1. Nostalgic recipes from The Gilbert Scott

    The dishes served at Marcus Wareing’s The Gilbert Scott are not only brilliant but offer a distinct taste of nostalgia. Now, for the first time, Great British Chefs offers the chance to recreate the famous Gilbert Scott recipes at home.

     

    Lord Mayor’s trifle, Queen Anne’s artichoke tart, Mrs Beeton’s snow egg – the names of The Gilbert Scott dishes immediately bring to mind a more innocent gastronomic age. These are forgotten dishes from Great British Chefs of the past, John Nott, Florence White, Agnes Marshall and of course Victorian matriarch Isabelle Beeton, resurrected by a Great British Chef of the present: Marcus Wareing.

     

    The Gilbert Scott’s eclectic menu also contains subtle nods to Marcus Wareing’s own culinary upbringing in Southport, with dishes like Kendal mint choc ice, a play on the famous Lancastrian sweet Kendal mint cake, and Eccles cakes, named after the town of their conception – Eccles, Greater Manchester, knowingly placed on the menu.

    Desserts are often a talking point among those that have dined at The Gilbert Scott and by viewing the recipes you can see why.

    Mrs Beeton's Snow Egg at The Gilbert Scott

    The snow eggs are truly fantastical; with a meringue ‘shell’ encasing a hidden spoonful of marmalade and a scattering of almond praline shingle on top. While, Lord Mayor’s trifle is also far from routine, containing a chocolate jelly, coconut sponge and most controversially, no alcohol.

     

    No menu promising to serve, ‘nostalgic, British classics’, would be complete without the mother of all British desserts, Eton Mess. The version on show at The Gilbert Scott, which is distinctly ‘unmessy’ and contains raspberries, is a blockbuster addition to the roster and worthily appears on the Great British Chefs Summertime App.

     

    Savoury treats range from the unusual; ham hock, cockle and leek pie, to the classic; London Pride beer battered cod and chips. If you want to make the most of barbecue season, why not recreate the hearty barbecued pork chop with endive and apple sauce from the menu, or perhaps the aforementioned artichoke tart.

     

    By no means does the whimsy tone ever feel forced at The Gilbert Scott, which is probably due to how congruent the cuisine sits with its grand St Pancras Renaissance Hotel location. Another plus is that it offers Eurostar travellers, whether incoming or outgoing, the chance to sample the best of British cuisine. Armed with some of The Gilbert Scott’s most prized recipes - you can do the same at home.

    What are some of your favourite traditional recipes from past?  Which ones would you like to see come back into fashion?  Let us know over on Great British Chefs Facebook Page.

  2. Great British Menu 2012 - Preview of Finals

    For the last eight weeks in the seventh series of The Great British Menu we’ve watched twenty four of Great Britain’s finest chefs battle it out. Now eight chefs including four chefs from Great British Chefs site are hoping they’ll be repesenting their region to serve at an Olympic banquet at the end of the week. This week (starting 4th June 2012) we will finally get to see who will go through to cook at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.


    Daniel Clifford’s Raspberry and tarragon, cookie dough and tarragon oil from BBC’s Great British Menu

    Here’s a round up of the chefs in the final.  Nathan Outlaw who won the South West round. Joing Alan Murchison who won the Scottish round,  Daniel Clifford who won the Central round, Colin McCurran who won the North East round, Chris Fearon who won the Northern Ireland roundSimon Rogan who won the North West round, Phil Howard who won the London & South East round and Stephen Terry who won the Wales round.

    Hog’s pudding with seaweed, potato terrine & mushroom ketchup by Nathan Outlaw from BBC2’s Great British Menu

    In Monday’s show the finalists prepare their starters, to be tasted and scored by the Great British Menu judges and veteran judge Richard Corrigan.

    On Tuesday, the remaining finalists cook their fish dishes, which will be tasted and scored by the Great British Menu judges and veteran judge Marcus Wareing. 


    Lobster with pickled beetroot and sweet apple by Simon Rogan - from BBC’s Great British Menu

    On Wednesday, the chosen finalists will prepare their main courses, with veteran judge Tom Kerridge tasting and scoring alongside the other Great British Menu judges 


    Daniel Clifford’s slow poached chicken, sweetcorn egg and chicken spray from BBC’s Great British Menu

    On Thursday it’s the final chance to impress the judges with desserts. The Great British Menu judges will be joined by veteran judge Angela Hartnett.


    Alan Murchison's Going for Gold Dessert

    On Friday, the four winners will have been announced and the final show follows the successful chefs in the run-up to the banquet.  You’ll see their painstaking preparations for what is likely to be one of the most important meals they will ever cook.

    You can see the full line up of chefs and judges for the Great British Menu 2012 here.  Plus don’t forget our special Great British Menu Recipe CollectionThe definitive collection of recipes for Great British Menu fans, featuring old favourites like Nigel Haworth’s Lancashire hotpot, Lisa Allen’s rabbit turnover and Paul Ainsworth’s Taste of the Fairground, as well as newer classics from Great British Menu 2012 like Daniel Clifford’s stuffed red mullet dish and Alan Murchison’s veal sweetbreads 

    All this week Great British Menu will be on BBC2 at 7pm. We wish all competing chefs the best of luck in the run up to the banquet.

  3. The Gilbert Scott: Brunch at the Bar

    Lazy brunches are the perfect way to get a weekend off to a great start.  Great British Chefs blogger Chris Osburn recently visited Marcus Wareing's The Gilbert Scott to try their weekend and Bank Holiday brunch.  With such a delicious menu he found it hard to choose what to eat ….

    Blog post & photography by Chris Osburn

    Usually, I can scan a menu with a sniper’s precision and almost instantaniously know what to choose from it in order to best suit my tastes.. Every once in awhile I wonder if I actually made the right decision, but the vast majority of the time I feel a sense of triumph for selecting just the right dish for whatever the occasion may be.

    But a quick and easy ‘I’ll have that’ was a no-can-do when I giving the weekend brunch menu at The Gilbert Scott a mouthwatering peruse. A problem it was, but such a delicious one. 

    It wasn’t that the menu was all that long or complicated. In fact, it was really short and to the point. Reading it could be likened to being presented with a greatest hits compilation of a favourite musician’s work and then having to select one song to play. 

    Of course maybe my issue of undecisive ordering was that I was way too dazzled by the setting to focus on what to eat. Situated within the ornate and gilded grandeur of the old Midland Grand Hotel (now the St Pancras Renaissance London), The Gilbert Scott is a beauty spot of an eatery. Adding to the gorgeous effect were diffused shafts of late spring, early afternoon sunlight streaming in from giant windows – this was not going to be any mere brunch; this was going to be a glorious brunch.

    Omelette Arnold Bennett at The Gilbert Scott

    So, the waiter came, I stammered a bit and found myself uttering to him that I’d like the Omelette Arnold Bennett, without really understanding why I’d come to such a conclusion.

    Eggy Bread with bacon, Maple Syrup and banana at The Gilbert Scott

    Eggy Bread with Bacon, Banana & Maple Syrup at The Gilbert Scott

    I could have just as easily gone for the corned beef hash with fried egg, the Dorset crab ‘benedict’, the George (eggs, bacon, homemade black pudding, homemade beans, bubble and squeak and toast) or the eggy bread with banana, bacon and maple syrup. An eggy, smoked haddock and gruyere wonder of a meal, my Omelette Arnold Bennett hit the umami spot and was amazingly exactly what I want.

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    It went quite nicely indeed with the bloody Mary (or was that two?) I was more resolute about when asked if I wanted a drink. Although, the Breakfast Margarita (Cazadores Blanco, orange, marmalade and honey) sounded like a winner as well.

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    Whitebait at The Gilbert Scott

    Yes, if you’re keen for a best of brunch experience, this is it. In no uncertain terms, I fully intend to return and scratch my head over the delightful menu again. Brunch at The Gilbert Scott is available in the restaurant’s bar from 11am to 2pm on weekends and bank holidays. Accessible from within St Pancras Station, The Gilbert Scott is a brilliant point for disparate Londoner friends to convene and offers a stunner of a way to introduce someone to this city or to send them off with a bit of yummy style.

    Blog post & photography by Chris Osburn 

    What are some of your favourite dishes to have for brunch?  We’re discussing this over on Great British Chefs Facebook Page

  4. Cooking with Flowers for The Chelsea Flower Show

    One of the UK’s biggest celebrations of all things floral starts this week: The Chelsea Flower Show. Did you know that there’s a growing trend for eating flowers?  Not just as a garnish but as the main part of the dish. The Chelsea Flower Show will include a number of edible exhibits & at Great British Chefs we take a look a some of our favourite ways of cooking with flowers including a wonderful dish of edible tulips by Pascal Aussignac of Club Gascon.    

    Photo of Primavera Tulips by Urvashi Roe aka @BotanicalBaker 

    Post for  Great British Chefs by Mecca Ibrahim

    At the Chelsea Flower Show 2012 Jekka’s Herb Farm are launching an exciting range of edible flowers. Also The Plankbridge Hutmakers Ltd Artisan Garden will feature heirloom cultivars of heritage vegetables, displayed in rustic containers.

    At the show you’ll see flowers that can be used as garnishes to make meals look pretty. Also flowering herbs such as nasturtiums and borage have the benefit of adding colour to leafy salads in addition to being great to eat.  But, have you ever thought of flowers taking a more starring role in a dish?  Edible tulips make an interesting talking point for dinner parties.  

    In this video you’ll see award winning chef Pascal Aussignac visiting a flower market to select some organic tulips for his delicious Primavera Tulips starter & preparing them for his restaurant.  This recipe are part of Great British Chefs Flower Recipe Collection showing there’s more to flowers than just a table decoration. 

      

    We think you’ll find few flower recipe collections to rival this one.  In addition to Pascal’s showcase Primavera Tulips (more on them later) it features his Gladiola petals and spicy violet pearls, both of which have been in Great British Chefs apps.

    For the coming summer months, try Marcus Wareing’s gin and tonic granita decorated with edible flowers.  It’s ideal for spending a nice sunny day relaxing in the garden. 

    Chilled cucumber and horseradish gazpacho with Lymington crab salad and pickled white radish by Matthew Tomkinson

    There are also numerous dishes that use edible flowers to make them look stunning, such as Matthew Tomkinson’s gazpacho pictured above.  

    Or try Simon Hulstone’s Rose and Almond Tansy pudding with butternut squash ice cream.  The dessert is flavoured with rosewater and tansy, a wild herb and a somewhat forgotten ingredient. Simon Hulstone has had great success with this recipe in competitions – so much so that he named his first daughter Tansy. 

    Urvashi Roe aka @BotanicalBaker is an ex-florist and a keen cook and made Pascal’s Primavera Tulips a few months ago

    Primavera Tulips 

    Check out Urvashi’s blog post about making these tulips for us and in summary here are her top tips for cooking tulips:

    • Try to buy organic tulips or use ones growing in your garden as these obviously have less fertilisers on them.
    • Use really brightly coloured tulips like red or deep pink because you’ll lose some colour with the steaming. My tulips were bright red but as you can see the cooked petals are purple.
    • Leave your tulips to wilt so the stems fit nicely into your steamer.  Tulip stems suck water up really fast and this is why they stand annoyingly upright when you want them to have that floppy magazine effect.  Leave them out of water for about 30 minutes and the stems will perfect. Incidentally to keep the floppy effect in a vase just top up with no more than an inch of water every day.
    • Make sure you take all the inner parts out of the flower as some are poisonous.  I chopped the large bits with a pair of scissors and then took a paring knife to shave off the rest.
    • Make the filling and pea purée the day before because then this perfect, pretty plate of flowers will take just 5 minutes to serve up. 

    Pascal’s Primavera Tulips are part of Great British Chefs special Edible Flowers Recipe Collection

    Have you ever tried cooking flowers before?  Which other flowers would make an ideal part of a meal?  We’re discussing this over on Great British Chefs Facebook Page

  5. Great British Menu 2012 - North West Heat Preview

    Week Five of the seventh series of The Great British Menu and it’s the turn of the North West region. Over eight weeks, twenty four of the finest chefs in Great Britain including many chefs from Great British Chefs site are competing in regional heats for the opportunity to create a four course menu at an Olympic banquet, hosted by sporting legend Sir Steve Redgrave with a guest list of British sporting greats.  This week (starting 7th May 2012) it’s the turn of chefs from the North West .

    Johnnie Mountain, Marcus WareingSimon Rogan and Aiden Byrne - BBC2 Great British Menu North West Contestants

    On Monday they’ll be presenting their starters. Simon Rogan’s starter is a grilled salad served with an English truffle custard, cobnut crisp and cheese foam. Johnny Mountain will be cooking  Iberico ham, cherry ravioli and a foie gras ice cream.  Aiden Byrne is making a terrine of fois gras with a palm sugar mousse with black cherries and ginger bread.

    On Tuesday, they move onto a fish course, on Wednesday main course and on Thursday it’s the turn of desserts.  For each of those days they will have to impress veteran judge Marcus Wareing  before going through to Friday’s final.

    Marcus has worked alongside many famous names in British gastronomy, starting with an apprenticeship under Anton Edelmann at The Savoy Hotel. He honed his skills at Le Gavroche and with Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire before achieving success with Gordon Ramsay Holdings, winning Michelin stars at L’Oranger, Pétrus and The Savoy Grill.

    Most days you’ll find Marcus Wareing in the kitchen at The Berkeley, yet he has found time to write three cook books, make barnstorming appearances on the BBC’s Great British Menu and open a ‘British brasserie’, The Gilbert Scott at London’s St Pancras station.

    On this iTunes podcast, Marcus Wareing talks to Matthew Fort about his career and his journey towards running two very successful kitchens.

    Smoked Baby Beetroot, Marscapone & Tarragon Salad by Marcus Wareing 

    Marcus has also contributed recipes for both the first and second of the Great British Chefs apps. His menus from the The Gilbert Scott include delights like Smoked Baby Beetroot, Marscapone & Tarragon Salad and Turkish delight cheese cake and more challenging dishes from his eponymous restaurant.

    Turkish Delight Cheesecake by Marcus Wareing  

    On Friday the two chefs who received the most points from Marcus for the week will cook their dishes again for restaurateur and cookery writer, Prue Leith, fellow restaurateur and businessman, Oliver Peyton, and food journalist and author, Matthew Fort.  Matthew is Great British Chefs strategic advisor who also blogs for us and writes the introductions for a number of our ingredient collections.  The winner will go into the finals (joining Alan Murchison who won the Scottish round,  Daniel Clifford who won the Central round and Colin McCurran who won the North East round and Chris Fearon who won the Northern Ireland round).

    You can see the full line up of chefs and judges for the Great British Menu 2012 here. Also catch up on last week’s Northern Ireland Heat Final Great British Menu judging on our blog.

    Great British Menu is on different times on BBC2 this week Monday at 7pm, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at 7.30pm and Friday’s final at 7pm.

  6. 10 Foodie ways to celebrate Waitangi Day

    New Zealand’s Waitangi Day is coming up soon (6th February 2012) and Kiwis from around the world will be celebrating.  If you’re in London there’s a number of things to do starting this weekend.  Our friends over at Silver Fern Farms have provided a great list of 21 Things to do to celebrate Waitangi Day. At Great British Chefs we’ve picked out our food & drink related favourites & added a couple of our own:

     

    Lamb loin, Parmesan risotto and pan juices by Chris Horridge on Great British Chefs 

    1. Try Chris Horridge’s recipe for Lamb Loin, Parmesan risotto and pan juices for a great roast this Sunday.

    2.  Grab your favourite NZ wine and settle down to watch the complete Billy T James collection start to finish.  Billy T James meeting a very classy Captain Cook

    3.  Head down to Tesco (selected branches) and make it an authentic Waitangi day with a meal of Silver Fern Farms New Zealand lamb.

    4.  Show your pommie friends some classic kiwi advertsL & P Stubbies and Tui Blond Lager and for old timers, some truly vintage ads.

    5.  Purchase a bottle or two of your favourite Kiwi brews - DB, Lion Red, Macs, Monteiths, Speights, Tui and the immortal Steinlager… Sanza has them all.

    6.  Have a barbecue in stubbies and jandals and forget it’s winter- get that Silver Fern Farms lamb rump out to warm you up - try this recipe.  New Zealand lamb is in selected Tesco stores.

    7.  Stock up on all those yummy home comforts at the Kiwifruit Shop - Watties, Griffins, Marmite, Bluebird Chips, Whittakers chocolate, Pinky Bars and chocolate fish.

    8. 100% pure New Zealand photos - admire the beauty, share the love.

    9.  Bake a pavlova (covered in kiwifruit of course), or another Kiwi favourite.

    Lamb flatbreads by Marcus Wareing on Great British Chefs

    10.  Give lamb a Turkish twist with Marcus Wareing’s beautiful lamb flatbreads.

    Thanks again to Silver Fern Farms for their inspiring21 Things to do to celebrate Waitangi Day 

    How will you be celebrating Waitangi Day?  What dishes would you serve for a New Zealand themed party?  We’re discussing this over on Great British Chefs Facebook page.

  7. Great Tasting Cheeseburgers? It’s Emmental My Dear Wareing!

    Great British Chefs’ blogger Chris Osburn was looking for an affordable, easy and tasty recipe to make from our site.  He found himself with an hour or so to spare at the weekend and thought he’d try making Marcus Wareing's cheeseburgers with caramelised onions.  


    All photography by Chris Osburn

    Vegetarian girlfriend out of the flat for a few hours? Check.
    Full pot of coffee brewed? Check.
    Podcasts missed from a three week digital media break over Christmas the New Years queued up and ready to play? Check.

    All right then, time to make some burgers. And not just any burgers. Mega-yum and mega-massive cheeseburgers a la Marcus Wareing’s ‘cheese burger with caramelised onions' recipe.

    Making these cheeseburgers was my first attempt at a Great British Chefs recipe. Listed as ‘easy’ and taking a little more than a hour from start to finish to complete, I found the instructions simple and straightforward. Many of the ingredients were already in my cupboard and fridge anyway, and all would be on sale at even the most average of supermarkets with none of the items especially dear with respect to price or availability.

    DSC_1857

    The ingredients of the recipe added up to burgers that were downright intriguing. The caramelised onions heavy on the thyme (I threw in a pinch or so more than the advised one tablespoon) with the hummus and Emmental created a wow of a flavour melange. I never would have thought of using hummus as a hamburger condiment … or that it would go so well with Emmental. The hummus I used was especially rich in tahini, and I reckon that added a lot to the overall taste and gave a really creamy texture to each bite. 

    DSC_1883

    Emmental was definitely the right cheese for these burgers too. Nutty and noticeable without overpowering the other ingredients, it allowed the herbs to have their say and for the beef remain the prominent component. It’s a great cheese to be sure. And although I’m definitely a fan of Cheddar, American and a range of other cheeses for my burgers, I think for this particular recipe, substituting another cheese would run the risk of screwing up the balance.

    DSC_1878

    Next time (and I’m certain there will be a next time) I fry these bad boys up, I might add a wee bit of oregano or marjoram to the mix and spike it with a tad more than Wareing’s suggested two tablespoons of tarragon (but not much more). I might even add an extra clove or two of garlic. But I’d try my hardest to replicate the hummus to Emmental to caramelised onions ratios of my original attempt. Gorgeous. 

    DSC_1898

    I had a lot of fun with this recipe. The results were pretty awesome too – a glorious all day meal just for me as a reward immediately after making the burgers, followed up a couple of days later with some much appreciated and quickly vanished sliders that I reassembled from the leftovers for a small get together with a few friends. These were the best burgers I’ve had in a very long time, among the tastiest I’ve ever made for myself and ones that will influence how I make burgers from here on. Additionally, I expect the recipe to serve me well as a template for future meatball and meatloaf making.

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    Wareing’s cheeseburgers offer a great opportunity for kitchen novices and folks looking for a big return on little investment to cook like a Michelin starred chef minus a lot of hassle. Any carnivore would be glad to sink his or her teeth into one of these babies.

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    And those foodies (here in London anyway) who might be feeling a bit burned out by the recent gourmet burger craze should enjoy these treats as a fresh take on a tried and true classic. If you’re hoping to treat yourself or impress your guests without spending a small fortune or getting in over your head with a complex recipe, here’s a big, meaty chance to succeed in the kitchen

    Marcus Wareing’s Cheeseburger with caramelised onions were made  by Chris Osburn  More of Chris’s photos can be found on this link.

    Have you ever tried making burgers yourself?  What are your favourite ingredients for them & what do you like to serve them with?  We’re discussing this over on Great British Chefs Facebook Page

  8. What our Flickr Members Cooked over the Festive Period

    At Great British Chefs we’ve been simply amazed with the hive of activity in your kitchens over Christmas.  We really appreciate all of the wonderful recipe ideas that you’ve been adding to our Great British Chefs Facebook page posts - from winter soup ideas, to winter desserts and dishes to make with Christmas leftovers, it’s been a joy to read them all.

    We also wanted to share some of the amazing photos of festive dishes that you have been added to our Great British Chefs Flickr Group.  Starting off with Kizette’s Ginger Chocolate Biscotti (pictured above) from Green & Black’s recipe book, they look absolutely wonderful.  Kizette also packaged these up with handwritten labels as gifts for friends and family over Christmas, along with homemade jam & chocolate Panpepato

    Almost ready to go...

    Her Orange and Cardamom Jam is also pictured below and we imagine her friends will enjoy tucking into this over breakfast.

    Orange and cardamom jam

    Tess Courage whipped up a batch of Marcus Wareing’s Olive, Feta and Herb muffins which look simply scrumptious

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    She also made some seasonal dark chocolate and mincemeat mini muffins with a cinnamon glaze and quite a few of you had suggested using up any left over mincemeat to put in muffins like these.

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    Other bakers included Ash who made a wonderful chocolate cake

    Chocolate Cake

    Ash’s Chocolate Shots with mini mincemeat pastries were also a big hit with our Facebook Fans over Christmas

    Chocolate shots

    We know it’s hard to resist chocolately goodies and we created a Chocaholics collection of our favourite recipes for you. 

    Open-Face Omelet with Cauliflower, Broccoli & Feta

    Great British Chefs blogger Monica Shaw was very busy over Christmas & we love her Open-Face Omelet with Cauliflower, Broccoli & Feta.  Monica wrote a fantastic blog post for us on cooking for Vegetarians at Christmas.  It was great to see how her main course turned out.

    Butternut squash with sourdough stuffing for veggie Christmas main.

    Her Butternut squash with sourdough stuffing clearly made an excellent vegetarian main course and I imagine many meat eaters would be piling this onto their plates too.  

    Finally yesterday, I tried my hand at Roast Duck after having a bit of an overload of chicken & turkey over Christmas.

    Crispy Roast Duck with pancakes

    Duck is one of my favourite dishes and I based this on Marcus Wareing's recipe for Braised & Roasted Duck which like him, I also served with pancakes, spring onions and Hoi Sin or plum sauce.

    If you’ve taken any photos of food cooked over Christmas or have plans for party food for the New Year celebrations, we’d love to see them.  Please join our Great British Chefs Flickr Group and we’ll add you within 24 hours and share our favourites on this blog.

    Look out for some food photography competitions next year which we’ll announce here and  on our Facebook page.

  9. Lovely Leftovers - Not another Turkey Curry or Sandwich

    The big Christmas dinner has come and gone & like most households you may be facing enough leftover Turkey that could still feed a family of four, lots of veg both roasted and uncooked, tons of chocolates and a cheese board that’s sitting unloved in the fridge.  What to make?  At Great British Chefs we have a few ideas from some of the country’s greatest chefs of what to do with the remains of Xmas dinner.

    Turkey & Caramelised Onion Tart with Melted Stilton Cheese by Adam Gray

    If you like pizza, you’ll love this quick and easy puff pastry tart, which was inspired by Christmas leftovers, and the perhaps unwanted jars of condiments that are almost inevitably included in hampers and festive giftpacks. Armed with this recipe you could find your fridge delightfully free of turkey, cheese and so on well before New Year. Simply leave out the turkey if you want to make the dish vegetarian. You don’t have to use blue-vein Christmas favourite Stilton cheese either – try Gruyère or Lancashire

    Fragrant Asian Hotpot by Marcus Wareing

    A delicious, eastern, aromatic soup to try on a wintery night when quick, easy and healthy are top priority.  A few simple ingredients make up this amazing dish & if you’ve been given pickled ginger in a Christmas hamper, you’ll now know what to do with it.

    Smoked bacon hash with a fried egg by Adam Gray

    A perfect brunch dish: you can make the hash from left over baked potatoes, and use either standard hen’s egg or a duck egg to  give this otherwise humble and inexpensive combo a special richness. If you don’t want to use bacon, or simply want to make the dish more sophisticated, substitute some slow-cooked duck or guinea fowl leg meat – your guests will be amazed at your culinary ingenuity.


    Gratinee des Halles by Martin Wishart

    More commonly known as French Onion soup.  The secret to this classic French soup is getting a good colour on the onions at the initial cooking stage, so settle in with a glass of chilled wine and prepare yourself for some patient stirring. Your hard work will be amply rewarded by bags of deep, caramelised flavour.  An excellent way to use up cheeses & French bread.

    Parsnip & Apple Soup by Adam Gray

    Apples and parsnips are classic partners – both are sweet but green Granny Smiths (a terrific cooking apple) are a little sharp while parsnips are slightly earthy and spicy. Add the savouriness of onions and the smoothness of milk and cream and the result is a great tasting soup that works as well for a dinner party starter

    Chocolate Pudding by Galton Blackiston

    Use some of your leftover dark chocolates in this tempting chocolate & brandy dessert. The relatively short cooking time means the centre remains melting so its a self-saucing pudding. If you prepared home made brandy butter, you can serve with this.

    Rhubarb Trifle by Dominic Chapman

    This pretty little layered sherry & rhubarb trifle is a treat for the eyes and the palate. This recipe calls for stock syrup which is simply a mixture containing equal parts sugar and water, reduced to a syrup.  Save time making custard by using any leftovers.

    Bread & Butter Pudding - Paul Ainsworth

    Bread n Butter Pudding by Paul Ainsworth from Great British Chefs Feastive App

    A classic winter dessert that Paul gives an amazing luxurious twist to by serving with a chocolate sorbet.  It’s the perfect way to use up white bread, but you could also try what I did and use left over panettone.

    Pannetone Bread & Butter Pudding pre custard

    Sadly it doesn’t look as good as Paul’s but it tasted pretty good especially when served with cream .

    Cooked Pannetone Bread and Butter Pudding

    Those are just a few ideas, but we know you are all extremely inventive too.  What are your favourite ways to use up leftovers from Christmas dinner?  We’re discussing this over on Great British Chefs Facebook page.

  10. Making Pineapple upside-down cake by Marcus Wareing in Brazil

    Never one to shy away from the face of a challenge, Great British Chefs blogger Rosana McPhee from Hot & Chili didn’t let the fact that she was in Brazil stop her from trying Marcus Wareing’s recipe from our app. See how she got on.

    All photography by Rosana McPhee

    Having purchased the Great British Chefs Feastive app  I was looking forward to try some of the recipes straight away.  However, my eminent holiday to Brazil was looming and as per usual I run out of time, so  I thought  I would try Marcus Wareing’s  Pineapple upside-down cake recipe in a tropical surrounding , see if I could get all ingredients or if I would have to adapt if I couldn’t find some of it. In the spirit of Great British Chefs, which aims to connect its chefs with food lovers around the world, I set off to get the ingredients in my local street market and supermarket in Sao Paulo.

    I found most of the ingredients without difficulty. But obviously, life is never simple…

    Ingredients:

    Spiced Caramel

    135 ml of glucose syrup – in Brazil is called Karo

    175 g caster sugar

    300 ml of cream

    15g unsalted butter

    5g salt

    80ml rum

    Pineapple Upside-down cake:

    150g butter, softened

    150g of self-raising flour – in Brazil we don’t have this type of flour, so I used plain flour and added 1 tea spoon of baking powder

    150g of  caster sugar

    2 eggs

    1 pinch of salt

    4 fresh pineapples cut to fit my ramekins

    To plate:

    This recipe asks for fresh clotted cream, which comes from Devon and Cornwall – so not available in Brazil.  I looked outside my window in a balmy 30C afternoon thinking how to get around it so I got vanilla ice cream to accompany this cake. That was fitting with the present weather.

    Method

    Heat the cream. Saturate the glucose syrup and sugar with a little water and put on high heat. Cook a dark caramel.

    Keep simmering until fully emulsified and thick. Take it off the heat and whisk in the butter, salt and rum. Set aside.

    To make the cake, heat the oven to 180C. Cream the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs and mix well. Fold in the flour and the salt.

    Butter well the moulds; I used ramekins, out enough caramel into them to cover the base. Reserve the rest of the caramel. Put a pineapple ring in each mould.

    Fill the rest of the moulds with the cake mixture and put into the oven to cook. When light brown, remove from the oven and let it cool. Carefully slide the cakes from their moulds.

    Plate it and decorate with the rest of the caramel and a quenelle of cream or ice cream!

    My presentation was far from perfect, but this time I quite liked the rustic look of it. My mother loved it.  This cake is easy to make, the sponge is light and toffee/caramel pineapple was full of flavour and textures.  In this case, the ice cream was a good substitute for the clotted cream. The instructions are uncomplicated if you have a bit of baking experience.

    I love the suggestion of wine paring; to be able to effortlessly share the recipe and experience on social media or via email.

    I’m looking forward to try more recipes soon.  To buy the app, a great stocking filler for a foodie:

    http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/the-app  

             

    Blog post for Great British Chefs by Rosana McPhee  Recipes from Marcus Wareing’s celebratory menu can be downloaded on Great British Chefs Feastive App.

    What ingredients do you wish it was easier to buy in supermarkets or corner shops? What will you be baking as a dessert over Xmas? We’re discussing these questions over on Great British Chefs’ Facebook page. 

  11. Rejoice! Brussel Sprouts Ripen Three Weeks Earlier this Year

    Brussel Sprouts photo from Love Your Greens

    You either love them or hate them.  But for those who love them with a Christmas dinner, you’re in luck as the much-maligned vegetable has ripened three weeks earlier than normal this year.

    Even better news for brussel sprouts lovers is that this year’s crop of sprouts are also bigger - weighing 25g instead of 20g - sweeter & more flavoursome.  At Great British Chefs we read that we can put that down to the “unusually warm winter weather” we’ve  had in the UK this year.

    Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, John Lankfer, who grows 70 acres of sprouts on his farm in Wisbech, Cambs said:  “It has been a really good year for sprouts and the yields are much higher than they have been for the past six years,”

    "I think it’s all been down to the growing conditions throughout the year. The dry spring helped the roots go down well, then we had rain in the summer to help the plants.

    "The recent mild weather has also helped them grow more quickly so the sprouts are around three weeks ahead of schedule and much bigger than they would normally be when picked.”

    Over at the Love Your Greens campaign experts said the mild autumn and recent dry weather had helped produce a spectacular crop of sprouts this year.

    The mild dry weather has been really good for the crop and helped produce very high quality sprouts.  There was a concern we would have too many sprouts too early but the cold snap over the last few days means they are back on track.”

    Roast Bronze turkey & all the trimmings including sprouts by Dominic Chapman on Great British Chefs

    The UK sprout industry is worth £54 million a year, with Christmas accounting for more than 67 per cent of the annual consumption. Growers produce 264 million sprouts for the festive season and the  Brits eating more sprouts than anyone else in Europe. But even though you might hate them and only force yourself to eat them at Christmas it appears they are are more popular than ever.  Data analysts Kantar Worldpanel say there has been an increase of more than 12% in sprout sales already this year. Us Brits spent £53 million on them in 2010 and £60 million this year, a rise of £7 million.

    And in the last 12 months, around 40,000 tonnes of sprouts - (that’s almost the same weight as the Titanic) - have been sold in the UK.

    Venison, dark chocolate, fig, turnip and brussel sprouts by Marcus Wareing  in Great British Chefs Feastive App

    Much of this is due to chefs like Marcus Wareing from The Berkeley in our Feastive app who are coming up with innovative recipes (like the one pictured here) to make sprouts more palatable.

    The Love Your Greens campaign said sprouts were more popular in Britain because modern growing techniques meant sprouts were not as bitter as they used to be.

    New varieties have made a big difference and the growing techniques have been refined,” added a spokeswoman.

    Also the human palette has changed over the years and people now like more bitter food anyway.

    "People have also become more conscious about eating their five fruit and vegetables a day and sprouts are full of goodness.”

    Where do you stand on sprouts?  Do you love them or hate them? Are you one of those people who’ll only be putting a small spoonful on your dinner plate at Xmas? How do you like to cook sprouts to make them extra delicious?  We’re discussing this over on Great British Chefs’ Facebook Page.

  12. Are you having a three minute breakfast or deskfast?

    We love a good breakfast at Great British Chefs, but know that most people are hurried & rushed (specially on a Monday morning) with little time to spend on what is supposed to be the most important meal of the day.  Research carried out by Weetabix has revealed that over a third of people say they have less time to eat breakfast than they did five years ago, with most people blaming the fact that they now feel under pressure to get into the office earlier.

    Porridge with Maple Bananas & Greek Yoghurt by Marcus Wareing on Great British Chefs site

    If you’re reading this on Facebook or Twitter you could be one of those people, as the report says people spend just three minutes eating breakfast because they are too busy checking emails, Facebook or Twitter or feel pressured to get to work.

    In the survey of 2000 adults, 51% said they spent just three minutes 15 seconds eating in the morning while eight out of 10 people have ‘deskfasts’ three times a week.

    Sian Porter, Weetabix’s consultant nutritionist and dietician, said: “It’s a fact that people who miss breakfast don’t make up nutritionally later in the day. We’re all getting busier which means making the time to sit down and eat a healthy breakfast which will help to get us through the day is more important than ever.”

    Amazingly one in 20 people admit to eating breakfast in the bathroom (really) because they are so squeezed for time and a fifth of parents say their children eat breakfast in the car on the way to school.

    And depending on where you live, you may not have breakfast at all. 

    In Birmingham, 59% said they were too busy on the internet or watching TV in the morning to eat breakfast. 57% of Londoners, 52% of people from Bristol and 51% of Mancunians said the same.” said the Press Associaton

    In spite of all this, three quarters of Britons believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

    Grilled Black Pudding with Eggs from Shaun Rankin's Seasoned Islands Book

    What do you think?  How often do you skip breakfast or have a rushed breakfast?  Have you ever eaten breakfast in the bathroom?  Is the internet to blame for us skipping breakfast?  How often do you “breakfast like a king”?  We’ll be discussing this over on Great British Chefs Facebook Page.