Monday, 14 July 2008

Storage tips a plenty

I know we've already mentioned The Love Food Hate Waste campaign but everytime I revisit their website I'm so impressed by the information they have on offer. In particular, today I've been looking at their top tips and storage ideas. They're brilliant - especially if like me you go away a lot at weekends and don't like to chuck what's left in your fridge on your return. Tonight I think I will be reviving a loaf of bread.... "To freshen up a day old loaf, hold it very briefly under a running cold tap. Give it a good shake and pop in a hot oven for about 10 minutes; it will be as soft and crusty as freshly baked bread. "

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Chicken rich in omega 3?

Last night I finally managed to get a Hugh fix by catching up on all the River Cottage Spring programmes - a little behind I know but with the weather as it is at the moment, it was a lovely warm reminder of what summer should be like. As always, chicken featured prominently in the show, and just as I was about to whizz through it thinking "yes yes I know about the free range chickens" (and I buy them too) - I paused as he was investigating the nutritional content of a range of birds.
The Professor conducting the experiment was looking in particular at the omega 3 and overall fat content of battery chicken, versus corn fed chicken, versus free range organic. What I hadn't known was that chicken used to be naturally rich omega 3, before they were intensively reared and levels of omega 3 fell by 80%. Apparently, its the exercise that comes from scatching about in the grass for bugs and eating them that builds the good fat reserves, so was interested to see the outcome. Surprise, surprise free range organic came out with the highest amount of omega 3 - would HFW ever present something less competlling - but also much lower in total fat (about 25% I think). So not only is choosing free range chicken good for your conscience, but it is also good for your health!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Let Them Eat Chicken

We're posting this recipe in support of Let Them Eat Chicken, raising awareness of the broiler chicken industry. For more information go to Let Them Eat Chicken. This delicate summer chicken recipe is a favourite from Henrietta Green. The lettuce sauce may sound a bit strange but it's perfect for using bolted lettuce. Serves 4 8-12 chicken portions - wings, breast, thighs or drumsticks (whichever you prefer) or 1 chicken, cut into joints For the Marinade 5 tbsp olive oil juice of 1 lemon bunch of fresh chervil, chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper For the Lettuce Sauce 50g/2oz unsalted butter 1 small bunch spring onions, finely chopped 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped 1 Cos or Butterhead lettuce, finely chopped 3 tbsp dry white wine 2 tbsp crème fraiche Method Slash the skin of the chicken joints and put them in a suitable bowl for marinading. Mix the olive oil together with the lemon juice and half of the chervil, season and pour over the chicken. Leave to stand for a couple of hours. To cook the chicken, remove from the marinade and grill the chicken either on a pre-heated grill pan, under a preheated grill or, if the weather holds, on the barbecue. Grill until cooked through, turning occasionally and basting with the marinade. Meanwhile to make the sauce, melt the butter over a low heat and add the spring onions, chilli and cook for a couple of minutes to soften. Add the lettuce and stir until coated in butter. Pour in the white wine, cover and simmer gently for about 5-7 minutes or until the lettuce has thoroughly collapsed. Whiz the sauce in a food processor until smooth. With the machine still running, add the remaining chervil and the crème fraiche. Season and serve with the chicken.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Jersey - land of flowing cream and cider brandy

Just back from Jersey with news of my latest FoodFinds. Naturally the seafood is out of this world: lobster, Chancre crab, gambas the size of my feet.... (although being allergic to too-large prawns and lobster meant I could but drool as my husband tucked in). But who knew of Jersey wine from La Mare vineyard - dry, crisp and great with oysters, or their Jersey apple brandy, distilled from their own-made cider, or their 'black butter' made from their own - and local - apples, crushed with a little liquorice and cider to make a blackish-preserve that will make a fabulous marinade for pork...?