Sunday, 25 March 2012

Burger, Zombies, and Meatball Subs

This past week has been a little different for me. Not just the usual constant uni work (though that will shortly be returning). 

In my last post I forgot to mention that I was treated to lunch (the burger, above) at Inglenook Farm with Vickie and Ian from The Liverpool Cheese Company. So, thanks guys x

Then, that same day, Billy came down to spend the weekend with me. And he brought me a present. Because we didn't think we'd be seeing each other until after my birthday next month, he gave me an early present. The Walking Dead. 

I've been addicted to the TV series, which has just finished its second season. So I can now get my fill of zombies and apocalypse on a daily basis.  

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

New Product Development for Hotel Chocolat

A few of you may have heard me banging on about Hotel Chocolat recently. Well this is what I've been up to...

At uni, we've been doing a New Product Development (NPD) module, and every year students are set a brief and get the chance to develop a new product for a company. This year, we got Hotel Chocolat. 

The brief was to extend their Spotlight On range. We split up into groups and worked together to develop a theme - ours being speciality teas. 

We conducted sensory evaluation on an initial eleven tea flavours, before we decided to go forward with Chai, Lady Grey, and Lapsang Souchong. The latter was the tea that I worked with.

Through the development process, my final product was a milk chocolate ganache infused with Lapsang Souchong in a milk chocolate shell. Lapsang Souchong is renowned for being matched with dark chocolate, so it was a little surprise that the sensory evaluation found that it wasn't the best option.

A few weeks ago, there were group marketing presentations and two of Hotel Chocolat's development team had come to watch. There was a lot of effort that had gone into preparing a ten minute presentation. We each had a little display that used to show off our chocolates, and a PowerPoint presentation (that we'd pleasingly figured out how to incorporate music in to). Our initial ideas for the presentation were a bit extravagant, and at one point we were looking into using dry ice to add some theatre.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Pesto Italian Restaurant


We've all finished our dissertations, what a relief. And not long to go now until we finish uni altogether. So, last night, a few of us went out for a meal and a few drinks, to celebrate. 

Italian restaurant, Pesto, is in Liverpool One, along a row of other restaurants. It serves piattini, the Italian version of tapas, and had a busy atmosphere - especially for a Wednesday night - but wasn't too loud. Well, except for us. 

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Harissa Pork Loin Steak and Dissertation

This is my finished dissertation on food blogging, as viewed on 10% zoom. A thing of beauty, I'm sure you'll agree. 

It's been the vain of my life since September, but I'm pretty proud of it. I may put it on here at some point because some of you helped me with it by letting me poke at your brains with research questions and sticks.
I can't wait to print it off later this evening. Then I'm taking it into Liverpool tomorrow or Tuesday to get it bound properly. We have the facilities to do it at uni, but honestly, I can't be bothered to stand there and bind 80 pages twice (we have to hand in two copies). Plus I don't fully trust myself to do it right.

Unfortunately, the end is not quite in sight. I still have a new product development report to do and some work experience with The Liverpool Cheese Company. 

Love cheese.

Oh, and hopefully I'll have some really exciting news to tell you this week. But shhhh for now.

Harissa paste is Tunisian, and full of spicy flavours. And as it turns out, quite difficult for me and Tesco to spell. One R and two S's, or two R's and one S? Or are both spellings acceptable? 

This is one of those recipes that can take minutes to cook, but if you want the flavours to penetrate right into the meat, it's definitely worth letting them play together for a few hours.

Harissa Pork Loin Steak

Serves 4

2 tsp Harissa paste
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
4 pork loin steaks or pork chops
Couscous and vegetables to serve

Combine the Harissa paste, soy, and maple syrup and rub into the pork until it's all well coated, then allow to marinate for at least half an hour (ideally a few hours). Grill or pan fry for 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through and nicely golden. Charred bits of fat are a bonus.