The word on the street
Gone are the days of low-quality festival fare – this week, our resident chef celebrates the thriving success story that is the British street food scene
We recently launched our 'Fish Dog' van at Jamie Oliver's Big Feastival down at Alex James's farm in Kingham. The event was a huge success and great fun for all the family. I think the combination of good music and street food works a treat, and the punters really seemed to enjoy eating all the delicious food on offer while they were watching Texas and Paloma Faith with a nice cold beer – it was a great weekend event.
There are lots of these types of music and food festivals popping up all over the country. Since Richard Johnson's Street Food Awards was created a few years back, the whole mobile food thing has really kicked off – and it was about time too, as some of the food at festivals was shoddy to say the least. Now, thankfully, it's starting to be replaced by inspirational, well-sourced and healthy options. Richard's awards are now an annual event and took place earlier this month in Hoxton; it's great to see the diversity of really good-quality street food that's on offer in the UK.
Even great British drinks are getting in on the act; during the festival I was a regular visitor to the Chapel Down oyster and wine tent and approved very much of their award-winning sparkling rosé and their new beer Curious Brew, which is made with champagne yeast.
After a stroll around Feastival on the Sunday morning after a big party the night before, we opted for a healthy and tempting lobster roll from Café Mor, the Pembrokeshire beach-food company. They won the Best Sandwich at the recent Street Food Awards for f their seashore wrap with fresh crab; and here is their recipe for a delicious lobster roll.
1 cooked lobster, shelled (save the shells for a soup or stock)
4 small hamburger buns or small soft ciabatta rolls
A handful of small tasty salad leaves
For the coleslaw
1 large shallot, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated or shredded
A few leaves of white cabbage, shredded
3-4tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix all of the ingredients together for the coleslaw and season to taste. Warm the buns and cut in half; spoon on the coleslaw. Slice up the lobster and arrange on the coleslaw with the leaves on top and place the bun lid back on. Top with relish of your choice.
Another great find at Feastival was an outfit called Brindian who have very cleverly combined Indian food with a British twist. I managed eventually to get to the front of the queue to sample a 'Naanwich', which is basically a naan-bread sandwich. You can also make this as a vegetable, meat or fish curry.
For the flatbread
500g strong white bread flour
7g dried yeast mixed with about 150ml warm water
1tbsp clear honey
3tbsp vegetable oil
2tbsp natural yogurt
For the curry
1tbsp fenugreek seeds
1tbsp fennel seeds
1tbsp fenugreek leaves
1tbsp cumin seeds
1tbsp dried chillies
½tbsp caraway seeds
½tbsp nigella seeds
1tbsp mustard seeds
½tbsp podded cardamon seeds
1tbsp ground cumin
1tbsp ground coriander
1tbsp ground or freshly grated turmeric
1tsp ground cinnamon
500-600g neck of mutton fillet, diced into rough 2cm pieces
3 medium red onions, peeled, halved and finely chopped
5 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
30g of root ginger, scraped and finely grated
A good pinch of saffron
1 black cardamom pod
Small handful of curry leaves
1tbsp tomato purée
1ltr lamb or beef stock
4 dried red chillies
A handful of coriander, roughly chopped, to finish
First make the flatbread: mix the ingredients together in a mixing machine with the dough hook for 2-3 minutes with enough warm water to make an elastic dough. Cover the f bowl with clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm place for a couple of hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it back to its original size on a lightly-floured table. Lightly flour a rolling pin, divide the dough into 4 and roll the dough into rough slipper shapes and place on a lightly-floured tray and cover with a damp cloth; leave to prove again while the curry is cooking.
Coarsely grind all of the whole spices in a spice grinder, or with a pestle and mortar. Then mix them with the already ground spices and sprinkle into a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly and not letting them burn, until they turn dark brown. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.
To make the sauce, gently cook the onion, garlic, ginger, saffron, curry leaves and black cardamom, in two-thirds of the ghee for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the curry spices and tomato purée and stir well.
Add the stock and dried chillies, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Remove the chillies, blend half of the sauce in a liquidiser until smooth, then add it back to the rest of the sauce.
Return to a low heat and continue simmering until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Heat the remaining ghee in a frying pan, season the mutton pieces and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning as they are cooking, until lightly coloured. Pour the sauce in and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mutton is tender. It may need a little longer as it's difficult to put an exact cooking time on slow-cooked dishes. Roughly chop the coriander and stir into the curry and keep warm with a lid on.
Heat a ribbed griddle pan on the stove and lightly brush with oil. Carefully remove the flatbreads from the tray and place on the griddle and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. To serve, place the flatbreads on warmed serving plates, spoon the curry on half of the bread and fold the rest over.
Pork and pickle roll
I've not seen this anywhere, I just made it up. But a piece of pork tenderloin, quickly grilled and sliced with some dill pickles that I made the other week, is a perfect simple combo.
1 pork tenderloin, cut into 8 slices and flattened slightly with the palm of your hand
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little vegetable or corn oil
As much dill pickle or sliced gherkin as you wish
4 soft baps or ciabatta rolls
Heat a ribbed griddle pan, season the pork and grill them for 2-3 minutes on each side, keeping them nice and pink. Warm the bread and cut in half and fill with the dill pickles and pork, as well as dill mustard if you wish.
Hamburguesa blanco y negro
I tasted this great Spanish snack at the opening night of Brindisa's new restaurant Tramontana in Shoreditch. It was created by Tramontana's Alberto Torres and Josep Carbonell, who remember eating this little hamburger made with black and white sausage in their childhood.
200-250g good-quality Spanish black pudding
200-250g good-quality sausagemeat
A little vegetable or corn oil for frying
A handful of small, tasty salad leaves
4 small soft burger buns
Mix the black pudding and sausagemeat together and mould into 4 flat patties the size of the burger buns. Heat the vegetable oil in preferably a non-stick frying pan and cook the burgers on a medium to high heat for a couple of minutes on each side. Warm the buns, cut them in half and assemble the burgers with the salad.
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