No. 94 - November 2010


Welcome to the November 2010 Recipes4us Newsletter. If you have any suggestions, additions or interesting questions for the newsletter, please write to me at .


  Happy Cooking!






Florence Sandeman,





Other food celebrations in November include:-


1st – 7th  National Fig Week

2nd - 8th   British Sausage Week

9th    British Pudding Day

2nd Week  Split Pea Soup Week

14th    National Pickle Day

17th   Homemade Bread Day

21st   Gingerbread Day

22nd    National Cashew Day

30th   St. Andrew's Day

National Pomegranate Month

National Pepper Month

Vegan Month



3 ways with . . .



24th November is National Sardine Day

Did you know . . . .

Sardines which are larger than 10cm/4" are called Pilchards

Whether fresh or tinned, sardines make  a quick, tasty, cheap and nutritious meal. Here are three recipes for you to try using either tinned or fresh sardines.

Spaghetti with Sardines  (tinned)

Lemon Grilled Sardines  (fresh)

Sardine Mousse    (tinned)


Nutritional Values of Sardines


Sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a good source of Niacin, Calcium, Phosphorus,  iron, protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Selenium. One small sardine contains about 25 calories and 1g of fat.


 Cooking Skills . . .

                            Making Bread with Beer


Despite food writing and cooking being my profession, there are some culinary tasks that even I don't undertake on a regular basis. Making bread is one of them. It's true I have a breadmaker, and jolly good it is too, but even that job falls firmly within my other half's remit. However, all that has changed.


17th November is Homemade Bread Day and of course, I was looking for an easy bread recipe to feature. Then this beer bread recipe suddenly came to me.  Although it's a leaven bread it doesn't use yeast. There's no need to expend lots of energy kneading and bashing it about, and there are no lengthy waiting times involved as it doesn't need to be left to rise (prove). The whole thing is made from start to finish in about 1 hour....and 50 minutes of that is baking time.




The bread turns out soft and risen with a crispy crust. You don't need special beer - even lager can be used and you don't need any other special ingredients or equipment. It is sooooo easy I just had to make a video to show you.

Although not mentioned in the video, this bread can be flavoured with herbs, cheese and even ingredients such as olives to create wonderful savoury loaves.

For the full sized video plus written recipe click HERE

1st November is National Vinegar Day


When most people think of vinegar they immediately associate it with salad dressings or, in Britain, with fish and chips. However the various types have their own unique qualities and, depending on the variety, many culinary uses from pickling to cake mixtures.


Vinegar is a more complex ingredient than you might think. So much so, that I've set up a new page just dealing with the types of vinegars and their uses in the Ingredient analysis section.  Visit the new page by clicking on the vinegar picture in the November Site Updates column.


21st- 27th Curry Week (UK)


Did you know . . .

According to a recent Daily Mail article, people in the UK are eating food which is 400 times hotter than 50 years ago.


Although this food celebration week is aimed at the restaurant trade, I think it's a jolly good excuse to whip up a homemade curry. Visit our Indian section for some authentic Indian curry recipes.


There are also lots of types curries from other countries throughout the site. The easiest way to find them is to use the search facility and type in curry plus any other criteria you have such as chicken,  vegetarian, accompaniment.




How does your Kitchen Garden Grow


As usual below are some tasks for the vegetable garden in November BUT for a much more detailed outline, visit the November calendar at pots2plots which includes jobs for fruit as well as veggies and herbs. 


So long as the frost hasn't got to them, continue to pot up plants of Basil, Marjoram,  Oregano and Parsley and grow them  indoors on windowsills for a fresh supply of herbs.


There are a few vegetable seeds which can be sown now including hardy varieties of broad beans and winter lettuce plus spring greens and early carrots. You can also still plant garlic and shallot sets. Consider making a cold frame which means you can sow seed earlier for earlier harvesting.


If you've grown Brussels sprouts or cauliflower, continue to remove any leaves which have turned yellow.


Don't forget to start planning next years herb gardens and vegetable plots. Many seed catalogues are now available and it's a nice way to spend a winter's evening.



November Site Updates



Ingredient Analysis



Click the picture to find the latest addition to the series




Culinary Videos



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




What's in Season in



Click here to see what's in season this month plus  recipes



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 and accompaniments 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



 2 in 1 . . .

                 Leftovers Day & Split Pea Soup Week


Did you know . . . .

It is estimated that in the UK alone 30-40% of all food is not consumed and that every year ฃ20 billion pounds worth of food is thrown away.


In these economically challenging times, it's  prudent to use up any leftovers and also worth looking out some of the cheaper ingredients available. At around 50p for a 500g bag, split peas are a cheap protein rich ingredient ideal for using in for soups.


To celebrate  Leftovers Day (4th)  and  National Split Pea Soup Week (8th -14th), here is another new video in which I show you how to easily make a warming thick ham and split pea soup using leftover meat. It can easily be adapted into a vegetarian version. 


Click here for the full sized video and written recipe.


For more recipes using leftovers click HERE





Thanksgiving Day, sometimes colloquially called "Turkey Day" is a national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the USA and is one of its biggest national celebration days of the year. This year it falls on the 25th November.

Below are links to recipes for some traditional foods eaten for Thanksgiving

Roast Turkey
Baked Ham
Cranberry Sauce
Giblet Gravy
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
Seasonal Vegetables e.g. Corn on the Cob, Green Beans, Carrots, Broccoli
Pumpkin Pie for dessert

If you want to know more about thanksgiving visit our
Thanksgiving  page or the  
History of Thanksgiving page.


4th November is National Stuffing Day


There are many types of stuffing,  the ingredients of which differ depending on what they are being used to stuff. Not only are stuffings a great way to bulk out more expensive foods such as meat and poultry, but when made with a little thought, they can also add interest and flavour.


There are many stuffing mixes available to buy however, making your own has many added benefits and is simple to do.


Here's as easy stuffing recipe based on an old favourite - Sage and Onion - which has an added twist for extra flavour. Perfect for using with turkey  at Thanksgiving or, dare I mention it, Christmas.



1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Onions, chopped
4 rashers streaky Bacon, chopped
100g/4oz Fresh White Breadcrumbs
2 level teasp Dried Sage
Salt and Pepper


1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the bacon and onions and saut้ until the onions are soft and the bacon is golden brown.


2. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Use to stuff the neck end of a turkey or bake separately for 20-30 minutes in a shallow dish, topped with small knobs of butter or rolled into balls.




Countdown to Christmas . . . . .


Here are some tasks you should consider starting now to ensure a stress-free holiday period. It may seem early, but you'll be glad of the extra time you'll have in December.


2nd week in November
If you want to get a fresh turkey or goose you'd do well to order it now as you may be surprised at how quickly stocks run out, especially free-range and organic birds.  Click here to find out
what size turkey  you'll need.


3rd week in November

Make your Christmas puddings early. The aim is to re-boil/steam then for a couple of hours every two weeks or so, which results in an incredibly dark rich pudding.  Why not try one of these



Christmas Pudding with Guinness

Traditional Christmas  Pudding

Vegetarian Christmas Pudding


4th week in November

If you want to make a traditional cake with marzipan and icing, ideally, once you've covered the cake with the marzipan, you should wait a week before icing - longer if you wish and once iced, it will last for weeks in a cake tin. Click here for a Traditional Christmas Cake  recipe.



Recipe of the Month


Tuna and Mixed Bean Tortillas

Courtesy of


John West has teamed up with celebrity chef James Martin to urge people to eat their recommended weekly amount of fish.  Together they have launched 'Tuna Tuesday'- a new weekly event when people should make an effort to eat fish.  For more of James' tasty tuna recipes visit


Serves 2

1x 130g can John West No Drain Tuna Chunks with a little brine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
1 – 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped (depending on taste)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 x 400g can mixed beans, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons light cream cheese
2 flour tortillas



• Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the spring onions, chilli and garlic.
• Cook over a low to medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes.
• Add the mixed beans and cook over the heat for 2 – 3 minutes or until piping hot.

• Stir in the John West Tuna and cream cheese and stir gently until piping not.
• Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
• Warm the tortillas in a frying pan, then fill and roll with the tuna and bean mixture.

Serve with salad leaf garnish.

Chef's tip....


For a casual evening, pile the tuna filling onto a plate and surround with tortilla chips (in place of the flour tortillas) and use the mix as a dip and scoop.





Food in the News . . .


A diet of multiple foods with anti-inflammatory effects may help prevent many chronic diseases, a new study led by researchers at Lund University suggests.

A diet used in the study reduced bad cholesterol by 33 percent, blood lipids by 14 percent, blood pressure by 8 percent and a risk biomarker for blood clots by 26 percent.

> > > > More  External Link


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