Tag: celebrity chefs

Coquilles St-Jacques – Hey, Have You Tried That New Saint James Diet?

Coquilles St-Jacques is the kind of unapologetically
rich shellfish dish that we used to be able to enjoy, before the book-writing dieticians
and celebrity chefs ruined it for everybody. 

Fats of all sorts were demonized,
and young cooks far and wide were told to never, ever, under any circumstances,
cover-up the delicate flavors of seafood with heavy sauces, especially ones
containing cheese.

So, an amazing recipe like this went from classic French
treat to crime against nature, and it slowly but surely started disappearing from
menus. You can still find it in a few of the braver bistros, but to enjoy on
any kind of semi-regular basis, you’ll need to master it at home. The good news
is that’s very easy to do.

By the way, this is a great recipe for entertaining larger
groups during the holidays, since it can be prepped well ahead of time. For
this reason, Coquilles St-Jacques has always been a favorite of caterers and
banquet chefs, and below the ingredients list, I’ll give some instructions on
how they do it.

You can use sea scallops like I did, or the smaller, sweeter
bay scallops, which are really nice in this. Of course, if you use bay
scallops, you’ll only need a minute in the simmering wine, so be careful. No
matter what you use, be sure they haven’t been dipped in a preservative
solution. If you buy them frozen, which you should, the label should only say,

The shells can be easily found online, or at your local
restaurant supply store. Otherwise, simply use some small, shallow gratin
dishes, which will work exactly the same. Find something, and give this
“scallop recipe that time forgot” a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced shallots
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup white wine
1 pound sea scallops (about 3 scallops per person)
1/2 cup heavy cream
cayenne to taste
2 tsp minced tarragon
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese

Broil on high, about 8-10 inches under the flame, until the
scallops are hot, and the cheese is browned and bubbling. Because of the sugars
in the wine and cream, the edges will brûlée or burn, but this is not a
problem, and actually how it’s supposed to look.

NOTE: You can make these ahead, and
refrigerate until needed. Since they will be cold, you’ll need to bring back to
temperature before you broil them. Preheat oven to 350 F. and bake for about
12-15 minutes (will depend on how you constructed them), or until the centers
are just warm. Switch oven to broil, and broil on high as shown. 

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Food trends 2013

Cupcakes and cake pops were the highlight of 2012, but what will we be making – and eating – in 2013? We’ve rounded up the 10 food trends that we think are going to be big this year. Which one will you be trying?




Why so popular?

In the last year the sale of popcorn has increased by 21% across all
retailers. While in the past confined to the dark halls of the cinema, popcorn has recently become an everyday snack. Healthier than crisps, you’ll see bags of flavoured popcorn popping up in most cafes and shops. And it’s not just the choice between sweet and savoury any more! Cheese, strawberry, toffee apple, peanut butter and even pizza flavoured, popcorn is getting a foodie makeover, and we’re very excited. 


That’s goodtoknow

Popcorn is even easier to make in the comfort of your own kitchen these days
– you can even buy homemade popcorn makers. All you need is some
popping corn and whatever flavours you like and away you go!


Try one of our popcorn recipes:




Why so popular?

Once a naughty, guilty pleasure, doughnuts are getting bigger and better than ever. They’re not just covered in sugar or filled with strawberry jam any more, they’re coated in chocolate, oozing with apple or packed with savoury delights.


From shop bought to homemade, we’re sure that doughnuts will be making their way into your kitchens this year – especially now you can buy homemade doughnut makers! Doughnuts have been round for years but have only recently taken off – we can’t help but think those tempting Krispy Kreme shops might be to blame…


That’s goodtoknow

Doughnuts are no longer considered just fast food, fancy restaurants are experimenting with haute cuisine fillings and some couples are even choosing them as their wedding cake alternative over cupcakes – wow!


Try one of our doughnut recipes:



Hot dogs

Why so popular?

Hot dogs aren’t just for the summer, they’re becoming an all-year-round fad for lunch, dinner and maybe even for breakfast (just us?).

Hot dogs have always been in the culinary limelight from Germany to America, we just haven’t noticed their potential until recently. The rise of street food has seen hot dogs get the gourmet treatment so the once guilty pleasure is now a foodie trend – woohoo!

Hot dog fanatics are giving the dog a well-needed makeover by using different ingredients and meats like duck or pork, turning this simple street food into a posh delicacy.


That’s goodtoknow

The new food trend is all about ‘glamming’ up common foods and that’s exactly the direction the hot dog is going in.


Try one of our hot dog recipes:

  • Hot dogs with chilli jam: If you want something tangy with a kick, this is the perfect way to jazz up your hot dog and only takes 20 mins to make.
  • Ale hot dogs: The American-style ale in this recipe adds great flavour, giving this hot dog an alcoholic twist that must be tried.
  • Posh hot dogs: They’re small, they’re simple and they’re tasty too; marinated in honey and cumin and served with hummus.




Why so popular?

These low-in-fat, gluten-free, sweet treats are everywhere! You can make them yourself or buy them in bundles – either way, marshmallows are a big one this year.


Marshmallows have quietly been making their way up the popularity ladder over the past 2 years and now the secret is out. The flavour and the taste of the marshmallow is their secret to success.


From cinnamon to mango-flavoured, marshmallows can get away with pretty much any flavour and they’re now even easier to make in your own home. Top restaurants are experimenting with flavours and featuring them in their desserts, while the baking world is adopting these sweet treats across the board, too.


Marshmallows add a lovely sweetness to cakes, cupcakes and biscuits and are even more delicious and impressive if handmade.


That’s goodtoknow

Marshmallows are becoming so highly desirable that you can even order them online, just like cupcakes. 


Try one of our marshmallow recipes:

  • Cinnamon marshmallows: A traditional sweet with a twist, these cinnamon marshmallows are homemade, soft and delicious – perfect with a cuppa.
  • Heart-shaped marshmallows: Share the love this Valentine’s Day with these romantic marshmallows.




Why so popular?

Eclairs are delicate pastries that were once an afternoon tea classic and are now a homemade phenomenon. They’re not as complicated as they look and once you’ve perfected them, you’ll get bit by the pastry bug and want to make more and more.


Pastry chefs have given us the nod that these simple bites are going to be big this year, including celebrity chef and pastry expert Claire Clarke who says colour and size are going to be the highlights of this trend.


So prepare yourself for brightly-coloured toppings, butterscotch fillings and hundreds and thousands everywhere. Fruit toppings, bitter sweet icing and cream galore, these elegant French classics are about to be pimped big time and we’ve never been so excited!


That’s goodtoknow

It’s said that eclairs are taking over from the cupcake which was the hot new thing in the baking world in 2009 – awww memories!


Try one of our eclairs recipes:

  • Chocolate eclairs: This recipe is a classic with a rich chocolate topping and a light creamy filling.
  • Mini pink eclairs: These fancy pink eclairs are sweet, girlie and would complete any girl’s special occasion.
  • Double chocolate eclairs: Any chocoholic would love these! Packed with cream and loaded with oozing chocolate, these eclairs are extra delicious.



World cuisine: Korean and Lebanese

Why so popular?

One of the main reasons Korean and Lebanese food has hit the UK by storm is due to its super-speedy cooking times and delicious taste. From noodles to rice, chicken to beef, these cuisines are everywhere and create some of the best flavours our taste buds have ever toyed with.


More and more Korean and Lebanese restaurants are popping up all over London and now foodies are starting to bring the restaurant and food experience home with them with heaps of cookbooks available.


That’s goodtoknow

World food aisles can be found in pretty much any supermarket nowadays, so you’re never short of some classic ingredients and spices. You can usually buy these ingredients in bulk too which means they’re much cheaper. We’re all watching the pennies so we have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of this cuisine.


Try one of these Lebanese-style recipes:

  • Hummus: A Greek favourite, hummus can be found on most Lebanese menus as a delicious starter. Just add in some sesame paste (tahine) and lemon juice for a classic Lebanese twist.
  • Kimchi: A classic Korean dish which is extra spicy, using hot red pepper powder.
  • Kebab karaz lamb with sour cherries: Yes, lamb meatballs are right up the Lebanese street. Mix with cracked wheat and onions instead of sour cherries.



Bacon-flavoured foods

Why so popular?

In this ever-changing world we live in we’re always looking for the next big thing and it seems like bacon is it – that’s right, bacon.


From bacon-flavoured vodka, popcorn and even chocolate, the globe has gone a little bit bacon mad!


Celebrity chefs like Heston Blumenthal are encouraging us to get more experimental in the kitchen and seeing how far you can stretch the bacon trend is very interesting. Ever thought of putting it in your chocolate cake? Us neither – but it really works!


Foodies just can’t seem to get enough of its salty goodness. It may be a little on the unhealthy side, but this tasty trend is just too yummy to ignore.


That’s goodtoknow

You can buy so many different bacon-flavoured things online or in supermarkets these days, it’s ridiculous. How about brushing your teeth with bacon-flavoured toothpaste? Or delving into a warm bacon-flavoured cupcake with a cuppa?


Try one of these bacon recipes:


Chicken Kievs

Why so popular?

Chicken Kievs have been round for so long now but now they’re finally cool again – yes, really! 


London restaurant Primo made headlines when it announced it would serve the retro dish, while supermarkets are reporting them flying off the shelves. We were convinced ever since Don Draper ordered one in Mad Men – chicken Kievs are back! 


It’s not just about the traditional garlic filling any more, chefs are starting to experiment with different stuffings like apple and bean puree.


That’s goodtoknow

An average chicken Kiev is about 300-400 calories per portion which makes this tasty, protein packed dish a healthy dinner for the whole family.


Try one of these chicken Kiev recipes:



Hidden-shape cupcakes

Why so popular?

Cupcakes feeling a little boring? Think you’ve tried everything with them? Think again! 


These bakes are not just your standard cupcake, they’ve got something special inside which make them the perfect surprise treat for birthdays or parties.


We have American cupcake chains to thank for these tasty treats including Hummingbird Bakery and London’s Primrose Bakery. They even made hidden-shaped cakes on The Great British Bake Off – if Mary Berry thinks it’s a trend, it’s a trend! 


That’s goodtoknow

You can experiment with all shapes and sizes; butterflies, hearts… One of our users even went to the next step and made Christmas tree hidden shapes! Whatever shape cutter you have, you can turn that shape into a hidden shape cupcake.


Try our favourite hidden shape cupcake recipe:

  • Hidden shape cupcakes: A soft vanilla sponge, butterfly surprise and light buttercream topping makes these cupcakes irresistible.



Decorated cookies

Why so popular?

Love cake decorating? Prepare to meet your new favourite trend. Decorating cookies is becoming massively popular in the baking world. The flat, even surfaces of biscuits and cookies make them the perfect base to try your wildest decorating fantasies. 


You can book cookie decorating parties, have cookies as your wedding favours and you can even get T-shirts that say how much you love decorating your cookies! However far you want to take this trend, it’s definitely a hot one to watch this year, so start warming up those ovens.


That’s goodtoknow

Cookie cutters can be bought in most baking shops, such as Lakeland. Make sure you shop around for the best deal, especially if you want to buy lots of cutters – you can buy them in bulk and they’ll last for years.

Try one of our decorated cookie recipes:

  • ‘I Love You’ cookies: A Valentine’s Day treat or a one-off expression of affection, share the love with these sweet and pretty cookies.
  • Ruth Clemens’ ice lolly cookies: These brightly-coloured biscuits are easy to make and are just delicious.
  • Cupcake cookies: Impress your friends and family with these vibrant and tasty vanilla cookies.


Where to next?

Cupcake recipes

– Cookie recipes

– Doughnut recipes


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