

As South West Young Professional Chef 2016, Tim went on to compete in the semi-final of the Craft Guild of Chefs National Young Chef of the Year competition last month.

Of this delicious salad recipe, Tim says “this is a great recipe which transports you to the Mediterranean. The tomatoes are amazing this time of year as they are so sweet, the watermelon and cucumber give it freshness and the feta gives the dish a great fat coating. For someone who doesn’t like tomatoes I would eat this dish all day long with a nice Pinot Grigio!”

Heritage Tomato Salad – Watermelon, Pickled Cucumber, Shallot and Feta Pannacota

Ingredients

Mixed heritage tomatoes – skins removed

Watermelon balls

Pickled cucumber balls

Pickled Shallot

Sliced radish

Micro red basil

Borage

Feta Pannacota

100g Soya milk

100g Double cream

100g feta

½ lemon zest and juice

Salt

1 ½ gelatine leafs

Method

  • Bring the soya and double cream to the boil
  • Take off the heat and add the feta, gelatine leaf and lemon
  • Place the liquid into a blender until smooth
  • Pour in to your mould and place into the fridge until set

Pickling liquor

50g white wine

50g white wine vinegar

50g sugar

Method

  • Place all of the ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil
  • Remove from the heat and cool slightly
  • Pour over your ingredients

 

Tim Kendall Salad 3

Don’t forget! Entries for this year’s South West Chef of the Year close Monday 31st July – read more about it here and get entering!

Win a Wagamama Cookbook!

Inspired by the delicious dishes sampled at wagamama? Enter our competition to win the wagamama cookbook which includes fresh and nutritious recipes suitable for meat-eaters, seafood lovers and vegetarians alike. There are 120 recipes to choose from, all made with fresh, flavoursome and nutritional ingredients. Perfect for cooking for one person, or friends at a dinner party.

For your chance to win the wagamama cookbook, simply enter the competition as below.

Terms & Conditions

  • In order to enter, retweet the pinned post on Twitter or like, share and comment on the pinned post on Facebook
  • Closing date midnight 31.07.2017
  • Prize is the wagamama cookbook
  • Open to residents of the UK aged over 18
  • Prize is non-transferable or amendable
  • No cash alternative
  • Additional costs incurred are payable by the winner
  • Winner will be required to collect the prize from a given location in Exeter

Good luck!

Recipe: Favis of Salcombe Summer Crab Burger

In this warm weather, we find we’re still pretty hungry, working hard to stay cool! But the last thing you want is a hot and heavy dinner – thanks to Favis of Salcombe for sharing this lovely and easy crab burger recipe.

Favis of Salcombe have been fishing the waters off the South Devon coastline since 1972. Their hand-picked crab meat has won a series of awards and is delicious, fresh, easy to cook and good for you too! 

BBQ Crab Burger with Pickled Cucumber & Lime Mayo

Serves 4

For the cucumber

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 small cucumber, cut into thin ribbons

For the burger

454g (1 tub) Favis white crabmeat

50g fresh white breadcrumbs

Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon

1 large egg

Plain flour, for dusting

4 ciabatta buns, toasted

Small handful rocket

For the mayo

4 tbsp mayonnaise

Finely grated zest of 1 lime

Juice of ½ lime

Pinch of salt

  1. For the cucumber, pour the vinegar into a shallow dish. Add the sugar and stir together until the sugar dissolves. Add the cucumber and toss to coat. Leave to stand while you make the burgers.
  2. For the burger, place the crabmeat, breadcrumbs, lemon zest and egg into the bowl of a food processor and pulse together until mixed. Season with crushed sea salt and ground black pepper
  3. Divide the mixture into four and shape into burgers about 9cm in diameter. You can either do this by hand or press the mixture into a 9 cm round cutter or chefs ring to help shape. Place the burgers on a plate lined with greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the grill to high and cook the crab burgers for 4 minutes on each side. To barbecue, place each burger on a double thickness sheet of foil and cook for 8 minutes, turning half way through cooking.
  5. For the mayo, mix the mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice and salt together in a small bowl.
  6. To serve, drain the cucumber in a sieve. Split the buns (toast or griddle them if preferred) and spread the top and bottom with the lime mayo. Put some rocket on the bottom then sit the crab burger on top. Top with the cucumber, then the bun lid.

 

For more information or ideas, visit Favis of Salcombe’s website

Credit – Becca Watson Food Styling

Recipe: Hanlons Port Stout Chocolate Cake

Our second recipe from Hanlons Brewery, using their Port Stout.

Hanlons Port Stout Chocolate Cake Recipe

Cake

250 ml Hanlons Port Stout

250 g Unsalted Butter

80 g Cocoa Powder – Green & Blacks is best

400 g Caster Sugar – Golden best for flavour

2 large eggs

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – not Essence!

140 ml buttermilk – use the rest to make scones or tenderise chicken pieces

275 g Plain Flour

2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

½ tsp Baking Powder

Icing

50 g Unsalted Butter

250 g Icing Sugar, sifted

125 g Philadelphia Cream Cheese – Full fat

Preheat oven to 160 C Gas Mark 3.

Grease with butter and dust with flour a 9 inch / 23 cm spring-form cake tin and cut a circle to line the bottom with baking parchment.

Melt together the stout and the butter in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder and sugar, stirring well until dissolved. In a jug, mix together the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Mix thoroughly with the above mixture.

Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and add to the mixture. Mix thoroughly so that everything is well amalgamated. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes or until the cake starts to pull from the sides of the tin and a skewer emerges with just a little stickiness from the centre of the cake. Set aside to cool and remove from the tin to your serving plate.

To make the icing, mix together the butter, sugar and cream cheese until light and smooth. Top the cake with the icing and enjoy!

If you want to find out more about their beers, events or foodie pop ups visit www.hanlonsbrewery.com/

hanlons Cake

Recipe: Hanlons Steak and Port Stout Family Pie

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Our next couple of recipes are from the lovely Hanlons Brewery who are based in Newton St Cyres, Exeter.

A family brewery producing some fab ales and also having pop up foodie nights – if you want to know more you can read Chris’ review here.

Even though Summer is just about upon us, what more could you want than a hearty meal with family or friends after an active day out!

Hanlons Steak and Port Stout Family Pie

This is great to prepare ahead for a family feast, after a bracing walk or watching the Rugby. Go Chiefs!

1.5 kg lean braising steak, excess fat trimmed off, cut into fat cubes

2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

Rapeseed or other flavourless oil

1 large or 2 smaller onions, peeled, halved and sliced

200ml beef stock made from half a cube or homemade

150 ml Hanlons Port Stout – use the rest for the recipe below or Chef’s treat!

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

A 375 or 450 g pack of all butter puff pastry

1 small or medium egg, lightly beaten

Sea salt and freshly milled pepper for seasoning to taste

Preheat the oven to 160 C Gas Mark 3.

Toss the beef cubes in the seasoned flour. Heat a good slug of oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat in batches, adding oil as you go. Do not crowd the pan or the meat will steam and not brown. Transfer the browned meat to a large casserole dish.

Add some more oil to the pan and sweat the onions with generous seasoning until soft. Stir in any leftover flour and cook off for a minute or two, stirring from time to time. Slowly add the stock and the stout, stirring in any caramelised bits, until smooth. Add the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3-5 minutes. . Check for seasoning before pouring over the beef, stirring, covering and cooking on the oven for 2 hours. Transfer to a large pie dish and cool completely.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 220 C Gas Mark 7.

Roll your pastry out quite thickly to cover the dish with some overhang and bits for decorating if you wish. Place some dampened strips of pastry brushed with water around the rim of the pie dish. Lower the pie lid over the pie and stick down or crimp the edges to seal. Make a slit in the top for steam to escape and decorate with scraps of pastry if you wish. Just before placing in the hot oven brush on the beaten egg as an egg wash to make the pie shiny and golden. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes then lower the oven to 190 C Gas Mark 5. Bake for another 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling under the pastry.

Allow to stand for a few minutes and Enjoy!

Visit their website for events and beer sales: www.hanlonsbrewery.com

hanlons pie

Get Spun with Easter Sugar Fun – Exeter Cookery School Recipe

Jim Fisher, head chef tutor and co-owner of Exeter Cookery School, shares his fail-safe method for creating show-stopping desserts adorned with spun sugar cages, baskets and springs – or for Easter, why not make an edible nest for mini chocolate eggs!

Spun Sugar Cages, Baskets and Springs

This is something I love teaching on our cooking courses: spinning sweet gossamer threads over the back of a ladle or around a sharpening steel to create a beautiful caramel cage or spring – pure magic!

A word of warning before we get on to the good stuff: caramel gets hot. We’re talking upwards of 185°C here, and, if it gets on your skin it’ll burn deep! So, make sure you have cold running water on standby because, if you do get any caramel on you, you’ll need to have ready access to it (thrust the wound under lots of really cold running water for at least five minutes).

Unusual Ingredients

Making caramel is easy, but, as in all things, you’ll need to prepare by gathering together the equipment mentioned below. Also, try and acquire some Glucose Syrup (sometimes called Liquid Glucose); this sticky clear syrup – obtainable at the chemist and most supermarkets – is actually a form of starch and is really useful for keeping your sugar syrup from re-crystallising.

Storing Caramel Shapes

Caramel doesn’t store well – it’s hygroscopic, meaning it will attract moisture from the air and quickly turn sticky – but it will keep for a few hours under Clingfilm. If you want to keep your work of art for any longer, pop a couple of silica gel sachets (or a small pot of baked and dried salt) in with them and seal tightly.

Makes at least 12 cages or 20 springs

spun sugar

Equipment

  • Heavy-gauge stainless steel (i.e. colourless) medium saucepan
  • Heat-proof pastry brush
  • Sugar thermometer (not essential if you use white sugar and a stainless steel pan as you can judge the temperature by the colour)
  • Bowl of cold water (for cooling base of pan)
  • Several metal dessert spoons (preferably stainless steel)
  • Several sheets of silicon paper or mat
  • Heat-proof pan stand
  • Metal ladle
  • Large round-section sharpening ‘steel’ or similar size metal tubing

Ingredients

100ml cold water 500g caster sugar 1 tbsp glucose syrup

Method

Put all the ingredients into the saucepan and place over a low flame until the sugar has completely dissolved. Don’t stir or shake the pan during this stage as you’ll get sugar crystals forming around the edge of the solution. If this does happen, brush down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.

Once everything has completely liquefied, crank the heat up to maximum and boil vigorously until the syrup reaches 185°C on a sugar thermometer or turns a deep golden colour.

Briefly, but gently, plunge the base of the saucepan into a bowl of cold water, stirring with a metal dessert spoon, in order to prevent the caramel from over-cooking.

Place the pan on a heat-proof pan stand and begin making your shapes:

Cages and baskets

Very lightly lubricate the convex side of the ladle with a faint smear of neutral cooking oil such as groundnut or sunflower.

Hold the ladle at arm’s length with the bowl uppermost and upside-down.

Take a spoonful of caramel and tip it until the excess runs back into the pan. As soon as you have a steady stream running off the tip, flick the thread of caramel in different directions over the back of the ladle in a lattice pattern.

Waft the ladle in the air until cool enough to handle, then cup the lattice in the palm of your hand and gently twist it away. Et voila!

sugar cage

Springs

Wait until the caramel is cooler and much thicker than before.

Get a nice thin strand going off the end of your spoon, then, keeping the steel pointing upwards at a constant 45° angle, wind the caramel onto it in a spring shape, but doing most of the work with your spoon hand.

Again, allow the caramel to cool sufficiently, then gently but firmly grasp the spring in the palm of your hand and slide it off the steel.

Practice makes perfect

Both these techniques take time to master, so definitely do not attempt to make them for the very first time the day of your dinner party!

However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll have access to a very impressive arsenal of dinner-party dessert garnishes.

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About Exeter Cookery School

Exeter Cookery Courses for Easter

Polish up your cookery skills over the Easter holidays with Exeter Cookery School’s relaxed half- and one-day cookery courses taking place during the Easter holidays. Head chef and co-owner, Jim Fisher, offers a wealth of top cheffy tips and tricks to make your food look and taste better and ensure consistent results time and time again. He’ll also teach you some simple cook-ahead techniques to take the hassle out of entertaining at home.

All courses are held at a stylishly converted 1830s warehouse on Exeter’s buzzing quayside. It is also a stone’s throw from the Haven Banks Outdoor Activity Centre, so if you have children attending an outdoor activity there over the holidays, why not tie it in with some ‘you time’.

9th April    9.30 – 12pm

Half Day Ice Cream making Workshop

Get your taste buds going with this lip-smackingly good ice cream making workshop. Learn how to make delicious ice cream from scratch with Jim’s simple and quick method and explore a host of flavour sensations – anyone for basil ice cream? Suitable for every level of ability.

9th April    2pm – 4.30pm

Half Day Spun Sugar Workshop

Discover the fine art of spinning wonderful shapes on a half day spun sugar workshop. You will leave knowing how to create baskets, twirls, swirls, baskets and much more. Perfect for transforming desserts into show stoppers in no time.

Wednesday 12th    9.30am – 4.30pm

One Day Butchery & Meat Cookery Course

This is a comprehensive hands-on butchery and meat cookery course, which will take you through the process of jointing a chicken, preparing and roasting a rack of lamb. Finally, you will learn how to bone a rabbit and create a complex dish that includes the roasted rabbit loin, rabbit leg confit (fall-off-the-bone tender), a rack of tiny rabbit chops, the sautéed kidneys and a liver parfait.

Thursday 13th April    9.30am – 4.30pm

One Day Vegetarian / Vegetable Cookery Course

Vegetarian cooking can sometimes lack variety and even taste if not approached in the right way. However, on this one day vegetarian cookery course, vegetables become the star of the show. From a seasonal vegetable salad to filled ravioli or a risotto packed with flavour and the pick of the seasonal larder, your taste buds will be tantalised and you will leave with some sure-fire recipes for cooking for yourself and loved ones.

Friday 14th April    9.30am – 4.30pm

One Day Chocolate Cookery

Well, quite frankly, need we say any more? You’ll get a whole day of cooking, and yes eating, chocolate! You’ll discover all about melting and tempering chocolate. And if you can resist a little bit of temptagionu might even come away with a special treat for a loved one for Easter.

Saturday 15th April    9.30am – 4.30pm

One day French Bistro Mains Cookery

Relatively simple to prepare and cook, French Bistro main courses make a great choice for a British dinner party. You’ll learn how to cook some delicious dishes, including classics such as Jim’s flavour-packed French onion soup, Confit d’Canard (duck leg preserved in its own fat), Gigot d’Agneau (leg of lamb) and the hugely popular, Steak Frites.

Or, if you’d rather wait until the children have gone back to school, then why not have a look at Exeter Cookery School’s full calendar of events to see what takes your fancy.

Visit www.exetercookeryschool.co.uk or contact 07415783759 for more information.

 

Foodie Fundraising Feast by Lauren Heath

Recently the wonderfully charming Andy Cooper, Editor of Devon Life magazine, lost his darling Zena warrior princess to that awful disease Cancer. Obviously nothing can bring her back or heal the wound fully but as in life one must find the good within the bad.

So apart from deciding to run the Taunton half marathon in her honour to raise funds towards his chosen charities, Bowel Cancer UK and St Mary’s Hospice, he also enlisted the help of ex-River Cottage chef and fellow Devonian, Tim Maddams.

It was to be held the same evening of the half marathon in Andy’s local village hall, with 100 seats available. So Andy would have certainly earned a feed! Tim is no stranger to pop up dinners so apart from knowing the food would be great, we thought this seemed a wonderful idea to raise funds through a foodie feast, so Stephanie of Exploring Exeter and I decided this was a worthy ticket to purchase.

There were many wonderful raffle prizes to be won on the evening thanks to many incredible businesses in Devon and Cornwall who gave generously including afternoon tea for 12, jewellery, spa days and so on.

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The hall was filled with locals and business connections, tables of friends and some tables of ‘strangers’, as ours was, but conversation soon flowed. Many of us were armed with a bottle or two of something to celebrate Zena’s memory with Andy as well as his efforts.

It wasn’t just Tim Maddams in the kitchen in the end; Robin Rea of The Rusty Pig was also there to make up a dynamic foodie duo. Not content with exceeding his steps for the day, Andy had his waiter hat on for the evening and served the guests too.

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The menu consisted of:

Starter – root vegetable and wild garlic pottage, nettle and water mint pesto.

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Meat main – slow roasted mutton, smoke rooted loin, spring greens, barley, rooting juices

Vegetarian main – Saffron polenta, purple broccoli, romesco sauce

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Pudding – rhubarb upside down cake, honey and raw milk custard.

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It was just so incredibly delicious, local hearty fare. We had a great evening.

The main reason I am writing this is not to shout about my experience but now that I have your attention, if anyone out there with a few pounds to spare, please can you donate to this very worthy cause.

So don’t delay; visit the #TeamZena fundraising page now. Let’s help stop this awful disease in its tracks or at least help those currently suffering. He has already managed just shy of £6,000!

Well done to everyone involved in #TeamZena’s memory.

Recipe: Baked Shellfish with Bucatini, Whole Roasted Garlic and Thyme by Mitch Tonks

The third recipe in a series from Mitch Tonks.

Baked Shellfish with Bucatini, Whole Roasted Garlic and Thyme

 

Serves 3 -4, you will need 

8 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled

100ml olive oil

Salt

A splash of good white wine

A handful of mussels

6 raw shell-on prawns

3-4 langoustines

50g squid

A handful of clams

A handful of cooked bucatini pasta

A pinch of chilli flakes, or 2 very tiny hot red, dried chillies

250ml home-made tomato sauce or passata (use the rustic, chunky variety)

3-4 sprigs thyme

To Make

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.  Put the cloves of garlic into a roasting tray with the olive oil and a pinch of salt, and roast in the preheated oven until softened, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  Raise the oven temperature to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Lay out a square of tinfoil, large enough to hold all the ingredients and to be folded and sealed tightly into a parcel.  Cut a piece of baking parchment the same size as the foil and lay it on top so you have a double layer.  Add a splash of wine to the garlic in the roasting tray and add the shellfish, pasta and chillies.  Toss everything together, place in a heap on the baking parchment, pour over the passata or tomato sauce, and lay the thyme sprigs on top.  Fold it up to make a tightly sealed parcel, place on a roasting tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

To serve, place the whole thing in the middle of the table, get your noses round the top of the parcel as you open it up, pull the sides of the foil apart, give it a mix around, put a few wedges of lemon ton top and get stuck in.

© Mitch Tonks

bucatini shellfish pete cassidy

 

Recipe: A Whole Oven Poached Brill with Tomatoes, Thyme and Saffron by Mitch Tonks

Our second post in a series of recipes from Mitch Tonks.

A Whole Oven Poached Brill with Tomatoes, Thyme and Saffron

 Serves 4 – you will need 

Olive oil

1 brill weighing about 1.5 kg / 3lb

4 ripe tomatoes

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 small dried birds eye chilli – optional

Good pinch of saffron

A splash of Pernod or aniseed flavoured alcohol – optional – but if you are worried about the flavour of aniseed, don’t.  It doesn’t take over the dish but really adds a wonderful depth.

A glass of dry white wine

A small handful of finely chopped parsley

To Make

Pre heat the oven to 200c.

In a roasting dish large enough to take the fish and a pint or so of liquid add a few tablespoons of olive oil and gently fry the shallot and the garlic until softened.  Squeeze in the tomatoes, add the thyme, saffron and crumble in the chilli.  Mix all those flavours together well, then add a splash of Pernod and allow to boil until the all the liquid has evaporated.

Then add the wine and boil for a further minute, then lay the fish into the pan and a cupful of water.  Sprinkle in some sea salt and place in the oven for about 30 minutes.  Check regularly to ensure there is still enough liquid in the pan and baste the top of the fish which will be starting to roast, if you think you need more liquid add a little water.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle in the parsley and taste the juice.  You should be able to taste everything separately within the sauce but all at once.  I find that proper seasoning helps to bring these flavours out.  I think this dish is fine to serve from the pan in which it was cooked.

To  remove the flesh from the fish just take a spoon and cut the soft fish from the head to the tail down the middle, you can then with 2 spoons lift the fish off in chunks when all the fish from the top is gone simply lift out the backbone and you’ll be left with the boneless underside of the fish.

If you are a shellfish lover you could add a few mussels, or clams or cockles during cooking.  A good accompaniment with this would be some aioli, some good bread and some spinach.

© Mitch Tonks

brill with tomatoes

Michelin-Starred Chef Line-Up Announced for the Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink

Tom Kerridge confirmed in chef line up!
Early May bank holiday weekend – Saturday 29 April – Monday 1 May

 An all-star line-up of chefs has been confirmed for this year’s Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink including Tom Kerridge who will join festival co-founder Michael Caines MBE in the cookery theatre on the Sunday.

Seven Michelin-starred chefs are among the line-up this year, including Tom Kerridge, Michael Caines MBE, Simon Hulstone, Paul Ainsworth, Michael Wignall, Mark Dodson and Josh Eggleton, alongside a further 30 talented chefs demonstrating. The seven award-winning chefs will be performing live demos across Sunday 30th April and Monday 1st May in the Festival Cookery Theatre.

The three-day Festival is a celebration of the South West’s Food and Drink producers and top chefs, taking place over the early May bank holiday weekend (Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May 2017) at Exeter Castle and the surrounding Northernhay Gardens.

Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge said: “I was really pleased when Michael asked me to be part of the festival. I’m looking forward to coming down to Exeter for the bank holiday and demonstrating on the Sunday as well as sampling the amazing local produce.”

Tom Kerridge at EFF 2017

Visitors to the Festival can enjoy demonstrations in the Festival cookery theatre from Saturday morning to Monday afternoon, with demos, head-to-head competitions and the school competition taking place across the weekend.

Alongside the fantastic line-up of top chefs from the region, the 14th Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink will feature more than 90 producers, as well as BBC Radio Devon’s Festival Question Time, the Dart’s Farm ‘Food is Fun’ Teepees and demonstrations of tasty recipes in the West Country Bakery Theatre.

Throughout the weekend local musicians will entertain visitors in the Exeter Castle Courtyard. The three After Dark Music Festivals will take place on Friday 28th April (Headliner: The Locked Horns, supported by Stephens Scown’s Choir and Loose Cannons Band), Saturday 29th April (Headliner: Leigh Coleman Band, supported by Yazzy, Joanna Cooke and Celine Dos Santos) and Sunday 30th April (Headliner: Bill Ding and the Skyscrapers, supported by Alex Dobson and Roger Styles).

The Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink is supported by Exeter City Council. The festival is a not for profit event. Tickets can be booked in advance and are available online.

For more information or to buy tickets visit: www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk.

The chef line up, with 6 Michelin stars between them, includes;

  • Michelin starred chef, Michael Caines, Lympstone Manor
  • Mitch Tonks, Rockfish
  • Matt Mason, The Jack in the Green
  • Matthew Peryer, Lewtrenchard Manor
  • Dez Turland, Saunton Sands
  • Darrin Hosegrove, Ashburton Cookery School
  • Peter Gorton
  • Harrison Brockington, South West Chef of the Year Winner Student/Apprentice
  • Daniel Gavriilidis, The PIG-at Combe
  • Guy Owen, The Idle Rocks
  • Michelin starred chef, Simon Hulstone, The Elephant
  • Michelin starred chef, Michael Wignall, Gidleigh Park
  • Thomas Hine, Lympstone Manor
  • Adam Little, Exeter Golf and Country Club
  • Michelin starred chef Tom Kerridge, The Hand and Flowers
  • Michelin starred chef Paul Ainsworth, at No6
  • Elly Wentworth, Lucknam Park
  • Sue Stoneman, South West Winner Home Cook
  • Neil Haydock, Watergate Bay
  • James Mason, Kentisbury Grange
  • Angus McCaig, The Holt at Honiton
  • Liam Finnegan, The Castle Hotel
  • Emily Scott, The St Trudy Inn
  • Scott Paton, Borringdon Hall
  • Ian Webber, The Five Bells Inn
  • Rob Spencer, Ashburton Cookery School
  • Jamie Coleman, South West Winner Overall & Professional
  • Timothy Kendall, South West Winner Young Professional
  • Michelin starred chef Josh Eggleton, The Pony & Trap
  • Tom Williams-Hawkes, The Salutation Inn
  • Ethan Macdonald, South West Winner Junior Category
  • Bini Ludlow, Sweet Cumin
  • Ashley Wright, The Horn of Plenty
  • Michelin starred chef Mark Dodson, The Mason Arms
  • Jean-Phillippe Bidart, The Millbrook Inn

Recipe: Mussels with Chilli, Wine and Bay by Mitch Tonks

As well as dining out and attending events to see what local restaurants, suppliers and businesses have to offer, we do cook at home. Some nights are simpler affairs, with repetitive or traditional favourites like anyone enoys. Occasionally, some inspiration is needed!

With spring showing it’s face (sort’ve)  and the fact we are surrounded by beautiful coastlines, we thought something a bit lighter and fishy would give enough inspiration yet still a bit of comfort in the seasonal transition. So we asked Mitch Tonks for a couple of recipes and here is the first of 3 which will be live on a Wednesday for you to enjoy and perhaps plan a suprise meal for yourself or a loved one, or even take the pressure off entertaining some weekend guests. Enjoy – LH


Mussels with Chilli, Wine and Bay

A huge favourite at The Seahorse and Rockfish. I’m not a fan of cream in mussels just their own juices and a splash of wine is good for me. Try mussels from a few different places you will be amazed at how different they can taste and eat depending on the environment from which they are harvested. I prefer those grown at sea with small shells and big silky meats.

Serves 2 to start; you will need – 

Allow 350gm per person, ensure they are washed and beards pulled off

2 bay leaves

2 small dried birdseye chillis

1 shallot very finely chopped

Good knob of butter

Handful finely chopped parsley

Splash of wine

Clove garlic finely chopped

Tablespoon of Olive oil

 To Make

Melt the butter and olive oil in a pan and add the shallots and garlic to soften. Add the parsley and bay and crumble in the chilli.

Add the mussels and toss in a pan to coat the shells well. Add the wine, cover and allow the mussels to steam open, discard any that don’t. Pour into a bowl and serve with crusty, grilled or fried bread.

© Mitch Tonks

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2017 Food Festival Dates for your diary!

We are very lucky in this county and beyond, to have such wonderful food and produce – what better way to experience all of this together than at a Food Festival!

Here’s a round up of the upcoming 2017 Food Festivals in Devon as well as a couple from  Cornwall. Click on the website links for further info or read our review of the previous year’s event for a feel of what you can expect. This page will be updated constantly if other events pop-up, so do come back to double check if you’re looking for an event to visit. (Updated 15/03/2017)

April

8th: Cullompton Springfest – Check their website for further info.

A food, craft and music festival; there will be a Farmer’s Market, plus a range of food producers selling their food products as well as cooked food to sell on the day. Local restaurant, The Bakehouse, will be hosting an Indian Cuisine night and there is a special meal at The Walronds on the night (ticket only), with a celebrity chef doing the honours.

8th – 9th: Budleigh Food and Drink Festival – Check their website for further info.

A festival spread out through Budleigh Salterton, with local drinks, food, produce,music and chef demos and even a Budleigh Master Chef final live for you to watch the action in the village hall!

28th – 30th: Q’fest BBQ Competition and festival – Check their website for further info.

New to the South West and driven by the increased interest in UK BBQ’ing, smoking and outdoor cooking, this BBQ competition can be entered into if you dare! For visitors there will be camping, products, demos, bouncy castles for the kids, beer and live music in the barn as well as the opportunity to taste some of the best BBQ in the country.

29th – 30th & 1st May: Exeter Food and Drink Festival – Check their website for further info. Last years write up: Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink 2016

In our opinion, the largest event in the South West and right here in Exeter centred around Exeter Castle. An excellent festival including evening music events, live music during the day, beer tent, kids cookery and activity tents, farm animals, plenty of food to eat, producers and no shortage of tasters – come hungry! Demo kitchen, chef’s Q&A, wine tasting as well as a VIP option with an extra room full of treats and a place to rest.

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Exeter Food & Drink Festival

30th: Salcombe Crab Fest – Check out their website for further info.

A celebration of crab and seafood – with demos, crab picking tuition, commercial crab fishing talk, crab pot making, music, wine tasting and more.

May

1st: Exeter Food and Drink Festival – Check their website for further info.Last years write up: Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink 2016

See description above in April.

27th – 29th: River Cottage Spring Fair –Check their website for further info.

On the grounds of the famous River Cottage HQ at Axminster, this lovely festival is full of food, music and producers in a fantastic setting.

28th – 29th: Dartington Food Fair – Check their website for further info. Last years write up: Dartington Food Fair 2016

Held in the grounds of the Shops at Dartington, this great event includes a demo tent, large food producers tent, plenty of food to eat, along with a few kids activities. On top of that you can enjoy the deli, the kitchen shop, toy shop as well as the drinks shop! A great excuse to visit and get two in one!

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Dartington Food Fair

June

2nd – 4th: Plymouth Flavour Fest – Check their website for further info.

Quite a large food festival spread out through Plymouth city centre. Food stalls, producers, drinks marquee and chef demo tent, including this years guest appearance from 2016 Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown.

3rd: Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival – Check their website for further info.

Now in its 5th year, this event is aimed at foodies and all the family, encouraging healthy eating and showcasing local produce and restaurants. On Friday 2nd from 6pm, there will be Tap into Tapas where you can enjoy various small plates from local eateries but all in the Food Theatre Marquee. There will be demos from The Salutation Inn, The Pig at Combe, Exeter Cookery School, and The Samosa Lady. There” be kids activities in The Library,  Tickety Boo and The Institute.

17th – 18th: Crediton Food Festival – Check their website for further info.

Now in it’s 9th year, great for food stalls, music and demos.

July

30th:  Rockfish Crab Festival, Dartmouth South Embankment

The Rockfish Crab Festival is now in its 6th year, championed by restaurateur Mitch Tonks & co-hosted by Angela Hartnett, it celebrates all that is great about our British crab. Enjoy music, local crab, children’s crabbing competition & the best-dressed table competition – that’s the table not the guests! Bring bunting, table linen, flowers, candelabra, whatever you fancy.  Guaranteed fun & guaranteed weather-proofing with a marquee!  Tickets at www.rockfishevents.co.uk

August

4th – 6th: The South West Coffee Festival –  Check their website for further info.

This inauguaral event, open to trade and baristas as well as the public and enthusiasts, the event will be held at Powderham Castle. If you love coffee…get yourself to this event! We have been given an exclusive level of discount off the already affordable ticket price:

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6th: Pen’Grillie’ BBQ Festival – Check out their website for further info.

Held at Pentillie Castle, to the east of Plymouth, last year’s inaugural festival was a great event of BBQ competition, live music, chilli eating competition, kids activity tent, food and product stalls all in a beautiful setting.

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Pen’Grillie’ 2016

September

2nd: Nourish Festival, Bovey Tracey – Check their website for further info. 2015’s write up by Editor, Chris, can be read here.

Bovey Tracey’s Fore Street gets transformed for this music, food, craft festival and Devon Street Food Awards with a new addition for 2017…Nourish Gin Festival! There will also be two evenings of concerts.

3rd: Clovelly Lobster and Crab Festival – Check their website for further info.

A unique and beautiful place, Clovelly celebrates its famous lobsters and crabs sustainably caught by its fishermen with a great day out for all the family. This year is its 10th Anniversary.

9th: Topsham Beer and Bacon Festival

This little festival is not all fancy and big – it’s perfectly formed and organised by the guys at The Pig and Pallet/Good Game. A beer tent, some bacon and pork based food stalls, a side loader truck opened up for the live music to perform on, and right in front of The Lighter Inn on Topsham Quay. If you’re local, be sure to pop down for a good time.

9th: Ashburton Food & Drink Festival – Check their Facebook page for more info.

A full day of local foodie delights and entertainment.

16th – 17th: Plymouth Seafood Festival – Check their website for further info.

The website states “The Barbican and Sutton Harbour will come alive on Saturday 16 to Sunday 17 September, with a celebration of locally sourced and sustainably caught, high quality seafood.”

With Plymouth having the second largest fish market in the UK, events spread across this harbourside city includes cookery theatre with well known regional chefs, food stalls, crabbing competition, and a cardboard boat race amongst other activities!

17th: 1st ever Rockfish Crab Festival Day at Sutton Harbour, during Seafood Week in Plymouth – Check their website for further info.

Live music, magic, a special crab menu for the day, all hosted by restaurateur and chef Mitch Tonks. We’ll also be distilling the first ever Plymouth Uni Gin, a recipe made jointly with students at from Plymouth University’s Hospitality and Catering Department – we’ll have a VW campervan parked outside distilling the gin throughout the day so be there for a historic first taste! No tickets for this event but pre-booking tables advised.

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25th – 31st: Taste of the Teign and Teignmouth Harbour Festival – Check their website for further info.

A week long food event that will include Smokeinteignhead, a newly added BBQ competition. Various events are held and venues and include Tea on the Teign, jam making workshops, an evening in the orchard, Fry Up Friday, street food market, farmers market and culminating with a food fair.

October

1st – Taste of the Teign

See above info in September.

7th – 8th: Powderham Food Festival Check their website for further info.

Last years write up: Powderham Food Festival 2016.

Held inside Powderham Castle and around the beautiful grounds, this fabulous festival includes a Theatre of Fire and Smoke, food stalls, producers, drinks, items for sale, free cookery classes for kids by Fun Kitchen, demo kitchen with local great chefs and some live music.

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Powderham Food Festival

20th – 22nd: Dartmouth Food Festival. Check their website for further details.

Held all along the harbour with plenty of food stalls, products and demos to be enjoyed as well as special offers in restaurants.

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Some of the above events we have visited and some we haven’t so it’s a mix of knowledge, opinion and information gathered from the websites. Please check websites or organisers directly regarding prices, parking and accessibility. If you know of any events that we have missed, please feel free to tweet or DM us on Twitter and Facebook.

An evening of fire and meat with Dean Forge at Pipers Farm

The perfect duo, Dean Forge and Pipers Farm recently hosted an evening full of meat and fire in the rustic event space at Pipers Farm, in the heart if the Devon countryside. Local bloggers and journalists came together to experience the full capabilities of some of stove manufacturers, Dean Forge’s most popular products, the Dartmoor Baker and their large fire pit.

Guests gathered around the fire pit to warm up as Pipers Farm owner, Peter Grieg cooked chicken wings, pancetta, beef and a tray of root vegetables over the hot coals. Inside, seated on hay bales, the group marvelled at the quirky Dartmoor Baker, which slowly cooked a full chicken and a tray of sausages in its integrated oven.

Simon Chew, director of Dean Forge, followed dinner with the lowdown on Dean Forge, fielding questions from guests, in awe of the Dartmoor Baker – a woodburner with an oven!

For more information, visit deanforge.co.uk or call the showroom on 01364 643 57

 

British Leeks are in Season: Beef Wellington with Leek Mousseline Recipe Review – by Lauren Heath

Once again, thanks to the power of the internet, I randomly came across British Leeks’ mission of trying to get more people cooking and eating leeks.

At their best from November to April, these winter veggies are in season right now and can be used in a whole host of ways, kept fairly crunchy or cooked right down. A good choice during the ‘vegetable shortage’ the shops are claiming is upon. If you can, remember to buy local and seasonal, and you’ll find plenty of veg in abundance.

They have quite a host of inspiring recipes on their website including Leek and Butterbean Soup, Pan Roasted Chicken with Leeks, Cider and Chorizo and even Hot Smoked Salmon and Leek Chowder to name just a few.

I eventually settled on one of my favouritre meals –  Beef Wellington. Yes it’s not strictly a fully fledged leek-based recipe, but instead of the usual mushroom duxelle or pâté coating, it contains leeks and horseradish which sounded great. So the lovely people at British Leeks kindly sent me some goodies to knock up a fabulous meal for myself and some guests! I am generally more of a freestyle cook, so it was good to have some inspiration, and I usually have wellington made for me so for once I was going to make it; to add to my pressure, I was cooking this straight after work on a Friday evening and for some foodie guests.

Here’s the recipe, with my some of my own tips below it:

Individual Beef Wellington with Leek Mousseline

Prime fillet of beef topped with a leek and horseradish mousseline, wrapped in Parma ham and puff pastry. This is a special occasion dish and an ideal choice for the festive table.

Serves 4 – Prep 30 minutes – Cook 15 – 20 mins – Oven Temp 220ºC / Gas Mark 7

Ingredients

500g Leeks, finely chopped
1 Bay leaf
25g Butter
4x 15ml tbsp Water
2 x 15ml tbsp Creamed horseradish
Generous pinch Ground black pepper

4 Slices Parma ham
500g Tail end fillet of beef
500g Puff pastry
1 Egg for glazing

Method:

Gently sweat the shredded leek and bay leaf in the butter for about 5 minutes to soften. Add the water, cover and cook gently for a further 2 — 3 minutes. Stir in the horseradish and pepper and whiz in a processor until smooth. Set aside until cold.

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Divide beef fillet into 4 even pieces. Spread the cooled leek mixture onto the Parma ham slices and wrap one around each beef fillet.

Divide pastry into four. Roll each out into an oblong about 2 times the size of the beef fillet. Brush with egg glaze and bring pastry up over the beef and seal neatly into a parcel. Place sealed side downwards onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Chill for 30 minutes. Cook 15 – 20 mins – Oven Temp 220ºC / Gas Mark 7

It is a fairly simple yet indulgent meal to make actually, and whilst the leeks are sweating down you can cut your beef, sear it, and roll your pastry out (searing seals in the juices). To speed up the cooling of the leek mixture, I popped it into the freezer for 10 minutes or so. Make sure your pastry isn’t too warm as when you are sealing up the wellington, it can ‘melt’ and slide off a bit. If this happens to you, cut a slither of the pastry from the edges and use as a glue/join on top. I also laid the parma ham and leek mixture onto the pastry then folded over the meat.

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It was absolutely delicious and I was so pleased! Definitely give it a go for a Valentine’s meal this February, or for a treat with friends. You could prepare this the day before, and keep it in the fridge ready to cook; just bring it out to room temperature before cooking in the oven.  I managed to make it within an hour of getting home and guests arriving.

The leeks and the horsereadish gave a lovely sweet and tangy flvour together. I loved it and I don’t eat horseradish (apparently I do now)!

British Leeks – Healthy Facts

The Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptions valued leeks for their therapeutic properties and Roman Emperor Nero ate large quantities to improve his voice. From soothing sore throats to helping keep gout and kidney stones at bay, leeks are packed full of health benefits and are commonly used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Easier to digest than onions, leeks have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic and anti-arthritic properties.  And, if eaten regularly, here are some of the ways leeks can help you to stay healthy:

Efficient functioning of the kidneys

Containing the equivalent of one eighth of an adult’s daily potassium requirement, leeks encourage the efficient functioning of kidneys and are effective as a diuretic.

Leeks for a healthy heart

Eating lots of leeks has been shown to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol – and at the same time increase levels of ‘good’ cholesterol.  This is important for preventing the build up of blood vessel plaques that are found in some types of heart disease.  If the plaques grow too large or rupture, they can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Allium vegetables including leeks can also help to lower high blood pressure – another factor that can contribute to heart attacks and strokes.

Leeks for combating cancer

Research has shown that eating leeks regularly can help protect against cancer, particularly, prostate, colon and stomach cancer.  Quercetin, an antioxidant present in the Allium family, is recognised as a cancer-blocking compound.

Leeks for stabilising blood sugar

Leeks are a very good source of manganese and vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate and iron.  These nutrients all work together in the body to stabilise blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of sugars from the intestinal tract.

 Leeks for expectant mothers

Leeks are a good source of the B vitamin folate, containing between 15% and 49% of the RNI for an adult.  Folate is important for pregnant women as it can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida.   One portion of cooked leeks contains almost a third of an adult’s recommended daily intake.

Leeks for a healthy diet

Leeks are a great choice for those following a healthy diet as they are very low in calories and packed full of vitamins and minerals.

An average serving of leeks (80g or 1 leek) contains:

  • 17 calories
  • 1g protein
  • 0.6g fat
  • 2.1g carbohydrate
  • 1.4g fibre

Leeks are also a good source of Iron, Vitamin C and Folate.

Get cooking, in season and it’s good for you!

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Guest Chef Days Announced at Manna From Devon Cooking School

Manna from Devon Cooking School is delighted to announce the dates for the 2017 Guest Chef Classes: a series of celebrity chefs and foodie experts will be running classes at the school from March until September.

These guest days only pop up once a month and usually book up pretty quickly, a true reflection on the talent and reputation of each chef. This year’s Guest Chef classes are being hosted by Peter Greig of Pipers Farm, Mitch Tonks of Rockfish and The Seahorse, Romy Gill MBE from Romy’s Kitchen and food writer Charlotte Pike with another two hosts in the pipeline.

David, co-owner of Manna from Devon comments on the Guest Chef programme: “Holly and I are really excited to confirm we’ve got some of our best foodie friends joining us in 2017- we hope you can join us too! It’s important for us to involve other chefs and experts here at Manna from Devon, as we’re all about the community aspect of cooking; connecting lots of people through food and drawing on the array of amazing chefs and talent in the area.”

Peter masterminds Pipers Farm in Cullompton and he and his team produce the most amazing meats, raising their animals from birth and selling them through their own butchery and online shop. Peter will be bringing one of his lamb carcasses to butcher on Saturday 11th March and will be cooking up some of his fabulous meats in the wood fired ovens as well as discussing the Pipers Farm way of farming and how important it is to him; a true expert in his field.

peter-greig
Peter Grieg

Mitch Tonks is an old friend of David and Holly’s. His knowledge and passion for fish and the fishing industry is inspiring and his fish dishes are truly delicious. As well as his chain of Rockfish restaurants in South Devon he runs The Seahorse restaurant in Dartmouth so Manna from Devon are delighted to have him hosting what will be a fabulously convivial day of some outstanding fish and seafood recipes on Friday 7th April.

mitch-tonks
Mitch Tonks

Romy Gill MBE will be hosting her class on Sunday 7th May and will be cooking some of her amazing Indian food from her restaurant, Romy’s Kitchen – traditional flavours with a light and contemporary twist. David and Holly have been friends with Romy for a long time and love hearing her tell our guests stories of growing up in India and her determination to open her restaurant in Thornbury, just outside of Bristol. If you like Indian cooking, this is a day not to be missed.

romy-gill
Romy Gill

Food writer Charlotte Pike will be joining David and Holly at the school on Sunday 4th June – passionate about smoking food, she will be creating some amazing dishes, passing on lots of tips and discussing how the enthusiasm for this kind of cooking is growing. David and Holly discovered “low & slow” smoking on their road trip in America so are keen to compare notes with Charlotte.

charlotte-pike
Charlotte Pike

Classes will take place at Manna from Devon Cooking School in Kingswear and run from 10am – 4pm. All are limited to just 12 students and cost £175 per person.

To book one of the Guest Chef Classes visit http://www.mannafromdevon.com/cookery-courses/guest-chefs/ or call 01803 752943.

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