Food & Drink News | SEASONED

First impression bites

21 February 2018

First impressions are so important and can really set the tone for your special day. In this line of business, when every penny counts and all of the crucial decisions being made can really affect the overall picture, we start to look at the parts of a wedding that could be superfluous. In my experience when working alongside couples, canapés are the first thing to be discussed. Does the couple really need them? Will they make enough of an impact to justify the price? Will my guests be expecting them? Are they worth the cost?

The straightforward answer to this is yes!

After hours of getting ready, feeling stressed, searching maps on how to get to the venue and potentially battling with various types of weather, guests have forgotten to eat and so by the time the vows are all said and done, bellies are starting to grumble. There is nothing worse than miserable wedding guests, who are not concentrating on the venue, nor the catering, décor and other bits you have spent thousands of pounds on: they are too distracted by them being ravenous! There is no doubt in our minds that wedding guests, especially ladies, will not have eaten anything.

What better way to keep all guests content than with small mouthfuls of what is to come: especially to soak up the booze from many glasses of sparkling wine whilst standing in the hot sun?

With London caterers offering such delicious and exciting morsels of food, it would be a shame not see what they can produce. Whether you are hosting your special day in the cold wintry months and need a warm mini beef Wellington with redcurrant jam, or a summer inspired asparagus tip on a bed of Mascarpone and brioche crisp, the choices are endless.

Chinese New Year – Year of the Dog

15 February 2018

Chinese New Year is one the world’s most colourful events and is celebrated all across the globe. If you were born in 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970 or 1958, this is your year!

As always, in the Seasoned office we are getting involved in the festivities of the Chinese New Year! As a London caterer and having done a few Chinese inspired menu’s this year already, we wanted to have more of an insight on dishes that are eaten during the celebrations of the Chinese New Year.

We wanted to share some of the tasty treats we will be enjoying over the festive period, compliments of our Chef! We hope that this mouth-watering menu gets you inspired to have a Chinese feast of your own!

Spring rolls *yum* – Most of us are familiar with the deep-fried version, but these can be steamed or baked and can be created with the filling of your choice. Spring rolls can be served as an appetiser, snack or even a dinner dish.

Dumplings  – Dumplings are most significant during the Chinese New Year. By eating dumplings, you are sending away the old and welcoming the new!

Noodles  – There is great flexibility for ingredients for noodles, and many of the ingredients have symbolic meaning (interesting!) such as:

Eggs: big and healthy family

Fish: surplus and wealth

Duck: loyalty

Tofu: happiness and fortune for the entire family

Steamed fish – This is a must for the Chinese New Year! Even though the whole fish is steamed for New Year’s Eve dinner, only half of the fish is eaten for dinner and the second half the next day – this is to prolong the surplus and to make the future prosperous as well.

The best bit, dessert – Nian Goa – Also known as a rice or New Year cake. The sweetness of this cake means the next year will be sweet & successful!

*Just in case you were wondering what Chinese Zodiac animal you are, click on the following link – https://goo.gl/QeQntH

Pancake Day – Shrove Tuesday

13 February 2018

Pancake Day is upon us and we have the frying pans ready to cook up a storm of mouth-watering pancakes.

Here at Seasoned we have been discussing our favourite toppings and it seems that Nutella & strawberries, lemon & sugar and ham & cheese are the top picks in the office!

As an event caterer we love any day dedicated to food and Pancake Day has to be one of our favourites.

When is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is on the 13th of February this year, it is always 47 days before Easter Sunday.

What is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday which is when Christians start celebrating Lent and give up certain foods.

Traditionally Christians would fast from these foods for 40 days and would therefore use up whatever they had left on Shrove Tuesday such as eggs, fat and sugar.

Perfect fluffy American style pancake recipe:

We love French style crèpes but thought it would be nice to share one of our favourite American pancake recipes with you!

Ingredients:

  • 135g of plain flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 130ml of milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp of melted butter or olive oil
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 2 tbsp of caster sugar
  • Maple syrup (to serve)
  • Streaky bacon (to serve)

Method:

  1. Sift all the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix the milk, egg and melted butter together.
  2. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk, whisk, whisk until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Leave the batter to stand whilst you fry your streaky bacon until crispy.
  4. Add a knob of butter to a new frying pan, once heated and the butter has melted add a ladle of batter or two at a time. When the top starts to bubble,  turn the pancake over and cook until both sides are golden.
  5. Serve with a small knob of butter, maple syrup and your crispy bacon.

National Croissant Day

30 January 2018

For anyone who loves croissants as much as we do in the Seasoned Events office, you will be pleased to know that 30th January is National Croissant Day!

As event caterers in London we love finding out the story behind food so it is timely to share our findings on the croissant. The origins of the croissant date all the way back to 1683. During this time the Turkish Empire was attempting to conquer the city of Vienna in Austria but were unsuccessful: as a result they tried to access the city by digging underground tunnels. Little did they know the bakers in Vienna, who were working in their basement storerooms, could hear them and alerted the army. For their efforts the bakers received high praise and gratitude for their help. In celebration they baked bread into the shape of crescent moons which was the symbol of the Ottoman Empire. Once the Turkish Empire had been defeated it became tradition to serve the crescent shaped pastry. The legend goes on that over a hundred years later Marie Antoinette brought the pastry to France and it was they who named it a croissant.

In recent times the croissant has taken on some modern twists; we have had the “cruffin” (croissant and muffin) the “cronut” (croissant and doughnut) and more recently the “crossushi” which is a croissant filled with sushi. Now, the crossushi may not sound like the most appealing snack but surprisingly it works really well! The salmon isn’t raw like in in a traditional sushi roll, it’s a smoked salmon that has a rich flavour that doesn’t seem out of place as it has been baked into the pastry. The ginger and wasabi flavours are very subtle, and the nori seasoning complements it perfectly. Anyone who appreciates seafood and savoury dishes will love this!

Feel-good foods that everyone should have in their diet

17 January 2018

We are officially in the season whereby everyone and anyone is sniffing, coughing, wheezing and permanently has a tissue in their hand. Everyone looks to blame the time of year, central heating and transport: well, has anyone really thought what it is they are putting in their bodies to help fight the flu?

Dieticians, fitness bunnies and doctors have professed that eating the right foods will see immediate effects on your health and body. Along with the professionals, we as event caterers also consider this in our day-to-day life, especially as we are exposed to a varied palate and foods we wouldn’t ordinarily prepare at home. An ingredient and food we like to encourage throughout our menu and especially at this time of year would be the ever so amazing garlic!

Garlic has always been known as strong, pungent food that is cooked alongside a main ingredient of a dish and heightens other flavours. However studies have shown that people adding garlic to their food suffer from far fewer colds during winter, plus garlic also promotes healthy gut flora which rids the body of bad toxins.

Another amazing food event catering companies could choose to add to their menu, would be sweet potato. This understated vegetable is a great source of vitamin A and which plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces. That includes the inside of your nose and your gastrointestinal tract as well as your skin. You might not think of your skin as part of your immune system but it keeps infections from entering your body.

Finally another amazing food for all you Asian catering lovers is turmeric! One of the most recent spices to be crowned a superfood, turmeric is a rich yellow powder often used in curry dishes. It’s high in antioxidants and considered a natural anti-inflammatory. If you take it on a daily basis, it is known to relieve the body of toxins. It has been shown that people who consume turmeric are less susceptible to colds, coughs and congestion.

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