Daily Archives: November 23, 2012

Moel Faban Suppers

So many old traditional British dishes have wonderfully quirky and obscure names and Fidget (Fitchet or Figet) pie is one of them. I’ve seen it called Shropshire Fidget pie, Cambridgeshire or even Huntingdon fidget pie but I believe its origins may date back to Anglo-saxon times. As for the name; it’s been suggested that it was given because of the way the ingredients ‘fidget’ about inside the pie.

Fidget pie is a traditional farmers pie which was most often made for the farms harvest workers. Its main characteristic is the marrying of pork, onion and apple and sometimes potato: Meat, two veg and fruit (dinner and pudding all in one go!). I’ve seen recipes that use minced pork, ham or gammon, but I used my favourite dry cure bacon which gave it a slightly salty, smoky flavour, counteracted beautifully by apples, cider and cream.

I love these simple hearty dishes…

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Moel Faban Suppers

It’s rather remiss of me not to have posted this recipe yet. The glitz and excitement of Global Feast, the Olympics and Paralympics have already faded as Autumn kicks us up the backside with its sudden chill and yet more rain.

So what better to refresh the memory than a recipe that transcends that moment, staying with us well into the chillier months of the year. It is aptly seasonal, warming and British, but also light and full of the exotic spices that remind me of that hot and heady night back at the beginning of the Olympic celebrations.

Sponsored by Penderyn Welsh whisky the dish was accompanied by a shot of their Madeira finished single malt. Whisky isn’t always my drink of choice, but this is to die for! Smoother than some whiskies and with the toffee and honey undertones, this is definitely my kind of whisky! So nice…

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Moel Faban Suppers

We like soup in our house. In fact that is an understatement: We love it! Not just because it makes a quick, easy to prepare supper and is relatively cheap (very important as we head towards the end of January and we’re all feeling the pinch in our pockets), but also because it is damn tasty!

Kids love soup, even when they declare that they hate vegetables, I like it because it is quick to make, low in fat and stodge (unless of course you pair it with some lovely crusty bread with butter), filling and warming on a cold dark winters evening.

One of our favourite soups is minestrone. An Italian staple it is a peasant dish at heart that can pretty much be made with whatever you have left over, plus some pasta, beans or meat.

We have one vegetarian in the family so I like to keep…

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Moel Faban Suppers

I hadn’t really thought about Christmas until I rolled up at the local produce market yesterday. As I scanned the stalls it suddenly dawned on me that it is actually getting close! Hand made baubles and decorations, Christmas cards and all nature of gifts adorned the craft stalls, while cake sellers displayed mince pies and Christmas cookies.

It started me thinking about pressie buying, Christmas lists and what I might get for my other food loving friends. Now I’m sure everyone has their very own ‘wish list’ desires that sit like untouchable gems in their imagination, while we share the more practical and attainable suggestions with family and friends. I definitely do.

I share my own Christmas shopping between local suppliers and artists, do some online buying and make lots of my own handmade goods. If I’m buying online I like to have a browse on Etsy. For those who’ve…

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Moel Faban Suppers

I recently paid a return visit to The Sarvari Research Trust at Henfaes where David Shaw, the Director of Research gave me a guided tour of the farm and told me about the work they carry out there.

The Sarvari Trust is a not-for-profit spin-off company of Bangor University that breed a new, late blight resistant type of potato. Sarpo (pronounced sharpo) potatoes yield heavy crops, are grown with low chemical and energy input and are GM free, they are also very resistant to virus diseases.

The potatoes were first grown in Hungary by the late Dr Sarvari Snr, who was director of Keszthely Research Institute (now University of Pannonia Georgikon Faculty of Agriculture, Potato Research Centre). At the request of his Soviet bosses he developed a hardy strain of potatoes that could be grown across the USSR and which would survive the ravages of the harsh climate and disease.

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Moel Faban Suppers

Although I’ve mentioned it in passing I haven’t actually written about my experiences on this years Britain’s Best Dish. Now that I’m able to, I though I’d just let you know how it all came about.

I’d never watched the show before (I don’t watch TV at all really) so didn’t know much about it. I started doing a bit of research when in November, completely out of the blue, I received an email from Matt Tiller, an ITV researcher, asking if I had considered submitting a recipe for my dish for the new series.

I spent about a week thinking about it and discussing it with family and eventualy decided that the worst that could happen would be that they weren’t interested in me. So after some thought about what would be the perfect British dish, I sent them two recipes that I’d created myself for supper club…

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Moel Faban Suppers

While the southern part of the UK appears to be bathed in perpetual sunshine, we up North (well in Wales anyway) experience weather systems in constant turmoil. One minute it’s hot and sunny, the next 60 mile an hour winds, followed closely by torrential sideways rain. The sort of rain that gets you really soaking and doesn’t care if you are carrying an umbrella.

Like the weather I feel just as confused. Sometimes it’s hard to choose what to eat on a grey day: Should it be something hearty and warming that will help me forget the changeable weather, or stubbornly persist with the summery salads despite their inadequacy in preventing my shivers?

Last night I came up with this recipe and I had to share it. It was an extremely good way of combining seasonal summery ingredients and making them feel somewhat more comforting.

Duck: 1 Gressingham duck (mine…

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Moel Faban Suppers

Whether you are snowed-in and avoiding the blizzards, or trapped under a deluge of rain (our dreams of white-capped hills thwarted for the time being) there’s not much to top a cheering batch of chewy, rib-sticking flapjacks and a steaming mug of tea or fresh coffee. Guaranteed to warm the cockles and put a smile on the face.

Flapjacks are often overlooked for posher cakes like macaroons and cupcakes and aren’t really considered a treat at all. Their practicality and lunchbox friendliness make them seem like the healthy alternative and at times they are wheeled out as the last resort when more exotic treats or something ‘nicer’ isn’t around. I think its high time we sung the praises of the humble flapjack and stopped treating them as the poor relation.

For me flapjacks are about as decadent as you can get; what’s not to like about a sweet concoction of…

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Moel Faban Suppers

Excited and inspired by my delivery of Steenbergs Organic Fairtrade spices and sad that we had no sweet treats in the cupboard, I was overcome with an urge to bake. Immediately. No hanging around.

There is just something about the prospect of using high quality ingredients that perhaps inspires more than the average brand. The packaging of Steenbergs products is he first thing to catch the eye. The beautifully labelled little jars just make you want to open them up there and then to see what is inside. In my package were an array of ingredients supplied for my Conwy Feast demonstration next Saturday, but being a bit of a child I couldn’t resist having a sneak preview. First I opened the ginger, where you could actually see proper strands, not a mixture that resembled floor sweepings, next came the rose petals, their fragrant aroma filled my nostrils and I…

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Moel Faban Suppers

Conwy Feast is my most favourite food festival. Official.

I admit I am somewhat biased. Conwy Feast has a lot going for it. It’s set in the most stunning surroundings, within the walls of Conwy Castle and overlooking the Conwy Estuary, and is right on my doorstep. This of course makes it even more personal because a lot of my friends attend, as do many of my regular supper club / food suppliers. I can’t move but end up in conversation and I love that!

What makes it even better is the superb variety of local music, performance and  entertainment from folk to reggae, latin, capoeira and giant bubbles (yes, lots of friends again…Bandabacana and Tacsi were my two must-see bands this weekend) to enthrall between the tasting and drinking and then just as it starts to get dark and you think it’snearly all over comes the grand finale;

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