No. 82 - October 2009

Welcome to the October 2009 Recipes4us Newsletter. If you have any suggestions, additions or interesting questions for the newsletter, please write to me at .


Happy Cooking!





Florence Sandeman,



October Site Updates


Ingredient of the month ....Teff


Teff is fast becoming an "in" food  and whilst not quite considered a super food, its many qualities, both nutritional and as a commercially grown agricultural crop, place it in the top canopy of the desirable foods tree.  To find out more about Teff, visit the latest addition to our Ingredient of the Month section

> > >  More

Did you know......

  • Teff is one of the smallest grains in the world. It only measures 1/32 of an inch in diameter

  • 150 Teff grains are equal in size to one grain of wheat.

  • 1 pound of Teff can produce up to 1 ton of grain in as little as 12 weeks

  • 3000 grains of Teff weighs 1 gram

  • The name “teff” comes from the Amharic word “teffa” which means lost. If you drop it, it's difficult to find!





Can't find where to buy Teff Flour or Teff Grains? Try....


Find the best of UK produce online - even unusual or hard-to-find items  Food shopping has never been easier !






Food in the News . . .


Meeting demand for ancient grains

Interest in ‘ancient’ grains like quinoa, sorghum and Teff has soared, not least because of their gluten-free quality. That means expanding supply to keep up with demand . . . . .

> > > > More  External Link



October in the Kitchen Garden


For a winter supply of Herbs, pot up plants of Basil, Marjoram,  Oregano and Parsley and grow them on indoors on windowsills.


You can plant onion and shallot sets for over-wintering and if you're growing spring cabbage, you should move them to their final positions early this month. You could also try sowing the seed of suitable Winter lettuces.


Keep an eye out for caterpillars on brassicas such as red cabbage and pick them off by hand.


Start looking out for next year's seed catalogues, many of which you can order online and get your seed orders in early. It's a good idea to roughly plan out where you want to grow your herbs and veggies, paying special attention to crop rotation - try not to grow the same veggies in the same place as you did last season to avoid a build up of soil pests/diseases - and to roughly dig over your plot or beds.


For detailed growing instructions visit our specialist  growing herbs and vegetables section



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 and to find a UK Farmers' Market near you. There are Lots of seasonal recipes too



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


Other food celebrations in October include:-


11th National Apple Day (UK)

28th Wild Foods Day
National Pork Month
National Chilli Month
National Cookie Month

Popcorn Poppin' Month



3 ways with . . .



12-18 October 2009 is National Chocolate Week

If you've seen the film Chocolat, then you'll already be aware that chocolate makes an exceptional ingredient in certain savoury dishes. One of my favourites is Chicken Mole Poblano - an exquisite Mexican dish.  As a change, I'm featuring 3 savoury recipes using chocolate. 

Chicken Mole Poblano

Chilli with Chocolate

Salmon with White Chocolate Sauce

Find out more about National Chocolate week

                                                                         > > > > More


Main types of chocolate

Dark Chocolate  is chocolate liquor with additional sweeteners and cocoa butter.

Milk Chocolate  is chocolate liquor with additional cocoa butter, milk, sweeteners and flavorings.

White Chocolate contains sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids and flavorings such as vanilla but does not contain non-fat cocoa solids,  so is mostly used as a coating.

Couverture is a term describing professional-quality coating chocolate that is extremely glossy. It usually contains a minimum of 32% cocoa butter, which enables it to form a much thinner shell than ordinary confectionary coating.

Ganache is a thick, extremely rich chocolate spread. It is made by pouring hot cream over chopped up chocolate and whipping the mixture until the chocolate melts and the mixture becomes thick and stiff.


Chocolate Nutritional Values

Amount Per 1 cup ( approx. 160g/5˝oz) - Calories 860

% Daily Value *
Total Fat 51.58g 79%
    Saturated Fat 31.05g 155%
    Polyunsaturated Fat 1.78g  
    Monounsaturated Fat 16.75g  
Cholesterol 36.96mg 12%
Sodium 137.76mg 6%
Potassium 646.8mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 99.46g 33%
    Dietary Fibre 5.71g 23%
Protein 11.59g 23%
Alcohol 0g  
Vitamin A 6 %     Vitamin C 1 %
Calcium 32 %     Iron 13 %
Vitamin D 0 %     Vitamin E 5 %
Thiamin 7 %     Riboflavin 25 %
Niacin 3 %     Folate 3 %
Vitamin B-6 4 %     Vitamin B-12 11 %
Phosphorus 36 %     Magnesium 25 %
Zinc 15 %     Copper 32 %

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



* * * NEWSFLASH ! * * *

Recent research has now confirmed that Stilton Cheese WAS made in the Cambridgeshire town of Stilton

> > > > more   (external link)



October is National Pasta Month

National Pasta Week also falls in October, however I can't find the exact dates for it for some reason


Did you know.....
  • Apparently, there are more than 600 pasta shapes worldwide

  • Pasta dates back as far as the fourth century B.C. and natives are depicted in an Etruscan tomb making what appears to be pasta

  • The Chinese were making a noodle-like food as early as 3000 B.C.

  • In Greek mythology the Greek God Vulcan is supposed to have invented a device that made spaghetti

  • The English discovered pasta whilst touring Italy and introduced it to the New World

  • Thomas Jefferson is credited with having taken the first "macaroni" machine to America in 1789

  • The first industrial pasta factory in America was built in Brooklyn in 1848

Here's a delicious warming pasta recipe which is very economical, making the most of leftovers.

Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Bake
Serves 4 - Cook and Prep time: 40mins

300g/11oz Shortcut Pasta e.g. Shells, Macaroni, Penne
50g/2oz Butter or Margarine
50g/2oz Flour
540ml/18fl.oz. Milk
75g/3oz Cheddar Cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper
1 heaped teasp Ready Made English Mustard
225g/8oz Cooked (leftover) Chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
225g/8oz Cooked (leftover) Vegetables e.g. Broccoli, Cauliflower, Peas, Sweetcorn
25g/1oz Fresh White Breadcrumbs
12 Cherry Tomatoes



1. Preheat the oven to 190C, 375F, Gas Mark 5. Bring a large pan of heavily salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 -10minutes or until just tender.

2. Melt the butter in a medium sized pan, add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring then gradually add the milk, little by little, stirring all the time and cook gently until the sauce thickens.

3. Remove from the heat, add 50g/2oz of the cheese, salt, pepper and mustard and stir until the cheese has melted.

4. On a plate, mix together the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese. If using larger pieces of vegetables, such as broccoli, cut these down to about 2.5cm/1-inch pieces.

5. Drain the pasta well and return to the rinsed out pan. Add the cheese sauce, chicken and vegetables and stir to mix thoroughly.

6. Pour the mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish, sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top then space the cherry tomatoes evenly on top, pressing them lightly into the pasta mixture. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crisp on top.

This recipe works equally as well with leftover ham.

Cook's Tip....

Don't be tempted to use much more cheese than stated. Not only will it swamp the taste of the other ingredients, but with reasonable cheddars being quite pricey, it will also make the dish much more expensive.



      2 in 1 . . .

                                          26th is Pumpkin Day & 31st is Halloween


Here are the two  latest Recipes4us videos which are perfect for using fresh pumpkin. The spiced pumpkin and coriander soup is easy to make and excellent for chilly autumn days, and the pumpkin pie will go down a treat at any Halloween get together.

For a full sized videos plus the written recipes click here.



Check out our Halloween page to find out why and for lots more pumpkin  recipes.

> > > > More

Recipe of the Month


Fennel Pesto Rolled Sole

Celebrate the end of National Seafood Week with his lovely fish recipe. Don’t let its good looks fool you. You can have this stunning meal on the table in half an hour.


Courtesy of



Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

4 x 170g plaice or lemon sole fillets, skinned
2 courgettes
2 tbsp Sacla’ Italian Fennel Pesto
1 tbsp lemon flavoured olive oil
salt and black pepper



1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.

2. Next place the sole fillets on a board with the skinned side facing up.

3. Now thinly slice the courgettes lengthways. A good trick is to use a potato peeler.

4. Then spread each fillet with Sacla’ Italian Fennel pesto and top with two slices of courgettes.

5. Now roll up the fish from head to tail and arrange in an ovenproof dish.

6. Finally add a touch of salt and pepper and drizzle with lemon oil. Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve with your choice of fresh green vegetables.


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