Archive for March, 2016

One Pot Wonders from the One Pot Cook – Hattie Ellis’s new cookbook gives us 150 delicious family recipes

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Ellis_THE ONE POT COOKWe are really excited about the latest cookbook from award-winning food writer Hattie Ellis.  Jam-packed with 150 tasty, wholesome, family recipes, The One Pot Cook is a real feast of flavours.

Winner of the 2013 Guild of Food writers Book of the Year as well as the 2013 Miriam Polunin Award for the Best Book on Healthy Eating for her book What to Eat?, Hattie has a proven track record for producing thought-provoking books delving into culinary questions that affect our eating today.

The One Pot Cook is no exception, highlighting the ever present question of what to cook for the family each evening.   The idea of cooking with one pot is that many a cosy family meal is created quickly and easily by throwing everything in together and letting the flavours harmonise.

Hattie divides her book into Soups & Stocks, Simple Suppers, Winter Warmers, Summer Spreads, Explore the World and Easy Puds, all of which have maximum flavour but minimum washing up!

Simple Suppers, Hattie says in her book, ‘are what make the kitchen the heart of the home’, and includes some delicious staples such as risottos & gratins but who wouldn’t want to try Cart Driver’s Pasta or Hole-&-some-Toad?

coriander-seeds-organic-spiceHer Winter Warmers are quick, hearty or healthy with tasty flavour combinations such as Orange & Coriander Beef with Herb Dumplings and Caribbean Fish Pie, and don’t forget the Easy Puds section filled with baked fruit, steamed puddings, pastries, jellies and even trifles.  The Toffee Banana Tarte Tatin has the thumbs up in our house!

Packed full of flavour, spice lovers will be pleased to see that many of the dishes use a cornucopia of different ingredients.  However whilst the ingredients list may be long, the effort involved is often minimal.  Hattie’s deliciously rich and unctuous Beef Rendang for instance, which when made traditionally should take 8 hours at least, has been reduced to around 3 hours with the help of some handy cooking tips.

With delightful illustrations by Emily Faccini, The One Pot Cook by Hattie Ellis is published by Head of Zeus, price £20.00. We’re delighted to be able to offer Steenbergs’ customers a discount code to purchase a copy of The One Pot Cook for the special price of……

Hattie’s other books include Spoonfuls of Honey (shortlisted for the Andre Simon Award), Bees & Honey, Sweetness & Light and her award winning What to Eat?

For more information on Hattie Ellis and her books, please visit her website www.hattieellis.com or follow her on Twitter @HattieEllis.

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Can you beat 1975? Steenbergs Oldest Spice Competition returns

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Following the success of last year’s Oldest Spice Competition, Steenbergs will once again be encouraging everyone to purge their store cupboards in March, in search of the UK’s oldest spice.

#oldestspice overall winner15Last year our winner was a jar of Sainsbury’s Pickling Spices from 1975 costing a mere 19p.  Throughout March Steenbergs is hoping to brush the dust off a few more jars, with the incentive of winning £50 worth of fragrant, aromatic Steenbergs spices to restock the lucky winner’s cupboard.

“We were amazed with the response to our competition last year,” says Sophie Steenberg, who founded Steenbergs with her husband Axel in 2003. “It encouraged people to revisit their spices and add a little something extra to their cooking again.  If people are ever unsure what to do with a half opened jar, we’ve got lots of exciting new recipes on our website to tickle all taste buds.” www.steenbergs.co.uk/recipes

“The best way to store spices is in a cupboard away from light and heat but it can be easy to forget about them,” adds Axel. “Here at Steenbergs we pack our herbs and spices into glass jars with tight fitting lids to keep the flavour in and maximise the shelf life, but ideally 2-3 years is the optimal shelf life to make sure that the delicate flavours don’t fade.

To enter the competition, just photograph the jar and send to Steenbergs via email, Facebook or Twitter before Thursday 31st March.  Full details can be found at: https://steenbergs.co.uk/article/show/57/oldest-spice-competition-2016Oldest spice prize

So search out that celery salt and dust off that dill seed to be in with a chance of winning £50 of fresh, fragrant Steenbergs spices.

Fairtrade Saffron In Photos

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

It’s Fairtrade fortnight.  As part of this, I thought I would share some photos of our Iranian saffron being harvested.  Steenbergs Fairtrade saffron comes from the Arghavan Dasht Paeezan co-operative in Iran, and is picked and processed by hand.

The saffron is harvested in autumn, when the weather is cold and humid enough for the flowers to bloom.  The farmers and farmhands have to go early in the morning to pick the crocuses when they open with the rising sun.  Farmhands are usually from extended rural families or groups from nearby villages.  As the day heats up, the picked crocuses become much harder to clean because the petals lose their freshness and rigidity.

The harvesting continues for a fortnight or a month, depending on the crop.  Every day new flowers bloom, and each day the farmers labour from before sunrise and leave in the late afternoon.

The temperature is close to freezing, and often an autumn breeze also blows strongly, making the saffron harvest very difficult. The workers are given breakfast, lunch and hot drinks during the harvesting to keep them warm.

After then, the stamens need to be picked out of the crocuses by hand, and then dried, before getting the final deep orange-red spice filaments.