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Monthly Archives: May 2016
  • Posted on May 27, 2016

    National BBQ Week jerk chicken

    Happy Friday! Not only is it very nearly the Bank Holiday weekend, National BBQ Week is also starting tomorrow. So it seems only just and right that we share a BBQ recipe this weekend. We’re sending you off to the Caribbean with this Jerk Chicken recipe from 101 BBQ and Grill Recipes, but if you’ve got any veggies attending your bbq this weekend, make sure you check out this fab veggie burger recipe too!

    Jerk Chicken with lime and caramelized pineapple

    For this recipe, we need to first neck a pint of Malibu, then close our eyes and imagine ourselves on the sun kissed island of Jamaica where we’re going to be eating some delicious jerk chicken. Keep imagining and watch as the meat is cooked and smoked over a fire of pimento wood, giving the chicken a very distinctive taste. Now open your eyes, drink some more Malibu, get up off your ass and go cook this recipe.

    Marinade

    2 teaspoons ground allspice

    1 tablespoon black peppercorns

    1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 teaspoon sea salt

    3 Scotch Bonnet chillies, chopped

    10 spring onions/scallions, chopped

    ½ onion, roughly chopped

    4 garlic cloves, sliced

    5 cm/2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

    small bunch of fresh thyme, chopped

    4 fresh bay leaves, torn

    2 tablespoons molasses (maple syrup or treacle can also work)

    80 ml/⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

    80 ml/⅓ cup sunflower oil

    1 tablespoon dark rum

    Chicken

    4 free-range chicken breasts, skin on

    150 ml/⅔ cup marinade

    1 lime, ½ thinly sliced and ½ freshly squeezed

    1 tablespoon dark rum

    1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

    1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

    ½ pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into wedges

    groundnut oil, for greasing (optional)

    A salsa of your choice, to serve

    rice salad, to serve

    Serves 4

    For the marinade, toast the ground allspice in a hot, dry, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. When it is ready, it will release a strong aroma. Grind the allspice and peppercorns with a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder until they become quite powdery.

    Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor to form a smooth, thick paste. Place in a clean, airtight container and refrigerate. The flavour of the marinade will improve over time.

    Put the chicken in a bowl and cover with the Jamaican jerk marinade. Make sure the chicken is thoroughly coated, then cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours; overnight is ideal.

    Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserve the marinade). Gently lift the edge of the skin on each chicken breast, creating a small pocket against the flesh. Take 1–2 thin slices of lime (1 for a small piece of chicken, and 2 for a large) and slide these under the skin. These will caramelize during cooking.

    On the barbecue/grill, over medium heat, the chicken should take about 10 minutes each side; the juices in the middle should run clear. Baste with the marinade several times during cooking. Please note that this marinade was in contact with uncooked chicken, so always allow 5–10 minutes between the last time you baste and the end of cooking to ensure the marinade itself is thoroughly cooked.

    Mix the lime juice, rum, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl and add the pineapple wedges. Mix to coat thoroughly. Remove the wedges from this mixture, paint with a little groundnut oil and place on the barbecue to lightly and evenly char.

    Serve the chicken with the caramelized pineapple, salsa and a rice salad.

    101 BBQ & Grill recipes by Dan Vaux-Nobes is available here. 101 Vegetarian Grill & BBQ Recipes is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with chicken, savoury, bbq, recipe for the weekend, 2016

  • Posted on May 26, 2016

    The only festival item you'll need this summer...

    It’s official. Festival Season is upon us. Ok ok…not that official, but it is the Spring Bank Holiday, Glastonbury is just around the corner, and we’re calling it. Fortunately our new book Book of the Week, Festivals: A Survival Guide by Jo Hoare is on hand to hilariously guide you right through to End of the Road, whether you’re a festival veteran or total newbie.  Here we let Jo introduce you to some of the people you’re likely to meet at a festival…

    THE FASHION BLOGGER

    Her entire motivation behind coming to a festival is to get her picture taken by “street style” photographers. With magazines and wesbites cottoning on that paying for models, makeup, lighting, and a studio costs a helluva lot more than sending some bloke with a SLR camera to a few festivals to ask pretty girls to stand like they’ve recently battled rickets, “street style” has become a festival phenomenon, packaged up and sold to other “rickets pose” girls as “fash inspo.” If The Fashion Blogger goes home without anyone having taken her picture, the weekend will have been a failure.

    SPOT A BLOGGER

    Why not amuse yourself with a fashion blogger drinking game? Take a swig of booze every time you see someone ridiculous wearing one of the following:

    A hat that makes the wearer look like the man off the Quaker Oats packet

    Quirky” sunglasses

    Gold body tattoos

    A nose ring that you know is a clip in

    Pastel-colored hair extensions

    A floor-length kimono

    An oversized clutch bag

    A jacket where they haven’t put their arms in the sleeves and have instead draped it like a cape

    THE BRO PACK

    Never intentionally caught in a group consisting of fewer guys than it’d take to make up a couple of sports teams for an impromptu game of football (because, you know, what’s life without the constant ability to break into a bout of roughhousing wherever and whenever), The Bro Pack will be initially identifiable by the unofficial bro festi-uniform.

    This outfit will consist of a low-cut muscle vest with oversized armpit holes and covered with heavy branding and/or a gym-related quote along the lines of “I flexed so hard my sleeves fell off.” It’s worth noting that this top will be removed many times throughout the day in order to break the monotony of vest wearing and to reveal a bare chest covered in neon paint. After all, he hasn’t been adding all those extra bench-press reps to keep that body under wraps.

    The next items of the “Bro-niform” are a baseball cap positioned at any angle other than the one it should be worn at, a pair of mid-length board shorts pulled down to a whisker away from butt-crack exposure, and some Havaianas flip-flops, especially if it’s bad weather. Imagine someone dressed only in clothes stolen from the beach while the owners did a spot of X-treme windsurfing/tandem jet skiing/go-kart kite surfing and you’ve got a fair idea of the look.

    THE GLAMPERS

    Now glamping has attracted somewhat of a bad rep over the last few years. Surely this is in no small way down to the very word. Fashion loves a ridiculous portmanteau and this toe-curlingly cringey fusion of glamour and camping is one of its worst, summoning up images of subtly highlighted yummy mummies serving Boden-clad children kale chips on a rug made from the wool of sheep they helped shear on a sustainability-focused wellness retreat, while Daddy takes an important business call arranging to sell a littleknown African country in the background. OK, we’re not going to lie to you… that is pretty much exactly what glamping is like—everyone is rich, everyone is clean. Most of them are dicks but if you get the chance to do it, then do. Here’s why (and some ideas for other things to call it so you don’t sound like the kind of prick that says “I’m off glamping” ):

    You get better car parking

    You don’t have to walk. Anywhere.

    You probably won’t have to stay in a tent (and if you do, you definitely won’t have to put it up)

    There will be showers!

    It’s the ultimate chat-up line

    There don’t search you as rigorously

    You’ll probably have a celebrity neighbour

    The tickets don’t sell out as quickly

    You’ll have electricity

    Ok, you’ve convinced me, but what the hell else can I call it?

    And there we have it. Whichever festival you’re packing for, make sure you include this hilarious and helpful little book!

    Festivals: A Survival Guide by Jo Hoare is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with humour, summer, 2016, festivals

  • Posted on May 20, 2016

    Recipe for the weekend

    We’ve been sharing some of our favourite vegetarian recipes all week over on Instagram for National Vegetarian Week and thought we’d finish the week on an optimistic, summer-y note with these tacos from Mat Follas’s new book, Vegetable Perfection! Enjoy!

    Tomato tacos with guacamole

    Spicy, hot and sour. There is a wonderful balance between the crunch of the tacos, the smoothness of the guacamole and sour cream, and heat of the chilli/chile to this dish.

    PREPARE: 20 MINUTES SERVES: 4

    300 g/2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered

    a small bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro, finely chopped

    grated zest of 1 lime

    2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

    2 jalapeño chillies/chiles, thinly sliced

    1–2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, to season, plus extra to serve

    sea salt, to season

    GUACAMOLE

    2 large avocados

    freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

    a small bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped

    1 garlic clove, crushed

    1 red onion, finely diced

    TO SERVE

    8 taco shells

    sour cream

    To make the tomato salad, mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, adding cayenne pepper to taste; just 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper makes a nice, moderately hot salad. Finish with a generous pinch of sea salt.

    To make the guacamole, cut the avocados in half using a small, sharp knife. Remove the pit, scoop out the flesh and roughly chop. Mix in the lime juice immediately to stop it discolouring. Add the coriander/cilantro, garlic and onion, mix all the ingredients together and mash a little using a fork to achieve a rough texture.

    Serve the salad with the guacamole at the table, with taco shells and sour cream on the side, or build the tacos by putting a large spoonful of the tomato salad in each one, then a similar amount of the guacamole on top. Finish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

    Vegetable Perfection by Mat Follas is available here. Here are some of the other vegetarian delights we shared on Instagram this week - make sure you're following us so you don't miss a shot!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with savoury, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, tomato, Mexican, healthy, 2016

  • Posted on May 17, 2016

    Win 'A Year of Living Mindfully'


    This post was posted in Competitions, News, UK

  • Posted on May 16, 2016

    Mental Health Awareness Week: Mindfulness and Relationships

    Today is the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week, supported by the Mental Health Foundation. This year the theme is relationships, and how positive relationships are fundamental to a person’s mental wellbeing. The short activity below is taken from our book, A Year of Living Mindfully by Anna Black and encourages us all to apply the practice of mindfulness to all our relationships; whether these are close friends and family, or someone we may only meet once.

    No Man is an Island

    The sixteenth-century poet John Donne’s words are true for all of us. We are all part of a wider group, and often unhappiness is caused when, for whatever reason, we feel isolated from that group. Deliberately connecting with others can help to reduce this sense of disconnection, and we can do that by reaching out to strangers as well as people we already know.

    We can connect with others through very simple gestures, such as looking them directly in the eye, smiling, shaking hands positively, holding a door open, offering a seat, giving directions to someone who is lost, and in many other ways. When we connect with someone—particularly a stranger, whom we could easily ignore as we drift along on autopilot—we bring ourselves into the present. At that moment of exchange there is a connection: we have noticed them, and they have noticed us.

    When we do something positive for someone else we make ourselves feel good as well as them. They will feel that someone has noticed them, which means they matter, they are seen. In that moment they are not alone.

    We can begin with people with whom we interact throughout our day: the barista handing us a drink, the bus driver taking our fare, the store assistant handing us our goods.

    Experiment with this and reflect on what you notice.

    A Year of Living Mindfully by Anna Black is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK and was tagged with wellbeing, mindfulness, quick, mind body spirit, 2015, mindful week, mental health

  • Posted on May 13, 2016

    British Sandwich Week!

    Have you been following our #BritishSandwichWeek posts over on instagram? We’ve been racking our brains for top sarnies and have shared everything from a classic afternoon tea staple to a twist on the cheese toastie. Go check them out! Don’t worry, we’ll wait...In light of the week’s instagram theme, we thought it was only right to share an excellent sandwich recipe for the weekend: a Posh Fish Finger Sandwich from Breakfast for Dinner. Previously a lowly student mainstay, it is now a legitimate sandwich choice, seen on pub menus across the land, and deservedly so! Finish the week in style. Your hangovers will thank you for it!

    Posh Fish Finger Sandwich & homemade tartare sauce

    The posh fish finger sandwich is one of London’s most famous dishes. Lager is often used in the batter for a richer flavour. Homemade tartare sauce and fries finish the meal.

    2 fillets of cod or haddock, skinned and boned

    sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying

    French country bread, to serve

    butter, for spreading

    a handful of cos/romaine lettuce leaves, cut into strips, to serve

    fries, to serve

    Beer batter:

    200 g/1½ cups plain/all-purpose flour

    2 teaspoons sea salt

    2 x 330-ml/11-fl. oz. bottles of lager

    Homemade tartare sauce:

    225 g/1 cup mayonnaise

    80 g/½ cup pickles/gherkins

    1 teaspoon capers, chopped

    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

    2 teaspoons chopped shallots

    2 tablespoons chopped spring onions/scallions

    2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

    Tabasco sauce to taste

    sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

    Serves 2

    Prepare your fish for battering. Slice the fish into at least six finger-size strips.

    For the batter, whisk the flour, salt and lager in a bowl until combined. Fill a large frying pan/skillet with about 2.5 cm/1 inch oil over high heat, but don’t leave this unattended. When the oil is bubbling steadily, it’s ready to go.

    Dip the fish fingers in the batter, remove any excess and then lower carefully into the oil using tongs if necessary. Fry for about 4 minutes on each side over a moderate heat until golden and crispy.

    Remove the fish fingers carefully from the oil and drain well on paper towels. Season with sea salt.

    Mix all the ingredients for the tartare sauce together in a mixing bowl. Cut the French country bread into thick slices. Lay one down and butter it before spreading a couple of tablespoons of tartare sauce on top. Place 3 fish fingers on top, then a few strips of lettuce, before placing a second slice of bread on top. Serve with hand-cut fries.

    Breakfast for Dinner by Carol Hilker is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with fish, savoury, brunch, recipe for the weekend, sandwich, 2016

  • Posted on May 6, 2016

    Recipe for a Sicilian Spring...

    We were all set to write a post about dreaming of being in Sicily this weekend, with its delicious food, beautiful scenery and gorgeous weather but, er, the forecast is better in London. So with that in mind, make the most of this Sicilian Spring we’re having and bring a taste of the Mediterranean to your table with this colourful recipe from our #BookoftheWeek, Flavors of Sicily by Ursula Ferrigno.

    Crab and Artichoke Salad

    Insalata di granchi e carciofo

    A salad that I first enjoyed in Marsala, western Sicily, sitting by the beach at the end of a hot day, drinking a very dry Prosecco and enjoying the crisp flavours of the salad leaves and the stunningly fresh crab. Try to use fresh crab meat if possible.

    A bunch of rocket/arugula

    1 head of radicchio (round or long)

    500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. Cooked crab meat

    6 cherry tomatoes, halved

    4 artichoke hearts in oil, quartered

    A handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

    2–3 tablespoons light (not too heavy) extra virgin olive oil

    Grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 2 unwaxed lemons

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    2 chunks of country bread, chopped into cubes and toasted

    Serves 4

    Wash and dry the rocket/arugula well and divide between 4 plates. Core the radicchio and then add to the rocket/arugula on the plates.

    Add a quarter of the crab meat to each plate. Top with a quarter of the cherry tomatoes, artichokes and parsley.

    ake up a dressing with the oil, lemon juice and seasoning. Scatter over the zest of the lemon and the croutons, and drizzle with the dressing prior to serving.

    Flavors of Sicily by Ursula Ferrigno is available to pre-order here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with salad, savoury, recipe for the weekend, tomato, quick, crab, summer, 2016

  • Posted on May 4, 2016

    Wordless Wednesday: A Woman's Huts and Hideaways

     

    Donna's Hut 1

    Lindsey's Hut 2

    Chris' Hut 1

    Monica's Hut 1

    Harriet's Hut 2

    Photography by Nicolette Hallett

    Taken from A Woman's Huts and Hideaways by Gill Heriz, available here.

    A Woman's Huts and Hideaways


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with interiors, photography, Wordless Wednesday, 2016, preview, gill heriz, a woman's huts and hideaways

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