National Rice Week

National Rice Week

It’s National Rice Week and it’s fair to say, given we specialise in Asian food, that were are all over it!

Incredibly, rice is the mainstay of food for over half the world’s population and has become much more than just an accompaniment in a dish.

It’s very versatile and can be used to make great starters, main and desserts (rice pudding anyone?). What other ingredient can do that?

Read more

Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

When an author of Henry James’ stature says that, it would be foolish to disagree, so when we discovered the date of this year’s annual afternoon tea, we couldn’t wait to start cooking.

But before you get the recipes (yes, we are spoiling you with three this time!), let’s start with a bit of history (hey, at least it shows the research we put into out blogs!).

Read more

Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Glastonbury

Glastonbury – have frying pan, will travel

Glastonbury is underway, so after the recent hot spell that pretty much guarantees that the 100,000-plus people who attend the festival will find themselves drenched and bogged down in mud by the end of it.

It’s hard to believe that the first festival took place in 1970 with just one act, T-Rex, who actually replaced The Kinks at the last minute. There were 1,500 tickets sold for that festival.

This weekend, around 135,000 people will watch the likes of Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry and Kris Kristofferson (yes, there is something for all ages!), so it’s certainly changed a great deal in the last 47 years.

Read more

Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

If you like Star Wars, yesterday would have been your day (May the 4th Be with you), but whilst we are big fans of the movies (apart from Phantom Menace of course!) we prefer to celebrate Cinco de May0. (5th of May).

That’s because Mexican food is one of the staples in the SK kitchen.

Read more

Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Yorkshire Pudding Day

Yorkshire Pudding Day

On Yorkshire Pudding Day, why, we ask, is there still no EU protected status for this simple (if you know how to cook them that is!) dish?

Melton Mowbray pork pies, Stornoway black puddings, Cumberland sausage, Jersey royal potatoes and Cornish clotted cream all have this status, which means it must be produced in the area in question and be of a certain quality.

Don’t get me wrong, these are all fine things, but the Yorkshire pudding has been around for centuries and yet there is still no sign of it being bestowed the status it deserves. Read more

Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Alternative Christmas desserts

Alternative Christmas desserts

Ok, hands up, who really likes Christmas pudding? In the last blog, we talked about alternative Christmas dinners, so it’s now time to have a look at alternative Christmas desserts

Let’s say you ignore our advice and have a big turkey dinner on the 25th, we’re willing to bet that by the time it comes to dessert, a large slab of Christmas pudding will be more stodge than your waistband can stand.

Read more

Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Great British Game Week

Great British Game Week

It’s Great British Game Week

It’s good to see game meat becoming more popular, featuring on restaurant menus, recipe books and on television (on shows like Masterchef and Great British Menu you are more likely to see chefs using rabbit, venison and quail, than chicken, for example).

I think people can be put off by the fact that game can be more challenging on the taste buds. That’s why you hear a phrase like “it’s very gamey” – you don’t however hear people say “it’s very chickeny’, for example. I am not sure that is even a word but you get my drift!

Granted, it can be a little tougher, depending on the age of the animal and how skilled the cook is of course, but it’s generally more flavoursome than farmed meat.

I have also, on a few occasions, ordered pheasant in a restaurant and have had to spit out pieces of shot – but please don’t let this put you off; it’s all part and parcel of eating game and it’s certainly not dull!

If you are still unconvinced, here are a few tips for making sure your ‘game experience’ is a positive one.

Buy your meat game direct from butchers or farm shops. Avoid the supermarkets as game from here will most probably be farmed (which means you can guarantee there will be no shot in the meat of course!)
Ask your butcher how old the game is (a good one will know all the detail) because this will affect the cooking of it. Fresh game can be cooked quickly (pan frying in lots of butter is always a winner) whereas older meat should be slowly cooked, with stewing a good option.

Fresh game can be frozen but do it as soon as you buy it and make sure you eat it within a few months.
If you are keep fresh game in the fridge, make sure you eat it within a couple of days and don’t let it touch or drip onto other food.

Hopefully, you will now be ‘game’ enough to try it but if you need any further persuasion try the following recipe:

Roasted rabbit with potatoes and vegetables

Ingredients:

One medium sized rabbit, skinned and cleaned
1/2 pound of potatoes, quartered

4 carrots, slicked thickly

1 large onion, sliced

4 garlic cloves (peeled and left whole)

4 teaspoons fresh thyme (finely chopped)

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary (finely chopped)

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 475F

2. Place the potatoes, garlic, carrots and onion in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of thyme, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 3/ 4 teaspoon salt, sugar and 1/ 4 teaspoon pepper; toss with the vegetable oil to coat the vegetables.

3. In a separate small bowl mix together the butter and the rest of the seasoning.

4. Season the rabbit with salt and pepper and arrange the potatoes and vegetables around it in a large roasting tin.. Brush the rabbit with the herb butter mixture.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, checking the rabbit is cooked throughout.

Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Seafood Week

Seafood Week

It’s Seafood Week, a time to celebrate Great British seafood.

Being an island means we are very spoiled when it comes to fish and shellfish caught off our waters.

There’s nothing better than eating fish in a restaurant when it’s so fresh it tastes like it was plucked from the sea just minutes before (even if you live in the Midlands!), or as a chef taking a fresh delivery and deciding what to do with your halibut, mussels, prawns, monkfish or sea bream, to name just a thousand!

Read more

Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
International Bacon Day

International Bacon Day

You know we love our food awareness days here in the SK kitchen, but when it comes to bacon we think every day should be International Bacon Day.

The day may already be behind us (it was celebrated on 3rd September), but surely it deserves more than just a solitary 24 hours?

Read more

Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.
Happy Hot Dog Day!

National Hot Dog Day

It’s National Hot Dog Day.

Ok, it’s our friends across the pond in the great US of A that celebrate National Hot Dog Day, but as fans of all thing Americana, we were not about to let this pass without talking about it.

Read more

Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods. Your food. Our Passion.