‘The Relaxed Holiday Cook’

I admit I love burgers, I have no shame! This burger comes with a totally different health warning. The ‘Squork Burger’ is like nothing I have ever tasted before, clearly because I haven’t, that’s because it is a squid and pork burger. This is seriously novel and seriously good. Let me explain. Back in the days of ‘Sugar & Spice’ my first chef was the unbelievable kitchen wizard, Davina. We worked extremely hard, she worked extremely fast, possibly the fastest chef I ever employed. After a year or so she quite understandably and wisely moved on to a different role in the world of food, she joined Blues. Blues is a wonderful agency based in London who supply chefs and waiting staff, they also do interesting projects on the side, teaching cookery in a school for children with special educational needs, and have over the years published 3 books. Their latest endeavour, a book called the ‘The Relaxed Holiday Cook’.

Possibly the best example of a misnomer in a cynics view! ‘The Relaxed Holiday Cook’ – surely it doesn’t exist? Well it can do and does, and that is where Blues has been particularly helpful, as they have done the initial hard graft of compiling a savvy little book of really useful recipes to help in that whole relaxing process. It is a great concept, designed and written for people who are destined to holiday in the self-catering style, be it by the beach, in the mountains or in the country.  Intelligently Blues have used their own network of chefs and contacts to source tried and tested recipes and the result is magnificent. It is not a glitzy showpiece, it is a slimline, lightweight morsel to tuck into your packing stashed full of invaluable recipes, ideas and top tips as to how to make self-catering holidays fun, fair and fuss free in the cooking zone. I love it, and the burgers are straight from its ‘hallowed’ pages.

The book is intelligently divided into 3 sections each with appropriately themed recipes in each, ‘The British Seaside’, ‘The Mediterranean’, ‘The Mountains and Countryside’. I know the girls at Blues have tested all these recipes in their own kitchen, so they certainly work, the trouble is just choosing which one to do! Let me leave you with the ‘Squork’ burger recipe and maybe it will entice you to put this little gem of a book on a Christmas wish list!!

‘Squork’ Burgers’  – from ‘The Relaxed Holiday Cook’ 

I don’t think I would have put pork and squid together myself but it really is a very good marriage. I have previously made and eaten ‘squid and mackerel’ burgers, courtesy of that genius Anthony Demetre, and they are very good  – so maybe it’s the squid that is the magic ingredient, or maybe it is just that hint of Asia that makes these burgers different. I can’t put my finger on it but I do highly recommend them, they really are interestingly different in a ‘very good’ way!

Serves 4

2 medium banana shallots/ or 1 onion

2 spring onions

500g good quality minced pork ( I actually used some pork tenderloin that I had in the freezer and popped it through the mincer)

100g washed squid, finely chopped

1 tsp of grated ginger

1 large handful of finely chopped coriander

pinch of Chinese five spice (I could not find this in our local store so don’t panic if you are bereft as well)

sea salt and grind of black pepper

1. Finely chop the spring onions and shallots. Heat the oil in the frying pan and sweat the onions till soft.

2. In a large bowl mix together the pork, finely chopped squid, ginger, sweated onions, coriander, five spice and the salt and pepper.

3. Make the mixture into 4 burgers, and barbeque, grill or fry until completely cooked through.

I served the ‘Squork’ burgers with homemade buns and a teaspoon of ‘Tomato and Chilli Jam’ (April Archives)- alongside Ottolenghi’s ‘Sweet Winter Slaw’ from ‘Plenty’, and they were a complete hit. But, as recommended by Blues one could go down a more Chinese route and serve alongside some egg fried rice and steamed pak choy.

Recipe donated by Peter Mulford.

Now the important bits:

Firstly thank you to the team at Blues for collating such an appetising volume of recipes.

Where to buy the book: www.amazon.co.uk

How to get hold of Blues: www.bluesagency.co.uk

Tomato and Chilli Jam Recipe : https://lardersaga.com/2012/04/19/sweet-chilli-and-tomato-jam/

About lardersaga

Joanna Preston is mother of the 'little people', 1 pink and 1 blue, and wife to saintly Mr.Patience! After a decade dedicated to cooking for others (Alps, Africa and founding 'Sugar & Spice') my attention is now solely in the home kitchen. We are a food obsessed family that adore growing, sourcing and cooking delectable feasts for friends and family!
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