5 Ways to Use’ Coconut Milk

Supremely versatile whether it’s being used for starters, snacks, soups, drinks, mains or sweets, Country Range Coconut Milk is responsibly sourced from Thailand, has a fat content of 17% and is made with a blend of the finest pressed coconut and water.

With World Coconut Day taking place at the beginning of next month on the 2nd September, it’s surely time to go coco-nutz this August so you’re ready for the big day. Available in 400ml cans in cases of 12.

1/ Scintillating Sauces

Coconut milk is a key ingredient to make a punchy paste into a glorious creamy sauce for an array of dishes. I love using it to make a sauce for fresh chilli and coconut mussels.

2/ Roll the coconut dice with the rice

People always seem to stick with plain old rice when there are so many ways to spruce it up and maximise flavour. Instead of just boiling in water, use 50% stock and 50% coconut milk and cook for 10 mins or so. Add a squeeze of fresh lime and you have an incredible coconut rice – great to accompany the satay above.

3/ Panna Cotta

Lemongrass and coconut milk are a wonderful combination in curries but also pair brilliantly in slightly more refined desserts. I love combining them together in a Panna Cotta with caramelised pineapple and roasted pecans.

4/ Mind- blowing marinades

When cooked down or used alongside some intense flavours, the coconut milk works beautifully as a marinade to keep meat and veg moist and give a boost to taste. I use it to make the ultimate Chicken Satay.

5/ Rice pudding is a dish that

will never ever go out of fashion but a twist is always nice every now and again. I love using the coconut milk to give a tropical feel to a rice pudding and often serve it with sliced poached peaches and toasted coconut.


A former student at City of Glasgow College, Hayley first started using the Country Range brand after competing in the Student Chef Challenge. Fast- forward 5 years and Hayley is now a Lecturer in Culinary Arts at the college and instead of competing, helped mentor her team into the Grand Final earlier this year. Here is her quintet of ideas for incorporating coconut milk into dishes.

Five Ways to Use – White Chocolate Drops

With World Chocolate Day taking place on the 7th July, the Country Range White Chocolate Drops are a fantastic ingredient for the creative chef or baker. Available in a 2.5kg bag, they’re perfect for decorating cakes, enrobing and for use in muffin, cake, biscuit, cookie, tart or pancakes recipes.

Here Darren Creed, Loughborough College Chef Lecturer and his team of student chefs, who reached this year’s Country Range Student Chef Challenge final, share five inventive ideas for cooking with Country Range White Chocolate Drops.

1. Best Par Scone by Riley Monk

A fantastic way of sweetening up your scones is to utilise Country Range White Chocolate drops alongside pistachios and raspberries. The flavours work perfectly to create the ultimate summer scone.

2. Creative Cruffins by Caitlin McGrath

White chocolate drops are fabulous in all your favourite pastries but if you’re looking to create something a little bit different then try using them to make some cruffins – a very on-trend and tasty croissant and muffin hybrid.

3. Monster Cookie by Darren Creed

There is a cookie monster in all of us and these Country Range White Chocolate Drops work well in so many cookie recipes and combinations. I love to use them in some majestically moreish white chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

4. Tart-tastic by Samantha Watkins

Try caramelising your white chocolate drops to add subtle nutty notes and depth of flavour. I will often use this technique when making a Caramelised White Chocolate Tart, served with some raspberry ripple ice cream on the side.

5. Beautiful Blondies by Darren Creed

White chocolate drops are brilliant for cakes, whether used as an inclusion or for decorating, I will often use them to make beautiful blondies, they make a nice change to the classic brownie and they do say blondes have more fun!


About: Darren Creed and his Loughborough College Student Trio

Regulars on the winning podium in the Student Chef Challenge, under the watchful eye of Course Leader Darren Creed, Loughborough College’s hospitality and catering department continues to punch well above its weight. Earlier this year, it’s latest trio of starlets Riley Monk, Samantha Watkins and Caitlin McGrath took third place in the Student Chef Challenge grand final.

Andrew Green Craft Guild of Chefs

It’s great to be in the mist of summer, and for the Craft Guild we have now had the semi finals of the Graduate Awards and just about to announce
the finalists.

We celebrated the Craft Guild awards last month and it was so good to be able to have this event after 2 ‘missing’ years, the room was packed with
just under 800 guests, and we presented 18 awards to some of the UK’s best chefs and restaurants.

Our National Chef of the Year competition is well underway and again some fantastic chefs entered, these are being whittled down again this month towards the final which will be held in September.

For more on the Craft Guild, visit www.craftguildofchefs.org or follow the Craft Guild of Chefs on Twitter at @Craft_Guild



Five Ways to Use Maple & Agave Syrup

An all-round, store cupboard hero, the Country Range Maple & Agave Syrup can quite literally do it all. Brilliant for breakfast and brunch, drinks and desserts or when used as an ingredient in bakes, dressings, sauces, marinades and more. Packed in an easy to squeeze 620g bottle and suitable for vegetarians and vegans, this moreish maple and agave blend is deliciously sweet and versatile.


Yuzu is one of those very on-trend ingredients right now. Simply reduce some yuzu juice in a pan with some of the Maple & Agave Syrup until it’s just sticky and then glaze chicken, fish and vegetables before coating in seeds and herbs to add texture.


Maple and agave syrup can be a great component of a range of delicious and sticky marinades, particularly if you wanting to create a vegan marinade for vegetables or tofu. Make a lighter and tangy teriyaki-style marinade by mixing the syrup with soy sauce garlic and ginger.

Cereal Killer

Take some Country Range Oats that have been cooked in the syrup in a pan to make them sticky, drizzle them over yoghurt, berries and other seasonal fruits for a delicious, texture-filled breakfast bowl. You will never go back to serving bog-standard cereal again.

Simple & Sweet Treats

Add to oats with a little black treacle and then sandwich between softened dates before baking.


Use the syrup as a sweetener for cocktails and mocktails. Smash some lime juice quarters, add tequila and the syrup with ice, stir well and top with more lime and mint leaves for a refreshing light cocktail.

About Jake Piper

With experience working for the Ramsey Restaurant Holding Group including stints at Bread Street Kitchen, Limehouse, The Savoy and Heddon Street, Jake Piper is now Lecturer of Culinary Arts at Cambridge Regional College. Jake’s passion and dedication since joining the college has played a huge role in the college’s recent success in reaching consecutive Country Range Student Chef Challenge Finals.

Country Range Maple & Agave Syrup

Pack Size: 620g

5 Ways to Use Peach Slices

Canned peaches are as loaded with nutrients as fresh peaches, and in some cases, pack more of a nutritional punch. It’s been reported that canned peaches have four times more vitamin C in them than fresh peaches with comparable levels of vitamin E.

Country Range Peach Slices in Syrup are a great staple ingredient for caterers to use in a variety of ways on their menus. These slightly tart peach slices are sweet and moreish and can be used across a selection of sweet and savoury dishes.
Paul Dickson, Country Range Development Chef shares his five innovative ways to use Peach Slices.

  1. Garnish

Peach slices are great as a garnish for sweet or savoury dishes. Tinned peaches are great for pavlovas and ice cream, but also add an amazing twist on a nice slice of grilled gammon.

  1. Filling

These peach slices are great for a deep filled fruit pie or tart. Coat them in a little custard powder first and when the juices come out, the pie will have a creamy custard finish.

  1. Breakfast

Next time you make porridge for breakfast. Top with slices of peach, a drizzle of honey or brown sugar and toast under the grill.

  1. Purée

Perfect for your milk shakes and smoothies. Take it to the next level by freezing them first before you purée them, and your smoothies will be thick and creamy.

  1. Salads

Amazing in sweet or savoury salads. I like to grill mine and serve with Parma ham, mozzarella or feta and rocket.

Click here for the product.


About: Paul Dickson

Paul Dickson is a chef, brand ambassador, food stylist and Home Economist. With a vast culinary knowledge collected from some of the finest establishments in London, Manchester and the North West. He creates exceptional visual stories about what and how we eat.

Country Range work with Paul to create recipes from using the latest insight trends to make up inspirational menus through to developing new ways of serving up traditional favourites.

Andrew Green Craft Guild of Chefs

The shortlist for the Craft Guild Awards is now out, tickets are still available to attend the dinner on 9th June, please contact the Craft Guild office for further details. We are looking forward to this month’s Golf Day at Wyboston Lakes Resort, still a few places left if you could join us. Entries are out for both the Graduate Awards and National Chef of the Year, with the semi-finals taking place in June. As for membership, if there are any of you who are wishing to join the Craft Guild of Chefs, please ring the Craft Guild office and we can look at a discounted rate for any Stir It Up readers.

For more on the Craft Guild, visit www.craftguildofchefs.org or follow the Craft Guild of Chefs on Twitter at @Craft_Guild


5 ways to use Sun Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are ripe tomatoes that lose most of their water content after spending most of their drying time in the sun. These tomatoes are usually pre-treated with sulphur dioxide or salt before being placed in the sun to improve colour and appearance.

The Country Range Sundried tomatoes have added herbs which create additional flavours.  These popular products are the ideal ingredient for salads, risottos and pasta dishes.

Paul Dickson, Country Range Development Chef shares his five innovative ways to use Sun Dried Tomatoes.

1 Puree

Puree your sun-dried tomatoes and add a spoonful to infuse soups and sauces. It will give an amazing umami hit of flavour or add a spoonful to your favourite pesto recipe

2 Flavour

In pastas or stews. These great nuggets of sweet and sharp flavour will be perfect for any pastas or stews, particularly veggie and vegan stews.

3 Topper

These succulent tomatoes make the perfect topping on breads like focaccia. Sun-dried tomatoes are great squashed into fresh bread doughs. I love adding them to top my focaccia dough

4 Savoury

In savoury scones or quiche. Add a few chopped sun-dried tomatoes to your cheese scones or homemade quiche instead of raw tomatoes. The flavour is so much better!

5 Dressings

In salads or dressings. instead of fresh tomatoes I use sun dried tomatoes in my classic mozzarella, avocado and tomato salad. The tomato oil also makes an amazing dressing for the salad


Our Development Chef

Paul Dickson is a chef with over 30 years’ experience throughout the foodservice industry. Paul understands the challenges facing our catering customers and works with us to develop exciting recipes and menu solutions that fit every type of customer outlet.

We work with Paul to create recipes from using the latest insight trends to make up inspirational menus through to developing new ways of serving up traditional favourites.

5 ways to use – Medium Madras Curry Powder

Madras Curry Powder is a versatile aromatic blend of spices that provides heat and a taste typical of the Madras region of India. The Country Range Medium Madras Curry Powder is a complex blend of coriander, turmeric, cumin, onion, fennel and other hot spices to give an earthy, medium-hot, fragrant powder. It can be used as a marinade overnight to allow a more intense flavour to develop, or used directly in the cooking process.

Andrew Green, chief executive of the Craft Guild of Chefs, shares his five innovative ways to use madras curry powder.

1/ Singapore Cocktail

For a twist on a traditional prawn cocktail, but on top of the layers of shredded lettuce, add fine chopped/shredded pineapple and replace the Marie Rose sauce with a curried Mayo made of Country Range Free Range Egg Mayonnaise and Country Range Medium Madras Curry Powder.

2/ Curried Parsnip Soup (V)

Sweat onions until soft but not coloured then add  Madras Curry Powder and cook out. Add diced parsnip and cook until soft. Add vegetable stock and cook for 30 minutes, blitz until smooth then adjust the seasoning. Depending on whether you would like the dish to be suitable for vegans and vegetarians you could add cream to finish off the soup. This soup will have warming heat which works really well with the sweetness of the parsnip.

3/ Madras Curry Rub

This rub is great for barbecued meats or vegetables.

Sweat off diced onions, chopped chilli, Madras Curry Powder, until soft. Add a couple of spoons of vegetable stock and mango chutney. Blitz into a paste and use as a rub for meats before you BBQ the meat, very flavoursome!

4/ Bombay Potatoes (V)

Sweat diced onions, chopped chilli, Madras Curry Powder in a little sunflower oil, add potatoes that have been cut intoquarters, stir until the potatoes have all been coated with the spices, add a little flour and the vegetable stock slowly, until a nice consistency. Cook on a low heat so that the potatoes absorb all the flavour and cook through. Great done in advance and heated through a day or so later.

5/ Spiced Madras Duck Breast

Take a duck breast, score the skin and rub the Madras Curry Powder in. Sauté or oven roast the breast for eight minutes so that it is still pink but has a delicious crispy Madras skin.

Country Range Medium Madras Curry Powder (Pack shot provided)

Pack size: 490g & 2.5kg


Andrew Green, Craft Guild of Chefs

Andrew has been the chief executive of the Craft Guild of Chefs since 2015 and is a highly respected chef with a “passion for quality”. With a long career in contract catering, from running the head office of the Daily Mail General Trust for Compass Group to his present position of group manager for independent school caterer The Brookwood Partnership, Andrew has a winning combination of strong organisational skills and a thorough understanding of the catering industry.