Pancake Day!

Can you believe it’s Pancake Day next week? Already the year is absolutely flying by and in celebration of Shrove Tuesday we’ve got some recipe ideas for some delicious pancake fillings/toppings.

We’re not being purist here so if you’re a simple lemon and sugar fan you’re looking in the wrong place; instead why not mix things up with the classic American sweet/savoury combination of bacon and maple syrup, delicate and fresh smoked salmon with some creme fraiche or go completely off piste with a Mexican quesadilla style pancake? We promise they are all delicious!

PPStreakyAll of our pancake inspirations use a simple pancake batter base made using eggs, plain flour and milk. For this sweet and savoury classic we’ve used Devon Choice smoked streaky bacon and Canadian maple syrup for the delicious mix of salt and sugar combined with the soft, fluffy texture of pancakes. Pile your toppings onto warm pancakes for a simple yet decadent breakfast or brunch.

With this one the blanched spinach is added to the pancake batter before frying; this gives them a lovely green colour and delicious flavour. Once each pancake is cooked place in a low heat oven to keep warm while you fry the rest. Top the5b057383-dbb8-4659-8b30-a73800a70a0f_800x800 pancakes with as much smoked salmon – we love the delicate John Ross smoked salmon for this – creme fraiche and dill as you like and add a squeeze of lemon juice for freshness.

This recipe is more of a brunch than breakfast but it’s perfect for meat and flavour lovers. The filling needs to cook for a while but trust us it’s worth it! Use good quality chorizo for that lovely smoky flavour and trimmed belly pork and cook with chopped tomatoes, paprika and chorizosartachipotle chilli flakes for around two hours or until the pork can be pulled apart with a fork. Load your pancakes with the filling and maybe some creme fraiche or sour cream.

We’re loving the flavours of Mexico at the moment so we thought why not extend this to pancakes? Made using traditional pancake batter, scatter chopped peppers, coriander, avocado, chillies and crumbled mozzerella over a pancake and cover with another pancake. Transfer to a baking tray and cook at 180 degrees for five minutes until the mozzerella begins to melt. If you prefer you can use feta cheese or any good cheese really, we found the gooey, creaminess of the mozzerella really worked with the hot chilli flavour.

We’re not sure yet which one of these we’ll make for the big day, perhaps all four and a traditional lemon and sugar for dessert if we’re not sick of pancakes by then!

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Half Term Days Out

Here at Isca Foods we are proud supporters of keeping things local, after all some of the best things can be found on your own doorstep. This February half term why not take the kids to one of our many amazing local attractions where there’s plenty to keep them entertained and work off some of that boundless energy!

Pecorama
Set on the hillside above the pretty East Devon village of Beer Pecorama is home to the famous PECO Model Railway Exhibition and the Beer Heights Light Railway complete with fully operational miniature steam locomotives. The train line now runs for one mile around the park with spectacular views over Lyme imagesBay and the Jurassic Coast. When the weather turns against you the Play Station – an indoor 3-storey soft play area – will definitely be a hit with the kids, it also boasts a lovely little café serving homemade cakes, traditional Devonshire cream teas and barista-style coffee which we’re sure will be more of a hit for you! Check out their website for opening times as well as special half term activities http://www.pecorama.co.uk/.

Greendale Farm Shop
Just off of the main Sidmouth Road outside Exeter this farm shop is a great way of getting the kids out of the house and engaging with farm animals this half term. As well as a thriving shop boasting fresh, locally sourced meat, fish andoutside vegetables there are a host of pigs, sheep and chickens roaming the fields around the farm. After looking at all that local produce you may have worked up an appetite. Don’t worry there is a fantastic on-site café with an extensive menu showcasing the best the South West has to offer and catering to a range of tastes including vegetarian and gluten-free options. For more info and opening times visit their website here: https://www.greendale.com/.

Beaches
019191Don’t worry we’ve not gone mad, we know it’s only February and much too cold to fully appreciate a dip in the sea, but Devon is home to some of the best beaches in the country so grab the bucket and spades and enjoy a fun-filled day out at your local beach. Many beach side attractions and, perhaps most importantly, beachfront cafés will be open for the half term trade so let the kids run off some steam while you warm up with a coffee and cake.

Whatever you do this week we hope you have a lovely half term!

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Valentines Home-Cooked Food Ideas

sketchy-hearts-579be9955f9b589aa98c282dSometimes it just makes more sense to have a romantic, cosy night in for Valentines Day. With overcrowded restaurants, overpriced food and the cost of getting a babysitter in for the evening or a taxi home later on as well as gifts and cards for your significant other, it can be a less than relaxing evening. Instead, take your pick of one of these delicious menu ideas, grab a good bottle of fizz and take to the kitchen. A lot of these ideas can be prepared in advance or take little time to cook so you can simply enjoy each others company.

Starters
We’ve said it before and I’m sure we’ll be saying it many more times to come – we love a baked Camembert. Easy to prepare and deliciously naughty, we love it with some fresh, crusty bread and a balsamic glaze but you can jazz it up as cricket-st-thomas-camembert-220gmuch as you like. Score the top of the cheese and add some fresh rosemary and garlic before baking, pair with a variety of chutneys, add some finely chopped bacon – the opportunities for this baked box of goodness are endless. Why not try this Somerset Camembert made by Lubborn Cheese at Cricket St Thomas, Somerset full of delicious buttery flavours and a soft, edible white rind?

pateA simple starter that requires no preparation and is ready in the time it takes to burn some toast, this rich paté with some fruity chutney and peppery rocket is sure to hit the spot. Try our coarse cut duck paté  with orange zest and mixed herbs, paired with a Waterhouse Fayre handmade chutney for a truly delicious starter.

Mains
Create a restaurant style dish at home with cod lointhis baked cod loin wrapped in proscuitto ham full of the flavours of summer. We like this with some roasted Mediterranean vegetables and sauteed potatoes but if you’re feeling more adventurous, or really want to bring out those fishy flavours, try making a creamy crab risotto to go with it and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Steak is becoming more of a staple for home stilton3cooked Valentines dinners and we can see the appeal – ready in minutes and with lots of sides to tempt you it’s the perfect meal to indulge and treat yourself and your partner. Serve with chunky, thick cut chips, roasted tomato and crunchy onion rings. We like experimenting with sauces so instead of traditional peppercorn why not try a luxurious Stilton sauce instead made with the rich and creamy Tuxford & Tebbutt Stilton?

Dessert
To be honest we’re not really dessert people so forgoing dessert we’ve chosen a locally sourced cheeseboard with crisp crackers, grapes, apple and chutneys 486-1instead. This is something you can pick at later in the evening after a few glasses of wine when you’re not feeling quite so full and the fresh fruit and maybe a few sticks of celery will make you feel not quite so decadent. How about a classic, rich mature Cheddar from Quicke’s, smooth and creamy Cornish Brie from Trevarrian Creamery, fresh tasting Devon Blue from Ticklemore Cheese and deliciously flavoured with pungent garlic leaves Lynher Dairies Garlic Yarg? Of course a cheeseboard can be filled with any of your favourite cheeses and these are just a few of those we think would work together, experiment and see what works for you.

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