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.
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Cheshire Food Blog

Brunch at No. 12 Easton, Bristol

A couple of weeks ago, Bradley and I went on one of our road-trips to Bristol to visit close friends. It was a bit of a Glastonbury reunion and also an opportunity to see our friends’ really cool new house. It was a weekend of epic proportions; they were amazing hosts and we really did enjoy ourselves… probably a little bit too much judging by the enormity of the hangover that was to follow! But, hey, it was all worth it…

We arrived on the Friday evening, ready bright and early for Saturday’s antics. Our hosts, Becky & Craig, know how much we like cool and quirky places to eat, so they picked out somewhere to take us for brunch on the Saturday morning. We needed something tasty, hearty and filling to keep us going throughout the day… So we headed to No. 12 Easton.

A cool, down-to-earth little coffee house and Deli, situated in the Easton area of Bristol, not far from Stapleton Rd station. The place was busy when we arrived (always a good sign) and the girls on shift were quick to welcome us. They helped us find some seats (as there was 7 of us) outside in the, bright, sunny little courtyard.

IMG_4221

Cheshire Food Blog
Impressive selection of free range cured bacon, pork sausages, chorizo and free range chicken ❤
Cheshire Food Blog
Healthy selection of fine cheeses, butters, cooked meats and pickles ❤
Cheshire Food Blog
A stunning selection of cakes – the short bread was absolutely gorgeous ❤

We ordered a range of brunch/breakfast style dishes, and some of the guys opted for more ‘lunchtime’ options with sandwiches.

I opted for the sausage sandwich with mustard & red onion marmalade. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know I have an unadulterated obsession with sausages. The bread was incredible, soft but sturdy slabs of white, bouncy bread – perfect to fuel a day of drinking alcohol in the sunshine! The onion marmalade was sweet and sharp, and the mustard was wholegrain which gave it a lovely, savory kick. The sausages themselves were thin, sliced chipolatas, but very meaty indeed. Delicious.

Brad opted for the waffles and bacon with maple syrup, of course! He tells me it tasted as good as it looked (amazing), even though the table was wobbly and he dropped it on the floor, quickly preceded by him picking it up and devouring the whole thing anyway… strictly adhering to the 3 second rule… of course.

Becky and Craig went all out for the sandwich option and both got the house smoked chicken and gammon sandwich with Pitt Cue sauce and pickles. It looked lush.

The cakes on offer also looked absolutely divine. We had a big slab of shortbread and it tasted amazing – chunky, sweet and buttery. It crumbled perfectly then just melted in your mouth as you washed it down with a cup of their delicious coffee, which they source from Extract Coffee  and Round Hill Roastery. I don’t know much about coffee – but compared to the usual Starkbucks or Costa, this stuff had such an epic depth of flavour somehow and really gave you a nice little wake-up buzz from the caffeine.

Cheshire Food Blog
Epic sausage butty and door-stop bread
Cheshire Food Blog
house smoked chicken and gammon sandwich with Pitt Cue sauce and pickles
Cheshire Food Blog
Coffee with a added art, which does look a little bit like a willy! ❤

Overall this place was great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee or cakes. If you’re in the area I would highly recommend!

Follow No. 12 Easton on Twitter.

No. 12 Easton, Bristol, 12 High St, BS5 6DL.

Tatton Park, Foodies Festival

Being a Cheshire-based food blogger can often be tricky, as it’s such a large space to try and cover. So, when an event like the Foodies Festival happens pretty much on your doorstep, there’s no way you can pass up the opportunity to go see what’s happening.

The weather was pretty good for a start – a little windy, sometimes sunny, sometimes overcast, but most importantly, no rain! A short drive from my house in Mobberley, and we arrived at Tatton Park – one of Cheshire’s most beautiful and scenic country parks, complete with freely roaming deer and sheep along the main pathway approaching the far-end of the park.

The Foodie’s Festival is located near to the parks’ wonderful kids fair and play area. On arrival we were greeted by smiling faces and a free sample of Stella Artois’s fruit flavoured Cidre with ice. It was refreshing, very tasty and got us straight in the mood to start the rounds by heading down the left-hand-side of the festival (where all the bars are!)

This year they had a lovely Pimm’s bar which was shaped like a big red teapot, and the usual big red London bus bar serving a great range of drinks at reasonable prices (£3.50 for a Rekorderlig cider with ice, £4 for a glass of wine, and £4 for a pint). Just down the way was Sloe Motion gin bar serving some amazing sounding cocktails, a Kingfisher truck serving its classic Indian beer, and a gorgeous Festival-style tent called The Cider House, which specialised in Somerset ciders as well as some unusual options such as an Italian cider called Montano (cider with Prosecco). Each bottle of the Montano bought (for £3.50) included a free black plastic tumbler, so I was sold, and it tasted fantastic!

It wasn’t too long before we were ready to eat. Being a huge fan of Curried Goat  (admittedly there are not enough places where you can get it in Cheshire), Bradley’s Dad went for the Curry Goat with salad and Rice and Pea from ‘Big Bird Catering’. The goat was tender and the curry was packed full of flavour. The rice and peas were delicious too, and the guys gave me a sneak-peak of their special – Jerk Pork chops, which I must say looked amazing! They were absolutely huge for a start, as you can see (pictured below, top right). They also had some great smelling Jerk Chicken on the charcoal BBQ and were serving it all up alongside a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice. A nice group of guys, very friendly and serving food for the soul. It was great to meet them. ❤

Bradley and I can be indecisive at times, especially when surrounded by so many epic food options. But, when you know, you know, and we certainly had one of those ‘eureka’ moments when we came across Rad Burger Co‘s gorgeous little burger stall in the middle of the festival. They specialise in burgers using top quality, ethically-sourced produce from Kent (where they are based).

We both went for their “RAD BEEF” a 5 oz ground chuck steak patty with grilled halloumi, smoked streaky bacon, rocket, mango chutney and garlic mayonnaise. They also had lamb, pork and veggie options which to be honest all sounded equally as delicious and epic, but the beef one really caught our attention. The beef patty was tender, slightly pink, the bacon was juicy and thickly sliced and the halloumi cheese was, well, perfectly grilled halloumi ❤

The bun was soft and topped with poppy seeds which looked great and added a slightly crunchier texture than standard sesame seeded buns. The mango chutney was new to us (on a burger), but equally intriguing, but it added a soft sweetness that complemented the juicy meat and salty cheese/bacon perfectly. Just wow. We teamed it with a portion of their Rosemary Fries and ate every last bit. In my opinion, this was street-food burgers at their absolute best!

Follow Rad Burger Co. on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook & scroll down for more on the Foodies Festival, Tatton.

After letting our burgers go down a little, we were ready for a bit more shopping. A stall we were recommended was Continental Cottage who sell specialist German salamis, which get imported from Germany so are authentic, and really, really delicious! I couldn’t find their website (oddly), but we got a selection of 7 different varieties for £10 which I thought was excellent value. We were able to try before we bought too, which I always like to do, if possible.

Next up was a cup of tea. And possibly a slice of cake. We had spotted Daisy’s Vintage Tea Room on the first walk around the festival, and certainly didn’t spot anywhere else nearly as inviting to stop for a cuppa and a slice of cake, so we went back to get our fix. Serving up lovely English tea in bone China cups and saucers and an array of British classics, such as homemade scones with fresh clotted cream & jam and Victoria sponge cake. We tried both of these (pictured, below) and they were both delightful. The Lemon Drizzle cake  however was really disappointing, it was so dry and not all that lemony at all. The dog liked it though!

After fixing our sweet tooth, we were done. We had tried some excellent food and honestly couldn’t squeeze in another morsel. So, it was on to a few more ciders in the sunshine whilst we people watched. We also ended up doing a LOT of dog watching too, as there seemed to be lots more canines there this time compared to last year… Including ours.

A few other noteworthy stalls were the Cooperative’s offering of Procecco & Pizza for just £4 – with all proceeds going to charity. It was good to see one of the big names there doing their bit, and it seemed to be quite a popular choice. The pizza did look lovely.

A further stall I want to mention, but didn’t get chance to eat from was World Food Cafe. Having done a little research, it turns out they are one of the street-food offerings of Plymouth-based event company “Main Event SW“. Their ‘Award winning saffron-infused chicken with all the salad, in a wrap for £8″ was going down an absolute storm. By about 2.30pm, the queue was unbelievably long, so I went over to take a few snaps to see what all the fuss was about! Pictured below (from left to right) is their saffron-infused chicken, the guys on their stall very hard at work and their beautiful array of salads.

A lovely lady who we were sat close to let me take a photo of her epic looking wrap, which was so nice of her and she probably thought I was a bit of a weirdo. Anyway, I’m really glad I did because this photo alone inspired my next recipe post. As we were too full-up to try one at the festival, I decided to recreate my own version at home that evening, a quick and simple version which you can literally knock-up in no time. Watch this space, foodies!

World Cafe's Saffron Chicken Wraps with ALL THE SALADS!
World Cafe’s amazing looking Saffron-infused Chicken Wraps with ALL THE SALADS!

The Kitchens, Leftbank, Spinningfields

So it’s about time I got my head down and wrote about this wonderful event. What with a holiday to Tunisia and then Glastonbury Festival, things have been a little hectic of late, but finally, here goes!

The Kitchens is situated at Leftbank, Spinningfields, Manchester – a retail and residential development which is home to some of Manchester’s biggest names on the Food & Drink scene (Tattu, The Oast House and Iberica – to name a few).  The company behind the development, Allied London, have given 6 of Manchester’s best street food and pop-up traders an opportunity to have their own ‘bricks and mortar’ for 12 months.

After twelve months there will be a winner – the prize will be the backing and partnership of Allied London, so assumedly they will be able to open their very own place, somewhere else. One question this springs to mind is; where will that leave the other 5? No idea, but rather than dwell, let’s focus on the here and now: Six completely awesome indie food-traders have their own space to create fantastic menus and dishes to feed the masses. And based on what I’ve tried so far, the food does not disappoint.

The Area

Leftbank is the canal side of Spinningfields, not far from Scene Indian Street Kitchen and next to The Dockyard pub. The layout of The Kitchens is pretty simple, but not quite what I expected (although I can’t put my finger on exactly what I did expect). The 6 traders are divided straight down the middle, with 3 on one side, 3 on the other, facing each other. In the middle, there is a fairly large (outdoor, but covered) area which includes some grass, and some sand for kids to play in. There is also some outside seating, in the form of beer-garden style benches. Inside, the three traders’ kitchens sit adjacent to each other, and there is some indoor seating in the form of high-stools and window tables (think Starbuck’s style, looking out towards the courtyard).

The Food

Now you hopefully have a feel for what the place looks like overall, let’s get to the main point. The food. At the launch, they were running a special deal where you could dine at one trader for free – you just had to delve your hand into a tub of wooden knives & forks and unwrap them – whichever traders’ name was on the back of the cutlery was your freebie for the event. The one I chose, rather awesomely, had no name. This meant I could choose. So I headed straight over to YAKUMAMA…

YAKUMAMA serve Latin American inspired street food that is all homemade by the lovely Hannah and Marcy – a couple duo who make everything from scratch. I first met them at Altrincham Market and I must say they are a very down-to-earth and genuinely nice couple. Their food is infused with ‘colour, fire and creativity’ according to The Kitchens website, and I cannot disagree with this statement. Their dishes are full of bold, hearty flavours and they have really gone to town to make their kitchen standout. It features a vertical, tropical garden on each side which really fits in with their Amazon forest-like theme.

YAKUMAMA's space at The Kitchens
YAKUMAMA’s space at The Kitchens

I chose the Honey and Lime Chicken Wings with Papaya, Mango and Coconut Salad with Palm Sugar, Roasted Peanuts and a Lime, Chilli and Honey Dressing. OMG. It was as good as it sounds, it was as good as it looks. So fresh, zingy, a hint of spice from the chilli and sweetness from the honey and palm sugar. It came with a huge pile of chicken wings which were so fresh and succulent the juicy meat just fell off the bones. Loved every bite. I also tried a generous portion of their signature Chicharrones homemade Latin spiced pork crackling with Guacamole – crispy, salty, crunchy and delicious. Looks impressive too!

YAKUMAMA Pork Crackling
YAKUMAMA Chicharrones Pork Crackling

At the time, their gas wasn’t working (which was a huge shame – I hope Allied London have pulled their finger out and got this sorted now!) – as the other dish I was desperate to try was their Crispy Calamari with Cayenne & Paprika, Whole Fried Chillies, Lemon Aioli and Maldon Sea Salt. I know. Are you drooling yet? Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

BANGERS & BACON's space at The Kitchens
BANGERS & BACON’s space at The Kitchens

In true foodie style and determined not to just try one of the 6 vendor’s offerings, I decided to visit Bangers and Bacon as I had heard so many good things about them, including their Chef’s Table events. Their kitchen is directly opposite Yakumama, across the courtyard.

BANGERS & BACON do awesome things with pigs. Sounds wrong, but trust me, it is so, so right! Run by trio James and Heather Taylor and Richard Brown –  these guys really do know what they’re doing in the kitchen when it comes to celebrating the wonder that is all things PORK. According to The Kitchen’s website, they are “bacon bandits, sultans of sausage, back bacon billionaires,” enough said, really. On the night of the launch I tried a variety box which showcased some of their signature dishes: Porchetta – Rolled and stuffed Porchetta (middle of pork marinated in herbs garlic and stuffed ) served on a toasted Pletzel Roll with salsa verde and mixed leaves. Mutha Porka – Italian infused pork patty wrapped in homemade dry cured streaky bacon and mature cheddar cheese, on a bun with Slaw and homemade Mustard Pickle. All of which tasted completely divine!

I also tried their Sausage Nuggets – which speak for themselves, Manchester Calamari – which is crispy pig’s ears and Bacon Browniesyes, you read correctly, the most awesome brownies with bacon pieces made by Ginger TartAll of their food was delicious, especially the Mutha Porka burger which was so succulent tasty.

My friend and company for the evening, the lovely Jo from Taste Today, picked out CHAAT CART for her freebie option. These guys serve ‘real Indian street food’ so I think she was pretty impressed with her choice (loves a bit of spice). Chargrilled spicy chicken Kati roll with mint and yoghurt dressing and rainbow salad, which she really enjoyed, and looked delicious…

On this occasion, I was (clearly) too full to feast at any of the other traders stalls. Below is a background of them all, and some pictures that I (probably rather annoyingly) took of friend’s food…

HIP HOP CHIP SHOP are an ‘un-traditional’ fish & chip shop inspired by the inventive ethos of hip-hop culture. You can follow them on twitter here. And feast your eyes on some of their yummy offerings below:

MUMMA SCHNITZEL serve ‘Schnitzel love in a bun‘, put simply as per the Kitchen’s descriptions. I have tried their chicken burgers before at other food events, are they are the Schnitz-niz.

WHOLESOME & RAW according to The Kitchen’s, these guys serve “fruit and veg ALIVE with enzymes and nutrients prepared and juiced before you”. Sounds kind of boring, right? Well let me tell you, on the launch night they were serving up a storm. Their kitchen seemed really popular, and on the specials they were serving up Raw Pad Thai and it honestly looked so fresh and vibrant. It’s great to see such a healthy street food vendor on board too, showing that flavour doesn’t always need to be full of calories!

Overall I really enjoyed the launch of The Kitchen’s and I really wish the guys all the best in finding their ‘bricks and mortar’ feet. Having had a chat to a few of the traders, I think it has taken some getting used to, but hopefully they are being supported by Allied London in any way possible!

Irwell Square,
Leftbank, Spinningfields,
Manchester
M3 3AG

Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.


Food at Glastonbury 2015

Food at #Glasto15

So I just spent the last 6 days in a field, at Glastonbury, camping and watching some of the best live music acts I have ever seen. I made some amazing new friends, ate some unusual but tasty food and managed to survive the whole time without a hot shower (which was easier than I thought it would be!)

This isn’t going to be the longest blog post, as at times my phone was so low on battery I couldn’t even take a photograph of my food, let alone video some of the live acts I went to see (Florence and the Machine, The Libertines, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Groove Armada, Andy C, Jamie T and Mary J Blige – to name a few!) So here’s a little summary of what I got up to, including, of course, what I ate…

Food at Glastonbury 2015

Being ever-prepared for pretty much anything, me and my man Bradley took along a stove, kettle, frying pan and some essential ingredients. So, with a chilled cool-box in tow, we were able to make our own food for the first 2 days. This was a great way to save some money, although we generally didn’t find the food on offer at the festival too over-priced (average price for breakfast is a fiver, average price for a main meal is £7-8). Meals during the first 2 days consisted of homemade bacon butties, egg butties and sausages… all served with BBQ sauce (as we forgot the Ketchup). All in all, pretty decent meals which gave us plenty of energy; much needed considering the sheer size of the festival, walking distance from place to place and of course, the all night rave parties…

Each morning, a guy would come round the campsite selling fresh milk. This was a total life saver, as it meant we could make a brew for ourselves and friends AND make use of the cute mini packs of cereal we brought along (Crunchy Nut, Cheerio’s and Shredded Wheat). Winning at life.

If you can pack light, I would certainly recommend taking a stove and some easy, quick and fuss-free meals with you like we did. It saves you having to shell-out for meals everyday, and will certainly increase popularity at the campsite if you can make a proper brew for a your fellow camp buddies.

As the third day approached, our supplies were either low or no longer edible, so, it was out to forage for food in the markets – and BOY were we spoilt for choice…

A breakfast favourite was Tea & Toast. Basically the coolest, cutest, brightest yellow Citron HV van called Nelly. They served totally yummy vegan and vegetarian breakfasts and stunning teas at various sites across the festival (I spotted 2 in total, but the one we frequented was in The Park.) The best cup of tea I had all weekend was here. My friend bought a cup of tea for the same price from a different nearby vendor – and it was literally grey in comparison. I opted for a toastie (Somerset Cheddar Cheese with Sundried Tomato Tapenade). The bread they use is unbelievably fresh and super-thick and squishy. I only wish I had taken a photograph, but the phones were dead and we were desperate to eat, so as painful as it was I had to go without the usual ‘food porn’ shot… Shame, I KNOW!

Next and worth a mention for sure was Jumping Bean Burrito. My (new) friend Johnson was literally craving a burrito, and it didn’t take too long for us to stumble across this place. They had a pretty big queue too, which seemed like a good sign – so off Johnson went to order the Botanas Beef Burrito, which consisted of: a massive soft tortilla, coriander and lime rice, lean beef Chilli Con Carne, sautéed onions, marinated sweet peppers and black beans, mature cheddar cheese, sour cream, spicy homemade salsa and guacamole. Now, as this wasn’t mine, and I was only allowed one bite, I can only vouch for how tasty that bite was. But, having eaten a lot of burritos in my time I can confirm, it was excellent. I later spotted Jumping Bean on a few locations across the site, so they are seemingly a very popular choice with festival-goers!

The next meal certainly worth a big mention is the Chicken Katsu Curry from Notso Sushi. Katsu curry was pretty popular across the festival, and I tried a couple of versions – this one was by far the best. The rice was perfectly cooked, hot and sticky as it should be and the Katsu Curry sauce had a great little kick. The chicken again was hot a fresh – moist in the middle but the crispy coating still maintaining it’s crunch on the outside. To top it off, and what really set this aside from the other Katsu curries (apart from how good the rice was), was the pink pickled ginger and fresh crunchy edamame beans they served on top. Absolutely delicious. The second-best thing I ate the whole festival.

One of the first meals I ate at the festival was a ‘Diner Deluxe’ Beef Burger from Deluxe Diner, served with American cheese and ‘Burger Sauce’. It also included a pickled Gherkin, sliced tomato and was served on a super-soft white bun. The burger itself was cooked well, slightly pink in the middle and I didn’t get ill… Certainly a good sign! I did think £7.50 was a little too steep for just a burger.. However, the beef did seem of good quality, nothing like the cheap frozen burgers I have seen on sale for similar prices at other festivals. It also tasted great – so I was content!

The ultimate food highlight for me at #Glasto15 has to be these little beauties – Vegan Sushi Wraps from Happy Maki. Their sushi wraps are vegan, vegetarian and super-fresh. The van they serve them out of is also one of the cutest at the festival, it certainly gives Nelly’s the Tea & Toast van a run for his money! Happy Maki start off by reminding punters (on a handy sign,) that sushi is rice, not raw fish. A great marketing move, I thought. So the queue was about 30 people long but I didn’t care – I was eating Sushi on the last day of the festival! Boy oh boy was it worth the wait (about 25 mins). It took me the whole 25 mins to actually decide which one I wanted, but in the end I was not disappointed with the Hoisin ‘Duck’ Sushi Wrap. I asked for extra wasabi, and it comes served with crispy vegetarian duck, hoisin sauce, avocado, roasted sesame seeds, spring onion, cucumber and green pepper. So filling, so easy to eat. The best thing I ate the whole festival.

My boyfriend Brad was tempted by some of the Jerk Chicken on offer across the festival. We came across Fancy That Caribbean Food which was located right next to Happy Maki sushi. He ordered the Jerk Chicken and Rice, with a healthy dollop of sweet mango sauce. Although the jerk chicken was good and full of flavour, it was a little lacking in spice and freshness that some of the other jerk chicken stalls seemed to have. As there was no smoke bellowing from this stall, we assumed everything had been pre-prepared, whereas the other stalls were barbequing jerk fresh and serving on the bone. So in this instance, it was more of a jerk stew – but it was tasty all the same!

Whilst meandering from Glade to The Other Stage to watch Ella Eyre perform, we stumbled across this cute little Samosa place, aptly (although not very creatively) named ‘Samosa Indian Street Food’.  We decided to go for their 4 samosa selection, which cost £5 – overall pretty reasonable. The 4 samosas on offer are outlined above, however, upon tasting each of them I am pretty sure we ended up with 2 of the ‘Bangkok Parcel’s’ – which meant we missed out on one of the 4 flavours on offer (the Spicy Lamb one, I think!) This aside, the other 3 we did taste were delicious, hot and fresh. They also came served with a wedge of fresh lime, fresh coriander and one of 3 dipping sauces (Spicy harissa, mint raita or lime pickle). We went for the Harissa which was combined with yogurt, so not as spicy as I would have liked, but generally hit the spot!

I finally want to give a quick mention to the wonderful Soulful Food Co. who specialise in Stews, curries and hotpots. I did see their lovely stall at Glasto but had already eaten – but I already know how great their food is from my previous blog feature on them, which can be found here. Hoping they had as good a time at the festival as I did!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my round-up of the food I ate at Glastonbury festival 2015, and I hope it’s shown you how diverse and varied the food is across the whole event. This really doesn’t do the sheer variety on offer justice! I also want to say a massive hats-off to the stalls who actually cook all their meals on site too, it’s brave and confident and must be so much fun. I sincerely can’t wait to go back next time and get my teeth around more. The independant foodies do so well to feed all of the drunk and hungry festival punters, well done to all of them for doing such a truly great job!


 

HUSSS Sandwich Co. Liverpool – Plus Exclusive Recipe

Morning Campers! Boy have I got a treat for you today. For this month’s guest post I have teamed up with Ste Holmes – the man behind HUSSS Sandwich Co. in Liverpool.

Ste makes AWESOME sandwiches, served from a food truck on Myrtle Street, Liverpool. And his story is genuinely really cool. After graduating from University in 2008, he went on his travels around South East Asia. Being a true food lover, he was blown away at every meal-time by the amazing flavours they use in this part of the world. From the rich and complex noodle soups of Vietnam, to the spicy, fresh salads of Thailand, he was hooked on the delicious variety of flavour combinations.

When Ste returned home to the UK he put his degree on the back-burner and began researching the various cuisines of South East Asia. After studying hundreds of recipes, he realised almost all of the meals he had been enjoying contain the five flavours: HOT, UMAMI, SOUR, SALTY & SWEET – and so ‘HUSSS’ Sandwich Co. was born.

When these five flavours are used together, they compliment each other and create the most amazing taste sensation. Over the past couple of years, the HUSSS Sarnie team have worked together using combinations of the five flavours to develop a unique range of HUSSS Sandwiches. In short – they are using South East Asian culinary principles to liven up your lunchtime! And I am so in love with this concept!

In true guest post style, I have an exclusive recipe for you to try, and some words below from the man himself. If you give this a go at home, we would love to hear how you got on, and see your grilled cheese creations, so use the hashtag #baconjamgrilled if you do and we will retweet our favourites!

 

HUSS Sandwich Co. Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese
HUSS Sandwich Co. Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese

Recipe: Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese, yes, that’s Bacon. Jam. Grilled. Cheese.

The question we get asked most when this is on our menu is ‘What is bacon jam?’ Short answer, jam made of bacon. Long answer, smoked and unsmoked streaky bacon with bourbon, maple syrup and spices. What’s not to love?

You need to make the jam at least a couple of days in advance to let the flavours marry, but other than that it’s plain sailing. This recipe makes enough to make four bacon-filled grilled sarnies, with enough left over to slather on burgers, hot dogs and cereal (if you’re a gamer).

BACON JAM

Chipotle chilli powder is ground smoked Jalapeno. It adds layers of depth to the jam. If you can’t find it, substitute Cayenne, but please find it. Phone me, I’ll send you some. Cumin adds a lovely earthy flavour, and the Bacon, well, it’s Bacon.

What you need:

  • 2 tbsp neutral oil, vegetable or peanut are ideal
  • 150g finely diced onion
  • 150g finely diced shallot
  • 3 large cloves garlic, diced
  • 600g streaky bacon – mixture of smoked and unsmoked, diced
  • 1 tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground mustard
  • 125ml bourbon whiskey
  • 65ml maple syrup, pure maple, a little goes a long way and the mixed stuff is nasty
  • 80ml cup balsamic vinegar
  • 80g brown sugar

What to do:

  1. Heat a heavy based pan (Le Creseut is a winner here) over medium heat. Add 1 tsbp oil, then the onions and shallots. Cook for about ten minutes until they are soft and translucent (be careful not to burn them as that will make the jam taste acrid). Once softened, add the garlic and cook for two minutes more. Remove the onion mix to a bowl.
  2. Add  the remaining tbsp of oil to the pan, followed by the chopped bacon. Cook out for 30 minutes, stirring frequently until crispy. Cook in batches if you’re pan is a tiddler.
  3. Return onions to pan, along with the spices. Cook for one minute. Add the whiskey, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and bring to the boil. Add the sugar and once amalgamated (massive word) turn the heat down. Cook for a further 15 minutes until the mixture has reduced and become jammy. Stir frequently.
  4. Use a stick blender or transfer to a food processor and blend to a coarse consistency. You want some texture; you don’t want a smooth puree.

GRILLED CHEESE

Mozzarella is THE perfect cheese for grilled cheese. It melts amazing and goes stringy and gooey. On the downside, it’s a pretty neutral cheese. So an extra mature cheddar is the perfect bed partner. We’ve tried all sorts of posh breads for grilled cheese. Sourdough, rye, ciabatta, you name it. But simple sliced white gets our vote. You need a thinnish bread so the cheese can melt and its innards can become volcanic. Warburtons Danish loaf is our go to. It’s not very artisan but it really does the job.

What you need:

  • 8 tbsp bacon jam
  • 4 slices mozzarella (sliced, not fresh)
  • 4 slices extra mature cheddar
  • 8 slices white bread (we use Danish bread, found in most supermarket bread aisles)
  • Butter, at room temperature

What to do:

  1. Lay four slices of sliced white on a chopping board. Top each piece of bread with a slice of mozzarella, followed by two tbsp of bacon jam. Use a palette knife (or normal knife if you don’t have one) to spread the jam all over the cheese, making sure to reach every corner evenly. Top with a layer of cheddar and another piece of bread.
  2. Heat a frying pan, or ideally two (or four if you want to serve them all at once and you’re felling switched on) over a medium heat. Use a palette knife to nail the top slice of bread in butter, making sure to cover every corner.
  3. Place a sandwich buttered side down in the frying pan and coat the naked side of bread in butter. Get a saucepan lid or weight and push down on the sandwich. This will make sure that all of its surface area is being grilled. Don’t touch it. I know you want to, but don’t. It’s the Maillard Reaction (Wikipedia it). You want it to get nice and brown but definitely not burnt. Listen to it. When you hear it toasting away nicely flip the sandwich and repeat with the other side. If it’s beige you’re premature. If it’s burnt blame me and start again. We do about a two minutes-two and half minutes per side over a medium heat with a saucepan lid pressed down on the sarnie.
  4. Once both sides are golden flip it out onto a chopping board and slice on the diagonal. The mozzarella should be stringy, the bacon jam scorching, and the bread lovely and crispy.

Hot (Chipotle), Umami (Cheese), Sour (Balsamic Vinegar), Salty (Bacon), Sweet (Maple Syrup). HUSSS. Dig in.

And if that wasn’t enough to get your tastebuds tingling, here are some more images of Ste’s other mouth-watering creations:

HUSSS Sandwich Co. Bacon, Guacamole Grilled Cheese
HUSSS Sandwich Co. Bacon, Guacamole Grilled Cheese
HUSSS Sandwich Co. Pulled Pork
HUSSS Sandwich Co. Pulled Pork
HUSSS Sandwich Co. Falafel Wrap
HUSSS Sandwich Co. Falafel Wrap

FOLLOW HUSSS Sandwich Co. on Facebook, Twitter and check out their awesome website.

Recipe: (Slightly) Healthy Beef Burgers with spicy wedges & slaw

Burgers still seem to be all the rage out and about in the foodie word at the moment, and being a true burger fan, I must admit, I don’t think I will ever bore of them. However, what does make the burger a slightly less sustainable option for me is the potential greasiness and overall fat content – not so good if you’re trying to ‘be good’ ahead of your summer holidays! As my mum is currently doing really well on Slimming World, she advised me to give one of their recipes a go. The whole idea of Slimming World is based around eating the foods you like, – but reducing the fat content where possible and using lots of seasoning and fresh herbs to make sure you still maximise on flavour.

I say ‘slightly’ healthy burger here, as I have made a fair few adaptations to the original recipe. Afterall, I was cooking for my boyfriend and 2 of his friends, so didn’t want to make it too healthy! These ones are fried in light cooking oil spray – but would also be perfect on the BBQ.

The recipe serves 4 people and takes about 1 hour to come together.

What you need:

For the wedges

  • 4 medium sized baking potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the burgers

  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 2 eggs yolks
  • ½ tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp fresh Thyme leaves (or you could used dried)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Low calorie cooking spray (olive oil version) for cooking

For the coleslaw

  • 200g red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • finely shredded 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely grated (using a food processor is easiest, if you have one!)
  • 3 tbsp fat-free natural yogurt
  • 1 level tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 spring onions, roughly chopped

To serve

  • 4 brioche buns
  • 4 slices of smoked back bacon (see point 5 below, as you may want to grill your bacon beforehand)
  • 8 slithers of cheddar cheese (2 for each burger)
  • Green salad leaves of your choice
  • Tomato ketchup & Light mayonnaise

What to do:

1. Using clean hands, mix together the beef mince, egg yolks, chilli flakes, paprika and thyme leaves. Don’t be scared to get your hands dirty – make sure the mixture is fully combined, and don’t skimp on the seasoning – add plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper.2. Divide the combined mixture into 4 portions, and using your hands, shape each portion into a burger. Cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge for 30 mins until ready to cook.3. Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas 7. Parboil the wedges for 6-8 minutes until just tender. Drain well and leave to cool in a colander for a few minutes, until some of the moisture has evaporated.

4. Coat the wedges in the Rapeseed oil and chilli flakes, season very well with salt and pepper and transfer them to the baking tray in a single layer. Sprinkle over the paprika, and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once after 10 minutes and adding more paprika if needed.

5. As your wedges are cooking, make your coleslaw and cook your bacon. I have a George Foreman grill – so used that to grill my bacon losing any excess fat. Alternatively, you could lightly fry it in some low calorie cooking spray or grill it beforehand.

6. For the coleslaw, put the fresh red cabbage, grated carrot and spring onion in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt and mayonnaise, then stir into the cabbage mixture. Season to taste and set aside in the fridge until serving.

7. Place a frying pan sprayed with low calorie oil spray over a medium-high heat and cook the burgers for 5 minutes on each side until just cooked through. For the second 5 minutes of cooking time, add the cheddar and bacon on top of the burgers.

[Tip:] if your frying pan has a lid, pop it on top for the last 2 minutes of cooking time, which will help melt the cheese and warm the pre-cooked bacon on the burgers. At this point, also pop your brioche buns on the bottom shelf of the oven to warm through slightly before serving.

8. To serve: remove buns from the oven and lightly coat each side with some light mayo. Add the lettuce leaves to the bottom bun, then place the burger with cheese and bacon on top. Divide the wedges up into 4 and serve alongside the burgers, with a big dollop of the homemade coleslaw from the fridge!

Slightly Healthy Burgers with spicy wedges & slaw

Hope you enjoy this (slightly) healthy burger recipe! If you try it, let me know how you get on and tweet a picture to @sophiesscran 🙂


 

Tabasco: #bestofthebrunch

Creamy Baked Eggs with Bacon, Buttered Toast & Tabasco

bestofthebrunch

When I was recently asked by Tabasco UK to take part in their #BestoftheBrunch challenge, I was really excited. How could I refuse?! Everyone who knows me KNOWS I love hot sauce, especially Tabasco Habanero, so I really couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

For the first of my #BestoftheBrunch recipes, I decided to go for something  a bit different. It’s not like me to choose a creamy eggs recipe (as I would usually have eggs with tomatoes for brunch), but I was keen to try this, and wanted to offset the creaminess with lashings of Tabasco Hot Sauce 🙂 who wouldn’t?!

The recipe is inspired by Rachel Khoo’s ‘Eggs in Pots’ from her show The Little Paris Kitchen, I have however pimped it up and used this as a great opportunity to try each of the 4 separate flavours; Tabasco Original Pepper Sauce (hot), Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce (mild), Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce (mild, with a slight kick – smokey BBQ flavour) and Tabasco Habanero Pepper Sauce (really hot!)

This recipe takes about 30 mins in total and serves 2 people.

What you need:

  • 4 rashers thick-cut smoked back bacon
  • 150g crème fraîche
  • chopped coriander
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 4 free-range eggs

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Grill the smoked bacon to your liking (I don’t need to tell you how to do this!)
  3. Season the crème fraîche with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
  4. Place a tablespoon of crème fraîche in the bottom of a ramekin, followed by some chopped coriander and a generous splash of Tabasco sauce of your choice (don’t be shy).
  5. Crack an egg on top, add another dollop of crème fraîche and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg and a final few drops of Tabasco.
  6. Repeat the above with three more ramekins (I swapped the Tabasco sauce used each time).
  7. Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour enough lukewarm water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the egg yolks are set to your liking.
  9. Serve with lashings of heavily buttered wholemeal toast (for dipping!) and the grilled bacon on the side…

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Of the four sauces, my personal favourite this time was the Chipotle (it’s so rich and smoky – it worked really well with the warming nutmeg and creamy crème fraîche.)

Which sauce do you prefer, and why? Do you have any #BestoftheBrunch recipes you want to share? Feel free to get in touch by commenting below, or send an email to: sophiesscran@gmail.com

Enjoy, Scranners -x-

The Hungover Breakfast

You all know the feeling. Slight nausea, banging headache, utter dehydration and, on some occasions, it even feels like every muscle in your body aches. Yes, it’s the dreaded hangover.

Hangover Breakfast 4

This recipe is my adaptation of Milton Crawford’s ‘Shakshuka’, from his brilliant ‘THE HUNGOVER COOKBOOK’, which my wonderful friend Rachel Ferguson bought for me one year for my birthday (go buy it, it’s amazing: http://www.miltoncrawford.com/).

Hangover Breakfast

Many of my hangovers start with an almost urgent requirement for paracetamol and a glass of cold water, followed by an extended period in bed waiting for the water and pain-killers to take effect. Then, once in a more ‘normal’ state, the next quest is for FOOD. During a hangover, the need for food is usually more pressing compared to the need for food on a usual day, especially as perhaps you may have skipped dinner the night before (after all, ‘eating is cheating’). Therefore, something relatively easy, tasty, filling and nutritious is needed, which will give you the kick-start you need to this rather grim day.

Hangover Breakfast 3

If you’re planning a big night out, check you have all the ingredients ‘in’ first (as to avoid any unexpected, disorientated trips to Tesco in your ‘onesie’). This recipe takes about 30 mins from start to finish, and serves 2 starving people, or 4 hungry people.

What you need:

  • a good glug of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked hot paprika
  • 1 tsp of crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 2 white baguettes
  • 4 thick slices of smoked back-bacon
  • a squeeze of tomato ketchup
  • small handful of flat-leaf parsley, to serve

What to do:

  1. Switch the oven on to 180* / fan-assisted 160*.
  2. Heat some of the oil in a small frying pan and gently fry the bacon on each side, until crisp and golden, set aside on some kitchen paper to absorb any excess fat.
  3. In a larger frying pan, heat the oil on a medium heat and cook the onion until it has softened and turned slightly golden (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the bay leaves, cherry tomatoes and garlic and keep stirring for a further 1 minute.
  5. Add the cumin, paprika, and crushed chilli, continue stirring for about another minute.
  6. Stir in the tinned tomatoes and a generous squeeze of tomato ketchup, season with salt and pepper, leave to simmer on a low heat for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Place the baguettes on the middle shelf in the oven, to warm through.
  8. When the sauce has thickened, make 4 small holes in the sauce using a spatula, and break an egg into each hole.
  9. Then transfer the frying pan to a low-medium heated grill for 3-4 minutes, check them regularly – as the aim is for the egg yolks to stay runny.
  10. Remove the baguettes from the oven, and slice diagonally on a chopping board, place the previously cooked bacon onto the board, ready to serve.
  11. Once the eggs are ready, take the frying pan to the table to serve (on a heatproof mat or I use oven gloves). Garnish with salt, pepper and a generous sprinkle of the chopped parsley.
  12. Each hungover guest should pile their plates with some bacon, at least one egg, a generous spoonful of the spiced tomato sauce, and have plenty of bread to mop it all up with.
  13. Voilà, breakfast is served…. Happy hangovers, folks. xxx

Hangover Breakfast 2