Daily Archives: 23 July 2012

Summer Food Festivals

The Big Cheese

I love food festivals and I love fireworks and luckily this coming weekend, there’s an event that combines both!

Set in the shadows of one of Europe’s largest castles the town of Caerphilly comes to life as people of all ages come to The Big Cheese.

This festival is an extravaganza of street entertainers, living history encampments, music, dance, traditional funfair, folk dancing, falconry, fire eating, minstrels, troubadours and of course, cheese! http://your.caerphilly.gov.uk/bigcheese/home-page

It’s also British Food
fortnight, which
encourages us to
‘buy British’.

And how could we resist with such a wealth of fantastic local producers exhibiting their wares. There’s always so much to whet the appetite that it’s best to limit the money you take to a food fair or you will be dragging a suitcase-full of goodies home with you!

Here some more forthcoming foodie events (hopefully there’s one local to you). Enjoy!

Feast East
28 July, Linton, Cambridgeshire. Taste of Anglia’s 18th food and drink festival.

Clitheroe Food Festival
4 August, Clitheroe, Lancashire. A day fully packed with glorious, quality Lancashire produce and the Ribble Valley’s top chefs.

Tastefest Food & Drink Festival
18-19 August, Goudhurst, Kent. TasteFest will be celebrating food and drink from across the South East.

Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
18-19 August, Newchurch, Isle of Wight. A vast array of eats, sights and sounds to suit all tastes and ages.

Bolton Food Festival
24-27 August, Bolton, Lancashire. Cookery theatre and a speciality market offering great food and drink produce.

Big Onion Festival
25 August, Elveden, Suffolk.
Showcasing a host of local food and drink producers from the Suffolk area.

Newlyn Fish Festival
27 August, Newlyn, Cornwall. A stunning display of locally caught fish and seafood in this showcase of the best the region has to offer.

Celebrate cheesy British produce with one of these tasty snacks.

British Food Fortnight recipes

Cheese and Apple Parcels

Gloucester Cheese and Ale

Brie with Redcurrant Jelly


Brie with Redcurrant Jelly

Brie Cheese and Redcurrant JellyMade in Somerset, according to traditional French methods, Somerset brie is considered by many to be as fine as French brie, with its straw colour and creamy tangy flavour. Serve it coated in breadcrumbs, as a really simple, light lunch – delicious!

Preparation time – 5 minutes
Cooking time – 5 minutes
Calories per portion – 271 Kcal
Fat per portion – 21g of which saturated – 10.5g
Serves – 4
Suitable for vegetarians

Somerset brie 150g (5oz)
Egg 1, beaten
Fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs 50g (2oz)
Butter 25g (1oz)
Vegetable oil 1 tbsp
Redcurrant jelly 2 tbsp
Water 1 tbsp
Curly endive lettuce to serve
Redcurrants to garnish

1 Cut the cheese into four equal-sized slices. Dip in the beaten egg and coat in the breadcrumbs.

2 Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan and fry the cheese slices for about 10 seconds on each side, until the breadcrumbs are crispy and golden. Drain on kitchen paper.

3 Meanwhile, put the redcurrant jelly and 1 tbsp of water in a saucepan and heat gently until the jelly melts.

4 Place each cheese slice on a bed of lettuce and drizzle with redcurrant sauce. Garnish with the redcurrants and serve immediately.

Cook’s tip
Ensure the cheese is well chilled, otherwise it may melt before the breadcrumbs are crispy.

Recipe taken from Around Britain Dairy Cookbook

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Gloucester Cheese and Ale

Gloucester Cheese and AleAn English variation of Welsh rarebit, this filling snack was originally served after the meat course of the evening meal at inns or posting houses. These days, it is perfect for a light lunch, served with a tomato salad and a glass of real ale.

Preparation time – 5 minutes
Cooking time – 10 minutes
Calories per portion – 290 Kcal
Fat per portion – 16g of which saturated – 9.6g
Serves – 4
Suitable for vegetarians

Brown ale 150ml (1⁄4 pint)
Double Gloucester cheese 175g (6oz), grated
English mustard 1 tsp
Cornflour 2 tsp, blended in 1 tsp of water
Wholemeal bread 4 thick slices

1 Pour the brown ale into a saucepan and add the cheese, mustard and cornflour. Heat gently until the cheese has melted and the sauce thickens.

2 Meanwhile, toast the bread. Pour the warm ale and cheese over the toast (you might like to grill for a little extra colour at this stage), season to taste, and serve immediately.

Cook’s tip
Take care not to overheat, or the cheese and ale mixture may separate.

Recipe taken from Around Britain Dairy Cookbook

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Cheese and Apple Parcels

Cheese and Apple ParcelsSweet juicy apple goes well with this tangy regional cheese in a puff pastry case. Quick to make using ready-made puff pastry, these parcels make great picnic food. Serve with a herb and leaf salad.

Preparation time – 20 minutes
Cooking time – 40 minutes
Calories per parcel – 226
Kcal Fat per parcel – 15g of which saturated – 6.9g
Makes – 12 parcels
Suitable for vegetarians

Ready-made puff pastry 500g pack
Egg 1, beaten to glaze
Cheshire cheese 175g (6oz)
Dessert apples 1 large, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into small dice
Chopped parsley 4 tbsp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Make the filling. Crumble the cheese into a bowl and mix the apple into the cheese with the parsley and seasoning.

2 Roll out half the pack of pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface and, using a saucer or bowl as a guide, cut out four, 12cm (5in) rounds. Stack the trimmings on top of each other then roll them out and cut out another two rounds.

3 Brush the edges of the circles with a little beaten egg then spoon some filling onto one side of each of the rounds. Fold the other side over the filling and press the edges together well to seal. Knock up the edges with a knife blade then flute them.

4 Place the pastries on a baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Score each pastry three to four times across the top. Bake for 15–20 minutes until risen and golden.

5 While the first batch of pastries is cooking, roll out the rest of the pastry and make the second batch, as above. Serve warm with salad.

Cook’s tips
Use a 600ml (1 pint) pudding basin as a size guide for cutting the pastry.
Cooking one batch at a time ensures a better rise for all the pastries rather than switching trays over halfway through cooking.

Recipe taken from
Around Britain Dairy Cookbook.

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