Welcome to the October 2011 Recipes4us
Newsletter. You'll notice the appearance of a small
shopping trolley graphic at the end of some of the pieces in this
newsletter. This is just to highlight the fact that kitchen items related to
the article are featured in the shopping arcade section from
where you can buy them direct from Amazon. If you click on the graphic
it will take you to the shopping arcade.
* * * Please note* * *
The next newsletter will be a Winter
Special covering December and January, and will be sent out towards the
end of November. Hopefully there is enough in this month's issue to
keep you going until then. If you have any suggestions, additions or interesting questions
for the newsletter, please write to me at
The term "retro food" has been
bandied about a lot in the last few years, but I am
having more and more of a problem with it as I'm not
sure exactly what comes under that umbrella.
The other morning I was
watching BBC Breakfast and they did a feature about corned beef
with Pru Leith, during which it was referred to as a
"retro" food. Not in my house ! I may not eat
it every week, and I may buy the sliced variety from
the deli counter rather than tinned, but it makes an
appearance in my fridge at least once a month...and
always has done. Corned beef and tomato sarnies is
one of my favs.
For me things like corned beef
are not retro foods as they have never been
unavailable or out of favour. Now Arctic Roll is
another matter, and in my opinion is a true
If you're not
familiar with (or not old enough to
remember) Arctic Rolls, these were a
frozen dessert consisting of vanilla ice
cream wrapped in a thin sponge which had
been spread with jam. They first went
on sale in 1958 and by the 1970s
became a very popular dessert with more than 25 miles'
worth being sold each month.
you know . . . .
Roll was invented in the 1950s by Dr
Ernest Velden, a Czechoslovakian lawyer.
Dr Velden fled the Nazis in 1939
and set up an ice cream factory the
following year in Eastbourne, Sussex.
His invention apparently helped earn him the OBE in
Eventually sales fell
and production was stopped
in 1997, however the product was
relaunched in December 2008, apparently
due to cost-conscious shoppers turning
to the frozen treat as a cheaper
alternative to fresh or chilled
varieties as well as
Britons seeking comfort foods in
Check out this old advert: might
bring back memories!
For those of
you who can't find Arctic Rolls in
your local store, or who don't like
buying ready made desserts, here's a
recipe explaining how to make your
to see what's in season this month and to find a UK Farmers'
Market near you. There are Lots of seasonal recipes too
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
10th - 16th October is
British Egg Week
A medium sized egg
contains less than 80 calories and is a good
source of high quality protein. Naturally rich in vitamin B2
(riboflavin), vitamin B12 and vitamin D, they
also contain vitamin A and a number of other B
vitamins including folate as well as minerals and trace
elements such as phosphorus, iodine and
Egg consumption limits have been lifted in
Over the years eggs have come in for a real
bashing in the UK with recommendations limiting
their consumption to as low as one per week. Gone were the days of "going to work
on an egg" which was an old advert back in the
60s suggesting you should eat at least one egg a
Today, all major UK heart and health
organisations including the Food Standards
Agency and the British Heart Foundation have
lifted previous limits on egg consumption,
though obviously it would be unwise to eat an
excessive amount of eggs.
writing the above, there has been yet another
scare relating to eggs and prostate cancer.
I just can't keep up!
5 Eggy Tips
Eggs can be kept
at room temperature 65°F (18°C) for
about 10 days and as long as 2 months in
To test eggs for
freshness, lower them into a bowl of
water. If they lie on there sides at the
bottom they are quite fresh, if they
float to the top they are stale and
When boiling eggs,
add 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to the
water if you suspect an egg is cracked.
It will coagulate any white escaping
into the water thus preventing any more
white getting into the water
Plunge hard boiled
eggs into cold water for a few minutes
as soon as they are cooked to prevent a
dark ring forming round the yolk.
hard-boiled eggs, plunge into cold water
as above, roll on a hard surface to
crack the shells then remove the
shells under cold running water.
Coddled Eggs A
Coddling is a method of
cooking that produces
very lightly set eggs.
you can coddle eggs in a ramekin or even
directly in their shells, using an
coddler is an attractive way of serving
porcelain cups with a lid and are often
highly decorated. The inside of
the egg coddler is buttered in order to
flavour the egg and to allow it to be
removed more easily then a raw egg
is broken into the coddler, which is
then stood in a pan of nearly boiling
water for about 7-8 minutes. The water
is never boiled which produces a very
softly cooked egg. Additional seasonings
can be added to the egg before cooking.
Children, the elderly and people with
compromised immune systems are advised not to
eat very lightly cooked eggs.
31st October is Halloween
5th November is Guy Fawkes Night
Is it just me or is this
recipe a little weird? It was sent to me courtesy of
"Give your taste buds a kick
with this impressive Beef Pattie Toffee Apples with
Spiced Pumpkin Dip. The recipe combines all those
seasonal favourites such as bonfire toffee apples,
seasonal pumpkins and home-made burgers. It’s fun
to make, an ideal way to get your little monsters ready
for trick or treating and guaranteed to impress guest of
Pattie Toffee Apples with Spiced Pumpkin Dip
450g/ 1lbLean beef mince
1 Small pumpkin or butternut squash, cut lid
off and scoop out seeds
¼ Cox’s eating apple
1 clove garlic, squashed
Sprigs fresh thyme
10ml/ 2tsp Olive oil
225g/ 8oz Caster sugar
120ml/ 4floz Water
25g/ 1oz Butter
30ml/ 2tbsp Golden syrup
3 Cox’s eating apples
Wooden ‘lolly’ stick or similar
Preheat oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4-5. Place the pumpkin
or squash on a baking sheet lined with foil. Inside the
pumpkin place all the ingredients, place a splash of water
on the tray and loosely cover with foil.
Cook for about 50 minutes or until the flesh is soft. Remove
the apple skin, garlic and thyme and carefully scoop the
flesh from the sides of the pumpkin – mix this around to
make a soft spoonable dip (and serve it from the skin).
Take mince and season. Make into 25g (1oz) patties and cook
under a preheated grill for about 3–4 minutes each side
until browned and cooked through. Put to one side - you will
need these as soon as the apples have been dipped.
Toffee apples: Place sugar and water into a saucepan and
Add the butter and syrup. Boil and then don’t stir – boil
for about 10 min until a dark golden colour. (If you drop a
spoonful of the mixture into a jug of cold water it should
form stringy droplets of solidified toffee when ready –
about 290C if you have a sugar thermometer.)
Have ready the apples, which have been cut horizontally into
3, push the wooden sticks through the centre (have ready a
tray covered with non-stick paper).
Take the toffee off the heat and carefully dip the apples
and thoroughly coat in toffee.
Place the patties onto the prepared tray and as the dipped
apple slice is removed place it on top of the cooked
patties. Push the stick through the burger to create a
Serve the beef pattie toffee apple with the pumpkin dip.
Cooking Skills . . .
10th-16th October is National
Chocolate Week (UK)
recipes where chocolate needs to be
added to other ingredients as a
flavour, nothing more needs to be
done than merely melting or
chopping/grating it. However,
when an ultra smooth and shiny
effect is required, such as coatings
on cakes or confectionary, tempering
the chocolate is key to achieving
the desired finish.
What is tempered chocolate?
naturally contains six different
sized cocoa butter crystals, but it
is only a particular size of crystal
which gives the characteristics
required for tempered chocolate.
Tempering chocolate increases the
amount of those particular crystals
whilst reducing the other five,
making the chocolate more stable,
particularly at room temperature.
Bought bars of
chocolate have already been tempered
which is why they are shiny and have
a snap to them however, in order to
use chocolate for coatings, it must
first be melted and the process of
melting chocolate "un-tempers"
it as it melts all the crystals,
resulting in chocolate which is dull
and soft once it re-solidifies.
spoken/written about using
thermometers however, like jam
and sugar craft, with a little
practice it is not
absolutely necessary provided the
mechanics of the task are
As this is a major
technique in chocolate-craft, I've
set up a page on the main website
dedicated to tempered chocolate. To
find out how to temper chocolate
with or without a thermometer visit
page. Alternatively, if you're in a
this video in which I show you how
to do it.
By Anne Scott
Price £16.99 | ISBN 9781847738202 |
Hardback 144 Pages
du Chocolat means Inn of Chocolate and
as the name implies, this book is purely
about making chocolates. However, as it
covers the major techniques involved
when working with chocolate, it is a
book worth owning by all cooks, whether
you intend making homemade chocolates or
not, though I bet once you've read it,
you'll be eager to give it a go.
Although written by a professional
chocolatier, it is easy to understand
with all steps written in clear and
again, I've managed to get a 49%
discount for UK readers! Sorry
subscribers from the rest of the world,
couldn't swing that, but it's
worth paying the full price and you'll
probably get a reasonable discount on
Enter the discount code
to get the 49% discount
when ordering the book through the
Click here to order.
valid until 31st December 2011 to UK
residents. Discount cannot be used
in conjunction with other offers)
There are short
chapters on the history of chocolate, where
chocolate comes from and how it's made before going
on to full chapters covering chocolate techniques
techniques section explains procedures such as
tempering, dipping and moulding and the presentation
chapter illustrates lots of ideas to make your
homemade chocolates look beautiful with various
types of decorations, piping and packaging.
There's also information relating to equipment
needed to create professional looking chocolates . .
. . which is surprisingly little. The book is
fully illustrated with colour photos and is peppered
with hints and tips throughout, like using
bubble wrap to create a textured finish as shown in
comes the actual chocolate recipes which are divided
into six sections namely dipped chocolates,
truffles, moulded chocolates. flavoured chocolates,
dairy free chocolates and chocolates for children.
They range from easy to relatively complicated,
plain to fancy - so there really is something for
everyone. The one shown on the left is an orange and
cinnamon dipped chocolate from the dairy free
I am very happy to add this
book to my cookbook collection and have certainly
learned a thing . . . or two.
About the Author
Anne and Ian Scott set up Auberge du Chocolat in
2005 and have rapidly established a significant
presence in the premium chocolate community with
their prize-winning chocolates and bars. Their
workshops, parties and corporate events are designed
to be fun. The company is
committed to sourcing products in a sustainable and
Even more chocolate for National Chocolate
Week . . .
A rich chocolate ice-cream isn't
that easy to
achieve just by using chocolate as a
basic ice-cream mixture can only take a
certain amount of chocolate before its
texture is compromised.
For this reason in this recipe a small
amount of pure unsweetened cocoa
powder is added - just 1 tablespoon -
which is enough to "top up" the
chocolate to give a full, rich flavour
with a beautifully smooth texture.
As with all things chocolate, use as
good a quality chocolate as you can afford.
Recipe of the Month #1
Smoked mackerel with horseradish
As horseradish and
apples are in season, I thought I'd feature this
recipe by celebrity chef Thomasina Miers. It also
contains avocados in celebration of Avocado
Week 24th - 30th October courtesy of
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4 as a light lunch
4 pieces of brown pitta bread
1 clove garlic, cut in half
75ml extra virgin olive oil
6 x 125g/5oz fillets smoked mackerel For the avocado relish:
3 Hass avocados, peeled stoned and roughly diced
½ small cucumber, seeds removed and diced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced finely
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Juice of a lemon
A small handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped For the horseradish cream:
100g/4oz crème fraîche
3 teasp freshly grated horseradish or
Squeeze of lemon juice
Dash of olive oil, salt and black pepper
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. In a small bowl mix
all the horseradish cream ingredients together and
taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or
lemon juice if you think it needs it.
2. Mix all the avocado relish ingredients together
starting with the juice of half a lemon and only
adding more if you think the relish needs sharpening
up a little. Set aside.
3. Cut the pittas open along the long edge with a
sharp knife and then cut each one in half across the
middle. Brush the pieces with olive oil and toast in
the oven until golden brown all over, about 5
minutes, watching them like a hawk as they burn very
4. Remove from the oven and immediately rub the
garlic gently over the warm toast to give it the
merest hint of garlicky flavour.
5. Break up the mackerel into small chunks and mix
it into the horseradish cream. If needed, season
with a little more lemon juice and a good sprinkling
of chopped parsley.
6. Stuff the mackerel into the pittas and top with
the avocado relish. Serve immediately.
Focus on . . .
only is 25th October World Pasta Day
but October is also Pasta month. You can visit
the official website at
The subject of pasta is so
huge, I couldn't possibly cover everything here,
so instead, I'm just going to showcase
Most of us will have come
across spaghetti, tagliatelle and linguine but there
are quite a few others, and whilst some varieties
may not be easy to obtain outside of Italy, as
they can often be substituted
it's worth mentioning them.
When substituting one long
pasta for another, it is as well to remember
certain things e.g. thin, delicate pastas like
angel hair or capellini are best served in soups
or with very thin, light sauces and thicker
pastas such as tagliatelle or fettuccine
are best served with heavier sauces.
One other thing I'd
mention is that long pasta often doesn't work as
well as short-cut pastas in baked dishes. Having
said that, there's always an exception to the
rule to prove me wrong . . . . in this case
pasta can be divided into two main
groups - Rods and Ribbons. Rod pasta
is round and very occasionally
hollow and ribbon pasta is flat.
Below is a list of long pasta shapes
which is by no means definitive. How
many of these have you even heard
of, let alone seen?
fedelini / fidelini
2 in 1 . . .
17th – 23rd is National
Baking Week in the UK and October is National Cookie Month
in the US.
I've not come across Baking week before, however
according to the official website, the theme this year is Bake and Share – whether
sharing with family, friends or even the office. The word
"baking" in this instance covers any type of recipe which is
baked - sweet or savoury from cookies to crumbles.
What's the difference between a cookie and a biscuit?
I suppose in truth there isn't a
difference however, for some reason in my own little
mind, the word cookie conjures up thoughts of a large,
thick, sweet biscuit, with bits of things in them such
as chocolate chips rather than dainty little thin
Below are a couple recipes for
that type of cookie, which would be great for
sharing with kids and adults alike.
Now in its 14th year,
British Sausage Week is celebrating the legend
that is the great British Sausage and this year
the theme is great sausage hits
Bangers (the British nickname for sausages
originated from the Second World War when the
high water content made them tend to explode
during cooking as the water turned to steam) are
apparently the nation’s favourite meat-based
dinner, outselling chicken or minced beef and
accounting for 854 million meals every year.
They play a starring role in some all-time
classics, such as toad in the hole, sausage
casserole and sausage rolls.
Below are three recipes
which are a twist on the above classics courtesy
I've been reading your recipes for razor clams and wondered
if they are seasonal or can be eaten all year round?
far as I am aware, there isn't a "season" for razor clams
although I have read that one should avoid harvesting
juvenile specimens although how one can tell whether it's a
young one before it has been harvested is a mystery to me.
Does anyone reading this know?
Food in the News . . .
Supermarkets drag their heels on
food date labels reform
Supermarkets are threatening to wreck plans to
kill off confusing food date labels. Ministers want to
simplify a system in which products can be marked with either sell
by, display until, best before or use by. They say the
bewildering array of labels helps explain why the average family
bins £680 of perfectly good produce every year.
This is a very important label which applies to fresh
highly perishable products and relates to the safety
of products. Food or drink should be consumed by
the end of the "use by" date even if it looks
and smells ok. This is because certain bacteria may
be present which cannot be detected by smell, taste or
appearance but which may be harmful. In addition,
storage instructions must be adhered to such as "keep in
a refrigerator" as non-adherence can result in the
food spoiling before the use by date has been reached.
Furthermore, make sure you follow any
instructions on the pack, such as "freeze on day of
purchase", "cook from frozen" or "defrost before use and
use within 24 hours".
Very important Once a
food with a use by date has been opened, you need to
follow any additional instructions such as "eat
within three days of opening" however make sure it is
still eaten by the use by date. As an example -
The use by date is 3rd June. Instructions are "use
within 3 days of opening". Product is opened on
2nd June. It must still be eaten by 3rd June not
3 days after i.e. 5th June.
"Best before" dates appear on a wider range of foods
from frozen to dried; tinned to fresh. Apart
from eggs, "best before" dates are about quality,
not safety. When the date is passed, it doesn't mean
that the food will be harmful, but it might begin to
lose its flavour, texture, nutritional value or
appearance. This is one of the most confusing date
labels which leads to 8.3 million tonnes of food
and drink being thrown away in the UK, most of which
could have been eaten. Fresh vegetables such as carrots
fall into this category as do many cheese and dairy
products. Use your eyes and nose. Once again, the
best before date will only be accurate if the food is
stored according to the instructions on the label and
storage instructions should be carefully adhered to.
When it comes to eggs, it's best not to eat them after
the "best before" date because they can contain
Salmonella bacteria, which could multiply to dangerously
high levels if you keep them after this date.
Sell By and Display Until
These often appear near or next to the "best before" or
"use by" date but are of no real use to the consumer
as they are instructions for shop staff to help them to
stack the shelves. IGNORE THEM. The important dates for
you to look for are the "use by" dates and to a
lesser extent the "best before" dates.
Having said that, if there is no use by or best before
date, then treat the sell by date as the use by date.
Below are some items
you may need to purchase in order to more easily prepare, cook or
serve recipes or ingredients featured in this newsletter. They are all available
from Amazon - click the links/pictures and get them delivered
direct to your home or office.
Fold of the Month
is an informal fold suitable for soft
thin fabrics such as organza as shown
here, using a matching fabric napkin
ring. There’s no need to be too precise
about the pleats which can be as large
or as small as you like.
larger the pleats, the softer the look.
You'll need a napkin ring to complete
1. Lay the napkin front side up in a
square and make horizontal pleats all
the way up.
2. Press along the folds then holding
the pleats together, fold in half from
right to left.
3. Take a napkin ring and push the
folded edge of the napkin through the
ring just far enough to hold the pleats
4. Turn the napkin so the open ends are
facing away from you and fan out.
Recipe of the Month #2
Spicy Pumpkin and
30th October is
Pumpkin Day and a jolly good date it is too
especially as they are in season plus it's the day
before Halloween which means those of you who will
be carving jack-o-lanterns will probably have lots
of pumpkin flesh available for cooking.
Here's a recipe using pumpkin courtesy
The original recipe used butternut squash
however, I have substituted pumpkin. In
fact, any type of squash can be used.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 Onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Red Chilli, deseeded and finely
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 medium Cauliflower, broken into
1kg Pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut
1 litre veg stock
salt and pepper to serve
sour cream to serve
Lime and parsley to garnish
Prep and Cooking
minutes Serves 4
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan,
cook over a low heat until softened.
Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1
minute, add spices and cook for a
Add the cauliflower and squash and toss
to coat in spices then add the stock
bring to the boil then simmer over a
gentle heat for 30 minutes until the
vegetables are soft.
Remove from the heat and puree in a
blender until smooth, reheat if
necessary and serve with a swirl of sour
Per serving: 202
calories, 5.8g fat, 0.4g saturates,
30.2g carbohydrate , 2.6g salt
Contains a over a third of your RDA of
calcium, folic acid and vitamin C and
counts for 3 of your 5-A-DAY
Don't throw away
the seeds as they make a wonderful snack once
washed, dried and lightly toasted .
Nutritional values of Pumpkins
Amount Per 1 cup -
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.171g
Saturated Fat 0.0903g
Dietary Fiber 2.68g
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000
calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or
lower depending on your calorie needs.
Harvesting of summer fruit and veg
will have mostly stopped by now, so you can start clearing the
ground of finished crops.
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 a winter supply of Herbs, pot up plants of Basil,
Marjoram, Oregano and Parsley and grow them on indoors
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
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.