Did you manage to catch us on Clarissa Dickson Wright's current series Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner? We were so proud of our TV debut we got the whole kitchen involved in a screening.
Clarissa was particularly impressed with our Development Chef, Jamie's, Red Wine Jus - 'quite delicious - one of the best she'd ever tasted'. High praise indeed! Perhaps we should add a 'Clarissa Dickson Wright Approves' sticker to our Venison Wellington?
This year at COOK we got a little creative when it came to planning for Christmas and Jamie and Lyndsay (our Development Chefs) came up with some truly exciting alternative Christmas feasts.
Our Wild Boar and Wild Venison Poacher’s Pies are just a few delicious examples; wholesome and hearty but also seriously sophisticated. Sophisticated enough in fact, for us to make a little video about how to serve them.
The Wild Venison Poacher’s Pies are topped with celeriac mash and served with a Marsala and redcurrant sauce. We've used the shoulder cut of venison from Scottish estates because this is the best cut for long, slow cooking. The venison is marinated in a mix of cloves, ginger, smoked sea salt, smoked garlic, juniper berries, red wine and red wine vinegar.
We've served it in our video with braised red cabbage and delicious parmesan crisps and garnished with a little fresh thyme to add colour. Watch the video to see how just how tasty they end up looking. Good enough for restaurant service or a seriously impressive dinner party in your home.
Our Mince Pies had a nice little write up in Home & Garden Magazine.
"Handmade to a 20-year-old family recipe in Sussex, the melt-in-the-mouth pastry and generous quantity of filling speak for themselves. Absolutely delicious."
We feel so famous!
Order yours now before we completely sell out of these remarkable little things. (We won't, don't worry - but you do want them sooner rather than later. Life is better with a mince pie in hand. And a glass of mulled wine.)
Last year the Hairy Bikers made the campaign to save the Meals on Wheels provision famous. We certainly enjoyed watching them ride to the rescue of one of our great national cultural treasures, and it reminded us that as Brits, we still know how to be generous.
But celebrity, hairy or otherwise, is not something we would usually associate with the Britsh institution of Meals on Wheels. It occurred to us that there was something we could do for the cause of Meals on Wheels as we watched our home delivery vans heading out across the country. The thing about our ready meals is that because of our commitment to using fresh ingredients, just like the ones you use in your own kitchens, everything really does look and taste homemade.
As council’s suffer from funding cuts, Meals on Wheels continue to come under threat, and the BBC is continually reporting on cut backs made by a growing number of local councils. Recently The Telegraph reported on the poor provisions offered by some councils, with the worst spending less than £4 a week on meals.
COOK has recently teamed up with Naked Wines, and we’d be hard pushed to think of a more satisfying pairing than good food and good wine.
Naked Wines support talented independent winemakers around the world to bring its customers the best of a global selection of wines. Just like COOK, Naked Wines are a company focused on quality and making their customers happy and satisfied.
Of the many brilliant results of our collaboration, these delicious food and wine match-ups are just some of the most fruitful. With these expert wine selections from Naked to complement the flavours of our dishes it couldn’t be easier to put together a praiseworthy dinner party, or to treat yourself to an extra-special night in (go on, why not!). Great food deserves great wine after all.
We appreciate that it isn’t be easy being a veggie on Christmas day when the Turkey’s hogging all the attention. In fact we wouldn't blame vegetarians for thinking of Christmas as a bit of a meat feast. Which is why, here at COOK, we’ve been working on the perfect vegetarian Christmas (even if we do say so ourselves).
For some no vegetarian Christmas spread would be complete without the traditional Nut Loaf . We've added Madeira-soaked apricots, mushrooms and a tasty red onion marmalade to make it our own. But we like to be creative here at the COOK kitchen and our chefs have come up with some delicious alternative veggie recipes. This year's Vegetarian Feast can easily rival that of the carnivores (warning: some meat-eaters may even become jealous).
Last weekend we officially opened the doors of our new store in Muswell Hill (and we think it looks rather lovely). We've designed a whole new shop, and handy little shopping bags to go with our shiny new venue. We're overjoyed to have finally moved in!
In the run-up to the opening we held a competition over Twitter to try and find out just what makes our new neighbourhood so lovely. We asked people to tweet us why they #LoveMuswellHill and had suggestions coming in thick and fast. It turns out that there are a lot of reasons to love Muswell Hill (not that we ever doubted this). Here are just some of our favourites.
The Christmas Turkey is the star of the show and with our Stuffed Crown it's really impossible to go wrong. Plus there's no prep required so all you need to do is remember to take it out the freezer and put it in the fridge 36 hours before cooking. Giving you more time to open presents and drink champagne!
All our turkeys this year come from William Grove Smith’s family farm in Essex. They are a special breed called English Rose which William has developed to mature later (as opposed to fast-growing birds you might find in supermarkets).
The birds are reared in large, open-sided barns. William follows what he calls a “plough to plate” philosophy, growing his own wheat and barley on the farm to feed the turkeys, using straw from the farm to give them clean bedding every day, and recyclying the waste from the barns as fertilizer for his fields.
While these are not free range birds, William says he believes in rearing turkeys “as close to nature as possible”, and having visited his farm to see for ourselves, we trust him to do exactly what he says.
The crown is just the breast of the bird. This is simply seasoned and then the stuffing is spooned on top, before the breast is rolled.