Eat well - travel often

Month: October 2013

Holiday Gems – Barcelona Blogger Challenge

Holiday Gems – Barcelona Blogger Challenge

The Challenge is simple: write a blog post about my ideal itinerary for 4 days in the Catalonian capital city of Barcelona. Who would I take with me? Where would I go? What would I do? What makes my schedule so spectacular that Holiday Gems would be crazy not to […]

What’s your favourite sandwich?

What’s your favourite sandwich?

Recently I was at The Cake and Bake show and one of the stalls was the well known jam makers Duerr’s.  Duerr’s is the oldest family owned jam maker in England, making quality preserves to their family recipes for over 130 years   Whilst chatting with […]

Sunday Soup – Roast Pepper and Tomato

Sunday Soup – Roast Pepper and Tomato

It’s Sunday and as usual when we stay at my father-in-laws for the weekend I like to make a soup in the afternoon.  We usually have a roast Sunday lunch so tea time we just have soup and sandwich or roll and butter.

This week I bought some of those long red peppers that usually sell for £2.00 for two in a packet but I got them at the end of the evening Friday for £0.20.  I bought three packs and today put three of the peppers into roast for the basis of my soup.

I roasted the peppers drizzled with olive oil and filled with chopped tomatoes (home grown so free) and chopped garlic, salt and pepper.  They roasted in the oven at 160o for about 45 minutes then turned up to 200o for 15 minutes to caramelize the edges.

To start the soup I used the oil from the pan of peppers to gently fry the onions, carrots, rainbow chard stems (chard from the allotment) and when they started to brown I added the tomatoes chopped up, the peppers chopped up and the rainbow chard.

I added water and let the mixture simmer until the carrots were tender then seasoned with some chilli paste from Mexico, tomatoe puree, salt&pepper and let it continue to simmer for about half an hour.

 

A quick wizz up with the stick blender and a delicous bowl of nutritious, tasty food which didn’t cost very much at all.  We had it for tea with bread and butter and FIL has two portions for his freezer for another day.

Add a glass of red wine and the perfect way to finish the weekend!

Asda Butcher’s Selection Chicken in a Bag – Great for Leftovers

Asda Butcher’s Selection Chicken in a Bag – Great for Leftovers

Asda have a range of chickens in store at the moment in their Butchers Selection.  The chickens have a seasoning on each one such as Zesty Lime & Corriander, Smoky Mexican, Extra Tasty and Piri Piri.  They recently asked me to try one of these chickens […]

Dinner for 4 – £0.40 per person

Dinner for 4 – £0.40 per person

I have mentioned many times before, you can make a meal that is tasty and nutritious and doesn’t cost a lot. Every now and then we pop up to our local supermarket about 8:30pm to see what is reduced. For our meal tonight we had […]

Kelly Bronze Turkeys – Thanksgiving is coming – How to cook the perfect turkey!

Kelly Bronze Turkeys – Thanksgiving is coming – How to cook the perfect turkey!

It’s that time of year again when my thoughts turn to turkey! Not for Christmas although that isn’t far away but for me Thanksgiving is my big turkey day. Some years I cook for up to 25 guests and this year I am planning on having the best tasting turkey I have come across in years. 

A couple of years ago I tasted a Kelly Bronze Turkey at a food show I attended and the memory of the taste, so reminiscent of turkey meals as a child, has stayed with me.

Recently I had the pleasure to visit Kelly Bronze Turkeys at their Essex headquarters and I can honestly say I learned so much about turkeys!

Paul Kelly saying hello to one of his birds!

We arrived at Kelly Bronze Turkey farm and gathered in the Board Room with a cup of coffee and listened to Paul Kelly tell us all about his family turkey business.  His passion and sense of humour kept us enthralled whilst we talked about rearing turkeys, inseminating them, breeding them, pioneering their future and the final performance on your platter on Christmas Day!

Trust Paul Kelly when he says two hours is the time needed to cook one of his turkeys!
At this time of year he has about 2000 turkeys on a local 10 acres site roaming freely through the fenced off forest and living the ‘good life’ which will result in a tender, delicious turkey meat.

But there is more to just breeding turkeys on their site, they research blood lines and send eggs all over the world.

A consignment of eggs readyto go to Eastern Europe
 

They know the parentage of each of their eggs and keep an eye to make sure they select the perfect eggs for a high yeild.

We took a tour around the establishment and this was the ‘maternity unit’, where thousands of eggs are being incubated, uniquely monitored with state of the art technology.

Resulting in these little cuties! There were squeels of delight when the other bloggers got a chance to hold some of these tiny turkey chicks. There were some normal ‘white’, ‘mix’ and ‘true bronze’.

The chicks go from cute and fluffy to the gang below in a very short time. But the life they live is as good as it can be.  They are free to roam naturally and develop strong muscles and good taste.  They have a protected area but are free to roost in the trees of the forest area.

At first you see a couple then more

And more and you are soon surrounded by turkey!

 

Then off for a spot of lunch!  A Kelly Bronze turkey is plumper and tastier and weighs typically 5kg compared to a traditionally reared turkey at 10kg.  Paul Kelly is very proud of his product and very keen to get acoss to us and everyone else the correct way to cook a turkey and insists that his 5kg bird takes only 2 hours to cook.

 

 

A meat thermometer is an essential piece of kitchen kit, so much so that each Kelly Bronze turkey comes with cooking instructions and a meat thermometer.

Then there is the matter of carving. Paul demonstrated the best way to get the most meat from your roast.

The neck and giblets cooked with the  juices from the roast and served simply with a large salad and a glass of cold white wine.

 
One thing is for sure I want a Kelly Bronze turkey on my Thanksgiving table next month! Who’s bringing the cranberry sauce?
 
Many thanks to Paul Kelly and all at Kelly Bronze Turkeys for an informative day and a really, really lovely and tasty lunch.
It’s Lunchtime – Tasty and Frugal

It’s Lunchtime – Tasty and Frugal

Frugal food doesn’t mean sub standard or lowering your standards at all. It means using food in such a way that you don’t throw good food away. Today as I was hungry at lunchtime and decided to make some scrambled eggs.  Well simple scrambled eggs […]

Roast Shoulder of Lamb – Saturday Supper

Roast Shoulder of Lamb – Saturday Supper

My friend’s father is a butcher and her dad asked me if I would like a shoulder of lamb to cook for the weekend.  Of course I said yes but as we are going to be out tomorrow I am cooking it for a Saturday […]

Retaste Spain – Bringing The Food Home

Retaste Spain – Bringing The Food Home

You are sitting at a restaurant by the beach in Spain eating a local version of the legendary paella and you are wishing you could eat this next week after you return home to the UK!

Well now you can! Retaste Spain have come up with the perfect solution.  Packs of everything you will need (including paella pan with the paella) to create that exact tapas meal at home.  They have 13 different tapas for you to make at home. The list includes Paella, Gazpacho, Patas Bravas and Tortilla Espanola to name a few.

You can order from their web site but there will be postage.  The main idea is that you would purchase these kits in especially selected shops in Spain (like the local airport) and bring them home with you.

You will need to purchase the fresh ingredients such as a lemon or a couple of potatoes but everything else is provided. (I have always wanted a paella pan!)

 

How easy does this look? This is all you need to make a genuine Spanish paella.  You can decide to serve with lemon wedges if you want. My Paella pack included the Paellera Valenciana pan, large can of broth, Spanish rice, a special wooden spoon for paellas and a recipe.  The pack did not include a lemon (optional).

At first I was a bit worried because the contents of the can was quite a watery stock, however, adding the rice and letting it start to bubble and it soon started to thicken as the rice absorbed the liquid.

There were only two pieces of chicken per person i8n the can and large green beans but plenty of rice.  The pack stated it would serve 2-3 persons and providing one was a child it would for a meal.  It would perfectly serve 3-4 as part of a selection of tapas with some chunky bread.

All set to serve with a mixed salad. I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted so good and very authentic. Next time I am in Spain I will look out for more in the range.

Clearly there was nothing wrong with this meal – Mr R cleaned his plate!

 
 
(I was given this pack to take home and try at The Speciality Fine Food Fair in September.  I did not receive payment to write this review and all opinions are my own.)
Christmas Means Quality Street – A Green Triangle Pudding

Christmas Means Quality Street – A Green Triangle Pudding

The supermarkets have started offering the big tins of chocolates in readiness for Christmas and that includes Quality Street. Their green triangle has proved to be one of the UK’s favourites and is echoed in the single large green triangle just made to be dropped into […]