British Olympic Foods

British Olympic FoodsEnglish-Style Fish and Chips, Beef Pasties with Caramelized Onions and Stilton Cheese, and Sticky Toffee Pudding
I have always loved the Olympics. (Maybe it’s because I knew I would never be there. Well, at least not as a competitor. I’m built for comfort not the agony of defeat.) I love the drama. I love sweating it out with the athletes while watching sports that I would never otherwise watch. (Fencing, anyone?) I love that these men and women have worked all of their lives for a moment that in some cases is over in less than a minute. For that reason, I find myself every four years (or now it’s every two years depending on the season) glued to the TV to see what incredible feat will be accomplished at this year’s Olympic games.

In 1996, the Olympics took on a whole new meaning for me and my family. My brother in law was part of a very hard working team that put on the Olympics in Atlanta. It was the coolest thing ever. Through him, we got insight into what actually goes into putting on the games and a different perspective of the games themselves. Totally awesome and unforgettable. After that experience, my love for the games increased tenfold as did the jumping up and down and screaming at the TV.

Right now, I am planning the feast for the Opening Ceremonies. Very British (Pip pip and all that) and of course, very tasty. A few of my favorites are listed below and go very well with a Bass ale, Fuller’s or a Boddington’s or even a gin and tonic ( a favorite of the late Queen Mum).

In the next two weeks, I look forward with anticipation to finding out who the fastest man on the planet is as well as who will be the king/queen of the pool. How will Oscar ‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius do against competitors who have legs instead of blades? Will the women’s gymnastic team dominate? Will Mariel Zagunis get a third straight saber fencing gold medal? We will have to wait, hope and see…

English-Style Fish and Chips
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence and Food Network
Serves four

Vegetable oil, for deep frying
4 large russet potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 (12-ounce) can soda water
1/2 cup rice flour, for dredging
2 (8-ounce) cod or haddock fillets, cut in 1/2 on an angle
Malt vinegar, for serving
Tartar Sauce, recipe follows

Heat 3-inches of the oil in a deep fryer to 325 degrees F. Alternately, heat 3-inches of oil in a deep pot.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into chips, about the size of your index finger. Put the potatoes in the oil. Fry the chips for 2 to 3 minutes; they should not be crisp or fully cooked at this point. Remove the chips with a spider strainer or slotted spoon, to a paper towel-lined platter to drain.

Turn up the oil temperature up to 375 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and egg. Pour in the soda water and whisk to a smooth batter. Spread the rice flour on a plate. Dredge the fish pieces in the rice flour and then dip them into the batter, letting the excess drip off.

Put the chips in the bottom of the fryer basket and carefully submerge in the hot oil. Carefully wave the battered fish into the bubbling oil before dropping them in on top of the chips. Fry the fish and chips for 4 to 5 minutes until crispy and brown. Remove the basket and drain the fish and chips on paper towels; season lightly with salt. Serve wrapped in a newspaper cone with malt vinegar and/or tartar sauce.

Tartar Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped capers
1 tablespoon chopped cornichons
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
Dash hot sauce

Beef Pasties with Caramelized Onions and Stilton Cheese
Bon Appétit | March 2009
by Jeanne Thiel Kelley
Pasties are savory turnovers. They originated in Cornwall, England, in the 1700s. During that era, tin miners took the portable pies into the mines for lunch.

Yield: Makes 4

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening (preferably nonhydrogenated), frozen
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
7 tablespoons (or more) ice water

4 teaspoons olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
10 ounces skirt steak, cut crosswise on diagonal into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided 6 ounces coarsely crumbled Stilton blue cheese (11/3 to 11/2 cups), divided
1 large egg white, beaten to blend

For crust
Blend both flours and salt in processor 5 seconds. Drop in shortening by tablespoonfuls. Cut in until coarsely diced. Add butter. Cut in until coarse meal forms. Transfer to bowl. Add 7 tablespoons ice water. Toss with fork until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough into ball; divide into 4 equal pieces. Shape each into disk; wrap and chill at least 45 minutes and up to 1 day.

For filling
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions. Sauté until deep brown, reducing heat if necessary to avoid burning, about 30 minutes. Add wine and thyme. Simmer until liquid evaporates, stirring often, about 3 minutes.Season with salt and pepper. Cool.

Do Ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Roll out each dough disk between sheets of parchment paper to 9-inch round. Peel top parchment off each. Spread 1/4 of onion mixture on half of each round, leaving 1-inch plain border. Top onions with beef strips. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt over beef on each, then top each with 1/4 of cheese. Sprinkle with pepper. Brush dough border with some egg white. Using bottom parchment as aid, fold plain dough half over filling. Seal edges. Fold sealed edge over again; press with fork to double-seal.

Brush each pasty with egg white. Cut 3 slits in each top crust. Divide pasties (still on parchment) between 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake pasties until crust is golden brown and filling is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; serve.

Sticky Toffee Pudding
Bon Appétit | January 2012
by Sandy Lerner Sandy

Lerner, the owner of Hunter’s Head Tavern, in Upperville, VA, fell in love with this classic “pudding” while living in England. The secret to its sweetness is dates, baked into a dense cake that’s drizzled with caramel—special enough to be served for company and simple enough to be enjoyed after a weeknight dinner.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates (about 6 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

1 1/4 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon brandy (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Special equipment
A 6-cup Bundt pan or 6 one-cup Bundt pan molds For pudding:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour Bundt pan. Bring dates and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan with tall sides. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda (mixture will become foamy). Set aside; let cool.

Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/4 cup butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend (mixture will be grainy). Add 1 egg; beat to blend. Add half of flour mixture and half of date mixture; beat to blend. Repeat with remaining 1 egg, flour mixture, and date mixture. Pour batter into mold.

Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert pudding onto rack.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

For sauce
Bring sugar, cream, and butter to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in brandy, if using, and vanilla.

Do ahead: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm gently before using.

Cut cake into wedges. Serve with sauce and whipped cream. Read More 

Comments are closed.