No. 85 - February 2010

 

Welcome to the first Recipes4us Newsletter of 2010 - the year Recipes4us.co.uk will celebrate having been online for a decade!  Much has changed in 10 years - from the general content of the site which has broadened considerably from just  recipes to a full blown food site, to the numbers visiting the site - over 8,500 new visitors each day.

 

As usual, if you have any suggestions, additions or interesting questions for the newsletter, please write to me at  Newsletter@Recipes4us.co.uk . Also, if you come across any publications mentioning Recipes4us.co.uk, don't forget to let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

Florence Sandeman,

                             Publisher

3 ways with . . .

                       Almonds

16th February is National Almond Day

Almonds are one of the most versatile of ingredients which can be used in sweet or savoury recipes. Their flavour goes well with meat, fish, poultry, vegetables and fruit. In fact, they go pretty well with most ingredients both in recipes and as  an attractive garnish.  Better still, they are available in many different forms from whole to finely ground.

Below are three very different recipes using almonds. Click here for more  almond recipes .

 

Creamed Almond Soup

Trout and Almonds

Dundee Cake

What's in Season in

February

 

Click here to see what's in season this month, how to cook it and to find a UK Farmers' Market near you.

Wednesday 3rd February

National Carrot Day

 

Did you know.....

  • Carrots are the best source of  the antioxidant beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body

  • An 80g serving contains  twice the recommended daily amount (RDA) needed by adults

  • Carrots contain Vitamin A which is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system.

  • Carrots have a high fibre content, which aids the digestive system  and helps to balance your blood glucose level

  • More beta-carotene is absorbed from cooked carrots than from raw ones

  • Carrots also contain contain vitamins K, C and B6, B1,B2, calcium & potassium

Lemon Carrot Dhal Recipe - click the picture for the recipe courtesy of www.britishcarrots.co.uk  or visit the National Carrot Day page for more information about carrots

 

Carrots Nutritional Values

Per 25g/1oz = 11 Calories

 
Total Fat 0.0475g 0%
  Saturated Fat 0.0075g 0%
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0192g  
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.002g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8.75mg 0%
Potassium 80.75mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 2.54g 1%
    Dietary Fibre 0.75g 3%
Protein 0.257g 1%
 

% Daily Value *

Vitamin A

141 %     Vitamin C 4 %

Calcium

1 %     Iron 1 %

Vitamin D

0 %     Vitamin E 0 %

Thiamin

1 %     Riboflavin 1 %

Niacin

1 %     Folate 1 %

Vitamin B-6

2 %     Vitamin B-12 0 %

Phosphorus

1 %     Magnesium 1 %

Zinc

0 %     Copper 1 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

British Yorkshire Pudding Day

Don't forget to celebrate BYPD  on Sunday  7th  February

Click the logo to go to the BYPD page where you'll find lots of information plus recipe ideas ....and don't forget to tell EVERYONE you know about it.

And remember - home made Yorkshires not only taste better but are also cheaper.

 

Aunt Bessies

Sainsburys

Tesco

Asda

Home made

£1.68

£1.00

£1.00 

£1.00

0.79p

Per 12 individual popovers- prices taken from  www.mysupermarket on 15.1.2010

 

 

 

Food in the News ...

                       

 

Krill oil – hope or hype for the omega-3 market?

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the nutrition industry’s big fish, and an emerging presence in the market is omega-3 sourced from krill oil.

> > > > More  External (Article plus Podcast)

______________________________________________________________

 

 

Find the best of UK produce online

UKFoodOnline.co.uk  Food shopping has never been easier !

 

 ©kuzzie - Fotolia.com

* * * February Special Feature * * *

Chinese New Year - 14th February

Food has played a major role in Chinese New Year celebrations for centuries, and "lucky" foods are traditionally served throughout the two week Chinese New Year celebration, known as the Spring Festival - the most important festival in China when families come together to celebrate in as grand a style as they can afford.

The Chinese believe that certain foods and recipes have specific meanings. For instance, Chinese dumplings have the appearance of the the old-style Chinese silver ingots - so the more dumplings you eat, the more money you will make in the coming year. 

Sometimes the name of the foods served are the significant factor such as the Chinese word for sour which sounds like the word for grandchildren. 

Maybe there's something in it as according to the World Bank (World Development Indicators) in 2008 the population of china was 1,325,639,982  (that's +1.3 billion )

To help ensure the continuance of your line, why not try this Serves 4 menu which features a sweet and sour dish.

Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup

* * *

Sweet and Sour Pork

Stir Fried Bok Choy

Bean Sprouts and Mushrooms

Simple Egg Fried Rice

* * *

Silky Apples

Visit the recently updated Chinese New Year page for more information about traditional "lucky" foods and what they stand for, culinary traditions and more Chinese New Year Menus.  There's even a little information about Chinese astrology so you can find out your Chinese birth sign. (I'm a monkey!) .

Food for love on Valentine's Day - 14th February

Don't forget to visit our Valentines Day page for information about its history, a list of love foods, tips on what to feed your loved one, recipes and menu suggestions.  Here's a sample recipe

You're the Zest in my life Dessert
(Individual Orange Crème Caramels)

 

The perfect dessert for Valentines Day. Can be made well in advance too. Do as we did and make it extra special by using a heart shaped mould.

 

Serves 2
Cooking & Prep time: 70mins plus cooling

 

Ingredients
For the Caramel
100g/4oz Granulated Sugar
60ml/2fl.oz. Water
Other ingredients
300ml/10fl.oz. Milk
2 Eggs, beaten
1 Egg Yolk, beaten
A few drops Vanilla Extract
25g-50g/1-2oz Caster Sugar
The Juice and Grated Zest of ½ an Orange

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 170C, 325F, Gas mark 3.

2. Make the caramel by placing the sugar in a small saucepan together with the water. Allow the sugar to dissolve over a low heat then bring to the boil. Continue to boil rapidly until it turns a deepish amber colour then remove from the heat immediately.

3. Pour the caramel into the base of two ovenproof ramekin dishes, swirling around the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.

4. Place the milk in a saucepan and heat to hot but not boiling.

5. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla extract and sugar.

6. Pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture then stir in the orange zest and juice mixing well then pour it into the dishes containing the hardened caramel.

7. Place the dishes in a baking tin filled with 5cm/2inches of hot water, cover loosely with foil then carefully place the water bath into the oven and cook for 45-60 minutes. Allow to cool before refrigerating. They will have risen very slightly but will fall a little when cool. Chill until cold.

8. To serve - invert the crème caramel onto individual serving plates, tilting the plates to the caramel juice encircles the crème caramel, then grate the chocolate over the top and around the edges of the plate.

 

Make everyday recipes extra special using our specially selected Valentine cookware

Cooking Skills . . .

                                 Tempura    

Did you know.....

Tempura was actually introduced to Japan by the Portuguese back in the 16th Century?

 

Click here for the full sized video

I have set up a whole new page on the site giving lots of detailed information about tempura - from how to choose and prepare the ingredients to gauging the temperature of the oil.  In fact, everything you need to know to make perfect tempura without the need of specialist ingredients or equipment.

Watch me make tempura in one of the latest Recipes4us video productions or visit the Tempura Page for more information.

 

Custom Printed Aprons

Full length white chef's aprons with exclusive fun designs for him and her. Buy from stock or have your own unique design professionally printed.

 

 

Other food celebrations in February include:-

 

7th-14th   Bramley Apple Week

15th-21st  National Chip Week

22nd  National Chilli Day

26th   National Pistachio Day

Sweet Potato Month 

 

February Site Updates

 

Culinary History

 


Click the picture to find the latest article on culinary related history

_______________________

 

Culinary Videos

 

 

Click the picture to find the latest Recipes4us additions plus the next in the Phil Vickery pudcast series

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February Weekday Menus

 

 

Click the picture to find this month's  weekday menus to help you plan your meals and shopping weeks ahead.  Each weekday has a main course, suggested vegetable side dishes plus a dessert which have been planned to supply you with a balanced diet.. It's also been designed so that you can interchange one day's menu with another in the same grouping.

 

16th February is Pancake Day

Most people have heard of Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, but what do you know about Collop Monday ?  It's the day before pancake day. Click the Culinary History picture on the left to find out. 

 

In the meantime here are 6 delicious pancake recipes (both sweet and savoury)  courtesy of Morrisons Supermarket. Click the pictures to get the recipes.

Ratatouille Pancakes

Spicy Prawn Pancakes (cold)

 

 

Creamy Mushroom Pancakes

Tuna and sweetcorn Pancakes

   

Pancakes with Creamy Summer Berries

Kiwi Blueberry Pancakes

If none of these take your fancy, then visit our new Pancake Recipes Page to find lots more all in one place.

The Kitchen Garden

 

Buy all your vegetable and herb seeds online here

 

 

Last year's experiment with planting by moon phases was, if I'm honest, a total waste of time. So this year I'm going to go back to documenting the progress of  growing a new variety of vegetable which I've never grown before.

 

As you may know, I do all my growing in containers because I don't have a garden and 2010 is destined to be a special year for me as I am branching out and will be growing more fruit as well as veggies. If you want to find out how I get on with it all,  then visit my new gardening blog.

 

But back to the matter at hand. I have semi-successfully grown butternut squash in containers for the past 2 years. Only semi, because the most I've managed to get was 2.

 

This year I'm going to try growing summer pumpkins. I've chosen the variety "Summer Ball (Sahara)" because not only will the plants produce 1kg/2lb pumpkins, but the fruit can also be cut when they are small and used like courgettes (Zucchini). They are suitable for containers as well as open ground. More about them in the March newsletter.

In the meantime, if you want to join in, why not buy a packet yourself and give it a go. They don't need to be sown until mid-April earliest (indoors) so you've got plenty of time to buy them.

February in the Kitchen Garden

 

By now you should have ordered most of your veggie seeds, but even if you haven't, they will be appearing in garden centres and stores very soon and you still have time to order them online.

 

If you're thinking about growing potatoes you should buy "seed" potatoes now. These are just small potatoes which have been certified as virus free. When you've got them, set them with the rose "eyes" uppermost in a light frost-free place. They will begin to sprout in about 6 weeks.

 

You can start sowing the seed of Aubergines and peppers, including chillies, in late February indoors in small pots 7.5cm/3" diameter filled with compost.. Peppers in particular require a relatively long growing season so to avoid disappointing crops it's a good idea to start them off indoors before acclimatising them to outside conditions.

 

Hold off sowing outdoor seed until the end of February and even then, sow with caution as cold soil conditions hamper germination. Unless the weather has been very clement, it's best to wait until March.

 

For more herb and vegetable growing instructions visit our growing herbs and vegetables section  or for more detailed information on growing fruit, herbs and vegetables plus ,lots more in-depth gardening articles,  visit our sister site  www.pots2plots.com

Recipe of the Month

 

Liver and Bacon Brochettes

 

With the credit crunch continuing to bite, times are still proving increasingly difficult when it comes to feeding your family healthy and wholesome meals on a budget here's a quick, easy and economical supper using tender lamb's liver, seasoned with sage and wrapped in bacon, placed on skewers and grilled until the bacon is crisp and golden brown.


Makes a nice change to kebabs made with more expensive cuts of meat....and rich in iron too. To see a video showing how easy it is to make this delicious recipe visit the Cooking Videos page
 

Prep & Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 2   

Ingredients

225g/8oz Sliced Lamb's Liver
1 tbsp Olive Oil or melted Butter
1 teasp Dried Sage or 2 teasp Freshly Chopped sage
A squeeze of Lemon Juice
Salt and Black Pepper
6 Rashers Streaky Bacon

Instructions

1. Rinse the liver under cold running water, pat dry on kitchen paper then cut into 12 bite-sized pieces about 5cm/2-inches long. Set aside.

2. Place the olive oil or butter, sage, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a medium sized mixing bowl and mix until well blended.

3. Add the liver pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat the liver with the oil and seasonings. Set aside.

4. Cut each rasher of bacon in half widthways and, using the back of a knife, stretch each piece a little then use to wrap around each piece of liver. Thread the bacon wrapped pieces of liver onto skewers.

 

5. Preheat the grill to hot then place the brochettes on the wire grill and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning frequently and basting with a little live oil.

Serve immediately.

Cook's Tip....

 

Lamb's liver is the best choice for this recipe and is  very economical. Although pig's liver is even cheaper, it does have a very strong flavour which puts many people off eating liver altogether.

 

Save using calves' liver (which is much more expensive) for more refined recipes.

 

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