Starting from the 29th May until 11th June, the UK will be in peak season for growing the iconic tomato, which is the perfect time to celebrate this delicious crop that we all know and love in Britain.
This year, many fruit and vegetable growers across the UK are facing serious pressures of labour shortages, supply delays and significant increases in energy prices. To help support these current issues, British Tomatoes want to raise the awareness of British-grown produce and the multiple benefits it can bring to you.
Make sure to keep an eye out for their British Tomatoes Fortnight stickers in your local supermarket to support this event.
Buying British Tomatoes Holds a ‘Plate Full’ of Benefits!
Did you know the UK are HUGE fans when it comes to tomatoes, we eat around 500,000 tonnes of them each year! Let’s share with you the main reasons why buying British tomatoes is the best…
It’s more environmentally friendly! Growing British tomatoes can reduce carbon emissions dramatically in comparison to buying imported counterparts who have significantly higher food miles.
It supports local growers and the economy in the UK.
They are more delicious and juicy in taste! This is because the tomatoes are kept on the vine for longer, allowing them to develop in flavour and be fresher from travelling less miles before reaching your dinner plate.
It’s fair to say we love our tomatoes…around a fifth of the total tomatoes consumed are grown in Britain! This is why we need to support and celebrate our British farmers in growing this delicious produce.
As discussed earlier, it’s been a challenging few years for our British fruit and vegetable growers across the UK.
Managing Director of The Green House Growers in Sussex, Mr Richard Diplock, has been farming fresh and sustainable produce since 1977. Producing tomatoes on almost 100 acres of land, the farm focuses on eco-friendly cultivations as a way to promote the best quality of crops. In doing so, their caron footprint is amongst the lowest of any produce in the UK.
With a high tech computer system in place to control the temperature, humidity and watering of their greenhouses 24 hours a day, they do not waste a drop of water, and collect rain from their greenhouse to irrigate the crops. They store this water in their very own reservoir which is home to an abundance of wildlife, including swans and ducks. What about pest control measures? Well, they use an army of predatory insect and rely heavily on bumblebees to pollinate the plants.
Diplock remarks: ‘We’re product to produce our tomatoes in an eco-friendly way and strive to develop our sustainable approach to farming each year‘. With operating for over 46 years, it is fair to say a lot has changed since the 1970s, but the farm continue to sow and grow high quality produce with a freshness that cannot be achieved from importing overseas.
Richard continues to reveal that we are ‘all guilty of not truly knowing where our food comes from‘, but promotes it’s never to late to start checking the label on produce to make sure we are buying British provenance where possible. From checking the label will already contribute to a more positive global impact in which will help ‘reducing cardon footprint and supporting the local economy’.
How to Enjoy Your British Tomatoes
Heritage tomatoes, also known as heirlooms, are a classic tomato grown in the UK. We wanted to celebrate this produce by creating a series of recipes that you can cook from the comfort of your home.
Let’s start off by making simple and create a delicious side dish of heritage tomatoes, roasted gently in the oven for 30 minutes. All you need is 12 – 14 British grown heritage tomatoes, olive oil, brown sugar and of course a pinch of Maldon Salt to elevate the sweetness of the toms.
A classic Caprese salad made with a handful of heirloom tomatoes and torn mozzarella. British grown heirloom tomatoes are perfect for this dish as they hold a perfect balance between acidity and a gentle level of sugar content.
Take your salad to the next level by adding sardines with your tomatoes! Perfect as a starter or as a lighter main option for the summer, this dish holds a delicate sweetness from the mix of tomatoes and the subtle saltiness from the sardines.
The Best Way is the British-Grown Way!
Teaming up with British Tomato Growers Association is important for us here at Maldon Salt, as we are always striving to help support local farmers and the industry itself. For more information on how you can get involved within the British Tomato Fortnight, follow British Tomatoes for social media updates.
Buy British and celebrate with us from 29th May to the 11th June 2023!
Checklist of Essential Equipment for Every Kitchen
Whether you are completely new to setting up a kitchen, or a ‘seasoned’ pro, we wanted to provide you with our own useful tips and tricks about essential kitchen equipment and the importance of these.
Keeping your kitchen stocked up with the proper tools is important and is the very first step in creating culinary masterpieces! Having the right tools will not only make the activity in cooking easier, but it will make entire cooking process more enjoyable! It’s known to many within the industry that those who wish to be best cook, having the appropriate cooking equipment is crucial to cooking success and minimal frustration.
Within this article, we first dive into the topics of high-quality knives, particularly exploring the importance of the ‘Chef’s Knife’. We also briefly touch upon our recent collaboration with Allday Knives, where we designed a set of 3 knives within the kit to allow you to perform all your culinary desires easily and effectively.
We then take a look at reliable cutting tools, from sharpeners, cutting boards and other time-saving paraphernalia that have been released throughout the years, including mandolins and peelers!
After you have this equipment checked off your list, you can look into the different types of cookware and bakeware required to cook your cuisines to perfection!
And last but by no means least, we end things on the importance on safety equipment. A commercial kitchen must always be kitted with safety tools of fire extinguishers and smoke detectors – we want you to create beautiful dishes, but in a safe and productive way please!
First things first, we want to explore the most essential knives for you to have in your kitchen.
Brendan McDermott, a chef-instructor and knife skills expert at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education proclaims that equipping yourself with the proper knives is key! It’s within this statement that tells us that knives are the basic building blocks for good cooking.
However, it’s important to note that you do not need to splash out on the most expensive knife set… it’s about knowing what knives perform the best tasks carried out within your kitchen in an effective and correct way. Of course, there is always a knife for every budget, but as long as you have a good one, you can influence your culinary performance through this with only a handful of knife types, in which we will be showing you the three most essential knives to have within your set.
The Chef’s Knife
Food and Wine consider this knife as the ‘workhorse’ of any kitchen due to the wide range of tasks it can perform, from delicately slicing vegetables to butchering different cuts of meat.
The blade on this knife ranges from 8-10” in which is curved to allow rocking motion when cutting. The Japanese version of this knife is called ‘Santoku’, in which is slightly different in being 6-7” with a straight ledge to allow short, downward strokes. This knife allows cutting to be controlled and maintain powerful strokes. With a sharp blade that yields a clean, even cut, the possibilities are endless when using this specific knife, which is why it is favoured as one of the ‘must-haves’ within the culinary industry.
The Bread Knife
This knife is also known as a ‘serrated’ knife, in which has a scalloped edge, resembling a saw! Eater states that this knife is your go-to for cutting through anything with a hard edge and a softer interior. As reference in the name for this knife, it’s great for cutting a delicious loaf of bread, but they are efficient in also slicing cakes due to their long blades cutting the slices evenly. It’s important when choosing a bread knife that the blade is long, typically between 7-10”. The long blade can ensure your cutting is precise with minimal effort required, when the rocking motion of back and forth is of ease.
The Paring Knife
F.N Sharp describes this knife as the ‘baby’ of the family of the knives set, being small but yet still powerful! This knife is perfect for detailed and delicate cutting that requires control, such as cutting strawberries or slicing a clove of delicious garlic. Although you could do this with a Chef’s knife, using a paring knife with allow more ‘dainty’ ingredients to be cut in an efficient way.
You need to keep a look out for the grip on this knife, where your hand needs to feel comfortable when using the knife in the air.
In light of this, we are delighted to announce our recent collaboration with Allday Goods.
Allday Goods was founded by Hugo Worsley, a London-based chef turned knife maker whose mission was to help solve the global plastic problem. From this, Allday has created a range of colourful knives, where the handles are crafted from the waste materials of plastic and the blades made from recycled steel from Sheffield.
We have created three essential knives where the handles are made from our recycled tub lids: A Santoku knife (Chef’s knife), Bread Knife and Paring Knife. If you are interested in receiving one of these sets, you can enter our giveaway to receive a limited edition set!
Using a cutting board will not only provide protection for your countertops from the knife, but it also makes the process of cutting safer for you as it prevents the knife from slipping.
Many people like to purchase a wooden chopping board due it’s solid and sturdy function in which allows the board to be great for bread and meat carving. However, the setback is that wooden board absorb odours and can be easily stained in comparison to a plastic board.
A plastic chopping board can be less aesthetically pleasing in contrast to a wooden board; however, they are more hygienic. They do not absorb juices like wood and can easily withstand washing and sanitising. In most kitchens, plastic boards are also colour coded to match what is being cut, for example, a red board means raw meat and a blue board means raw fish etc.
Mandolins are used to slice ingredients very quickly and in uniformity. They allow you to slice at a much quicker pace in comparison to a knife. Great British Chefs states that mandolin’s can be used to prepare many firm vegetables, including potato slicing for a delectable dauphinoise dish. You can even use a mandolin to thinly slice the beetroot and apple within a salad.
Having a good pair of kitchen scissors is a great addition to have within your equipment and makes tasks easier to perform! With super sharp blades and a sturdy handle, you can cut joints of meat such as chicken thighs off of the bone! You can also use scissors to cut slices from a pizza, and trim the top crusts of a pie off.
Ever tried to peel a potato with a paring knife? It can be quite difficult, time-consuming and at times dangerous! A hand-held fixed blade can remove the skin from fruit and vegetables at a much quicker (and safer!) pace in comparison to a knife. Not only this, if using a knife to peel, you are more likely to waste the fruit of veg that you are trying to peel. A Peeler on the other hand will cut even and thinly sliced peelings, making the best use of the ingredient. You can either have a peeler in a Y-shape or straight ended, the shape really is down to your personal preference.
As we know, knives are one of the most important and commonly used items in your kitchen kit, so it makes sense that you need a good sharpener to ensure your knives do not get blunt! It’s believed that some professionals will even sharpen their knives daily, as a dull, unsharpened knife is not only ineffective, but also not safe to use. Most chefs recommend using a rod-shaped steel sharpener, but a good option for household kitchens is an abrasive hand-held block sharpener due to it being so easy to use.
Preparation, Mixing and Measuring Tools.
Kitchen prep, mixing and measuring tools are essential to get the precise blend of ingredients for the dish you are making. You may find that your recipe didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, simply because of the inaccurate ingredients being added. Dishes, particularly baked goods, need measured ingredients to ensure a balanced bake.
Dry Measuring Cups
The purpose of dry measuring cups is to weigh ingredients such as flour, sugar, spice in either plastic or stainless-steel cups. The cups come in the following sizes: ¼, 1/3, ½ and 1 cup. You need to scoop with cup with the ingredient and then remove the excess with a flat utensil such as a knife.
Liquid Measuring Cups
Did you know there is a difference in measurement between liquid and solid ingredients? That is why you should have a liquid measuring cup within your kitchen equipment to ensure you are measuring the correct amount of liquid for your recipe. You will find liquid measuring cups come in clear glass or plastic so that it is easy to check the level of liquid you have with the measuring lines on the outer. The measure ranges from usually 50ml – 1 ½ Litres.
As discussed, most baked recipes require precise measurements which is why measuring spoons are used to ensure the accurate amount of ingredients is being added in. Measuring spoons are great for gaining the correct measures for smaller ingredients, including spices, salt, and essences. Measuring spoons come in a range of sizes from ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, ½ tablespoon and 1 tablespoon.
Mixing bowls are one of the most common and useful equipment’s used within a kitchen. Not only are the effective in mixing your dry/wet ingredients, but they are great for working doughs in, mixing salads etc. Mixing bowls come in many different materials including plastic and stainless steel. Most chefs prefer stainless steel as these are rust-resistant and dishwasher-safe.
Although it sounds generic, a wooden spoon is one of the best utensils to have within your kitchen equipment. Not only are they useful for mixing, but they are gentle and won’t scratch the bottoms of your pots and pans. Wooden spoons also do not conduct heat; therefore, you won’t burn yourself when mixing a hot mixture.
Cookware and Bakeware
Whether you are new to building your kitchen equipment or already a pro, it’s key to understand the essential cookware and bakeware required to perform your culinary tasks to an effective level.
A Non-Stick Frying Pan
You should invest in a non-stick frying pan as it gives you the confidence to cook as high temperatures knowing that your food will not get stuck to the pan’s surface. Whether you’re frying a simple egg or whipping up some pancakes, you can cook your dishes on a naturally smooth surface for crisp, tasty results without the use of too much oil/butter.
You can’t complete your essential list of cookware equipment without a saucepan! Because a saucepan is deep, it makes the perfect tool for heating liquids to your preferred temperature. Keep a look out for a saucepan that’s walls are as thick as the base so that heat is evenly distributed throughout the apparatus, causing even cooking. If you are heating up soup, we recommend a small pan, whereas you would required a large saucepan with a lid when cooking a pasta-sauce dish.
Did you know the word ‘wok’ literally translates to ‘cooking pot’ in Cantonese? The traditional cooking apparatus has a rounded bottom in which allows both liquid and heat to be focused in one spot, maximising the cooking of your ingredients. The high, sloping walls also help retain the heat, allow for a fast-cooking time in comparison to your ordinary frying pan. You can use a Wok for making stir fries because the height of the walls make it ideal for retaining food whilst stirring and tossing. Because the sides provide a natural gradient in heat, you can also move ingredients near the sloping sides to avoid them being scotched from the heat.
A baking sheet, which is also known as a sheet pan, is one of the most versatile and important bakeware equipment you can own. In a rectangle shape, baking sheets have a raised edges to prevent liquids and loose ingredients from escaping when you are tossing them in the oven. Small-sized baking sheets are perfect for baked treats, including cookies and shortbreads. You can use larger baking sheets for roasted chicken or delicious roast potatoes.
Don’t Forget Kitchen Safety Equipment!
Although a kitchen is one of the most exciting and creative environments to work in, it can also be dangerous! Here are a few safety apparatuses that should be present in any commercial kitchen:
Smoke Detectors – Around half of home fires are caused by cooking accidents. You need to prevent this with installing a working smoke alarm within your kitchen and every level of your home. A 10-year sealed battery smoke alarm is the best options due as you do not have to change it over as often as lower battery ones.
Fire extinguishers – Dishwasher Hero states that Class K Extinguishers are used in commercial kitchens. These contain Potassium Acetate and Potassium Citrate, in which the blend is effective in putting out fires made from cooking oils.
First aid kits – You should invest in a first aid kid that offers a wide selection of items for injuries which can be caused in the kitchen, including burns, scalds, and abrasions from knives.
Oven mitts – These can prevent burns when you are handling hot items from the oven, such as baking trays.
Aprons – You should invest in a good quality apron to allow that extra barrier between your body and substances that can cause harm to naked skin, including hot grease and oil spurts.
This article explored the essential kitchen equipment you need to perform your everyday tasks, whether you are a pro chef or a keen home-cook, everyone deserves the most necessary and effective equipment to create culinary masterpieces.
Make sure you have your Maldon Salt stocked up in your kitchen as well! If you are running out, please feel free to browse on our Where to Buy Page to find your nearest store in which stocks our beloved Maldon Salt.
Lastly, we LOVE seeing your creations – please tag us on Instagram using the #maldonsalt so we can share your culinary masterpieces.
Banh Mi is a classic Vietnamese dish comprising of a short baguette with a fusion of meats and vegetables, including pork sausage, cucumber and carrots. We fill ours with shredded chicken, coated in a delicious satay sauce with a gentle added kick of spice from the chilli flakes.
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Mix all the ingredients for the satay sauce together in a pan and then gently heat for 5 minutes.
Place the chicken pieces onto a baking tray and coat with most of the satay sauce – reserve a little for drizzling over at the end. Place the baking tray into the oven and cook the chicken for 15 minutes until cooked through and slightly charred in places. When cooked remove from the oven and cool slightly before slicing into strips.
To make the pickled vegetables, in a small bowl mix together the caster sugar, Maldon Salt and rice wine vinegar and mix well until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Next add the carrot, cucumber and spring onions and toss in the vinegar. Set aside to lightly pickle while you finish the sandwiches.
Meanwhile place the white baguette rolls into the oven to heat through.
Remove the baguettes from the oven and carefully slice open. Spoon in some of the kewpie mayonnaise and spread across. Then add some of the shredded lettuce. Next pile in the satay sliced chicken. Drizzle over a little more of the satay sauce.
Finally top with the pickled veg, some sliced red chilli and the fresh herbs.
Squeeze over the lime and they are ready to serve.
We’ve created a vibrant vegetable tart packed full of spring goodness, including radishes, asparagus and garden peas. With a generous helping of ricotta cheese to coat the base of the tart, you are met with a deliciously creamy flavour as you take your first bite.
This recipe is special as it represents the changing of seasons from the dark, cold Winter months to the bright, colourful Spring. It truly does encapsulate the springtime cooking with all it’s good, green and glory! Not to forget how quick and easy this dish is to prepare and enjoy amongst friend’s and family across a (hopefully) sunny weekend.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Gently roll the puff pastry sheet onto a baking paper lined with paper. Use a sharp knife to carefully score a 1cm boarder all the way around the edges of the pastry, cutting most of the way through but not all the way. The brush the edges with the beaten egg and place into the preheated oven for 10 minutes until golden brown and puffed up.
Remove the pastry from the oven and gently press down the puffed-up pastry in the centre so you are left with just the boarder raised. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a bowl mix together the ricotta, lemon zest, chopped dill and parsley. Then season well with Maldon Salt and cracked black pepper. Set aside.
Put a pan of water on to boil. Once simmering, add the asparagus spears, broad beans, and peas. Blanch them for 2 minutes until just cooked and then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and immediately place into a bowl of iced water – this will help the vegetables retain their green colour and some of the crunch. Once cold again, drain and set aside.
Add the julienned spring onion strips into another small bowl with iced water and submerge. This cold water will encourage the spring onion to coil up and create pretty curls.
To assemble the tart, spoon the ricotta mix onto the base of the pastry and spread evenly to the edges of the middle, leaving the boarders. Next arrange the asparagus spears, broad beans, and peas across the top. Finally top with the radishes, spring onion curls and pea shoots.
Drizzle over a little good quality olive oil and a final sprinkle of Maldon Salt and some cracked black pepper.
Jack Sturgess is a professional chef who turned into a masterful bread maker on a mission to give everyone the knowledge they need to make their own delicious bread from the comfort of their home. As a keen demonstrator and educator to demystify bread making, Jack is seen on Channel 4 as a regular fixture on Sunday Brunch.
It is with this passion that allowed Jack to release his debut cookbook: Bake With Jack – Bread Every Day. Jack realised that most breads, including the ‘fancy‘ ones you see in the bakeries, are actually easy to follow and do not require the hard work that you’d think would be required. With this realisation, his newly released cookbook shares all of the tips and tricks you need to master 30 bread recipes, including: Sandwich loaves, Bloomers, Rolls, fruit breads and sweet buns, to even pizza dough!
Jack not only shares how to make these different bread types, but he also explores meal ideas to use up every last crumb! From showstopping sandwiches, meatballs with stale bread, to salads and soups with gloriously crunchy croutons, there is certainly a recipe for everyone to make and love.
Due to Jack’s clear and straightforward instructions, this cookbook is suitable for any reader, whether that be a first-time bread maker or bread enthusiasts wanting to get the most out of their loaf – it’s truly accessible and and enjoyable.
In Conversation with Jack Sturgess
We managed to take Jack out of the kitchen and ask him all things bread related, from understanding why he wanted to start making his own bread to sharing his top tips for people wanting to start breadmaking from scratch!
Jack, you’ve been getting busy in the kitchen baking bread! Tell us, why did you want to start making your own bread?
I’ve always been fascinated by the unknown, the mysterious. In my work as a chef, fresh bread seemed to be a thing that very few made. I felt determined to learn as much as I could and crack it. I was on a mission to make it work and bring fresh bread to customers in whatever environment I worked in at the time, but what really made me fall in love with it was people. When I started teaching cookery and bread making it was like a penny dropped. When I saw joy on the faces of my first students more than ten years ago I realised the true power of homemade bread; the pride and satisfaction, the great sense of achievement that comes in making the effort and reaping the rewards often after a past of failed attempts and frustration. Aside from the fact that homemade bread is head and shoulders over what we can buy in the supermarket in terms of quality (even if it looks a bit dodgy!), that is the real hook for me.
What would be your top tips for people wanting to start making their own bread from scratch?
The first ones an easy one; Pick a single simple recipe from somebody you trust and commit to making it three times. Bread making is a craft to be practiced and each time you do it you’ll be getting better at it. Once you see some progress, however small it may feel at the time, you’ll be hooked, and the world of bread will be your oyster!
And secondly on a more practical theme; resist, with all your strength and power, the burning desire to dust your dough with flour as you are kneading. This is the one most common mistake I see and the source of the majority of failures for beginners. It’s easily done because often “knead on a floured surface” is written into the recipe. But by adding additional flour along the way you’ll will tighten a dough you’ve measured so carefully, leading you to believe its fully kneaded when it’s not. An underworked dough will be weak, won’t rise properly, and that’s how you bake a brick. Resist dusting and instead use a dough scraper to loosen the dough form the table from time to time. It’ll be sticky for a bit, but stay strong, and your bread will thank you for it.
In your opinion, would be the most important ingredient for making bread?
Flour, water, salt and yeast are the big four! The foundation of almost every single bread you can think of really is as simple as those four things. Take one away and it simply won’t work! Everything else is a variation on the same theme, bringing in butter, sugar and milk for sweet bakes for example. Or adding olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, olives, cheese. The possibilities really are infinite, but the big four stay the same, each as important as the next, and in the case of sourdough it’s only three; flour, water and salt! With so few ingredients it means that quality and consistency matters.
Do you have favourite bread type you like to bake?
I believe there is a lesson in every bread, and they all have something to offer us as homebakers. Something we can learn from. Bagels are fun because you boil them before you bake, ciabatta is a lesson in what can be done with a really wet dough, and a focaccia presents us an opportunity to play with flavour, however, the sense of achievement derived from a crispy crust and beautiful burst atop a baguette is unrivalled! And as for doughnuts (for they are bread too!) well I think they speak for themselves. Even the most humble of loaf I make at home for the kids using up odds and ends of flour from the cupboard can be a real triumph. There is so much joy to be found in each and every one that I guess my favourite depends on my mood and what’s going on for me that day. If sourdough this weekend feels like a stretch too far, it won’t be a much fun to make and that will show in the final product. If a baguette fits my schedule, then it will be a pleasure to craft, and a joy to eat.
Your book includes many delicious recipes that use up bread– what would be a great recipe to follow for beginners?
Crumbs and croutons I feel are the underrated stars of the kitchen. A hobby of homemade bread means that odds and ends will be in plentiful supply and with them you can bring so much do a dish. The Proper Caesar Salad with Massive Focaccia Croutons and Crispy Chicken includes rustic chunks of salty focaccia torn, baked until crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle and dressed in amongst the salad bringing a new dimension. And to illustrate the humbling power of the bread crumb, the Leek and Brie Risotto with Crispy Garlic Breadcrumbs is a true lesson in making something delicious out of really not very much at all. A simple leek, a shallot and some rice transformed into a silky and creamy risotto, a slice of melting brie to finish and those garlic bread crumbs fragranced with thyme for sprinkling. (ALWAYS make extra!)
British Sandwich Week kicks off from the 22nd May, come on, tell us what your favourite sandwich is!
How can I possibly choose! Right now, Fennel Fried Chicken with Garlic sauce, pickled cucumber and fresh dill in a soft sub roll. It’s one I’ve been testing and refining for the all new Bake with Jack online courses. In Bread Every Day there’s a recipe for a Four Cheese Focaccia Toastie which is pretty epic. Made with garlic butter it’s basically the indulgent cousin of a cheesy garlic bread, crunchy Maldon Sea Salt flakes on the top and served with a rich hot tomato sauce for dunking! Yum.
What does a normal, day in the life look like for you Jack?
There’s never really a “normal” day here at Bake with Jack HQ! At the moment I’m doing a lot of filming and recipe testing for YouTube and my online course platform I’m launching soon and in between I am ALWAYS writing. So I normally try to get in pretty early while the building is still quiet, and if I haven’t got a packed day of filming then I’ll get some dough on for a play later (I find if I get it on already, then I’ll have it there to create something out of it later on!) Then I’ll get a good cup of coffee, put my phone in a plastic box and hide it and get to work on whatever my creative project is at the time whether it’s writing scripts, setting up cameras, writing this! Sometimes I’ll walk around the studio talking about bread as if there are people here with me for a while, creating conversation with nobody around some script notes or whatever, that’s where I really discover the lessons I want to get across. My neighbours must think I’m crazy.
Lunch time is always fun. Normally consisting of “whatever is kicking around” it’s an exercise in making something out of nothing, unless of course I am testing a fried chicken sandwich in which case I’m all set. Thinking time is underrated in the working day I find, and is something I am getting used to. In a professional kitchen there’s no thinking time it’s all about doing; go go go! But I’ve learned just how precious it is to take some time to absorb what I’m doing and think about the next bit, and though at times it can feel like a waste of time it really isn’t. I try to move fast in whatever I do, it’s in my nature, starting with small tasks to get the momentum, and pausing for thought every once in a while.
And that dough I made earlier? Now that I have it, I HAVE to create something with it, so I will. Combining cupboard ingredients or whatever I’ve got to see what I can come up with at the time. It’s not always a success of course but that’s all part of the game.
Name 3 things in the kitchen you can’t live without!
A dough scraper is essential for bread making and I use if for everything; cutting dough, scraping from the table, releasing from the bowl, cleaning up, lifting dough, and most importantly kneading WITHOUT additional flour on the table, a must for bread success.
After you’ve made your own bread it’s a real shame to tear it up or squash it flat with a bad knife, so for me the next thing it a decent bread knife and chopping board. You’ll want to treat your homemade bread with as much care as possibly, cutting it nicely and using up every single crumb after all your efforts.
Would it be too on the nose to talk about salt here? Salt turns on our tastebuds to flavour! Without it our bread tastes like cardboard and most other things are really bland. It’s the difference between “er, yum…” and “WOW this is DELISH!” And when I am I’m talking about salt I mean the good stuff, not that trash in a shaker. Good, clean, honest salt that makes the flavour sing.
Great British Ham Hock Sandwich with Pickled Cauliflower & Mustard Mayo
Some things within the food world will never age, and ham hock is one of those! Jack has made a HUGE sandwich made with a whole Cheese Bread (Page 133 in the cookbook), which is sprinkled with peppery watercress, mustard mayonnaise and cauliflower. Ham hock is cheap to buy from the butcher, whether it is already cooked or you need to self slow-cook it first, the flavour from this dish is simply delectable and you’ll certainly be leaving no crumbs!
How to Make the Sandwich…
Serves: 2 very hungry people, or 4 as part of a picnic
1 Cheddar Cheese Bread Loaf (Page 133)
A handful of watercress, roughly 60g
For the cauliflower:
1 cauliflower, around 150g when sliced
80ml white wine vinegar
50g golden caster sugar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
A pinch of Maldon Salt
For the ham hock:
1 ham hock, weighing around 1.4kg
2 celery sticks, halved
1 medium carrot, halved lengthways
1 small white onion, halved
3 garlic cloves, halved
A few fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs
1 small bay leaf
3 -4 black peppercorns
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
For the mustard mayo:
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
A pinch of Maldon Salt
Method – Pickling the cauliflower:
Remove the leaves and end of the stalk from your cauliflower. Cut your cauliflower lengthways down the middle into 2 halves, and put one half back in the fridge for the next time. Slice the remaining half from the root to the edge into thin slices – I find this is the best way to get whole intact slices, but don’t stress too much about it.
For the pickling liquid, mix the other ingredients together in a small bowl.
Put the cauliflower into a reusable freezer bag, pour over the liquid and do your best to squeeze out as much air as you can. Seal the bag and gently shake it, squeeze it and scrunch it to get all the cauliflower into some of the liquid.
Place the bag in a bowl or plastic container in case of any leaks and refrigerate overnight.
Method – Cooking the ham hock:
Wash your ham hock well or soak it overnight (see above). Place it in a large saucepan with all the other ingredients except the thyme and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil and skim the foam from the surface, then continue boiling for 2–4 hours, depending on the size of your ham hock – mine was LARGE and took the full 4 hours.
You’ll know when it is done because you’ll EASILY be able to slide the 2 bones out of the middle with a pair of tongs.
Ideally, you would leave your ham hock to cool completely in the cooking liquid before removing, but this can take AGES, so allowing it an hour or 2 before removing it is a nice gesture towards keeping the meat moist when it does come out. Peel off and discard the skin, then work your way through separating the meat from the sinew and dodgy bits.
Shred some of the ham with a fork, keep some chunky and put it all into a mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, sprinkle over the thyme and toss it all together.
Any leftover ham can be kept covered with the cooking liquid in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4–5 days. The liquid will turn to jelly and keep the ham juicy, plus the jelly is wicked delicious if you are into that.
Building the sandwich:
If you need to bring the fresh ’n’ crispy quality back to your cheese bread loaf, preheat your oven to 180°C fan/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and warm it through for 10–12 minutes.
Mix all the mustard mayo ingredients together in a bowl.
Cut the loaf in half horizontally and spread the cut sides generously with the mustard mayo.
Lay a bed of watercress on the bottom half, followed by a layer of drained cauliflower. Next pile on the ham hock and finally top with a little more cauliflower and watercress. Replace the sandwich lid.
Slice, share (if you want) and enjoy!
Do You Want to Create a Recipe From This Book?
You can find where to purchase Jack’s cookbook here and start creating a bountiful of easy yet deliciously good recipes for yourself and your family!
Make sure you have your Maldon Salt ready for these recipes! If you are running out, please feel free to browse on our Where to Buy Page to find your nearest store in which stocks our beloved Maldon Salt.
Lastly, we LOVE seeing your creations – please tag us on Instagram using the #maldonsalt so we can share your own take on Jack’s recipes!
Who say’s you can’t have breakfast for dinner? The talented Jesse Jenkins, (Another Day in Paradise) created a delicious French omelette using simple ingredients and techniques, made better by a pinch of Maldon Salt.
A French omelette is served with light fillings and folded tightly with a fluffy soft interior. On the other hand, an American omelette is much thicker and crispier in texture, served with often heavier fillings.
One of the only dishes Jesse’s uses a non-stick pan for. If you have the skills, of course, can do it with a carbon steel or cast iron but it’s trickier to get a soft exterior – the pan needs to be well seasoned and pretty much only used to make eggs.
Add butter to a non-stick pan on medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and whisk constantly. When it looks like wet scrambled eggs – stop whisking and give it all a nudge into the top of the pan. Fold it from the bottom, then the sides, and finally give the handle a few light taps – when you see the edge of the omelette come over the lip of the pan, fold it over doing your best to make an almond shape.
Flip the omelette out onto a plate bottom side up. Garnish with some extra herbs and a little pinch Maldon Salt. Jesse loves serving his with a simple salad (and usually has a dollop of mayo next to it).
A final note is that you shouldn’t really use a metal fork with non-stick pans as Jesse does here – Jesse learned it from a few chefs who did it this way. Ideally, you scramble the eggs while trying to keep the fork from hitting the pan. A plastic fork works too.
Looking for an oh-so-sippable drink for summer? One that’s sure to satisfy your sweet (and salty!) tooth? Try this Salted Caramel Iced Coffee! Deliciously refreshing and so much better than shop-bought options, this easy Salted Caramel coffee is a must-make!
We’ve teamed up with the lovely roasters at Two Chimps Coffee, a carbon neutral coffee roastery in Rutland, to create this dazzling iced coffee recipe. Combining hand-harvested Maldon Salt with fresh arabica coffee, we know you’ll be whipping up this caramelly coffee all summer long!
For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
Tip the sugar into a heavy-based pan and add 2 tbsp of water. Place the pan over a medium heat and heat until the sugar has dissolved and doesn’t feel grainy on the bottom of the pan.
Increase the heat and bubble for 4-5 minutes or until it turns golden amber and syrupy. Don’t stir – swirl the pan gently instead.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, butter and Maldon Salt. Careful – it’ll be hot and will bubble when you add the cream!
Leave the sauce to cool.
For the Coffee:
Drizzle about 2 tbsp of the salted caramel and add the espresso or strong coffee. Stir to combine.
Add the ice.
Pour in your milk of choice.
Swirl cream on the top and add extra caramel sauce and a sprinkle of Maldon Salt
Stir, sip and smile!
It’s World Cocktail Day on the 13th May, 2023! We’re celebrating by teaming up with our good friends at Feragaia in creating a delicious Blackcurrant Lemon Sour.
Did you know that the Pantone colour of the year is #vivamagenta? We wanted to replicate this colour within our cocktail to promote empowerment and strength.
Mix everything in a shaker without ice and shake well.
Then add ice and shake again, for 30 seconds until it is nicely cold on the outside.
Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Transform your squid with a coating of Maldon Salt and Sichuan peppercorns. When fried in vegetable oil, you will receive a fantastically crispy squid ring, so crunchy in texture you be wanting more! We garnish our squid with spring onions, red chilli and coriander to give a gentle warmth to the side dish.
We serve these with a sweet chilli dipping sauce and lime wedges to be gently juiced over to create that perfect balance of spice and zesty.
Prepare the squid by cleaning under cold water. Pull the tentacles from the body, removing the ink sac and pull out the quill that is inside of the body. Rinse the body sac. Cut through the head, just below the tentacles and remove the beak-like piece. Make sure to remove the membrane from the body, discard and wash the pieces of squid remaining again.
In a large bowl, mix the flours with the ground peppers and Maldon Salt. Add the squid and mix well so the pieces are evenly coated.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan until it reaches 180C, you want it to be at least 3 inches high up the side of the pan.
Deep fry the squid in batches for roughly 2 mins or until golden and crispy.
Remove from the oil and drain on some kitchen roll, and sprinkle with some extra Maldon Salt.
Serve the squid immediately, garnished with the sliced spring onions, red chilli and coriander leaves and serve alongside a sweet chilli dipping sauce and lime wedges.
Pad Thai originated from Thailand in the mid 1930s, with the dish known to be created from Thailand’s focus on nation-building. It is for that reason why there are Chinese noodles within the dish and being named ‘pad thai’ (thai stir fry) to embrace nationalism between the two counties.
We use juicy, king prawns sprinkled with roasted peanuts and beansprouts to give a crunchy-like texture to the dish. With powerful flavours of tamarind paste, chili flakes and fish sauce, this recipe is lip-smackingly tasty and you’ll be begging for second helpings!
Start by cooking the rice noodles according to the packet, drain and set aside tossing in a little oil to stop them sticking together.
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large wok. Cook the king prawns until pink and just cooked, remove from the pan, and set aside. In the same pan add the second tbsp of oil and then the sliced shallot and fry until softened. Next add the fish sauce, sugar, tamarind paste, Maldon Salt and cook until the sugar has dissolved.
Next add the cooked noodles, rice wine vinegar and chilli flakes and cook for a minute.
Then push the noodles to one side and add the beaten egg. Cook and scramble the egg on the bottom of the pan and then once cooked, stir back through the noodles.
Remove from the heat and add the beansprouts, prawns, and chives.
Serve topped with the chopped, roasted peanuts, some extra sliced chilli and lime wedges.