Sunday, 31 May 2015

Lancashire Food loves.....

As we go out and about in Lancashire (and sometimes a little further too !) we come across great places to eat and or products to buy, we are also in the fortunate position that sometimes we are also sent or given products to try, so we have decided that every so often we will write a post about some great things we have come across.

The selection will be pretty random and will cover all sorts of different things, so here goes, let us know what you think in the comments and whether you would like to see more of this type of post its a bit like instagram but in words and pictures.

A few weeks ago we were kindly sent a selection St Helen's Goat Milks and cheeses to sample and very pleased with them we were too, I made several recipes with the mature goats cheese and was very impressed with the flavour being mature but not overtly goaty like a lot of the mature goat cheeses can be. We particularly enjoyed the goats butter as well which has a mild creamy flavour and worked well in cake baking as well as spread liberally on fresh home-made bread.


For many years I have been a subscriber to Country Living Magazine and I a always pleased to see Lancashire venues and producers being featured, in last months magazine there was an offer alongside an article on Gazegill Organics for their Moo box. Gazegill Organics is a organic farmstead in the stunning hill country of Lancashire and one of the only places in the county which supplies raw milk and cheeses. I have previously bought meats and cheese from the farm at Clitheroe Food Festival and they also regularly stand some of the other farmers market in Lancashire, so snapped up the opportunity to buy the Moo box at a discounted price and what amazing value it was.

The moo box contains raw milk, cream, 4 types of cheese, 12 sausages, beef olives, 4 x minced beef, 4 x diced steak, braising steak and a huge roasting joint, fabulous value and fabulous quality meats.

The box filled the freezer and will be feeding us for quite sometime, it has fabulous flavour and comes highly recommended.


The Bees Country Kitchen is another recent discovery for us, a great addition to the Chorley food scene, every day the talented team create hearty wholesome food on their funky market stall. Great prices abound and so you can enjoy their delicious food at home they also have a "pantry" or kits ready for you to whip up a wholesome treat. I have tried the brownies and the Tuscan bean soup and both where a great success. You can find them on Chorley market and also at various pop occasions including Crafty Vintage, they also provide an outside catering service too.



Beyond Bread  - London - on a recent trip to the big smoke (that's London for those not in the know) we popped in to the lovely friendly Beyond Bread in Fitzrovia for a quick coffee and cake before catching our train home. This totally Gluten free bakery is a great find and the breads and cakes delicious.



Mahlab- a recent spice discovery for us, used a lot in Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cookery, this pale cream coloured spice has a bright cherry almond flavour, with a citrussy edge, I am looking forward to baking with this once the sun comes out. I purchased mine from Steenbergs.

                                           Mahlab Specialist Arabic Spice - 45g


Ayni Chocolate discovered at BOB (Best of Britannia) when it was hosted in Preston City centre recently, this local paleo chocolatier hales from Lancashire and is very allergy friendly, gluten, diary, nut, egg, grain, sesame seed, soy and refined sugar free this is chocolate for all, available mail order.


We also paid a visit to the foodie capital of Cumbria - Cartmel, home to L'Enclume Simon Rogan's flagship restaurant, we weren't however dining there. We were in the area to visit the Holker Hall Garden Festival and decided to make an overnight of it and we weren't disappointed. We booked into Broughton House B and B situated in the stunning Cartmel Valley, which comes very highly recommended its more like stopping at a friends than staying in a B and B and the Cate made us so so welcome, the breakfast was excellent.


Eating at the Cavendish Arms - Cartmel for our evening meal and very good it was too (book just in case), this traditional pub situated in the village centre served some delicious dishes and the prices were very reasonable.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Beef and leek pan haggerty

I have been meaning to write about Pan Haggerty for a while, this northern dish is a cross between a cottage pie and a hot pot. Frugal, delicious and warming its a great recipe popular with all the family, pan haggerty comes in several varieties including a vegetarian version of just potatoes, onions and cheese.

This recipe came about as I wanted to use the last of the leeks from the garden, so I set about creating a twist on this classic Northumberland dish. Its an easy dish and showcases simple wholesome ingredients.

What you need
  • Minced beef - suitable quantity for number of people you are feeding
  • Leeks - cleaned and finely chopped
  • Beef stock - I used Essential Cuisine
  • Thyme - fresh freshly picked
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cornflour or gravy thickener
  • Brown sauce 
  • White potatoes - peeled and finely sliced
  • Cheddar cheese - grated
  • A little rapeseed oil
What you do

  • Heat a little oil in frying pan and fry off the minced beef until coloured , break up the mince in to small pieces, once well coloured then add the leeks to the pan.
  • Continue to cook with the beef and leeks until the leeks are softened, add some of the freshly picked thyme, brown sauce and beef stock to the pan and bring to a simmer.
  • Stir and simmer for 10 minutes or so then thicken the gravy to your desired consistency and allow to cool whilst you prepare your potatoes.
  • Slice the potatoes very finely and start the dish by placing a layer of potatoes in the bottom of your dish, then pour on  a layer of the mince leek mixture.
  • Then sprinkle with a little grated cheese, then another layer of potatoes, continue with mince, cheese and finish with another layer of potatoes and a sprinkling of cheese.
  • Pre heat your oven to 180c
  • Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or so until the potatoes are soft, remove the foil and bake until golden and slightly crispy on top.
  • Serve with a green vegetables

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Pink Lady Food Photography Awards 2015

We can formally announce that we have been awarded 2nd Prize in the Food Bloggers category of the Pink Lady Food Photography Awards 2015, with our image "Roasted Tomatoes" as below.

We were invited to the Champagne reception at The Mall Galleries London for the awards ceremony, at that point we didn't know that the image had won a prize, we had a great time meeting other foodies and photographers and also indulged in a little celeb spotting too. (Michel Roux, David Loftus, Jay Rayner, Harry Eastham, Valentine Warner and many more...)

London was dressed in her finest due to the General election and the celebrations for VE day, so we took the opportunity to visit most of the tourist spots such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, London Eye, etc given that it has been several years since we last visited the big smoke. 

The Food Blogger Category

The finalist images are currently all on show in the Mall Galleries on the Mall, near Admiralty Arch until Sunday 10th May, we are in the Thread needle Space.

The  all Northern winners #Yorkshire #Lancashire #Cumbria of the Food Blogger category

The image originally featured in a blog post last year for a rocket, tomato and feta salad and was taken on the fly as the tomatoes were cooling after leaving the oven, the shot is handheld and with a point and shoot camera.

Certificate presented by Pink Lady Food Photography Awards

Monday, 4 May 2015

Mike Bryan of The Bees Country Kitchen - Chorley Market

Our featured foodie this month is Mike Bryan, aka as the hotpot man of The Bees Country Kitchen who recently opened an outlet on Chorley market, serving up proper wholesome home-made dishes to the people of Chorley. As well as providing an outside catering service ,The Bees Country kitchen also supply a great selection of make at home kits (soups, brownies, salad dressing etc.) and can create fabulous gift hampers for your friends, relations and business contacts.

The emphasis is is on fresh local and seasonal produce being used to create tasty affordable food with a healthy twist, so pop along and enjoy one of their dishes. More details can be found on facebook and twitter .

  • What is your favourite cookery or food book or publication ?
My bashed up old copy of ‘Practical Cookery’ which I used as a student at Scarborough technical College in the early 80's. A great source of proper ‘from scratch’ recipes.

  • What sentence sums up Lancashire Food to you ?
Hearty, healthy, wholesome and the best produce on our doorstep.

  • If you weren't doing what you do now, what would you like to be ?
A jazz DJ in a dingy basement dive in New Orleans. Music is my other great passion and you can hear my ’Soul Moves’ show on Chorley FM every Thursday night from 10 pm to midnight. We’re hoping that we’ll expand the business into outside events like music festivals next year.

  • Which piece of kit could you not do without ?
My set of Sabatier knives with riveted rose wood handles which I've used since 1982!

  • Who would join you at your ultimate dinner party and why?
Nigella – the ultimate domestic goodness other than my wife of course

Levi Roots – a fellow foodie/muso

Craig Bancroft (Northcote MD) – for his amazing wine knowledge

Phil Maile (Chairman – Ludlow Food and Drink Festival) – in charge of our favourite foodie event and an all round nice chap

Karen Brady – for some top business tips

  • What advice would you give to your younger self?
Make sure you pass your maths o level!

  • Describe your style in three words
Informal, homespun, classic

  • What was your latest foodie gadget purchase ?
A wooden lemon squeezer for our home-made lemonade

  • What is your greatest achievement to date ?
After 33 years in hospitality, finally opening my own venture

  • What is the worst mistake you have made ?
Not doing my masters in hospitality straight after my first degree

  • Tell us a secret about yourself ? may be something we wouldn't expect !
I had a two year DJ residency at Sankeys nightclub in Manchester

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Peanut butter, oaty raisin cookies

Who doesn't love a cookie ?

These cookies are based on a recipe in River Cottage "Light and Easy", with a few tweaks as I didn't have all the required ingredients as recommended. The resultant cookies are soft and tender and not overtly nutty or sweet, great for an afternoon treat and easily whipped up in a flash.

Ideal for snacking on whilst having a brew and a quick browse of a magazine, low in sugar and gluten free, whats not to like.

What you need

  • 200g smooth peanut butter
  • 50g Honey
  • 1 egg - free range please
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 70g raisins
  • 100g porridge oats 

Makes approx 12 cookies

What you do

  • Pre heat the oven to 170c, prepare your tray either line with baking parchment or use a silicone sheet if you have one
  • Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until you have a firm stiff chunk dough
  • Roll dessert spoon sized balls with slightly moist hands, place on baking tray and press down to make a cookie shaped round
  • Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until golden , cool initially on the tray and then gingerly transfer to a wire rack to cool fully
  • Store in an airtight tin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...