SOUTH AMERICAN BBQ

South America has a rich history, with a mix of many cultures who in turn have brought their foods to add to the pot. The indigenous people already grow potatoes, corn, avocados, sweet potatoes, chillies and so much more.

With the arrival of the Spanish, French and Portuguese, bridging with them their own style of cuisine but mixing it and using local ingredients. When Africa and Asia are added to the mix, we have an exciting array of foods that are used in everyday cooking.

With the development of cattle ranches, beef and for that matter all meats play a big part in the foods of South America. With charcoal easily available, barbecuing has found its place. With accompanying sauces and marinades, giving get the flavour to enjoy with colleagues, family and friends. With so many chilis, each gives its unique flavour and spice to your dish.

You can not leave out avocados, sliced, mashed guacamole, or the coolness of the spice.

Chimichurri sauce, a mix of herbs, garlic and chillies spooned over steaks, prawns and even bbq cauliflower, add a fresh touch. Green salsa made with tomatillo and jalapenos is another great accompaniment to pork, chicken and grilled sweet potatoes.

Honey and ponzu dressing from Asia, tequila and lime prawns, honey-chipotle chicken wings.

Lots to savour as always, but great to give your BBQ a new direction and get the taste buds going.

CANAPES WITH A SOUTH AMERICAN, ASIAN INFLUENCE

We were asked to create some canapes that have a slight hint of a south American/Asian feel.

So we did and it was refreshing to do so. As a result, we thought we would share in a blog to say that we do like to get out of our comfort zone and reach out to other cultures in the world. We took patatas bravas and added yucca in a deep smoky tomato sauce, simple but full of flavour.

Saltfish croquettes with roasted garlic hollandaise were amazing. Saltfish in South America is very popular, being such a large landmass, salted fish to preserve it was the only for it to travel long distances without spoiling and as such is still used widely today. Tradition is a wonderful thing but also when it’s good why try to change it.

We slowly cooked some pork belly in spices for hours then glazed it in Lime and chilli. Roasted some

salted cashews and crushed them to give some texture. This was served on a carrot, pea and wakame salad, served on a spoon.

Beefsteak plays a big part, which we will add to in another blog. Sirloin beef anticuchos with a sweetcorn and coriander dip. Seasoned steak, grilled with a smooth sweetcorn and coriander dip.

Arancini is a mix of rice, cooked until it is able to hold together in a ball. This was flavoured with lobster stock and lobster meat, cheese is there too. Served with a sriracha and herb sauce.

Spiced tuna cones – sesame ginger tuile – chilli aioli, wasabi, tosa sauce, daikon sprouts is a combination of marinated tuna with different sauce toppings in a sesame tuile cone.

Low Carb or Keto?

Low-carb and Ketogenic (Keto) diets are two ways of intentionally focusing your diet on restricting carbs. This kind of diet induces weight loss, which can have varying knock-on health benefits such as improved blood pressure and cardiovascular performance. This is not to mention the bonus benefit of a leaner physique. Many also claim a more stable, sustained energy level without heavy carbs and the visceral fat reduction can help improve or maintain organ health and function! Both diets also have their own specific benefits. But, you may wonder, if both types of diet focus on reduced carbohydrate intake then what, if anything, sets them apart? The main difference between these diets is carbohydrate intake. On a low carb diet, you typically eat 50–150 grams of carbs per day, but on the keto diet, daily carb intake is restricted to fewer than 50 grams. Another main difference is protein intake. With low carb diets, protein intake may be high, but with keto diets, protein intake should be moderate at around 20% of total calories. This is because excessive protein intake can prevent ketosis.

Additionally, fat intake tends to be significantly higher on the keto diet, as fats replace carbs and protein. The goal is to reach nutritional ketosis. In this state, your body produces ketones from fat in your liver and uses fat as its main fuel source instead of carbs. This induces significant weight loss. While Keto provides more rapid and extreme results, it is extremely restrictive a

nd may not be beneficial for long periods due to common cases of constipation and fatigue, with an extreme adjustment period. On the other hand, a low-carb diet is much easier to maintain, and has a much less extreme adaptation period. The less restrictive nature also makes it easier to adhere to long term in a practical sense. For most people, these benefits far outweigh the slower rate of weight loss. These pro

s and cons should always be considered before trying one of these diets. One should also take into consideration any health problems, as both diets affect insulin sensitivity and the reduced fibre intake can have repercussions on the digestive system. In any case, switching between short term keto periods and long term low carb periods seems like the answer for anyone looking to seriously change their weight. However, for a more healthy long term diet, the Low Carb diet with a higher protein intake and lower fats would make for a great lifestyle change for most people.

OFFICE LUNCH

Now that office lunch is on its way back, let us get you familiar with the different options that are available.

There are the hot buffets as well as cold buffets, always a go-to when you would like something more hearty delivered to your city office ready to set up, kept warm in chafing dishes where possible.

Lunch boxes provide individual lunches ready to eat when you are, with a variety to choose from, vegetarian and vegan are also here.

Finger food is a firm favourite among colleagues as it can offer a wide range of styles and tastes and eat anywhere. We can also make these individuals if you are looking for that choice.

Sometimes when reception is called for, we would be able to help with a wide range of canapes and drinks from cocktails to prosecco and or champagne.

Breakfast is also a good way to start your day, with filled croissants and fruit platters.

And there are sandwich lunches with popular fillings of fish, meats, vegetarian and vegan. Slices of bread can range from multi-grain, ciabatta, and wraps as well as gluten-free bread.

We would hope that we cover most aspects of an office lunch or the drinks reception you might be planning. From china and glassware, quality recyclable/compostable plates and cups. Waiting for staff if needed to serve and look after your guests or colleagues.

Please get in contact 0207 018 6610, orders@mavenfoods .co.uk and view our website mavenfoods.co.uk for more ideas and information.

 

 

LUNCH BAG – Blog

 

A Lunch bag, with all that you might need within it. A filled sandwich with either meat, fish, vegetarian or vegan on granary bread or if you are after a gluten-free bread too.

You can have a drink, a piece of fruit and a classic chocolate bar or crisps. Once the basics are decided you can add more such as a chocolate brownie, a savoury food such as sausage roll or a salad pot.

A lunch bag can do so much, help with social awareness, and keep colleagues safe. When you need people to feed but they would be in different areas, collect and go.

This brown paper bag can contain so much, it can be a safe option, you can add more and create your own selection for your colleagues, on the go lunch.

We are going to introduce some Asian flavoured foods, snacks that would be hard to find here, but would adda little twist in your lunch bag. From tempura seaweed to kimchi noodle bowls.

We are just expanding choice and flavours for you to enjoy

As well as an Asian influence, we are going to add breakfast bags to our lineup. With filled croissants , mini danish pastries, a drink and fruit, all that you might need for an early morning breakfast on the go.

Take a look at our lunch bag menu, it might be what you are looking for.

 

GRAZING TABLE OR BUFFET

We suppose there is not much difference between them, a buffet being a selection of foods normally placed in one line. You would take a dinner plate and choose

from a selection of what’s on offer and then be seated at a table to eat.

Please don’t get us wrong, a buffet would have a good choice of foods and a place to sit and enjoy whatever you may choose and some that works well, a bit more formal.

Whereas a grazing table in our minds is more individual items such as crostinis topped with mashed avocado and sunblushed tomatoes, rolls of prosciutto filled with celeriac remoulade. All decked out on a table to suit the number of guests, maybe at different levels with cut breads, fruits and flowers and foliage to set it all off.

For some this gives a more social aspect as you might not be seated once you have made your choice, but instead have smaller plates and a fork and rome around the grazing table to help yourself to whatever takes your eye

Sometimes desserts can be amongst the savoury, or placed on a grazing table of their own, for later in the evening. This can give colleagues a chance to nibble here and there, take a drink and keep going back for more. At some point introduce the desserts and again have a little of what you fancy more often.

There are no set rules, it’s what works for you in the space you might have available. Please call if you would like to explore grazing tables.

Is a BBQ just sausages and burgers!

So just to say there is nothing wrong with a good burger or great sausages, the question should be why stop there. There are so many flavours from around the world to explore, all on a bbq

Let’s start with a japanese style bbq with grilled shiitake mushrooms chicken wings and asparagus, simple yet tasty the way only Japanese could do. Match that with teriyaki glazed salmon, chicken balls and yakitori chicken.

What mexican foods, Chicken flavoured with smoked paprika, pickled jalapenos, mashed avocado and chipotle mayonnaise. Mexican spiced salmon, refried beans, sour cream. Smoky pork and black bean tacos, coriander yoghurt and roasted peppers. Full of the flavour of mexico, spicy, fresh with lime and a touch of coriander.

Why keep to skewers, joints of lamb butterflied, marinated in chilli, soy and orange. Or sirloin of beef marinated in miso and korean chilli paste, all finished on the bbq. These can be carved and served with salads or placed in buns with sauces and pickles.

Grilled food in wraps, pita breads, on skewers in buns, placed in tacos, topped with cheese, sauces, pickled vegetables, salsa and relish.
Add something different to your summer bbq, whatever you have in mind we can help to provide drinks, cocktails, glassware, china and cutlery or just a great bbq with burgers and sausages using biodegradable plates and cutlery. Please get in touch, see if we can help.

 

SWEET AND SOUR – A TOUCH OF MISO

Bored of the same old cakes and desserts. Made a salted caramel sauce to drizzle over ice cream, sundaes and waffles. Why not try adding a savoury twist to give your cakes a deeper flavour, another dimension. One of my favourite flavours to get to that point where you can not help but eat more than you should is miso. Miso makes an excellent edition to all of your favourite dishes. One of my favourite things to bake is cinnamon rolls with miso paste and blueberries. This gives a great twist and you will be surprised by what an excellent flavour the miso gives the cinnamon rolls. Umami is what the Japanese might say, but ‘swalty’ it seems we might say here!
Miso is a Japanese paste, a mix of soybeans, grains and sea salt. Once fermented and aged, the mixture is ready to use. The wonderful paste that results from this process comes in a few forms. Buttery shiro (white) misos to medium-bodied shinsu (yellow) misos to beefy, pungent aka (red) varieties. To get an idea of what makes them different, the darker in color the miso, the saltier and more pungent it tastes.
White chocolate and burnt butter miso make for a unique cookie. It can easily be whipped up for a cosy winter afternoon at home either with a hot chocolate or a smooth red wine.
Tried all the variety of brownie recipes. Why not add some white miso paste and give them an umami flavour you never knew was there.
Even cheesecakes can be given a little lift, even if you do use fresh fruit in your mix.
Not sure about miso, why not try adding your favourite vegetable to cakes, carrot, pumpkin, beetroot, butternut squash and courgette to muffins, brownies or loaf cake. Or why not follow the example of the Americans and make a pumpkin pie. But just add a teaspoon of miso, it will become one of your kitchen staples.
Go and explore your cupboard and delight your taste buds.

Korean Food

 

 

Korean food sits somewhere between Japanese and Chinese food, but still able to have a style and individuality all off its own. Top of the list is kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage or now it can use other vegetables, which is seen as a healthy food that benefits
its said, your diegeston with good bacteria.
There are a few Korean essential ingredients that are the bases for many dishes,
Gochujang​, a red chilli paste, with different heat strengths. Doenjang , a soy bean paste
Ssamjang, used to make a spicy dipping sauce Soy sauce, korean soy is on the lighter side

Chungjang, a fermented black bean paste Always garlic and ginger
Corn,rice,malt syrup, used as a sweetener Aek jeot, fish sauce
Danmuji, pickled daikon
With vegetables such as chinese cabbage, spring onions, perilla/shiso leaves and many other wonderful ingredients to explore.
These foods come together to make exciting and tasty dishes such as bulgogi, the korean bbq sauce for beef, pork, chicken and fish. Kimbap, the korean equivalent to japanese sushi, but then still in its own style.
Dakgangjeong, korean fried chicken, if you have not tried
this yet then it is a must. Spicy, sweet, crisp and yet the chicken remains moist.
Bibimbap, with a base of rice and vegetables, so colourful, top it off with a fried egg. Bossam is pork belly, full of flavour, wrapped in lettuce leaves. Japchae is the name for korean stir fry rice noodles. Galbi jjim is the delicious slow cooked beef short ribs.
There are so many more foods we could list, but these are
some of the more popular ones and if you have not tried any as yet, then start by looking in your local supermarket. A lot of the ingredients mentioned above are beginning to find their way onto the supermarket shelves.
See what you can find and give it a go.
Enjoy. .