MENU
Sonya Meagor
07773 298 269
Sonya Meagor
07773 298 269

Eco Cuisine Blog

Organic Wines and Pairing Them!

You may have seen in the news recently that the number of wine producers in Britain has gone up over 13% in the past year to meet demand for boutique drinks… This got me thinking about the trends we have seen in our business and the drinks we offer.

 

We have a wide variety of craft beers and organic, biodynamic wines on offer and the locally produced organic wine we offer is extremely popular!

 

organic wine

 

Why drink organic or biodynamic wine? Well, you are ingesting less manmade toxins, especially pesticide residues, and less sulphur dioxide – you will also be supporting cleaner soils and water. Biodynamic wines are grown using a holistic system of agriculture and is showing great results. It revolves around improving the soil and plants and is governed primarily by the movement of the moon and outer planets. Not only is the wine eco friendly, but also the taste is amazing – try it and see for yourself!

 

Choosing the right drink for your event can be tricky but we can help you pair it with your menu, so the tastes are complementary. Below I’ve outlined a few examples to give you some inspiration…

 

A private client – a couple celebrating their 50th year in business and their 50th wedding anniversary.

 

They had already chosen some wine for the meal but wanted me to pair the cheeses – they had a large selection of blue cheese. The rule of thumb is that hard blue cheese is best with port and soft ones are happy with sweet white wines such as Coteaux du Layon, Sauternes, Alsace. Goats cheese was paired with a Sancerre and the English hard cheese (mature cheddar) we chose Chateauneuf du Pape.

 

organic wine and cheese

 

At this time of year, we’re starting to think about Christmas lunch or New Year’s Eve dining, so let’s look at game, poultry, beef and seafood pairing…

 

Beef is great and easy to pair, as just about any medium to full-bodied red will go nicely………a good Cabernet Sauvignon or Claret are good examples.

 

Game that is hung for less time could have a Beaujolais where as a well hung pheasant can take a Hermitage or red Rioja – if you prefer white, I’d go for either a Rhone or a Rioja.

 

Turkey is easy, as it can pair with so many wines from sparkling to medium / full-bodied dry whites to light reds – Beaujolais is my choice.

 

Seafood – shellfish go well with a good Muscadet (make sure you buy one with “de Sevre et Maine sur lie” after Muscadet) or a Bourgogne. If you’re feeling flush then go for Champagne or a good quality Chablis with lobster, oysters or scallops. White fish need a light accompaniment – so Champagne, Cremant, Muscadet, Savennieres (my favourite is St Veran).

 

champagne

 

I hope the above has inspired you try some new wines this year. And organic wines are not always as expensive as you may think.

 

Where we are based in North London we even have one pub and one restaurant locally that have organic reds as their house wine – they are really good!!

 

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss food and drink for an event, please get in touch.

 

Thanks,

Sonya



Cook Pumpkin this October for Halloween

It is that time of year – school half term holiday is upon us and Halloween is imminent… You are probably aware, Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve is on 31 October – with all the seasonal promotions in the supermarkets and shops it is hard to miss it!

 

halloween-pumpkin-carving-face

 

But you may not know that most people believe Halloween stems from the ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly Samhain. This was the time of year that at the end of harvest and at the arrival of the “darker” seasons, people believed the boundary between our world and the world of the dead dropped and the dead would walk freely amongst us! Others claim the roots of Halloween are purely from Western Christians and it is a time dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows) and martyrs.

 

Whatever the history, you can expect a variety of celebrations and activities for Halloween and you will probably see people out and about trick or treating. Whether you’re dressing up for a party yourself, planning to carve a pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern, or if don’t mark the occasion at all – this is the perfect time of year for cooking pumpkin. They are British and seasonal, so widely available and that means cheap too!

 

Like the idea but not sure what to make? Well read on for my recipe for you to try it yourself at home.

 

British pumpkins

 

I use leftover pumpkin from neighbours who have had them for carving but would otherwise throw them away. Don’t throw them away – make soup and freeze it into batches!

 

Pumpkin and ginger soup

 

Serves 6-8

 

I medium pumpkin cut into quarters with membrane/seeds removed – place in oven mark 5, 200c, 400f for approx 45 minutes until cooked and soft.

 

As an aside – don’t throw the seeds away either – you can spread them on an oiled baking sheet and roast for around 30 minutes to dry them out, then add some seasoning and oil and cook for a further 20 minutes. Great for a healthy snack or to top salads or even to garnish the soup!

 

While the pumpkin is roasting, put one large onion, one carrot, a celery stick, two cloves of garlic, one tablespoon of minced ginger and olive oil and sauté gently until the veggies are softened. Then add one litre vegetable stock and simmer.

 

Once the pumpkin is cooked and cooled, chop the cooled pumpkin into cubes and add to the pot – then leave to simmer for about an hour.

 

Next whizz with a hand blender or equivalent……………if you want to add coconut milk to give a milky texture you can. I am personally happy without it but you might like the sweetness. You could also add some fresh chillies for zing!! This soup is so warming at this time of year and such a lovely colour too.

 

Pumpkin soup

 

If you make it at home share your pictures with us over on our Facebook or LinkedIn page… If you also carve a pumpkin we would love to see that too.

 

Have a great 31 October whatever you get up to.

Sonya

 

 



Want to Know More About eco cuisine?

 

about eco cuisine chocolate brownie

 

You may already know that eco cuisine was founded and is headed up by me, Sonya Meagor, a Cornish maid residing in North London. You all know that ethical eating is central to eco cuisine’s ethos and we strive to ensure that sustainability runs through everything we do. But, you may not know how the business got started, or indeed, much about me personally. The team suggested I shed some light on it in the blog, so that’s what is in store in today’s blog post!

 

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved food – I mean good proper food…cooked from scratch like my mum used to do for us. Back then there wasn’t so much produce to choose from but our basic suppers always included fresh vegetables and there was always fresh fruit in the bowl for snacking. All my grandparents grew their own vegetables in the back garden – just a simple plot with some staples like potatoes, carrots, peas, beans, onions and salad leaves, not forgetting tomatoes in the summer.

 

You may think that with an interest in food from such a young age that it would be natural for me to pursue a career in it from the off. But of course, life doesn’t always work like that and in-fact my background is book-keeping/payroll/pensions! Can you believe I hold a Payroll Management diploma?

 

As a young person moving to London I had wanted to start a sandwich bar but with no funds to start one (a lot of money back then in central London) I gave up on my food dream…but it was ignited again and I just had to work out a way to get there finally.

 

My final finance role was with CLB (CooperLancasterBrewers) a large accountancy practice on the Aldwych. One day I handed in my notice, I had just had enough of not pursuing my dreams and working for an employer. By this time had catered a couple of parties, a christening for friends for 60+ guests and had gained lovely feedback.

 

Initially I worked part time for local Accountants practices while trying to make connections for my catering business. It took longer than I expected it to but almost ten years later I have my own kitchen at the Millfield theatre. The business now has some regular corporate clients, but we are still looking to grow and bring sustainable eating to more people – so we are always looking for more clients of course!

 

Sonya with vegetables

 

I have based the business around how I personally live my life around food with plenty of vegetarian options – good quality meat from a local butcher – sustainable seafood, MSC prawns and shellfish and fish – seasonality at the core of everything – adapting menus from around the world using British produce.

 

The sustainability side comes from my caring for animal welfare and the environment .I actively support the RSPCA, Compassion in World farming and Friends of the Earth. We recycle whatever we can – including taking away bottles etc. from venues who do not have a recycling option – delivering in a fully electric, zero emission van – using biodegradable trays/lids/plates/cutlery or reusing china/metal ones – running the business in an ethical manner including paying above the London living wage, respecting suppliers payment terms, communicating to clients/prospective clients with clarity and transparency.

 

World Environment Day Planet

 

Ethical living is so important to me and I know it is really important to others too, so I am delighted that eco cuisine can serve the needs of those who want fantastic catering that is kind to the environment too.

 

eco cuisine – sustainable catering that doesn’t cost the earth!

 

If you are interested in finding out more about us, get in touch today on 07773 298 269




British Food and Your Event

You may already be aware that it is British Food Fortnight at the moment. Held in the autumn at the same time as harvest festival, British Food Fortnight is the biggest annual, national celebration of British food and drink.

 

Love British Food and British Food Fortnight are the brainchildren of Alexia Robinson. Alexia founded British Food Fortnight in 2002 in response to the Foot and Mouth crisis and the fact that, though there were numerous food initiatives, projects and events taking place across Britain at that time, there was no overall flagship event to bring them to the public’s attention.”

 

 

At this time of harvest we thought what better timing than to write a blog post for you all about British food and incorporating it into your daily menus or for catering a special event.

 

At eco cuisine we always encourage you to look for seasonal British food whatever the time of the year. You can see our seasonal shopping list here.

 

It is officially autumn and at the moment you should be able to find squashes of all shapes and sizes. We use them to make roasted squash with caramelised pear and blue cheese. It is a firm favourite and this could be incorporated into an Autumn salad or made small and served as a finger food on sticks.

 

seasonal butternut squash

 

Fresh peas are good now too and these can be used as a side dish or combined with plenty of fresh mint to make a pea/mint puree and served on crostini (toasted and oiled slices of French stick) as a finger food. Both the squash finger good and the crostini are perfect for an evening soiree.

 

Beetroot is abundant and we combine with salmon – this is a great combo accompanied with horseradish cream served in mini cups as a canapé or as a cold starter.

 

 

Kale is popular now as well and we use it in curries as a vibrant green colour and great texture.

 

We are also moving into the shooting season and game will be available – we use duck breasts to create a version of the duck, spring onion, cucumber rolls but we use wraps and black cherry jam and cut them small as a bite size finger food. Mixed game casserole as a warming main course or served in a pie with a puff pastry topping is a fantastic filling option too.

 

We try to encourage clients to use my suggestions of seasonal produce – so scallops wrapped in Parma ham is a popular choice currently. And if you’re feeling in need of an aphrodisiac or just being indulgent, native Cornish oysters are in season. I like to serve them on ice with Tabasco and lemon…

 

British plums eco cuisine

 

Finally, English plums are here! I found them in my local supermarket at £1.75 kilo. I was delighted – seasonal produce at it’s best and cost effective too.

 

If you have an evening event coming up that you are catering for, why not use British produce and try these suggestions? If you haven’t got much time on your hands, or the skill to prepare, you can always get in touch with us – we cater private events for sixteen guests and up.

 

 

Remember we cater for corporate and private events, so get in touch to find out more.