Our friends on the other side of the pond are celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, and with Christmas just weeks away these recipes will give the perfect trial run for the festive feast.
Roast chicken with crème fraîche, new potatoes and watercress
My love of roast chicken is well documented. It’s such a clever, versatile and crowd-pleasing thing. Moist, sweet, salty and delicious, there are few things that deliver as much joy. This is a one-pot wonder. Into the oven it goes, leaving you free to do all those early evening chores: help with the homework, bath the children, clean up the play room, sort out the dog etc, before dinner and that vat of wine.
1 large chicken, about 1.5kg
200g crème fraîche
4 tsp vegetable oil
500g new potatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 200C. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper, then spoon the crème fraîche into the cavity. Plug the end of the chicken with the lemon half. Rub the chicken with some of the oil, season well and then place in a roasting tin, breast up.
Roll the potatoes in the remaining oil and then scatter around the chicken. Place the chicken in the oven and roast for 1 hour 10 minutes without opening the oven door. Leave it. Pick the largest stems off the watercress and put the lot into a large bowl filled with cold water. Push the watercress under the water and place the bowl in the fridge. The clean watercress will float to the top while all the dirt will sink to the bottom.
Take the chicken out of the oven. Pour the crème fraîche out of the chicken over the potatoes in the tin, then turn the chicken upside down onto a board and leave it to sit for 10 minutes so that all the juices flow back into the breast. It will be done. Meanwhile, place the tin over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring the potatoes around the tin so all the lovely sticky bits come off the sides of the tin and make the sauce. Take it off the heat.
Lift the watercress out of the bowl and shake off the excess water. Put the chicken and potatoes onto a large platter, scatter over the watercress and pour yourself a congratulatory vat of wine.
Tip: Mix in root vegetables like turnips and parsnips. Add a spoonful of mustard for a bit of spice in the crème fraîche.
Recipe by John Torode. See him cooking live at BBC Good Food Show at NEC Birmingham, 24-27 November
Berry and mascarpone tarts
These simple little tarts are just a joy. Buttery, sweet, soft and comforting – what more could you want? The key to their success is the combination of sharp yet sweet fruit and a whipped cream filling, and not being too precious about how they look. The pastry can be a bit wonky but the soft fruit is so pretty it doesn’t matter.
For the pastry
500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
250g softened butter, cubed
150g icing sugar, sifted
4 egg yolks
For the filling
120ml double cream
50g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways and seeds scraped out
2 small punnets of berries (raspberries and blackberries – or whatever is in season), washed
1 tin of cherries in syrup, drained (200g)
You will need one 12-hole jam tart tin and a fluted cutter
Heat the oven to 200C. Sift the flour and salt onto a worktop. Make a well in the centre, add the butter and icing sugar and gently work them together with your fingertips. Add the egg yolks and gradually draw in the flour, adding drops of the water as you go, until a dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Food and drink news
Food and drink news
1/27 Food School
Kids celebrate Food School graduation with James Martin – a campaign launched by Asda to educate young people on where food comes from. New research has revealed that children across the UK just aren’t stepping up to the plate when it comes to simple facts about the food they eat – with almost half of children under eight not knowing that eggs come from chickens
2/27 ‘Do-It-Yourself’ restaurant
To encourage more people to cook and eat together, IKEA has launched The Dining Club in Shoreditch – a fully immersive ‘Do-It-Yourself’ restaurant – which will open its doors from 10 - 25 September 2016. Members of the public can book to host a brunch, lunch or dinner party for up to 20 friends and family. Supported by their very own sous chef and maître de, the host and their guests will orchestrate an intimate dining experience where cooking together is celebrated and eating together is inspirational
Mikael Buck / IKEA
3/27 Ping Pong menu with a twist
Gatwick Airport has teamed up with London dim sum restaurant Ping Pong to create a limited edition menu with a distinctly British twist; including a Full English Bao and Beef Wellington Puff, to celebrate the launch of the airport’s new route to Hong Kong
4/27 Food photography masterclass
To celebrate the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, photographers share tips on how to create an award winning food photography using the full-frame, palm-sized interchangeable lens Sony α7R II camera. A series of stunning food photography images capture the exquisite, mouth-watering detail of the dinner table close up. Tapping into the growing trend of food photography, renowned food photographer Hugh Johnson has shared his step-by-step guide to capturing incredible gastronomic imagery. Winning and shortlisted photographers will be exhibited at Somerset House from 22 April – 8 May
5/27 Zizzi unveil the Ma’amgharita
Unique pizza art has been created by Zizzi in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday. The pizza features the queen in an iconic pose illustrated with fresh and tasty Italian ingredients on a backdrop of the Union Jack
6/27 Blue potatoes make a comeback
Blue potatoes, once a staple part of British potato crops, are back on the menu thanks to a Cambridge scientist turned-organic farmer and Farmdrop, an online marketplace that lets people buy direct from local farms. Cambridge PhD graduate-turned farmer, Adrian Izzard has used traditional growing techniques at Wild Country Organics to produce the colourful spuds, packed with healthy cell-protecting anthocyanin, which had previously disappeared from UK plates when post-war farmers were pushed towards higher-yielding varieties
7/27 France plans to usurp Scotland as the home of the world's best whisky
France is planning to usurp Scotland’s reputation as the home of the world’s best whisky, fired by a growing national obsession with the drink. According to a study by retail consultants Bonial, the French drink more whisky than any other country – an average of 2.15 litres a year, compared to 1.8 litres in second-placed Uruguay and the US in third on 1.4 litres
Bloomberg via Getty Images
8/27 Chocolate-filled extravaganza
The London Contemporary Orchestra prepares for one of a kind performance in iconic St Luke’s in Old Street. After unique collaboration with Cadbury Dairy Milk they've produced an incredible multi-sensory live event, which will go ahead on 23 February, pairing the sound music with the taste of chocolate (the event is free to the public!)
¬© Jane Stockdale, ¬© Jane S
9/27 Creme Egg Cafe in London
The Cadbury Creme Egg cafe has opened on Greek Street in Soho, London and it welcomes everyone on the weekends, until 6 March 2016. The menu offers most delicious creme egg toasties and cakes and you may want to jump in to the ball pool for some more fun (available for children and adults!)
Cadbury Creme Egg / Joel Anderso
10/27 Cronut inventor Dominique Ansel to open first bakery in London
The inventor of the Cronut – a croissant and doughnut hybrid – is set to launch his first bakery in London. Dominique Ansel announced that his eponymous bakery will open at some point in 2016 on Instagram by posting an image of one of his famous pastries decorated with a Union Jack flag. The chef said he was “thrilled” about his new venture
11/27 Eating cereal may not be the healthiest way to start the day
The old saying goes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so many of us do as we are told and grab a bowl of cereal before we head out the door. But an expert has warned that while many cereals boxes claim their contents are the perfect start to the day, many are packed full of sugar and carbohydrates with little nutritional value. Even some seemingly-health muesli cereals have a lot of added sugar in the form of honey, malt, molasses, dried fruit or “even fruit juice”
12/27 Alton Towers Resort launches the UK’s first Rollercoaster Restaurant
For guests seeking a dining experience with a twist, Alton Towers Resort launches the UK’s first Rollercoaster Restaurant, brand new and opening in May 2016. The new restaurant is set below a vast rollercoaster track where diners can watch as their order tackles two gravity defying loop-the-loops before dropping 8m/26ft down the tornado spiral to their table. To ensure that the menu is up to the challenge, each of the dishes will be put through its paces at the Resort’s extensive test centre to guarantee that each one can withstand the force
13/27 'Heat map' shows which areas of Britain enjoy the spiciest curries
After Bradford was named the Curry Capital of Britain for the fifth year running, a map has been released showing which regions of Britain enjoy a spicy curry and which prefer the milder variants. According to the map developed by Hari Ghotra, Kent, Essex, West Yorkshire and Lancashire are the heat-handling kings of Britain, while Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all prefer milder curries. The data was collected by monitoring the location of social media posts that mentioned names of curries. These were then given a spice rating and were then collated to give each area a score out of 1000
14/27 Peckham-based business develops 'first hangover-preventing meat'
Victorians threw cold water over themselves, Native Americans licked their own sweat and Ancient Egyptians would cast spells on their beer. These days, the office barfly is more likely to be seen sipping an Alka-Seltzer the day after the night before. But the hangover-treatment industry is now reported to be worth billions, so it’s no wonder everyone from big pharma to quirky hipster start-ups are inventing new and enticing ways to cash in on the painful headaches and slumps in productivity – starting by preventing hangovers in the first place. One of the latest miracle cures to hit the shelves in 2015 is salami. Serious Pig, a Peckham-based craft meat business, has developed what it calls “the world’s first hangover- preventing meat treat”
15/27 French cheese under threat from mass production and ‘bacteriological correctness’
Search where you will in the most exclusive cheese shops in France and you will no longer find a bleu de Termignon, a vacherin d’Abondance or a galette des Monts-d’Or. They are among 50 species of French cheese to have vanished in the past four decades. The survival of French cheese made in the traditional manner with lait cru or raw, unpasteurised milk, is threatened by the “bacteriological correctness” of European and national food safety regulation
16/27 Non-alcoholic cocktails are seriously chic
We are living through a new era of creative, non-alcoholic drinks that go way beyond a coke or sweet mocktail. The world is becoming more health conscious. There's the war on sugar, and teetotalism is on the rise, with more than one in five not drinking at all (especially young adults), according to The National Statistics for Adult Drinking Habits. This abstinence is even more pronounced in London, with almost one in three turning away from alcohol. An increasing number of mixologists are applying their talents to the creation of non-alcoholic drinks that taste as good as their boozy alternatives
17/27 Japanese whisky crisis
Suntory’s chief blender Mr. Fukuyo San blends component whiskies to create Suntory Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve, a blend of young and old single malts. Japan’s warm climate and varied seasons makes it perfect environment to age and blend whiskies, creating subtle, refined and complex expressions.The recent trend for Japanese whisky has put the spirit on the verge of a global shortage
18/27 Crisps made with real ingredients
Michelin starred chef, Simon Rogan in action cooking a menu inspired by the provenance ingredients in the new Chef’s Signature range from Kettle Chips. Kettle Chips, the nation’s favourite premium crisp brand, has launched the new range of crisps with exciting new seasonings, made with the highest quality food ingredients rather than chemicals or artificial flavours
19/27 The price of an avocado is set to rise
Britain’s avocado coulovers are facing a significant increase in the cost of their favourite salad food because the so-called superfood is becoming too popular. High demand from health-conscious consumers has led Peru to triple its avocado exports since 2010, with exports to the UK up 58% over the past year
20/27 Burger King to sell alcohol in the UK
Burger King could become the first fast food chain to sell alcohol in its UK restaurants. The popular eatery plans to sell American beers in plastic bottles from this month onwards. The beverages are only to be consumed on restaurant premises
21/27 Guinness to become vegan-friendly
Guinness is set to become vegan friendly for the first time in its 256-year history, as the company announced its plan to stop using fish bladders in its filters
22/27 Why the salmon on your plate might not actually be salmon
Salmon that ends up on the dinner table may not be salmon at all, a study has suggested. The problem of salmon mislabelling has become an increasing issue in the US in the winter months, according to American research published by Oceana. The findings show that 43 per cent of the salmon tested was mislabelled – the most common instance of this being when farmed Atlantic salmon was sold as wild salmon
23/27 McDonald's launches 'premium' burger range
Fast-food chain McDonald’s is throwing its hat into the UK’s gourmet burger ring after launching its Signature Collection. The premium burgers, which feature the restaurant's thickest ever beef patty made from 100 per cent British and Irish beef, were made available in 28 restaurants in London and the South
24/27 Additives in popular chicken nuggets
Ingredients, a new book co-created by photographer Dwight Eschliman and food writer Steve Ettlinger distils 25 products, including popcorn, Red Bull and chicken soup, focusing on 75 of the most common food additives and revealing what each one looks like, where it comes from and why it is used. McDonald’s chicken nuggets were found to contain 40 different ingredients. These included dextrose, a sugar also used by shoe makers to make leather more pliable, and corn starch, used for thickening food as well as also being a substitute for petrol
25/27 New Zealanders are behind a lot of the interesting food and drink stuff happening in the UK
Dark beers are more suited to cold months, so the thinking goes, but in one part of the world they're always popular. "Lots of breweries in New Zealand have got stouts and porters among their best sellers," says Stu McKinlay, one half of the duo behind Wellington brewing company Yeastie Boys. McKinlay recently swapped Wellington for west Kent in order to launch Yeastie Boys in the UK, and he's joined forces with four other breweries (8 Wired, Renaissance, Three Boys, Tuatara) as part of the New Zealand Craft Beer Collective, to promote his country's finest over here
26/27 How dangerous is a bacon sandwich
A recent WHO report warning that processed and red meats can cause cancer may have left you thinking a little harder about whether to pick up that bacon butty for breakfast or ditch a beef-filled Bolognese for dinner - but how worried should we be? The review of 800 studies for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) prompted global health experts to cast processed meats - including bacon, ham and sausages - into the ominous-sounding list of group 1 carcinogens, where they joined formaldehyde, gamma radiation and cigarettes. Eating just a 50g portion of processed meat – or two rashers of bacon - a day increases the risk of bowel cancer by 18 per cent, the experts concluded
27/27 Best UK fish and chip shops revealed in ‘Oscars’ of fish-frying industry
Devon, Norfolk, Yorkshire and Somerset offer the best fish and chips in the UK, according to the 2016 National Fish and Chip Awards. Selected from a shortlist of 10 semi-finalists, Hanbury’s Famous Fish and Chips in Babbacombe, Devon; No 1 Cromer in Cromer, Norfolk; Papa’s Fish and Chips in Willerby, East Yorkshire; The Scallop Shell in Bath, Somerset; and Trenchers Restaurant in Whitby, North Yorkshire have been declared the best restaurants serving the traditional English dish
On a lightly floured worktop, roll out the pastry and use a fluted cutter to cut out circles large enough to line the cups of the 12-hole jam tart tin (the cutter should be just a bit bigger than the size of a hole – normally about 6cm). Bake in the oven for 10–12 minutes – they’ll puff up in the centre. Take the tin out of the oven and push the centre down with a piece of baking paper, then put them back in the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes to cook the pastry completely. Turn the pastry cases out of their tins onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
Once the cooling process is complete, fill and top the tarts. Beat the mascarpone with the cream, sugar and vanilla seeds until fluffy. Spoon some of the filling into each tart and top with berries and cherries.
Recipe by John Torode
Ian Cumming’s Merry Berry Steam Pudding
150ml Belvoir Blackcurrant & Blueberry Cordial
150g cranberries (fresh or frozen but if frozen defrost first)
120g unsalted butter
120g light brown sugar
Generous pinch of salt
2 large eggs
120g self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tbsp milk
Put the cranberries and cordial in a fairly large saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes until the cranberries have softened and quite a bit of the liquid has boiled away. Add the honey and mix it in. Butter a 1.2 litre pudding basin. Pour the berry and honey mixture into the basin. Beat the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly between each one. Sieve in the flour and the mixed spice and gently fold it in. Carefully fold in the milk and then finally the blueberries. Pour this on top of the berry mixture in the basin.
Fill a large pan with enough water to come half way up the side of the pudding bowl. Bring to the boil. Meanwhile, take a large piece of baking parchment, put a pleat in it and put it over the pudding. Then take a piece of tin foil, put a pleat in that and put that over the parchment. Tie some string around the rim and then use some extra string to make a handle in order to lift the pudding into the pan of boiling water.
Boil for 2 hours, occasionally checking that there is sufficient water in the pan. Use the string handle to remove the pudding from the pan. Snip off the string and remove the foil and parchment. Place a plate on top and carefully invert it all. Serve immediately with custard, cream or ice cream.
Recipe by Belvoir Fruit Farms who will be exhibiting at BBC Good Food Show at NEC Birmingham, 24-27 NovemberReuse content