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
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A New York restaurant where an average meal for two will cost $700 has been named the best in the world. Eleven Madison Park won the accolade for the first time after debuting on the list at number 50 in 2010. The restaurant was praised for a fun sense of fine-dining, “blurring the line between the kitchen and the dining room”
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Researchers at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in Chicago recently presented their results of a study looking into the effects of sleep deprivation upon high-calorific food consumption. Researchers found that those who were sleep-deprived had “specifically enhanced” brain activity to the food smells compared to when they had a good night’s sleep
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Drinking wine is the ideal workout for your brain, engaging more parts of our grey matter than any other human behaviour, according to a leading neuroscientist. Dr Gordon Shepherd, from the Yale School of Medicine, said sniffing and analysing a wine before drinking it requires “exquisite control of one of the biggest muscles in the body”
4/26 British dessert eating surges after people ditch healthy eating in February
: In heartening news for anyone feeling guilty about quitting their New Year diet, it seems lots of us have given in to our sweet tooths once again. New data from nationwide food-delivery service Deliveroo reveals there was a surge in Brits ordering desserts in February compared to the first month of 2017
5/26 US congress debates definition of milk alternatives
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6/26 Cadbury’s launches two new chocolate bars
UK confectionary giant Cadbury has launched two new chocolate bars, hoping to lure those with a sweet tooth and perhaps help combat some of the challenges it faces from rising commodity prices and a post-Brexit slump in the value of the pound.The company’s new products will be peanut butter and mint flavoured. They will be available in most major super markets as 120g bars, priced at £1.49, according to the company
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10/26 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
11/26 ‘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 . 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
12/26 Ping Pong menu with a twist
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13/26 Zizzi unveil the Ma’amgharita
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14/26 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
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Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Britain’s avocado lovers 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
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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”
18/26 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
19/26 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
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22/26 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
23/26 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
24/26 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
25/26 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
26/26 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
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