Ludlow Food Festival 2014

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Ludlow Food Festival was on over the weekend of Friday 12th to Sunday 14th September in the beautiful market town in Shropshire.  Along with two very lovely foodie friends, Carmela and Julie, who I met up there on Saturday 13th September, we enjoyed our first visit to the Festival.

Starting off our day with a bread making demonstration from Rob Swift, a fifth generation baker of the Swift Bakery dynasty, we sat both entertained and educated by his talent and skills as he showed us how to make a brioche, poached pear, strawberry and chantilly cream stack.  We were also treated to a demonstration of how to make aratha buns (a sweet, steamed Asian bun) that we would have the pleasure of enjoying later in the day as we ate our way around the festival. I reviewed Rob’s book, Born to Bake, in a previous post.

A quick, flying visit to Momo No Ki to sample one of their delicious Ssam’s Bun, made using Rob’s aratha buns, which is filled with pulled pork, sour cherry hoisin sauce, pickled cucumber and spring onions and we were back at the stage for our next demonstration.

Marcus Bean was next up, where he created a chicken, basil pesto and courgette risotto recipe from his new book that has just been published, simply called ‘Chicken’.  More on this book on a future post though as I treated myself to a copy.  Marcus is the chef face of ITV’s This Morning programme and is a talented, self taught, chef who won the Iron Chef competition a few years back.  Along with his wife, they own the Brompton Cookery School in Shrewsbury.  The Brompton also had a pop up cookery school at the show, where visitors could enjoy a free cookery class.

A quick change of seats where we managed to get on the front row, we were then treated to a demonstration by Chris Burt, Executive Chef of both The Peach Tree and Momo No Ki (which translated means the peach tree) in Shrewsbury.  Chris was joined on stage by Sam Gray owner of Middlefarm, author of Doing it in Wellies and host of BBC’s from Plot to Pot.  Chris created a recipe of a pork ‘Wellington’ using Sam’s British Lop pork for the pastry filling.  This was served with a beautifully presented garden of baby vegetables.  It was an event of new books, as Chris also has a book recently released, entitled Momo No Ki, after his Asian inspired restaurant.

Leaving the stage, we toured the show, visiting, sampling and purchasing foods from the amazing producers who we’re exhibiting their wares, from cheeses and ciders to cakes and sweets. We visited favourite spun iron cookware specialists The Netherton Foundry‘s incredibly busy stand where they had a fabulous display of their pots, pans, woks, slow cookers and tagines.

We spotted this little fella munching on a punnet of strawberries; how cute is this?

We chatted, ate, drank, and had the odd hug and kiss from Rob, Marcus and Chris along the way. Returning three times to Momo No Ki we tried every item on their menu, including the Notorious PIG; crispy pork dumplings in Korean BBQ sauce which are delicious!

A quick tour around the outside of the Festival at the markets, boutiques and artisan shops in the town and we were back on the road and headed for home with a long 2 1/4 hour journey ahead of us.  If you get the chance to visit the Ludlow Food Festival, I can thoroughly recommend it.  See you next year!

Restaurant Review – Rio Bravo, Market Harborough

The time came in many parent’s lives when their eldest child goes to University.  In our case it meant that our son was going to the University of Nottingham to read Physics.  One of our last family meals out to celebrate his fabulous A Level results was at Rio Bravo Mexican Restaurant in Market Harborough one Friday evening in August.

Through the small doorway on The Square and up the stairs, you enter the Restaurant which has a nice, friendly feel and a welcoming atmosphere about it, as well as an open kitchen which is a bonus to any eating establishment in my eyes! Our waitress showed us to our table by the window overlooking the square.

To start, with our drinks order, we chose to share a portion of Nachos Sonora (corn tortilla chips with melted cheese, sour cream, guacamole and jalapeño peppers with refried beans) and a couple of portions of Loaded Potato Skins, topped with melted cheese and spring onions, served with salsa dip and Special Chicken.  These arrived to our table fairly quickly, despite the restaurant being quite busy.

To follow, my husband ordered the Camaron Cozumel; king prawns with garlic, onions, mushrooms and a creamy tomato verde sauce, served with mexican rice, flour tortillas and garnished with a mexican salad.

The children and I all chose to go with the Chicken Fajitas which came served on sizzling platters with onions, peppers and served with grated cheese, guacamole, salsa and sour cream, lettuce and warm tortillas.

The meals were presented in an appetising way and were of a reasonable size for any appetite, so much so that, none of us could manage dessert.  Including drinks our bill came to £79.20, which I think was a little on the expensive side, bearing in mind that we only had one round of drinks and no desserts.  However, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the quality of the food and no doubt we will make a return visit as a result!

Our visit to Rio Bravo was paid for personally and I was not sponsored in any way to write this review.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Stroganoff

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2tbs Oil

3 Chicken breasts, cubed
1 Clove garlic, crushed
1 Red Pepper sliced
½ Yellow Pepper, sliced
1 Red onion, diced
1tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning
¼ Knorr Mixed Chillies Flavour Pot (or to taste)
6 Cherry tomatoes, quartered
150ml Single cream
25ml Boiling water
Chopped basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley, to serve
Smoked Paprika, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.
2. Add the chicken pieces and fry until golden on all sides.
3. Add the garlic, peppers, onion, Jamaican jerk seasoning, ¼ Knorr Flavour Pot and cook until the onion is transparent.
4. Add the cherry tomatoes, cream, boiling water and chopped basil.
5. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 15 minutes until cooked through.
6. Taste the sauce and season according to your personal taste.
7. Serve with tagliatelle or spaghetti and sprinkle with chopped parsley and a dusting of smoked paprika.
I only added ¼ of the Knorr Mixed Chillies Flavour Pot as I don’t like really hot and spicy foods, and this provided more than enough heat for me. These Flavour Pots are potent and I would recommend adding less than you think you need and adjusting as necessary with more if it’s not hot enough.

Promotion – BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show

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It’s not long now until this year’s BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show between 25th and 27th October.  Because I’m an official Blogger for the Show, you can take advantage, as I’m able to offer you a 20% discount off your ticket price, but only until Tuesday 30th September, so hurry, hurry, hurry!   Simply click on the image below to be taken to the website where you can purchase your tickets.  Remember that you will need to enter the code 20PAR7 at the checkout in order to receive your discount.

As the show is packed with baking, bread-making and cake-crafting demonstrations, free step-by-step master classes, and hundreds of essential baking products, it’s the perfect place to develop your home baking hobby.  Plus, you can watch Mary Berry, Mich Turner, John Whaite, Paul Hollywood, and more of your favourite bakers LIVE at the show! A seat in the Bakes & Cakes Theatre is included in every full day adult advance ticket.  Book yours before 30th September and save 20%!
Ticket offer t&cs:
*Offer valid on Adult and Concession standard advance tickets only.  Offer ends 30.09.14.  †Standard Bakes & Cakes Theatre seat included per advance standard ticket, subject to availability. Gold seats available for £3 extra per person. All admin and transaction fees included. Ticket terms and conditions apply. Not all celebrities appear on all days, check the website for details. Information correct at time of print. Good Food® Good Food logo© BBC Worldwide.