I'm publishing a local shopping diary and recipe post every day this week in support of the #CamShopLocal campaign, a Cambridge initiative launched via a flurry of tweets between Carri Pavitt, Caroline Biggs, Gemma Whiting and Gavin Human. The week long campaign challenges local people to choose local, independent shops over supermarkets and chains in order to support the economy in our area and all those who contribute to it. Many independents have pledged their support for the campaign (you can follow its progress by using the hashtag #CamShopLocal on Twitter and by visiting the Facebook page) and a great number of locals have taken on the challenge. Find out more about the campaign on Carri Pavitt's blog. I hope the food-themed #CamShopLocal posts I share this week help others to join in with the campaign too...
I'm lucky to live in the centre of Cambridge within walking distance of some great independent shops and with no car to tempt me to stray towards the huge supermarkets. It does take some work to plan every meal without popping into a Tesco Express, Co-op or M&S Food, which manage to crop up all over the place in cities like Cambridge. However, we are fortunate enough to have a daily market, plenty of farm shops and foodie cafes, and a good selection of independent and specialist food and wine merchants. Radmore Farm Shop on Chesterton Road is the most convenient for me and stocks essential household items as well as fresh vegetables, meat, eggs, bread, cakes, tinned and frozen goods. Here's how it helped me out today.
Breakfast was avocado on rye, from the selection of vegetables and fruit delivered to Chesterton Road Spar daily by Les Ward Greengrocers. Rye crackers were from Cambridge Continental Deli on Chesterton Road. Approximate cost per serving £2.
Lunch was a homemade Spinach, Cabbage & Rocket Soup from Radmore Farm Shop, which came in a handy plastic tub to be microwaved at work and then reused. I also picked up six wholemeal organic bread rolls from Cobs Bakery at Radmore Farm Shop, which will last me the rest of the week. Cost per serving £1.60.
Dinner, whilst not exactly featuring seasonal food, was all purchased from Radmore Farm Shop and consisted of jacket potatoes, shallots, chorizo, manchego cheese, fresh rocket, cherry tomatoes and a couple of store cupboard ingredients (both previously purchased at the Co-op). I vaguely followed a Nigel Slater recipe for chorizo potatoes and served them alongside a puff pastry tart of roasted tomatoes and rocket. Approximate cost per serving £4.80.
#CamShopLocal Recipe 1: Chorizo & Manchego Stuffed Jackets
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 baking potatoes
150g chorizo, finely diced
1 large shallot, finely diced
125g manchego, diced
Olive or rapeseed oil
1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C, prick the baking potatoes and rub with salt. Add to the oven for about an hour until cooked through.
2. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large frying pan and slowly cook the shallots until soft. Turn the heat up slightly and add the chorizo until sizzling and slightly charred.
3. When the potatoes are soft and fluffy in the centre, slice in half and carefully scoop out the flesh, keeping the skins intact. Add the potato to the shallot and chorizo mixture and combine. Add nearly all of the cheese and stir over the heat to melt slightly.
4. Finally, stuff the jacket skins with the mixture, packing it in well but being careful not to break the skin. Top with a few final pieces of the cheese and bake in the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling slightly. Serve with a big salad or, if you're really hungry/greedy like we were tonight, with a roasted tomato puff pastry tart piled high with rocket.