A while ago I was contacted by the lovely people at Rachel’s Organic. They are running a “Moments” campaign – they want to know how people spend their precious moments to relax, unwind and indulge. Lucy Hyder is the head chef for Hand Picked Hotels, and has developed some recipes using Rachel’s Organic Yoghurts.
A Brief Background On Lucy Hyder (sent to me by Rachel’s)
The only female head-chef of Hand-Picked Hotels, Lucy began her cookery career working an apprenticeship at The Mirabelle restaurant before being promoted to the position of Head Chef at The Hotel on The Park Cheltenham. At just 23 years old, Lucy’s culinary expertise successfully awarded The Hotel on The Park with their third Rosette. Her creative flair and passion for cooking saw Lucy win The British (food) Championships, representing Great Britain at the Food Championships in South Korea and even win the regional’s of Gordon Ramsey’s Scholarship competition 2003. In her current position as head-chef at Buxted Park, East Sussex, she offers her diners good quality British food, sourcing local produce with simple, but hard hitting flavours with contrasting textures and high visual appeal.
They sent me a lot of yoghurts and some recipes to try out.
A lot of yoghurt! The apple and elderflower yoghurt is so refreshing, and the greek style with honey was so luxurious. I also had some of the coconut, banana and pineapple with was lovely (although I would swap out the banana for something like lime as I am not always a fan of banana flavoured things). I am really looking forward to opening the coconut yoghurt!
Lovely with a chopped pear as a post run snack 🙂
Anyway I was asked to try out a Moroccan Lamb Tagine (I did check before I agreed that they would not mind me subbing the lamb for lentils!).
I served mine with some roasted orange veg (sweet potato, carrot and butternut)- it was very spicy but also very filling. The yoghurt was a nice touch to cool it down a bit- I never usually add yoghurt to savoury things but I am thinking it would go well with my chickpea stew too.
I am not sure I liked the apricots in it- I think the prunes added a nice sweetness but I think maybe the apricots were a bit too sweet? I am not usually into the sweet and sour combo, and I think it reminded me a little of that. A lovely winter warmer anyway.
Lucy also complied her top culinary tips:
Ø Top tip for an autumn day – warm raspberries thrown in to a pan with a little bit of sugar served with granola and yoghurt – perfect start to the day!
Ø On fireworks night or Halloween – enjoy pumpkin soup while outside enjoying the fun. Top tip – dry out the seeds from the pumpkin and create toasted seeds to add texture. Great with a lightly spiced yoghurt too!
Ø Selecting a healthy option when dining out – In order to select a healthy option, always discuss recommendations with your waiter – ask for sauces and dressings to be served on the side to give you the option to eat or not.
Ø Food presentation – use a piping bag for items such as mashed potato and purees. Think about colour and food height on the plate too.
Ø Finishing touches – use fresh herbs to garnish plates for extra appeal.
Ø Extra flavour – season water for blanching vegetables to enhance the flavour and also retain their colour
Ø Drink water – while dining to clear your palette to enjoy the food to the maximum
Ø Super food booster – Lucy makes her own muesli that contains a variety of nuts and dried fruit. Add granola for more of a treat.
Ø Super dooper curry booster – Daal curry is a superfood option cooked with lentils and works well as a vegetarian or meat option. Serve with yoghurt, with added cucumber and onion for a great finish!
Ø When holding a dinner party – always serve a cold (prepared) starter, a hot main and pre-prepared dessert to allow maximum time with guests and minimal kitchen time.
Ø During the summer months – use the fresh seasonal items and make soup, chutneys and jams and freeze for consumption during the winter months.
I am also going to make a cake with the yoghurt- sounds yummy right?
What is your favourite way to use yoghurt?
And what do you do to relax/ unwind and have time to yourself? I find baking so relaxing and rewarding, and also getting some fresh air (either a run or a walk) can help blow those cobwebs away. But for a special treat I love to sit down in the afternoon with a good book and a cup of tea- normally I read before bed so reading in the afternoon somehow seems like such chilling out time.