Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Able and Cole - Summer range

This month I have a selection of food including dips and spreads from the new Able and Cole summer range to tell you about. I will start off completely up front and say I received these free of charge in return for a blog post review of them.

I received the following items:

Black Olive Houmous, Abel & Cole (200g)

White Cornish Crab, Seafood and Eat it (100g)
Riserva Prosciutto (55g)
Taleggio (250g)
Roast Pepper and Feta Quiche (340g)

First off we had a quick Sunday night meal of quiche with the black olive houmous spread on homemade bread. Both were delicious! Black olives were a nice addition to an otherwise very tasty houmous and something I would eat again and perhaps even have a go at making myself.

The houmous had just the right balance of flavours and worked really well with my seeded, wholemeal loaf. The quiche its self was also really tasty. I love feta in quiches but would not normally choose anything with peppers in but I actually quiet enjoyed this combination and the sweetness due to the pepper being roasted first.I had never eaten crab before I received this so I can't compare the quality of this product to anything I have previously bought but it was absolutely delicious! I did a bit of searching on the Internet and found a recipe for crab linguine. The resulting dish was delicious. The chilli, lemon and garlic really enhanced the crabs flavours. The crab didn't go in to the dish until near the end but I decided to try some without the additional flavours and loved it so it was lucky there was any left by the time it was needed!

That just leaves the prosciutto and the taleggio. Taleggio was completely new to me, never heard of it, let alone tried it. After some research on the Internet I discovered it was a good melting cheese as well as being delicious spread on bread. I tried it both spread on bread (tasty but a little too strong in flavour for me) and I tested out its melting properties in two dishes. The first also used the prosciutto (which had a very nice flavour and seemed very good quality to me) and was my version of stuffed courgettes. I started by scooping out the flesh of two courgettes. I then gently sauteed a small onion, a clove of garlic and the courgette flesh in a little oil. I tore up the Prosciutto and layered it with the onion/courgette mixture in the courgette skin 'boats' and topped it off with the taleggio before baking in the oven. Boy does this cheese melt well!! There was almost more on the baking tray than left on the courgettes! I did prefer the taste when it was melted and it combined well with the Prosciutto.
The final dish was more of an accident than planned. One evening I decided to make pizza certain I had a ball of mozzarella sat in the fridge just waiting to be used. However after rolling out the pizza dough and covering it with tomato sauce I went to the fridge and couldn't find any mozzarella. I was faced with the choice of cheddar, taleggio or feta. As much as I love cheddar I'm not a big fan of it on pizzas and I wanted something that melted more than feta so I decided to try the taleggio. I first put tinned tuna on the pizza followed by grated courgette and finally topped off with the taleggio. The end result was delicious.
All in all I was very pleased with the quality of the items Able and Cole sent me and with the delivery and packaging of the items.

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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Fresh from the oven - Focaccia

This months challenge is hosted by Brooke of Ed and Brooke and she chose focaccia. We could use any recipe we liked so I chose one from River Cottage Hnadbook No. 3 Bread. I decided to add some green olives to the top for a change along with the sea salt and olive oil. The result was very tasty but perhaps a little salty tasting due to the combination of the salt and the olives.

are a favorite bread of mine. They are simple to make, yet look quiet impressive, they're versitile, delicious and an ideal accompaniment to many meals. I have used this recipe once before and will definitely be continuing with this recipe. I would really recommend the River cottage Hnadbook Bread to anyone who makes their own bread (recipes are not for breadmakers, make by hand or in a mixer).

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Monday, 20 July 2009

GYO: Smoked salmon and mangetout risotto

Just before going on holiday I picked my first crop of mangetout from my garden. It was only a small bowl full but even so I was pleased that I would be able to eat something that I had grown myself.
I decided I wanted to cook them as part of a dish where they would really shine instead of just cooking them and serving them as a side to meat or fish.Risotto came to mind and I thought I would combine them with some smoked salmon. The result was a dish that was both delicious and colourful. The mangetout added a crunchy texture and complemented the salmon well.
Smoked salmon and mangetout risotto

Serves 2
Olive oil
small onion, peeled and thinly diced
stick of celery, thinly diced (optional)
1 garlic glove, peeled and thinly chopped
150-200g Arborio rice
Good splash of dry white wine
Approximately 600ml Chicken stock
Zest and juice of half a lemon
Good handful of fresh mangetout sliced into pieces roughly 1-2cm thick
3 Smoked salmon slices cut into small strips
Salt and pepper

  1. Heat the stock in a small saucepan.
  2. Heat a good splash of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot add the onion and celery and sweat (with the lid on), stirring occasionally until soft but not brown (5-10 mins).
  3. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for a few minutes, again stirring frequently.
  4. Add the rice and turn up the heat. Stir to coat the rice (from here on you need to stir much more frequently to stop the rice sticking or burning and also to release the starch to make it deliciously creamy).
  5. You should notice the rice become translucent and at this point you need to add the wine and continue to stir.
  6. Once the wine has been absorbed by the rice, add the first ladle of stock and turn the heat back down to medium. Keep stirring.
  7. Once this ladle of stock has been fully absorbed by the rice, add another ladle, stir and repeat until the rice is cooked.
  8. Add the mangetout strips to the pan after a couple of ladles of stock have been absorbed, stir well. You can add the mangetout later if you like them really crunchy or sooner if you like them well cooked.
  9. Once the rice is cooked, remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and smoked salmon, season to taste.
I have decided to submit this post to July's Grow your own round-up founded by Andrea's Recipes and this month hosted by Amy of Playing House.Enjoy!

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Short Break

I can't believe it is 3 weeks since my last blog post! Don't worry I haven't given up on it. This month just seems to be flying by. It started with a good friends wedding back in Yorkshire the first weekend of July. Then the following weekend we went to Anglesey for 10 days (got back last night). So between working, catching up on the jobs and preparing for these trips the blogging had to be put to one side. I also had to miss this months Daring cooks challenge but hope to fit in the next one. I have yet to do my Daring bakers and Fresh from the oven challenges for this month due to be posted on the 27th and 28th respectively. I hope to get chance to do at least one of them but we'll have to see how it goes as I have another wedding back in Yorkshire again this coming weekend.

I have quiet a few post ideas going round in my head that I hope to be able to type up before this sudden burst of inspiration escapes me. First there are a few foodie gems I discovered on Anglesey I want to share with you all. Then there are a couple of BBQ recipes I tried out whilst away and news of my first (very modest) harvest from my veg garden! I also have a post to share with you coming up about Able and Cole's summer range.

I'll leave you with a few pictures of Anglesey:

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