Have you had sea perch lately? I must admit we often fall into the trap of just buying the big 3 – tuna, salmon and cod, although salmon is a particular favourite around here. The ‘big 3’ are the most eaten fish of all, and a lot of people forget there are so many other wonderful choices. For example, sea perch is really flavourful. The filets are quite delicate and thin when compared to meatier fish like salmon or halibut, but they should hold together during cooking. The skin is edible and tastes nice so there’s no reason to remove it. Sea perch, or ocean perch, are small, so you will need several per person.
As for the chutney, this goes so well with the fish. You might take a look at the ingredients and think it would be better with turkey but I promise you it’s also great with the fish, and makes a nice change. Served with white rice or potatoes this is a fish recipe the family aren’t going to complain about! Chutney is popular in the UK and served with everything from a cheese sandwich to a salad lunch or even an Anglo-Indian curry recipe!
You will have some chutney left over, most likely, so just put it in the fridge in an airtight container and it will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. Then you can add some to your next cheese sandwich or cold turkey salad perhaps. Start the chutney first because it needs time to cool down to room temperature, and then you can get on with the fish while the chutney cools. Also consider whether you want to have rice or potatoes with this. Oh, and try not to pick at the chutney too much. It smells and tastes really good and if you’re like me, you will want to grab a teaspoon and eat it (or ‘taste-test’ is, which is my excuse!) Continue reading
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
We all know that French onion soup is something that probably can’t be beaten or improved on. So you have the beef stock, the onions, white wine, Gruyere, croutons… doesn’t it make your mouth water just to think about it? However, what you might not know is that the Brits have their own version of French onion soup – an onion soup made with cider instead of white wine and which is white or off-white in colour. In the UK cider is always alcoholic, what the Americans call hard cider. If it’s non-alcoholic they simply say apple juice. British cider is flat or sparkling. Any type is fine for making this recipe.
In addition to the cider we are using butter, leeks, onions, apples, potatoes, stock and herbs. Thyme and bay leaves are used to flavour the soup but they are discarded before serving. We like to add Gruyere cheese, thyme and sometimes a little ground nutmeg for garnish. The Gruyere and thyme are ingredients ‘borrowed’ from the typical French onion soup recipe but they go so well with the onions, so be generous with them here!
This soup would be nice for lunch or dinner, or you could serve half-sized portions as a starter recipe. A lot of the alcohol will be ‘cooked off’ but if you really don’t want to use it then simply sub the hard cider for regular cider or apple juice. The recipe will still taste nice. Served with some crusty white bread, this makes a great meal and there is something so satisfying about the combination of flavours. Try it for yourself and see! 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
Although many people believe British food to be plain and simple, there is plenty of variation these days. A heavy amount of spice is typically not used, unless British fusion food (perhaps with Indian influences) is being made, or if English mustard features in the dish (this condiment can be very hot and spicy!) However, aromatic seasonings like citrus, garlic and herbs are often added to poultry dishes to complement the flavour. Boiled or mashed potatoes would be a typical side dish for this recipe, while asparagus or green beans would also go well with this easy yet delicious baked chicken dish.
You will need boneless, skinless chicken breasts to make this recipe, along with lemon, garlic, rosemary and parsley to add light, aromatic flavours. Some cherry tomatoes will add a splash of colour to the dish but can be omitted if you prefer. You might like to add some vegetables to the dish so they cook with the chicken, or even some potatoes on top (thinly sliced so they cook through).
If you want to make the dish more browned on top, you can put it under the grill (broiler) for a couple of minutes to brown both the chicken and the lemon slices for visual appeal. Feel free to double or triple the recipe if you are feeding a crowd or want to make extra to have later in the week. A pound of chicken will take about half an hour to bake in the oven, but if you are increasing the quantities, it might take up to an hour to bake through. Once there is no pink left in the centre of the chicken it is done. It should be 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) in the middle to be safe to eat.
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