Skip to main content

A hearty autumn meal and BBC Good Food Show Competition


As October draws to a close the clocks have turned back and the dark nights have settled in. Carved pumpkins are glowing on doorsteps and, as I walk home from work, the air outside smells of burning wood fires and home baked goodies; as if all of Belfast collectively decided that tonight was going to be as cosy as possible. I love this time of year. 

In the aftermath of Halloween and the looming onslaught of pre-Christmas sales it’s easy to get a bit fed up of November. I mean what is there to do? And with no such celebration as America's Thanksgiving over here what is there to eat?!? Well thankfully there is still a foodie event to keep us going through what could have been an utterly boring culinary month...

The BBC Good Food Show returns to the Belfast Waterfront Hall this November (10th – 12th) and thanks to lovely folks at MCE we have an exciting opportunity which means that you could be seeing your favourite TV chefs such as Nadiya Hussain (Friday) and The Hairy Bikers (Sunday). 

For your chance to WIN a pair of passes to the show (for either Friday or Sunday) just comment below and let us know who you'd take with you and which chef you'd like to see! 

In advance of the show I was sent a few recipes that the famous BBC chefs will be demonstrating in the waterfront hall. Once I stopped drooling on my screen I picked my favourites and set about seeing just how doable they were. How about a cream of carrot soup from Michel Roux (Saturday) and Doughnut Bread Pudding from Nadiya Hussain? A healthy hearty soup followed by a properly decadent but ridiculously easy dessert is my idea of heaven during the colder nights and although I tweaked the recipes slightly - purely for convenience and to save wastage - they are wonderfully simple.

I’ll explain the changes I made below each recipe and what I would do differently in the future. 

Crème de Crecy (Cream of Carrot Soup) by Michel Roux
Ingredients
(Serves 6)
  • 750g large carrots
  • 1 onion white
  • 60g bacon fat (or veg oil)
  • 50g round rice
  • 100g butter
  • 1 bunch mixed colour heritage carrots
  • 2.2lt chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • Salt, pepper
Method
  1. Peel and finely slice the carrots and onion. Sweat in the fat or in oil gently until tender.
  2. Add the rice and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes
  3. Add the stock and simmer for 20 minutes until cooked.
  4. Season and then place in a food processor to blitz until smooth.
  5. Whisk in the butter and serve with slithers of the heritage carrots.
Credit: The French Kitchen cookbook by Weidenfield and Nicolson. Photographer: Cristian Barnett

What I Did: I don’t know about you but I don’t keep a lot of bacon fat sitting around so I rendered out a pack of streaky bacon in order to flavour the pan and the oil. I then used the chopped up crispy bacon bits as a topping at the end because, alas, my local Tesco doesn’t stock mixed colour heritage carrots. I also upped the quantity as I had a kilo bag of carrots and I knew they would only go to waste otherwise, a little extra stock balanced this out perfectly. Finally, along with surviving bacon bit -  I may have nibbled -  I stirred in a spoonful of dairy free greek style yoghurt rather than the butter, it added a lovely tang to cut through the sweetness and lessened the calories that I had added with the bacon!
What I’d do differently: I would absolutely NOT use my food processor in the final stage again. It’s messy, time consuming, and didn’t blend the soup finely enough. I have resolved to buy a new immersion/stick blender as that would be so much easier in the future. 

Doughnut Bread Pudding

Ingredients
(Serves 8-10)
  • Butter for greasing 
  • 6 jam doughnuts, cut in half horizontally to make two circles
  • 200ml whole milk 
  • 300ml double cream 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste 
  • 40g caster sugar 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp icing sugar
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/gas mark 5. Generously grease a 23cm square dish. 
  2. Lay out the doughnuts with the jam facing up.  
  3. Add the milk, cream, vanilla, sugar and eggs to a jug and give it all a good whisk. 
  4. Pour the mixture over the doughnuts, gently pressing them down so they are submerged.
  5. Put the dish to one side for 30 minutes, so the doughnuts can soak up the mixture. 
  6. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the centre of the pudding is slightly wobbly. 
  7. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Dust with the icing sugar before serving.
Credit: Nadiya’s Bake Me a Festive Story (illustrations by Clair Rossiter)


What I did: so apparently supermarkets only sell doughnuts in packs of 5. This meant I was short a doughnut in my recipe and ending up splitting them between two small baking dishes; I used the same measurements for the custard though… because custard. 
What I’d do differently: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Maybe buy a medium sized baking dish so I didn’t have to split it up but honestly that’s a very small maybe. 

Competition closes 5th November and is open to all of the UK and Ireland. All entrants must leave contact details so that we can contact you if you win. 

Thankyou to BBC Good Food Show and MCE for the opportunity to try the recipes and the passes to the show. I hope to see you all there in November!












Comments

  1. That carrot soup looks amazing! Will have to give it a go. Would take my husband and be very excited to see the Hairy Bikers and Barney Desmazery.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I’d love to attend the good food show I’d love to see the Hairy Bikers their food always looks so yummy . I’d bring my partner we are always watching their show together

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am just rediscovering my love of cooking & baking now the kids are gone and I have much more time on my hands. I would live to see all of the chefs, they are all amazing but I do love The Hairy Bikers, would just make my year. I would take my long suffering husband who has the (mis)fortune of having to eat my food.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would love to take my husband Jason. It's great to experience New foods.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 or more Northern Irish foods you need to seek out now!

With tourism on the rise, Northern Ireland is fast becoming known for its foodie culture; and rightfully so because we have some of the best produce in the world! And that’s not just fluffy talk, it’s hard fact. If you go on holiday in Europe the likelihood is that you’ll be eating Northern Irish seafood, as close to 80% of our catch is exported. Take a walk around the luxurious halls of London’s fortnum & masons and you can buy Northern Irish beef. We produce mutton and Rose Veal but we send more across the water than we sell locally. And it’s not just meat and fish. This weekend I was invited down to see the Food NIpavillion at the Balmoral Show, Food NI specialise in showcasing food grown and produced exclusively in Northern Ireland. There is all sorts of amazing produce coming out of NI and after tasting some amazing goodies at this years Balmoral Show (my first year going but hopefully not my last!) I just had to share my favourite picks. 



Irish Black Butter This amazing apple …

Stocking Up On Old Favourites - Benefit Cosmetics

There is a temptation, when trying to summarise a period of time, to use all matter of banalities. "Oh, what a few weeks it has been" I find myself thinking, and indeed it has been a crazy few weeks. Its been a crazy few months! I have gone from being settled in a, fairly comfortable, long term job to switching careers in to a completely different industry on a temporary contract with no security, no back up, and no real idea of what I would do if it all went tits up. I was balancing this by taking on extra work with the blog, attending an uptake in hospital appointments and undergoing extra, ongoing, tests; becoming a god mum for the second time, becoming a kitty re-homer, and a tonne of other things which I can't even put in to words. 
And then right at the end I found out that I was being made permanent; my risk had paid off. My new employers were ecstatically happy with how I was settling in and the stars aligned when a position opened up and I could cross over to sec…

Faeriwood Craft Corner ft Sarah Jayne Chalk Paints

Every now and again I get the craft bug and start looking through my flat to find things to paint, stitch, or just make pretty. Of course in a one bed flat with a very curious cat that is easier said than done so when I received these chalk paints from Sarah-Jayne Chalk Paints I had to look smaller than I would have liked. I picked up this jewellery box as part of a £1 lucky dip box at an auction waaaaaaay back when I first moved in. I basically kitted out my whole flat for twenty quid (see my auction adventure here). Ever since it has been sat on the dresser I picked up at the same auction waiting to be painted. 

The time has come. 
Step 1: Sand!
Now I know you don’t need to sand with most chalk paints and the Sarah-Jayne Chalk Paints are no exception to this; however the drawers on this box were already super tight and I knew I needed to sand them down or else the added layers of paint and wax would just weld them closed permanently. I sanded the entire thing by hand and it took foreve…