Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Bank Holiday Salad.....

I love Bank Holidays. Three days of mooching. Waking up late, eating cooked breakfasts. This weekend we went sailing from Restronguet (in between Falmouth and Truro.) We sailed down to Falmouth. I even held ropes, tied knots and turned winchy things. I felt very Howards Way.

We went into the harbour and ate pasties and fish and chips. On the way home we fished. All we caught was seaweed and half an oyster shell.

Remember those slow roast tomatoes I cooked last week. They made an appearance again in an evening salad. But spot the mistake. I took the photos before adding the slow roasted tomatoes.

Double Tomato Bulgur Wheat Salad.......(serves 1)

1 handful bulgur wheat
10 slow roasted tomatoes
5 normal tomatoes
50g feta cheese
1 handful basil
1 handful parsley
1 inch cucumber
half a lemon
1 tbsp olive oil

Put the wheat in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil for 10 minutes for until soft. Chop the feta, slow roast tomatoes, tomatoes and cucumber into small chunks.

Chop the herbs and add to the other ingredients. Drain the bulgar wheat and add to the salad. Mix with the tips of your fingers. Squeeze the lemon over the top and add the olive oil.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Bean there, done that.......

There's nothing that sums up summer more than a cream tea. A great fat dollap of clotted cream on a jam spread scone. This week is National Cream Tea Week. (Does that mean we get to eat them everyday?)

And although I love cream teas, I love cooking with clotted cream as well. So when Roddas gave me some clotted cream to enjoy I tried to make the most of it. And anyway it's difficult to enjoy a cream tea when the weather is like this.....

Cornish Beans.......(Serves 4)

A good handful of fine green beans topped and tailed (about 40)

2 tbsp clotted cream

4 slices of streaky bacon


In a pan of boiling water drop the beans and cook for 3 minutes until tender. Chop the bacon into small pieces and fry in a hot pan until crispy.

Drain the beans and pop back into the pan. Add the bacon, pepper and cream and mix together. Serve with some roast chicken or even pasta.

This was before I mixed them together. It looked prettier!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Crumble Grumble....

Now when I get up in the morning it's dark. There's no sunrise. No joggers. Just me in the dark. And as the earlier morning glow has gone so has my summer craving for salads, fish and barbecues. I want warmth, slow cooking, roast dinners, pork chops. The lovely people at Roddas kindly gave me some clotted cream a while ago and my other half thought Christmas had come when he came home to some crumble..........

Rhubarb and Brazil Nut Crumble (Serves 2 normal people, 1 hungry boy)

5 rhubarb sticks chopped into cubes
a splash of water
2 heaped tbsp demerara sugar
3oz/80g plain flour
1oz/25g porridge oats
2oz/55g demerara sugar
2oz/55g butter
1oz/25g finely chopped brazil nuts

Preheat the oven to 180'c. In a pan over a medium heat put the rhubarb, water and 2 tbsp sugar.

Let it bubble away for about 10 minutes until soft. And set aside in an oven proof dish.

In a bowl put the flour, oats, nuts and sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingers until crumbley. Spoon on top of the fruit.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with some clotted cream.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Cornwall Food Festival 2010 Preview

A month today I'll have a purse full of money, an empty cupboard and a blog ready to be written as it's just a month to go until the Cornwall Food and Drink Festival 2010.

My favourite chef Chris Eden from The Driftwood at Portscatho will be cooking there. (Mental note: must book birthday meal there). Again I could go on and on about how much I love the place...but you can read it again here.

And the lovely Ben Tunnicliffe formerly of The Abbey in Penzance now of The Scarlet Hotel at Mawgan Porth. Two years ago he did an amazing beetroot and blue cheese salad. It was incredible.

Exhibitors include some of my favourites Roddas, Roskillys, Healeys Cider Farm, Deli Farm Charcuterie and the Cornish Sea Salt Company.

I'll also be visiting The Cheese Shop stall to stop up on some non cows milk cheeses to keep me going. While the other half enjoys indulging in as much brie as he likes!

Crispy Cornish Brie with Sweet Chilli Sauce (serves 2).....

1 small Cornish brie (about 125g/5oz)

1 egg
1 handful of breadcrumbs
3 tbsp plain flour
1 pint of vegetable/groundnut oil
4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (I must blog the recipe for this one...)

Pour the oil into a heavy based based and heat for a minute of two. Cut the brie into six triangles. On 3 plates put the beaten egg, flour and breadcrumbs.

Roll each chunk in the egg, then the flour, then the egg again, then the breadcrumbs. Test the oil is hot enough by putting a small chunk of bread in. If it fiercely sizzles it's ready. Carefully put the brie pieces in two at a time until golden brown. When all six after cooked split between two plates and serve with the sweet chilli sauce.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Toffee Apple.....

The next time you tuck into a bowl of your favourite ice cream beware of where it comes from. Apparently an ice cream's place of origin affects your mood. Food psychologist Greg Tucker If you eat American ice cream that contains lots of bits in it makes you feel busy and a bit like a "modern teenager". This made me laugh as me and the other half often have teenager style fights with spoons over a tub of Ben and Jerrys Cookies and Cream.

If you're dipping in to Scottish ice cream Tucker thinks you get feeling of indulgence. Again I'm sceptical. I generally feel indulgent when I'm tucking into any tub of ice cream because I tend to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

And on to Cornish ice cream which makes you think of beaches and the seaside. Hear I am not at all sceptical because, of course, Cornish ice cream is the best in the world.

My moody is dreamy and happy today- not because of ice cream- but because at last we have a sunny day. OK that might be an exaggeration. Sunny patches perhaps. So I used to Cornish ice cream to make a happy, dreamy, seasidey, beachey pudding....

Caramelised Apple with Honeycomb Ice Cream....(serves 1)

1 cooking apple (look at my massive bowl! Goodbye courgette recipes, hello apples)
3 tbsp icing sugar
1 small chunk of salted butter
1 scoop of Kelly's Honeycomb Ice Cream (you can get it in Tescos I think- if you live outside Cornwall)

Slice the top and bottom off the apple and set aside. Peel your apple.

Cut around the core and push it out with your fingers.

Slice the apple horizontally into rings. Warm some butter in a large pan. Dust the rings with the icing sugar and place one at a time in the foaming butter.

Cook for a couple of minutes on each side, flipping over carefully when they start to go a bit gooey at the edges.

Stack them up with the biggest ring at the bottom. Put the apple "hat" on the top.
Serve with a big scoop of honeycomb ice cream.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Slow food.....

There's nothing that smells as summery as a deep sniff of a handful of tomatoes, warm from the greenhouse. I love the smell of the plants, the fruit, the sunflower yellow flowers. This summer the tomatoes have been disappointing. Only half the plants have survived. None of the beefsteak tomatoes, only the tiny cherry red and orange ones have made it to August and even then they are no bigger than wine gums.

Most of the time I'm eating them off the plants while searching for cucumbers among their grow bags. But yesterday I decided to cook with them. This week I grabbed a mouthful of my bosses lunch off her desk....a salad with some slow roasted tomatoes in it. 100% delicious.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes........

About 20 cherry tomatoes
A drizzle of olive oil
fresh oregano
1 small clove of garlic
fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 150'c. Place the tomatoes in a baking tray and drizzle with some olive oil. Put in the oven for 2 and a half hours.

This is what they will look like after an hour.

After 2 and a half hours the tomatoes will look like this....not dried out and chewy but soft and intensely tomatoey. Take out of the oven. In a pestle an mortar crush the garlic, herbs, seasoning with a little olive oil and pour over the tomatoes. On their own they are amazing with some toast or toss through warm pasta or a salad. (See next blog post!)

Monday, 16 August 2010

Dash and crab....

It's like Harvest Festival in our flat. Every nook seems to be bursting with beans or over flowing with flowers.....

Snacks are green beans and meals are 90% vegetables.

Once a week or so I'm all vegged out. This week I wanted pizza. Pizza with no vegetables on it. (Apart from salad, that's not a vegetable in my book.)

Crab and Chilli Pizza......(Serves 1)

I've done recipes for pizza before here. I'm just too lazy to type it out again.
So this time follow the same based and sauce mix. You just need these....

75g/3oz dressed crab
Tabasco sauce
1 handful watercress
1 tbsp pesto
100g/4oz mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 200'c.
After making the base, placing it on a lined baking tray and spreading the sauce over the top add teaspoons of the crab. Tear the cheese and scatter around the pizza. Splash with tabasco sauce (to your taste!).

Pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Dress the watercress with the pesto. Once you've taken the pizza out of the oven top with the watercress.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Last night we stood on Penryn quay to watch the fireworks marking the end of Falmouth Week. As the bangers lit up the sky I realised just how dark it was at 10pm. Gone are the summer barbecues when we're still eating at 10pm and everyone gasps when they realise how late it's got because it's light enough to be 7pm. Anyway here are some more shots of Falmouth Week....

But as sad as I feel about summer coming to an end I can't help but be excited because I love autumn. I love everything turning brown, the first day you see your breath in the air, the empty beaches, the amazing autumn light. I think this is the first year I have made chutney so early but arriving back from holidays to huge marrows and a tree full of apples I had to get on it....

Apple and Courgette Chutney......(Makes about 8 biggish jars)

1kg apples cored (but leave the peel on)
1 1/2 kg courgettes (or marrows) I used a mixture of yellow and green
600g onions
250g sultanas
100g dried apple slices
500g sugar
300ml cider vinegar
400ml white wine vinegar
1 mug water
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp all spice berries
2 sticks cinnamon
3 balls of stem ginger in syrup
2 tsp dried chilli

You'll need a really big heavy based pan for this. Chop the fruit and vegetables into rough chunks and pop in the pan. Add all the other ingredients.
Mix with your hands.

Pop on the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and boil for about 2 hours or until a rich dark brown.

Leave the chutney to cool for around an hour and put in sterilised jam jars and top with a circle of greaseproof paper and a lid. I'll leave the chutney until Christmas before I eat it.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Cheese, potato and minted pea cakes.....

It's Falmouth Week this week. The biggest regatta in the South West. Falmouth has such a lovely atmosphere at the moment. Tomorrow we'll go and watch the fireworks over the harbour.

Last night the Red Arrows came to Falmouth (as did about 30,000 other people). I was completely blown away.

These photos just don't do them justice.

I didn't get home until late so lucky I had fed myself up before leaving the flat.....

Cheese, potato and minted pea cakes......(serves 2)
1lb/450g potatoes peeled
1oz/25g butter
2oz/ 55g cheddar
salt and pepper
1 handful fresh peas (or frozen)
1 handful finely chopped mint
splash of balsamic vinegar
oil for frying
We have a massive orange bucket full of potatoes. Malcolm my allotment neighbour says most people have got blight which will explain where my plants have gone. He said I had about 3 weeks to dig them up so expect a lot of potato recipes.

Boil the peeled potatoes for about 15 minutes until mashable.

Add the butter and mash. Then stir in the cheese. In a pan of boiling water add the peas for 4 minutes.

Drain. Stir through the mint. Put in a bowl and add the vinegar. Add to the cheesey mash.

Mould into little cakes. Fry in a little hot oil or butter.