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Eatenders: Famous food moments from Albert Square

Ramona Andrews Ramona Andrews | 14:16 UK time, Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The team behind E20, EastEnder’s new spinoff series recently sent us a recipe penned by party-loving Naz from the show. Naz gets some help from Tamwar who works at his family's Masala Masood takeaway business – those of the samosa food fight fame!

You’ll see Naz’s recipe is a particularly personal one for coq au vin (AKA not-chicken-in-a-bucket) and it got us wondering about famous food moments from the series...

Well first up, Jean Slater’s sausage surprise is so legendary, there’s even a Facebook page devoted to it. One fan has posted her version of the recipe onto the BBC Good Food website. I wonder if that’s what inspired this recipe by top chef Peter Gordon!

It’s all about the retro food for the old-time ‘Enders. Ian Beale loves his fish and chips of course and he hasn’t yet progressed to selling patties (as featured on E20), while Dot’s keen on Battenburg cake.

What about the time Sonia wanted to make ‘something special’ for Martin? Chicken in a shop-bought sauce. Harry Hill hilariously thinks it's ‘far too delicious’. And who can forget the liquid lunch enjoyed by Pat and Peggy in a stationary ice cream van?

Eastenders actors have graced the screens of some of our favourite food programmes too. Nadia Sawalha (Annie Palmer) impressed the judges of Celebrity MasterChef enough to win in 2007, while Laila Morse (Big Mo) eschewed posh nosh and made a thoroughly English meal for Celebrity Come Dine With Me.

Naz (played by Emaa Hussen) making coq au vin


And here’s Naz’s coq au vin recipe. I’m not sure about using fake bacon, so if you want something more authentic, try our coq au vin recipes

Stuff you’ll need

  • a tablespoon of butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • a couple of garlic cloves
  • 6 or 7 slices of chopped bacon (Halal fake bacon for me)
  • sum thyme (I reckon about an hour)
  • like 2 handfuls of chopped mushrooms (not the magic kind)
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • ½ a bottle of red wine, preferably not box wine
  • a tablespoon of port (no idea what that is)
  • 200ml of chicken stock
  • 6 cheeky Halal chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • a tablespoon of flour

Preppin’ & cookin’ (totes time should be like an hour max)

Get yourself a nice big pan and whack it on the stove. Shove in the butter, the garlic and the onions, check your wearing waterproof mascara cos them onions make you proper cry. Stick the heat on medium and cook until onions are see through. Stick in the chopped up bacon and smell that yummy baconey goodness.

When the bacon’s cooked (don’t even think about nibbling a bit), put in the chicken for the last minute or two. Whack in the liquor and simmer until a bit reduced – like 5 mins. Then add the mushrooms and the carrot just before you put in the chicken stock.

When it starts bubbling away, turn the heat down so that it’s all just simmering nicely for about 30 mins.
Whatevs you do, check the middle of the chicken to see if it’s cooked through. Don’t wanna go poisoning your man.

Season with salt and pepper. I like things a bit spicy so I drench it in pepper, but taste it. If the sauce ain’t thick like Fatboy, then mix a spoon of flour with a few spoons of water until it’s a paste and pour in, stirring as you go. After a few minutes of stirring on the heat the sauce should be thick. Serve. Simples.

Naz’s coq au vin recipe appears in EastEnders: E20 episode 5 which goes out tonight at 8pm.

Ramona Andrews is the host of the BBC Food Q&A blog and messageboard.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I don't watch Eastenders but assuming the character associated with this recipe is islamic in outlook and practice (halal chicken, 'fake' bacon), why does the recipe include red wine and port, when alcohol is forbidden to observant Muslims ?

  • Comment number 2.

    See above plus

    I simply refuse to believe that the BBC has paid anyone to sit at their desk and pen such absolute dross in the name of work. Surely such a piece of 'writing' should be dated April 1st?

    I've never heard of food fight fame!(sic)
    nor do I know who Jean Slater is, what her sausage surprise consists of, or why it's supposedly 'legendary' (is it? not in my lifetime) and I suspect the likelihood is that hell will freeze over before I feel even the slightest inclination to find out.


    Quote - who can forget the liquid lunch enjoyed by Pat and Peggy in a stationary ice cream van?>

    me and everyone else who has absolutely no idea what most of this blog is about.

    Are we seriously supposed to think the recipe is a genuine recommendation? if so, please elaborate on what a 'cheeky Halal chicken breast' is, and explain why it's at all relevant to non Muslims (see above) If it's not, what on earth is the point of posting it?

    By the way, despite Eastenders being on the BBC screens for nearly a quarter of a century (according to Wikipedia) I don't know anyone who watches it.

    I thought the lunchbox, Marmite pasta and lovely jelly blogs were banal, but this really scrapes the barrel, I wont be looking at this link again, life's too short.

  • Comment number 3.

    @ Frillz - Bang on. I haven't the time at the moment to eloquently transcribe all my feelings about this "blog". I have so far read one interesting paragraph in all the posts, which I commented on.

    You had Madhur Jaffrey on, and all she did was say "add some cumin to stuff".

    You had Mary Berry on, and all she did was say "spatulas are great".

    This is an internationally available site hosted by, supposedly, one of the world's premier media corporations, but surely the minute number of comments after each post is telling you something. The posts on The Guardian food site are much more interesting and explorative, and you will see the number of comments that they attract (if you bother to look). Hundreds per post normally.

    And "EastEnders"? Really? I couldn't give a t*ss. Never watched it; never will. This is a site supposedly for people interested in *food* (that's the stuff one shovels in one's gob, by the way).

    The season is just about to change. There are any number of potentially interesting topics to cover, but no - it's the lowest common denominator again.

    This whole revamp seems to be on an exponential curve of time vs. dross.

  • Comment number 4.

    Just how low can the BBC stoop?

    There was a time when the the rest of the world looked up to the BBC, because it was at the forefront of broadcasting, and full of new and innovative ideas.

    Now blogs such as this are proving it to be a laughing stock, and a dreadful advertisement to the rest of the world.

  • Comment number 5.

    LeCF I have had a reply to the Ask the Host thread sat on my screen for approaching 5 hours and I haven't yet decided whether to press post or not - however, when you say my blog comment was bang on, little do you know how many points you've made which are in my (so far) unposted message.

    I seriously doubt that the likes of Madhur Jaffrey and Mary Berry have penned their alleged blogs. I have the utmost respect for both cooks and hearing them speak, if only once, you just know those blogs may have been written in their name, transcribed from some general comments, but most definitely NOT up to anything approaching their usual standard of either communication or intelligence. Read it and weep.

    I use and enjoy The Guardian food content. If you pitch that at say the level of BBC Question Time, I'd pitch the content here at about the level of ...
    nothing I've ever watched, or would watch to be honest. Would it insult the programmes to suggest CBeebies?

  • Comment number 6.

    And, I'm sorry (I've only just noticed this amongst the maelstrom of awfulness), but "Stuff you'll need", and "Preppin' & Cookin' (totes [sic] time should be like an hour max)".

    Who the binkin' hell do you think we are?! Children?! Discussions on the old messageboard used to be between reasonably, and sometimes fantastically, knowledgable people with a love of food, happy to share it with those who may not have such knowledge (i.e. me). Yes, the odd joke was thrown in (adding to the community spirit - I recommend the OED to look those two words up), but Frillz has it absolutely right - THIS IS BANAL.

    I would *NEVER* even attempt a recipe prefixed by such pathetic and puerile terminology.

    Elizabeth David you most certainly are not at the moment. Please, please sort it.

  • Comment number 7.

    hear hear.
    This blog seems to be aimed a bit low for me so I don't read the posts. I don't need to be told that soup might be nice in my lunchbox. I have far more exciting ideas of my own....

    and what's happened to BBC iplayer while we're at it?? awful new site !!!

  • Comment number 8.

    It may surprise you to know that not everybody watches Eastenders - in fact, I don't know a single person who does. Having read your post I can safely say that I have no idea what you're talking about and the poor souls reading this blog who live outside the UK must be scratching their heads in bemusement.

    This is the first blog post of yours that I've bothered to read and I can confidently say that it will be the last. Given half an hours notice, plus a strong cup of tea and a chocolate digestive for sustenance, I could have done better myself.

  • Comment number 9.

    Is this the Brave New World we were promised? I have no interest in Eastenders or in a blog about it. I can differentiate between fact and fiction and wonder what a blog about fictitious characters has to do on a Food Board. You should hang your head in shame at that travesty of a recipe for Coq au Vin. I think the dumbing down of this Board has gone too far.

  • Comment number 10.

    I have no interest in Eastenders or in a blog about it. I can differentiate between fact and fiction and wonder what a blog about fictitious characters has to do on a Food Board. You should hang your head in shame at that travesty of a recipe for Coq au Vin. I think the dumbing down of this Board has gone too far.

  • Comment number 11.

    You should hang your head in shame at such a travesty of a recipe for Coq au Vin. I'm still trying to work out the link between Eastenders and a Food Board. The BBC seems to be dumbing down still further. A rubbish blog that does not bode well for the future of this site.

  • Comment number 12.

    Is this the Brave New World we were promised? I have no interest in Eastenders or in a blog about it. I can differentiate between fact and fiction and wonder what a blog about fictitious characters has to do on a Food Board. You should hang your head in shame at that travesty of a recipe for Coq au Vin. I think the dumbing down of this Board has gone too far.

  • Comment number 13.

    Sorry, the gremlins in your system told me I couldn't post my comments, when obviously I could. Hence the repetition. Apologies for the extra posts.

  • Comment number 14.


    I've never heard of Naz. Nor anyone else in your strange blog entry, Ramona.

    Save the brilliant chef, Peter Gordon. His recipes are brilliant.



    Can't you get him to write a decent blog post and recipe for us????!!!

    Now that would be lifting the bar!

  • Comment number 15.

    Don't think any one of us would even bother with chicken breasts in CaV. Suggest you actually look up the genuine recipe if you've got any decent cook books, or perhaps look in Mr. Steins various BBC Publications for his excellant alternative. That which is published at the head of this blog is as much deserving the title as calling a Scrambled Egg lightly Poached.
    Absolute insult and joke. To think I am still prepared to give this excuse of a new and vibrant board even more time to come together eludes me but I shall in hope.

  • Comment number 16.

    Is this the best you can do with your "sparkling new BBC Food Q&A blog", Ramona?

    Call yourself a food writer? You should be deeply ashamed of yourself!

    This latest blog is deeply offensive to the intelligent posters on the BBC Food boards - and to your general public.

    But, TBH, none of the rest of them have been up to much.

    Doubt I'll bother coming back.

  • Comment number 17.

    Just a little bit of explanation about this blog post and our reasons for putting it up. The BBC Food website is for everyone, and our content should serve to educate, inform and entertain all kinds of web users of all ages and backgrounds.

    It’s a tricky thing to be all things to all people and that’s why we’re blogging about subjects as diverse as E numbers in food, small producers in Northern Ireland, vegetarian food, lunchboxes, eating on a budget and food featured in EastEnders. We were hoping that the idea of famous food moments in EastEnders would engage viewers of this programme, to illustrate this: on the E20 Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/BBC-EastEnders/169383494938?ref=ts) there are 31 comments about this post from fans of the show (http://www.bbc.co.uk/eastenders/e20/%29. If we can bring the Food website to some of these younger less-experienced cooks, in my opinion that’s a very good thing. Our posts are aimed at a diverse lot - food lovers - so you can understand that not every post will appeal to every reader. This blog post was intended to be fun and tongue in cheek, you’ll see in the post that we recommend you go to our site if you want an authentic coq au vin recipe (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/coq_au_vin%29.

    Re comment #14 Great idea about getting Peter Gordon on board. We could give it a go - is there anything in particular you would like him to write about?

    Re comment #1 if you were to watch the show, you’d see that Naz isn't a very observant Muslim. She’s cooking for a non-Muslim birthday and also doesn't follow Halal rules completely - she's a rebel teenager.

  • Comment number 18.

    What an waste of a blog opportunity. Well, unless it is just an opportunity for the voice-over at the end of the episode to say:

    The recipe for Naz's ciq au vin recipe is on the BBC's food messageboard blog. Innit...

    ...in an effort to publicise the messageboard and drive new members here. Which isn't a bad thing to attempt but really, Eastenders?!. Are Eastender fans capable of using a "stove"?

    /snob mode

  • Comment number 19.

    Great idea about getting Peter Gordon on board. We could give it a go - is there anything in particular you would like him to write about?

    Well Ramona.
    His books are beautiful, although I've only got 2.

    And my favourite food is Spanish. & my favourite cuisine book to pick up at the moment is Pizzaro.

    So in view of his running a Spanish restaurant, I'd love to see his understanding of Spanish food, coupled with his "stylizing" of Spanish cooking, inclusive of glossy pictures of the plates please.
    I think he photographs his own foods?

    That would just about do it for me! But he can talk about anything he wants to be honest.



  • Comment number 20.

    [quote from Ramona] We were hoping that the idea of famous food moments in EastEnders would engage viewers of this programme, to illustrate this: on the E20 Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/BBC-EastEnders/169383494938?ref=ts) there are 31 comments about this post from fans of the show [/quote from Ramona]

    Really? From an average EastEnders audience of 10.8 million (Jan 2010 figures), you've managed to get 31 comments? I make that 0.0000287% of the audience. Congratulations. In doing so, you've also managed to further alienate 90% (conservative estimate) of the actual contributors to the BBC food site.

    Also, if you must link non-food programmes (and imagine the hoo-ha if we tried to discuss these on the messageboard...) to a food site, do you really believe that the audience is so stupid as to appreciate and connect with your "cool slang" terminology in the recipe? I've never watched EastEnders, but many of my colleagues do, and they would be appalled if they thought that this was the level of intelligence accredited to them.

    By all means attract new posters - I was a new poster once, but let's aim for people interested in food, rather than soaps, eh?

  • Comment number 21.

    [quote from Ramona] We were hoping that the idea of famous food moments in EastEnders would engage viewers of this programme, to illustrate this: on the E20 Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/BBC-EastEnders/169383494938?ref=ts) there are 31 comments about this post from fans of the show [/quote from Ramona]

    Really? From an average EastEnders audience of 10.8 million (Jan 2010 figures), you've managed to get 31 comments? I make that 0.0000287% of the audience. Congratulations. In doing so, you've also managed to further alienate 90% (conservative estimate) of the actual contributors to the BBC food site.

    Also, if you must link non-food programmes (and imagine the hoo-ha if we tried to discuss these on the messageboard...) to a food site, do you really believe that the audience is so stupid as to appreciate and connect with your "cool slang" terminology in the recipe? I've never watched EastEnders, but many of my colleagues do, and they would be appalled if they thought that this was the level of intelligence accredited to them.

    By all means attract new posters - I was a new poster once, but let's aim for people interested in food, rather than soaps, eh?

  • Comment number 22.

    [quote from Ramona] We were hoping that the idea of famous food moments in EastEnders would engage viewers of this programme, to illustrate this: on the E20 Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/BBC-EastEnders/169383494938?ref=ts) there are 31 comments about this post from fans of the show [/quote from Ramona]

    Really? From an average EastEnders audience of 10.8 million (Jan 2010 figures), you've managed to get 31 comments? I make that 0.0000287% of the audience. Congratulations. In doing so, you've also managed to further alienate 90% (conservative estimate) of the actual contributors to the BBC food site.

    Also, if you must link non-food programmes (and imagine the hoo-ha if we tried to discuss these on the messageboard...) to a food site, do you really believe that the audience is so stupid as to appreciate and connect with your "cool slang" terminology in the recipe? I've never watched EastEnders, but many of my colleagues do, and they would be appalled if they thought that this was the level of intelligence accredited to them.

    By all means attract new posters - I was a new poster once, but let's aim for people who are interested in food, rather than soaps, eh?

  • Comment number 23.

    I was going to complain that the title of this post was spelt incorrectly - then a colleague suggested that it was intentional - - Eat!

    Rofl

  • Comment number 24.

    Sorry about the multiple posts - the bugs made me do it!

    Another one to add to your list, Ramona...

  • Comment number 25.

    Quote Ramona, Host of the Food Board

    We were hoping that the idea of famous food moments in EastEnders would engage viewers of this programme>


    and yet you've not had a single positive comment to the blog and have seriously alienated your loyal board members to boot, double fail then.
    Perhaps time to re-think?
    No loss of dignity in recognising when something's not working and listening to your audience instead.


    Quote Ramona:

    It’s a tricky thing to be all things to all people...
    This blog post was intended to be fun>

    Which is why the old saying 'jack of all trades - master of none' remains true to this day.

    Fun?
    Oh.
    Normally I have a very keen sense of humour.

    I think it's very clear from your response Ramona that your brief is to appeal to the lowest common denominator and to date that seems to have failed, whilst at the same time losing committed posters in their droves.


    Obviously the board shouldn't be elitist, the BBC is a publicly funded body and we can all read the charter, new posters are )and have always been welcomed to the board) but you put me in mind of the school where pupils were failing to attend at the prescribed time of 9am - so the school's response was to shunt back the required time to 9.30am! (and there were still late comers and no shows)
    Just how low are you intending to drop that bar?

  • Comment number 26.

    I've just posted to this blog and yet in place of my post is a repeat of David_W's post number 1???


    I guess you still don't want to hear what we're all saying then Ramona?


    Or maybe when I post this, my post will actually appear?

  • Comment number 27.

    Yes.

    Ramona, a different glitch this time.

    As described above, my post didn't seem to appear and yet post #1 showed in its place.
    When I tried to post message 26 a pop up appeared telling me that my post was a duplicate 'you've already said that'

    I hadn't.

    Something for the technical people to investigate then. Thanks.

  • Comment number 28.

    Hi all. I have passed your comments regarding bugs on the system to our central blogs team.

  • Comment number 29.

    Well as a fan of EastEnders and E20 I enjoyed this blog post, having followed a link from the official EastEnders website, and I would certainly be interested in following the recipe! Only I would try not to burn it like Naz did in the show - they ended up getting chips! And Jean Slater's sausage surprise is most certainly legendary!

 

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