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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!


June 8, 2011

WIN Tickets to The Essex Festival of Food and Drink 2011

Essex Festival of Food and Drink 2011Essex is set to stage a deliciously glamorous event for all foodies this July the 9th and 10th!  The picturesque Cressing Temple Barns, near Braintree, will be hosting the much awaited Essex Festival of Food and Drink, celebrating and showcasing Essex’s finest producers, chefs, vineyards and food vendors… This is definitely one not to miss!

Jean-Christophe-NovelliA whole bounty of delicious produce from local independent and artisan producers will be available to try and buy. There will also be cookery demonstrations from some of the most celebrated and awarded local chefs, including Sherri Singleton (Mistley Thorn, Mistley), Jonathan Brown (The DuCane, Great Braxted) and Daniel Watkins (The Anchor, Hullbridge).  And that’s not all, heading the line up will be the delectable, 5AA Rosette and Michelin award-winning Jean Christophe Novelli!

There will be plenty of entertainment for the whole family, from childrens workshops, stage events, exhibitors galore and a large foodcourt to sit back, sip champagne or indulge in a fine fresh feast.  For more details, visit the festival website.

Essex Gourmet has teamed up with the Essex Festival of Food & Drink to give away 10 pairs of Tickets to this fantastic foodie event.  All you have to do to enter the draw is comment on this post mentioning your fav Essex Food or Drink biz – it could be a local producer, shop, restaurant, or even your neighbouring chippy – if they are situated in Essex, and go all out to offer great food and service, then we want to celebrate them.

Please Note: Children under 12 years of age have Free Entry.

We have five pairs of tickets each for both Saturday and Sunday.  The festival will be open from 10am to 4pm on both days.  Winners will be selected randomly and informed via email.  Please state whether you would prefer Saturday or Sunday Tickets.

Please submit your entry by 30th June.

Good Luck!

**  Thank you all for you comments – some great recs!  The competition is now CLOSED.

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.


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