Chips as they are known in the UK or fries as they are known in the US are always good and they go with everything. Can you think of a meal that wouldn’t be better with a few fries on the side? No, nor can I! Think of Britain and what comes to mind – ah yes of course, fish and chips! That is probably the most famous British dish. But have you heard of chip butties? They are just as well-loved. A ‘butty’ is an English term for a sandwich on buttered bread. Chip butties originated in Liverpool and are typical in the north of the UK, but these days you’ll find them as a staple in pubs all over Britain.
Other names for the chip butty include chip sandwich, chip barm, chip cob, chip roll, chip batch, or even chip muffin, and ‘butty’ is a contraction of ‘bread and butter’ which are the two key ingredients. This used to be a working class lunch or dinner (bread and potatoes are very cheap) but these days it’s more of a snack. Even if you are somewhere they don’t sell chip butties, get some chips or fries, ask for some bread, and make your own!
Wander into a bar in the US and you will probably not have much luck ordering a chip butty, although Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh is famous for their sandwiches with fries (and will add fries to every sandwich unless you say not to) and Burger King made a version of the chip butty for a short while. The traditional way of enjoying a chip butty is to use soft white baps (buns) and toss the finished chips in plenty of salt. Then you can layer them in the buttered bread and add some ketchup or mayo on top, and maybe even a little malt vinegar (the dark kind not the light one) for that perfect British taste! Continue reading
This snack is made with bread, melted cheese and other ingredients, and it is served hot. Welsh rarebit, sometimes spelled Welsh rabbit, is similar to grilled cheese sandwiches, and in fact some recipes for it are much simpler than others! If I make this for the family I will use milk rather than beer but you can use either, along with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, butter, cheddar cheese, and fresh tomato. Start warming the oven up so it’s nice and hot when you’ve made the creamy cheese topping. Although you can put it under the grill (yes, that’s British for under the broiler!) it is perhaps easier just to bake it.
Some recipes will use béchamel sauce with some cheese added while others call for more cheese than liquid, along with flour, ale, or various other ingredients. Mustard usually features, and Worcestershire is also good because it adds a lot of flavour. You only need a few drops of it though. Everyone has their own favourite way of making this Welsh recipe, but it always makes great comfort food however you prepare it.
The Welsh have been toasted cheese on toast fans since the 16th century and it’s thought the dish’s original name was Welsh rabbit (not rarebit) because it was a joke that if the hunter in the family had failed to bring home a rabbit for the evening meal, grilled cheese would just have to do instead! Some people say the word ‘rabbit’ was used because the dish was introduced into Paris at the start of the 20th century and ‘rarebit’ was a confusing word. Actually it was usually referred to as ‘le Welsh’ in Paris, else people would be wondering where the rabbit was in the recipe! Continue reading
This tasty English recipe is traditionally made with mashed potatoes and vegetables left over from the Sunday roast dinner. The main ingredients are of course potatoes and vegetables, and you can use any vegetables you wish, with carrots, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and peas being typical ones. These ingredients are combined with some fried onion (this is optional but we love to add onion to ours for extra flavour) and salt and black pepper for an easy side dish. The next time you make a roast dinner, make sure you cook enough to have leftovers, because this is well worth making, I promise you!
We often don’t seem to have leftovers because my husband and I appreciate great food and we have 4 growing boys who seem to be hungry most of the time. So even when I cook ‘enough to feed an army’ the food seems to vanish quickly! However, it’s worth making extra so you can make bubble and squeak. Failing that, you don’t have to use leftovers. You can cook mashed potatoes and veggies just so you can make this yummy side dish.
Some people make one big one and then cut it into wedges but I like to make individual cakes. Dip them in flour before frying so you get a nice crust on them and they can be flipped without breaking into pieces. This was a popular recipe during World War II because it was a simple way of converting leftovers into something yummy when most foods were of course subject to rationing. Try them with ketchup. One of my English friends says she likes to serve these with bacon and fried eggs at breakfast time. Continue reading
British curry? Don’t you mean Indian curry or Thai curry? Nope, this recipe is for British curry, the sweet, thick kind you get from pubs all over the UK. Yes the Brits got the idea from India but they have adapted the flavours to their own palates, which is why British curries tend to be thick, sweet and not too spicy. In a British pub you can order curry with a jacket potato (baked potato), rice or chips (fries) or even half rice and half chips in many places. Expect a mild flavour, but you can ask for hot sauce if you want to liven it up a bit. British pub curries usually tend to be chicken, beef or vegetarian.
In the following recipe we are using potato, carrot, onion, bell peppers, and pineapple as the main ingredients, adding some sultanas or raisins too, and some peas or corn (or both) and coconut milk or cream. Add mild curry powder for flavour, and some salt and black pepper. It is important to simmer this curry very gently because that’s when the flavours blend nicely. Enjoy the delicious exotic smells in the kitchen while this cooks!
Change any ingredients you want, perhaps swapping the potato for an extra carrot or some button mushrooms or spinach. Some people like to add some cashews when they add the peas/corn, while others add a little hot sauce. Get creative with it and have some fun! This curry has potato in it so you might want to serve it by itself instead of with a potato side dish. If you don’t mind some extra carbs though, white rice or naan bread goes well. Head to any High Street in Britain and the odds are high you will find at least one curry house. Indian chefs who had immigrated into the UK started preparing lighter, milder curries in the 1970s, for the British palate, and today a high percentage of Brits enjoy curry at least once a week! Continue reading
Glamorgan sausages are famous in Wales, and they are very tasty. These sausages are vegetarian (not vegan because they have eggs and milk in them) and mainly made with leek and cheese. Caerphilly cheese is the classic, traditional choice, although you might not be able to get it where you live, so if you cannot find it, use mild cheddar instead. If you cannot get leek, or do not want to use it, use the white parts of green onions (spring onions) or else regular yellow or white onion instead. Another substitution is switching the dried mixed herbs for a tablespoon of fresh parsley and ½ teaspoon of thyme.
All you need to do to make these is combine the ingredients, shape the sausages and pan fry them in oil and/or butter. Because these sausages are vegetarian, they have a very short cooking time. Serve them with salad or vegetables. If you usually only have meat sausages, why not try these? They certainly make a change of pace from regular pork or beef sausages, and the flavour is refreshing and deliciously different.
Glamorgan sausages are traditional Welsh sausages which were originally made with Glamorgan cheese. This particular variety is no longer made because sadly the Glamorgan cattle used to make it are near-extinct. Caerphilly cheese is usually used in its place. This is a descendent of Glamorgan cheese and offers a very similar flavour and texture. Mild cheddar is a bit different, but will work if you cannot get Welsh cheese. Continue reading
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