Friday, 30 April 2010

Gigs break....

I'm on Scilly for the World Pilot Gig Championships.....

I will be back on Monday with some lovely photos.
(These are from

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Fond of fondants....

Chocolate is the first thing to pass my lips this morning. A finger dipped in a bowl of leftover mixture. It's been left on the side overnight and has solidified into a truffle. I vow not to do it again. Ten minutes later I'm back until I have to fill it with warm water to stop myself having a chocolate breakfast.

Food festivals always put me in this mood. I want to pick at the items I've come home with rather than eat proper meals.

Here's a reminder of some of the best bits of the Porthleven Food and Music Festival....

Although for me one of my favourite bits was being on stage with Jude Kereama and his sous chef Ross from Kota in Porthleven. Jude made duck three ways. I didn't get to try it but the smell on stage was amazing. Then Ross made his chocolate fondants. I'd seen him at the Cornwall Food Festival make them before and I was determined to memorise the recipe. Of course I didn't...I forgot it after about ten minutes so I attempted to make one up for two puddings. It made six.

After homemade pizza for tea with leftover njuda sausage and jalapenos I decided to give the chocolate puddings a go....

Chocolate Puddings...... (serves 6)

100g dark chocolate (the best, darkest chocolate you can get your hands on)
125g/4oz salted butter (plus extra for lining)
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
100g/3oz caster sugar
60g/2oz plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa

Preheat the oven to about 200'c. In a pan melt a tiny bit of butter. Grease small pudding moulds and pop in the fridge. When the butter has set, repeat.

In a bowl break the eggs, the yolk and add the sugar. Whisk together until thoroughly combined.

In a pan on the lowest heat setting melt the chocolate and butter...

Sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa into a separate bowl. Take the melted chocolate/butter and leave to cool for five minutes. The pour it into the egg mix and beat. Add the sieved flour mix and fold in.

Pour into the buttered molds.

Then bake in the oven for 8 minutes for a really runny pudding (how I like them) or 10 minutes for a melting middle pudding (like the other half likes them.) This is a 10 minute one....

Serve with ice cream or cream.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Porthleven Food Festival Part 1

I've never been good at the planning side of cooking. My icing's always lumpy because I can't be bothered to sieve it. My bread could be better if I spent five more minutes kneading it and my fudge is always on the soft side because I get bored beating. So I get a thrill when I have done something right and it pays off. Today I opened a jar of the plum sauce I made in the autumn. I'd forgotten about it to tell you the truth. But there it was hiding between the courgette chutney and the sweet chilli sauce...peering out, hoping to get a look in. I'll tell you what I did with it in a minute....

First I have to tell you about the Porthleven Food Festival. It was lovely to go to a festival and find some different stalls, new producers, new faces. Like this stall of foraged goodies....

I should have done my shopping early on. I was allowed into the tent before it opened and I wish I had because by the time I got my wallet out so had thousands of other people and I couldn't battle the crowds.

There were loads of amazing fish stalls. What I loved the most was there were so many stalls selling unusual hot dishes rather than just food to buy.

I was on stage with Mr Worrell Thompson who was lovely!

Roger from the Cornish Duck Company was there. His ducks are amazing. I read somewhere they are raised on a diet on Classic FM and TLC. I'll write more about them another day because he's invited me along to see the farm...

I love the name of the duck scratchings!

I came home feeling completely inspired. I bought some of Roger's smoked duck. Thin slices of soft, smokey deliciousness and I had to have some for my lunch....

Smoked Cornish Duck and Nduja Salad.........serves 1

6 slices smoked duck
80g nduja sausage I had to use a spicy chorizo but if you can find nduja do so because it's much better for this dish..and if you find somewhere in Cornwall that sells it let me know! I have to ship mine in from London.
A big handful of salad leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp homemade plum sauce
Break up the nduja. Pop it in a pan and fry it (trying not to let it break up). Put the salad in a bowl. In a small bowl whisk the oil, vinegar and the plum sauce. Pour over the salad and toss with your hands.

Add the smoked duck slices and the crispy sausage. Toss.

Serve with a glass of water (it's quite spicy!)

Friday, 23 April 2010

Baked fish with wild garlic and hazelnut pesto...

A lazy blog for a lazy day. An afternoon spent in pyjamas drinking tea and eating crumpets. Wandering to over to the windows wondering how it looks so sunny but feels so cold. Wondering how a dinner so easy tastes so good....

Baked salmon with wild garlic and hazelnut pesto........(serves 1)

1 salmon fillet (pollack would be really good as well)
1 heaped tbsp of the pesto I made yesterday

Preheat the oven to 200'c. Spread the pesto over the fish. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Serve with dressed salad.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Spring in my step....

Spring is in the air. It's not the sunshine, the smiles on people's faces or the first mentions of the Royal Cornwall Show. It's the smell. The earthy soil filling my lungs as I turn the allotment plainting cauliflowers and rhubarb. It's lawns being cut after a harsh winter's hibernation. It's the smell of suncream being rubbed on pale faces.

But if you walk around Cornwall's woods and hedges there's another smell. Every other step you get a waft of Italian restaurants. You can smell wild garlic long before you spot it. I've been trying to find a good patch for weeks and then a collegue at work told me he knew of a sneaky spot. He's been foraging there already and bought me in a slice of his wild garlic and feta filo pie. It was fantastic. So he foraged me a bagful.

And there's plenty for two days of blogs. It's been a long time since I made pesto and I used to love it so much. Spread of toasted homemade bread. Stirred through steaming spaghetti. But best of all on a teaspoon foraged out of the fridge.

Wild garlic, spinach and hazelnut pesto.... (Makes about 4 heaped tablespoons)

1 manly handful of wild garlic leaves
1 small girly handful of spinach
1 handful of hazelnuts
80g pecorino (I would usually use parmesan if it weren't for my ridiculous food intolerance)
olive oil

Wash the wild garlic in a colander. Pat it dry. Put it with the spinach in a mini chopper. Chop until fine. Grated the cheese on a small setting and add to the herbs. In a pan toast the hazelnuts until golden brown. Put in a bowl to cool a little then roll through your fingers and the skin will come off. Add to the mini chopper and blend.
Add a slow drizzle of olive oil, a little at a time, until you have the consistency you want. I live mine quite thick like soft butter. Add a little pepper if you like. Salt isn't needed because of the cheese.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Remains for lunch...

I'm wandering around the kitchen barefoot. Opening cupboards. Closing cupboards. Fridge door open. Fridge door closed. I'm having a lunch dilemma. I want something decadent to celebrate the start of the weekend. But there's not much in the cupboards. I contemplate my usual fallback...poached eggs on crumpets. Then I have a better idea.....

Chorizo stuffed mushrooms with a poached egg......(serves 1)

1 and a half field mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
100g chorizo sausage
half an onion
1 egg
rocket to finish

Peel one field mushroom and drizzle with olive oil. Put in a preheated 180'c oven. Chop up the chorizo into small pieces (but save two circles). Also chop the onion and the half a mushroom into small pieces. Put the vegetables and chorizo in a pan and fry for a couple of minutes.

Poach an egg in a pan. Top the mushroom with the mushroomy, chorizo mix, the egg and the rocket. Fry the last two circles of chorizo and put on the plate.

It was delicious....

Chicken, chorizo and courgette fajitas...

Some nights I get home from work ready for a bit of hard graft. Grating vegetables, chopping herbs, marinating meat. I enjoy it. Sometimes I'll spend hours getting tea ready. (Only for the other half to smother it in tomato ketchup!)

But I don't have a problem spending an afternoon in the sun, wearing sunglasses and reading Red magazine. Then wandering home when the sunset forces me in....

Chicken, chorizo and courgette fajitas.....(sreves 2)

1 chicken breast
200g chorizo sausage
4 tortillas
1 red and 1 yellow pepper
1 courgette
4tbsp sweet chilli sauce
salad leaves

Stroll into the kitchen and put the oven on to 180'c. Now go back to Red magazine for a bit. Painy your toenails the colour of candyfloss. Watch Home and Away.

Slice the chicken into chunks and throw into a baking tray with the chorizo. Pop into the oven. Deseed the peppers and chop into small chunks with the courgette. Drizzle with a little oil. Pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Do a bit more toenail painting, maybe have a drink...

Take the meat and veggies out of the oven. Put the tortillas on the oven shelf. Mix the veggies and meat together. Take the tortillas out of the oven (they only need a minute maximum). Stuff with the meat and vegetables. Drizzle a bit of chilli sauce in there. Wrap. Ps put some salad in if you wish.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Still sunny....

I didn't actually take this picture. The other half cycled 81 miles today...yes that's right 81 miles. This was about halfway when he stopped at Lands End and took a picture of Seven Stones.

I spent my morning at work. But escaped at lunchtime for a sandwich at the Sunset Beach Cafe at Gwithian....

It has the best view in the county...

Did I tell you about my cauliflowers? Remember I planted them on Saturday? Well a big, fat rabbit came along and ate them. I almost cried. Luckily a drive down the tram road at Devoran cheered me up.

Smoked garlic and rosemary potatoes with lemon chicken.....(serves 2)
2 jacket potatoes
1 sprig rosemary
3 cloves smoked garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts
1 lemon
black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200'c. Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes.

Put in a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Add the chopped smoked garlic and the rosemary. Bake for 30 minutes.

In another baking tray put the chicken breasts withe the chopped lemon. Drizzle with a little oil and crack some black pepper over the top. Put in the oven 10 minutes after the potatoes.

Serve with a herb salad and mayonnaise.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Smoked garlic barbecue kebabs.....

I went for lunch at Sennen today......

The food at the beach cafe was very good. Chorizo with butter beans and fish goujons.

We looked out to sea......

Scilly is there somewhere... Then we drove to Porthcurno.....

And Lamorna....

We were going to have a barbecue but it's not as warm as yesterday. So we had an indoor barbecue instead. Unfortunately our oven isn't as smokey as a beach barbecue. Luckily I remembered that a listener gave me some smoked garlic a while back.
Smoked garlic barbecue sauce chicken kebabs (makes 5)

4 chicken breasts
1 onion
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp smoked paprika
3 smoked garlic cloves
1 sprig rosemary
1 pinch dried chilli flakes
1 bay leaf
1 dsp honey
1dsp balsamic vinegar
1 dsp olive oil
2 tbsp tomato ketchup

Put the dry spices, rosemary, bay and garlic in a pestle and mortar and grind into a paste.

Add the vinegar and oil. Then the honey and ketchup.

Spread over the chicken.

Slice into chunks and thread onto kebab sticks with small chunks of onion inbetween.

Bake in a 180'c oven for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with pitta, mayo and salad.