Saturday, 23 February 2013

Smoked haddock, leek and pea risotto , using DelishFish

I recently placed my first order with DelishFish on the recommendation of a number of other food bloggers, its a delightfully easy website to find your way around and gives good information about the different types of fish available,  So I chose a variety of fish, all which arrived really quickly at the peak of freshness right to my door,the courier even called first to check I would be in to receive my delivery and John the owner tweeted me to check everything had arrived Ok.

The quality of the fish was second to none, lovely large fillets, all individually packed and labelled so its easy for the cook, the packaging was great too, so everything arrived lovely and cool and intact. The fish was very good value for the quality of fish so I will be ordering again from John at Delish Fish.

I love smoked haddock and John's is reputed to be the best in the country ( as per River Cottage website) so I wanted a recipe that would really show off this ingredient to its full, I make smoked haddock chowder a lot but wanted a more evening meal dish so I thought risotto, peas for a sweet hit to contrast with the smoky fish and a soft oniony backnote coming from the leeks. 


  • 1 large fillet Smoked haddock - undyed DelishFish's preferably
  • 1 Leek - cleaned and cut into fine rings
  • Risotto rice - 
  • Frozen petit pois - handful
  • Fish stock - I used Essential cuisine
  • Parsley or dill to garnish
  • Olive oil
If feeling especially decadent you could top with a poached egg 

  • In a large frying pan warm a little olive oil, gently softened the leeks without colouring
  • Next add your risotto rice and stir gently to coat the grains in the olive oil and cooking juices from the leek
  • Next add a small quantity of your fish stock, stir and gently simmer until absorded
  • Keep adding stock in small quantities and stirring until the rice is tender
  • Microwave your fish on a plate covered with cling film and a couple of drops of water - a couple of minutes should do the trick.
  • Once the rice is pretty much cooked add the frozen peas and little more stock , simmer for a few more minutes then stir in the flaked cooked fish and any juices on the plate
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve
This is lovely dish creamy in texture but with no added diary and light but satisfying, great if you are watching your figure too.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Herman - German Friendship cake

I recently was the lucky (?!) recipient of a portion of Herman, for those of you not in the know Herman is short for Herman the German Friendship cake, a sort of foodie baking equivalent of a chain letter. Basically you start off with a section of a fermenting sourdough kindly given to you by a friend or in my case, work colleague, which you then love and nuture for 10 days, stirring and feeding until its ready to be incorporated into a cake batter, they are loads of recipe variations in fact Herman even has a website. The key point being once the sourdough is ready to be baked with you split your batch and pass on to friends and so the cycle goes on. Everything you need to know is on the website.

I choose to bake the basic recipe that came with Herman which is basically a apple, cinnamon and raisin variant. There are also bread variants on the website so I might give one of those a try too.

Any body want a slice of Herman ?

Clandestine Cake Club Cook Book

I may be biased as I have a recipe in this cook book, but I think that this an absolutely beautiful book and set to be one of this years best sellers, I am so glad that the publishers haven't gone in for over egging the pictures and lots of fancy decoration, as this is a book of honest to goodness homestyle cakes. 


All Clandestine cake clubbers are avid home bakers and the recipes in the book reflect that, relatively easy recipes with creative thoughtful twists, you just know they are going to be a success and so far all the one's I have baked have been. The book has a practical wipe clean cover which is essential in my kitchen and is helpfully divided into the following sections

  • Classic Cakes
  • Victorian Cakes
  • Fruity Cakes
  • Global Cakes
  • Zesty Cakes
  • Chocolatey cakes
  • Celebration Cakes
  • Creative Cakes
There are hints and tips on icing and frostings and what to do if you have a cake wreck, all regular cake clubbers have experienced these, myself included when I dropped a cake on the way to a meeting ! the book also has the history of the cake club movement and tells you about Lynn Hill the founder.

Clandestine Cake clubs are now a world wide phenomenum, so I suggest you get out a buy yourself a copy pronto !

My recipe is featured on page 68/69 and is a Magic Bean Cake which I originally baked for a theme of "Full of Beans", in celebration of the launch of the cookbook I baked this recipe for cake club again plus a Lemon, lime and yoghurt cake as contributed by Kate Dickens on page 131.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

CCC No 12 - We Heart Cake - Joint Clandestine Cake Club and WI Meeting

South Lancashire latest cake club meeting was a first (as far as we know) for the Clandestine Cake club movement, we held our Valentine's Day meeting as a joint meeting with Buckshaw Village Womens Institute, despite only 4 bakers from the cake club attending the meeting, it was a great success with the WI members rising to baking challenge and doing us proud by baking lots of lovely cakes.

The meeting started in the traditional manner with WI business and the traditional song of Jerusalem, we were then entertained by Sue from Heaven on a Plate and fellow cake club organiser to her talk on her "one women's battle with marmalade" and making marmalade to competition standards.

We then got on with the business of the cake club meeting, after a brief introduction on what Clandestine Cake clubs are all about and the social etiquette of such meetings, we also celebrated the publication of the Clandestine Cake club cookbook and two members who have recipes in the book, each signed each others copies.

Now on to the cakes, which included from a golden syrup heart, lemon curd cake, chocolate,rum and cola cake, double chocolate cake, lemon lime yoghurt bundt and magic bean cake  and many many others. All of which were very delicious, necessitating  lots of tea and coffee to be drunk to offset the inevitable sugar high. Baking secrets were swapped and much perusal went on of the cookery book.

Buckshaw Village WI is a relatively young group both in terms of formation, being only just over 1 year old but also in its membership and fortunate enough to meet in a state of the art school in the centre of a newly built village. Everyone had a great evening and lots of cake aways were taken home to share a great cakey evening with family and friends. If you are interested in joining the WI please contact your local federation.

                                                           theWI INSPIRING WOMAN

My bakes for the evening are both featured in the Clandestine Cake Club cook book, one is my "Magic Bean Cake" recipe and the other a recipe from another cake clubber. I will be making a seperate post as a review of the book, so check this out for the magic bean cake recipe and details of this great publication.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Cheesy potato topped chilli

This is another recipe which uses Tasty Creations ready made Lancashire Cheese sauce, in need of a quick warming supper dish and not having much time to make it, I raided my stash of frozen goodies. I found a pot of Tasty Creations sauce and a couple of pots of homemade quorn chilli, so out they came, with the frugal addition of a couple of par boiled potatoes and this dish was born. Pronounced delicious by Mr Lancashire Food it certainly hits the spot on a cold winters night.

  • Tasty Creations Lancashire Cheese Sauce - thawed
  • Quorn chilli - made to this recipe but using quorn instead of mince and vegetable stock
  • 3 large white potatoes, peeled , sliced and parboiled until tender

  • Pre heat the oven to 180c
  • Place the chilli mixture in your oven proof dish, covering the whole of the dish
  • Place the drained potatoes on the top of the chilli mixture in an even layer
  • Pour oven the tasty creations sauce
  • Place in the oven and bake for approx 25 - 35 minutes until golden and bubbling
  • Serve accompanied with a fresh green salad if you are especially hungry.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Spiral Pasta with tasty creations Lancashire cheese sauce, mushrooms and parma ham

Recently here at Lancashire Food, we were approached by Tasty Creations a local company who produces ready made luxury cheese sauces from great local produce to sample their sauces. 

Tastycreations is small specialist food company based in the North West and they produce a range of premium cheese sauces using some of the excellent award winning local and British produced cheeses and specialist food ingredients. They buy their cheeses and milk from Lancashire and Cheshire, herbs from Yorkshire, onions from Lancashire, stock from Cheshire and their packaging is made in the UK. In the Lancashire Cheese sauce they use award winning DEWLAY Tasty Lancashire cheese. 

Having worked in the food industry for many years, Steven uses his culinary skills and knowledge of the specialist food and drink industry to produce a delicious selection of cheese sauces that are both convenient and versatile to use.

The sauces can be poured hot on top of chicken, fish, meat, pork, vegetables, potatoes or use as a cooking sauce to make a fish pie, pasta, lasagne, quiche, soufflĂ© or use it as a dip. The chilled sauces  take two minutes to re-heat and can also be frozen for up to three months. They have also won a Great Taste Gold award in 2012.

We have chosen to use the sauces in a couple of recipes but they would also be great alongside a steak in the case of the Garstang Blue sauce , simple fish or grilled chicken and I am sure your cauliflower cheese would be enhanced by one of these fine sauces.

Our favourite was the "Lancashire Cheese Sauce" of course, in which you could really taste the Lancashire cheese l, this was a great base sauce for this pasta dish.

  • 1 pot of Tasty Creations Lancashire Cheese Sauce
  • Fusilli pasta - suitable quantity for the number of portions you are making
  • Mushrooms - thinly sliced
  • Prosciutto or parma ham - finely sliced
  • Parmesan cheese to serve
  • A little olive oil
  • cook your pasta in boiling water for the specified time on the packet
  • Whilst the pasta is cooking, quickly fry off the mushrooms in a little oil, once cooked add the Tasty Creations sauce
  • Cook until the sauce is hot
  • Now add the ham or prosciutto
  • Serve over your drained cooked pasta, sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan to serve

Tasty Creations sauces are available from a number of outlets, details on the website.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Cheese of the Month - No 02

Double Gloucester

Karen's first Post can be found here she knocked up a great snack dish not dis-similar to my dish with a lovely Double Gloucester cheese. Karen also tells you about how this cheese is made and its history. So pop across and read what she has to say !

Double Gloucester Cheese

 Ploughman's Rarebit - Cheese and Chutney Cheese on Toast with Pickles
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