A perfect summer BBQ of your own!

July 20, 2016 at 9:12 am

BBQs are what summer is all about, right? At KQF, we have selected the best BBQ menu you can have to make your daygo without a hitch – A perfect summer BBQ of your own!

KQF Halal SausagesSausages

Sausages are a specialty at the KQF, with flavours that blend moderate heat from the chilli as well as hints of onion, garlic and peppers. Pick up a variety at our KQF online store, grab some buns and toppings, and make your own hot dogs.

Why It’s Good for Groups of All Sizes: Our customers loves to throw sausages on the grill because they’re low-maintenance, easy to share, and a total crowd-pleaser. Have a few going on the grill as the afternoon or evening progresses and everyone will be well-fed and happy.
How to Cook: Avoid burst links by grilling sausages over medium-low, indirect heat. Turn occasionally until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes, then move to the hotter side of the grill to crisp. Let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Pro Tip: Always get a few more than you think you need as everyone will eat it.

KQF Halal BurgersBurgers

What screams BBQ more than burgers? Find a butcher you trust, order freshly ground meat, and you will never, ever go wrong with a burger. We like ours with 55% meat in our Classic range to 90% meat in our Gourmet range, which yields a juicy burger that won’t cause flare-ups on the grill when excess grease hits the coals.

A variety of burgers with mild to hot level in spice, all your guests are going to walk away super satisfied. And the best part is you don’t need to do anything to it, grill it to medium-rare, put a slice of cheese on it, and it is ready to serve.

Why It’s Good for Groups of All Sizes: The ultimate crowd-pleaser cooks quickly, doesn’t need to be grilled at different temperatures.  Your guests are going to walk away super satisfied. Plus, you just need to add salt and pepper on it, grill it to medium-rare and put a slice of cheese on it.
How to Cook: Grill burgers over high heat until lightly charred on bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip and grill about 4 minutes longer for medium. Let stand for 3 minutes before serving.
Pro Tip: Before you throw your patties on the grill, make a small indentation in the centre of each burger with your thumb. This keeps the burger from puffing up as it cooks.

KQF Halal KebabsKebabs

Nothing says summer like grilling delicious kebabs. There’s no mistaking the mouth-watering aroma of fresh ingredients sizzling over a fiery grill. Best of all, whether you choose chicken,  lamb or beef, kebabs are a cinch to prepare and cook. They’re great for barbeque parties and our British-made Classic Kebabs make a delicious starter. They combine high quality meats with authentic spice blends to deliver intense flavours. Check our wide range of our frozen and halal kebabs online.

Why It’s Good for Groups of All Sizes: All our halal kebabs can make a delicious starter, a fabulous finger-food and a wonderful accompaniment to summer BBQ.  Most kebabs make a delicious dish on their own, but for a full meal, consider serving with a side that pairs well with the ingredients on the kebab.
How to Cook: For a delicious outer “sear” on your kebabs, it’s important to have a nice hot grill before you place your kebabs on it. For gas grills, this is easy – simply set the grill’s burner(s) to a medium level, close the grill, and allow it to heat up. For charcoal grills, this is a little trickier – you’ll want to light the charcoal and allow it to blaze freely until the flames die down and the briquettes ash over and emanate an orange glow.
Pro Tip: If the meat is very pink on the inside, bleeds reddish juices, or has an inside that resists cutting, it needs to cook longer. Look for the classic signs of doneness – clear juices, lack of a pink interior, ease of cutting.

Useful Tip: Remember to let the meat rest first before serving

When meat comes off the grill it needs to rest for at least 5 minutes and it’s very smart to “tent” it in foil, rather than wrapping it. If you let a burger rest the juices will reabsorb into the meat and make it juicier, more tender and more flavoursome.

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.

KQF Mosa Range – New family of Samosas

April 11, 2016 at 9:54 am

At KQF, we’re always keen to introduce new ideas and so we’re very pleased to announce the launch of our new Mosa range – revolutionising inside and outside. These feature a selection of ready-frozen samosa-style convenience foods but, unlike conventional samosas, they’re new style samosas in crispy coatings such as golden crumb and Japanese style tempura batter.

Mosa Range

Innovation will continue at KQF with an extension of Mosa range in a new crispy coatings such as zinger style and southern fried coatings in near future.

With the new Mosas, we’ve set out to create, in effect, a whole new kind of convenience food,” explains KQF Managing Director, Faruk Vali. “They combine the simplicity of traditional samosas with a range of new flavours and textures. They’re the result of a lot of customer trials and new research but we think people will also sense something very familiar about them. They’re a similar size and shape to samosas, they’re just as easy to cook, and they work well either as a party food or on the dinner table. The big differences are the choices of coatings and fillings.

“In addition to our existing samosas, which are wrapped in pastry, we offer the new Mosas with either a light tempura-style batter or a golden crumb that produces a satisfying crunch. The fillings range from traditional ingredients such as spiced lamb or mixed vegetables to more ‘international’ flavours such as chicken in jalapeno sauce.”

The six varieties in the new Mosa range include:

  • Crumosas – Golden crumbed samosas with spiced chicken in jalapeno sauce
  • Japamosas – Japanese style tempura batter with spiced chicken in jalapeno sauce
  • Classic Chimosas – Golden crumbed samosas in chicken, cheese & vegetables
  • Classic Lamosas – Golden crumbed samosas in lamb & vegetables

These complement our existing range of traditional lamb, chicken or mixed vegetable samosas.

Like all our products, the new Mosas are, of course, certified halal by the HMC.

Formally launched on 9th April 2016, they are available in the KQF Superstore and here in our online store.

National Poultry Day

March 21, 2016 at 10:30 am

The national calendar is full of odd, unusual and interesting days specially devoted to the promotion of certain causes. Saturday March 19th, for example, is Poultry Day – a time to celebrate the huge contribution that chicken, turkey and other fowl have made to world cuisine. At KQF we have a range of mouth-watering Marinated Chicken, finely seasoned with spices and ready to cook from frozen.

At KQF, we make extensive use of halal chicken. We use it to make delicious burgers, sausages, kebabs, popcorn chicken and a whole range of other frozen foods. Regular customers will be familiar with many of them and anyone who’s been following our news announcements will know that chicken is also the main ingredient in our recently launched Halal Macon Rashers – not to mention a number of other chilled foods.

Some people use fresh halal chicken very simply – in roasts and fried dishes – where the natural flavour really shines. Others add their own special spice blends in curries and baked dishes. However, there is a third option, and it’s one that has become a huge hit at the KQF Superstore: it’s our ready-marinated chicken.

The result is guaranteed flavour and, best of all, it’s a great time-saver. There is no need to prepare your own fresh marinade from scratch, nor to spend a long time rubbing it into the meat. Just pop the sealed package into the fridge and let time do the rest.  (For more details, please refer to our previous article on the subject of marinated meats, which includes cooking and storage  tips.)

When it comes to poultry, some of our most popular products are Marinated Chicken Fillets, Marinated Chicken Wings, Marinated Chicken Tikka and Marinated Chicken Legs – all delicious, versatile and easy to cook. Check our seasonal offer for all the marinated Chicken meat.

Halal chicken can be tasty, affordable, protein-rich and low in fat, so we really hope you make the most of Poultry Day, however you  plan to celebrate it.

British Pie Week – It’s time to celebrate all things shortcrust!

March 8, 2016 at 10:52 am

This month sees the return of British Pie Week – a celebration of pies in all their many forms.

Meat-Potato-pie-web1Pies have long been a favourite in the colder months of the year and homemade varieties present a great opportunity to be both frugal and creative. Like soups, pies can be a fantastic way of using up spare meat and vegetables. Cheese, too, makes a tasty addition for very little cost.

Favourite British pies – such as meat and potato, cheese and onion, chicken and mushroom – all hint at their traditional rustic origins: for hundreds of years, families have been making the most of good, simple, staple ingredients through home-baked pies. The same is true in many other parts of the world: cheese and spinach pies in Greece; lamb and onion sfeehas in Lenanon; Bombay potatoes and spinach pies from India. The list goes on.
There are obvious, traditional combinations such as beef and onion, chicken and sweetcorn, chicken and mushroom, cheese and potato, cheese and spinach and so on, but sausage, peppers, asparagus and a whole host of other ingredients are equally tasty. KQF Halal Macon Rashers can also add a wonderful smoky flavour to simple favourites such as potato and onion, or any pie featuring cheese.

The choice is almost literally endless, but if you have any special favourites of your own, please let us know, or share them with us on Facebook.

Finally, of course, there is always the ready-made option and being British Pie Week, we have our own range of halal pies on special offer price. Buy now.

 

Go Green Week: 8th to 13th February 2016

February 12, 2016 at 10:32 am

go-greenGo Green Week is a national awareness-raising scheme that encourages people at home, in education and at work to think about more sustainable ways of living their lives.

For ordinary families, there are many environmentally positive steps that can be taken that also make great financial sense. Many of these are very simple things like keeping the home thermostat turned down to a sensible level, keeping doors and windows closed to reduce draughts, or turning lights off when not in use. These simple actions cost absolutely nothing but they can deliver noticeable savings on energy costs.

As a business, we’re always looking for ways to reduce waste and the amount of energy we use. One of the most important of these is our policy of using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. Our factory is based in Lancashire so we aim to source all our fresh meat from suppliers in our region. Our halal policies processes mean that we work only with specialist HMC-accredited suppliers, but we do all we can to keep our supply base local.

In celebration of Go Green Week, our latest recipe idea is Thai-style Green Curry.

Thai Green Curry

Main ingredients:
•    750g halal chicken (e.g. tikka-cut breast meat or thigh with the bone removed)
•    500g vegetables (your preferred selection: onion, carrots, broccoli, sweetcorn, mushroom, bamboo shoots, mange tout etc.)
•    2 spring onions
•    1 tin of coconut milk
•    1 stock cube
•    1 handful of lime leaves (5 to 7)
•    fresh coriander leaves (small bunch)

For the curry paste:
•    4 cloves of garlic
•    4 shallots  or half a red onion
•    3cm piece of ginger
•    2 stalks of lemongrass
•    Green chillies (2 to 4, depending on heat required)
•    Green Peppers
•    2 tablespoons of fish sauce
•    Half a teaspoon of ground cumin
•    Juice and zest of 2 limes
•    Freshly ground peppercorns (to taste)

ThaiGreenCurry-Ingredients The key to this dish is preparing the curry paste. With a food processor, it’s a simple matter of roughly chopping all the ingredients of the paste, adding them to the machine and blending them to a smooth consistency. (However, special care is required with the lemongrass; remove any stringy, woody bits and then finely chop the remainder before adding to the processor. Otherwise, there will be spiky bits in the finished curry.) If you don’t have a processor, then chop the ingredients finely and grind to a paste using a mortar and pestle.

The curry itself begins as a simple stir-fry, beginning with the diced chicken. Many cooks prefer to take the chicken out once it has turned golden brown and only then add the other main ingredients. Separating the meat in this way prevents it from over-cooking. However, for simplicity, or to produce tender chicken that takes on the full flavour of the curry sauce, it can be left in.

With a very hot wok, stir-frying the vegetable ingredients should not take long – just enough to begin to colour and soften them. Then add the coconut milk, the stock, the lime leaves and the curry paste.

Next, turn the heat up and bring to the boil. If you took the meat out, return it to the mix, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. (Test the vegetables after about 6 minutes; they shouldn’t be allowed to go too soft.)

Near to the end of the cooking time, stir in most of the roughly chopped coriander, but leave some for garnish.

ThaiGreenCurry
Serve in a bowl with rice.

Celebrate Go Green Week and share the message
•    Be environmentally responsible and ultimately ‘Go Green’.
•    Separate waste and recycle
•    Save energy and water
•    Raise awareness of sustainability issues and engage the community.

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.

Guest blog by Richard Hall, Public Affairs Manager for the Post Office

November 20, 2015 at 11:40 am
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Faruk Vali (KQF), Faryad Hussain (Mayor), Andrew Hall (SPAR) & Julie Kemp (Post Office)

Regular followers of our news blog will remember that in October 2016, we re-launched the KQF Superstore in conjunction with our two new partners – the Post Office and SPAR. In the following guest post, Richard Hall, Public Affairs Manager for the Post Office explains how this new partnership, together with others like it, is part of a national strategy of modernisation and expansion.

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Richard Hall, Public Affairs Manager, Post Office

“We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Whalley Range and I am confident that this new modern Post Office will meet the needs of the local community and our partnership with KQF will secure services for the future.

The modernisation of the branch is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office, and marks a commitment to no more branch closures programmes.

Many Post Office branches are extending weekday and weekend opening hours.  We have already transformed 5,000 Post Offices across the UK with more than 152,000 additional opening hours across the modernised branches and 3,000-plus branches open on Sunday.  The programme is helping us become better for customers by being there when they need us.  In 2016 we expect to become the largest retail network open on a Sunday.  Our transformation is also about ensuring that our products and services are perfect for what our customers need.

But to achieve our goals and modernise the network it is crucial that we have strong retail partners such as KQF who are vital in helping us sustain the network of Post Office branches and of ensuring that we remain at the heart of communities. “