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Monthly Archives: May 2014
  • Posted on May 30, 2014

    Recipe for the Weekend

    Here at RPS and CICO Books, we’re all big fans of a spot of afternoon tea and cake (or anytime tea and cake) and Liz Franklin’s gorgeous Tea and Treats has some delightful ideas for variations on this classic. In the hope that the weatherman’s predictions of slightly warmer weather come true, we’ve optimistically picked a lovely summery one for this weekend. Perfect after a spot of Saturday gardening, or a leisurely Sunday stroll, we hope you love these sweet treats as much as we do. So come rain or shine, pop the kettle on and enjoy!

    Mint and Summer Berry Iced Tea with Strawberry and Rosewater Cream Meringues

    This is a lovely summer tisane, and not technically a true tea, although you could add green tea to the pot if you wish. Vary the berries according to what’s available, but a mixture looks pretty. Don’t be too heavy-handed with the sweetening, as the meringues are deliciously and indulgently sweet! Be sure to use unsprayed roses.

    4 egg whites

    200 g caster sugar

    1–2 drops pink food colouring or grenadine

    For the filling

    300 ml double cream

    2 teaspoons caster sugar

    2 teaspoons rosewater

    250 g strawberries, quartered

    To decorate

    white and pink rose petals

    1 egg white, beaten

    2 tablespoons caster sugar

    2 baking sheets, lined with baking parchment

    an electric hand whisk

    a piping bag (optional)

    Makes 8–10

    Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) Gas 2.

    Whisk the egg whites in a scrupulously clean bowl until firm (unless you’re training for the Olympics, an electric hand whisk is probably best for this). Add the sugar about a tablespoon at a time, and keep whisking until all the sugar has been incorporated. Gently fold in the food colouring.

    Using two spoons (or a piping bag if preferred), place small dollops on the prepared baking sheets, spaced a little way apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, then switch off the oven. Leave the meringues in the oven until cold.

    In the meantime, whisk the cream, sugar and rosewater together, until the cream has thickened. Dip the rose petals lightly into the egg white, then gently into the sugar to coat. Leave to dry.

    Sandwich the meringues together with the cream and strawberries and pile them onto a serving platter. Scatter over the rose petals and serve.

    For 1 pot of tea

    1 large bunch fresh mint, plus extra to serve

    caster sugar, to taste

    ice cubes, to serve

    250 g mixed summer berries

    Put the mint in a teapot and pour over boiling water. Muddle the leaves (as if you were making a mojito) and leave to cool and infuse. Pour into a glass jug and refrigerate until very cold. Remove the leaves and pour into 4 tall glasses. Add ice cubes, summer berries and mint leaves and serve with straws.

    Tea and Treats by Liz Franklin is available here.

    Have a lovely weekend everyone, and happy baking!

    Other great RPS food books here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with tea, recipe for the weekend, treat, 2014, cake, strawberry

  • Posted on May 29, 2014

    Jazz up some trainers with Pimp Your Pumps!

    Since this half-term has been a bit damp and dreary so far we thought we’d share another fun craft project (more elsewhere on the blog and in the craft books section) to keep everyone entertained indoors while the weather’s not so great. Charlotte Liddle's recent book Pimp Your Pumpsis full of loads of ideas for transforming all kinds of shoes, from pumps to party shoes and slippers to sneakers. We’ve picked some super cool patterned trainers which will look great with shorts for when the sun finally makes an appearance! This is the perfect way for boys and girls (and parents!) to jazz up their plimsolls or sneakers so that they’ll brighten up even the wettest of days!

    Aztec zigzags

    Aztec zigzag patterns are very fashionable and this simple project shows you how to create an eye-catching zigzag pattern for a pair of canvas sneakers using sticky plastic.

    You will need

    • Strip of green sticky-back plastic

    • Strip of cream sticky-back plastic

    • Pencil and ruler

    • Scissors

    • Pair of black canvas sneakers

    1. On the paper backing of each strip of sticky-back plastic, mark out approximately 24 triangles, and cut them out. Remove the paper backing from the first green triangle.

    My sticky-back plastic had a grid on the paper backing that was great to get triangles the same size. If you are using plastic without a grid, make a template and draw all the triangles on the paper backing before cutting.

     

    2. Stick the first triangle in the center and at the top of the front area of each sneaker, with the base aligned with the stitching and the point toward the toe. Add more green triangles in a row on either side to build up the design.

    3. Now add a row of white triangles across the front pointing the other way, with the points between the green triangles to make the first zigzag. Add a second row of green triangles across the base of the white triangles to make diamonds.

    4. Keep adding rows, creating zigzags and diamond shapes across the shoes, following the photograph as a guide. Along the sole, trim off any excess plastic so the design finishes neatly at the top of the sole.

     


    Hope you're having a great half term guys, and enjoy crafting!

     

    Pimp Your Pumps by Charlotte Liddle is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with handmade, fabric, shoes, half term holidays, 2014, half term

  • Posted on May 27, 2014

    'An apple for the teacher' Note Cards

    It's the half-term holidays this week and the weather seems not to have realised! So if you were planning some fun in the garden with the kids and your plans have now been scuppered, then here's a great little craft project by Craft it Up to keep them entertained indoors!

    Craft it Up authored the brilliant book, Craft it Up Around the World, which is full of creative ideas and projects inspired by country traditions, symbols and cultures. So the kids can learn a little about the world around them as they get crafty! This project is a new one taken from the Craft it Up blog and might be just the thing to make one rainy day this week! Over to you girls...

     

    How often do you need to grab a little note card for an occasion but don't want to shell out big bucks for a greeting card? We've just printed up a pile of these apple cards for next to nothing. They'd be super sweet for your favourite teacher (and we just happen to have THE best teachers in the world!) but they'd work for every other occasion too!

    If you don't have an ink pad, you can use acrylic or poster paint. You might just lose some of the detail with a thicker paint.

     

    Craft it Up Around the World is available here. If you're still stuck for kids craft ideas these may be the answer.

    Have a great week kids and happy crafting!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK and was tagged with 2013, Libby Abadee, craft it up, half term holidays, half term

  • Posted on May 23, 2014

    Recipe for the Weekend

    It’s nearly the weekend! We’re all super excited about the bank holiday and we imagine that the school kids are thrilled that it’s half term, so today we’ve got a recipe from the fantastic new book, Making Bread Together, that will get them into the kitchen. Whether you and your child have done any bread making before or not, this recipe will be just perfect to start you off and you can enjoy some time together making a good old floury mess (and some tasty bread)!

    The book is by our brilliant How to Make Breadauthor, Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, and is so easy to follow with step-by-step instructions and photos, as well as loads of fun bread-making activities for the kids. So invite them into the kitchen this weekend to try their hand at this 60-minute soda bread and they might just fancy helping you in the kitchen again!

    60-minute Soda Bread

    This simple recipe is perfect if you want to make lovely hot, rustic bread as quickly as possible. It’s also a great way to get acquainted with making bread. Try making this and you’ll never pop down to the shops for a loaf of bread again!

    Ingredients:

    400 g white strong flour, plus extra for coating

    8 g salt

    6 g bicarbonate of soda (sifted if lumpy)

    300 ml milk

    Equipment:

    wooden spoon

    large mixing bowl

    deep roasting tray

    baking tray lined with parchment paper

    plastic scraper

    Makes 1 small loaf

    1  Preheat your oven to 250°C (480°F) Gas 9. Place a deep roasting tray on the base of the oven.

    2  Mix the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon and set aside. This is the dry mixture (A).

    3  Mix the milk into the dry mixture, until it just comes together (B).

    4  Scoop the mixture out of the mixing bowl using a plastic scraper and place it on the prepared baking tray. Generously sprinkle with flour (C).

    5  Place the loaf on the prepared tray in the preheated oven and pour a cup of water to the hot roasting tray to form steam (ask an adult to help you with this). Lower the oven temperature to 200°C (390°F) Gas 6 and bake for 20–30 minutes.

    6  Carefully remove the loaf from the oven using oven mitts (ask an adult to help you with this). Check that the loaf is baked by tapping it on the bottom with your knuckles. If you hear a hollow sound, it’s ready!

    7  Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing it (ask an adult to help you with this).

    Variation: If you want a neatly shaped loaf, you can bake the loaf in a 500g greased pan; if you want to do this follow steps 1–3 but add an extra 200 ml milk in step 2. Add the dough mixture to the prepared pan and follow the instructions above for baking the loaf.

    Making Bread Together by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou is available here. Alternatively, how about How to make bread?

    Have a lovely long weekend everybody and happy bread making!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with bread, bank holiday, kids, recipe for the weekend, 2014, half term

  • Posted on May 22, 2014

    Celebrate Your Friends!

    The perfect way to celebrate any friendship is of course to make a friendship bracelet! Lucy Hopping's book Friendship Bracelets is full of loads of different patterns to suit any one of your pals, and we're sharing this super pretty one on the blog. Who's going to get yours?

    spiral friendship braids

    Get in a spin with these easy spiral braids. Simply master one basic knot and get making! Try adding beads and sequins for a really individual look.

    SKILL LEVEL 1

    YOU WILL NEED:

    One 80-in (2-m) length of rainbow colored embroidery floss (thread)

    One 40-in (1-m) length of rainbow colored embroidery floss (thread)

    Safety pin

    Scissors

    Needle

    Assorted beads and sequins, optional

    1. To make a plain spiral braid, fold the lengths of floss in half and tie in a knot at the top, leaving a hanging loop. The shorter lengths will form the base and the longer lengths will be the wrapping cords. Using a safety pin, attach the knot to a pillow.

    2. Make a half-forward knot (see below) by looping the longer left-hand floss over and then under the righthand floss. Poke the end through the loop formed on the left. Pull to tighten the knot.

     

    3. Repeat step 2 until you have made the length of braid you want—approximately 6 in (15 cm). The braid will naturally twist as you repeat the knot, but this is the effect you want. Tie off the ends and trim with scissors for a tidy finish.

    HALF-FORWARD KNOT

    Hold the right-hand floss tight and wrap the left-hand floss around it. Pull the end through the loop created. Pull the floss to tighten the knot.

     

    further ideas

    * To add beads or sequins, simply slip them onto the wrapping threads and secure them in place by tying a figure of four knot.

     

    * To use the spiral as a feature, cut four pieces of floss—three red and one blue. Tie the three red pieces of floss in a knot and braid them for 2 in (5 cm). Then tie in a blue piece of floss with a knot. Thread on a bead and start spiraling (see steps 2–3) for 2 in (5 cm). Thread on another bead, tie a knot, and continue braiding the red floss for another 2 in (5 cm). Secure with a final knot and trim the blue floss as short as possible.

    * Create a striped braid by cutting and tying a number of different colored floss together. Then knot as before, using one of the colors to knot and the others to create the base thread to knot around. Change the knotting floss as often as you wish to vary the stripe.

    Friendship Bracelets by Lucy Hopping is available here.

    Enjoy!


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with handmade, summer holidays, school holidays, Lucy Hopping, kids, 2014, project, keep busy this summer, keep kids busy

  • Posted on May 20, 2014

    Recipe for British Tomato Week!

    This week is British Tomato Week so we are all looking forward to cooking with the beautiful juicy fruit and celebrating the British growers that produce them. You just can’t beat a naturally grown, locally sourced tomato and we want you to enjoy cooking with them this week too!

     

    So head down to your local fruit and veg store and look out for the special stickers, pick yourself some lovely vine cherry tomatoes and cook them with some delicious welsh rarebit waffles from the new book by Hannah Miles.

    welsh rarebit waffles

    Welsh rarebit is so simple to prepare and makes a lovely supper, whether topping toast, a crumpet or, as in this recipe, a savoury waffle. Melted cheese with mustard and tangy Worcestershire sauce served with roasted vine tomatoes and a crisp green salad – what could be better?

     

    200 g/1 2/3 cups self-raising/rising flour, sifted

    3 eggs, separated

    250 ml/1 cup milk

    70 g/5 tablespoons butter, melted

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    FOR THE ROASTED TOMATOES

    300 g/1 2/3 cups vine cherry tomatoes

    1–2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 tablespoon balsamic glaze

    1 tablespoon caster/granulated sugar

    FOR THE TOPPING

    300 g/3 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

    1 egg

    2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, plus extra to splash

    an electric or stove-top waffle iron

    Serves 6

    Begin by preparing the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. Put the tomatoes in the roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, the balsamic glaze and caster/granulated sugar. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the preheated oven for 20–30 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and their juices start to run. Keep warm until you are ready to serve.

    To make the waffle batter, put the flour, egg yolks, milk and melted butter into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and then gently fold into the batter a third at a time.

    Preheat the waffle iron and grease with a little butter.

    Ladle some of the batter into the preheated waffle iron and cook for 2–3 minutes until golden brown. Keep warm while you cook the remaining batter and are ready to serve.

    For the topping, put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix.

    Spread a large spoonful of the cheese mixture over each waffle and place under a hot grill for a few minutes until the cheese melts and starts to turn golden brown. Watch carefully to make sure that the rarebit topping and waffle do not burn, turning the grill/broiler heat down if required. Splash the tops of the waffles with a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and serve immediately with the roasted tomatoes on the side.

    Pancakes, Crêpes, Waffles & French Toast by Hannah Miles is available here.

     

    Happy British Tomato Week and enjoy the recipe!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with Hannah Miles, tomato, 2014, pancakes, waffles, griddle, welsh rarebit

  • Posted on May 16, 2014

    Recipe for the Weekend

    Following on from this week’s BBQ theme at RPS and CICO Books, and considering that the weather might just hold out a little longer to allow for some charcoaled treats over the weekend, we wanted to share a recipe for barbecue rips. Now don’t get us wrong, this one is not to be cooked actually on the barbecue, but instead slow roasted in the most delicious, rich and sticky of barbecue marinades, including a very special ingredient; Belgian beer. While these may not be the best ribs to flame grill outside, we thought that this recipe might satisfy your weekend craving for some good beer and some good summer grub. And if you really can’t resist, then barbecue some extras to go with it – though we doubt you’ll be too bothered by them once you tuck into these ribs!

    Illustration by Nicholas John Frith

    This week’s recipe is taken from the new book, Beer and Food, by beer writer, Mark Dredge. Matching the best craft beers with the tastiest food and offering tempting ideas for cooking with beer, this book is an absolute must have if you’re a fan of beer, food or both!

    belgian beer barbecue ribs

    Imagine a Belgian monk discovered barbecue food while on holiday in texas and took it back home to his monastic brothers. There are big beef ribs baked in a Belgian-beer-inspired barbecue sauce, in which a bottle of Quadrupel is joined by cinnamon, Chinese five spice powder, fennel, and black pepper; the same flavors that you taste in the beer. What you’re left with is the juiciest, most tender, and wonderful ribs. This marinade is enough to cover up to eight beef ribs.

    FOR THE MARINADE

    1 bottle of Belgian Quadrupel or Dubbel

    3 tbsp soy sauce

    2 tbsp tomato ketchup

    1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

    2 tbsp malt vinegar

    2 tbsp soft brown sugar

    Juice of 1 orange

    3 garlic cloves, crushed

    1 tsp English mustard

    1 tsp Chinese five spice powder

    1 tsp onion powder

    1/2 tsp fennel seeds

    1/2 tsp dried chili seeds

    A pinch of ground cinnamon

    1 tsp fresh rosemary

    1 tsp fresh thyme

    2 bay leaves

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    SERVES 2-4

    2–3 beef ribs or 6–8 pork ribs, per person

     

    1. Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place the ribs in a large, flat dish and pour the marinade over the ribs. Cover with plastic wrap (clingfilm), place in the refrigerator, and leave to marinate for 6–24 hours (ideally, for over 12 hours).

    2. Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C/Gas 2. Cook the ribs in a large roasting tin, covered with aluminum foil, for 3 hours, basting them every 45 minutes. You may wish to uncover the ribs for the last 30 minutes so that the sauce turns thick and sticky; check to see if you need to do this, however, and make sure that the ribs don’t burn or cook dry.

    3. These ribs are great served with Stout Beans and Stout Mashed Potato (both recipes in the book). And a bottle of Dubbel works really well on the side—try Chimay Red, Westmalle Dubbel, or Ommegang Abbey Ale.

    Beer and Food by Mark Dredge is available here.

    Have a lovely weekend everyone and happy cooking!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with Mark Dredge, bbq, recipe for the weekend, 2014, ribs

  • Posted on May 16, 2014

    So you think you're a cyclist?

    With the sun shining brightly and summer on its way, we’re all pondering that rusty old bike that’s been sat in the garage since last year. Wouldn’t it be just lovely to take it out for a ride over the weekend and start a new summer hobby? Or maybe we could even swap it with the car, bus or train next week for travel to and from work as a new healthy lifestyle? We might all be pondering it, but the chances are that most of us will take out that lonely bicycle once or twice over the coming months and then tuck it away again for next year!

    So let’s take a moment to meet the folk that really do take their bike out - rain our shine - every work day or weekend, putting all of us occasion cyclists to shame. Why do they do it, you ask? Because they just love it, that’s why.

    Meet the Commuter and the Club Rider, two of the many members of the pedal-biking community that are analyzed in the hilarious new book, So You Think You’re a Cyclist by cycling lover and hill hater, Pete Jorgensen. If you know a keen biker, you’re sure to spot him or her in this collection of characters, as well as some of their most (or least!) loved traits. Happy cycling folks!

    Commuter

    Across the world, the number of people choosing to ride to work, rather than drive or get public transport, is increasing at a rapid rate. From the residents of Amsterdam, who’ve been doing it way before anyone else thought to copy them, to the suited-up New York men and women on their way to a meeting and the Londoners who love nothing more than getting fully lycra-ed up to travel the two miles to the office and back.

    There are numerous benefits to riding to work, which most commuters will be only too happy to tell you about. Whether it’s the fact it helps to wake you up in the morning and prepare you for the day, or that cycling will save you thousands on ticket prices or fuel costs over the course of a year. Admittedly, all these factors are pretty great and hard to ignore, but, if you have no desire to own a bike, they can get pretty tiresome.

    Yes, the cost aspect is tempting—nearly everyone could do with a little bit extra in the bank at the end of the month, but surely this is negated by the need to be constantly spending money on your bike. Firstly, there was the cost of buying the thing. You may have managed to dodge this by getting hold of an old bike, but it’s more than likely you soon had to take it into a shop to get it repaired. Once your ride is back up and running, things go well for a few weeks or months as confidence grows in direct correlation with smugness levels, but then you are forced to choose a new route to take: Path A or Path B. Those who take Path A will start to feel envious of those who travel faster than them and look for reasons why this is happening. “I wonder if that frame is lighter than mine, or is it because of those clip-in shoes?” they’ll ponder, before heading online or to the local bike shop to throw money at the problem. Bike envy is a vicious cycle (pardon the pun), and it continues until you realize you’ve wasted a fortune on pointless bits and pieces aimed at getting you to the office a few seconds faster.

    Those who take Path B are uninterested in speed competition, but will face their own demon: the weather. Most likely a warm, sunny spell helped with the motivation to get on a bike in the first place, but, as winter approaches and temperatures drop, the idea of heading out into the wind, rain, and maybe even snow quickly becomes less appealing than jumping in the car or onto a train. Soon you’re back with all the rest of us average commuters, having spent considerably more on your bike than we did on travel costs in the short period you were riding. Oh well, there’s always next year.

    In conclusion, while we’re happy that you are getting out, getting fit, and perhaps saving money in the process, can you please pipe down about it and maintain a sense of perspective? The rest of the commuting world would like to continue our journeys in peace. So, if you could leave us to smile quietly from our seat on the bus, as we watch you trying to change a puncture in the pouring rain, while attempting to avoid getting oil on your work clothes, that would be great.

     

    Club Rider

    Most people’s idea of a relaxing weekend morning is a long lie-in, perhaps a spot of brunch, some good conversation, and a leisurely read through the morning papers. It certainly isn’t getting up at the crack of dawn to meet up with a gang of like-minded road warriors, all dressed up like a troop of power rangers, before heading out for several hours of physical exertion.

    Every Saturday and Sunday, come rain or shine, members of cycling clubs across the known world will gather at a prearranged point, before splitting into groups based on speed and ability to climb up a hill. This is to ensure that the finely tuned athletes of the club don’t risk giving the other members a coronary as they try to keep up. The various packs then head out, the keener riders to do some serious training, the more social members to head for a café several miles down the road to stop for a coffee and a catch-up, which represents cycling’s equivalent of downing a few beers after a football game.

    The link between cycling, club rides, and coffee is a long one, and, as older members of a club will no doubt tell you, the origins possibly stem from Faema, an Italian company that makes espresso machines, sponsoring a cycling team during the Sixties, which included one Eddy Merckx. They may not be so quick to admit that stopping for coffee also gives riders the excuse to shove a piece of sweet, sugary cake into their mouths, using the excuse that they’ve just had a strenuous workout to justify having another slice.

    Club riders are the heart and soul of the competitive cycling world. This is where younger riders learn their craft, athletes train for races, born-again cyclists get to live out their pro-peloton aspirations by riding in formation, and where MAMILs (see book) get to socialize with fellow mid-lifecrisis riders who love riding ultra-light, carbon-fiber bikes almost as much as they enjoy talking about them.

    Unfortunately, some clubs also have a reputation for being notoriously cliquey and wary of interlopers who don’t know their derailleur from their domestique. Still, don’t let these people, with heads almost as far up their own arses as the chamois pad of their cycling shorts, put you off. If you want to ride regularly with a group of fellow bike enthusiasts, or simply want to satisfy your weekly craving for caffeine and baked goods, there are a lot worse places you can be.

     

    This extract was taken from So You Think You're A Cyclist? by Pete Jorgensen, with wonderful illustrations from Paul Parker. The book is available here.

     


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with gift, bike, 2014, bicycle, biking, Pete Jorgensen, humour

  • Posted on May 14, 2014

    Embrace Nature: House Gardening Tutorial

    With the weather jumping between gloriously sunny and miserably rainy in the space of a few minutes, it's not ideal for gardening or for sitting outside amongst the greenery. So why not bring the outdoors in with some creative houseplant displays and beautiful flowers? We are so pleased to announce the first House Gardening Tutorial with Isabelle Palmer, author of two fantastic books, The House Gardener and The Balcony Gardener, and founder of the online company, The Balcony Gardener.

    In this tutorial, Isabelle shows you how to create a striking display from three different shades of emerald green, perfect to brighten up a table or area in your home. To watch the tutorial, simply click on the video below!

    We hope you enjoy this project and look forward to sharing some more with you soon!

    The House Gardener by Isabelle Palmer is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, Videos, Videos, What's new, What's new and was tagged with interiors, handmade, video, 2014, the house gardener, nature, Isabelle Palmer

  • Posted on May 13, 2014

    National Sandwich Week 11th–17th May 2014

    As part of National Sandwich Week and to celebrate one of the most versatile food types in the world, we wanted to share a couple of recipes from the fantastic book, 101 Sandwiches, by the self-named sandwich addict and our filling-between-bread expert, Helen Graves! As a real treat, we have two seafood-filled sandwich recipes, one from the luxe end of the sandwich spectrum and one street eat favourite, as well as a competition to give you the chance to win the book! So load up your rolls, baps, cobs, slices, buns, baguettes, wraps and flats, and sink your teeth into a sandwich in celebration!

     

    lobster roll

    The history of the lobster roll presents us with two options for making it, involving either warm cooked lobster soaked in melted butter (Connecticut-style) or cold cooked lobster mixed with mayonnaise (Maine-style). While I very much like the former option, I give a recipe here for the latter; when the mayo is kept to a minimum, it can be one of the most delicious sandwiches of all time. As lobster is expensive, it's also a serious treat.

    Makes 1

    INGREDIENTS

    The meat from 1 cooked lobster

    Mayonnaise

    Lemon juice

    Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

    1 soft hot dog-style bun or 1 brioche roll (for uber-decadence), split open

    A few finely snipped fresh chives, to garnish

     

    Chop the lobster meat into similarly sized chunks and mix with just enough mayonnaise to bind, plus a very tentative squeeze of lemon juice (it's always possible to add more but impossible to take it away).

    Season with salt and pepper, then load into the bun or roll and sprinkle with a few snipped chives.

    Eat, feeling like the queen or king of the world, preferably with a glass of champagne.

     

    po boy

    The po boy (or poor boy) sandwich is a Louisiana classic, consisting of fried seafood, most commonly oysters or shrimp (prawns). One of the defining characteristics is the bread, traditionally New Orleans-style French bread. It is claimed that no such loaf can be obtained outside the area, as the specific climate is what makes it so light and airy. The history of the name po boy is debated, but a popular story is that it comes from the generosity of two former streetcar workers who served sandwiches to striking employees of their former company, whom they referred to as “poor boys.”

    This recipe is for a “dressed” shrimp po boy, meaning the seafood comes with a cocktail sauce-esque dressing, plus shredded lettuce and sliced tomato.

    Makes 2

    INGREDIENTS

    FOR THE MAYONNAISE:

    2 egg yolks

    About 3/4 cup (180ml) oil—vegetable or peanut

    (groundnut) oil are both good, but don't use olive oil, certainly not extra virgin)

    1/2 red onion, finely chopped

    2 dill pickles, finely chopped, plus 1 tsp juice from the pickle jar

    1 tsp yellow (American-style) mustard

    Juice of 1/2–1 lemon

    1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

    FOR THE SHRIMP (PRAWNS):

    Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

    3 tbsp polenta or cornmeal

    2 scant tbsp Cajun seasoning mix

    12 raw jumbo shrimp (king prawns), peeled and de-veined

    Beaten egg

    2 white sub rolls or 2 x 6 in (15cm) lengths of baguette

    Shredded lettuce—Boston lettuce or butter lettuce (Little Gem) or iceberg are good choices

    Hot chili sauce

     

    To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks in a clean bowl and whisk them together. Whisk in the oil, adding a few drops at a time and making sure each bit of oil is fully incorporated before adding the next. As you whisk in more oil and the mayo starts to thicken, you can start adding it in very slightly larger quantities until you are steadily adding it in a thin stream. Stop when the mayonnaise has reached the desired consistency.

    Add all the other ingredients, adjusting them to taste (for example, you may want a little more lemon juice or a little more salt). Set aside.

    To prepare the shrimp (prawns), pour some vegetable oil for deep-frying into a deep frying pan or an electric deep-fat fryer and heat to 350°F (180°C). Cover a plate with a mixture of the polenta and Cajun seasoning.

    Dip each shrimp in the beaten egg, then in the seasoning mix. Deep-fry the shrimp for 2–4 minutes, depending on size, turning occasionally. (You can also shallow-fry them, but make sure you have 1in/2.5cm or so of oil in the pan and turn them over halfway through.) Drain on paper towels.

    To assemble the sandwiches, split and toast the sub rolls, then load with shredded lettuce, the deep-fried shrimp, some mayo, and a dribble of hot chili sauce. DEVOUR!

     

    101 Sandwiches by Helen Graves is available here and you can win 1 of 3 copies of this super sandwich book by following us on Twitter @DognBoneBooks and re-tweeting any #sandwichweek tweet! Winners announced on Friday 17th May!

    Have a wonderful week folks, good luck in the competition and enjoy your sandwich creations!


    This post was posted in News, UK and was tagged with 2013, street food, 101 sandwiches, Helen Graves, sandwich, 2014, luxury

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