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Andy Bates is known for his hearty street food. His modern twists on classic dishes are fuelled by his international travels and a passion for re-discovering and cooking great British food. As the gaffer of specialist food company ‘Eat My Pies’, Andy brings the best of British food back to the public, including classic tarts, pies, Scotch eggs and, of course, some tasty puddings.

Andy is a contributing chef for Food Network UK and has already had two successful series broadcast on the channel - Andy Bates Street Feasts and Andy Bates American Street Feasts. His latest series, Andy Bates Brazilian Street Feasts, launched in February 2014. All three series follow him as he travels across continents to explore the world of street food and find the stories and people behind the recipes. As a result, he has become a leading expert on street food, with regular appearances on the street food circuit. Andy, who lives by the quote "You should always finish on a little bit of pudding", has also written a cookbook offering modern twists on classic dishes.

Chef TV Blog Recipes 

On a global food adventure meeting inspiring people along the way.

Filtering by Tag: BBC Food & Drink

Whelks @ Crabhouse Café

Andy Bates

andy-bates-crabhouse-cafe

Whelks… hmmmm. From my childhood all I can say is, YUCK!

I love British seaside food and summers spent on the beaches of Kent and Sussex. For me it's all about fish n’ chips and ice cream! Not chewy, slimey 'things' covered in vinegar, although I can vaguely remember my brother daring/telling/forcing me (probably all of them at the same time) to try one, I was only seven and the blood still runs deep...  No wonder I was a bit scarred when I heard what I was soon to do. 

See the thing is when you mention whelks to people that is exactly what they think of, a snail type thing served in a polystyrene cup with vinegar from the 60’s and 70’s.

But there's more to the whelk than meets the eye. In the UK 20,000 tonnes of them are landed each year and we are not eating them, so where are they going? The answer is... they mostly end up in soy sauce or canned as bar snacks in the far east. So are we missing a trick when it comes to the whelk? I was lucky enough to be sent by BBC Food and Drink to Weymouth to investigate that very question.

On arriving in this great thriving fishing port town we popped over to the beach to sample whelks in their classic British seaside serving (forced to eat by my director, George) but I still was not convinced. They were chewy, covered in black spots and nothing to taste apart from vinegar, I thought I was seven years old again (Director George also commented that my behaviour was very much that of a seven year old ;).

andy-bates-crabhousecafe

But luckily enough our next stop was Crab House Café where I was introduced to chef owner, Nigel Bloxham. He LOVES whelks or ‘sea snails’ as he calls them, (interestingly I later find out if you put ‘Sea Snails’ on a menu instead of ‘Whelks’ they will sell out) and he wants to encourage us to eat more whelks. Nigel even helped launch the ‘Great British Whelk Revival’.

Nigel explains to me that they are full of nutrients, environmentally-friendly and because they grow naturally at sea it gives them a lovely sweet flavour that works great with strong flavours like chilli and garlic. He cooks me a dish very similar to French snails with garlic butter but with our very own, British whelks. He slices them and suddenly they don’t resemble anything whelk-like, fries them in butter, garlic and parsley, with a squeeze of lemon then serves it with a massive hunk of crusty brown bread. They are sweet, succulent and tasty. I LOVE IT! Thirty years later, I am now converted!

Nigel was kind enough to share his recipe featured below, why not give it a go...

 

Catch it TODAY on BBC Food & Drink, January 23rd at 8:30 or after on catch-up HERE >>      


NIGEL'S WHELKS WITH GARLIC & PARSLEY BUTTER

Ingredients

  • 2kg whelks (sea snails) with shells on or 500g shelled
  • 250g garlic and parsley butter 
  • 1 lemon
  • salt
  • bread (to mop up all those lovely juices)

Method 

Take the whelks out of the shell.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then add the whelks. Keep them just barely simmering for about 10 minutes. This cooks them right through.

Take them out and drain. Slice them up so they don't look like whelks anymore, which is a good trick!

Fry the sliced whelks in a frying pan with a knob of garlic and parsley butter. As soon as the butter has melted, squeeze the juice of the lemon over and serve with bread.

 
andy-bates-crabhouse-whelks

*For more information on Nigel's cookbook visit HERE



Wild Beer Co | Cheddar and Ale Soup

Andy Bates

Craft Beer, Craft Beer, Craft Beer!!!

Beer tasting with Andrew & Brett of Wild Beer Co

Beer tasting with Andrew & Brett of Wild Beer Co

You'd think that beer has only just been invented in recent times with the explosion of craft beers over the past few years on our shores, but our beers and real ales have always been right up there as some of the best produced in the world and let's face it we pretty much invented I.P.A & pale ale so what's all the fuss about?

My first experience of 'craft beer' was over in America in 2012 while travelling the country filming my second series of Street Feasts for Food Network UK. After filming each day, the crew and I would go to a bar and try what I would describe as cold, fizzy and strong I.P.A. I was hooked straight away, refreshing and with lots of flavour and an unfamiliar taste as I was a premium lager drinker (to my shame). So I asked myself what was so different... Do the hotter summers of the States demand a cooler beverage? If so, I can see why the cold and fizzy-ness would work so well over there but here with our colder climate, is there really a need to follow in their steps when our cask ales work so well? Or is it simply just another way to enjoy beer?

Now back to Britain. It seems so, as we now have over 1,200 independent breweries in the UK producing craft beer and not just the American style but with flavours from all over the world and of course, British Ales. Cynics (and there's no shortage of them) will say its an over hyped machine with people jumping on bandwagons but for me I see nothing but success stories of people setting up small businesses, getting out there and giving it a go (exactly what this country needs) and doing something they are passionate about. Now we love an underdog over here so tell me what is there not to like about these companies?

Which leads me onto the Wild Beer CompanyI was lucky enough to be sent down by BBC Food and Drink to spend a day with them at their brewery, finding out what inspires them, how the business is going and of course try a beer or two ;)

Set up in 2012 by Andrew Cooper and Brett Ellis on a mission to "brew beers with a bit of a difference focusing on different ingredients, different yeasts and different barrel ageing techniques."

Both Andrew and Brett have worked in food and drink throughout their careers. Brett from California, a former chef and Andrew (an Englishman) in management and ownership of pubs and bars. They meet working at a brewery and discovered they shared a love for sour and interesting beers. 

Cheddar @ Westcombe Dairy

Cheddar @ Westcombe Dairy

Brett took me foraging around the Somerset countryside, showing me how they use natural yeasts including berries for their beers. This method really sets them apart from mass produced breweries. Back at base, Andrew took me through a tasting session... What really stood out to me was that these are not beers for downing by the pint but drinks to be slowly enjoyed and importantly matched with food. 

Now onto my recipe...  One thing I learned was that the Wild Beer Co are based directly opposite to Westcombe Dairy, producers of some of finest cheddar in Somerset. This was the opportunity for the crew and I to stack up on a car load of cheese and beer. Gleefully taken, it gave me the perfect excuse to make a Cheddar and Ale soup. I used cheddar from the farm shop and Wild Beer's Scarlet Fever, a red ale with toffee caramel and citrus hops. A perfect combination!

So if you have not guessed it by now... on this week's BBC Two - Food & Drink, I'm talking CRAFT BEER with the Wild Beer Co and I join Melissa Cole at Bristol Beer Week. Tune in this Friday at 8:30 or after on catch-up HERE.

Enjoy, it's a great one!

Filming @  Bristol Beer Week  w/the wonderful  Melissa Cole

Filming @ Bristol Beer Week w/the wonderful Melissa Cole


My Cheddar and Ale Soup

andy-bates-cheddar-and-ale-soup

Ingredients

(serves 4)

  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 60g plain flour
  • 300ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 150ml double cream
  • 300ml ale (I used Wild Beer 'Scarlet Fever')
  • 200g mature cheddar (grated)
  • 1tsp english mustard powder
  • good dash of Worcestershire sauce

FOR THE GARNISH:

  • 100g diced pancetta lardons
  • 1 jalapeño (thinly sliced, keep the seeds if you want it extra spicy)  

Method 

andy-bates-cheddar-and-ale-soup

In a saucepan, melt the butter and sweat the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until soft. Add the mustard powder and flour and cook out for 2-3 minutes. Slowly, add the stock and stir continuously with a whisk to avoid lumps, add the beer and bring to a boil. Add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted, then add the cream and cook gently on a low heat for 10 minutes until it has thickened. Add to a food processor or liquidiser/blender and blitz til smooth, return to a clean pan and keep warm until needed. 

In a frying pan, fry off the pancetta lardons until crispy (or to your liking).

Serve in a bowl with the pancetta and jalapeño sprinkled on top.

*For a vegetarian option, use vegetable stock and omit the pancetta on the garnish. 

(photos by Nathan Valentine)

andy-bates-bbc-two-food-and-drink

Slow Cooker Apple, Pear and Peanut Butter Crumble

Andy Bates

For my first adventure as the roving reporter for BBC's new series of Food and Drink... I was sent to meet Miss South, a slow cooker expert. Many of us have slow cookers but they do tend to spend a lot of time kept away in the cupboard. So this was the perfect opportunity to show me that there’s much more than stews and curries with a slow cooker but also ribs, bread, brownies, puddings and jams to name a few. Intrigued by a challenge and a sucker for a dessert I have come up with a sweet recipe for you to try.

This apple, pear & peanut butter crumble could not be any simpler with 10 minutes of preparation time then just leave and let your slow cooker do all the work. The crust (to my surprise) comes out great with a dense cake like texture and the fruit holds its shape does not ‘mush’ up even with 4-5 hours of cooking. As with that all crumbles, serve with cream, custard or like me both!


My Apple, Pear and Peanut Butter Crumble 

image.jpg

Ingredients

  • 2 apples (peeled & roughly chopped) 
  • 2 pears (peeled & roughly chopped)
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla paste
  • 50ml apple juice
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon

For the crumble topping:

  • 50g peanut butter
  • 75g butter
  • 150g oats
  • 150g plain flour
  • 200g caster sugar 

Method

image.jpg

Place the apples, pears and apple juice directly into the slow cooker. Add the vanilla paste, cinnamon and golden caster sugar and stir until well mixed. 

Now for the crumble topping, in a saucepan gently melt the butter and peanut butter and take off the heat. Grab a large bowl and add the oats, flour and sugar mix through then slowly add the peanut butter mixture till combined. 

Scatter the crumble topping over the fruit in the slow cooker and gently pat down. 

Cover and cook for approximately 5 hours. 

Serve warm with cream or ice cream. 

andy-bates-bbc-two-food-and-drink