Monthly Archives: August 2012

  • Foodies Festival Recipes for Casillero del Diablo wine matching

    If you haven't caught my dems in Foodies Festival's Chef's Theatre this season yet then this weekend at Oxford is your last chance this year.  I've been working with the lovely people at Casillero del Diablo (@diablowine) to come up with three recipes to go with their choice of wine and here they are so you can practice at home.

    Rose - Garlicky Prawn Toasts as a starter

    Sauvignon Blanc - Chermoula Chicken with Garden Salad and Edible Flowers for main course

    Cabernet Sauvignon - Free Dark Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Coulis for pudding

    The edible flowers I've used were all from lovely people at Greens Herbs


  • Garlicky Prawn Toasts

    Served on leftover baguettes or ciabatta toasted they are a quick and easy snack. If you don't have prawns then scallops or chicken work really well too, if you want a low carb version omit the bread and serve them on little gem lettuce leaves, they're delicious.
  • Free Dark Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Coulis

    This recipe is based on Herve This' Chocolate Chantilly. It's 'free' as it's free from dairy, wheat, egg, basically anything apart from a really good quality chocolate and water.
  • Chermoula Chicken with Garden Salad

    The chermoula marinade turns into a delicious citrus sauce for the chicken which creates a fusion of colour and flavour served with a fresh garden salad and a scattering of edible flowers
  • How to identify a puffball mushroom? Or a football?

    A puffball mushroom - not a white football but looks similar

    A lovely gentleman just came to my door asking permission to go into the field next to us as he thought he'd seen a puffball mushroom growing in there.  This was too good an opportunity to miss so i went with him armed with video camera for what i thought would be a great opportunity to film a foraging piece about mushrooms, how to identify which are safe to eat, where they grow, etc.

    I called, Matt, the farmer, to get his permission, as it's his field and you can't just go walking across field without permission.  He was little taken aback and checked which field I meant only to respond "are you sure it's a puffball mushroom, there's been a football in that field for months!"

    OK so now into the territory of how to identify mushrooms from footballs.  The lovely chap was very embarrassed when I repeated the conversation but we went anyway, climbing over gates, talking nicely to the horses, avoiding horse poo to gaze lovingly onto the most wonderful........large white football.  Disappointing but he had a sense of humour and has promised that he'll keep looking and if he finds one he'll pop round with it, a puffball mushroom that is, not a football, we have one of those in the field next to us.

    They do look similar though don't they, don't think they'd taste similar though.

  • Camp Bestival Food - Friday night

    First night at Camp Bestival, on the menu:

    festival essentialDaisy made these

    Afternoon tea with homemade brownies by Daisy, carrot cake and fairy cakes by Grant and flapjack by me (the one on my APP) with cups of either Earl Grey or English Breakfast tea.

    Olives, posh crisps and red wine out of a pouch, not bad, although it was M&S so you'd assume it was good quality. Then down to the proper cooking,

    Thai Green Chicken Curry with boil in the bag rice

    Chicken Fajitas for the children

    Now Grant and I approached the fajitas in two different ways, Grant  precooked his and chilled them, I decided that it was safer from food safety viewpoint if I cut the raw chicken to size and froze it then it would defrost slowly throughout the day in the cook box.  They both worked but my way took about 45 minutes to cook from scratch and never really browned, it tasted great but didn't look as appetising as Grant's fajitas, the curry was fab though.

    Next time would I change the way I made these, no I'd go and buy a Trangia as they get very hot and cook properly unlike the cheap Go Outdoors camping stove which was a nightmare as it kept collapsing and the flame burnt orange rather than purple, also going to get proper camping pans too.

    However the Tesco Value red wine in a carton was a winner, emmimently gluggable.

    There was fruit

  • Valet service Camp Bestival Style

    We were in Camping Plus this year, they had showers, hot showers and very posh toilets, flushing and toilet paper too, wow.  The best welcome on Friday morning was the valet service for luggage from the field, this was amazing, I've been to the Touessrok in Mauritius and had my own butler but Camp Bestival valet service came into it's own...........tractors!

    Yes Tractors, two of them, one for your luggage and one for the humans, brilliant.  All we had to do was lug the luggage to the bottom of the field then the lovely chaps on the tractors would chuck the luggage on the red tractor and we'd sit in the blue one then we'd be driven up the hill to the top.  At this point the luggage was unloaded and we had to fend for ourselves until we found help, wheel barrows or rang husband to come and get us.

    The campsite was pure luxury, our own pitch with proper aisles so no tripping over lots of guy ropes in the middle of the night trying to get to the tent when everyone else had pitched up around and over us. Even better we made it in time for Stooshe who were fantastic.

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