Here at Blas y tir we love any excuse to meet a talented chef and get in the kitchen to cook up a storm. This week we had the pleasure of putting on our sunglasses and taking a trip in the sunshine to meet the ‘Ethical Chef’, Deri Reed in his kitchen at home.
Born and bred in Carmarthenshire, Deri is a full time chef alongside running the ‘Ethical Chef’ food blog and catering company. It’s not very often we meet someone as passionate for eating local produce as we are, but Deri is ever the advocate. Starting in Cardiff’s Riverside Farmers Market he has taken ‘Ethical Chef’ to Glastonbury twice, providing quality, local produce in vegetarian meals to thousands of festival goers.
“We’ve cooked twice at Glastonbury now, sourcing all our produce locally and making popular vegetarian food for all our customers. In 2014 we won ‘The People’s Choice Award’ for our food at the event, serving chilli & bulgur wheat. People love supporting local food, we even had a few celebrities visit the stand!” explains Deri, stood with a cup of tea in his rustic farmhouse kitchen at home. “I just love cooking vegetarian food, and cooking with local produce makes everything taste better. You can get so much flavour from home-grown vegetables, but as much as I try I can’t grow everything, and I have total respect for anyone who can. We’re lucky that Blas y tir is able to provide us with such good quality Welsh produce all year round!”
Armed with Blas y tir produce including White Potatoes, Maris Piper Potatoes, Baby Potatoes, Savoy Cabbage, Cauliflower and Leeks, it’s about time we got cooking!
First up is Sauerkraut, a traditional German dish used as an alternative to coleslaw. This dish is really easy to make and only uses 2 ingredients, Savoy Cabbage and salt. The salt brings out the natural juices in the cabbage and pickles the cabbage over a matter of days. Deri made this 3 days before we arrived, but it could still do with another day or so to get the maximum flavour. This would be fab as a different side dish for summer barbecues and parties, and it is so easy to make!
Find the full recipe on Ethical Chef:
Next, we go for a traditional Welsh dish, a comfort food that can always make you feel better, a deliciously rich Welsh Rarebit with Leeks. Welsh rarebit is a favourite here at Blas y tir as it so versatile. Deri pan-fries his chopped leeks in a small amount of oil before adding them to the rarebit mixture, to intensify their flavour. If you’re not as lucky as we were, with homemade wholemeal bread to top with rarebit, any bread will do, English muffins work surprisingly well too!
Plus, if you’re really pushing the boat out, why not try drizzling some truffle oil over your Welsh rarebit? It adds a delicious new flavour to the combination!
One of the more unusual recipes worth exploring is Deri’s vegan take on a traditional steak, using cauliflower instead of the meat. These Cauliflower Steaks are cut from the centre of the cauliflower and marinated in vegetable stock to add further flavour. Simply fried in a little olive oil in a pan, with added curry powder, these cauliflower steaks are flavoursome and healthy.
You can find the full recipe on the Ethical Chef website,
If you don’t fancy going for the full vegan experience you always could use these cauliflower steaks as a side dish and include dairy products or meat
Jacket potatoes are a staple here at Blas y tir, and we love it when someone comes up with a new idea to try! Deri created Spanish-inspired cannellini beans stuffed jacket potatoes, using a tomato based sauce and plenty of herbs, great for a filling and easy evening meal!
Finally, our personal favourite recipe of the day, Ethical Chef Wild Garlic and Walnut Pesto Potato Salad. As you’d imagine, we’ve tried our fair share of potato salad recipes here at Blas y tir, but this one really is a winner. Requiring very few ingredients, being so easy to make and yet tasting amazing, this recipe really is a great alternative to those mayo-heavy potato salad recipes out there.
We loved this recipe so much we’ll be putting it our website!
A simple mixture of wild garlic, parsley and roughly chopped walnuts dressed with olive oil and lemon juice before being tossed through Blas y tir baby potatoes.
We would like to say thank you to Ethical Chef for meeting with us and sharing some delicious recipes. If you would like to find out more about the Ethical Chef, you can visit his website, www.ethicalchef.co.uk and discover more recipes on the Ethical Chef Recipe Page!