The British Connection

Food & Gifts

How do you take your fish and chips?

April 23rd, 2013

Whether you prefer cod or haddock, regular or mushy peas, curry sauce or vinegar, The British Connection can help you prepare your favourite fish and chips dinner.

Brits have long struggled to find proper fish and chips at American restaurants. While some manage to come close to the real deal, nothing beats a takeout from the local chippy by the seaside.

Since we can’t always get to the UK for fish and chips, The British Connection has brought some British fish and chips must-haves to the US.

At our store in Gig Harbor you will find chip-shop batter mix, Sarson’s malt vinegar, Batchelors marrowfat peas, and Colman’s curry sauce mix. Once you have these, all you need to do is pick out your fish and potatoes for chunky chips.

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Have your Guinness and eat it too

March 11th, 2013

photo-16Guinness is not just for drinking. With St. Patrick’s Day approaching rapidly, why not experiment with both savory and sweet dishes that use Guinness as an ingredient?

If you look for recipes online, you could actually plan a three course St. Patty’s Day party feast. Here are a few ideas if you are having guests over to celebrate:

1) Aged Cheddar & Guinness Fondue: Fondue is a great appetizer to share at parties. Once you’ve made your cheese fondue, set it up on a table along with a selection of bread and veggies for dipping and let your guests serve themselves! This particular recipe calls for a few ingredients sold by The British Connection: Aged cheddar (we carry Kerrygold Irish cheddar, which has a great bite to it), Guinness, and Worcestershire sauce. And don’t worry if you don’t own a fondue pot, you can also use a medium sized saucepan.

2) Beef stew with Guinness: A stew makes for an easy party meal if you’re having friends and family over to celebrate St. Patty’s because you can prepare the stew before your guests arrive. Get all the dirty work out of the way before your party starts then let the stew simmer while you join in on the fun. Simply serve up when it’s ready!

3) Guinness brownies: No dinner party would be complete without dessert, so for St. Patty’s Day try combining Guinness and chocolate. Guinness brownies give an ordinary dessert a St. Patrick’s Day edge, but they will also be quite rich. You may want to cut them into mini brownies and let your guests snack on as little/as much as they can handle. Once again, perfect party food!

4) Irish Manhattans and Guinness Cream Soda: If you really want to go all out and include Irish themed drinks on your party menu, Irish Manhattans and Guinness Cream Soda make a fun alternative to drinking straight Guinness. These drinks will certainly have a kick to them!

Gig Harbor’s The British Connection also sells St. Patrick’s Day themed necklaces, bracelets, and hats, along with Irish soda bread mix, scone mix, tea towels, flags, bags, chocolate, and more! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Recipe of the day: Ploughman’s Lunch

February 19th, 2013

The Puget Sound region has been experiencing some much-needed sunshine as of late. As usual, though, the sun doesn’t promise to stick around for long, so sitting outside a pub with friends, food, and a couple pints would be the perfect way to take advantage of our numbered days of good weather. You’d almost think you were back in the UK, relishing a break from the rain.

However, we’re not in Britain, but that doesn’t mean we can’t eat like we’re at a British pub. If you want to spend some time outside, either on your deck or in the park, why not prepare a traditional ploughman’s lunch to eat with friends or family?

Generally consisting of crusty bread, cheese, pickled onions, chutney, and occasionally fruit, the ploughman’s lunch is great for sharing. This meal was traditionally packed for ploughmen to take out into the field for their lunch and has been around for hundreds of years. While most people today enjoy this dish at their local pub rather than the field after a hard day’s labour, the ingredients have remained true to the original concept.

So pick up a thick loaf of bread and some apples from your local supermarket and The British Connection will take care of the rest (butter, cheese, pickled onions, and Branston pickle).

What you will need:

  • Crusty loaf of bread
  • Apples (sliced)
  • Butter (The British Connection carries Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter)
  • A selection of British cheese (Clawson’s blue stilton, Belton Farm’s red leicester, Kerrygold’s aged cheddar, and Cahill’s porter cheese)
  • Haywards traditional pickled onions
  • Branston pickle (chutney)

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Simply place everything on a large plate or chopping board with knives for cutting and spreading and let everyone pick and choose from the selection!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe of the day: Victoria Sponge Cake

February 9th, 2013

The British Connection has plenty of pre-made goodies for you to buy for loved ones for Valentine’s Day, but we also sell ingredients to help you make your own Valentine’s Victoria Sponge cake!

You may already have some of the basic ingredients, such as butter and eggs, but The British Connection has a traditional sponge mix, along with Hartley’s strawberry jam, to help make baking your cake a little easier!

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Here’s what you will need for the cake:

  • 2 x 18cm (7″) round sandwich/cake tins
  • One box of sponge mix
  • 100ml cold water
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 50g butter

For the filling (as suggested by BBC Good Food):

  • Strawberry jam
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 140g icing sugar, sifted
  • a drop of vanilla extract (optional)
  • icing sugar, to decorate

Directions:

  • Follow instructions on sponge mix box to make the cake mixture
  • Pour the mixture equally between your two cake tins
  • Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes until cakes have risen and are golden brown
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool
  • For the filling, begin by beating the butter until creamy, then gradually beat in the sugar (and vanilla extract if you choose to use it)
  • Spread the butter cream over the bottom of one of your sponge cakes, top it with jam, and sandwich the second sponge cake on top of it.
  • Dust with icing sugar to finish it off

Perfect for sharing with friends or baking for a loved one. Enjoy!

 

Valentine’s Day

February 3rd, 2013
The British Connection's Valentine's Day gifts

The British Connection’s Valentine’s Day gift

Valentine’s Day is approaching rapidly, so don’t wait until the last minute to pick up a gift for your special someone.

If you’re looking for chocolates or knickknacks, The British Connection is here to help. We have a variety of gifts available, perfect for a husband/boyfriend, wife/girlfriend, parent, child, friend, or crush (if you want to go the secret admirer route).

Choose from our “keep calm” collection, fun mugs, chocolate truffle boxes, soaps, stuffed animals, and chocolate selection baskets to create the perfect gift for your loved one.

 

 

 

 

 

The British Connection

Food & Gifts