No. 113 - May/June 2013

 

Welcome to the May/June 2013  Recipes4us Newsletter and it's back to normal....more or less.

 

If you have any suggestions, additions or interesting questions for the newsletter, please write to me at Newsletter@Recipes4us.co.uk .  You can now quickly share this page with your friends and family via twitter, facebook, email plus lots of other options by using one of the buttons below. There's even a print button.

 

  Happy Cooking!

 

 

 

 

 

Florence Sandeman,

                             Publisher

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Below are links to articles and full recipes featured in this newsletter.

 

Titles in black are articles: Titles in blue are recipes

 

Food celebrations in May

7th – 13th National Honey Week (UK)
11th - 18th National Doughnut Week 12th – 18th British Sandwich Week 19th-25th National Watercress Week
16th Coquilles St Jacque Day
20th – 26th National Vegetarian week 27th – 2nd June National BBQ Week
31st National Macaroon Day
National Raisin Week
National Asparagus Month
National Burger Month
National Egg Month (US)
National Salsa Month (US)
National Strawberry Month
National Salad month

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Lamb and mint

 

From a purely culinary point of view, because lamb is a fatty meat, pairing it with something acidic or sharp to counteract the richness is the natural thing to do. For this reason, in England, mint sauce which is made of freshly chopped mint, sugar, and vinegar, has been the traditional accompaniment for roast lamb since the mid-19th century. However it would appear that this wasn't the original reason.

 

In medieval times, lamb wasn't as widely available as it is now due to practical and economic reasons, as these animals were not only used for meat, but also for the production of milk, cheese, wool and even parchment for writing.  So, for most,  it was common practise to eat older animals i.e. mutton, which had lived long and productive lives.

 

Anyone who has eaten mutton (which is a sheep older than 2 years), will know it has a  distinctively strong flavour. However, this strong flavour can be enhanced somewhat by eating it with other strong flavourings,  such as mint.

 

Another story I came across relates to Elizabethan times when wool was England's main export product, creating large revenues for the State. To stop her subjects eating young tender lamb which would deprive the wool industry of the much sought after wool, Queen Elizabeth I decreed that lamb could only be served with bitter herbs such as mint.  It should be remembered that sugar was expensive in those days, so most people wouldn't be able to afford to add sugar to the mint.  An interesting story though how true it is, I'm not entirely sure.

 

Did you know . . .

The meat of a sheep in its first year is lamb;

The meat of a juvenile sheep older than one year but less than 2 years is hogget;

The meat of an adult sheep two years and older is mutton.
 

Although you can buy ready made mint sauce easily, making you own is really easy with the added advantage that you can make small quantities: no more half empty jars cluttering up your fridge. Here's a recipe.

 

Classic Mint Sauce   Veg CD ACC English  30mins

 

Serves 6-8   Cold  Vegetarian  Vegan  Herbs  Accompaniment  Savoury Sauces  Gluten Wheat Dairy Free  Eggless  England  British  Europe

 

Ingredients

25g/1oz Finely Chopped Mint Leaves

2 teasp Caster Sugar
2 tbsp Boiling Water
2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar

Instructions


1. Place all the ingredients in a small bowl, mix well and allow to stand for 20 minutes.

 

Why not grow your own mint. It's relatively easy and has the added advantage that it's a perennial plant, i.e. although it dies back in the winter, it re-grows the next year.  See our quick guide to growing mint

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19th - 25th May is National Watercress Week

 

Did you know . . . .

 

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Watercress is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables known to man and can be traced back more than 3,000 years

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In 400BC Hippocrates, founder of the first ever hospital on the island of Kos, prescribed watercress to his patients

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Watercress used to be sold by hawkers in the streets of London who called it Crest Marine.

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Gram for gram watercress contains more Vitamin C than oranges, more iron than spinach, more vitamin A than apples, more vitamin E than broccoli and more calcium than milk

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True watercress is a semi aquatic plant and is classed as a herb

 

See our latest press release which features a recent study about watercress and DNA protection. In the meantime below as our latest video in which you can see me prepare this delicious egg-based roulade.

 

Three-Cheese, Pepper & Watercress Roulade

Instructions

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4 then line a 30cm x 23cm (12in x 9in) Swiss roll tin with non stick baking or parchment paper making sure you allow it to overhang the long sides a little which will make it easier to remove the cooked roulade from the tin. Set aside.

2. Place the sliced spring onions, chopped peppers egg yolks, gruyere cheese, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and mix well.

3. In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff then fold a third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, until well blended. Add the remainder of the egg whites and fold in using a spatula or knife, working as quickly as you can.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it well into the corners, and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and set. Remove from the tin and place, paper side up onto another large piece of parchment paper then peel off the paper from the back of the cooked roulade. Set aside to cool.

5. Meanwhile, place the goats cheese, cream cheese and ground black pepper in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk or wooden spoon until soft and well blended.

6. Gently spread the cheese mixture over the cold roulade to within 6mm/ ¼ - inch of all sides, then scatter the watercress leaves evenly over the cheese then roll it up from the long side. Best served at room temperature.
 

Cook and Prep time: 50 mins
Serves: 4 as a Main Course up to 12 as a light Starter

Ingredients
For the Egg Roulade
2 Spring Onions green and white parts, thinly sliced
½ a Red Sweet Pepper (Capsicum) very finely chopped
4 Eggs, separated
50g/2oz Gruyere or Cheddar Cheese, grated
90ml/3fl.oz milk
Salt and pepper
For the filling
100g/4oz Cream cheese, at room temperature
100g/4oz Soft Goat’s Cheese e.g. Chevre, at room temperature
1 x 85g/+3oz pack watercress, washed, dried and coarse stems removed

 

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Here are another couple of great recipes using watercress courtesy of www.watercress.co.uk
 

Warm Watercress Chicken and Blueberry Salad


 

Prep & cook Cook: 15 mins        Serves 4
 

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
300g mini chicken fillets, cut into bite sized pieces
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
6 spring onions, sliced
100g blueberries
150g watercress
For the dressing:
zest and juice 1 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey

Instructions

1. To cook the chicken, heat the oil in a non stick frying pan, add the pieces and sauté over a medium heat for 6-8 mins or until golden on the outside and cooked through.

2. Add the pumpkin seeds and cook for a further 2 mins until they are lightly toasted. Add the spring onion and blueberries, stir well to mix, then remove from the heat.

3. To make the dressing: place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork. Season to taste.

4. To serve, arrange the watercress in a salad bowl, add the dressing and toss to mix. Add the chicken mixture and serve.

Warm Watercress Potato Cake and Trout

 

Prep & Cook: 50 mins      Serves 4


Ingredients
700g potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
100g watercress, lightly chopped
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
150g hot smoked trout fillets, broken into flakes
50g watercress
4 eggs

Instructions

1. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10-15mins or until they are tender. Drain, return to the pan and mash until smooth. Add the chopped watercress, beaten egg and plenty of seasoning. Mix well then leave until cool enough to handle.

2. Preheat the oven to 200oC/ 400oF/Gas Mark 6. Divide the mixture into four, and shape each into a neat cake shape. Brush on all sides with the oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 mins or until the cakes are golden brown.

3. When ready to serve, bring a frying pan of salted water to the boil. Reduce the heat so the water is just simmering, then crack the four eggs and gently drop them into the water. Cook for 3-4 mins or until the eggs are poached to your liking. Lift them from the water with a slotted spoon and drain.

4. Place a potato cake on each plate, top with watercress, flaked trout and the poached egg. Serve straight away.

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Nature's Sweetener - Honey

 

 

7th - 13th May is National Honey Week (UK)

 

What exactly is honey and how is it produced?

 

Basically, honey is nectar with added enzymes. Nectar is the clear liquid that drops from the end of  a flower blossom, which is 80% water with some complex sugars.   

 

Honeybees suck the nectar out of the flowers then store it in their "honey stomachs"  (they actually have two stomachs).  Once their honey stomach is full, they return to the hive or nest. But consider this: Honeybees must visit between 100 and 1500 flowers in order to fill their honey stomachs  and when full, it holds almost 70 mg of nectar .....which is almost as much as the bee weighs itself!

 

To find out what happens next, visit our Honey Page.

 

In the meantime, here is a gorgeous recipe for a Greek/Turkish sweet delight.

 

 

Baklava

 

Veg HT CD DP Greek Turkish 75mins plus standing

Makes 18 pieces

Ingredients
200g/7oz Phyllo Pastry
175g/6oz Butter
225g/8oz Finely chopped Pistachios, Almonds or Walnuts or a mixture
25g/1oz Sugar
½ teasp Ground Cinnamon
½ teasp Ground Cloves
For the Syrup
175g/6oz Sugar
120ml/4fl.oz. Honey
The juice of ½ a Lemon
180ml/6fl.oz. Water

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 170C, 325F, Gas Mark 3 and butter a 20x28cm 8x12 inch baking tin. Use tins that are about 5cm/2-inches deep.

2. In a mixing bowl, mix together walnuts or almonds (or half and half), sugar, cinnamon and cloves.

3. Butter 4 pieces of filo pastry and place in the buttered tin, trimming any excess if necessary, one on top of the other. Make sure you keep the unbuttered pastry covered with a damp cloth. Sprinkle the 4 sheets of pastry with a thin layer of the nut mixture then butter two more pastry sheets and place over the top of the nut mixture. Repeat in same manner until all ingredients have been used, ending with 4 pastry sheets.

4. Brush the top with butter and trim any edges with sharp knife. Cut diagonal lines the length of the tin to make diamond shaped pieces then sprinkle with water and bake for about 1 hour or until golden.

5. 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, place the honey, water, sugar and lemon juice in a large saucepan, bring to the boil, and continue to boil for about 5 minutes.

6. Remove the cooked baklava from the oven and pour the hot syrup evenly over the hot pastry. Allow to stand for 30 minutes to cool a little, then re-cut the diamonds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Focus on . . .

                      Sandwiches

12th – 18th May is British Sandwich Week

Here in the UK, we have a type of madness going on at the moment called "Paul Hollywood". For those of you who don't live in the UK, he is a professional baker - son of a professional baker - who has become very popular having appeared on various UK television programs, in particular the BBC's Great British Bake Off.

 

Much is talked about what constitutes good bread, but not so much is said about what constitutes a good sandwich and although sarnies are often eaten as a stop-gap or in a hurry, a good sandwich can be a real joy.

 

10 Sandwich- making tips

  • Only use fresh bread unless you are planning on toasting it. There's nothing worse than a sandwich made with dry or stale bread;
  • When cutting slices from an uncut loaf, keep them as even as possible and with all but the most robust of sandwiches, don't slice them too thickly;
  • Use butter or butter replacements at room temperature which will ensure the bread doesn't get torn apart. A few seconds in the microwave will soften butter;
  • Well butter each slice of bread on the side which will be touching the filling as this will help protect the bread from getting soggy from the filling and take the time to spread the butter  right to the edges especially as these parts tend to be dryer than the centre part of the bread;
  • When making more than 1 sarnie, prepare the buttered bread and fillings before you start to assemble the sandwiches;
  • Place drier fillings such as hard cheese and cold meats right next to the buttered bread and if possible, place wetter ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumber, tinned fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines in the middle of the sandwich so they are not touching the buttered bread, especially if they aren't going to be eaten straight away;
  • Pay attention to how you place the filling. The picture on the left shows how a little thought can result in a more evenly filled sandwich which will eat much better;
  • Overfilling is just as bad as under-filling.  Trying to eat a sandwich with thick slices of cheddar cheese or a filling which insists on falling out every time you take a bite, ruins the experience;
  • VERY IMPORTANT - unless you are using very salty or peppery ingredients, remember to season your fillings - even if it's just salt and pepper - but also use sauces such as mayonnaise, mustard and pickle or flavourings such as lemon juice;
  • Once your sandwich is made, give it a firm press down with the palm of your hand before cutting into manageable pieces - usually 2 or 4 for a standard loaf

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Book Review ....

 

The Flavor Thesaurus:  Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook

 

By Niki Segnit
RRP  £10.99  ISBN
978- 1 608198740  | Hardback  400 Pages
Released 2010

 

The Flavour Thesaurus is apparently the first book to examine flavour pairings, which doesn't entirely surprise me  when I think about how many ingredients and flavours there are to choose from.

 

Writing a book which listed the amount of ingredients I would have liked would be almost impossible and would probably rival the Encyclopaedia Britannica. This book has taken 99 popular ingredients covering a broad spectrum of flavours, and grouped them into flavour themes including Meaty, Cheesy, Woodland and Floral Fruity.

By Rod Addy

18 Feb 2013

 

The European Commission (EC) has approved the use of pork and poultry meal for fish feed, flying in the face of UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommendations.

 

The decision was announced on February 14 as expected, after the use of animal meal for farm animal and fish food was banned in 2001 following the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis.

 

More > > >  (External link)

 

I must admit, I haven't quite got to grips with these groupings and how they relate to each other except in the most basic form i.e. all ingredients in any group have a similarity to each other in some way or another. Makes for a colourful diagram though.

 

Individual ingredients are listed alphabetically within these groups, with each ingredient having several flavour pairings ranging from the well established to the odd - black pudding & chocolate?  There are nearly 1000 paired entries in all, which although they appear in the book according to the groupings, can be easily found using the 'pairings index' listed in alphabetical order at the back of the book.

 

Whilst just pairing two ingredients may not sound that interesting, as most of the pairings for any one ingredient are placed together, it does give an easy way of adding more ingredients.  For example, I used it when making the watercress roulade recipe above. I knew I wanted to use watercress in a recipe but I didn't want to do a salad or sauce, so I looked watercress up in this book.  It listed several pairings including blue cheese, goat's cheese, smoked fish and egg. I went for the eggs and goat's cheese. I almost used smoked salmon too, but decided against it for various reasons.  But it would have worked.  That's where this book did it for me. It encourages lateral thinking when it comes to putting flavours and ingredients together.

 

There are also over 100 recipes included within the text, which can be looked up in the 'recipe index' and there's an additional 'general' index' so there are several ways of looking up/finding ingredients.

 

If you want to broaden your knowledge about flavours which go well together or experiment with several flavourings without having to go completely out on a limb, then this book should be helpful to you. 

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Culinary Videos

 

 

Click the picture to find the latest Recipes4us additions plus the latest celebrity chef videos

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What's in Season in

 

 

Click here to see what's in season in May and June and to find a UK Farmers' Market near you. There are Lots of seasonal recipes too

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Weekday Menus

 

 

Click the picture to find this month's weekday menus to help you plan your meals and shopping weeks ahead.  Each weekday has a main course, suggested vegetable side dishes and accompaniments plus a dessert, which have been planned to supply you with a balanced diet. It's also been designed so that you can interchange one day's menu with another in the same grouping

In my Kitchen

 

I decided I needed small and medium sized flame proof casseroles as  many of my old ovenware dishes aren't flameproof.  So after a good look around, I came across this set of three round casseroles 1L - 2L - 3L all with lids. They may not be as rustic looking as Le Creuset or as beautiful as copper ovenware, but they come at a reasonable price - around £40 for the set - and they can also be bought individually.

 

The sales blurb says "Products from this range are made out of vitroceramic, a heat resistant material so strong, that it was originally developed in partnership with the American space agency, to be used as elements on the outside of space shuttles". I can well believe that.


These PYROFLAM casseroles are made by good old Pyrex. They are suitable for all types of cooking - frying, boiling, baking etc., and can be used in conventional and microwave ovens, under the grill and on most hobs, the exception being induction hobs.  They can  can withstand very high temperatures making them perfect for browning vegetables and meats prior to the addition of  liquid after which they can be left on the hob or transferred to the oven for as long as necessary to finish the dish. Once cold, they can be placed in the fridge or freezer and can be taken straight from the fridge/freezer and put on the cooker top or into a hot oven.
 

Although the lids aren't quite as robust, for example they should be allowed to cool before washing, they do have the advantage of having a proper handle which makes for easy one handed removal.

 

When it comes to washing up, even stuff that seems to be really baked on, can be removed with the minimum of scrubbing, leaving the dish looking as though it hasn't been used.

Although they aren't as ornate or as stylish as some casserole dishes, the plain white looks quite nice and goes with all table settings/linen.

 

22nd May - 2nd June is BBQ Week (UK)

 

Barbecue Starters Recipes Barbecue Main Course Recipes Kebab recipes
Burger recipes BBQ Side Dishes Barbecue Dessert Recipes

 

See also:-    A Guide to BBQ Equipment  |  Barbecue Cooking, Planning and Safety tips

 

Sticky Lamb Cutlets with Minted Pea and Tomato Relish
courtesy of www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk

Serves 4    Prep & cook time: 40 minutes + marinating

Ingredients
12 lean lamb cutlets or chops
30ml/2tbsp clear runny honey
30ml/2tbsp Dijon mustard
For the Herb Marinade:
45ml/3tbsp olive oil
15ml/1tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
30ml/2tbsp freshly chopped chives
2 fresh bay leaves, torn into pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the Minted Pea and Tomato Relish:
175g/6oz shelled peas (fresh or frozen), cooked and drained
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
Small handful freshly chopped mint
15ml/1tbsp olive oil
30ml/2tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
50g/2oz cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped

 

Instructions

 

1.  In a small bowl mix the mustard and honey together and set aside.

 

2.  In a large, shallow bowl mix all the marinade ingredients together.  Add the cutlets, cover and marinate for up to 1 hour in the refrigerator.

 

3.  Place the peas, spring onions, mint, olive oil, vinegar and seasoning into a food processor or blender and whizz very briefly.  Stir in the tomatoes and transfer to a serving plate.

 

4.   Brush the steaks with the honey and mustard glaze on both sides and cook on a prepared barbecue for 12-16 minutes, until any meat juices run clear.  Turn the chops occasionally, brushing with the remaining honey and mustard mixture.

 

5. Serve the chops with the relish and crusty bread.

Dutch Edam,  Pork, Apple & Sage Sausages

Courtesy of www.edammade.co.uk

 

Makes: 8    Prep & Cook time: 25 mins, + chilling


Ingredients

For the sausages:
450g (1lb) lean pork mince
1 eating apple, peeled, cored and diced
30ml (2tbsp) freshly chopped sage
100g (3½oz) Dutch Edam wedge, cut into small cubes
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
15ml (1tbsp) sunflower oil for brushing
To serve:
Finger rolls
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Apple sauce

Instructions

1. Place all the ingredients for the sausages in a large bowl, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then mix well.

2. Divide the mixture into 8 balls, then using your hands squeeze the mixture together and roll into sausage shapes. Chill for 30 minutes.

3. Brush the sausages all over with the oil, then barbecue or grill for 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally until the sausages are cooked through.

4. Serve the sausages in finger rolls with shredded lettuce and apple sauce.

Cook’s tip: Alternatively the mixture can be shaped into burgers.

 

Barbecued Whiskey and Soy Steaks

www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk

Serves 4 Prep time: 5 minutes, plus marinating
Cooking time: (2cm/¾inch thick steak):
Rare: 2½ minutes on each side
Medium: 4 minutes on each side
Well done: 6 minutes on each side



Ingredients:
4 lean rump. sirloin or rib-eye steaks
For the Whiskey and Soy Marinade:
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
90ml/5tbsp malt whiskey or Bourbon
90ml/5tbsp soy sauce
90ml/5tbsp brown sugar
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method:

1. In a large non-metallic dish, mix all the marinade ingredients together. Place the steaks in the marinade and coat on both sides. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours or overnight, turning once.

2. Remove the steaks from the marinade and cook under a preheated moderate grill or on a prepared barbecue according to your preference. Set aside to rest on a warm plate.

3. Serve the steaks with a Caesar salad.

 

 

Summer eating

 

 

June heralds the start of summer in the UK.  Below are links to the many pages on the website dedicated to summer eating.

 

13th -19th June National Picnic Week

Picnics: Ideas, tips, advice and recipes for perfect picnics  

Picnic Recipes - Sweet and Savoury  Pasties, Pies, Flans, Pastas, Salads

 

 

General Summer Recipes

 

There are hundreds of recipes on the site suitable for summer eating. Click the pictures to find them.


Food celebrations in June

 

 National BBQ Week

4th National Cheese Day (US)

5th National Gingerbread Day

7th National Chocolate Ice Cream Day (US)

10th Herbs & Spice Day (US)

17th - 23rd  National Picnic Week

15th National Lobster Day

16th  Fathers Day

17th  Eat your Vegetables Day

22nd Chocolate Éclair Day
28th June - National Tapioca Day
National Dairy Month (US)
National Seafood Month (US)
National Soul Food Month (US)

 

Chilled soups/starters Tarts and Flans Salads Edible Flowers Ice Cream Recipes

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4th June is National Cheese Day

Serbian Pule Donkey CheeseHave you ever heard of Pule cheese? Apparently, it's the world's most expensive cheese. My research threw up varying prices, however most reports seem to be in the region of £400 per pound. But what makes it so expensive?

Well first of all it's made from donkey's milk which makes it more rare than other cheeses as donkey's aren't generally milked for cheese. Furthermore, it takes 25 litres of donkey milk to produce 1 kilo of Pule. Moreover, there is no commercial milking machinery available so the donkeys, or Jennies as the females are known, have to be milked by hand . . . three times a day.  On top of all that,  there is only one farm in the world where Pule is made, namely the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve in Belgrade, Serbia which has a herd of around 100 donkeys.

The cheese is smoked with a white and crumbly texture and has been likened to Spanish Manchego, but with a  richer taste. I freely admit I haven't had the chance to buy/taste this cheese so I cannot vouch for that description. In fact, I had trouble finding this photo as there were a few  images which were supposed to be of Pule but which looked very different to each other. So, if I have got this wrong, I apologise.

You might have read reports back in November/December 2012 that tennis player Novak Djokovic bought up the entire season's supply of Pule for his restaurants, but this has not proved to be the case so if you want to try it, there may be some lurking around. I couldn't find an online source.

Before making up your mind, you might be interested to know that donkey milk boasts anti-allergen properties, has 60 times more vitamin C than cows milk and only contains one percent fat and is priced at around 45 dollars a litre.

A little more down to earth, below are 2 recipes using different types of cheese, Halloumi and Feta.

Roasted Mushroom Squash & Halloumi Salad



Prep and cook time: 40 mins    Serves 4

 

Ingredients:
350g/12oz butternut squash, washed and deseeded
45ml/3tbsp olive oil
1 (250g) pack chestnut mushrooms
1 (250g) Halloumi cheese
50g/2oz mixed wild and brown rice
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
45ml/3tbsp sliced fresh basil
juice of half a lemon
15ml/1tbsp honey
1 whole curly leaf lettuce
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Cut the unpeeled squash into chunks and place in a roasting tin, add 15ml/1tbsp of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 mins, stir in the mushrooms and roast for a further 10mins.

2. Meanwhile, slice the halloumi and place on a baking tray bake for 10-15 mins or until it has become golden and crisp. Leave to cool, then break into bite sized pieces. Cook the rice in lightly salted boiling water for 20-25mins or until tender. Drain in a sieve and rinse with cold water to cool slightly.

3. Place the rice in a bowl, add the onion, basil, lemon, honey and salt and pepper to taste. Add the mushrooms, squash and any pan juices from the roasting tin and toss together.

4. Break the lettuce into leaves; rinse and dry. Divide the lettuce between four plates, top with the rice salad and serve straight away.

Greek Style Pork, Feta & Sundried Tomato Sausage and Noodle Salad



Prep & Cook time 50 minutes     Serves 4
 

Ingredients
25ml oil
500g Olive Hill Farm Pork, Feta & Sundried Tomato Sausages
Soya and oregano vinaigrette
75 ml soy sauce
2tbsp olive oil
1tbsp cider vinegar
1tsp oregano, dried
Noodle salad
250g noodles, cooked
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, diced
150g cucumber, diced
2tbsp chopped parsley
1 red pepper, diced
75g feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and cook the Pork Feta & Sundried Tomato Sausages until juices run clear. Remove from pan and allow to cool.

2. Place the soy sauce, olive oil, cider vinegar and oregano in a bowl and mix together to form vinaigrette. Then reserve.

Noodle salad:

3. Slice the cooked sausages and place in a bowl with the noodles, cherry tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, parsley, red pepper and feta cheese.

4. Add the vinaigrette to the bowl and mix together. Store in the fridge until required. Serve.
 

About Halloumi

Halloumi is a Cypriot semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goats' and sheep milk. is often used in cooking as it has a higher-than-normal melting point. This makes it an excellent cheese for frying, grilling or cooking on the barbecue as it won't disintegrate.

 

About Feta

 

Feta is a Greek cheese made with either sheep's or a mixture of sheep's and goat's milk. It's white and soft with no rind and has a solid consistency with only a very few small holes if any at all. It has an agreeable if slightly acidic taste and a rich salty flavour which it gets from having been aged in a brine bath for up to a month.
 

More cheese recipes

 

Brie Cheese Recipes

Camembert Cheese Recipes

Cream Cheese Recipes

Feta Cheese Recipes

Goat's Cheese Recipes

Gorgonzola Cheese Recipes

Gruyere Cheese Recipes

Mascarpone Cheese Recipes

Mozzarella Cheese recipes

Ricotta Cheese Recipes

Roquefort Cheese Recipes

Stilton Cheese Recipes

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10th June is Herbs & Spices Day (US)

There isn’t a chef alive who wouldn’t agree that the use of herbs plays an important roll in cooking, from relatively mild parsley which you can use by the handful, to sage whose pungent aroma and taste ensures it’s usually used sparingly. By the way, garlic, onions, leeks and celery are botanically included in the term "herbs" however, for the purposes of this editorial (and as far as most cooks are concerned) they are considered to be vegetables so are not included here.

To find out more about various herbs and their uses, click the picture

 

June is Dairy Month

 

Here are 3 recipes using different dairy products namely milk, cream and butter. For some cheese recipes see the National Cheese Day article

 

Bellaverde® Broccoli Bake
By Nadia Sawalha for Bellaverde

Prep and Cook time: 75 mins  Serves 6

Ingredients
300g penne pasta
200g Bellaverde® broccoli
2 skinless salmon steaks weighing 175g each
450ml milk
3 rashers of smoked back bacon, chopped
25g butter
4tbsp plain flour
25g grated Parmesan
zest of 1 lemon
6 sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
a handful of chopped parsley
8-10 basil leaves
50g grated cheddar
season with salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 200oC/Fan 180oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6. Cook the pasta a in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10-12mins or according to packet instructions. Steam the broccoli until just tender about 4 mins.

2. Cook the salmon: place the fillets in a non-stick frying pan, cover with the milk and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer for 8 mins or until the fish has turned opaque. Use a fish slice to transfer the salmon to a plate, reserve the milk.

3. Rinse out the pan, add the bacon and saute for 5 mins or until crispy, set aside. Melt the butter in the same pan and then add the flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the reserved milk whisking the whole time, bring to the boil, then simmer for 1 minute.

4. Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in the parmesan, lemon zest and sun dried tomatoes. Flake the salmon. Season to taste.

5. Drain the pasta, return to the pan, then add the salmon, bellaverde® broccoli, herbs, bacon and cheese sauce and mix it well. Spoon into a 1.7ltr shallow ovenproof dish, sprinkle over the grated cheddar and bake for 25-30min or until golden and crisp on top.

 

Tea custard with caramelised Apple

By Reuben Riffel for SA Fruit


Serves 6
Prep & cook time: 85 minutes (plus setting)

Ingredients
For the baked tea cream;
675ml pouring cream
2 tea bags
1 vanilla bean, scraped
105g caster sugar
6 egg yolks
For the caramelised apples;
2-3 Apples, thinly sliced
15g caster sugar
Knob of butter
To serve
Lemon sorbet

Method

1. For the baked tea cream, preheat the oven to 160°C. Combine the cream, tea bags and vanilla in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir occasionally until hot (5 minutes).

2. Remove from the heat, cover and stand to infuse (1 hour).

3. Whisk the sugar and yolks in a bowl until pale and creamy (3-4 minutes).

4. Remove the tea bags and reheat the cream over a medium heat until hot, then gradually
pour onto the yolk mixture, gently stirring to combine.

5. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug, pressing to remove as many seeds as possible from the vanilla bean and discarding the bean afterwards.

6. Stand for 5 minutes, and then skim the foam from the surface. Divide evenly among six
250ml ovenproof glasses.

7. Place the glasses on a folded tea towel placed in a deep roasting pan, ensuring they are sitting level. Fill the pan with enough hot water to come two-thirds of the way up the sides of the glasses and cover with foil.

8. Pierce a few holes in the foil with a skewer to release the steam, then bake until set, but
with a slight wobble (30-35 minutes).

9. Whilst the custards are baking, melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan and add the apple. Sprinkle over the sugar and cook over a low heat, turning occasionally, until the apples are tender and golden brown.

10. Remove the custards from the oven, remove the foil and stand in the water until cool (30-40 minutes). Remove from the water, dry the glasses and refrigerate until chilled and firm (2 hours).

11. Divide the apples among the custards, top with lemon sorbet (if using) and serve immediately.

Almond Brittle Cake

By Rachel Allen for Kerrygold

Serves 12

Prep and Cooking time 20 minutes      

 

Ingredients
150g (5oz) Kerrygold butter, softened
175g (6oz) caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
150g (5oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
75g (3oz) ground almonds
2 tsp milk
For the Almond Brittle
vegetable oil, for greasing
100g (4oz) granulated sugar
100g (4oz) whole almonds (unskinned)
For the Almond Butter Icing

225g (8oz) Kerrygold butter, softened
450g (1lb) icing sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5. Grease 2 x 18cm (7 inch) deep sandwich tins or cake tins with a little Kerrygold butter and line the bases with baking paper or greaseproof paper.


2. Beat the Kerrygold butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition. Sieve the flour and baking powder together, then add to the creamed mixture with the ground almonds. Stir in the milk.


3. Divide equally between the prepared tins. Bake for 22-25 minutes.


4. While the cakes are cooking, make the almond brittle. First, grease a baking sheet with a little vegetable oil. Next, combine the sugar and almonds in a heavy saucepan. Put over a medium-low heat until the sugar turns caramel colour, carefully rotating the pan until the almonds are covered – this will only take a few minutes. Very carefully pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Cool. (TAKE GREAT CARE when making caramel and NEVER touch it – it reaches an extremely high temperature. Keep a watchful eye on the pan as you make it – don’t just leave it to cook).


5. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the tins for a few minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.


6. To make the icing, beat the Kerrygold butter until soft, then gradually beat in the icing sugar, using a hand-held electric mixer. Beat in the vanilla extract. Chop half the cooled almond brittle finely and stir it into the icing.


7. To assemble, spilt each cake in half. Spread with butter icing, then sandwich the two cakes together with more icing. Spread the rest of the icing around the top and sides of the cake.


8. Break off some shards of almond brittle and arrange on top of the cake. Coarsely chop the rest and sprinkle over the top of the cake.

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The Kitchen Garden

 

Jobs to do in the kitchen garden in May


Outdoors
By the end of May the temperature and low risk of frosts means you can start sowing the seed of more tender plants such as courgettes, marrows, runner, dwarf and green beans and outdoor cucumbers however if any frosts are expected, be prepared to cover the new seedlings with cloches or fleece.

Continue to sow beetroot, broad beans, cabbage, turnips, cauliflowers, peas, and parsnips through to mid-may and further small sowings of carrots, lettuce, radish, spinach and spring onions to ensure a continuous harvest.. Continue gradually thinning out seedlings to their final spacing

Indoors
Continue to sow tomatoes Aubergines, and Capsicums and sow dwarf and French beans 3 to a 7.5cm/3-inch pot.

Continue thinning out seeds which were sown in pots or trays last month

Maintenance
Plants such as tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers, courgettes and capsicums which were sown indoors last month should be potted up individually to 7.5cm/3-inch pots by the time they have reached 10cm/4-inches tall.

Once all danger of frosts have passed, start hardening off indoor sown plants. It's best to leave this until later in May.
 

Jobs to do in the kitchen garden in June


Outdoors
You can now sow the seeds of more tender plants such as courgettes, marrows, runner, dwarf and green beans and outdoor cucumbers in their permanent positions.

Continue to make small sowings of carrots, lettuce, radish, spinach and spring onions to ensure a continuous harvest.. Continue gradually thinning out seedlings to their final spacing

Keep the young plants well watered but do not over-water.

Keep on top of weeds, removing them as and when you find them.

Indoors
Continue potting up plants which are getting to large for seed trays or small pots.

Maintenance
Hardening off indoor sown plants should be completed by the middle of June. This should be done gradually putting them outside during the warmest part of the day and increasing the time the plants are outside.

Once acclimatised, plant out in their permanent positions in mid/late June.

Early staking of taller plants such as beans, peas and tomatoes will keep wind damage to a minimum.
 

 

For more herb and vegetable growing instructions visit our growing herbs and vegetables section  or for more detailed information on growing fruit as well as herbs and vegetables,  plus lots of in-depth gardening articles,  visit our sister site  www.pots2plots.com

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