Sunday, 26 September 2010

Cornwall Food Festival Days 2 & 3

I learnt something new today. When cooking mackerel you should put it in a cold pan. It makes the skin crispier. I didn't know that. And that's what I love about the Cornwall Food and Drink Festival you come away feeling creative and excited about food as if it's all new. This year my favourite new find was this...Cornish rapeseed oil.

It's delicious. I made a dressing this morning for a lunchtime salad (that I'll blog about later this week) and I'll rave about it then. I've just poured it over jacket potatoes with Cornish Sea Salt for an extra crispy jacket. There were so many great products...

And everyone I asked said they had done amazingly well. At a time when people are cutting back on spending money the Cornish thought "stuff that, I need sausages." These are my kind of people. "So I can't afford to put petrol in my car at least I've got enough yarg to last me until Christmas." (2011.)

I spent a lot of money on booze. The other half pounced on the boozey ginger beer when I got home...luckily I had some yarg to distract him with...

Alcoholic ginger beer pudding with ginger sauce......(makes 12 portions, but 6 of you will eat it!)

200g/7oz dates
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g/4oz butter
2 eggs
200g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
2 tsp dried ginger

For the sauce.....

100g/4oz butter (salted)
1 small pot double cream (142ml)
200g demerara sugar
1 pinch Cornish Sea Salt
1 tsp dried ginger or 1 tsp ginger syrup

Before we launch into the recipe I forgot the most exciting part of today. I made the other half wait for half an hour so we could push to the front and watch Nathan Outlaw's demonstration. Unfortunately three 70 year old women were faster than us (and had lethal handbags) so we had to settle for second row.
He made scallops with squash, bacon and grapes. Then mackerel (with the crispy skin) and lemon mayonnaise. Then an apple and sugared pistachio cheesecake. Oh. My. God. I have never hated being lactose intolerant more than today. Anyway. Where was I? Ah yes pudding. Preheat the oven to 180'c. Then put the dates in a bowl. Warm the ginger beer and pour over the dates. Add the bicarbonate of soda. Leave for 1 hour.
You can leave them whole or break them up a little with your hands. In a separate bowl cream the sugar and butter.

Add the eggs one at a time and mix in. Add the flour and ginger and fold. When mixed, add the date mixture which should be cool by now. Place in a buttered tray.

Cook for 40 minutes or until firm.

In a pan put the butter, sugar, cream and ginger. Put over a low heat, stirring every now and again.

When it's turned a caramel colour and all the sugar has dissolved add the sea salt. Cut the pudding into squares and top with the sauce....

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