Archive for the ‘British Food’ Category

Some Fantastic Food Festivals Taking Place This Year

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
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Here in the UK we are becoming more and more conscious of what we eat, something that is reflected in both the variety of cooking shows on the TV and also the number of delectable food festivals that are cropping up all over the country. As far as I’m concerned there are few things better than a proper food festival with the classes and demonstrations from famous faces of the foodie world and, of course, the copious culinary delights that you can find, and so for this post we’ve decided to take a look around the country and see which events we think promise to be a bit special this year.

The Pembrokeshire Fish Week

pembrokeshire fish week

Photo Courtesy of Pembrokeshire Fish Week

It may have been perennially underrated however the tide is beginning to turn for British seafood, and with events like the Pembrokeshire Fish Week you can understand why! Running from the 28th of June through to the 6th of July the Fish Week is the perfect way to give the whole family a taste of some of the fantastic foods on offer in Britain’s waters with BBQs, tapas and of course the classic fish and chips. As well as sampling these delicacies, you’ll be able to take part in friendly pub quizzes and watch some of the counties best musicians, and then there’s the chance to try something new with classes in foraging, kayaking, surfing and coasteering!

The Malton Food Lovers Festival

malton

Photo Courtesy of the Malton Food Lovers Festival

Recently the town of Malton in Yorkshire has undergone a culinary revolution and has gained a bit of a reputation for being a little haven for all of the food fanatics out there. The town hosts a famous monthly food market which often features demonstrations from famous chefs and is also the home of TV chef James Martin’s award winning restaurant. Add to this the ever popular Malton Food Lovers Festival that this year runs on the 24th and 25th of May and with patrons such as Jean Christophe Novelli, the BBC’s The Incredible Spice Men and the star of Channel 4′s Simply Italian Michela Chiappa the 2014 edition promises to be bigger and better than ever!

The Great British Food Festival

gbff-81

Photo Courtesy of The Great British Food Festival

This year the Great British Food Festival is taking place at various venues around the country with the opening edition finding its home at the glorious Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. With displays from some of the top local chefs and artisan talks to help you get to grips with skills such as cocktail making and wine tasting you’re guaranteed to walk away knowing more than you did when you arrived. Or if you fancy a challenge you could always enter the Great British Cake Off or the ever popular Men vs Food where you could tuck into delights such as a chilli vodka shot, a foot long chilli sausage or even a refreshing chilli flavoured sorbet!

I hope that this blog will have inspired you to tuck into some fantastic British food! If so don’t forget to take a quick glimpse through our other foodie blog posts where I’m sure you’ll be able to find something else to whet your appetite, from pancakes to Christmas leftovers and much, much more!

Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

Pancake Recipes for Kids

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
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The Sykes Cottages office is a buzz with conversation, as we can’t stop talking about Pancake Day! Which toppings we’ll be having, the best flipping technique (it’s all in the wrists) and of course how many scrumptious pancakes we can consume. Children love pancakes, whether they’re sweet and sticky or warm and savoury so here at Sykes Cottages we have decided to share with you our favourite pancake recipes for kids, in hopes that you’ll be joining in on the Pancake Day celebrations. Keep reading for two mouth-watering recipes including both traditional crepes and American style pancakes.

Via. Flickr

Via. Flickr

For a lunch time treat try making the children our delicious savoury ham and cheese pancakes. When paired with a healthy salad this combo is sure to impress children and adults alike as a fun alternative to the common sandwich. The following recipe takes less than 30 minutes to complete and will serve 2 -3 hungry mouths.

Savoury Ham and Cheese Pancakes

Ingredients

  • Ingredients for the pancakes
  • 55g plain flour
  • 140ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • Oil for frying
  • A pinch of salt
  • Ingredients for the cheese sauce
  • 25g plain flour
  • 225ml milk
  • 100g Emmental, grated
  • 25g butter
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Ingredients to top
  • 80g/3oz of smoked ham
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced

Instructions

  1. For the pancake mix, sift both the flour and salt into a large bowl leaving a well in the middle.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together the egg and milk.
  3. Slowly add the mixed egg and milk to the well in the flour and whisk together until the batter is smooth (set to one side).
  4. For the cheese sauce start by melting the butter in a small pan, once the butter has melted whisk in the flour.
  5. Leave the mixture to cook for 1 minute, then gradually add the milk whilst consistently stirring. Bring the ingredients to the boil before reducing the heat to a light simmer for 1 minute until the sauce is smooth and thick.
  6. Stir in half of the cheese and season to taste with black pepper.
  7. Back to the pancake mix; Pre-heat an omelette pan until very hot and add a small amount of oil. Ladle in around 2 tablespoons of pancake mix and tilt the pan from side to side until the mix covers the pan in a smooth thin layer. Cook for 30 seconds before flipping.
  8. When the pancakes are turned scatter the ham and spring onions on top of the mix. Spoon over some cheese sauce and top with a sprinkling of the remaining cheese.
  9. Your pancake is now ready for serving! Fold the pancake in half and slide out of the pan onto a waiting plate ready for greedy hands to get tucked in.
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Via. Flickr

Via. Flickr

For an extra special breakfast which will set the kids up with bags of energy for the day ahead, try treating them to our banana and blueberry pancakes. These delicious American style pancakes are not only healthy but fun too as the left over fruit is perfect for making funny faces! Our American style pancake recipe will serve 4 people and takes around 40 minutes to make.

Banana and Blueberry American Style Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200ml of semi-skinned milk
  • 130g Greek or plain yoghurt
  • 55g butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 100g blueberries
  • Oil for frying
  • A pinch of Salt
  • Extra blueberries to decorate
  • 1 banana, sliced to decorate
  • Maple syrup to drizzle

Instructions

  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt before stirring in the sugar, leaving a well in the middle.
  2. In a separate blow whisk together the yoghurt, vanilla extract, eggs and mashed banana, then slowly whisk in the milk.
  3. Slowly add the yoghurt mixture to the flour whilst whisking, when mixed add the melted butter and blueberries stirring all together.
  4. Pre-heat an omelette pan until very hot and add a small amount of oil. Add 1 tablespoon of batter in to the pan (you should have enough room to cook 3 pancakes at a time).
  5. Fry at a medium heat until little bubbles start to rise on the surface, once this happens turn the pancakes over until the same happens on the other side.
  6. When the pancakes are cooked through slide them onto a waiting plate and have the children decorate with blueberries, chopped bananas and maple syrup.
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We hope that these delicious sweet and savoury recipes have inspired you to try your hand at flipping a few crepes this pancake day! Just remember safety first; be sure to wear your apron and keep the children back when the pancakes start flying as what goes up must come down!

nicole.westley

By Nicole Westley

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her fiancé.

Classic Comfort Food With the Humble Potato

Monday, January 27th, 2014
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You might not know it but today is National Potato Day. Yes that’s right, the most humble of vegetables now has its own day in the calendar and let’s be be fair you can’t begrudge it, after all the average Brit consumes over 90kg of spuds every year! In celebration of National Potato Day we’ve put our heads together and come up with several recipes for some spud-based comfort foods perfect for getting you through the long, winter days.

Leek and Potato Soup

Nothing can banish the winter blues like a hot bowl of soup. This creamy leek and potato soup is the perfect pick me up after a long day at work or can be served up as a hearty lunchtime treat. The following recipe takes less than an hour and makes enough soup to feed 4-6 people.

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil,
  • 1 thinly sliced onion,
  • 2 thinly sliced leeks,
  • 225g of potatoes cut into cubes,
  • 1.2 litres of vegetable stock,
  • 150 millilitres of double cream,
  • A handful of bacon lardons,
  • salt and pepper.

Method

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan. Add the potatoes, leeks and onion and cook until they start to soften (should take around 3-4 minutes).
  2. When the vegetables have begun to soften add the stock and lower the heat. Leave to simmer gently until the vegetables are tender.
  3. In the meantime fry the bacon until crisp.
  4. Blend the soup until smooth, stir in the cream and reheat.
  5. Season to taste, serve up in a bowl and garnish with the crispy bacon.

Tartiflette

It may not be a traditional British recipe but this sumptuous, cheesy potato dish is the perfect comfort food! It originates from the French region of Haute-Savoie high up in the Alps and has since become a staple dish in ski lodges throughout the region which is surely a good sign for a winter warmer! This recipe will take about 1 hour to cook and serves 4 people.

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Ingredients

  • 1kg of peeled potatoes,
  • 250g of bacon lardons,
  • 2 small shallots,
  • 1 clove of garlic,
  • 100 millilitres of white wine,
  • 200 millilitres of double cream,
  • 1 Reblochon Cheese (around about 500g) sliced. (You can use Camembert as an alternative)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade (gas mark 7).
  2. Boil the potatoes for 5-10 minutes in salted water (or until the potatoes begin to get tender).
  3. Drain the potatoes and leave to cool.
  4. Fry the bacon, garlic and shallots until golden brown, this should take around five minutes. Now deglaze the pan using the white wine and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Thinly slice your potatoes and layer them, along with the shallot, bacon and garlic in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the cream and top with the sliced cheese.
  6. Place in the preheated oven and cook until the cheese is browned and has begun to bubble.
  7. Dish up with either the traditional accompaniment of charcuterie, gherkins and pickled onions, or if you don’t fancy that then a crisp green salad also works well.

Corned Beef Hash

This meal is the perfect comfort food, ideal for an evening meal or even as a hearty breakfast treat on the weekend. This version should take under an hour to cook and will make enough to comfortably feed four people.

via. Flickr

via. Flickr

Ingredients

  • 4 potatoes cut into small cubes,
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil,
  • a finely diced onion,
  • 1 clove of garlic,
  • 1 tin of corned beef,
  • salt and pepper,
  • 1 egg per person.

Method

  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain them and then set aside to steam dry.
  2. Heat some of the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the cooked potato and continue to fry for another minute before crumbling in the corned beef and mixing it together.
  4. Move the mixture into a suitable dish and place under the grill until it starts to crispen up.
  5. Whilst the corned beef hash is under the grill fry the eggs using the remaining oil.
  6. Remove the hash from the grill, divide it between everybody and top with the fried eggs.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy making (and eating!) these lovely comfort foods, and remember you can always take it a step further and book yourself one of our cottages with an open fire to really beat the winter chills!

Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

Top Cornish Cuisine

Thursday, January 16th, 2014
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Cornwall is one of the UK’s favourite holiday destinations, known for its picturesque landscapes, crystal clear seas and scrumptious Cornish cuisine! Here at Sykes Cottages, we love to eat and are particularly fond of the delicacies that Cornwall has to offer. Below you’ll find our selection of the best Cornish grub going and we would suggest that, on your next Cornish holiday, you sniff them out and give them a try!

Cornish Pasty

Cornish pasty and lemonade

Via. Flickr

You simply cannot visit Cornwall without trying the legendary Cornish pasty. These tasty portable meals have been making both local and visitor mouths water since the 18th century! With the Cornish pasty so in demand, competition is rife amongst local bakers, but for the best pasties in town I would suggest heading to the Chough Bakery in Padstow. This family run bakery is the current World Pasty champion and has been making pasties for nearly 30 years!

Cream Tea

A Cornish cream tea

Via. Flickr

If you’re spending the day sightseeing; dotting in and out of museums, art galleries and visitor centres, then there is no better pick me up than a Cornish cream tea. This delectable snack is filling, light and very morish,  and because it’s such a popular treat throughout Cornwall, you’ll be able to find yourself a cream tea almost anywhere! Just make sure to put the jam on first, before the cream, otherwise your sweet treat will be mistaken for a Devon Cream Tea!

Fresh Seafood

Cooked Cornish lobster

Via. Flickr

The Cornish coast line stretches for over 400 miles and provides the county with delicious fresh fish all year round! For a rustic dining experience where you can get hands on with the food try The Shack in Falmouth. Their mouth-watering menu includes an exciting selection of luscious shellfish and a fish of the day special. Perfect for families, this restaurant mixes traditional, simple food with an unrivalled atmosphere.

Cornish Cider

Glass of Cornish cider and a jug

Via. Flickr

The combination of Cornwall’s fantastic climate, hearty soil, and dedicated farmers results in the production of perfect apples which are then used in their award winning ciders! This traditional Cornish beverage can trace its roots back to the 15th century and the donkey-drawn apple mills. A fantastic complement for booth sweet and savoury foods we would suggest ordering a tall glass of cider the next time you’re in Cornwall.

If like me these tasty treats have you dreaming of lazy summer days in the Cornish countryside, barbequing freshly caught fish along the coast and sipping some cool apple cider in a lively beer garden then take a look at our holiday cottages in Cornwall. Our delightful self-catering cottages will give you the flexibility to eat out at all the local hotspots or even try your hand at cooking your very own Cornish banquet!

nicole.westley

By Nicole Westley

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her fiancé.

Christmas Leftover Recipes with Sykes Cottages

Thursday, December 26th, 2013
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From everyone here at Sykes Cottages, we hope you had a very Merry Christmas and that you were able to spend the day with your loved ones. We also hope that you indulged in lots of delicious food and ate one too many mince pies! If you’re now wondering what to do with all the leftovers from your Christmas dinner then why not take a look at some of our favourite Christmas leftover recipes!

Mini Turkey and Cranberry Pies

Mini Turkey and Cranberry Pies

Recipe via BBC Good Food

Ingredients (makes 8 mini pies):

  • 250g leftover turkey
  • 8 tsp cranberry sauce
  • 500g pack shortcrust pastry
  • 8 tbsp double cream
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method:

  1. Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface, making sure it is just thinner than a £1 coin. Using a cutter or small saucer, cut out 8 x 10cm circles then 8 x 9cm circles for the lids.
  2. Place the larger circles into 8 holes of a muffin tin, making sure to push it right to the edges of the hole. Divide the turkey, cranberry and cream between them. Brush the edges with egg.
  3. Place the smaller circles on top and push the sides of both pastry circles together.
  4. Leave in the fridge to chill for 15- 20 minutes.
  5. Set oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Brush the tops of the pies with egg and put in the oven for 25 minutes or until crispy and golden. Can be served warm or cold.

 

Turkey and Parsnip Curry

Turkey and Parsnip Curry

Recipe via BBC Good Food

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 500g leftover turkey, boneless, cooked, cut into chunks
  • 500g parsnips, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, cut into thin slices
  • 5 tbsp Madras curry paste
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 150g natural yoghurt
  • Cooked basmati rice
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan, add onions and fry until softened. Add parsnips and stir well.
  2. Stir in curry paste and tomatoes with a pinch of salt. Add 1 ½ canfuls of water and bring to boil. Cover and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes on a reduced heat.
  3. Stir in turkey, cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until turkey is heated through.
  4. Swirl in yoghurt and serve with basmati rice.

 

Boxing Day Fridge Cake

Ingredients (makes 16-20 squares):

  • 500g chocolate (leftover Christmas tree chocolate/selection box chocolate)
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 250fg leftover Christmas cake, chopped into small pieces
  • 200g leftover Christmas biscuits (eg. biscotti, lebkuchen, amaretti), broken into small pieces
  • 150g leftover nuts, dried fruit or nougat

Method:

  1. Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Once melted, mix in Christmas biscuits, Christmas cake and any leftover nuts, dried fruit or nougat.
  3. Pour mixture into a greased 20cm square brownie tin. Leave to chill in the fridge until set.
  4. Cut into squares and serve.

We hope you enjoy making these delicious Christmas leftover dishes and that you continue to enjoy the rest of the festive season. If you’re feeling a little sad that the big day is over and you’re already looking forward to next Christmas, why not consider booking one of our UK holiday cottages for next year. We have cottages across the UK and Ireland so if you fancy doing something a little different for Christmas next year, call one of our dedicated holiday advisors today on 01244 356 695.

Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.