First of all let’s take a moment to look at how delicious the ribs that we barbecued look. We have just bought a new toy to play with, a smoker, and this was the first thing we cooked on it.
With the weather heating up this week you will likely be lighting up the BBQ yourself. We know what it is like, you want a bit of everything at the butcher’s or supermarket which means there is usually bowls of leftover chargrilled meat in your fridge the next day.
Here is our favourite quick and easy recipe for using up the meat from your barbecue using general store cupboard items.
Get a high sided roasting tin and chop up everything you have and anything you fancy putting in it such as:
Kebabs (with veg)
Roast it for about 10 mins on 160 degrees until it is hot.
Add a tin of beans, we have used one tin of baked beans per person but you can use as much or as little as you like and whatever beans you have in the cupboard. Add some BBQ sauce and passata if you fancy it (if you have opted for the plain beans option you will need passata for the tomatoey flavour).
Roast until it is hot, hot, hot. If you have an egg, crack into the middle and cook for 6 minutes before the end.
Top with some grated cheese and serve with a sweet potato jacket.
What do you do with your BBQ leftovers? We would love to know. Follow our story and read more about us via our social media channels.
Anyone who knows, works or has bought food from us will have undoubtably heard us say “but think about the turtles!”; it has become something of a mantra of ours to make people think a little bit about waste. It is lighthearted and fun but there is real meaning behind it.
Helping try to protect the world’s oceans in the food industry is a really big challenge. Pollution, waste, over-fishing, climate change and habitat destruction are increasingly putting marine life at risk and we have to accept that as an industry we have played a part in this.
BUT…just because it has been like that in the past doesn’t mean it has to be like that in the future.
This is what we are doing;
Packaging – you will only find necessary packaging with our products.
Waste – we have little food waste; where possible we will use every part of the produce for something. We even make stock from the butcher’s unwanted chicken bones.
Growing – last year we took ownership of an allotment, with a vision that in the future we can create menus based on the produce we have growing seasonally.
Plastic – we request all our deliveries in plastic free packaging and take reusable containers to collect the meat from the butcher.
Our footprint – our deliveries are only once a week, and we prefer to deliver than collect so that less overall miles will be travelled.
Supplier footprint – we use local suppliers who we know buy their produce locally. We plan menus seasonally to ensure we are not ordering food with a large carbon footprint.
Packaging – all the packaging you get will be able to be reused.
Storage – in trying to fight the chef war on cling film habits of the past, wherever possible reusable containers will be used to store food. (Try this at home yourself, you will save a fortune on cling film).
Up-cycling – all of our linen was made from discarded denim off cuts.
Packaging – once you have reused our packaging to death, it can all be recycled.
Food waste – compostable food will be composted ready for the allotment.
With regards to recycling, food waste bins and composting, be sure to check out your council’s recycling and composting guidelines as they are all seemingly different from one to the next.
We are all not perfect, but all it takes is for everyone to do a little everyday to make a big impact.
In celebration of World Sea Turtle Day, Inspires Dining is going a little bit further to help protect the future of sea turtles and we have proudly become adopted parents of two. So be prepared for lots of upcoming turtle spam!
Inspires Dining – Sustainable Dining
Find out more about the WWF and adopting a turtle or other endangered animals below.
Wild garlic is the most seasonal of seasonal produce usually available for just a few weeks around Easter time. Buckinghamshire is famously not famous for wild garlic but after a quick search and chat with a forager in the know, an area a couple of miles from Sarah’s house in Milton Keynes was found and a perfect opportunity for a lockdown outdoor activity.
Checking the Countryfile guide first to ensure foraging was done responsibly she managed to bring back as much as would fit in the bike basket which left George the fun task of what to do with it.
As previously mentioned, wild garlic is not available all year round but there are plenty of ways to enjoy its delicate flavour and health benefits all year around.
Perfect for salad dressings or in sauces, and will last for a few weeks or can be frozen. Blanch* your wild garlic leaves, wizz in a food processor and add equal parts good quality oil, then pass through a fine sieve.
Drizzled over a white fish such as a seabass or seabream combined with roasted tomatoes and new potatoes (or even better, Jersey royals in June)
The oil can also be used to make mayonnaise: check out this Great British Chef’s recipe to see how.
Dehydrating as a preserving method is great because once the moisture is removed not only is the shelf life long but the flavour intensified, therefore not much is needed to pack a punch.
You do not need a dehydrator for this all you need is an oven on 50 degrees. In the industry this is something we might do overnight and if you have an electric oven you can do this if you feel comfortable doing so.
Once dehydrated blitz down into a fine powder in a food processor and store in an airtight container.
Uses for the powder
Seasoning meat or vegetables
Mix in with eggs
Incorporate into bread flour to make a subtle garlic bread
Blanch and freeze to use in the future. Similar to spinach wild garlic wilts down so blanch* and either freeze into ice trays or small balls.
*to blanch your leaves, place in boiling salted water for 10 seconds, remove and leave on the side a clean t-towel to dry
Pickle the buds and use in salads or in a buttery sauce for a light white fish.
Standard pickle recipe
1 part water 1 part vinegar 1 part sugar
Wild garlic pesto makes a great pesto, perfect for pasta and salads and will last about two weeks in the fridge. There are plenty of recipes to follow to make the pesto, with standard pine nuts, parmesan (or vegan alternative) and lemon juice.
For a lovely, quick weekday spring dish, add your pesto to cooked gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, artichoke and roasted chicken breast. If you have a bit more time on your hands and feeling braver, try making the gnocchi yourself, see the video by Gennaro on Jamie Oliver’s YouTube channel to see how:-
Butter will last for weeks in the fridge (you could also freeze) and is really very versatile.
Finely chop your garlic leaves and add to slightly softened butter with a touch of salt.
The “chef” way to then store it would be as a log**, this is so you can create small portions at a time easily with a sharp knife, but you could store in a tub or a jar.
This butter then can be used on steaks, in garlic bread or Chef George’s favourite…the mighty chicken Kiev,
** video on how to make a compound butter
Add the flowers to your scrambled eggs
Pimp your pizza – add leaves to a shop bought or homemade pizza before you cook or add flowers to the top after you have cooked.
Substitute any of your favourite spinach recipes with wild garlic such as; Tortilla Sweet potato fritters Saag aloo Pasta sauce Filled pasta Risotto Filo pie filling
BBQ Marinade – blend (Nutribullet or similar) chopped wild garlic, oil, lemon and green chilli to make a marinade perfect for chicken or even to be served on steak after cooked.
Foraging should be done responsibly and with permission of the land owner. Read Countryfile’s guide below to make sure you are following the rules and if in doubt always follow the Countryside Code!
Since summer 2019 Inspires Dining has been working closely with Upper Tetchwick House, a beautiful holiday rental just off the A41 near Aylesbury. The house boasts room for 12 guests, a swimming pool, a games room and most importantly for us, an open plan kitchen dining room. Situated 12 miles from our HQ in Buckingham it is perfect for us to do most of the preparation before we arrive, as we usually do, leaving guests to enjoy their day at the house or explore the local area.
The benefits of hiring our professional service is that Upper Tetchwick House guests know they can have a nice dinner of their choosing, without losing any of their holiday to tasks such as doing the shopping or taking taxis to and from the house. Check out our time lapse at the bottom of what to expect when you book us.
Working in partnership we are able to offer guests a preferential rate, bespoke service and even a weekender package, which includes lunch, dinner and breakfast. See the packages we offer here or book to stay at Upper Tetchwick House here
We have really enjoyed the dinners we have served at the house so far but when all the guests are super relaxed, in such a fantastic setting and with a great space to cook in, what is there not to love!
Upper Tetchwick is not the only holiday home we have cooked in, as we have also previously been hired for getaway in the Cotswold. If you own a holiday home and think your guests would be interested in what we do, or are looking to book a private dining company in the Buckinghamshire area, then please get in touch.
Join us for our first collaboration with the awesome people from Nelson Street.
Inspires Dining Head Chef, George and Louis owner of Nelson Street (currently Louis’ Place) will be behind the pass for four Monday nights during December giving guests a fine dining taste of Christmas in Buckingham.
Guests will enjoy five courses including one of Inspires Dining’s signature canapés, mushroom suet log with truffle mayo, Louis’ crispy duck with watermelon and chilli frosted cashews and finished with macarons from Pure Patisserie.
In addition to a carefully crafted menu, as much attention has been paid to creating a wine flight paring to compliment the dishes for £30 per head.
I am excited for Inspires Dining’s first collaboration, especially with it being with Nelson Street as I have always enjoyed Louis’ style of food when working with him previously. Being based in Buckingham I am also keen to showcase local produce and cook some really good food for people in the local community and beyond.
George, Head Chef at Inspires Dining
Bookings have already started to be taken by Nelson Street’s loyal patrons so book early to avoid disappointment.
Team ID give their best ways to get through the sunny days…
1 Advanced preparation. Mornings are cooler so use this time to cook a few elements in advance that can be chilled in fridge while you’re out enjoying the sunshine (or at work, boo). Try any of these below to make an awesome salad:
Roasted sweet potato cubes – either plain or with a little of your favourite seasoning
Boiled new potatoes – Jersey Royals are the best when available
Steamed green vegetables such as mange tout, sugar snaps and asparagus
Roasted sweet peppers (remove the skins) and tomatoes
Grilled aubergine or courgette
Any kind of grain, quinoa cooked in beetroot or carrot juice is a particular favourite.
2 Smoothies. Keep some berries and bananas in the freezer, then whizz them together with either a bit of juice or milk to make one of your 5 a day into a super cool and refreshing treat. Even better…turn them into lollipops.
3 Iced coffee. We don’t know about you but even on a hot day we still need our caffeine fix! If you have an espresso machine then great, make yourself a double; if not then make yourself a really small, really strong instant shot (if you want sugar, add when it is hot). Pour it over a glass of ice, top up with milk (oat milk is our fave) and have a quick stir. Quick, delicious and without the coffee chain price tag.
4 Eat plenty of food high in water, such and watermelon, strawberries and cucumber, as these all help to regulate your core body temperature. Avoid anything spicy or high in saturated fat such as fried food as these can contribute to raising your temperature even higher.
5 H20. Nothing fancy, nothing special, just plain old water from a tap and plenty of it. You will not want to do any of the above if you are dehydrated, feeling terribly lethargic with a headache. Just please think of our pals the turtles and carry a reusable bottle with you rather than single use, disposable plastic.
Exciting news from IDHQ this month. We are now the proud owners of an allotment. Yay!
We are not going to lie, we are very new to this. Although head chef, George, has been cooking for many years and use to spend time with his Grandmother in the garden we are far from green fingered! But…like a microcosm for the industry as a whole, we must do better and learn to be more sustainable and self sufficient. Luckily for us we have a few family members to help us along the way.
Why is it important to us?
When we look at the way food trends and lifestyles have changed post war in the UK the abundance of food we have now has made us nothing but lazy for living from the land and understanding and respecting food. We are very lucky that most of us have not had to suffer the hardship of rationing, we have supermarkets full of food to shop weekly and we do not have to preserve the seasonal food because if we want strawberries in December then they can be flow in from Morocco. Basically, we got rich and we got lazy.
We need to recapture the understanding of growing produce for the table that our grandparents had.
George, Head Chef
One of the joys about travelling is to taste the food and drink of the local land, in doing this you get an understanding of what that village or town represents, how they cook and eat is in the DNA of the people. What it can grow, what it can’t grow. You could maybe still say this about some towns in the UK, but rural Buckinghamshire, what does it taste of? That is what we are trying to find out, using local produce and growing our own.
So, we are starting small, got some beans, carrots and beetroot to set us off but we are looking forward to what we will learn to grow and serve up on a menu in the future.
We would love to hear any tips you have in the comments below.
With years of restaurant experience, cooking and serving for everyone up to Royalty, our team know how to provide a professional service. In this blog, we’ll take a look at five things that you can rely on when you book an Inspires Dining event as well as discovering a little bit more about us and what we believe in.
Restaurant experience at home
Just like when you go out for a meal we do all the shopping, set up, cooking, serving and cleaning for you – the only difference is that you can wear slippers to the dinner table, if you so choose.
So why at home? Why not just go out for dinner? As restaurant professionals we’re passionate about restaurants and the experience they provide; they are usually lively with a unique buzz and atmosphere as well as their choice of food. However, they can also be, noisy, un-intimate and with lots of hidden costs (service, wine, baby sitter, taxi). When you book an Inspires Dining dinner, you’re guaranteed to be the centre of attention all evening; you just pay a set cost and you can give the baby sitter a night off.
Create your own menu with Chef
When booking with us you can choose from one of our pre-set menus and special offers or to make the occasion more unique to you, Chef will consult with you to create a menu with all your favourite elements. For example, allow us to help recreate a memory from a holiday or an anniversary for your dinner party.
If you have a dietary request then you will be all too familiar with “the allergy folder”, which is a pet peeve of ours. We believe that good food should be accessible to all and with our years of experience there are few allergies we’re yet to cater for, so we will create a menu that means no-one will be missing out.
Professional table service and set up
All packages come with a professional service team as standard. When we arrive we will set up the table for you and bring all the crockery and cutlery we need to serve. Alcohol is not included in the packages but the team will serve your arrival drinks and wine throughout the meal.
Table-side chef interaction
Inspires Dining is born from a passion for creating great food using seasonal produce and most importantly having a bit of fun, so no-one could better to explain the dishes to you than Chef. Food service is an art, with a story behind each dish including the elements and the flavours so our chef will explain this to you. The kitchen is always open, so if you enjoy watching people cook, come in and ask Chef your culinary questions.
We pride ourselves on having high, professional, restaurant industry standards and we want to reassure every customer of this. When you book a dinner with us you can feel safe in the knowledge that we are fully insured and DBS checked. It is important to us that from the very start of our journey our HQ was registered with environmental health and received five stars on its first inspection.