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Hot smoked trout fishcakes

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

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

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Smoked eel canapes

Ingredients 

3 eggs

500ml of semi skimmed milk

500g of plain flour

500g of brioche crumbs

sea salt

black pepper

8 Fjordling Smoked eel

 

Method
To make the eel, mix the eggs and the milk together to make an egg wash. Put the plain flour, egg wash and brioche crumbs in separate dishes and season the flour with salt and pepper
Roll the eel pieces in the flour then put straight into egg wash. Carefully take them out of the egg wash with a slotted spoon, shaking off any excess egg wash. Place them into the brioche crumbs
Shake the dish to ensure that the eel is fully coated in the brioche crumbs, then lift them out, brushing off any excess crumbs. Chill for at least 15 minutes
Heat the oil to 165°C and fry the eel in batches until golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Season with a little sea salt and pepper
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The Rise of the Supper Club

The supper club has become one of the Uk’s hottest past times; it seems everyone is getting in on the action.

The original supper club concept (that is sometimes referred to as a ‘pop up restaurant’)  is that is an underground affair. The event is not one that is over advertised nor marketed. The underground feel comes from knowing that the event you are at is a very special one; you the customer are a VIP.

The customers are part of the experience. The host and the guests have a common goal in mind: good food, good company and a good experience.

Clearly food is the star ingredient of the show, but equally getting an ambience just right along with the company. Therefore the venue is key.

The venue should something quite special. Many supper clubs use a unique and exquisite sort of venue, something that will make the virgin supper club diner sit up and query “we’re going for dinner in an abandoned tube carriage?” (this has indeed been done)

History of the supper club

At the end of the 19th century Supper clubs were renowned for a gathering of the more debaucherous members of society; and that didn’t always mean the outcasts and misfits. Due to laws which saw pubs and restaurants shutting up at 12.30am a rare mix of the affluent and the bohemian would be found mingling together and the Late night supper club was created as a way to get those intoxicated punters trying to navigate their way home, off the streets and into somewhere they could enjoy some food and keep themselves out of mischief until the dawn.  Because these clubs were private they could and did stay open all night long.

Now supper clubs are less about the underground (unless you are in that abandoned tube carriage) and more about the mainstream. That still however retain that sense of the equistite and wonder. For example many super club proprieters may choose the menu on the day, picking ingredients that are in season and fresh, so when the punters arrive they have no idea what they will be eating. Or the chef may go for a ‘pay what you want’ approach. As the supper club only pops up from time to time or once a week at the most, this blaze approach to dining is appealing to the diner who is looking for a night out with an edge to it.

What to serve

Many supper club nights will have a bring your own booze policy and focus purely on the food as the main event. They will seek to cook something that is going to memorable so the spotlight is on the ingredients and executuion of the dish. Diners will want to remember everything in a positive way about the night and seek out the organisers for any future events.

Many proprietors are making good money from popping up and have turned supper clubs into businesses, whilst others just do it purely for the excitement of finding an alternative to their  from their usual style or location and enjoying the novelty of the evening.

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Christmas traditions around the world

We are used to our large bird taking centre stage on the table on the 25th December, pulling a few crackers, wearing naff paper hats and drinking too much sherry, but what will everyone else be doing during December and what are their Christmas traditions?

columbian food

Columbia

Like many places around the world, Columbia start their celebrations way back at the beginning of December and the main Christmas meal is eaten on Christmas eve. Christmas food traditions might include Pork stuffed with rice and peas, ham, turkey or chicken soup, cheesy fritters or a dish called Arespas, a thick dish made from corn

 austria

Austria

Austria is famed for foodie christmas markets bursting with scents and flavours from sticky gingerbread to their famous Gluhwein (mulled wine) from November to December. Just like other countries in Europe, Christmas is celebrated on the 24th December. A formal meal will be served usually Gebackener Karpfen which is fried carp, dessert would be a Sachertorte, a chocolate and apricot cake and Austrian Christmas cookies ‘Weihnachtsbaeckerei’.

Jamaica

In Jamaica Christmas eve is also called Grand Market and in the day people go shopping for Christmas foods, sweet treats and delicious eats for the holiday. At the markets there are usually street vendors selling jerk chicken and candy canes.

Christmas day meal consists of sorrel, fresh fruit, rum punch and meats.

The fruits for the Christmas cake are soaked in red wine and rum for months so you can imagine how delicious the Christmas fruit cake is.

Wherever or however you spend your Christmas, food is sure to be a central element and is certainly worth going the extra mile to present a special feast for you and yours on the cosiest day of the year.

So go ahead and indulge. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year x

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Smoked chicken and avocado club sandwich

club sandwich

Ingredients

A loaf of good bread. It doesn’t matter if it’s a day or two old.

1 large ripe avocado finely sliced

2 beefsteak tomatoes finely sliced

2 Fjordling smoked chicken breasts sliced

12 slices of smoked pancetta

4 spring onions ends removed and finely chopped

full fat mayonnaise

Salted butter

 

Method

fry the pancetta in its own fat until crispy

Toast 8 slices of bread

Slather one side of toast with salted butter and the other with a tsp of mayonanise

Build up the buttered slice of the toast with slices of avocado and pancetta

Layer up the with the smoked chicken and spring onion and tomato

Finish with the final slice of mayonnaise toast.

Slice into halves or quarters.

 

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Smoked cheese and leek pancakes

For the pancakes

100g plain flour

300ml milk

2 freerange eggs

Little oil for frying

 

For the leek filling

2 leeks chopped finely and washed

a large nob of unsalted butter

100g Fjordling  smoked cheddar

bunch of chives finely chopped

Extra for the top

Creme fraiche to serve

 

Method

Whisk the pancake mix together and leave to settle for a few minutes

Individually fry off the pancakes, should make about 10 or 12

Fry the leeks in the butter until soft

Take off the heat and mix in the cheese

Add salt and pepper to taste

Add a dollop of the filling to each pancake and fold over

Place the pancakes on a greased baking tray, top with a little extra cheese and grill for a minute or two

Top with a dollop of creme fraiche and chopped chives to serve