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Gourmet on the Go!

Gourmet on the Go!
When not slaving away with only Twitter and mad dog for company, I occasionally have a 'life.' This usually entails cooking for friends, trying far too many wines, and the occasional entire day out. I will post my ramblings, recipes and recommendations here on the 'Gourmet on the Go' blog. Hope you find something of interest!


April 21, 2011

Ras el Hanout Recipe – Make your barbeque sing with this spice blend king.

Filed under: Food & Drink Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — gourmet-on-the-go @ 4:10 pm

ras-el-hanout-recipeThe sun is shining, so, what more reason do you need to bring out the barbeques?  Forget about piling your plate high with burnt offerings, add some spice and flavour to your life with a fabulous Ras-al Hanout spice mix.

Ras el hanout or Rass el hanout, is a North African spice blend, also known as ‘top of the shop, as the blend is usually made from the best spices available’.  Now there are a multitude of ras al hanout recipes out there, some featuring up to 100 ingredients!  However, the main base ingredients are usually coriander, cumin, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli and turmeric.

My recipe below uses the main popular ingredients, with just a few extra spices to make the mix magical.  This can be used as a marinade, in sauces and stews, or added to couscous for a flavour punch.

Yes, you can buy Ras el hanout mixes in the shops, although for the sake of a few minutes effort you can make your own spice blend and really taste the difference.  Try it – you won’t regret it…

Ras El Hanout Reciperas-el-hanout-spices

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 3-inch piece of cinnamon stick (cassia bark)
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1?2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1?2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1?2 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1?2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1?4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Generous pinch saffron threads
1 teaspoon sea salt

Place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, allspice berries, fennel seeds, black peppercoms, cloves, and cardamom seeds in a small frying pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, for one minute or until spices become fragrant. Be careful not to burn. Allow to cool. Place all the ingredients into a food processor or spice mill and process until quite fine.

Store in an airtight container and keep in dark, cool cupboard for up to a month.

Marinade Tip: Mix one tablespoon of Ras el hanout with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of olive oil and 2 cloves of crushed garlic.  Rub the marinade into chicken or lamb.  Marinade for 4 to 6 hours (or overnight) and then barbeque.  Leave your meat to rest and then sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander – beautiful!

April 13, 2011

British Asparagus Season is Here! Try this Great Recipe…

Filed under: Food & Drink Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — gourmet-on-the-go @ 1:11 pm

asparagus-season-is-hereDue to the unseasonably warm weather, the British Asparagus season has started early!  To celebrate this short season, buy the best of local asparagus from some of our listed farm shops in Essex.  You cannot beat the fresh from the field flavour.

The following recipe is a great sharing dish or tapas/starter dish for four. You can either create separately in small ovenproof dishes, or in one big dish to place centre table and just dig in.

The piquant, sweet and fruity piquillo peppers work wonderfully with the spicy paprika punch of the meaty chorizo, rich duck eggs and tender full flavoured asparagus – a fabulous contrast of flavours and textures.  This dish is a real treat and very simple to make…

Baked duck egg with chorizo, piquillo peppers and asparagus recipe


Serves 4 as a starter or lunch/supper dish.


  • 8 large English asparagus spears, trimmed and ends peeled
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 piquillo peppers from a jar, drained and finely sliced
  • 150g chorizo skinned and finely diced
  • 4 duck eggs
  • Sea Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 160?C/gas 3. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the asparagus spears for 2 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and refresh in cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. To assemble, grease a large ovenproof dish with some extra virgin olive oil. Add the piquillo peppers, asparagus and chorizo, arranging the ingredients evenly. Crack the duck eggs on top of the mix, keeping some space in-between each. Season well with salt and pepper, and then bake for 15–18 minutes or until the chorizo is cooked, the egg whites are set and the yolk is hot but still runny.  (Alternatively you could divide and cook ingredients in four separate small dishes.)

Serve with fresh crusty bread.


April 11, 2011

The Essex Festival of Food and Drink is Nearly Here!


Saturday and Sunday, July 9 & 10, 2011
10am to 4pm
Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road, Cressing, Nr Braintree, Essex CM77 8PD
(on B1018 between Braintree and Witham)
Featuring top chefs Jean-Christophe Novelli and Mark Baumann
A deliciously glamorous event for all foodies

Spend a complete day in foodie heaven…

  • essex-festival-of-food-and-drink-2011-smlFood and drink producers from all around Essex and East Anglia
  • Cookery demonstrations by celebrity and guest chefs
  • Gourmet food court seating 500
  • Live music
  • Award-winning restaurants
  • Pimms, champagne and wine bars
  • Local and regional breweries
  • Cupcake workshops
  • WI baking competition

Save £1 per adult by pre-booking your tickets.  Advance tickets £5 per adult (£6 on the gate).  Children under 12 free.  Entrance ticket gives access to all cookery demonstrations except those by Jean-Christophe Novelli.

Jean-Christophe Novelli
Jean-Christophe will be giving two demonstrations on Sunday at 12 noon and again at 3pm.  Tickets cost £8 each.  Book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Visit the festival website for all the latest news and to book your tickets or call the ticket hotline 0845 603 7624.

Sorry, no pets allowed into event except for guide dogs.
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