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Smoked Macaroni Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:

 

50g macaroni

25g grated Red Leicester

25g grated smoked cheese

50ml double cream

1 tsp maple syrup

1 pinch smoked paprika

2 slices of sourdough bread

smoky barbecue sauce

butter

 

Method:

  1. Cook the macaroni following pack instructions. Drain and mix with the grated Red Leicester, grated smoked cheese, double cream, maple syrup and smoked paprika. Season well, leave to cool, then put in the fridge to firm up.
  2. Take 2 slices of sourdough bread and spread one with smoky barbecue sauce. Pile in the cold macaroni cheese, then close the sandwich and butter the outside generously. Fry in a dry pan for 4-5 mins on each side or until deep golden brown on the outside.
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smoked trout pate

Fjordling sell a a delicious smoked trout pate but should you feel the urge to make your own follow this simple and effective recipe

 

6oz smoked trout

255g/9oz cream cheese

150ml/5fl oz double cream

1 tbsp chives

30g/1oz butter

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 lemon, juice only

freshly ground black pepper

 

  1. Place the salmon, trout and cream cheese and double cream into a blender.

  2. Add the butter, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and seasoning.

  3. Blend the mixture to a paste. Check the seasoning before removing from the blender. Put the paté in a dish and allow to set in the fridge.

  4. Serve with salad leaves and toasted bread.

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Butter, the ingredient with the Mmmm Factor

butter

You know when you eat something and its just so delicious, when the flavour just lingers on your palate and you can’t stop thinking “mmmmm”. You wonder to yourself, what is it and why does it taste so good. Well the answer is probably (although not always – as there are some immense flavours out there) butter!

Like all the pop bands of the 90’s this clever block of creamy delight is making a comeback. It fell out of fashion some time ago and was replaced with synthetic  margarine which we all believed was better,  then suddenly due to a bit of scientific research and a few good publications printing some glittering reviews, its back! Butter is actually back.

And it’s okay to eat it as well you know. Like everything, a little of what you fancy does you good.

Chefs and cooks (we’re talking the real McCoy here) have never stopped using butter. Heston Blumethal once revealed he uses at least a third of the ratio of butter to potato in his mashed potatoes which is what makes them taste so utterly divine, and butter is used for everything from thickening and adding gloss to sauces to making delicious puddings and biscuits.

At one point in the last few years, coconut oil stumbled onto the scene like an exotic pen pal, everyone was keen to get to know more about it. With its endless list of nutritional benefits coconut oil was the oil of the moment for some time. It still is the go to cooking oil for the more healthy eater and it clearly has many benefits for the body and mind. And if you don’t mind the hint of coconut in everything you cook from cakes to stir fried kale, then it’s ideal.

However, butter is in a league of its own. We’ve been consuming it for centuries, yet suddenly we were told it was bad for us and many of us made the switch to synthetic margarine. This was partly due to studies such as one done at Harvard school of public health. This study made discoveries which suggested that replacing saturated fats (found in butter) with unsaturated fats (found in margarine) significantly reduced the risk of heart disease

However these results were nowhere near the results found in a separate more recent study stating there was no more of a risk of heart disease if you continued to eat saturated fat than if you cut back on it. Further discoveries suggested the reason for these findings were because those who were eating unsaturated fats, replaced their saturated fat intake with refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, and these are the key triggers for heart disease.

The general consensus by most health experts is that butter is neither good nor bad for you, rather it has a neutral effect on the body as it is more of a natural product, whereas margarine, which is a heavily processed ingredient, will contain an array of ingredients and can be potentially more harmful for the body.

That settles the argument for most then, if you are looking for a replacement for butter due to the calorie content then a different option is advisable, but for taste and health benefits, its butter all the way! Hooray!

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7 reasons why seafood and fish are good for you

7 reasons why seafood and fish are good for you

As if you need any more reasons to grab some tasty smoked fish products for the Easter period, but we thought we’d give you another 7 anyway

Seafood is good for you in lots of ways and although many of us love and crave it, sometimes we need reminding just how good it is for us.

Seafood and fish fight cancer, classed as shellfish, contain selenium, which is thought to have cancer fighting properties.

Eating seafood and fish can relieve arthritis – Inuit’s in Greenland have low rates of inflammatory conditions and they eat a lot of fresh seafood.

Seafood and fish are good for your skin. We are told to drink lots of water to keep our skin looking young and vibrant and eating essential fatty acid is another way to keep those dry patches at bay. Cell membranes are made up of essential fats, which keep our skin flexible. When there is insufficient fat in our diet, the cells are less able to retain water and it loses its plumpness, making it appear dry and lifeless.

Seafood and fish help fight heart disease. Fish lowers levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood; raised levels are associated with heart disease.

Lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s. Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish, prevent damage to brain cells.

Seafood and fish ease depression. Omega 3 raises the level of the brain chemical, serotonin. Of the 40 million brain cells serotonin is related either directly or indirectly to them. This includes brain cells relating to mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep memory and learning, body temperature control and some social behaviour.

Seafood and some fish consumed during pregnancy, increases the IQ of your child higher IQ, brain activity and overall health is associated with Omega 3 fatty acid; which is predominant in seafood, is essential for optimum neural development.  The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and children (ALSPAC) found that children from mothers who ate less or no seafood on a regular basis had children who had an  increased likelihood of being in the bottom 25 percent of verbal intelligence quotient (IQ) at the age of 8. Their performance in developmental and social behavioural tests would also be significantly lower.

So there we have it. Fjordling will look forward to seeing lots of happy, brainy, healthy happy people, bouncing their way over to us in the next few sunny Easter weeks.

 

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Spring smoked trout and watercress puree and chopped egg

Ingredients

  • 140g/5oz watercress leaves, washed, roughly chopped
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 2 tbsp water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 free-range eggs hard-boiled, peeled, chopped
  • 1 punnet mustard cress
  • small handful chopped fresh dill
  • 1½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or rapeseed oil
  • ½ lemon juice only
  • 3 tsp soured cream, or creme fraiche
  • 6 x 40g/1½oz pieces Fjordling smoked trout  fillet
  • 6 thin slices toasted soda bread buttered
  • ½ lemon, cut into 6 wedges, to serve

Method

For the watercress purée, bring a saucepan of salted water up to a rolling boil, then add the watercress and cover the pan with a lid. Once the water has returned to the boil, drain the watercress well, then refresh under cold water.

Blend the drained watercress in a food processor with four ice cubes and two tablespoons of water. Turn the motor off and scrape a spatula down the insides of the food processor at intervals, then blend again, until the mixture forms a smooth purée. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Mix the chopped boiled eggs, mustard cress and dill in a bowl until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mustard, oil and lemon juice and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then, pour over the egg mixture and stir well to combine.

To serve, spoon the watercress purée into espresso cups or shot glasses or spread across the plate. Drizzle half a teaspoon of soured cream or crème fraîche onto the surface of each serving, then place the cups or glasses onto six serving plates. Divide the egg salad, smoked trout and soda bread equally among the plates. Garnish each plate with a lemon wedge.

Hot Smoked Trout

 

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Hot smoked trout fishcakes

  • 200 g Fjordling hot smoked trout
  • 300 g King Edward potatoes, peeled and chopped into pieces
  • 3 tbps finely chopped curly parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Good grind of black pepper
  • 2 tbsps sifted plain flour
  • Approximately 100g white breadcrumbs
  • 50 g butter
  • Splash of sunflower oil
  • For the sauce
  • 2 tbsps mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsps crème fraiche
  • Grated zest of half a small unwaxed lemon
  • 2 tbsps finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 good tsps grated horseradish (not sauce) from a jar or 4 from fresh root

Method

  • Set oven to 200°C / gas mark 7.
  • Put the potatoes in a pan and cover them with cold water. Bring them up to the boil cooking for 10-15 minutes or until totally softened – a little overcooking is in fact good. Drain and allow to stand until cool and dry.
  • After having chopped the walnuts, gently toast them in a dry pan swirling them continuously, taking care not to burn, until they turn a shade or two darker and have a lovely toasted smell and then allow to cool. Combine all the other sauce ingredients, stir in the walnuts and leave to one side until fishcakes are ready.
  • Flake the trout into pieces into a bowl; add the chopped parsley, a good grind of black pepper. Add the potatoes, breaking them up as you add them to the trout. Combine everything well and season with a little salt to taste.
  • Fashion the cakes into a pastry cutter mould of approximately six to seven centimetres. When forming the cakes they will need a little pressing and compacting to prevent them falling apart.
  • Put the flour on a plate, the breadcrumbs on another and beat the two eggs in a bowl. Flour both the flat sides of each fishcake, do not flour the edges. Now very carefully dip the floured sides in the egg and then lastly in the breadcrumbs, repeat until all cakes are made.
  • Put a small frying pan on the hob and melt 50 grams of butter combined with a splash of sunflower oil. The cake should sizzle immediately when it enters the pan. However do not cook them too fast and burn the breadcrumbs; regulate the heat accordingly. Sauté the fishcakes for four minutes or so until a deep golden colour, turn over and fry for two minutes, then put the cakes in the oven for six minutes.
  • Serve with watercress and the sauce.
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Pancake day – Shrove Tuesday

Also known as Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day changes its date every year falling in line with Easter. But it is always the day before Ash Wednesday, (which if you didn’t know is the first day of Lent), and always falls in February or March. This year we expect to see you warming your skillets up on 13th February 2018.

Shrove Tuesday comes from the word shrive which means to obtain absolution for ones sins by way of confession and is a day of penitence and the last day to feast before lent begins the following day. Lent is all about giving things up as it represents the period when Jesus was alone in the desert for 40 days and nights, surviving off very little and being tempted by Satan. As this was essentially a period of fasting for Jesus, Christians identify with this state by giving up particular foods during the 40 days of Lent.

Foods such as meat, fish, milk and eggs were considered rich and indulgent foods so these were cleared out of the cupboards and pantries and eaten on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Milk and eggs were often beaten together to make rich batters and fried to create pancakes. Thus began the tradition of Pancake day or shrove Tuesday.

This year Lent begins on 14th Feb and ends on 31st March and is essentially a lovely long detox as many believe the time without treats and fat will purify their bodies. Many adults will give up things like alcohol and cigarettes whilst children may give up sweets, chocolate and television. Shrove Tuesday is also associated with the tossing of the pancake, so don’t forget to tweet us your picture of the perfect toss! Happy Pancake day

Check out our pancake recipe here for smoked cheese savoury pancakes 

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Foods that are considered an aphrodisiac

chocolate

If you are wondering what foods are considered an aphrodisiac and what you should be serving up on the most romantic day of the year this year on February 14th on Valentines day – then follow our guide to aphrodisiac foods

Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which stimulates the nervous system and triggers the release of pleasurable opium-like compounds known as endorphins.

PEA also sparks the production of dopamine, a neurochemical directly associated with sexual arousal and pleasure.

Rich in B vitamins, honey boosts testosterone levels in the blood – the hormone responsible for promoting sex drive and orgasm in both men and women.

It also contains boron, a trace mineral that helps the body use and metabolise estrogen, the female sex hormone, which is important for female desire.

Figs have long been thought of as an arousing stimulant. The flavonoids, polyphenols and antioxidants are concentrated in this fruit, helping to put you in a euphoric haze to prolong sexual desire and intercourse.

They are mentioned in the Bible (Adam and Eve wore fig leaves to cover their private parts), and are reported to be Cleopatra’s favourite fruit. The ancient Greeks held them as sacred and associated them with love and fertility.

An open fig is believed to resemble the female sex organs.

Use this sweet, pungent herb to liven up your meals and your sex life.

Basil not only adds a fresh flavour, but also has a fantastic aroma that is said to have an aphrodisiac effect.

It is also very stimulating, and could enhance sexual desire by increasing heart rate and improving blood flow. Perhaps that explains why Italians are so romantic!

Avocado This silky, mild fruit has a reputation as an aphrodisiac extending back to ancient Aztec times. In fact, the Aztecs called the avocado tree “Ahuacuatl”, which translates to “testicle tree”.

It is thought that the fruit’s high levels of vitamin E could help keep the spark alive because of its role in maintaining youthful vigour and energy levels.

Truffle This expensive, earthy fungus has a pungent flavour with an aphrodisiac reputation extending back to ancient Roman times.

The scent is believed to mimic androstenone – found in male sweat – which serves as an attractant to the opposite sex.

However, you’ll want to be careful with this one. For some it is too strong to be appealing, while a small portion of the population can’t smell androstenone at all.

As with avocado, the shape of asparagus is a major contributor to the belief in its aphrodisiac properties.

However, it is also a great source of Vitamin E, which is involved in stimulating the production of sex hormones, and the B vitamin known as folate that aids in increasing histamine, which is important for a healthy sex drive.

It is also thought to increase circulation in the genitourinary system, leading to increased sexual desire.

Oysters are probably the food most commonly associated with aphrodisiac properties, and most people are aware of their reputation for increasing sexual desire.

Oysters are thought to be an aphrodisiac because of their high zinc content, which helps produce sperm and increases libido.

Researchers also recently found that oysters contain amino acids that trigger production of sex hormones.

 

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Burns night, celebrating the life of Robert Burns

robert burns

Who would think that one night a year could cause such a stir. But Burns night does just that. It encourages people to eat spiced sheeps offal, throw back shots of whisky and recite poems of years gone by.

Burns night celebrates the life and work of Robert Burns, the Scottish poet and falls on the 25thJanuary which is Burns’s birthday. Burns lived a short but full life from 1759 -1796 meaning he was just 37 years when he died.

Burns’s lyrics swing between radicalism, republicanism, class inequalities and of course the benefits to a wee dram – the traditional Burns night drink which is whisky

The strong emotional highs and lows of many of Burns’s poems had led many to believe that he may have suffered from manic depression, this was then supported further by analysis of his handwriting. Burns himself often referred to suffering episodes of what he called ‘blue devilism’.  Either way, Burns had many influences in his writing and went onto influence many other such as Wordsworth and Shelley.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the romantic movement and after his death he became a great icon and source of inspiration to the founders of of both liberalism and socialism and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Disaspora around the world.

To this day Burns’s work is celebrated world wide and Bursn nights suppers happen up and down the country as well as over seas. These celebrations can be a small gathering between friends or a full on knees up with plenty of whisky swigging.

Whilst whisky is an integral part of the Burns night soiree, food too plays a role.

Haggis has always been the main dish served as this features heavily in the ceremony when a small knife is often used to stab open the hot cooked haggis whilst reciting some of Burns’s words.

Quite often a typical Burns night menu might consist of a cock a leekie soup to begin, a haggis main with neeps and tatties and a sauce of some sort and a traditional Scottish dessert Colcannon

Our smoked chicken, smoked trout and pate would make great accompaniments to any Burns night table

 

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Smoked Cheddar fondue

 Ingredients

clove garlic halved

290ml/½ pint white wine

1 tsp lemon juice

225g/8oz fjordling smoked cheddar cheese grated

225g/8oz gruyere cheese grated

1 tsp cornflour

1 tbsp kirsch (optional)

cubed bread pieces, for dipping

Method

Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the halves of garlic.

Add the wine and lemon juice to the pot and heat until boiling. Lower the heat and gradually stir in the cheeses until melted, stirring all the time.

If using kirsch, blend with the cornflour, otherwise use water. Add to the cheese mixture and cook gently until the mixture is smooth – don’t let it boil or it will burn.

Using the fondue prongs, dip the bread cubes into the cheese and serve