Tuesday, 22 April 2014

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2014 Birmingham, Giveaway

BBC Good Food Show Summer returns to the NEC Birmingham from 12th June - 15th June 2014. I have visited the BBC Good Food Show Winter on two occasions and have thoroughly enjoyed attending each show. There are numerous stalls, exhibitions, demonstrations and in my opinion,  is the best food show for all foodies out there and am excited to be visiting yet again this year. 

There are 7 fantastic features in the show such as live cooking in the Supertheatre by the nations loved chefs watch  John Torde and James Martin live cooking up a storm. Pick up tips and ingredients from some of the country’s top speciality producers in the Producers’ Village.


A new feature this year is Good Food Bakes & Cakes Village and be inspired by all things baking, which is one of the nations favourite pastimes. 

Visitors to this wonderful the show also gain free entry to BBC Gardeners’ World Live, packed with ideas for growing your own deliciously fresh ingredients. I am particular excited for The Summer Kitchen, a free stage hosted by Lisa Faulkner and see renowned chefs and winners from some of the nations favourite cookery programmes such as Dhruv Baker and Shelina Permalloo.

I am also very excited to offer two lucky readers of my blog a pair of tickets for the BBC Good Food Show Summer. 

To enter the giveaway, please follow the instructions on the rafflecopter bellow.

  •  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, like my Facebook Page, follow foodgloriousfoodx on Twitter and BBCGoodFoodShow on Twitter
  • All entries will be checked and verified. 
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 22.04.14 - 20.05.14
  • Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted.
  • River Street Events will dispatch the pair of tickets to two lucky winners.
  • The competition is open to UK residences only.
  • All tickets are general admission excluding Saturday.
  • Tickets do not include entry to the Supertheatre.
Please feel free to share the giveaway and good luck.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

xxx

Monday, 21 April 2014

A few questions with Andy Bates.

I was very fortunate to not only attend the Cake and Bake Show in Manchester recently but also had the opportunity to not only meet celebrity chefs but to interview one, how cool is that? I managed to catch up and ask a few questions with Andy Bates who stars in his own series on Food Network entitled Street Feasts, Street Feasts America and Street Feasts Brazil and also has a cook book Modern Twists on Classic Dishes. Andy showed the hungry crowds at the Cake and Bake show how to make a chicken and ham pie and made a twist on this classic by removing the top of the pie and topping with fresh berries. As I'm a savoury girl at heart and love to reminisce of my days in Rio, I asked a couple of questions to the pie man himself.



You have visited various countries such as Brazil and America and around the UK, whats your favourite country that you have visited and why?

It's hard to say, I'm still looking, it's a tough one, so much depends on the mood you are in. I still cant decide as I love a variety of foods.

How did you find Brazil?
Brazil, I found fantastic, my favourite place Bahia Salvador for the African influences. I went to Sao Paulo with an open mind diverse and found it to be diverse, there were lots of Italian and Japanese influences. The Amazon was very indigenous. I loved Bahia.

Did you try fejoada?
Yes, I tried  fejoada with tripe and all sorts in it.  I loved the social aspect of fejoada, I love the history of fejoada a bunch of ladies come together and spending 5 days cooking it, the dish brings the community together.

Your known as the pie man, whats your tip on making a hot water crust pastry for novices?
Take your time, don't get stressed out, relax,  have a glass of wine, have a cup of tea, put some music, go in with an open mind,  don't think you are going to conquer it first time, read the instructions/recipe. Youtube have some good step-by-step instructions and there are so many tips on hand. If you look back 15 years ago there wasn't as many instructions so it is easier to make with all the guidance.

As we are at the Cake and Bake show, what's your favourite cake?
Like with food, it's all about the mood, I never had red velvet cake before until 4-5 months ago. My favourite cake changes all the time.  I do like a Victorian sponge, a fresh Victorian sponge, something simple and something fresh would be my favourite cake. 

You have had a whirlwind experience over the last few years, what's next for you?
Who knows, I'm really grateful for the last few years. I really enjoy what I am doing and would love to continue doing this. 

Plans on a second book?
In the pipeline, lots of things in the pipeline. 

Thank you to NudgePr for arranging this interview.

xxx



Friday, 18 April 2014

Barbers cheese, review and giveaway.

I love cheese, especially strong flavoured cheese, perhaps a little too much (it's a bit like chocolate once you have a slice you just can't stop), with savoury biscuits, grapes and wine, on top of pasta dishes, in sandwiches, on top of jacket potatoes, you get the jist. When Barbers cheese asked me to make a recipe from their website, I happily obliged. For me, the cheese of choice is extra mature cheddar cheese or a vintage cheddar cheese, so was pleasantly  happy to discover that Barbers cheese is vintage reserve cheddar cheese. The flavour of this cheese is strong, rich, vintage and far unique compared to bog standard supermarket cheese that I usually purchase. The Barber family have been making farming and making cheese in Somerset since 1833 and is currently farmed on a whopping 2,500 acres to some 2,000 dairy cows. I think what helps the unique taste is that The Barber family, which is currently run by cousins Anthony, Chris, Charlie and Giles Barber, the sixth generation of the Barber family continue to use traditional cheddaring techniques.

I was sent the recipe back for the Spinach and cheese souffle and bravely tried to make a souffle (which I have never done before) and was less than pleased with the apperance although the taste was lovely, I was not happy to soley share this recipe as I did not feel the presentation of my souffle fully showed of the deliciousness of this cheese. I decided to also make the French classic Croque Monsieur recipe on their website which was absolutely amazing!!! Probably the best lunch i've eaten in 2014 so far.
Croque Monsieur

Mustard spread on bread

Barbers cheese grates on bread

Ham on top of cheese

Croque Monsieur toasting
I made the cheese and spinach souffle which although tasted nice, I do not feel looks that appeasing, it was the first time I've made souffle before, as they say practice makes perfect.
Barbers cheese

Barbers cheese mixture

Barbers cheese souffle

Souffle baked


Souffle and asparagus

The lovely people at Barbers cheese are offering one lucky reader will receive several packets of Barbers cheese.  Just follow the instructions on the rafflecopter.

  •  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, like my Facebook Page, followfoodgloriousfoodx on Twitter and Barber's cheese on Twitter
  • All entries will be checked and verified. 
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 18.04.14 - 20.05.14
  • Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted.
  • Babrber's cheese will dispatch the book to the lucky winner.
  • The competition is open to UK residences only.
Please feel free to share the giveaway and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway xxx

Disclaimer: I was sent a recipe pack from Barber's Cheese, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Prawn and chorizo pie.

I love a good ol pie, especially a pie made with a good pastry and a delicious filling. Savoury pies is a traditional British meal served regularly up and down British pubs and are especially comforting during the winter months. I also like sweet pies and regularly make a Mississippi mud pie to cater to my love of pastry and chocolate. As we are firmly in the season of Spring and looking forward to the summer months, I felt it was time to bake a pie which has summer flavours. Tart It Up by Eric Lanlard is a fantastic book for all pie and tart lovers as this cookbook contains 100 sweet and savoury recipes dedicated to the pastry. As I will shortly visit Espana over the coming weeks, I thought I would get in holiday mode with this Spanish inspired pie. Prawns reminds me of the summer months, these delicate seafood are always refreshing and paired with the flavoursome, robust flavours of chorizo and the flavoured rice makes this pie a vibrant change to the traditional pairings and also for those who have visited Spain will remind you of those sunny days. I thoroughly enjoyed not only eating but making this pie. Don't be put off by using the rice in a pie, it holds the robust flavours and I think the idea here is having a paella style pie.
Here is how my prawn and chorizo pie turned out:
Prawn and chorizo pie.

Prawn and chorizo pie baked and cut.


Prawn and chorizo mixture.

Prawn and chorizo pre bake

Prawn and chorizo prebake

Prawn and chorizo pie baked


Serves 6
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes

450g shortcrust pastry
plain flour, for dusting
butter, for greasing
200g chorizo, thickly sliced
500g tiger prawns shelled and devined (I used peeled frozen prawns)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150ml passata or tomato sauce
300g Spanish rice or long grain rice, cooked
1tsp paprika
100g fresh peas
1tsp salt
1tsp freshly ground pepper
1 egg beaten

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Grease a 26x20x4cm large pie dish or oven dish.
Roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line the dish. Roll out the remaining pastry to make the pie lid and set aside.
Put all the ingredients, except for the egg, into a bowl and stir to combine. Turn the mixture into the pie dish.
Moisten the edge of the pastry with half of the beaten egg. Drape the pastry lid on top and crimp to seal.
Brush the pastry all over with the beaten egg to glaze, then bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.

xxx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Cinnamon and Almond Cake

When thinking about food, I spend the majority of my time thinking of new recipes, looking at new cookbook releases which look so appealing or feeling guilty that I have so many books that I do not cook from. Nigellissima from Nigella Lawson cookbook falls in the latter category. I have only cooked a handful of dishes from this book, including The Italian tray bake  which is my most viewed blog post.  I probably bake cakes once a month and as I am reminiscing over my Italian city break I decided to make a cake from this book. Cinnamon and almond cake is indexed under Italian Christmas section and I am aware that we are no where near Christmas but the cake looked so delicious I thought I would attempt to make it in the sunny Midlands. Now, I've adapted the recipe to my liking, the recipe used a large amount of eggs, no less than 8, but I felt that this was too excessive and a bit of a waste, so I used 4 eggs. Also, I've never made a flourless cake before and wasn't brave enough to try this at this time, so I added 125g self-raising flour. I liked the strong almond flavour that came with every bite, I couldn't really taste the cinnamon, perhaps if I were to make this next time I would increase the amount of cinnamon next time. I also served a slice of this moreish cake with a healthy helping of rum & raisin ice cream:
Here is how my cinnamon and almond cake turned out:
Cinnamon and almond cake.

Cinnamon and almond cake.



Cinnamon and almond cake.











8 egg whites (I used 4 whole eggs) 
150g caster sugar
Few drops almond extract
Zest of 1 clementine or ½ orange
125 mls mild and light olive oil, plus more for greasing tin
150g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
100g flaked almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
approx 2 tsp icing sugar to decorate

I added 125g self-raising flour as I was worried about a flourless cake.

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 23cm springform cake pan (or use a special baking spray) and line the base with parchment paper.
In a clean, grease-free bowl. Whisk the egg whites until they are opaque and start to hold their shape, then slowly add the sugar, whisking until it’s all incorporated and the mixture is thick and shiny.
Add the almond extract and the clementine or orange zest. Then, in about 3 goes each, alternately whisk in the oil and the ground almonds (mixed with the baking powder) until they are both smoothly incorporated into the meringue.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, then mix together the flaked almonds and cinnamon and sprinkle them over the top of the cake.
 Bake for 35-40 minutes (though start checking at 30), by which time the top should have risen and be set and the almonds become golden; and a cake tester should come out clean, barring the odd almond crumb.
Remove from the oven and let the cake cool, in its tin, on a wire rack. Once it is no longer hot, spring open the sides of the tin, but don’t try to remove the cake from the base until properly cool.
When you are ready to serve, push the icing sugar through a small strainer and over the cake to create a snowy effect, and take to the table.

xxx

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Cake and Bake Show Manchester 2014

The Cake and Bake Show returned to Manchester for the second year and was held at Manchester Exhibition Centre. I did not visit Cake and Bake last year but after reading last years reviews on various blogs and seeing the numerous cake pictures, I was determined to go this year. I walked into Manchester Exhibition centre to large crowds of men, women and children holding onto goodie bags and promptly made my way into the arena to visit the variety of stalls. I was pleasantly pleased that the stalls included a variety of not only sweet treats but also there were several bread and stalls selling savoury goodies - there was a balance between sweet and savoury.
There were 3 demonstration theatres which were free to watch, the first being The Competition Theatre where on Saturday featured baking challenges from Mich Turner and Peter Sidwell, alongside this years Great British Bake Off contestants and during each show 2 members of the audience were chosen to bake alongside these baking experts, no pressure there then!
The second theatre, the Cake Theatre featured demonstrations from headlining chefs making  sweet treats including John Waite, Eric Lanlard and Rosemary Shrager. I watched the key lime pie demonstration by Eric Lanlard and he made this sweet pie look super simple to make and it looked so luxurious with all the condensed cream.
The third theatre The Baking Theatre shared chefs who have a great knowledge of bread making and savoury baking. I watched Andy Bates demonstration of chicken and pie which would make a lovely weekend evening meal.
I also bumped into a couple of the celebrity chefs who were very friendly.


There was such a large variety of stalls and one of the stalls to really catch my eye, was known other than the Primrose Bakery stall where the co-owner of this famous shop, Martha Stewart was there and was happy to sign copies of her popular baking books. I tried one of her chocolate cupcakes which was simply divine, I must pop into one of their branches when I'm next in London.


I was delighted with the large variety of bread stalls, as I'm more of a savoury person and can gorge on bread all day long, the selection of bread was amazing. I discovered a stall that sold beautiful, large loaves with some unique flavour combinations such as chilli, lime and coriander and garlic and herb stromboli.

I watched the first of two demonstrations, the first being from Andy Bates who is known for his Street Feasts series on Food Network. He showed the audience to make chicken and ham pie, using chicken thighs for extra flavour and he decorated the top of the pie with berries (once removing the top part), a unique twist to a British Classic. I interviewed Andy after the demo and will share this in a later blog post.

As it is a cake and bake show, there was the opportunity to enter into a cake competitions and there certainly are some very talented bakers, sculptors and decoraters.

A stall that really caught my eye was Cameo Cakes who offered a large range of blingtastic cake accessories, decorations and even none cakey stuff like key rings (which my cousin brought).

As a big fan of chocolates I was blown away with the posh and decadent chocolates from master chocolatier Anneesh Popat, how stunning are his chocolates?

To another master chocolatier Paul Young had a very decadent stall, features beautiful flavours of chocolates I was looking forward to (hopefully) bumping into Paul even brought my book for him to sign but must of just missed him. These chocolates were so tempting, it was difficult to resist.



Elise's May brownies had some sweet treats, I didn't buy anything this year, but hopefully she will return next year so I can sample some of her goodies.

Perhaps my favourite stall was Teahive  who have their own shop in Chorlton. The salted caramel chocolate cake was AMAZING!!! I've never tried anything so rich and addictive in all of my baking years. I loved this cake so much and when I'm next in Manchester will have to visit this tea room.


Solreno were selling chocolate based liquiors which my cousin (as I was driving) stated tasted lovely and sweet.

If you love fudge, Toms fudge would be the stall for you, carefully handcrafted fudge with sublime flavours are perfect for all the fudgeaholics out there.

Last but not least, I purchased a selection of donuts, Belgian buns and cakes from Sprinkle king.

Disclaimer: I attended the Cake and Bake show on a Press Pass, although all thoughts and opinions were my own.

xxx

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Big Nanny Caribbean restaurant

I visited Big Nanny's Caribbean restaurant back in January this year. As a lover of Caribbean food, Big Nanny's restaurant is one of the more popular Caribbean restaurants in Birmingham and the owner, Veda has appeared on Britain's Best Dish and opened this restaurant shortly after. Big Nanny's is Birmingham City Council official Caribbean caterers so I knew that the food would be delicious. I was meaning to visit this restaurant for some time but never actually got round to it. As a big fan of Groupon, I was pleasantly pleased to discover there was a deal of a two-course Caribbean meal for two people at Big Nanny's £16 (60% off) which is an absolute bargain and a deal that I promptly booked on a Saturday.
The restaurant is situated off the main road, down a side alley in the Jewelry Quarter Area of the city and is intimate with seating for 40. Upon arrival we were promptly greeted by a waiter and shown to our table.
                                     

I love saltfish fritters and previously blogged about them and share these beauties on my Facebook page, so I promptly ordered these for my starter which costs £4.95, my friend ordered Caribbean fish and chips £4.95. I also ordered the main at the same time as I dislike a long wait between courses. We waited for around 30 minutes for our starters, which I consider to be long, especially if you are starving. When my saltfish fritters finally arrived I was impressed with the presentation and the fritters looked like they were cooked in a tempura batter and came with a sweet chili dip. The saltfish fritters were crispy on the outside, the fish tender on the inside and had a slight kick to it. My friend added that the Caribbean fish and chips were delicious (I still don't understand why you would order fish and chips at a Caribbean restaurant!)

For our mains we waited even longer than 30 minutes, perhaps around 40 minutes, which led me to think perhaps there were only 1 or 2 people cooking the dishes which I did not think was acceptable for a Saturday service. I ordered the Caribbean pork curry £11.95 (Diced pieces of tender pork in a rich sauce infused with ginger) which was served with plain boiled white rice, alongside a side dish of fried plantain £1.50. My friend ordered the Beef stew (Beef with red kidney beans slowly cooked in a rich coconut cream sauce with dumplings), alongside a portion of boiled food (yams, banana and dumplings).


As the food took forever to arrive we received a complimentary side order of stewed cabbage which was some conciliation for the long wait. The pork was moist, tender cooked in a rich and flavoursome sauce, the rice was fluffy and of a generous portion and the fried plantain was crisp, sweet and a firm favourite. My friend reported the stew beef and boiled food to be tasty.

The Groupon deal did not include desserts but I love to try Caribbean flavoured puddings and desserts, but not a big fan of the calarofic content. For my pudding/dessert (depending upon where you are from in the UK) I stuck to sampling the best coffee in the world, blue mountain coffee (£4.00) which was absolutely amazing,  the aroma and taste was out of this world. My friend ordered a full fat, decadent, Caribbean chocolate rum cake with cream (£4.00) which I did sample a tbsp and was blown away with the rum content and richness of the cake, simply divine.


My food at Big Nanny's

Overall: A friendly restaurant situated on the outskirts of the city centre with delicious Caribbean food, full of flavour and hearty portions sizes. I would visit again, but only with the assurance that there would not be such a significant waiting time.

Positives: All the food ordered was delicious, the quality of the food can not be faulted.
Negatives: The ridiculously long wait for food which is not acceptable for a Saturday night service.

Big Nannys Caribbean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

xxx