Street Food Awards 2014 – south-east heat June 14th @ Street Diner

A few weeks ago I wrote about the upcoming south-east heat of the British Street Food Awards 2014 at Street Diner, which, incidentally, has just recently turned one – happy birthday SD!

If you want to be part of the action you MUST attend the event on June 14th at Brighthelm Garden, Queens Road Brighton. You’ll need to download the app to cast your vote. The votes will be counted on the day so get involved – bring your mum, dad, your sisters, brothers, great-aunts and uncles – anyone with opposable thumbs and a smartphone!

This is your opportunity to be heard, people! Show your support on Facebook, Twitter and spread the word. remembering to use #BSFA in all your posts…so c’mon, what are you waiting for?!

Street Diner Street Food Awards Poster

#BSFA SE Heat 2014

Anyway, with just two weeks to go until the big event, it’s about time I let you all in on my choices…

*drum roll please*

In no particular order, my top picks are:

  • The Troll’s Pantry – in my opinion the troll is responsible for the gourmet burger trend that’s hit Brighton in the last couple of years. I wasn’t even mad keen on burgers before I tried one of his but I’m hooked for life. Sourcing local ingredients wherever possible (probably about 99.9% of the time) he creates mouthwatering concoctions such as The Shaman and along with his minions, takes enormous pride in his work, which really shows. The Troll’s Pantry also accommodates the gluten free gang, of which I’m a long-standing member, so his (much-appreciated) efforts to get more local traders onboard with Sussex Bread Company’s wares confirms his spot in my top three.
  • Toston Tolon prior to Toston Tolon’s arrival at Street Diner, I’d never heard of the Venezuelan Arepa before. Oh boy, was I in for a treat! This little maize flatbread makes a refreshing change to the (highly respectable) Mexican corn tortilla. My favourite is the pulled pork (no surprise there) piled high with black beans and plantain (a favourite fruit of mine that sends me back to my childhood, eating Ghanaian treats at my best friend’s house). Toston Tolon is a worthy contender, I think you’ll agree.
  • Little Blue Smokehouse – these guys had me at “salted chocolate bacon”… Purveyors of smoked delights, they cater to my carnivorous cravings and then some. Keep your eyes on Twitter for their under the counter treats, but shhh! Don’t tell anyone, they’re TOP SECRET! I can’t wait to get my mitts on some pork cheeks and kimchi soon.

I thought long and hard about this, and it really was tricky to whittle it down, but I take my judging role very seriously and whittle I did! In fact, I take this judging business so seriously it shows – Hammer & Tongue even picked me for a judge at their recent Fringe event with Scroobius Pip and Hollie McNish at Komedia Brighton!

But I digress.

Our lovely local traders need YOU! There’s only three things you need to do:

  1. Download the app
  2. Come to Street Diner on 14th June, Brighthelm Garden, Queens Road, Brighton
  3. VOTE!

See you there x

“Cure a Cold” Squash and Honey Soup

Last week I suffered the harshest cold I’ve had since my teens. You know – the sort that has you feeling like the invisible man is crushing your head and chest and poking you in the ear all at once…a real beast…in fact I am still a bit of a snot monster this week! Dosed up on cold and flu remedy last week I hit an energetic five minutes, so what better time to make some warming, healing soup?

I can’t take full credit for this one; I poached the recipe from a colleague, thanks KateHealing soup!

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash
4 smashed garlic cloves
2 small sweet potatoes
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp turmeric
Oil for roasting
1 pint chicken stock
1 tbsp honey Greek yoghurt
Pinch coriander to garnish

Method

  • Roughly chop the squash and sweet potato into chunks and in a bowl toss with a couple of slugs of the oil of your choice, before adding the spices and garlic.
  • Turn out into a roasting tin, ensuring there is only one layer and space between each chunk so they don’t steam.
  • Cook at 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4 for 40 minutes, remove and let cool. Once cooled peel the skin off and discard. If you have a food processor you can whizz up the vegetables at this point, or alternatively use a hand blender at the next stage.
  • Make up the stock and meanwhile, mash the vegetables in a large saucepan over a medium heat, gradually adding half of the stock. Blend with a hand blender and add the remaining stock until you reach your preferred consistency.
  • Fill a bowl with the soup and stir in the yoghurt, add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with some torn coriander.
  • Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Bacon and Peanut Butter Brownies

*I ate all the brownies (well nearly all of them!)*

Lip Smackin' Treats

My friend Nicole LOVES bacon. She’s the Pork Princess. So when it came to baking some kind of birthday treat for her I really wanted to include bacon in the recipe; and if you’re going to be bold with your flavours you may as well go all out! That’s how I settled on these bacon and peanut butter brownies. The salty, savoury bacon and peanut butter make for a pretty intense brownie, but birthdays should be about indulgence. The bacon doesn’t really make the brownies taste meaty, you just get little chewy, salty-sweet nuggets in every few bites. I made these brownies gluten-free for Nicole, but if you’re not concerned about avoiding gluten you could make them with normal plain flour.

Gluten-Free Bacon and Peanut Butter Brownies

For the brownies:

  • About 100g streaky bacon (I used 5 rashers Oscar Meyer American bacon)
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 175g butter
  • 125g dark…

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