gourmet Archives - Greenwich Pantry Blog
15 Apr

Loving Food at Greenwich Pantry got us marching into the kitchen

Cooking with Greenwich Pantry

Foodies loving food at Greenwich Pantry is nothing new and there’s a lot to love about food, but if you want to make more of an impression take a leap of faith with our cooking classes. Our enthusiastic team will have you marching into the kitchen with an inspiring collection of food and cookery classes.

“….if you want to make more of an impression take a leap of faith with our cooking classes.”

The last few months had us loving lots of different food. For starters there was February and Valentine’s Day and for some of you lovers who wanted to make more of an impression than a box of cheap chocolates and corny ‘2 can dine for’ deal ever could, some of you in the first flushes of flirtation with food came to us for a sushi class and we made Sushi followers of you; expert lovers of good ingredients whom we’re sure are now skipping if not leaping into more awesome adventures in eating since taking the Sushi Class; finding out your Sushi Type and ‘Finding the Foodie in You’.

Then there was Mother’s Day and competitions but wait; before then, Pancake Day, that flipping crazy (good) day, which featured some of the best pancakes seen careering through Greenwich Market during the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race and with just enough time to get a freshly flipped short stack down, it was National Pizza Day. Yay. And you certainly went about ‘proving’ that when food is homemade using delicious ingredients that are wholewheat, heritage wholemeal and made with a whole-lot of love; food can be a lot of fun, much more tasty, nutritious and way less expensive than when it’s pre-prepared! But all that seems light years away! Who kneads readymade, when a baking class is just round the corner eh?

‘there’s no need to monkey around when it comes to cooking,’

If you’re still stalling, rather than leaping for joy at the thought of cooking, uninspired on what to dine on, or somewhat bored with chocolate eggs and egg hunts then get with the program and join one of Greenwich Pantry’s new classes to get you up-skilled in the kitchen. There’ll be no need to monkey around when it comes to cooking.

Perhaps you’ve been inspired and want to get better at making authentic dishes with Asian flavours? Why not step up to the plate and join our weekly cookery classes, or if you’re after something a bit more special then you could learn to make stunning food and be the envy of your office when you take proper grown up packed lunches to work. Your co-staff will be salivating around you and you’ll be the talk of the town. Everyone’ll want an invite to your table with the cooking confidence you’ll gain on the International Cuisine Cookery Class.

Knowing how to dine doesn’t need to be daunting when you’re well prepared with a stacked pantry of the essentials, so take a leap of faith and ‘Find The Foodie in You’.

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28 Feb

You can be as foodie as you feel

Cooking with Greenwich Pantry

 

You can be as foodie as you feel

Are you a cooking catastrophe who hasn’t reached any of the gastronomic gourmet goals you set for yourself in 2017  if so, don’t give yourself a hard time.

Don’t hold back, let the cooking continue

Banish those can’t do thoughts and this spring,  don’t let anything hold you back from getting your cooking hero badge from friends and family! At Greenwich Pantry, we say, ‘yes you can’ and instead of being told you can’t, we here at Greenwich Pantry are all about helping you so you can!

Cooking and eating healthy is double liberation.   Forget the biscuits and breakfast skipping, take outs and kfcs, maybe,  you’re just in need of a more diverse diet?  Whatever it is, please, try not to tell yourself off. We’re here to help and get you on your tracks, saying ‘yay yay’ not saying nay.

The key is, rewarding yourself for good behaviour and not acknowledging your bad habits. It only leads to guilty vibes and puts you on the path to resorting back to short term rewards.

Break the bad habits, one recipe at a time..

So breaking bad habits; how? Essentially, what you need is to replace the old habits with new and exciting ones. Take new challenges.

For starters, come on an exciting taste tour with us and find the foodie in you.

Banish dreary thoughts with these 5 simple steps and join us at Greenwich Pantry to make new habits a positive part of your life.

  1. Buff up on baking. Try a Bake it Cake it experience with someone you love, or come to a class and make new friends.
  2. Expand your repertoire! Perhaps come in secret while you learn to make scintillating Sushi to surprise  your guests at your next soiree.
  3. Swot up on how to create sumptuous savouries or simply learn how to maximise your nutritional intake and and eat clean.
  4. Do it with confidence. Our monthly cookery club is where you’ll experience the joy of learning a variety of eclectic homemade food techniques, ranging from French through to Asian cooking, taking you into 2016 with a new and exciting world of culinary delights you can replicate easily at home.
  5. Join in! Don’t do it alone. The art to Finding the Foodie in You is something to
     enjoy with others. We’ve oodles of cooking events this spring!
Finally, celebrate your successes! Share it with friends. Primp up your paltry pantry and fill it with exiting and nutritious delights and show everyone what great new yummy things you’re discovering  with us on Instagram.

So there you go! The best way of banishing a bad habit is to put your energy into another one make a habit out of trying all of the delicious things that you make – practice makes perfect..

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31 Oct

Hubble Bubble! Make a feast in your cauldron.

Instead of bumping into blood sucking vampires as things go bump in the night tonight, celebrate Halloween, (All Hallows Eve) traditionally.  Did you know that on this date of remembrance for the faithfully departed, it was historically marked by feasting (and something that won’t scare-off vegetarians), it was also customary to abstain from meat.

Foods that were favoured were seasonal English apples, country cider and the humble potato, but back in days of yore when people were hell-bent on witch-hunting, one would have had to have kept shtum about the spice-rack. 

You wouldn’t have dared to pepper your potatoes, or brazenly sprinkle cinnamon and stud cloves on your sweet apple pies for fear of being called out a ‘Witch’!

How ghastly! If you do want to keep it traditional tonight, fear not! It might be fright night, but you don’t have to keep things frightfully bland if you want to be faithful to the festivities.

‘Witch’ is a good job Greenwich Pantry’s shelves are bursting with flavours. That’s what we’re all about: Feasting and flavoursome deliciousness, but do spare a thought, whilst you get your worst witch on in Greenwich this weekend: Think back to the women centuries ago accused of the serious crime of witchcraft; persecuted for flavouring food, cast-out of communities for healing with herbs and accused of all sorts of wrong doings for keeping company with familiars. (That’s the likes of cats to you and me).

Dreadful to think, that in reality the accused women were usually the poorest women in society, marginalised for being the unmarried singleton and with no access to healthcare, would have had to rely on experimenting with natural home remedies. So in the days of the unexplainable, with no way of Googling oneself out of a situation; just the mere sniff of sage, would have landed you in the stocks.

Speaking of stocks, tonight I am going to celebrate all things soupish and bewitching, just me and my faithful cat. With a cup of hot herbal tea, I am going to soothe my sore scratchy winter worn throat with some traditional and antibacterial natural Greenwich Honey & lemon and I am going to hubble bubble boil, with no trouble; cook up a storm.

Tonight as werewolves howl in the wind, out from the windows of my house will pour steam and sumptuous flavours like fresh ground Indonesian long peppers and the bewitching green brew of piquant Anita’s Goan Green Curry Sauce to ward of the Ghouls.

So if you want to try a seasonal spicylicous and vegetarian feast this Halloween here’s an easy delicious recipe for a Bewitching Pumpkin Curry. 

To make 5 portions you’ll need

  1. 2 large carrots
  2. 1 medium pumpkin or squash & a selection of vegetables
  3. Wharfedale Rapeseed Chilli Oil
  4. Anila’s Green Goddess Goan Curry Sauce
  5. The Real Basmati Rice Co Basmati Rice to serve
  6. Some nuts of your choice and spoonful of sugar to toastily caramelise them

This devilishly good recipe is smooth yet chunky and crunchy, with sweet caramelised pieces of tender squash, and veggies with bite. Wolves and goblins and ghosties and ghouls, if you want to trick of treat me at mine, there’ll be no sorcery within. If I don’t answer the door, i’ll just be clanging my saucepans.

I bet Macbeth’s Witches would have loved the texture from my recipe, but I don’t really rate theirs.

“Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howler’s wing”

You can’t help but feel sorry for those puritanical potato peddlers of yesteryear, I’d be praying for flavour. They we’re really missing out. If you need me tonight, I’ll be on my broomstick!

 

XX Joyce

 

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29 Aug

Welcome the ‘Back To School’ season.

Longing for warmth back in March, it felt like I’d never know Summer again. Still, I scowled at scanty bikinis too-early displayed in supermarkets and splayed over tube posters. I even saw some on sale in petrol garages in some parts of the country!

Yet, when it was so hot our shins shone in early August’s heatwave, neither did I take kindly to seeing cumbersome autumnal fashions in stores whilst savouring the joyful much anticipated heat. It never seems like shops allow us to enjoy the experience of the current season, without reminding us of what’s on the horizon.

I once worked in a famous department store. Glorious window displays brought joy and wonder to the west-end, but I’d constantly, contemptuously marvel at the Formula One pit stop performances of the visual merch teams changing the seasonal displays like it was the changing-of-the guard.

Gaudy halloween get-ups got out of the way for Christmas. When chintz was out, The Sales signs went up. After that, floors flooded with vulgar Valentine paraphernalia. Easter accoutrements brought bright Spring changes; Spring clear-out bonanzas then made way for the typical tropical Summer themed tedium which then brought the sales again.

However, what I do welcome is the Back to School season. It’s the one time of year I pack away my cynicism for the ‘selling of the seasons’ along with my summer swimsuits.

It comes from my school days when at the end of long holidays, actually eager to get back to school, I’d start breaking in new shoes or shining up old ones and get my pencil case packed.

At Greenwich Pantry, we can help you get back into a ‘Back to  School’ frame of mind and come to terms with the new season and by that we don’t just mean squirrelling away nuts and goodies for the winter.

It’s not only the kids who can go back to school. We’ll soon be calling register at our next cooking classes. Yes, foodie students, Greenwich Pantry’s Cook Eat Party is back. If you want to get up-skilled in the kitchen this autumn we’ll be bringing you top-notch nutritionists to teach you a thing or two in the kitchen.

For a quick way to prepare super quick suppers and swot up on your spices, we’ve cleverly gathered Greenwich Pantry bundles to help you. These buddied bottles, companioned condiments and stack loads of snacks will enable you to have more time to prepare for the more important things to come this season, making a well stocked food cupboard one thing less you have to worry about.

Headed to halls? Well, our bundles are rather useful for students, too! Before packing back off to Uni, make sure you get sent packing with some staple seasonings to make quick easy nutritious food, rather than seeing your student loan spent at the uni’s ubiquitous local Kebab-Shop.

Finally, the new season doesn’t only mean a make-over and a clear out for your wardrobe. Have you ever thought about a make-over for your pantry? The Greenwich Pantry Makeover Service also means there can be a new pantry to welcome the season’s new healthy happy you, too.

Yeah, didn’t you know darlings? September is the new January! I just love preparation and getting things in order at this time of the year. Just popping open a new jar fills me with possibility and comfort, creasing open the spine of a new note book fills me with excitement as much as breaking in new shoes on the first day of school did. So as well as sharpening pencils, I’ve sharpened my knives and pickled and jammed summer fruit.

I really must’ve been a squirrel in a previous life!

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19 Jul

Weekend Baking Bundles; store cupboard savvy ingredients for bundles of fun.

Aren’t the weekends bundles of fun? Why not use the long light days to rise early and bake your own bread and cakes to go out and picnic with them in the sunshine with freshly fluffy loaves and springy soft cakes.

To get you started with some ideas we’ve put together two ‘Weekend Baking Bundles’.

There’s the  Savoury Baker’s Dozen which contains a trio of things to feel triumphant for when you next bake breads; artisan flour with dipping oils and spread for £13*

Start the day with a wholesome wholewheat loaf using Gilchester’s Organic Spelt Flour.

Once baked, try resisting the temptation of ripping a piece of fresh warm bread open letting the steam escape to dip it into a nutty flavoursome Olive Oil and there’s nothing tastier than Santiago’s Chilean Limited Edition exotic premium oil that really just tastes of the finest olives and is equally delicious with a hearty Red wine from a neighbouring Chilean vineyard.

Unfortunately fresh bread goes stale much quicker than processed store bought loaves, so there’s even more excuse to polish it off sooner. Don’t resist ploughing through the bread bin, slice some doorsteps off  for a hefty sarnie, cut a chunk off a crumbly creamy tangy cheddar and top it off with We Love ManFoods chunky Piccalilli.

Man Foods Piccalilli, Santiago Limited Edition Olive Oil, Gilchesters' Wholemeal Organic Spelt.

Savoury Baker’s Dozen Weekend Baking Bundle

If sweet treats are more your thing then there’s also the sweeter version: The Weekend Treat Baking Bundle, £20* containing store cupboard baking essentials; artisan flours for light cakes and loaves, along with marmalade and spreads too.

No baker or pastry chef should be without the best Vanilla Extract and Uncle Roy’s is one of the most fragrant and pure extracts and with this, a little lasts and goes a long way.

Sweet things need not leave you a sickly taste in the mouth, especially when you use SugaVida. SugaVida is made from 100% pure, unrefined nectar from the Palmyra (Borassus flabellifer) tree.  It’s great for diabetics, vegan and vegetarian diets as it contains high levels of Vitamin B12, too.

If you’re dreaming of a Greek Island getaway this summer, then why not plan it over breakfast after you’ve splatted lashings of Mr and Mrs Greek’s Mandarin Marmalade over your morning loaf. Mmm! It’s yummy. From the sunny climes of the deli-Chios Island.

Another star store cupboard ingredient is from Gilchester’s, their Double Milled Semolina grains will ensure you never need fret over gravelly polenta cake again as Semolina makes for a smoother, lighter cake.

Now, this never fails to impress come rain or shine, it’s another delicacy by Uncle Roy’s; Passionfruit Curd! Simply summer in a Jar! If you don’t want to spoon it over ice-cream, it makes for an exotic topping for scones or you could try making this with the Semolina grain, my failsafe flavoursome cake recipe:

Passionate about Lemons? Say ‘Niente’ to Polenta-Cake.
Ingredients for the Cake:

225 g butter

225 g Tradecraft Fair Trade Organic Raw Sugar

3 medium eggs, beaten

250 g Plain Yoghurt

250 g Gilchester’s Double Milled Semolina grains

1.5 tsp baking powder

Zest of a lemon

Ingredients for the Syrup:

175g Uncle Roy’s; Passionfruit Curd!

3 small or 2 big lemons, juice & zest

100ml water


Directions

Preheat oven: 170°C, 325°F, Gas 3

1.Line a 23cm (9″) circular spring band cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

2.In a separate large bowl whisk the butter and sugar together until they are soft and creamy.

3.Beat in the eggs, whip in the yogurt (don’t worry if it looks a bit curdled), gradually stir in the semolina grains and sprinkle in the baking powder evenly. Beat it all in well until the mixture and I repeat, has evenly come together.

4.Pour the batter into the lined cake tin and bake for about 80 minutes. Check it at 1 hour, then at about 7 minutes intervals after the allotted time. When the cake is done the surface should be golden biscuity brown and firm, but give a bit of spring back. Insert a bamboo skewer. If it comes out clean it’s done.

5.Leave in tin. Let it cool.

6. While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Put the Passionfruit Curd into a saucepan along with the juice of the 3 lemons and the water. Bring the liquid to boil and simmer until the mixture has a thicker syrupy texture. Stir in the lemon zest, then be cool and cool it.

7.Spoon the syrup over the cooled cake while it is still in the tin, and then allow the cake to really cool completely.

8.The cooked grains will have swelled with the syrup. Remove from the tin and slice.  Serve with a blob of Greek yoghurt or vanilla ice cream.

Oh Yeah!

*Psst, prices shown do not include delivery, but if you’re a local and want to collect or have shopped with us before then use code GPCUSTOMER at the checkout for free delivery.

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29 May

Dive in that tin for Biscuit Day!

As if you needed another excuse?!

Crumbly, crunchy, soft and fruity, gooey perhaps, crispy, buttery, covered in chocolate, sandwiched with jam; even the mighty gluten free or wholesome vegan biscuit can’t atone for the feeling of sin when scoffing a stack of golden rounds after pots and pots of tea.

Hey, today though, it’s not naughty, you can let yourself off.

Yes you can reach for that biscuit tin! It’s ok if you had a cookie with coffee, a rich tea at morning-tea, a cracker with lunch and short affair with shortbread in the afternoon. What ever your fancy, you can very well ‘take the biscuit’ today.

I usually try to be ‘good’. I usually start a packet of biscuits a week or two prior, carefully unravelling the rolled wrapper, to only take the first few from the top to return them to the dark cupboard for when needed again.  However it’s always the same. On my desperate return for a biscuit, there’s always a softened stale pile? Why? Oh Why, if it’s not stale biscuits, it’s a half-biscuit drowning tea disaster. Peter Kay knows what I mean. “Quick! Mum! Get a spoon, my b-i-s-c-u-i-t, he plays in slow motion. I think we’ve all been there, Peter.

Other than loosing your bicky overboard in a hot beverage, another reason for biscuit disappointment is that apparently, the sugar in biscuits is absorbent and biscuits are generally high in sugar. So it’s the sugar content’s fault it’s absorbing moisture from the atmosphere. So when biscuits are left out, or stored in un-airtight containers their sugar content mops ups the moisture in the air and hence why biscuits, high in sugar (who knew) go disappointingly soft.

Now, there’s no way on Earth that having biscuits like these are going to last past going stale.

Traditional Torta de Aciete Handmade(!) biscuits are lightly spiced with flecks of anise for a surprisingly different sophisticated twist on a biscuit, made with deliciously fruity Spanish Olive oil and the Almond variety is delicate and not at all over sweet, too.

Going Against The Grain, but totally satisfying my cravings, there are these utterly scrumptious Gluten Free, Organic chocolate chip cookies, they’ve kept all of the nasties out of their recipes to enable them to cram toasted hazelnuts and generous chocolate chips in the mix. Against The Grain’s berry delicious cookies are also a bit special; again gluten free they’re sweetened with apple juice to avoid the need of adding refined sugars; sweet cranberries and tart raspberries do all the flavouring to leave your taste buds singing. I’m sure these fine treats will leave not-so-much of a crumb trail, let alone being left to soften. The only thing that will soften is my sides, should I find myself unable to resist polishing off more biscuits than usual today.

 

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22 Feb

#WetRibs for a Wet Weather day.

I commend my windows for doing their best impression of portholes bashed by water as if I were on a ship at sea.

I’ve been quite literally saving this recipe for a rainy day, ideal to make when like today, there’s no chance of going outside. I’ve rather enjoyed attending to this dish, which does take a little time but you could also prep this in advance for #MeatMonday tomorrow.

Before the deluge began, over dinner last night, some friends and I planned our next omnivorous outing and one suggested, “how bout a barbecue over Easter?” The misconception is that barbecue food is a summer treat, but dear readers be amazed and astounded at the fun you can have with your oven and a little patience, whilst it’s Winter with my #WetRibs recipe below.

The riposte to my friends idea was, “Oh no dear Friend!” and I explained the British experience of Easter barbecues.  Drawing on a montage of many a childhood half term, I explained to my friend from sunnier climes, that Easter barbecues that I’ve had have usually involved either a condensation filled caravan-holiday or a lot of family at my house and that goes a little something like this…

With great expectations of sunshine and sausages, each guest would bring a variation of coleslaw or potato salad in a plastic packet. Helping my mum set the trestle table, I’d line up the pre-bought pots in hierarchical order going from zero frills at one end, to the deluxe shop’s own brand at the other. I’d always ensure mum’s homemade homegrown cabbage version took pride of place, (even then I was precocious about the provenance of my food as an eight year old) it usually meant mum’s was all eaten and I’d end up having budget coleslaw sandwiches for school lunch for an eternity after.

Harking back historically, over Easter there’s usually rain forecast with mere possible outbreaks of sunshine. Nevertheless with trooping optimism, dads and uncles fought against gales getting the blasted barbie to light to then have to stand under a golf brolly in bracing winds whilst attending to our country’s most unseasonable way of preparing food, especially when there’s a perfectly good oven inside. Invariably, my mum would have to rescue a very drenched dad and bang the bangers in said oven.

My friend acquiesced at the idea of an Easter barbecue and I believe we’ve settled on a cozy vegetarian South Indian BYOB instead.

During the next deluge, if you have friends visiting or you’re having a family veg-out day; on a wet day like today, get out the board games and depending on whether you like playing dirty at dominoes or if you’re mean at Monopoly, enjoy getting messy with my #WetRibs recipe, mucky pups.

 

Ingredients for #WetRibs Marinade

3 small onions roughly chopped

4 cloves of garlic

A pint of freshly brewed coffee

1 black cardamom pod

2 tsp of dried coriander seeds

(* my hero product) 2 heaped tsp of Bone Sukin’ Steak Seasoning

1 teaspoon of 5 Spice

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoonfuls of (good quality) ketchup (it provides a bit of sugar but won’t be overly sweet or too vinegary)

Method

1. Blitz all of the dry seasoning spices together in a bullet processor, or powder them in pestle and mortar.

2. In a small blender, add the spices to garlic and onions, adding the coffee little by little, then the ketchup.

3. Coat the ribs. The refill the blender with a little coffee and then blitz and coat again.

(tip- The idea is, as you blitz, you’re rinsing the blender with the coffee and once you’re done, it’s not too much of a yucky job to wash.)

There should be enough marinade to cover 700g -1kg of ribs

Marinade for as long as you can, overnight is great! Do what you can.

Set the oven to a lowish 110 degrees.

Pop the tray of what looks like a bath of very wet ribs , on the middle shelf,

Turn and baste every hour.

About 4 hours minimum should do it. This is how long it usually takes me to win at Monopoly. The liquid should have virtually all gone to leave you with sticky, meltingly tender meat that should, somewhat indecently fall off the bone.

I served this with a fennel and carrot slaw and Lara’s Brave potatoes as pictured here

To make Brave potatoes- essentially they’re Spanish Patatas Bravas. I cube potatoes, roast and omit tomatoes for this recipe as the #WetRib marinade provides the sauce, however, I add some chilli flakes to bring some bite.

If you want to stay indoors, you can still make inspired bacon butties or liven up roast veg with Wild Appetite’s Barbecue Sauce

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 20.28.36

and Hawkshead Relishes have a compendium of barbecue accoutrements, their Barbecue Triple Pack is also particularly useful for grilled fish and quick mediterranean spicy fried prawns.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 20.27.42

Now, where’s that floss?

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