Sarah Harris

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Inspiration for Summer Salads

Salads are perfect for the summer, but they don’t have to be bland. With so many inspiring summer salad ideas at your fingertips, you could rustle up a delicious meal in minutes. Here are some suggestions to whet your appetite.

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Chicken and Tomato Salad

When you combine fresh basil, thyme, chives and parsley with sweet ripe tomatoes, sliced chicken, a splash of white wine vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette, something magical happens.

This easy salad is quick to prepare and full of flavour and is perfect for summer. According to Net Doctor, tomatoes contain a high volume of water, so they’re refreshing in salads on hot days.

Summer Pasta Salad

Pasta is a key ingredient in a salad, and it can fill you up if you want something more substantial than a bowl of lettuce leaves. Combine your pasta with sweetcorn, courgette, peppers, tomatoes, peach slices, fresh herbs and vinaigrette. This dish is favoured by Italians and can also be served with shredded chicken.

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Strawberry Salad and Goat’s Cheese

Strawberries aren’t just for dessert: they’re a star in their own right in savoury dishes, especially salads. Mix a handful of strawberries with fresh mixed greens, cucumber slices, fried chunks of goat’s cheese and a tangy vinaigrette and you’ve got a salad you’ll keep coming back to, even when autumn arrives.

It’s worth remembering that many fruits actually work really well in savoury dishes like salads, so view online food recipe videos such as to gain inspiration in using ingredients in ways you hadn’t previously considered.

Salmon and Samphire Salad

Samphire is one of the latest foodie must-have ingredients, so if you want to rustle up a salad bursting with flavour and boasting a hint of the seaside, this is the one to try. This salad combines cooked salmon pieces with chopped cucumber, chilli flakes, ginger, samphire, watercress or peppery leaves, lemon juice and a pinch of sugar.

Duck, Orange and Watercress Salad

If you’re looking for a salad to wow dinner guests, this one will get the thumbs-up. It combines shredded duck with crunchy radish slices, chicory leaves, watercress, spring onions, the juice of two oranges, soy sauce and a dash of five-spice powder. This salad oozes sophistication yet is simple to put together and is perfect if you want to bring something to the table with a Chinese influence.

The benefits of energy-efficient commercial refrigeration units

Improvements in manufacturing, along with incentives to produce better, greener products, mean that the refrigeration options of today have undergone big changes that can benefit your enterprise. Insulation and compressors now work much more efficiently, which is good news for the business owner in today’s challenging conditions.

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Energy costs

Refrigeration in the home is one of the most energy-draining processes, as the contents of fridges and freezers must be kept cold every single day without a break. Commercial refrigeration operates on a much larger scale and uses even more energy. For commercial premises that use refrigeration, such as supermarkets and grocery shops, energy could account for up to 40 per cent of the business’s energy usage and bills.

Improving the efficiency of its refrigeration has a direct effect on the business by lowering operating costs and making it much more competitive and resilient to the peaks and troughs that are part of doing business. In addition to saving money, the business is eco-friendlier and emits less of the gases that contribute to global warming.

Government support

Improvements in technology have definitely had an impact on the quality of the machinery of refrigeration. Government ratings and standards have played their part here, with consumers becoming much more aware of energy use. This has driven manufacturers to innovate to secure energy use ratings that result in more purchases. Refrigeration units that work better reduce the wastage of electricity and food and are a win for everyone. The Guardian reported on technology that can improve refrigeration methods, such as food-sharing apps and intelligent food labelling.

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If looking for tips and solutions in the important area of refrigeration for your commercial enterprise, it is a good idea to consult an expert such as Some commercial units can be about 40 per cent more efficient in using power than others.

Most refrigeration units now have an energy use rating. As the cost of power continues to increase, choosing units with lower energy use may cost a little more initially; however, in the long run, you could save a huge amount of money. This will not only account for that extra upfront cost but could also save so much on energy bills that it may pay for a few more items that your business needs.

Solid fuel appliances for commercial kitchens

Britain’s recent culinary renaissance has been accompanied by a demand for the best-quality ingredients and an insistence on the most sophisticated cooking techniques to produce great-tasting food. Restaurants, cafés and other catering outlets are increasingly using solid fuel appliances like wood-fired pizza ovens, charcoal grills and tandoors to deliver the sorts of flavour experiences expected by their customers. As tastes change, so do the types of appliances that are needed to keep up with the trend.

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Advantages of solid fuel appliances

The key advantage to the commercial kitchen of using solid fuel appliances is, as highlighted above, the authenticity they can lend to traditional and more avant-garde cuisine. Think, for example, of the cooking of the Indian subcontinent with its magnificent tandoori preparations. Versions of these delicacies prepared in standard ovens cannot really compare with those produced in genuine tandoors with their centuries-long history. Think of a superb pizza, which as this Guardian article illustrates, will typically involve a wood-fired oven.

Disadvantages of solid fuel appliances

First, there is a specific set of health and safety risks involved in this type of commercial oven. A charcoal grill, for example, can reach astonishing temperatures, so real care needs to be taken to guard against kitchen fires and burns to staff. Likewise, carbon monoxide (CO) is a by-product of burning solid fuels so there needs to be adequate ventilation and functioning CO alarms, and you are obliged to arrange frequent safety checks to ensure that the premises are safe. Staff are also required to be thoroughly trained in recognising the signs of CO exposure in themselves and others.

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Any commercial kitchen requires careful planning, and one making use of solid fuel appliances needs to take extra care to manage the various associated risks. Is there room for a flue in your proposed cooking space?

Planning your commercial kitchen

Whether you are planning on installing a solid fuel appliances or using other types of commercial ovens like those supplied by, you will need to be attuned to the regulations surrounding health and safety and food hygiene. This is a relatively complex area but there are lots of good resources online.

We also recommend that you seek specialist advice to ensure that your kitchen is fully compliant with the law and safe for you, your personnel and your customers.

The Perfect Tiramisu Recipe for the Classic Italian Dessert

The sheer variety of familiar foods often leaves the shopping public bemused. Even buying something as simple as a yogurt involves choosing not only on the flavour but also between fat-free, low-sugar, Greek-style, whipped, layered or any one of a dozen more options.

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This isn’t a limited trend, either, as dozens of long-established food products have been tweaked to widen the target market to stretching point. However, it doesn’t always pay to mess with something which became popular precisely because it looked and tasted a particular way, and this is definitely the case with the modern classic Italian dessert tiramisu.

No Kidding

If you yearn for a dessert that will be egg-free, spurn alcohol, substitute cream for all or part of the mascarpone cheese or include any kind of fruit, then go ahead and make it, but don’t call it tiramisu, because it’s not.

The Essential Components of a Classic Tiramisu

Start with around 20-24 genuine savoiardi – the type imported from Italy. They are readily available online, or you can make your own. These should be soaked briefly (not just dipped) in 100 ml at least of espresso, or good-quality very strong coffee.

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The cream should always be made from mascarpone cheese, mixed with sugar, whipped egg whites and a greater number of yolks. There’s more flexibility when it comes to the (optional) alcohol. Basically, Marsala wine, coffee or almond liqueur, rum, or brandy are fine – just not all at the same time!

The tiramisu should have four layers and the cheese topping dusted with fine cocoa powder before being left to chill and set for around six hours.

The Irish Have It Right

Fans of cookery shows are probably aware that innovative twists to homemade goodies rarely succeed, and such is the case with tiramisu. To enjoy it to the fullest extent possible, this is a dessert which should always be true to the recipe recognized as being closest the original – advice which the Irish have taken to heart. Any authentic Dublin Italian restaurant should be serving the real thing, which means there are plenty of eateries such as Toscana Dublins Italian Restaurant to indulge a sweet tooth in.

Always insist on a classic Italian tiramisu, with ingredients that blend to produce a marriage made in food heaven.

What to Do with Leftover Wine

Sometimes there are occasions when you end up with leftover wine that you really don’t want to waste. Perhaps you opened a red and a white to accompany different courses of a meal or the differing taste buds of your guests, or you simply wanted one glass at the end of the day and can’t stand the thought of wasting the rest of the bottle.

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Whatever the reason, there are some things you can do to ensure you never end up using your favourite tipple as drain cleaner.

Avoiding Wastage

You could consider buying the smaller half-size bottles so that you aren’t leaving wine opened.

The reality is that once it is opened the wine, whether red, white or rose, starts to be affected by oxidation, caused by the oxygen in the air. It is suggested that 24 hours of being open in the air may well age a wine the equivalent of one year in a bottle.

Choose your wine carefully, whether via a physical store or online merchant. If you enjoy it more, it is less likely to be wasted, and better-quality wine often keeps better.

If looking for online wine merchants in Northern Ireland, you could consider the selection of wines available at

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Storing Opened Wine

Many people think that wine, especially sparkling wine, will be bad or undrinkable with a day or two. But actually, as this article from the Daily Mail states, wine can be kept for up to five days, especially when stored in the fridge – even the red wines.

Before putting it in the fridge, ensure the bottle is resealed as tightly as you can, either via the original cork or with a wine sealer or stopper of some kind.

Another option is to freeze your leftovers in ice cube trays, or for bigger amounts in small plastic freezer containers. These are perfect to add extra flavour and body when you are cooking stews, sauces, and soups. Simply throw in a cube or two straight from the freezer or allow a small tub to defrost to use in your recipe.

If you drink the same wine on a regular basis, they are also a great way to add ice for a refreshing wine cooler in summer without adding extra water to your drink as the cubes dissolve.


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