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Thursday 1 August 2013

Sluttery Food News

It's August, my favourite month. Selfishly, that's because my birthday falls in August so it's usually a good one for me! Food-wise, August is also a good month, with summer well underway and lots of lovely produce ripening in the trees, plants and ground. British aubergines are the vegetable to look out for this month, their smooth smokey flesh is perfect in Ratatouille, Aubergine Proven├žal, Baba Ganoush, Moussaka and, even, Maple-glazed. Courgettes, beetroot, artichoke and sweetcorn are all in season, too, whether your prefer a simple salad or something a bit more involved, this a great month to get into the kitchen.  Some pick-your-own farms have already ended their strawberry picking and soon, more will follow – grab your strawberries while they're still at their best, we've got plenty of ideas for using them up. British raspberries and cherries and not-British peaches and nectarines are particularly good just now, and plums are just around the corner.
Not just for Christmas, Hazel's Braised Boozy Venison.
This month sees the start of the game hunting season and the Glorious 12th will here before we know it.  While most game birds won't be in season until September, this is the time for venison. The sea has plenty of good things for us, from skate and sardines, to native oysters (if you're near Whitstable today or tomorrow, you can even celebrate them at the Oyster Festival!).

Eat & Drink. I'll not ashamed to say that I've been thinking a lot about booze recently, and as a result I've found a couple of exciting drinks to share with you. Although nothing beats a cold beer on a hot day (*gluten free sob*), Carling have gone one better with their Coolers range. My friends have been raving about the Grapefruit Cooler, which might have even superseded beer as the perfect hot-day drink. If you're more of a spirits person, then (thanks to the lovely folk at Vinspire blog) this 14 year old, Caribbean Cask Balvenie is sure to hit the spot. It's a taste of the Caribbean and Scotland at once! And if you've got a taste for whisky and want to create your own, we can help with that, too.

Beer Can Chicken from Joe's Southern Chicken. (Image used with permission from Kapranos PR)
Barbecue food is top of the menu right now, but if you don't want to get all sweaty by standing over hot coals and brandishing tongs, why don't you let someone else do the hard work? There are some great Southern barbecue restaurants out there, serving brilliant barbecue food. There's Joe's Southern Kitchen in London, where you can try beer can chicken, Southern 11 in Manchester with Hickory smoked belly ribs, and the soon to be opened Bluegrass in Wycombe where the Boston Butt pulled pork is slow smoked for 12 hours.

What are you eating this month?

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