30 May 2013


In a bid to introduce more vegetable-based meals into our diet, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's book, River Cottage Veg Everyday has been taken from the bookcase and firmly installed in the kitchen with our other favourite recipe books. I love this book and need to try more of the recipes. Tonight's recipe was a take on a family favourite, kedgeree. Vegetable kedgeree -or vegeree as Hugh christened it -is a gorgeous dish for capturing the tastes of seasonal produce, and can easily be adapted by what food is currently in your veg box.
  • 3 medium onions
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Around 1 tbsp curry powder, depending on how much of a kick you like
  • 300g basmati rice
  •  4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Sea salt and black pepper
Preheat your oven to 190'C/gas mark 5. Slice the onions lengthwise and chop the aubergine, courgette and peppers into 1cm chunks.
Pop all the veg into a roasting pan, and toss with the oil, curry powder and plenty of salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook the rice according to pack instructions, or to a preferred method. Bring a pan of water to a gentle simmer, add the eggs and cook for 7 minutes for a "soft-hard boil", and then immediately cool in a bowl of cold water before peeling and cutting into quarters. 
Mix the rice with the roasted vegetables, seasoning if needed, and add the eggs. Have a rummage in your cupboard to see if you have any mango chutney; I can never resist adding a good dollop!

22 May 2013

Betty's at Malton Food Festival

On Saturday, whist at the food festival, I had booked myself into the cookery school marquee for a lesson with Betty's. I was pretty pleased to have booked early and got a place, as I have since heard that the demand for tickets was so high that the event could have easily sold out ten times over. I've been wanting to book myself into one of Betty's courses for a while now, but I've been stuck in trying to pick exactly which one to go on; so this was a good introductory taste.

I think that there were about ten of us in all, and I was partnered with the lovely Anne, who was also new to the Betty's school experience. We spent an hour cheerily working through together, helping each other out with juggling pans over the hob and passing around our ingredients. The lesson was hosted by Amy and Lisa, both senior tutors at Betty's Cookery School in Harrogate. I'd actually met Lisa back in November when she was doing a demonstration at the Country Living Christmas Fair. They both guided us all through the dishes step by step, checking up on us all the way, so that nobody was left behind, or with anything other than delicious results.

We made potato rösti and pikelets, which are like a flat crumpet. The rösti were absolutely, mouth wateringly gorgeous, filled with Gruyère cheese and special Betty's bacon lardons. My Father got hold of my finished rösti, and before we'd even left the tent it had shrunk in size considerably! I won't be sharing either recipe, since I don't believe that they are publicly available, but a tip for the rösti is to partially boil the potato the night before, and not to be shy with the butter -this is not the most healthy of dishes!
The pikelets were lovely too; I'm not entirely sure exactly how they differ in terms of ingredients to crumpets, but since they don't require extra equipment like crumpet rings, they are much less fuss to make; simply needing to be poured in small batches like pancakes onto a pan, ideally a crepe pan if you have one. We were each given a pot of Betty's own lemon curd for the pikelets, along with a recipe card to make our own. I am really pleased about this, as I can honestly say that it was the best lemon curd that I have ever tasted; full of flavour and with a decent kick of sharpness to it. I ate a couple of my pikelets warm the next day, slathed with the lemon curd and served with fresh strawberries, which was heavenly.
I thoroughly enjoyed the session, and I will certainly be looking into booking myself a full day's course with Betty's in the future. The whole team ensured that the session ran smoothly despite the atrocious weather on Saturday, and helped to make the event a really enjoyable experience. If you ever find yourself in the North Yorkshire area, do try and book yourself in for a lesson, or afternoon tea at on of Betty's Tearooms. You won't be disappointed.

20 May 2013

Malton Food Lover's Festival

This weekend saw Malton Food Lover's Festival bring thousands of foodies together in two days of culinary heaven. Undeterred by Saturday's rain, I headed in early to explore, and I was impressed by what I found. Cars had been banned from all around the market square to allow the roads to contain the overflowing glut of stands and marquee's, and, if it weren't for the rain, one could have been in a traditional French market town.

Malton is a community that is becoming known for its artisan food companies, with a monthly market, under the same name as the festival, running alongside the traditional one. On any given Saturday morning, the town will be bustling with shoppers shunning the supermarkets in favour of the local butcher's and grocery shops; and friends meeting for a drink in one of the tearooms, or award-winning Leoni's coffee shop. This culinary status has been cemented for the last four years by the annual Food Festival.
Image: thepatisseriemalton.co.uk
There was a huge range and variety of stalls, and before long it was too busy for me to get any good photographs of many of the producers, as crowds flooded in. As well as companies from across Yorkshire, it was good to see Malton businesses getting involved, including The Patisserie, which has to be one of my favourite places to go to in Malton for beautiful pasties and tarts.
Ryan Jepson cheeses, from whom we bought some Brunost, which is a rich, treacle-y golden brown cheese from Norway.
 I was pleased to see that a key theme of the Festival was organic, local produce, such as Goodness Growing (pictured) and Riverford's Organics vegbox company.

 As well as traditional foodstuff, it was interesting to see different products, such as rapeseed oil from the appropriately named Gold from the Wold.

Sweet treats were definitely a theme of the day, with a mind boggling amount of goodies to choose from. We brought home a selection of tarts, almond croissants (of course!) for breakfast the next day and a oozing Baklava that took some sittings to eat. One stand, that I didn't have a chance to sample from, was Bedazzled Cupcakes. On display was a refreshingly wide variety of flavours, and some beautifully displayed gift boxes, which were just lovely.
 Image: Bedazzledcupcakes.co.uk
I was lucky enough to be able to get a place at Betty's Cookery School in the workshop marquee, which I will be writing about this week. I adore Betty's, to the point where I have to restrain myself from going in every time I pass one of their tearooms, so I was really pleased to be able to attend the workshop.
There were lots of demonstrations, dining sessions and talks going on throughout the weekend. The choice of talk in my household was Jay Rayner's talk on his new book "A Greedy Man in a Hungry World". It is really worth going to talks like these, as you move away from the frivolity of early evening chat shows, find out more about the depth of the author's knowledge and are presented with a much more balanced argument when issues are raised. In his book, Rayner discusses the implications of an exponentially growing global population where agriculture is struggling to keep up. He challenges the concept of a farmer's market as "the lifestyle choice for middle classes" and suggests a need for "sustainable intensification". The talk itself was engaging and left the audience intrigued about reading the rest of the book.

For my first taste of Malton Food Festival, I found the event superbly organised, with lots of staff and an information tent to help you out; a shuttle bus for transporting visitors to and fro; and a well thought-out  layout, with stalls that were well equipped to deal with the great British weather. With a branding of "Malton in Yorkshire is the 'county's culinary capital'" from Antonio Carluccio, I had high expectations, and these were greatly surpassed. After all the rain of Saturday, Sunday dawned bright and beautiful. Sadly, I couldn't make it, but I am sure that the Yummy Yorkshire Ice Cream Company's liquorice ice cream (yes really) went down a treat with the crowds. Their flavours left my mouth watering, as did the rest of the festival. One thing is certain; you'll find me there next year.

16 May 2013

Piperade-Style Beans

Thanks to school holidays and study leave, I've found myself at home a fair bit lately, which allowed me to come up with some more creative, yet healthy, lunches. Here, I was inspired by a piperade, a traditional Basque dish made by sautéing onions, tomatos and peppers, into which eggs are scrambled. It is commonly served as a side dish, and so to make it suitable for a light meal in it's own right, I added celery and butter beans. I then served steaming dish up with a slice of fresh Irish wheaten bread; a perfect hint of summer for a gloomy day.
Serves two
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion or shallot
  • Clove of garlic, crushed
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 1/2 tsp espelette pepper, or chilli powder
  • 1 pepper
  • 2-3 sticks of celery
  • 3 medium tomatoes, or a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Tin of butter, or bortoli beans, drained
Chop the onions, garlic and all vegetables.
Place a frying pan over a medium-high heat, add about a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic with the thyme for five minutes. Add pepper or chilli powder, and then the rest of the ingredients, save the beans, and cook with the lid on for a further 10 minutes, until soft.
Toss in the beans, allowing them to heat through for a minute. You could omit the beans and stir in a beaten egg for a proper piperade. Serve immediately.

Apologies for the poor quality photos; the piperade was so steamy!

Nearly there...

Hello again loves! I am on study leave now as exams have just started and I couldn't wait any longer to get blogging again. I have a busy week ahead of me, with a full weekend's working and then five exams next week! If it wasn't for retakes and general studies, I would of just had one, but I'm trying not to think about that one too much...

So, apart from being chained to the old revision desk, what have I been up to? Firstly, I finally got my own ebay account after years of buying and selling via my parents accounts. Thanks to this, I had a perfect boredom buster for whenever revision has got too much, and I have been stocking up on summer dresses and pretty things for my room, to the point where I have banned any further spending this month...

In the kitchen, I have been trying out some new dishes, including some more meat-free fare. I'd love to take up the challenge of going veggie for a month, particularly with summer produce growing as we speak, but first I need to develop my repertoire or else I'll be living off jacket spuds, salads and quiches. I'll be posting up these recipes over the coming weeks, and I have also got a few bits of news and bits to share, but all in good time...
Incidentally, whilst the weather has been pretty pleasant today; has anyone else got caught out? I keep on getting rained on on my way home, and last week I arrived looking like a slightly hysterical drowned rat! Roll on holidays.....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...