BY PALOMA LACY
Streatham has become something of a foodie hub in the past few years.
It’s home to great bakers and other small independent producers.
But one is leading the charge, flying the flag for South London’s culinary credentials, and making a big impact on London’s restaurant scene.
London Smoke & Cure, which specialises in meat and fish produce crafted with salt and smoke has been taken to the hearts of locals, with its award-winning thickly-cut and buttery sashimi-grade smoked salmon, charcuterie, bacon and sausages.
And why is their product so good?
It comes down to freshness.
Take smoked salmon as an example. Farmed off Shetland, Orkney and the West Coast of Scotland, London Smoke & Cure begins working with produce 16 hours after harvest.
Company founder, Ross Mitchell, said: “Our products are swimming on Monday, cured on Tuesday, smoked on Wednesday, and you can have them as early as Thursday.
“No one else is able to get you smoked salmon that fresh.”
Salmon is cured using salt, juniper and sugar, applied for a shorter time than is usual to allow the pure freshness to prevail.
Using a blend of English oak and beech, together with heather foraged from Dartmoor, salmon is under smoked to achieve a light, moist, fresh and exceptionally buttery finish.
The high quality salmon is the same as that used in some of London best sushi restaurants.
And the restaurant trade is quickly seeking to source smoked salmon from London Smoke & Cure.
Quo Vadis is already a customer, while The Ritz will add its bacon to the menu once it reopens for dining next month.
Two Michelin-starred Simpsons in Birmingham and The Cross at Kenilworth also included product to it’s Christmas and Valentine’s Day At Home meal boxes.
The word is spreading so probably best you grab some of the best smoked meats and fish, while you still can.
For effortless picnic-ing, the Park Life Grazing Box, will meet all your meaty needs.
The box contains award-winning sashimi-grade smoked salmon, lonza, coppa, salami and bresaola.
People’s inner chef has been in overdrive in lockdown, with a lot of time spent at home honing your cooking skills.
No longer happy just to cook meat in an ordinary frying pan, it needs to be seared and look like it’s come from a restaurant kitchen.
The Whatever Pan from Jean-Patrique is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to cooking like the professionals.
A griddle pan that’s cast aluminium, it’s lightweight, with a lid, for use on the hob or pop it in the oven and finish off a dish quickly.
Griddle lines and deep ridges are everything when it comes to cooking perfect steak because they lock in flavour.
But all too often, griddling creates a load of mess, not so here.
For starters, the sides of the pan are an extra deep at 4.5cm, limiting oil splatters hitting walls and cooker splash back.
The glass lid also helps to keep contents contained.
The pan’s non-stick surface means it’s easy to clean.
You can also use it like a frying pan, cooking bacon rashers in a flash, or as an oven dish, even to make toad in the whole.
So now you see how it gets its name because you can literally cook most things in it.
With more nut butters consumed in the UK than ever before, there’s more to life than slathering it on toast.
Something of a rare ingredient, one that’s good for you and utterly delicious, nut butters are versatile too.
The kind folks at Whole Earth have lots of ideas of how to make the most out of a jar.
Here’s a favourite recipe, which works best with smooth peanut butter.
Peanut Butter No Bake Bars Serves: 9 squares Cooking time: 30 mins (plus 2 hrs chilling time).
150g dairy free spread
100ml maple syrup
340g Whole Earth Smooth Original Peanut Butter
100g rolled oats 100g sweet and salty popcorn
200g dark chocolate
Line a 20 x 20cm square pan with baking parchment so that it reaches up the sides as well as covering the base.
Measure the dairy free spread, maple syrup and 300g (reserve 40g of peanut butter for later) of the peanut butter into a small saucepan (reserving the rest for later.
Cook, stirring regularly, over a gentle heat until the mixture is liquid but not boiling.
Pulse the oats and popcorn in a food processor a few times to break everything down a little.
Pour in the liquid peanut butter mixture and pulse again a couple of times to combine.
Tip everything from the food processor into the prepared pan and press down and even the surface with a spatula.
Cover and place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the surface of the water.
When the chocolate has melted, pour it over the peanut butter popcorn mixture.
Working quickly, heat the remaining peanut butter in a pan until liquid but not boiling.
Use a teaspoon to dot liquid peanut butter all over the surface of the chocolate, then use a knife to create an attractive swirl pattern over the top.
Cover and return to the fridge for at least 2 hours before cutting into 9 squares.
Whole Earth nut butters are available from most major supermarkets.
Main Pic: The Park Life Grazing Box
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