Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Asda Fresh Produce Challenge and Win £50 Worth of Vouchers to Spend At Asda


I was contacted recently by the Asda press office, who invited me to take part in a summer challenge using some of their fresh fruit and vegetables to create the ultimate British summer dish. I set to work, my kitchen workstop strewn with strawberries, sharon fruits, asparagus, lettuce and peaches, trying out lots of summery recipes that I thought would epitomise our British summer. The idea was to choose one, that would stand out over the rest. The problem was, I couldn't choose. My team of children (sorry, 'taste-testers') and I loved them all. So here's a round up of the recipes I created - all would be great for a late summer barbecue or nibbles for a party. I hope they might inspire you to create different dishes using British (or non-British) ingredients. Here goes:

Asparagus-Wrapped Bacon


These were so simple and only took a couple of minutes to make. Wash some asparagus spears and snap them off at their woody ends where they naturally break. Wrap a rasher of streaky bacon (or half a rasher, depending on how long your asparagus spears are) around the asparagus tips and fry in a little olive oil for about 2 minutes on each side. Salty bacon on the outside and tender, green asparagus on the inside. I don't need to tell you how amazing these would be dipped in a Cotswold Legbar soft-boiled egg. Mmmm.......

Chicken Tikka Little Gem Parcels


I'm not sure if Chicken Tikka Masala is still officially Britain's national dish, but I love it. I wanted to incorporate the dish into a summery canapé and was inspired by the Asian use of little gem lettuce leaves as mini cups. Just cut up a chicken breast or two, and cook in a little of your favourite Tikka Masala sauce until it's just cooked through. Leave to cool slightly. Break off the leaves of a crisp little gem lettuce and wash them - dry carefully on a clean towel. Gently spoon the cooked chicken curry into the leaves - not too much - and top with some chopped cucumber, some slices of a mild red chilli and a few fresh coriander leaves. Roll the leaves up as you eat. To my complete surprise, the children loved this. The lettuce is sweet and crisp so you could always use prawns instead of chicken or maybe a spicier curry sauce.

Pimm's-Glazed Strawberry Tartlets



I knew, when I decided to use strawberries, that I would need to have a Pimm's element in there somewhere. After all, I know some people who, despite the weather, don't recognise it's summertime until they've had their first sip of Pimm's. All you do is stir together 4 tablespoons of creme fraiche with 2 heaped tablespoons of caster sugar. Spoon this creamy mixture into 4 ready-made dessert tart cases, halve some small strawberries and arrange them on top. In a small frying pan, gently heat a heaped tablespoon of strawberry jam and add in a slosh (about a tablespoon or two) of Pimm's. Once everything has melted together and the jam is runny and hot, brush this over the strawberries, which will make them unbelievably glossy and give the tart topping lots of flavour.

Roasted Peaches and Nectarines with Vanilla Ice Cream and Fresh Raspberries



A sort of a different version of a Peach Melba. Set your oven to 200°C. Wash some peaches and nectarines and dry them. Cut in half from the stalk end to the bottom and twist the two halves, to release them from the stone. Pick out the stone from the other half. Arrange the fruit halves in a small roasting dish and sprinkle with a little demerara sugar. Roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes, until softened and sizzling. The sugar will have caramelised too, on top. Serve them, with any juices that have collected in the dish spooned over along with a handful of fresh raspberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Roasted Caramelised Sharon Fruits



Sometimes you see a fruit or a vegetable that you're not sure what to do with. For me, sharon fruits are one of these. So I decided to roast them, like the peaches above, with just a little demerara sugar. They turn really soft and fragrant. Just cut them in half and arrange in a dish. Sprinkle with a spoonful of demerara sugar and roast at 200°C for about 25 minutes. Eat them by scooping out the flesh with a spoon, leaving the skin behind. You'll find that the flesh comes awayin segments. I find the flavour of a sharon fruit similar to a sweet clementine, but with the fragance of a mango. Lovely.

For more recipe ideas, check out the Asda Get Cooking App on Facebook and upload your own recipes and photos!
And that's not all...

Asda have agreed to give away £50 worth of Asda vouchers to one lucky Comfort Bites reader. To be in with a chance to win, click on the rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions.

Rules:
  1. The giveaway is for £50 worth of Asda vouchers.
  2. The giveaway is being arranged by Asda and their decision is final.
  3. This giveaway ends on 16th September 2012. One winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will be contacted by email, Facebook message or via Twitter within a few days of the end of the giveaway. If the winner does not reply within 2 weeks of the end of the giveaway, the voucher will go to another winner, also chosen at random. (So please check your inboxes!)
  4. The giveaway is only open to UK residents.
I hope you enoyed the recipes, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway