Cheshire Food Blog

Guest Post: Buffalo Blue Chicken Sandwich

Remember the guy who brought us that amazing bacon jam recipe? Well, he’s back. Back on the blog with a brand-new recipe from his super fresh sandwich truck in Liverpool. I’ve not tried it yet – but it’s pay day this weekend so I will be doing so. Let’s all do it together then compare results 🙂

#StesBuffBlueChick is the hashtag… Let is know if you give it a go! @sophiesscran and @HUSSSSandwichCo on Twitter. Take it away, Ste…

Cheshire Food Blog
Image source: saveur.com/article/Recipes/Buffalo-Wings

We love buffalo hot wings. Those crispy chunks of deep-fried chicken tossed in a mix of Frank’s hot sauce and butter, dipped in a bucket of blue cheese sauce. They’re an absolute classic, and the inspiration behind our Buffalo Blue Chicken Sarnie.

A few years ago I cooked an American-inspired feast for my cousin and his family who were visiting from Czechoslovakia. His son, Branag, had never had hot wings before. Turns out he liked them. So much so, that unbeknownst to us, he’d eaten ten wings, bones and all. Luckily he didn’t die. He wasn’t even ill. But it did make us try out boneless chicken thighs instead of the wings and soon after we thought of putting them in a sandwich. Thanks Branag!

Recipe Serves 4.

What you need:

For the chicken

  • 4 very large boneless (very important), skinless, chicken thighs
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the blue cheese sauce

  • 100g grated blue cheese
  • 100g soured cream
  • 100g mayo
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

For the buffalo hot sauce

  • ½ cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

For the sandwich

  • 4 ciabatta rolls, split in half
  • ¼ iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
  • Baby leaf salad
  • 1 beef tomato, cut into 8 slices

What to do:

Slice the chicken thighs into even slices about ½ inch thick. Season the chicken with 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp black pepper.

Combine the flour, spices and remaining seasoning in a bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.

Dredge the chicken in the flour a few pieces at a time and shake off any excess flour.

Spread the chicken out on a rack on a baking tray until all of the pieces are done. Cover the baking tray with clingfilm and pop it in the fridge whilst you make the sauces.

For the blue cheese sauce, add all of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until it is thoroughly combined. Alternatively, whisk thoroughly in a bowl.

For the buffalo hot sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the hot sauce to the smallest compartment of a food processor with the salt and pepper. Switch the processor on and then very slowly start pouring the butter into the hot sauce to form an emulsification. The slower the better. You should end up with a perfect bright orange hot sauce-butter concoction.

Alternatively, you could just use a bowl, a whisk and your wrists but I find food processors are much more consistent.

Keep the sauce warm in a bowl tightly covered with clingfilm.

Preheat the grill in your oven for the ciabatta.

Preheat a deep fat fryer to 180°C. If you don’t have a deep fat fryer use a heavy bottomed saucepan and a kitchen thermometer. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer get one.

Take the chicken out of the fridge and fry for five minutes until crisp. You may have to fry in batches depending on the size of your fryer/pan.

Meanwhile, toast each side of the ciabattas. Spread a good dollop of blue cheese sauce on the bottom of each ciabatta, followed by two slices of beef tomato and the shredded iceberg lettuce.

Toss the crispy chicken pieces in the buffalo hot sauce then portion them out equally on top of the lettuce. Add a small handful of baby leaf salad then crown with the top piece of ciabatta.

Finally, cut each sandwich in half through the middle and enjoy.

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Cheshire Food Blog

Review: new PERK!ER Bars

In theme with my healthy approach to eating and lifestyle, I decided to review these lush new snack bars from PERK!ER.

Packed full of 100% plant-based, natural ingredients such as goji berries, chia seeds, cashew nuts and cacao I thought I would give them a go as part of my daily scoffing and snacking routine. Here’s how I got on…

I was sent the full range of 4 flavours;

  • Cashew, Chia & Pumpkin Seed Quinoa Bar
  • Goji & Cranberry Quinoa Bar
  • Cacao & Cashew Quinoa Bar
  • Cranberry & Cashew Oat Bar Enhanced with Sprouted Buckwheat

and I decided that the best way to try them was either as part of my breakfast, mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack game (which I must admit, is already pretty strong!)

As I commute to work for approximately 45 minutes in the car each morning, my breakfast needs to be quick, nutritious, tasty and easy. My favourites are porridge oats with either chia seeds and honey, goji berries and honey or linseeds and, you guessed it, honey. I just love the stuff! Another common breakfast I turn to (particularly if I’m in a rush, or literally need to eat on-the-go) is an oat protein shake with instant oats and a scoop of flavoured whey protein.

On the day I opt for an oat protein shake – I am always full up until lunch time as the early morning dose of protein really does help keep you fuller for longer. Teamed with the slow-release carbs from the oats, it is a match made in heaven if you need to power through your morning and not be distracted by the need to nibble. However, drinking your breakfast and not eating it can leave you feeling a little hard done by – so I substituted a few oats for a Perkier breakfast bar on the commute to work, and it worked a treat. I opted for the  Cashew, Chia & Pumpkin Seed and Goji & Cranberry Quinoa Bars when doing this and they really balanced well. It was so nice to have something equally as good for me and that tasted fantastic. They also don’t leave you on a sugar high at all like many other breakfast bars do!

Cheshire Food Blog

Cheshire Food Blog

Next up was replacing my mid-afternoon snack. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know my usual suspects for my afternoon snack are grapes, almonds, sliced plum with almond butter, a rice cake with either almond butter or low fat hummus on top or a small avocado scooped straight out of its skin. Mmmm. Or, if I am totally disorganised and craving sugar – it’s a quick trip to the vending machine for a Twix or a Cadbury’s Snack Bar (you know, the shortbread biscuits ones? Yep. #guiltypleasure.

But these sugary snacks aren’t exactly sustainable. They perk you up momentarily but soon comes the sugar dump – not what I need on the long(ish) drive home so I try to stick to what will give me sustained energy. The Cacao & Cashew Quinoa Bar was my absolute favourite for an afternoon snack. The cacao satisfies the choco-craving whilst still being free of sugar and instead packed full of vitamins and antioxidants. The cashews give a perfect balance of crunch and nuttiness that afternoon snacking is made for! Win-win.

Cheshire Food Blog

Cheshire Food Blog

The Cranberry & Cashew Oat Bar with Sprouted buckwheat was also really delicious. All the bars seem to have a nice mix of texture, chew, crunch and natural sweetness that are balanced really well.

Although the Perkier bars were sent to me on a promotional basis, I would genuinely recommend them to anyone who is looking to enhance their breakfast or to slay their afternoon-snack game with something really satisfying, nutritional and enjoyable (without the hip-hugging calories of chocolate!)

You can buy Perkier bars from Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Tesco, Ocado, Amazon and Wholefoods Market stores nationwide. They start from 75p per bar or £1.90 for multi-packs so seem good value for money too!

Follow Perkier Foods on Twitter @Perkierfoods and Facebook: PerkierFoods. ❤

Cheshire Food Blog

Brunch (again) at Tomfoolery, Alderley Edge

It’s not a coincidence that I’m writing about brunch, again. I love brunch. It’s the ultimate weekend food. So when I got invited to try the brunch menu at Tomfoolery at 34, Alderley Edge, I just couldn’t resist.

Tomfoolery is a fairly new establishment and it’s safe to say it’s a unique little joint, located on Alderley Edge’s very popular London Road. It’s somehow seamlessly a bakery, café and burger restaurant all in one, which has been impressing its critics and customers since its launch in the summer.

It’s definitely got an eclectic style, which Bradley and I liked very much and felt instantly ‘at home’. It’s full of mismatched furniture, bright and colourful paintings on the walls and very retro wallpaper and lampshades. The theme is clearly focused on 80’s and 90’s film and game memorabilia – with miniature versions of Connect 4 and Hungry Hippos on the tables, which instantly take you back to your childhood in a way that really captures your imagination, and make you feel like a big kid again (not that we need any encouragement!)

We started by ordering coffees. It was 11am on a Saturday (Halloween to be precise) and we hadn’t yet ate or drank a morsel so coffee was in order. Bradley ordered his latte and I my cappuccino, both came served in big, cartoon-themed mugs placed on a vintage side-plate as a saucer and both with a homemade shortbread in the shape of a little cute ghost. A nice touch, we absolutely loved the coffee; strong as it should be but super smooth and the froth was silky and perfect. The biscuit was the bomb too.

Cheshire Food Blog
Cappuccino with home made ghoul-shaped shortbread

We also tried a shake. As although it was brunch, it would be rude not to try one. And you get the vibe that ‘anything goes’ in this place so we ordered a Peanut Butter Oreo Shake to share. Oh, my God. It was delicious. Naughty – but very nice indeed.

Cheshire Food Blog
Peanut Butter Oreo Shake ❤

So, impressed by the decor, mini-games, coffees and shakes – we were ready for what we came here for. The food. We browsed the menu, which had plenty to choose from, 2 pages of brunch delights, in fact and a nice little ‘toast’ section where you can build your own brunch by choosing the toast then a range of different toppings such as rarebit, home-made baked beans or smoked salmon.

Bradley, being the waffle-obsessed being that he is – went for the waffles with Maple Syrup. Except, this time – it wasn’t served with bacon. Tomfoolery’s version comes with fried chicken, and an egg – however you want it (he went for sunny-side up).

And me, being the avocado-obsessed being that I am – went for the smashed avocado, lime, pickled chilli and (poached) egg on a muffin. It was great to see such a healthy option on the menu, amongst others I must add.

Both dishes, overall, were lovely. Bradley did find the fried-chicken-instead-of-bacon a bit of a shock, but we had realised there was no bacon on the menu at all. This is because the guys at Tomfoolery at 34 don’t serve any pork in an effort at attract halal customers. I spoke to them about this to find out more, and they said they feel other meats are as good, if not better, for brunch therefore they don’t see pork as a necessity. It’s clear to see (especially from the eccentric theme of Tomfoolery) that they respect tradition but want to put their own spin and creativity on things and encourage people discover something new as a result… And that we did!

The waffles were delicious, as was the fried chicken, which was crispy, very well-seasoned and very juicy. We were not convinced that the egg went that well with the dish – but it was perfectly cooked as you can see from the picture, the yolk was so runny and the edges were a little crisp, just how we like them. It’s safe to say though, that Bradley is a bacon-maple-syrup kind of guy, as you can see from my last post!

My smashed avocado on an English muffin was lovely – the avocado was fresh and I really liked the addition of pickled chillies. The poached egg was slightly over-cooked for my liking, and the texture of the muffin was quite heavy and dense, but overall the dish was tasty and I enjoyed it.

Cheshire Food Blog

Cheshire Food Blog

I feel bad pointing out the negativities here, as the guys at Tomfoolery clearly do know how to cook. Their other reviews have been raving. I just think the brunch menu could be tweaked slightly to suit all tastes, and that a few things need perfecting to make the overall experience one to totally rave about.

As we ventured downstairs after brunch, we couldn’t help but have a nosy at the incredible looking cake counter. They had all sorts on offer from giant home-made cakes with loads of wonderful flavour combinations and some epic looking cookies too (the white choc chip and M&Ms ones really caught my eye!) We opted for a slice of the rather seasonal 4 tier pumpkin and carrot cake with honeycomb cream – and it really was delicious. So moist and absolutely packed full of flavour!

Impressive cake counter!
Impressive cake counter!
Cheshire Food Blog
4 tier pumpkin and carrot cake with honeycomb cream ❤

Cheshire Food Blog

Cheshire Food Blog

It is genuinely impressive that everything is handmade in-house at Tomfoolery, and overall I must conclude it was really great to finally visit these guys, and I can’t wait to go back for a burger!

Cheshire Food Blog
Amazing decor ❤
Cheshire Food Blog
Chefs at work in the kitchen upstairs
Cheshire Food Blog
Wild wallpaper upstairs at Tomfoolery at 34

Follow the crazy world of Tomfoolery at 34 on:

Twitter: @Tomfooleryat34
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tomfooleryat34
Or visit the weird and wonderful website: https://www.tomfooleryat34.com/
Tomfoolery at 34 Burger Joint and Milk Bar, 34 London Road, Alderley Edge, Cheshire, SK9 7DZ.