Weekend Wanderings: Cardiff Street Food Circus

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 Last weekend the OH and I went to Wales for the day. We went to the Gower Peninsula and had a picnic on Rhossili beach, and went for a walk down to the Worm’s Head – it was lovely but so windy!

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On our way back we went via Cardiff so we could check out Cardiff Street Food Circus, which I’d read about on another blog recently (Emily’s Kitchen).

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 Set in a disused yard by the railway line, the street food circus has lots of food stalls (and trucks, and a bicycle!) around the perimeter, and a big top tent in the centre, with seating and bars, and live music or DJ.

It’s open 5pm-11pm Friday and Saturday evenings, and 2pm-10pm Sundays, and is free to get in.

Annoyingly, we turned up on the only weekend you had to pay to get in, because the street food awards were on! It was £5 to get in but you got a free pint of beer/cider/soft drink with that.

Because it was the street food awards, some of the traders were different to advertised on the website which was a bit of a shame, but we still ate well.

On to the food…

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First off we had a look at DFC (dirty fried chicken – take a look at the logo!), and ordered not chicken, but halloumi – fried with pickles and a choice of sauces to nibble on whilst we perused the other stalls (£3). The chicken did look pretty tasty, and dirty, but we decided we wanted to try some of the more unusual offerings so moved on.

Find them on twitter @eatdirtybird

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We made a pact not to order the same food, but to share everything, and the OH picked Patagonia as his preferred choice (who turned out to be the winners of the Street Food awards heats earlier in the day – lucky guess!). The Patagonia Cheese Steak 48 hour brisket with onions, mushrooms, mozzarella & stilton sounded immense so that was a done deal (£8). Unfortunately they’d run out of stilton, so we had extra mozzarella instead, and they cut it into two so we could share! This did not disappoint – the meat was obviously really tender and all the toppings went really well with it. The stall owners were really friendly too 🙂

Find them on twitter @PatagoniaStFood

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My choice was from Bombay Frankie Rolls (by Purple Poppadom) and was a flatbread coated with a thin layer of omelette, with a choice of fillings and pickles, chutney and red onion. I went for the tandoori chicken tikka filling and it was pretty spicy! Really delicious though and quite filling. I also liked the fact that they asked for my name and spelt it right without having to ask – then I remembered I was in Wales with a welsh name so it wasn’t that weird…

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All that spicy loveliness meant it was time for more drinks, and Chai Guy came up with the goods to go with my indian food – a mango lassi smoothie (£2). Perfect. The OH went for a Karma Cola from the bar which is fair-trade and has an excellently designed bottle!

Find Chai Guy on twitter @bristolchai_guy

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One of the main trucks we’d wanted to visit when i originally looked at the line-up was the Brûlée Bar by Wild Fig farm – loads of different variations on cremè brûlée, torched to order. Good times. When we first turned up and saw the van was there we rejoiced. We also noticed it had a huge queue… later on we went back and saw that all the brulee’s had run out… sad times. There weren’t any other dessert vans or stalls on offer (gap in the market?), so we queued up anyway and had some of their ice cream – salted caramel with salted candied peanut topping. Double salt, double caramel, pretty awesome. It might be worth queueing for dessert first if you go, or bringing along your own creme brûlées, as they don’t seem to have enough to cater to all the potential customers…

Find Wild Fig on twitter @wildfigfarm

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Before we went I had one of the special cocktails in the big top bar, which was like a second dessert anyway – a Candy Floss Vodka Soda (£6). Pretty much as it sounds, candy floss is soaked in vodka so it disintegrates, and then is topped up with soda. it was very sweet and very sweet to look at!

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The street food circus was great fun and reminded me that not all cool stuff happens in London! I can see Bristol doing something similar if it hasn’t already (maybe as part of Eat Drink Bristol Fashion next year?)

Is anyone doing anything fun or food-related this weekend?

 Cardiff Street Food Circus
The Old Stable Yard
John Street
Cardiff
@streetfoodCDF
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Three New Ways With Rhubarb (and a birthday!)

Well would you believe it – my blog is a year old today! Happy Birthday to me 🙂 🎉🎈🎁🎂

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A year ago I started this blog with a recipe for rhubarb syrup (found here), and today I am continuing the rhubarb theme with some more ideas of what to do with the beautiful pink stalks of loveliness…

I think it’s quite easy to get into a rhubarb rut, most people make a crumble with it or stew it (both of which are delicious), but I was interested to see what else could be done with it. I found a guardian online article entitled ‘The 10 best rhubarb recipes’ and took inspiration from that, and also from food blog Vanilla Garlic.

So behold recipes for Pickled rhubarb, Rhubarb & custard cake, and Fennel basted pork chops with rhubarb!

Pickled Rhubarb

recipe found & tweaked from Vanilla Garlic

Pickled rhubarb is really quick to make (apart from having to wait 2 days to eat it!) and is delicious with cheese and charcuterie – particularly goats cheese camembert which is an excellent invention that you can find in Sainsbury’s. Pickled rhubarb would also make a great foodie present for someone!

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ingredients

3 stalks rhubarb

Spices: 2 star anise, 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes, 1/2 a cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 5 cloves, 5 peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon salt

325ml white vinegar

155g caster sugar

1 large preserving jar (at least 750ml) – sterilised

Trim the rhubarb and chop into approx 2inch chunks. Put into the preserving jar with the spices.

Put the sugar, salt and vinegar into a small saucepan and boil until the sugar has completely dissolved. Pour the mixture over the rhubarb and stir.

Put the lid on and leave in the fridge for 48hours before using. Use within a month.

Fennel basted pork chops with rhubarb

recipe found on guardian website here

Pork goes well with apple, apricot, raisins – loads of different fruits – so why not rhubarb? The fennel adds an extra dimension of flavour, and we served this with celeriac mash and green beans. This would make a nice addition to a spring dinner party!

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Ingredients

serves 2

2 pork chops

1tsp fennel seeds

1tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1/2 tsp sea salt

50g butter

finely grated zest & juice of 1 orange

4tbsp sweet sherry (or other dessert wine)

225g rhubarb

1 tbsp honey

1 celeriac, peeled and chopped (optional)

Using scissors, snip the rind of each chop at approx. 1 inch intervals. Put the fennel, coriander, pepper and salt in a pestle & mortar, and crush (but not to a powder). Rub this into each chop.

If serving with celeriac: Put the celeriac into a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook for around 20 minutes until soft, then mash with butter & milk. Keep warm.

Melt a third of the butter in a frying pan with some oil and hold the pork rind-side down in the pan for 2-3 minutes, until browned. Fry the pork chops for 2 minutes on each side, then add the rest of the butter and the orange zest to the pan. Baste the chops and turn them over once.

Pour in the sweet sherry and let it bubble for a few seconds, then add the orange juice and bring back to a simmer.

Add the rhubarb to the pan, fitting it in around the pork chops, and drizzle over the honey. Cook for around 4 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft but not collapsed, and the chops are cooked.

Using a slotted spoon, take the pork and rhubarb out of the pan and keep warm. Stir the sauce and let it simmer until it has thickened, but before it turns into syrup.

Serve with the celeriac and steamed green beans.

Rhubarb & custard cake

Rhubarb & custard is a classic combination, put it in a cake and you have a surefire hit! This recipe is a cross between one from the guardian rhubarb article, and one from food blog eat, little bird.  The layer of custard sank to the bottom (I don’t think I thickened it enough), and took the rhubarb with it, but it still tasted delicious and I will be making it again…

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Ingredients

Serves 6-8

175g butter

250g caster sugar

4 eggs

175g plain flour, sifted

25g custard powder

2½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

1½ tsp baking powder

100-150 ml ready-made custard, heated and thickened with cornflour, then cooled

2-3 tsp ground cardamom, or the seeds from 2 cardamom pods, crushed

4-5 sticks (400g) rhubarb, cut into 12cm lengths

Preheat the oven to 180C.

In a saucepan, heat 25g of butter with the cardamom, 1tsp of the vanilla extract and 50g of the sugar. When it starts bubbling, add the rhubarb and simmer for a couple of minutes until cooked but still holding its shape. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then add all the other dry ingredients and the vanilla extract and fold together to make a batter.

Line a 23cm baking tin with greaseproof paper and pour the batter in. It is quite a thick batter so may need some help from a spatula to make it even.

Spoon the custard in a layer over the batter and add the rhubarb on top, keeping some of the syrup from the pan for drizzling.

Bake in the oven for approx 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Once cooled, drizzle with the remaining rhubarb syrup and enjoy!

Thanks for reading my blog over the past year – here’s to the next one!