Fantastic Local Food

Hambleton Hall

For those living locally, or travelling to the area, there's 9 of the Midlands best lunches on offer for less money until the end of March.

Meals start from as little as £12.95 for 2 courses, and for less than £25 you can have a two course lunch at either of the two Michelin starred restaurants featured.

For a full list of venues and prices see the Great Food Club website.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Turkey Sausage

Turkey Sausage

It was only when we needed freezer space just before Christmas that I remembered that we'd bought a large turkey when they were selling them off after last Christmas! The time had come to use it up - there was 10lb of meat once I'd boned it.

I was confident that some of the Chicken recipes I'd seen over the years could be easily adapted for Turkey. I was that confident that I didn't do the small trial batches I would normally do when developing a recipe. How wrong I was proved to be; talk about 'pride comes before a fall'; we hated them!

The two (badly stuffed!) sausages pictured above are Turkey, Spring Onion and Chilli, which also included some garlic and fresh ginger; and Turkey, Spinach and White Stilton, an adaption of one with Feta to make it more local. Whether the turkey was 'past it', or whether chicken and turkey aren't as interchangeable as I thought they were, I don't know. What I do know is no-one liked them.

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Now, the Turkey 'Ham' that I made at the same time? Now that's another story...

Monday 19 January 2015

Mushroom and Kale Soup

Blimey, not another soup recipe! We've already had nettle, tomato, wild garlic, chicken, vegetable, artichoke, pumpkin, and even another mushroom one! I know, I know, but until recently, I've never been really happy with the using water instead of stock for the vegetarian ones; vegetable stock powder invariably gives a celery flavour to the whole soup, and to be honest, even when I've made vegetable stock I've never been really happy with it.

However, I reckon I've found the answer, at least for mushroom soups. Dried Porcini absolutely transforms them. I'd never bothered with it until now because of the price. But, recently I've been looking for things that help to lower my calorie intake and have been surprised; it's not always the lower calorie items that are best. For example, you get far more 'bang for your buck' from, say, high calorie Stilton that a reduced calorie cheese. Just try it, tiny pieces of stilton will add flavour, whereas you'd need double the amount of the lower calorie product. Well, when I was thinking along these lines, I also realised that the same applies to using very small amounts of expensive items, and there's no doubt that Porcini is expensive: £60 - £80 per kilo, but if you only use 10gm it's only 60p, or about 10p per bowl.

Kale and Mushroom soup ingredients

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Monday 15 December 2014
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Fruit Tarts

Once you've mastered the Pâte sucrée recipe there are numerous things that you can use it for. One of the nicest is a fruit tart. Whether made with one type of fruit or many, plain pastry cream or flavoured, they're simple, easy to make, look impressive, and most importantly, taste good.

Once the pastry cases have been baked, the only real cooking left to do is to make a pastry cream, or to use its posh french name, crème pâtissière. Either way, it's a type of custard!

Fruit Tart

Recipes for it vary, but contain milk, egg and some form of flour. Most recipes just use egg yolk which leaves the egg whites to use up; as you'll already have some from making the pastry, this recipe is good as it uses the whole egg. It's from the book Take Twelve Cooks and is a recipe by by Michael Nadell.

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Monday 15 December 2014
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Henderson's Relish - Sheffield's Secret Weapon

Henderson's RelishOnce in a while you come across an ingredient that is so superb that you have to write about it. Sheffield's Secret Weapon, Henderson's Relish is one of those. How it managed to slip my attention when I spent 9 months of 1975 in Lodgemoor Hospital in Sheffield, I just don't know. It's superb, and well worth seeking out.

At first glance and taste you'll probably think that it's a copy of Lea and Perrins famous Worcestershire sauce, but you'll soon realise that it's subtlety different - not so harsh and aggressive a taste. Whereas Worcestershire sauce can dominate, Hendo's compliments.

Henderson's relish is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

As to its manufacture? Is it made in a factory on Parkway Rise, Sheffield, or does it drip from seams in the local coal mines as suggested by my Yorkshire mate . Now, I like to think that it comes from a secret well situated under the old Lodgemoor Hospital clock-tower and that's why the clock-tower was left standing when the hospital was demolished!

In any case, it's available from numerous shops in the Sheffield and North Derbyshire area and nationally at Morrisons Online or other online suppliers.

Monday 15 December 2014
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