Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Pea and gammon soup, a true winter warmer

I have fond memories of my childhood that involve homemade pea and ham soup, If I recall rightly it wasn't even strictly pea and ham, more like pea and bacon bones soup. I  think now a days I would probably struggle to get hold of bacon bones but channelling a similar frugal vibe and finding myself with a quantity of gammon stock and left over cooked gammon, I decided to try to recreate a taste of my youth.

Dried marrowfat peas are available in most supermarkets and also in your local health food store there are  pretty cheap too, as well as being the main ingredient for fabulous homemade mushy peas they are also great added to soups. They are also very frugal and bulk up into a satisfying soup which has that essential rib sticking winter quality that you are aiming for in a pea and ham soup.

All you need to do is soak them overnight (ideally) with a little bicarbonate of soda before cooking until soft with water or stock. They store well in an airtight jar for ages and also have the added benefit of being able to be germinated in a pot for pea shoots for salads in summer if the mood so take you.

What you need
  • Soaked marrowfat peas
  • Stock, ideally from cooking your gammon
  • Leftover gammon, shredded
What you do
  • Rinse your soaked marrowfat peas
  • Simmer them with stock until softened and the peas have started to fall
  • Thin your soup to your desired consistency , add the shredded gammon and simmer until the gammon is warmed through.
  • Season and serve with crusty bread
Delicious and very comforting, the equivalent of a hug but in soup form......

Given that this recipe is made using leftovers and frugal marrowfat peas I am entering this post in Credit Crunch munch created by Helen over at Fussfreeflavours and Camilla at Fab food for all, this month hosted by My Golden Pear.


I am also including it in Elizabeth's Kitchen diary "Shop local" blogging challenge as the  gammon was bought from the local butcher and the peas from Booths the amazing north west supermarket chain which has a great passion for local regional produce.


And last but no means least the No Waste Food Challenge over at London unattached and Elizabeth Kitchen diary.

                                            No Waste Food Challenge

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Samsung - Launching People apply now !

Samsung have just launched an exciting mentoring programme "Launching People" featuring four great mentors including the very talented pop up chef and food writer Gizzi Erskine. 

Gizzi is working in partnership with Samsung in searching for undiscovered British talent so if you one of the chosen applicants you will be filmed for a TV show following the mentors helping in Gizzi's case food lovers launching their brilliant ideas to the food world.

Gizzi is looking for food lovers with a passionate drive and a great knowledge of food who are happy to be unconventional and not afraid to break the rules. Check out the below video of youtube for more details of what "Launching People" is all about and how you can apply to be considered for the programme.

Alternatively jump across to the dedicated facebook page here and read the guidelines and upload your video application. So do you dare to be different, have original ideas and have the energy and drive to take your idea forward then this is the opportunity for you.

#Launchingpeople is also active on twitter too ! so tweet about your project if you like, the more public who vote for project the better your chances.

If your not a foodie then there is also opportunities for FILM, PHOTOGRAPHY or MUSIC pitches as well.

I'm really excited to be taking part in promoting this campaign, as you know that grass roots food and new exciting food really interests me. The application period closes on the 6th March 2014 so get your skates on.

This post is a "paid for post" for which I have received compensation, all views are my own.


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Gluten free banana loaf

For medical reasons I have recently switched to being gluten free and whilst this is proving a little challenging in the bread department, its not effecting cake baking too much....

Gluten free flours don't behave in the same manner as wheat based flour but frankly in this recipe you struggle to tell its gluten free. It is a satisfying bake which is great to use up past there best bananas, personally I love banana cakes as they have a beautiful aroma whilst baking and this one in no exception.

I am thinking of swirling in chocolate hazelnut spread next time round to provide an extra level of decadence, you could also add nuts if you would like more texture.

What you need
  • 75g softened butter
  • 175g sugar
  • 2 eggs free range - beaten
  • 3 large bananas - the spottier the better
  • 200g gluten free plain flour ( I used Dove's farm)
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

What you do

  • Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin
  • Cream the butter and sugar in the mixer until light and fluffy
  • Add the eggs and bananas, flour and bicarbonate and mix until well incorporated
  • Pour into the prepared tin
  • Bake for about 60 minutes at 180c until its golden and cooked through
  • Cool on a wire rack

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Hunters Chicken

This is a quick and easy recipe that can be on the table in about 40 minutes from getting home from work. Utilising store cupboard ingredients its a recipe that can pep up boring chicken breasts into a tasty evening meal, economy wise its pretty good too as it can also be used for emptying the fridge of the last couple of rashers of bacon and that small square of cheese languishing in the back of the fridge.

We always serve this with a rocket salad and if you have hungry bellies to fill a jacket potato would be good too.

What you need
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • Cheddar cheese - grated
BBQ sauce
  • Tomato sauce (homemade in my case)- about 1/2 cup
  • Vinegar ( I used homemade blackberry vinegar) - about 1/4 cup
  • splash of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
Pre heat oven to 180c
  • Wrap the chicken breasts with the bacon and place on your baking tray
  • Sprinkle with grated cheese and pop in the pre heated oven for 15 minutes
  • Whilst this is baking mix all the sauce ingredients together until you have a smooth sauce
  • After the 15 minutes have passed, spoon the sauce over the chicken and bake for a further 20 minutes
  • Serve with salad and spoon over the excess sauce

Friday, 7 February 2014

Cereal bars for walkers

Mr Lancashire Food joined a walking group last year and one of the hot topics of conversation on the walks is cereal bars and flapjacks and the dubious quality of  the commercially available versions and also the expense of them.

Quite a few of the walkers don't bake so over the last few weeks I have been sending Mr LF with parcels of different recipes. This one have proved the most favourite so far, making you own cereal bars is a much better idea as you know what ingredients are in your bar and also the cost per bar is around half what a commercially available bar retails at.

What you need
  • 225g oats
  • 75g sunflower seeds
  • 100g dried fruit (dates / raisins)
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 25g sesame seeds
  • 25g rice crispies
  • 75ml vegetable oil
  • 75g honey or maple syrup
  • 50g light brown sugar
8" square tin (lined)

What you do 
  • Preheat the oven to 150c 
  • Place all the dry ingredients except for the sugar in a large bowl and stir until well mixed
  • In a small saucepan bring the vegetable oil, honey and sugar to the boil
  • Mix the honey/oil mixture with the dry ingredients and stir until everything is coated with the mixture.
  • Scoop into the prepared tin and press down firmly
  • Bake for 30 -35 minutes until lightly golden
  • Cool in the tin
  • Once cold cut into slices, squares or bars.
Serve to hungry walkers ! 

Monday, 3 February 2014

February - Cheese of the Month

This months Cheese of the month is 

How's Yer Father
Saddleworth Cheese Company

Check out the the post here

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Meeting 22 - Strictly Cupcakes, Penwortham - Plain and Simple

    Strictly Cupcakes Penwortham

The 22nd meeting (wowzer that alot of cake !) of South Lancashire clandestine cake club was kindly hosted by Strictly Cupcakes in Penwortham. Despite cupcakes being a banned cake format the team at Strictly Cupcakes allowed us to visit their cute funky tea shop on a very rainy and dismal day. By popular demand our theme was plain and simple, so thats the classic recipes,  no fancy icing or decorations.

We had a great turnout despite the horrid weather and our 10 cakes looked great on the display table and the theme was a real winner as it meant that we were all able to enjoy more cake before secoming to the inevitable sugar rush.

The team at Strictly Cupcakes was fantastic catering to our every wim and also helping make in roads into our cake mountian too. We all enjoyed the lovely tea shop and amazing range of traditional cakes on offer, nice to see also was that the shop also stocked locally made Fredericks icecream and also a great range of cake decorating supplies.

We had Coffee & Walnut cake, Chocolate marble cake,Ginger cake and honey and banana loaf cake.

 Maderia Cake, Apple and caramel cake, Seed Cake and Lemon drizzle loaf cake.

Lemon Yogurt cake and Lancashire tea loaf.

You can find Strictly cupcakes in Penwortham at the junction of Liverpool Rd (A59) and Priory Lane. They also have another smaller shop in Preston city centre on Cannon St where you can also pop in for tea and cake.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

February - A Quick Bite Of Lancashire Food

Sean Wilson - Saddleworth Cheese Company and Chef

This months featured foodie is none other than ex Corrie Star turned chef, cheese-maker Sean Wilson. Local Lancashire lad has gone from being a soap star to a cheese star , Sean is also soon to be one of the featured celebrities at the forthcoming seventh Wigan Food and Drink festival. Recently Sean published The Great Northern Cookbook which accompanied a television series showcasing northern food, if you are interested in winning a copy then check out this easy to enter giveaway.

Sean has kindly found time to answer our now familiar questions, to give us an insight into his food inspirations.

  • What is your favourite cookery or food book or publication ?
Wow!! Well I have a rather extended collection of food books including antique ones all the way through to present day. Simon Hopkinson, Keith Floyd, Nigel Slater, Elizabeth David.They are all special to me for different reasons. It’s a bit like asking me for my favourite single.

  • What sentence sums up Lancashire Food to you ?
“Pie Chips and gravy please”

  • If you weren't doing what you do now, what would you like to be ?
I’d like to be under the sea. in an Octopuses garden. in the shade. hee hee

  • Which piece of kit could you not do without ?
Knives. end of

  • Who would join you at your ultimate dinner party and why?
Peter O’Toole, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Keith Floyd please..

  • What advice would you give to your younger self ?
Enjoy yer senn..have some fun!!

  • Describe your style in three words
Modern, rustic, fun.

  • What was your latest foodie gadget purchase ?
Potato Ricer.  Perfect mash!!

  • What is your greatest achievement to date ?
World Cheese Award GOLD, 3 years running with our Blue cheese “Smelly Ha’peth”

  • What is the worst mistake you have made ?
I am a Lancashire Cheese-maker and I was doing a cooking demo in Lancashire, making Lancashire Cheese Soufflé and guess which ingredient I forgot ??

  • Tell us a secret about yourself, maybe something we wouldn’t expect ? 
I am a Twitcher!! Birdwatcher in plain English. Best spot, Montagu’s Harrier!!

Cheese of the Month - No 14

How's Yer Father - Saddleworth Cheese Company

How's yer father is a traditional Lancashire Cheese produced Saddleworth Cheese Co, the creation of Sean Wilson the Martin Platt Coronation Street fame. We like a nice Lancashire cheese here at Lancashire Food and How's yer father doesn't disappoint made in the famous Dewlays diary in Garstang using milk only sourced in the PR3 postcode this is a creamy slighty tangy Lancashire cheese. 

Made by traditional methods this green waxed cheese is avaliable to purchase through various quality outlets along with the rest of the range.

Hows yer father

Sean is currently also our featured Quick bite of Lancashire Food, so why not find out more about this cheesemaker here.
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