Sunday, 31 May 2015

Summer Berry Tart

Summer is almost here and I am so happy for that (although at the time of writing this post, the weather is glum). My local market is selling berries at a ridiculously cheap price, alongside some wonderful imported exotic fruit. This Summer Berry tart does take a little bit of time and I recommend that you allow the custard to fully cool, unlike me with my impatience and eagerness to try, hence it being slightly runny. Besides this little mishap, the taste of this Summer Berry Tart is phenomenal: crispy light pastry, vanilla custard and glorious summer fruits, different textures and flavours with every bite. Don't believe me, have a go at this for yourself. 
Summer Berry Tart

Summer Berry Tart
Recipe for Summer Berry Tart, taken from Antony Wild Afternoon Tea. 

Serves 6 - 8
For the Pastry
185g plain  flour
116 g butter, diced
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp chilled water

For the Filling
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml milk
150ml double cream
800g summer berries
4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
2 tbsp raspberry liqueur.

1) To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolk with the chilled water and sprinkle over the dry ingredients. Mix to a make a firm dough.
2) Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for few seconds, until smooth. Wrap in a clear film (plastic wrap) and chill for 30 minutes.
3) Roll out the pastry and use to line a 23cm/9inch round flan tin. Wrap in clear film and chill.
4) Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6. Prick the base of the pastry, line it with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and bake on a tray for 15 minutes. Remove the baking parchment and beans and bake for 10 minutes more. Leave to cool.
5) To make the filling, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour, flour and vanilla together in a large bowl.
6) Pour the milk into a pan, and heat gently until almost boiling. Slowly pour the milk on to the egg mixture, whisking all the time.
7) Pour the custard back from the bowl into the pan and stir constantly over a low heat, until it has thickened. Work quickly or lumps will form. Return to a clean mixing bowl, cover the surface with a piece of clear film and set aside to cool.
8) Whip the cream until thick then fold into the cooled custard. Spoon the custard into the pastry (pie shell) and spread out evenly.
9) Wash and dry the fruit, then arrange it on top of the custard.
10) In a small pan, gently heat the recurrent jelly and liqueur together until melted. Allow to cool, then brush liberally over the surface of the fruit. Serve the tart within 3 hours of assembling.

I am sharing this with Dom over at Belleau Kitchen who hosts a monthly challenge Simply Eggcellent. This months theme is anything goes, which means my tart can be shared in this fab challenge.

I'm also sharing my Summer Berry Tart to Perfect Patisserie Challenge hosted by The Crafty Larder and Baking Queen 74. The pastry is homemade, which is a perfect entry to this challenge.


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Foodies Festival at Canon Hill Park

I'm quite seasoned at attending food events and have done so, several times over the last few years, but I've only attended one outdoor food festival before which was also in Canon Hill Park (Birmingham). This experience was disastrous. However, that was some years ago, so when the PR team at Foodies Festival asked me whether I would like to be one of their official food bloggers and also offer VIP tickets, I had to look on their website and social media sites to see their previous events. After seeing mouth waters photos and reviewing other bloggers who have attended this festival in other parts of the country, I promptly stated yes to being an official blogger and attending the event. I was intrigued with Foodies Festival approach to food: Pop up restaurants (something that you do not always get at other food shows), Chefs corner (featuring top local chefs and again something you do not see at other food shows), Masterclasses and Live music. I was expecting good things on the Saturday and was hoping that the weather would be ok, which thankfully it was or may have ruined my day. 

I headed straight to the VIP area, you get to chill in a separate tent where there is plenty of seating. VIP's also receive a goodie bag, receive  a glass of fizzy champagne and on the Saturday there was a discount on glasses of champagnes, how fabulous darling!

Here are some of my fave photos:
The Chefs stage
Unfortunately Glynn Purnell's show was fully booked (although I arrived at 12:45 noon to book) so was unable to watch his show, however I was able to still take a picture with the headlining chef after his demo. I watched a demo by head chef at James Wong (Chung Ying), crispy fried chicken chow mien and salt and pepper squid. James shared that he wanted to share his dishes with the audience, although he was informed he was not allowed to. I (and others) happily tried a salt and pepper squid pieces :-) 

There was a series of  masterclass, which again was quickly fully booked, I was able to see the end of a confectionery masterclass by Fiona Sciolti and was able to take a quick nibble on some sweet and moreish confectionery, although I was unsure what it was.

Food lovers especially street food lovers, they was such an array of cuisines. Traditional fish and chips, Morrocan mezze, Jerk chicken, Pulled Pork stands, Hungarian cuisine and Indian delights. I was in my element and hungry just thinking about it! I adore street food!

There was a selection of pop up restaurants and bars with some well-known restaurants making an appearance such as Jamies Italian, Cider House and Wing Wah.

For those who like cake, sauces and bread, there was a number of stands covering this. I picked up some beautiful bread, cake and a quiche stand selling heavenly vibrant quiche fillings. 

Disclaimer: I received VIP passes to attend Foodies Festival and was not required to write a positive review, all opinions are my own. As you can see from my pictures, I had a wonderful time. My only wish for next year is that there will be a larger chefs and master chef demo section.


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Classic Cobb Salad plus Giveaway.

I'm all for a good salad, but it has to be filling. I'm not one for a plate of lettuce, tomatoes and spring onions. How boring. Instead, I like my salads to be filled with a variety of ingredients, appealing to the eye, a combination of meat and leafy vegetables with some dairy thrown in the mix. I've been trying to have more salad, mainly at lunchtime, as I can easily get into a repetition or a cycle for a better word of eating the same sort of lunch until I become tired of it. I do hope to grow from liking salad to loving salad and for it to be included as the main show for my evening meal and not as a small starter a prerequisite of better things to come Whilst I'm getting there, I spent an evening gathering some of my salad books (it seems kind of weird to have several salad books but not love salad, but that's being a cook book addict) and writing down some recipes that I must try in Spring-Summer 2015. Harry Eastwood's A Salad For All Seasons, came out on top with the variety of salad recipes to try and this Classic Cobb recipe coming a resounding top. Not sure what a Classic Cobb salad, well Harry states that this salad originated in California in the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant and is a combination of greens, eggs, chicken and cheese). 
I thoroughly enjoyed the different flavours, textures and the colourful presentation of the salad which was served with a beautiful salad dressing. My version of this recipe is slightly different as I did not have all the ingredients at hand, however it still taste scrumptious. I used my trusted OXO Good Grips Salad Dresser. Dressings made in this salad shaker can last up to 3 days (perfect for salads in the following days) in the fridge and makes a fashionable to your kitchen table. 
Here is how my version of the Classic Cobb Salad.
Classic Cobb Salad

Classic Cobb Salad

Classic Cobb Salad
Recipe for Classic Cobb Salad
440 Calories per portion
2 1/2 of your five a day

Serves 6
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
1 medium avocado cut into squares
salt and pepper, to taste
3 large eggs, boiled for 7 minutes
200g streaky smoked bacon salad
2 onions
2 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp vegetable oil
8 medium, ripe tomatoes on the vine
6 handfuls romaine lettuce, washed and roughly torn
6 handfuls watercress leaves torn from the stem
200g roasted chicken meat, roughly torn
100g mature cheddar cheese, shaved with a potato peeler

For the dressing
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 small garlic cloves, minces
4 tbsp walnut oil
a good pinch of salt.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a salad shaker (I use Oxo Good Grips) and give a good shake. Taste and season if needed.
Squeeze the 1/2 lemon over the avocado chunks and toss to coat. Season well with salt and pepper. Peel the eggs and roughly chop them.
Fry the bacon in a large, dry frying pan. Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Lightly wipe the pan with paper but don't ah it.
Next toss the onion slices in the flour. Heat the vegetable oil in the pan and fry the onion slices over a high heat until golden and crisp all over. Set aside.
Cut the tomatoes across the waist and scoop out the seeds and middle with a teaspoon. Roughly chop the flesh and discard the seeds.
Toss the leaves in half the salad dressing and arrange at the bottom of your serving platter. Next, add the seasoned avocado, followed by the tomatoes, chicken, bacon, chopped eggs, fried onions and cheese. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over and serve. When helping yourself, make sure you dig in and get a bit of everything.

The lovely people at Oxo are giving one lucky reader a Salad Dressing Shaker. I for one will be lost without mine and you certainly need this product as the Summer months are upon us. To be in with a chance of winning this, follow the instructions.

  • Follow the instructions on the rafflecopter widget.
  • Join my blog and leave a comment (click on the left hand corner of the site and join using Google friend connector. This is an ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT.
  • For additional entries, follow me on Instragram, Google Plus, Facebook ,  Twitter and follow OXO on Twitter
  • All entries will be checked and verified.
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 24.05.15 - 21.06.15
  • Winners will need to respond within 3 working days.
  • Oxo will dispatch the products
  • Please feel free to share the giveaway.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

BBC Good Food Show Summer Ticket Giveaway.

It's Back. BBC Good Food Show Summer is back in the heart of Midlands between 11th June and 14th June at the NEC arena. This will be my fourth year that I have attended and on every occasion, whether it's Summer or the Winter shows, I have been inspired by the demonstrations, the recipes and  the stalls. If you have never been before, take a look at my previous blog posts BBCGFS Summer 2014, BBCGFS Winter pt 1 and pt 2. This year is no exception and luckily for readers of Food Glorious Food, I have five pairs of tickets to giveaway, which I am sure you are ecstatic about being in food heaven. The Supertheatre is back with top chefs including: James Martin (one of my favourite chefs), Tom Kerridge, Mary Berry and Michel Roux Jr. The Summer Kitchen will be a combination of Bakes and Cakes and Eat well with new chefs Hemsley and Hemsely taking to the stage. The interview stage is where you can ask all your favourite food questions to your foodie heroes such as Andy Bates, Glynn Purnel and Peter Sidwell.

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, follow the instructions below.

  • Follow the instructions on the rafflecopter widget.
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  • For additional entries follow me on Instragram, Google Plus, follow me on Twitter
  • All entries will be checked and verified.
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 19.05.15 -29.05.15
  • Winners will need to respond within 3 working days.
  • BBC GFS will dispatch the tickets.
  • All tickets are general admission 
  • Tickets do not include entry to the Supertheatre or for Saturday entry .
  • Please feel free to share the giveaway. 
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Saturday, 16 May 2015

Sea Bass with Coriander and Chilli with Min Frire.

I remember Shelina Permalloo from winning Masterchef 2012, her vibrant, colourful and exotic flavours helped her win one of the most revered cookery show on TV. I've been following her beautiful cookery dishes on her social media channel and when I saw her book on offer at The Works in January, I flicked through it and immediately purchased it. Sunshine On a Plate has been sitting on my book shelf for the last 4 or so months but with me attempting to improve on my cooking, I need to challenge myself with new genres. I will be of course, continuing with my love of Jamaican and Caribbean food, but will expand on other less familiar cuisines to me such as Mauritian, Persian and Korean with the view to share these on my blogs. Now, back to this recipe, the Sea Bass with Coriander and Lime was one of the first recipes I bookmarked. There was something so summery about this fish (if you purchase or own her book you will see the stunning photography) and as the weather gets warmer, I am craving fish and lighter dishes. I tweaked this recipe as I did not have any fresh coriander, but for me it still worked. The sea bass was beautifully cooked, tender and lightly spiced, all the flavour complimented each other. I chose to serve this with Min Frire, a vibrant, fiery and moreish Chinese inspired side dish. Noodles will never be the same. Trust me. 

Sea Bass

Min Frire

Sea Bass and Min Frire.
Recipe for Sea Bass with Min Frire.
Sea Bass with Coriander and Chilli
1 X 1 kg whole sea bass, gutted and scaled
1/2 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt

For the dressing
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp unrefined light muscovado sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp olive oil

1) Preheat the oven to gas mark 5.
2) Clean the sea bass, wiping it inside and out the kitchen paper. Use a sharp knife to gently score the fish with 3-4 diagonal cuts on both sides. Stuff the inside of the fish with the fresh coriander.
3) Mix together the chillies, cumin seeds, olive oil and  salt and rub this mixture all over the outside of the flesh. Place the fish on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. The skin should crisp up nicely as the fish is not covered.
4) Check if the fish is cooked - the flesh should be opaque and feel firm to the touch. Return to the oven for 5 minutes for necessary.
5) Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Once the fish is cooked, remove the fillets using two spoons and drizzle a little dressing over each portion.

Min Frire
8 Bundles dried egg noodles
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 white cabbage, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into matchsticks
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic chives

1) Cook the dried noodles in boiling water according to the packet instructions, until just cooked or al dente. Drain and toss through with the sesame oil to prevent the noodles from sticking. Set aside.
2) Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, add the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minutes until fragrant. Add the cabbage and carrots cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent anything from burning at the bottom of the wok.
3) Add the cooked noodles, soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir0fry for another 2 minutes, making sure all the noodles are mixed with the vegetables and have taken on the colour from the soy sauce. Remove from the heat, toss through the garlic chives and serve immediately.


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Hotel Chocolat: Large Chocolat Dipping Adventure Giveaway.

I adore chocolate and I know you do too. I think the people working at Hotel Chocolat know how much I adore and how much my readers adore Hotel Chocolat products, hence they regularly offer me and you guys the opportunity to sample their beautiful products (that's what I like to think). Hotel Chocolat have a selection names "Superhereos" which are in fact, top rated and most popular chocolates on sale. This range includes:  Eton Mess, The Brownie, Classic Champagne Truffles and Cocoa Beer, he Chocolate Biscuit Tin and Iconic: including Large Chocolate Dipping Adventure and The Sleekster Everything. I was asked whether I wanted to review a product and I chose the Large Chocolate Dipping Adventure (retailing at £35), however with an impending holiday to Jamaica (where I want to look my best), I decided to offer a giveaway for all you lovely readers. The Hotel Chocolate Dipping Adventure will appeal to all the chocoholics out there, a combination of milk, dark, white and caramel chocolate pots with fruit, nuts and biscuits to dip into this chocolicious delight. Described as the perfect entertainment for dinner parties, friends and family, this is the perfect thing to get out after a dinner party say, or when you are having family time.
To be in with a chance of winning this fabulicious prize, follow the instructions below.
  • Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter
  • Leave a comment on my blog (This Is An Essential Requirement). For additional entries, follow me on Instragram, like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, Google + and follow Hotel Chocolat on Twitter
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  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 14.05.15 -14.06.15
  • Winners will need to respond within 7 days.
  • Hotel Chocolat will dispatch the items.
  • The competitions is open to UK residents only. 
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Saturday, 9 May 2015

Olive It with Omar Allibhoy

I was lucky enough to be invited to Olive It event last month, with top Spanish chef, Omar Allibhoy. I never heard of Olive It prior to receiving the email from the PR company promoting this event, but after doing some thorough research, I was more than excited to reply yes and attend the event, hosted at Becketts Farm, Birmingham. Olive It is an EU funded project which aims at promoting and celebrating olives; their versatility and how easy it is to in-cooperate olives into every day meals.
 I have really only eaten olives in restaurants with some crusty bread and on occasion in a Greek feta salad at home, so I was excitingly looking forward to expanding my knowledge on the diversity of olives. Unfortunately, I arrived a little late to the demo (thanks to the M6 motorway) so I missed Omar showing the rest of the students how to make candied pitted olives and cherries in a sweet wine sauce. I know what you are thinking, olives in a dessert sound unusual but they were good and Omar and another chef went through the process of making this unique dessert. Once our desserts were made and carefully put in the fridge it was off for our main course: Queen olive-stuffed meatballs with tomato and olive sauce.  This dish was an eye opener for me; I'm almost an expert in making meatballs, but I loved the method of stuffing the olives inside the meatballs alongside adding the meatballs to the sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed making and eating this, whilst I nibbled on some beautiful European olives. Whilst the meatballs were resting we made the coarse pate, of mixed olives, manchego cheese, and pistachios which we served with fresh crusty bread. The food cooked was delicious and I can't wait to try out more olive based recipes like this at home. There are so many recipes to try and chose why not have a look at the menu.
Here are a few snaps from my time at the Olive It event.

Dessert in the making.

Ingredients for meatballs. 
Meatballs in the making. 

Meatballs pre-cook.

Meatballs cooking. 

Ingredients for the tapenade. 


Feasting of my labour. 

Meatballs cooking. 

As you can see from all my pictures I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Olive It event,  take a look on their website as there may be an event near you soon.

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this event (which I am incredibly grateful), as always all opinions are my own. 

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