Coleshill Catering

Coleshill Catering have over 100 years combined experience in the hospitality industry

Tel: 01793 762366

Email: info@coleshillcatering.co.uk

BBQ

Asparagus Season

As you may or may not know the asparagus season is coming up soon; it officially runs from the 23rd April – 21st June 2015. This means a lot of exciting and fun recipes than can be used for meals at any time of the day and for anyone to enjoy.

Why asparagus?
Cooking with asparagus is very good to do because it is an extremely healthy vegetable. For instance if eaten regularly it is thought to be a great help against diseases such as cancer and heart disease and it will also boost your immune system too.

Asparagus is also very low in calories so if it is used as part of a balanced diet it can help with weight loss. Another benefit is that it will detoxify your body because it helps to get rid of any excess water and will smooth your stomach which will help to improve digestion and on top of all that it tastes incredibly good!

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There are many ways of cooking with asparagus including; cooking it “naked” (that’s the asparagus not you!) boiling & steaming, roasting, chargrilling & barbering, stir frying & sautéing. Asparagus is a very versatile ingredient and we are very excited to be including some of them in our menus.

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Coleshill Catering Limited is an outside catering company, based in Highworth, near Swindon

Established in 1998 our experienced team offer superior catering for private and corporate functions of all sizes. If you would like to know more please contact us on 01793 762366. We would be delighted to hear from you.

Paella – The Most Versatile of Dinner Party Dishes

paella

Paella is a staple of restaurant menus all around the world, probably because it is one the easiest and most versatile dishes they can offer. Almost every dinner guest will have enjoyed one at some time or another and probably everyone will have had something different.   It is thought to have originated from Valencia on the eastern coast of Spain in the late 18th Century and takes its name from the Spanish word for pans especially the shallow one used for cooking this most versatile of dishes.   Traditionally it was made with white rice, meat (chicken, rabbit and optionally snails!) some beans and vegetables, tomatoes, rosemary, saffron and paprika. This is still how the Valencians believe a proper paella should be made. However those living on the coast substituted fish for the meat and beans, and the seafood paella was born.

Today the dish has become popular throughout the rest of Spain, indeed the rest of the world. It can now feature various meats and vegetables either with or without the seafood, in fact whatever can be sourced locally.   The basic ingredient is rice and there is much discussion of what is the best variety to use. Good supermarkets and delicatessens will stock both ‘paella’ and ‘risotto’ rice.  The main difference is that risotto varieties such as arborio and carnaroli are intended to create a creamy sauce around the rice by releasing the starch, whereas paella rice such as Bahia, Balilla, Bomba, Senia, and Calasparra retains more of the starch and remains Al Dente.

Can I have the recipe?

Ah, well….actually there is no real recipe as every chef will have developed their own technique of making it the way they prefer. There are also no set quantities of ingredients, it just depends on how may people you have to feed.   It therefore makes a great dinner party dish. You can cater for meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians with just two or three pans and some crusty bread. Think of the saving on washing up.   However if you would like a party based around a paella and are a little worried about making it, why not get us to do it for you. We have years of experience in producing all sorts of paella and can deliver it to your home or event. We can tailor it to the tastes of your guests and all you have to do is look pleased with yourself and let everyone tuck in.

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If you have any recipes or paella ideas, we would love to hear about them.

 

Christmas Canapes

If you are hosting a canapé party over the Christmas period here are 10 top tips to make sure it’s a success.  

  1. Plan It!

Put some effort into planning your menu. A bit of thought up front will save you time and stress down the line. Plan a good mixture of canapés. For a party of ten or more, serve a variety of at least six to eight different types of canapé. Go for an even split of meat, fish and vegetarian. Also plan for a 50/50 split between cold and hot, as this will mean less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the party. See what we mean about planning! Cans

  1. The Power of Presentation

How are you planning to serve your canapés? Consider using wooden boards or slate pieces or look out for stylish serving platters in charity shops. Using larger plates or boards means you’ll be able to fit more on so you won’t have to keep dashing back to the kitchen to refill them. Also consider using decorative skewers. These can transform your nibbles into sophisticated hors d’oeuvres. If you can’t find any stylish skewers try using rosemary sprigs stripped of their leaves, but don’t forget to put out bowls for the used skewers and plenty of napkins too.

  1. Get Saucy

This is another presentation tip really. If you are serving your canapés are served with a thick sauce or dip, you can place a decent dollop of the sauce directly onto the board and set the canapés on top. This helps hold the canapés nicely in place as you move through the throngs and also makes the platter look very appetising.  

  1. Cases and Bases

You don’t have to do everything yourself. Instead of cooking your own pastry case you could use pre prepared shop bought bases. We won’t tell if you don’t!

Cans 2 image by gopix.com

  1. Think Drink

Do make sure you consider what drinks you are going to serve your guests. If you know your guests well you’ll have a pretty good idea of their tastes and preferences, but it won’t hurt to surprise them with a couple of cocktails or a specially made punch and of course running out of drink is the ultimate party disaster.

  1. Glasses Galore

Do make sure that you have enough glasses. You should plan to have one wine glass, one cocktail glass and one tumbler per person. A few cocktails will always go down well.

  1. Sweet Treats

Canapés don’t have to be exclusively savoury. Why not finish off the evening with a selection of sweet canapés. You can assemble these before the party.

Cans 3 Image by greenunion.co.uk

  1. Hired Help

For larger gatherings, typically 20 or more, consider hiring in some help. If you don’t want to hire agency waiters and waitresses you could ask your children and their friends to help out for some extra pocket money? It will allow you to socialise and enjoy the party.

  1. Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches

The finishing touches can really make your party a memorable success. Consider the music that you will be playing. Decorate the tables with fresh flowers and bowls of nibbles such as nuts and crisps. Also give thought to the lighting – not too light or too dark. Candles and fairy lights always help with the atmosphere.

  1. That’s a Wrap

We all love receiving gifts, so finish the evening off perfectly and send your guests on their way with an unexpected gift. You can give them something homemade such as these delicious Christmassy biscuits  nicely tied up with a pretty ribbon or if your budget allows try giving a more unusual and exotic foodie gift, like a small bottle of Truffle Oil for example (less than £6).   Alternatively of course if all of this just seems like too much work and hassle you could always just hire Coleshill Catering to do it all for you. Happy Christmas!

Christmas Catering Advice

This blog post was inspired by a document issued by West Wiltshire District Council Environmental Health Officers which warned householders to take proper care when cooking their Christmas dinner, or they could end up giving family or friend’s food poisoning. “Failing to do things thoroughly and take all the necessary precautions could be the difference between a good Christmas and a trip to your GP,” said David Bardwell, Principal Environmental Health Officer, West Wiltshire District Council. As you would expect we take food hygiene extremely seriously at Coleshill Catering , so I thought it would be useful just to recap the correct way of prepping and cooking turkeys, chickens and other types of fowl as so many of us will be doing in a couple of weeks’ time.

Turkey

If your turkey is a frozen one the safest way to defrost it is in the fridge or failing that in a cool area. Clearly it’s going to take longer in a fridge but harmful bacteria can breed at normal room temperature.

If your turkey is a frozen one the safest way to defrost it is in the fridge or failing that in a cool area. Clearly it’s going to take longer in a fridge but harmful bacteria can breed at normal room temperature.

 

 

 

Weight Thawing in fridge:  Thawing in cool area:
2lbs/900g 24 hours3lbs/1.35kg 30 hours 4lbs/1.8kg 36 hours 7lbs/3.2kg 48 hours 13lbs/6kg 60 hours 18lbs/8kg three days 20lbs+/9kg+ four days 4lbs/1.8kg 15 hours7lbs/3.2kg 18 hours 13lbs/6kg 24 hours 18lbs/8kg 27 hours 20lbs+/9kg+ 36 hours

When did you last check your fridge temperature? It should be operating at between 0 0 C and 5 0 C Use a fridge thermometer to check. Ensure the bird is thawed in a tray to catch any drips and that it is placed on the lowest shelf to avoid any possible contamination of any high risk food. Always read and follow the instructions on the wrapping, but here is a more general guide to thawing times:

Some other key points to observe: Remove giblets from inside the bird as soon as you are able to do so. Check that it has thawed properly by making sure no ice crystals are inside. Cook stuffing separately or stuff neck end only. Do not fill the body cavity. Do not stuff large birds at all. Clean, sterilise or disinfect work surfaces immediately and wash hands. Never prepare cooked meat on an uncleaned surface previously used for raw meat. Store raw and cooked foods separately in the fridge with cooked always above raw. Once cooled, cooked birds should be stored in the fridge. If you are reheating, do make sure the meat is hot all way through. Do not reheat meat more than once.

Catering from home for large functions If you are planning a large party or supplying food for a community event, extra care needs to be taken in the preparation and storage of food. If not, the risk of food poisoning is increased. Here are some guides to help you with safe preparation:

  • ™ Don’t make food too far in advance.
  • ™ Make sure there is enough space in the fridge or freezer.
  • ™ Enlist help of neighbours or friends to increase capacity.
  • ™ Don’t leave food standing for several hours in a warm room.
  • ™ Take special care with vulnerable groups such as young children and the elderly.
  • ™ Proper temperature control is essential.
  • ™ Make sure perishable food such as cold meats, quiches and desserts are kept chilled.
  •  Always store cooked food above raw food as the raw food may drip.
  • ™ Make sure food is cooked thoroughly. Large joints and whole birds need special care.
  •  If reheating, only do this once and make sure it is hot all the way through.
  • ™ Keep hot food hot, and cold food cold.
  •  Always wash your hands before touching foods and after handling raw foods.

At Christmas we often do a lot more food preparation and cooking than normal, often while juggling a lot of other tasks and time commitments, or even dare I say it under the influence of a drink or two! So it is really important that you do things right and not take short cuts in your food preparation and storage. The consequences of food poising can be very serious indeed. So get it right and you and your guests will, I’m sure, have a very happy Christmas time.

Coleshill Caterers join the prestigious Whitewed Directory

We are pleased to announce that we have joined the Whitewed Directory What’s the big deal you might ask? Joining a directory isn’t anything special. Well normally we’d agree with you, but this isn’t any old directory.  Whitewed as they say is “THE definitive directory of approved wedding suppliers in the Wiltshire area” and as such they don’t allow anyone and everyone to join. In fact they have a pretty strict entry policy. As their website says …“We believe in setting the standard high and listing only the most professional of wedding suppliers.” Consequently before we were allowed to gain access Coleshill Catering had to be vetted, approved and accredited. In addition we are required to abide by the wedding directory code of practice which means we have to;

  • Respond to enquiries within 48 hours
  • Conduct business in a professional and positive manner, at all times
  • Use legally sound contracts and terms and conditions of service
  • Offer a free of charge, no obligation initial consultation in person, telephone or by video call
  • Respect client confidentiality
  • Work in the best interest of our clients at all times

Whit dictoryFortunately, as anyone who has used our services will understand, we have no problems in meeting any of these standards.   We are impressed by the Whitewed directory which was started by professional Wedding Planner and Wedding Event Organiser, Natalie Lovett of Love to Plan Ltd. As Natalie herself says “As a Wedding Planner, I am very experienced in assessing wedding suppliers; understanding their service, considering their value for money and generally vetting them before presenting them to clients. I strongly believe in only presenting suppliers who are honest, promote good value for money and provide excellent service – with this in mind, the Whitewed Directory was born.”   We have been fortunate to have worked with Natalie on many occasions – she regularly recommends our services and we have got to know her well.   After all as Natalie says …”Weddings are an expensive and emotional affair, and it’s very important that you book professional businesses.”   We are delighted that Natalie wanted us to join her directory and we wish her well with this extension to her wedding planning business.

Stop Us and Hire One!

Tricycle2.jpg I know we are well into autumn now and winter is just around the corner but I thought that we should introduce you to a very popular addition to the Cotswold Catering service offering – our Ice Cream Bike!   Bought at the start of the summer, our Ice Cream Bike has proved really popular, especially at weddings.

Most people tend to have the ice-cream bike at the reception though one wedding party even had it parked just outside the church. That was really popular with the guests! From the bike we provide delicious, traditionally made ice creams from Dolcetti’s of Cirencester.

Dolcetti make artisan Italian gelato, sorbets using traditional methods and unique ice cream cakes. Dolcetti’s use locally-sourced ingredients where possible without compromising on quality and taste. One of the things we do, which proves popular, is to allow people to personalise their ice-creams with a wide choice of different toppings. We always get people coming back to try different ice creams with different toppings.

Here is one of the many positive comments about the bike which we have received from our clients;

 

 

“Heather – just wanted to say that the ice-cream bike was a great addition to the wedding catering. The guests loved it, both before the reception meal and afterwards when they wanted to cool down from all the dancing!”

So if you are planning a wedding – or any event in fact – inside or out, why not consider the ice-cream bike? It doesn’t have to be summer to enjoy a delicious ice-cream you know!     Tricycle1

A delicious feast

Dear Ian and Heather

Thank you so much for cooking the most delicious feast for Duncan’s birthday.  There were lots of compliments and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that your Beef Bourguignon is the best I have ever tasted.  We had a wonderful evening thanks to you !!!

Lesley/ Woodmancote, Gloucestershire

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