Where there are food lovers, there has to be a BBQ!

May 31, 2016 at 9:53 am

In case you missed the news, National Barbeque Week takes place this year between May 30th and June 5th. This year marks the promotion’s 20th anniversary and, across the country, families will be taking the opportunity to get out into gardens and other open spaces to try a spot of al fresco dining.

BBQ-NATIONAL-WEEK-FINALwebDespite Britain’s notoriously unreliable weather, barbequing has grown to become one of the country’s most popular traditions. Whether you’re on holiday, on a campsite, on a beach, in a park or simply in your own back garden, it’s a wonderful way to make mealtimes more of a fun family event. (And, of course, it’s also a fantastic excuse for a party!)

Barbeque technology has also developed in recent years. Many traditionalists still cook on small cast iron stoves, using wood and charcoal as a fuel, but there are also more ambitious family caterers who cook on giant garden grills with multiple propane burners, hot plates and all manner of clever gadgetry. Both approaches have their place, of course, and we’d never be so presumptuous as to rank one above the other. What both of them have in common is what makes all barbeques great: they allow people to gather round the flames and enjoy their food together. In many ways, they’re following a tradition of outdoor social dining that arguably goes right back to our stone-age roots.

Not only that, but barbequing is also a very healthy way to cook. Grilling over flame releases many of the fats that might otherwise stay in a frying pan, and the process of cooking quickly on a high heat helps to ensure that many foods (including all sorts of vegetables) retain much more of their natural flavour, texture and nutrients.

At KQF, we’re big fans of the barbeque and we do our very best to help customers enjoy the summer season. We have lots of fresh meat cuts, marinated meats and frozen convenience foods to choose from, so why not check out our website for details of all our new seasonal offers?

National Vegetarian Week

May 18, 2016 at 12:58 pm

veg-week-for-webMany KQF customers will be familiar with the scenario: you’re attending a works function, a birthday party or perhaps a friend’s anniversary celebration. Everyone is having a good time and there’s a tasty-looking buffet all laid out. The problem is, no one is sure whether any of it is halal.

For most British Muslims, there’s an obvious and relatively safe answer: go for the veggie option. There are roughly equal numbers of Muslims and vegetarians in Britain today – around 2.9 million and 3 million respectively – but while halal foods are often not labelled at public events, no self-respecting party organiser would dream of providing catering without including at least one vegetarian dish.

Vegetarianism is well established in the UK and it’s a growing group. As a result, many professional caterers are now well aware that there’s an important difference between, say, vegetarian cheese and cheese made with animal rennet. The vegetarian lobby has gained a powerful voice and, as a result, it’s generally safe to assume that if it’s labelled as vegetarian, it’s also free from ingredients that would be considered haraam.

Since the halal market is another important growth sector, many good caterers are also beginning to recognise the needs of Muslim consumers by providing clearly-labelled, halal-certified menu items. This is certainly true of many schools, colleges and universities, but there are still plenty of situations in which consumers are left to guess. Over time, we might hope that accurately labelled halal foods become as normal as clearly branded veggie options but, in the meantime, we can console ourselves with the fact that the vegetarian dish does at least give people an option.

However, on the 16th to 22nd May, the organisers of National Vegetarian Week (the Vegetarian Society) will be showing the people of Britain that veggie foods are more than just a second choice. They’ll be promoting the message that vegetarian dishes can be satisfying, healthy and absolutely delicious.

With over 800,000 Hindus living in the UK and more than 150,000 Buddhists, it’s a message that many have already taken to heart. It’s an everyday diet for many – and that’s to say nothing of the millions of vegetarians and vegans who go meat-free for non-religious reasons. Worldwide, it’s a diet that sustains countless millions and even amongst those who routinely eat meat, enjoying the occasional veggie dish can be a great way to make a diet more varied, balanced and interesting.

So, this May, why not check out some of the many Vegetarian Society recipes that will undoubtedly be posted across the internet? With a whole raft of vegetarian sauces, spices and marinades waiting in the KQF Food Cupboard, you can experiment with flavours to your heart’s content.

Life is like a sandwich, the more you add to it, the better it becomes. Enjoy!

May 9, 2016 at 9:48 am

sandwich-2-Lamb-Sliced-meatsThe 8th to 14th May will see another of those peculiar periods of promotion and celebration – in this case British Sandwich Week.

Originally, the term was named after John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, who is said to have been fond of eating foods held between slices of bread because it meant he didn’t need to use a knife and fork. That meant he could keep one hand free for card games.

However, the use of flatbreads as a food container – as in the popular modern wrap – long predates the leisure-loving Earl. In the Middle East, flatbreads have been used in this way for more than two thousand years. Indeed, the idea of using bread as a plate, a container or a kind of spoon has remained with us ever since.

In all cases, however, the great appeal of such dishes is convenience. Just as John Montagu enjoyed sandwiches because they were easily portable and kept his hands (and cards) clean, so countless generations of families have appreciated their self-contained simplicity. Ideal for buffets, picnics and packed lunches, they really are the perfect ‘food on the go’.

At KQF, we’re no stranger to their appeal. Many of our customers are big fans of the wrap and the sandwich, and summer in particular sees a big surge in orders for bread-friendly fillings such as chilled meat slices, polonies and our Halal Macon Rashers.

The big advantage of such foods is that they are all ready-cooked so for busy parents and party hosts, it’s easy to make the transition from fridge to plate. Two slices of bread, a little spread and a tasty meat filling are all it takes for a satisfying bite – but why stop there? A  slice of lettuce, tomato or cheese can quickly add an enlivening touch, as can pickles, relishes and other tasty extras.

sandwich-week-news-letter-Chicken-Sliced-meatHere are some quick and tasty ideas we like:

  • Halal Macon Rasher sandwich – with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. (The halal version of the BLT classic.)
  • Halal Macon Rasher sandwich – with sautéed mushrooms and halal cheese.
  • Sliced polony sandwich – great with finely shredded lettuce and onion.
  • Sliced polony sandwich – a touch more exotic with hummus and sweet chilli sauce.
  • Pastrami sandwich – try it on rye bread with sauerkraut, mustard and sliced cheese.
  • Salt beef sandwich – again, great on rye but with minced onion and mayonnaise.
  • Salt beef sandwich – delicious with English mustard and sliced pickled gherkin.
  • Sliced lamb sandwich – try it with roast garlic, thinly sliced onion, mayo and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Sliced lamb sandwich – with thinly sliced tomato, mustard and shredded lettuce.
  • Sliced chicken sandwich – in a wrap with lettuce, Mexican-style salsa and sliced avocado.
  • Sliced chicken sandwich – with lettuce, Halal Macon Rashers and melted cheese.

These are just a few options but, of course, the great advantage of sandwiches is that there are no rules. With British Sandwich Week now upon us, now is a great time to experiment.