Live To Eat Food Club November 2015
Eating the Seasons…
I am a great believer in eating seasonal produce that if possible, can be found locally to you.
This month I feature superfood kale, a very versatile vegetable that is abundant in the winter months. you can substitute it for cabbage or other greens, and blanch, sauté or roast it (kale chips from the oven are delicious) with a touch of garlic, perhaps some soy and nuts, and a whole new taste sensation appears. Don’t forget soups though – you can make amazing and hearty soups for the winter months using this clever vegetable.
Kale should always be completely fresh and that delicious deep green colour. If you can get small leaves, they are much more tender for stir-frying or blanching. Bigger leaves however, benefit soup much more. You do need to cook kale longer than the average softer-leaved cabbage.
I am not very sure how the old wives’ tale of never eating mussels when there is no ‘R’ in the month! came to be? Mussels are at their very best between October and March/April, and particularly if there has been an Indian summer. Buy fresh, with the lovely blue-black lustre, get them home and immediately wash under cold running water. Always beware of open mussels, particularly if they don’t close when sharply tapped on the side with a knife. Always clean off any ‘beards’ or barnacles – cook immediately, or place in a colander and cover with a damp cloth or a wetted newspaper! However, if the mussels are fresh, they are still ‘alive’ so they must be consumed on the day of purchase.
Here is one of my favourite Mussel recipes, Mussels in Verjuice Cream.
The ‘not so humble’ Potato
Who would have thought after all the talk of not eating too many potatoes or starchy vegetables due to the high amount of carbohydrates in these vegetables, that the UK has gone potato-crazy, and some of the most popular street food and pop-ups are focussing on this one single vegetable in a variety of ways. Jacket potatoes and chips in various forms have always been a big feature at takeaway food or stalls at fairs, markets etc., but now there are many more appealing dishes appearing at these venues. Look out forSunday Best, a pop up stall appearing all over the country at different venues – believe it or not, it is a ‘ticket only’ event, and sales for the first appearance were all snapped up within 1 hour! Central feature is a gravy ‘fountain’ for you to dip roast potatoes into!
If you are in the London area, a visit to Village East (www.villageast.co.uk) will see hordes of people wanting to smack their lips on Smashed Potatoes with gravy and crispy chicken skin’ – mouth-wateringly good!
More Christmas Ideas…..
Last month I promised you some more Christmas ideas. If you are looking for stocking fillers or economical ‘foodie’ presents, trywww.funkyfood.com – their website has lots of fun ideas including ‘Make your own’ kits, such as your own Italian cheese, Chilli Chocolate Cake in a Tin, unusual cookie cutters etc.