KQF Get-together Reviews a Busy 2015

December 23, 2015 at 11:59 am

On 16th December, KQF managing director Faruk Vali hosted the company’s annual staff meeting, which looked back on an eventful 2015.

Speaking at the annual group dinner and staff awards, Faruk noted the key achievements of the last twelve months, which included:

  • Retaining KQF’s Class A rating under the BRC quality standard for food
  • Investing further in more efficient production plant and processes
  • Launching a joint venture with the Post Office in August 2015
  • Launching a joint venture with SPAR in September 2015
  • Introducing significant improvements to stock control systems
  • Formally re-launching the KQF Superstore in October 2015
  • Launching several successful new product ranges, including Halal Macon Rashers, three varieties of hot dog, five varieties of Gourmet burger and six varieties of Jumbo burger.

IMG_5095_eHe also made the point that KQF now stands ready to enter the twentieth year of its history – the original ideas behind the company having been developed back in 1996. It took five years to see the first KQF production run in April 2001, so in 2016, the production department will be celebrating its fifteenth anniversary.

After a presentation that considered the rapid growth of halal consumer markets in the UK and the wider world, the KQF team then went on to review how the company’s latest foods fit with growing market trends and better general levels of awareness about health and diet. The Halal Macon rashers, for example, are not only the first HMC-certified alterative to bacon, they are also lower in fat and salt. Likewise, the new Gourmet range – also HMC certified – uses 90% lean beef, so these burgers are a great source of protein but they keep the fat content to a minimum.

The highlight of the event was the annual staff awards. Announcing them, Faruk noted that all the teams within KQF had made great efforts this year and that they had each made a vital contribution to the company’s continuing growth. However, certain individuals had stood out and these included:IMG_5129_e

  • Lifetime achievement award – Umerji Musa Ahmed
  • Bes Sales Performance – Hanif Dashu
  • Best individual performance – Siraz Tadha
  • Innovation – Vaishakhi Chhotai-Doshi
  • Best retail butcher 2015 – Mohammed Idris
  • Directors’ award 2015 – Shafi Mohammed & Iqram Patel

The evening concluded with a staff meal at East Lancashire Cricket Club in Blackburn.

Warm up with KQF’s hearty winter recipe

December 17, 2015 at 11:37 am

 

What’s better than a warm fire and a big bowl of comfort food on a cold winter night? Nothing beats a warming homemade supper on a chilly winter evening

Winter’s darkest days will soon be upon us and as the temperatures drop, so we usually like to turn to something warm and satisfying for our family meals. Happily, there are plenty of good options to choose from – soups, curries, stews and hearty pies to name just a few. In this post, we’ll take a look at the first of these: soups.

When it comes to soups and broths, there are all sorts of ready-made convenience products to choose from but sometimes, the tastiest and most rewarding are those we make at home. What’s more, soups are a great way to use up various items in the fridge and cupboard that might otherwise go to waste, so they’re a good idea economically, too.

soup-475077KQF Winter Soup

The internet is crammed full of interesting soup recipes so you should never be short of ideas. However, the point of this one is that it’s a just a base, and you can add to it whatever you fancy (or whatever you happen to have left in your fridge.) Tasty and a great money saver, it’s also a recipe that offers endless healthy options.

They key to a good soup is to get the base right. To ensure good underlying flavour, a tried and tested combination is a medium onion, together with one carrot and one stick of celery. (People sometimes add a leek, too.) For more traditional soups, these basic vegetable ingredients are cut up into small pieces and then fried gently in butter. However, for healthier, Mediterranean-themed soups, you could use a little olive oil instead. Whichever you choose, ensure the vegetables are well coated, cover the pan and leave over a gentle heat to soften them. This will take between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on how big you like the chunks.

The other important flavour-booster is the stock. This can be made at home by boiling the bones/carcasses of chicken or turkey, together with a few vegetable pieces and perhaps some herbs. This is a great way of getting extra value from your poultry but if time’s pressing, a much easier solution is to buy ready-made stock from your local supermarket.

Soup meatballs-518503

The thickness of the soup is up to you, of course, and there are different ways of adding substance and texture. Some add corn flour to the base vegetables at the beginning of the process, while others add a diced potato, lentils or sweet potato to the starting mix. A further option is to blend some or all of the vegetables to create more of a pureed consistency. Some people will blend the soup mix part way through the process to create a creamy base, but then add further ingredients, such as pre-cooked meat chunks or some of the more delicate vegetables to ensure the soup retains an interesting texture.

Pre-cooked meats can include pieces of sausage, left-over chicken, beef or lamb, or slices of polony, which can be added to the pan close to the end, just long enough to heat through.

The choice of vegetables, spices, herbs and seasonings is where you can get really creative. Some of the most popular vegetable ingredients include butternut squash, sweet potato, broccoli and tomato but there’s really no limit to how you can experiment.

Whatever you choose, a scattering of fresh herbs, some finely chopped chilli or a spoonful of cream can make a nice finishing touch.