Sunday, 30 September 2012

Brithyll Abermeurig (Abermeurig Trout) Recipe

Abermeurig (also spelt Aber-meurig) is a small village in the county of Ceredigion, Wales and the waterways are known for their trout fishing.

The origins of the recipe presented here go back to the 19th century, where it was used in the local hostelry as one of the meals served to visiting fishermen.

Abermeurig Trout Recipe


4 trout
100g butter
1 tsp capers
a small piece of cucumber, peeled and grated
2 tsp parsley, finely chopped
a little flour
juice of 2 lemons
salt and black pepper, to taste

Clean and gut the fish (but leave them whole). Dry the fish then dust with flour that's been seasoned with salt and black pepper. Melt half the butter in a pan and heat until bubbling then use to fry the trout until cooked through (about 5 minutes per side). Transfer the fish to a plate and keep warm.

In the meantime, add the remainder of the butter to the pan and cook until it's dark brown in colour. Now add the lemon juice along with the parsley, cucumber and capers. Allow to heat through then plate-out the trout and spoon a little of the sauce over the top. Serve with new potatoes and garden peas.

This recipe is adapted, with permission, from the Celtnet Abermeurig Trout recipe (in Welsh and English), which is part of the Celtnet Traditional Welsh recipes collection.

Find more Weslh recipes on the Recipes from the British Isles page of this blog.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Vegetarian Minced (Ground) Meat Substitute

A while ago I was asked by a friend to help her convert a number of heirloom recipes from being meat-based to being vegetarian. A lot of the recipes were based on ground (minced) meat, but my friend did not want to use commercial ground meat substitute (such as Quorn).

I put my thinking cap on and came up with a recipe for home-made ground meat substitute that could be used to transform any recipe using ground meat into a vegetarian dish.

Minced (Ground) Meat Replacement Recipe

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
200g mushrooms, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 celery stick, chopped into small pieces
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
a few drops of Tabasco sauce
pinch of smoked paprika
1 fresh bayleaf
90ml red wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
100ml strong vegetable stock
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
400g cooked puy lentils (tinned is fine)
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and celery and fry gently for about 8 minutes, or until softened. Now stir in the Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, paprika, bayleaf, red wine, vegetable stock, balsamic vinegar and parsley.

Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bayleaf and rosemary then stir the cooked puy lentils into the vegetable mix and bring back to a simmer. Continue heating gently until the mixture is almost dry then take off the heat.

This mixture can be made in large quantities in advance and frozen to keep for later use. It's excellent used as a base for a shepherd's pie or a cottage pie. But it will work equally well for substituting in any recipe that calls for minced (ground) lamb, beef, chicken or turkey.

This recipe is based on a recipe for Lentil Shepherd's Pie.

Find more British recipes on the Recipes from the British Isles page of this blog.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Cooking with Cast Iron and How to Care for Cast Iron

Cast iron cookware has been used for centuries, and with some justification. Cast iron cookware is an extremely versatile and economic alternative to expensive copper and copper clad cookware.  If you aren't currently using at least a couple of cast iron pans in your kitchen then you should seriously consider it.

But why cast iron? Some people avoid cast iron because it sounds 'old fashioned'. In fact, cast iron is ideally suited to all modern cooking methods and hobs. Cast iron cookware have excellent heat conduction and retention, which means that you get even heating over the entire surface of the pan — ideal for frying. As long as there are no wooden handles you can directly move cast iron cookware from the hob into the oven or under the grill. Ideal for finishing dishes in the oven (great for game) or for browning under the grill.

A properly seasoned cast iron pan, surprisingly is just as non stick as any fancy non-stick pans and cast iron is extremely durable. I have a Victorian skillet that had been handed down in the family for over four generations. Cast iron cookware is much less expensive than copper cookware.

This thing called 'seasoning' is one of the reasons that many people shie away from cast iron. It sounds complicated and they are afraid they cannot do it. In fact, it's an extremely simple process. Most people get it wrong because they use completely the wrong oil. Animal fats won't work, and most vegetable oils won't work either. What you need is flaxseed oil (the food-grade equivalent of linseed oil).

Most people do not understand the chemistry of seasoning and they think that good food-grade oil that does not go rancid is what's needed. But seasoning is not cooking. You have to turn your thinking on its head. Oils with high levels of omega-three fatty acids (especially alpha-linolenic acids) go rancid because the omega-three fatty acids easily oxidize and break down. In seasoning you are trying to give your pan a hard non-stick surface. To achieve this you actually need the oil to bond to the pan. The oil can only bond if it has components that oxidize and fuse with the iron. So you need oils high in omega-three fatty acids. Oils, in other words, that will not normally keep.

Iron itself is very reactive and as long as the surface of your pan is clean and rust free when you heat iron it becomes reactive. When you add the oil, as long as it's just beyond its smoke point the iron will react with the oil and bond to it. This produces the crosslinking you need and the oil coats the surface, making it non-stick.

Wash the pan and strip it down to bare iron if not new. Wash again then heat in an oven pre-heated to 100ºC to ensure it's dry. Carefully take the hot pan from the oven and set on a wire rack. Pour in some flaxseed oil then rub the oil all over the pan with your hands and fingers, making sure that you get into every nook and cranny (by the end your hands and the pan should be very oily.

Now take a piece of kitchen paper and rub off all the oil. Yes, you read that correctly, rub off all the oil, until the pan looks dry. Don't worry, you still have an even coating of oil on the surface of the pan (it's just very thin). If you have done this correctly, the pan should look completely dry.

Set a rack in the middle of a cold oven. Place the pan, upside down on top of this. Turn the oven up as far as it will go and allow the oven to reach temperature. As soon as the oven is hot, time exactly one hour. When the hour is up, turn the oven up. Now, without opening the door allow the oven to cool naturally until it reaches room temperature.

When the pan emerges from the oven, if all is well, it should look a little darker than when it went in and be matte in texture. Just remember that this was only the first coat. Typically the pan needs six coats. Allow to cool completely then repeat the process above for he next coat. Repeat this six times in all. By the time you apply the final coat the pan should have a semi-gloss sheen to it. It is now ready for use.

If you use the pan regularly you need to re-season every six weeks or so.

Of course, cast iron pans are very heavy, but this can be advantageous (try using one to flatten out meat!).

Once you have properly seasoned your cast iron pan you should never use soap or detergent on them, as this will strip off the coating. To clean them, just use hot water and a plastic scouring pad, don't use steel wool, or it could ruin the seasoning (if this happens, just re-season the pan). After washing, dry the pan throughly with lint free paper towels. Store the pans with the lid off to prevent moisture from building up and causing the pan to rust.

Iron is a reactive metal, so you should not use cast iron pans to cook acidic foods, cast iron is a reactive metal, and will react with the acids. Never use your cast iron pans to store food; You can use them to keep food warm during a meal, but when the meal is over, move the food into proper storage containers, and wash your pan.

If you want the benefits of cast iron without the problems of seasoning and not being able to cook some foods in it, then I would suggest Le Creuset cookware. They are made from cast iron, but have enamelling on the inside. You can use them to cook any kind of food you like.

I really love Le Creuset cookware, particularly their Casserole/Cocotte/French Oven styles. The abilities to move them directly from the hob to the oven makes them so versatile. You can also use them to cook accompaniments, stews, curries and even baked puddings.

Low Fat Salmon with Dijon Mayonnaise Sauce

Fish is an excellent base for for a low fat recipe and this recipe marries baked salmon with a low-fat Mayonnaise and Dijon mustard Sauce.

Low-fat Baked Salmon with Dijon Mayonnaise Sauce Recipe

Serves 4

For the Salmon:
1kg salmon fillets
180ml sour cream (low-fat or non-fat)
80ml mayonnaise (low-fat or non-fat)
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp lemon juice
240g cream cheese (low-fat or non-fat)
1 garlic clove, minced
80ml white wine
salt, freshly-ground black pepper and paprika, to taste

For the Sauce:
2 tbsp non-fat mayonnaise
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp fresh dill weed, minced
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Wash the salmon then pat dry with kitchen paper. Lightly oil the salmon fillets (or use a non-stick spray) then lay on a baking tray (skin side down), arranging the fillets in a single layer.

In the meantime, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, flour, lemon juice, cream cheese, garlic and wine in a medium bowl. Beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Using the back of a spoon, spread the mixture evenly over the back of all the salon fillets. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and paprika. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 200ºC and bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked through.

For the sauce, blend all the ingredients in a bowl. Beat with a wire whisk to combine then place in the refrigerator to chill until needed.

Divide the salmon fillets between four warmed plates. Serve with boiled new potatoes and fine (French) beans. Accompany with the sauce and serve immediately.

Preparing and serving low-fat meals is not hard. It's a matter of thinking ahead and replacing the fat-laden components of a dish with non-fat or low-fat alternatives. Reduce the fat, not the taste!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Chia Seeds and Chia Seed Fishcake Recipe

Chia seeds are the recent food to be elevated to the status of 'superfood'. Whilst chia seeds are rich in vitamin B components, and have a generous component of dietary fibre and essential fatty acids, the 'superfood' label is nonsense and merely a marketing ploy.

Still, chia seeds  can be an useful addition to a balanced diet.

Chia seeds are the seeds of Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family native to central and south Mexico and Guatemala. They were an essential part of the Aztec diet and the word 'chia' is derived from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word chian (literally 'oily').

Chia seeds are typically ground before use or they are eaten whole and raw. They can be soaked in water, where they produce a gelatinous substance known as 'chia gel'.

Because of the flurry of interest in chia and its health benefits there has been a profusion of recipes including chia on the internet. This Asian-inspired dish is my contribution.

Asian-inspired Chia Fish Cakes Recipe
Serves: 8

500g sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered (or substitute potatoes)
400g cauliflower, separated into florets
250g cooked salmon, flaked (you can also use tinned)
1 red chilli, finely chopped
core of 1 lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
1/2 tsp freshly-grated lime zest
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp finely-ground chia seeds
3 shallots, finely sliced
120ml finely-chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
olive oil for frying

Bring a pan of lightly-salted water to a boil, add the sweet potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Place the cauliflowers in a steamer on top of the sweet potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

Turn the cooked cauliflower into a food processor with the salmon, chilli, lemongrass, lime zest and lime juice. Process until thoroughly combined.

Drain the sweet potatoes into a bowl and mash until smooth. Work in the cauliflower and salmon mixture then work in the chia seeds, shallots and coriander leaves.

Shape the mixture into patties then heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the fish cakes and fry for about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Serve two patties per serving and accompany by Thai sweet chilli sauce.

For more information about Chia Seeds and for more Chia Seed recipes see the Celtnet Chia Seed information and Recipes page.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Canadian Cloudberry Cobbler Recipe

Yet another classic wild food recipe today. This time the recipe comes from Canada and is for the sub-arctic fruit, the cloudberry (also known in Canada as the bakeapple). This is a member of the blackberry family that ripens from red to golden yellow and is an important fruit in Scandinavia, the Baltic states and the East Coast of Canada.

Clodberry Cobbler Recipe

800g cloudberries (bakeapples)
2 tbsp tapioca pearls, ground into powder
120ml plus 1 tbsp unsweetened orange juice
1 tsp dried orange peel
1 tsp dried mint, finely crumbled
1/4 tsp freshly ground cardamom seeds
210g rice flour
2 tbsp grape seed oil
1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 tsp freshly ground allspice berries
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
60ml corn oil
3 tbsp Almond milk

Mix together the blackberries, ground tapioca, 120ml orange juice, orange peel, mint and cardamom together in a large bowl. Use this to line the base of an oiled 35cm x 22cm x 5cm baking dish.

Sprinkle 3 tbsp of the flour over the top then dot with the grape seed oil. Meanwhile mix together the remaining flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt together in a bowl. Add the remaining orange juice and just enough almond milk to make a dough that's neither sticky nor

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to just over 0.5cm thick. Use this to cover the blackberries in the dish and cut some slashes for the steam to escape.

Place in an oven pre-heated to 170ºC and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the top of the cobbler is a golden brown.

For more cloudberry recipes and more information on the cloudberry, please visit the Celtnet Wild Food guide to the Cloudberry.

For all the wild food recipes on this blog, see the wild food recipes page.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Devilled Kidneys for Supper

I write, copy and redact recipes all day every day. I do this for my books and for my main website, Celtnet Recipes. For this blog, however, I try and present some of the recipes that I actually cook every day.

Sometimes they are elaborate, sometimes they are unusual or exotic. But sometimes, just sometimes they are new twists on old classics.

For the Victorians, devilled kidneys were often served for breakfast. Here I have put a new twist on them and I'm preparing devilled kidneys with shredded cabbage on toast for supper. Accompanied by purple sprouting broccoli, which is in season now.

Devilled Kidneys with Shredded Cabbage on Toast

2 tbsp olive oil
500g pig or veal kidneys
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
Tabasco sauce, to taste
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
4 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp red wine
200g white cabbage, finely shredded
1 thin ciabatta loaf, sliced lengthways

Slice the kidneys into rings and core them. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and when hot add the onions. Fry for 4 mintes, or until soft then add the garlic and the kidney pieces. Fry for a couple of minutes, until the kidneys are coloured then scatter over the curry powder and black pepper.

Stir to combine then add the soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, Balsamic vinegar and red wine. Add a few shakes of Tabasco sauce (or to taste). Brig to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage (and a little water if the sauce looks too thick).

Cover and cook for about 6 minutes more, or until the cabbage is cooked through but still crisp.

In the meantime slice the ciabatta loaf in half lengthways. Toast the bread until nicely browned then slice into squares.

Arrange the squares of bread on a warmed serving plate and spoon over the kidney mixture. I like this accompanied by steamed purple sprouting broccoli and a glass of robust red wine.

This serves two.

It may be simple and old-fashioned, but this is one of my favourite 'winter warmers'.

For all the curry recipes on this blog, see the curry history and curry recipes page.

Find more British recipes on the Recipes from the British Isles page of this blog.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Restaurant-style Lamb Korma Recipe

Restaurant-style Lamb Korma

500g lamb meat (preferably from the leg), cubed
250ml basic curry sauce
100ml vegetable oil
4 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 bayleaves
1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
salt, to taste
2 tsp korma curry powder
125ml warm water
80ml coconut cream
4 tsp granulated sugar
150ml single cream
2 tbsp ghee
cream, to garnish
fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

Heat a little oil in a wok and use to fry the lamb pieces until nicely browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the remaining oil in a wok and when hot, add the cardamom pods and bayleaves and fry gently for 1 minute. Now add the onions and stir-fry for about 4 minutes, or until soft and translucent, but not coloured. Season to taste with salt then add the curry powder and fry, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes before adding the curry sauce.

Bring to a simmer then add the lamb pieces and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now reduce to a simmer, cover and cook gently, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the lamb pieces are very tender.

At this point stir in the coconut cream along with the sugar and cream. Bring the mixture just to a boil (do not allow to boil for any time or it may split), reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally (add more water if the gravy looks too thick). Finally add the ghee and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover and allow the curry to rest for 10 minutes.

To serve, turn the curry into a warmed serving dish. Pour over a little cream, garnish with coriander leaves and bring to the table.

For a large collection of curry restaurant dishes on this site, see the: Celtnet Restaurant-style Curries page.

For even more restaurant curries, and curries of all kinds (from traditional curries of the Indian sub-Continent to curries from Asia, the Caribbean and Africa as well as British curries) why not but my Big Book of Curries eBook, sold via Amazon (use the link on the left). Sales of this eBook go towards helping keep this blog and the Celtnet Recipes site on the web.

This is a proper eBook with over 700 recipes in it, along with the history of curries around the world. If you are interested in curries then I recommend that you check the eBook out (and its cheap!)

For even more curry recipes, why not check out the Celtnet Curry Recipes collection page where you will find thousands of curry recipes from all over the globe.

For all the curry recipes on this blog, see the curry history and curry recipes page.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Crowberry and Ginger Smoothie

Today's recipe is for a classic smoothie from Iceland that uses the island's native berry, the crowberry. Crowberries are a member of the heather family that produce dark, blue-black berries similar to miniature blueberries.

They are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere and are common wherever there is marshy peatland. Though often described as insipid in flavour and watery they are enjoyed in Iceland and are commonly used in Alaska. In the UK they are more typically used to bulk-out other wild berries that grow with them, such as bilberries or cowberries.

The recipe is for a simple and healthy smoothie. If you do not have crowberries, you can substitute blueberries in this recipe:

Crowberry and Ginger Smoothie Recipe


100ml orange juice (fresh if possible
1 very ripe banana, peeled
1 tsp maple syrup or honey
1 tsp freshly-grated ginger
2 generous handfuls of crowberries, stems removed
2 ice cubes

Combine the banana, orange juice and maple syrup in a blender. Process for about 10 seconds, or until smooth.

Now add the grated ginger and the crowberries. Blitz for 5 seconds then turn the blender off and allow the smoothie mix to rest for 10 minutes.

Blitz again briefly, pour into a tall glass, add the ice cubes and serve.

For more information about crowberries and for more crowberry recipes see the Celtnet Crowberry information and recipes page.

It is just coming to the end of the crowberry flowering season right now. However, the plants keep their berries almost all winter, so you should find no problems finding this fruit (as long as it grows in your area) even now.

For all the wild food recipes on this blog, see the wild food recipes page.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Roman-style Sea Aster Recipe

Sea Aster (Aster tripolium) is one of the wild foods of the moment in the UK, thanks partly to patronage by celebrity chefs and partly due to Waitrose stocking it on its shelves.

It is a pretty flower that grows in coastal areas or places where there is plenty of salt in the environment. The leaves are fleshy and have an unusual sweet and salty flavour. They can be eaten both fresh and cooked. Personally, I like them slightly wilted. They can be added to any recipe where you would normally use spinach.

In the recipe below I have substituted Sea Aster for spinach in a classic recipe from Rome, Italy.

Roman-style Sea Aster


1.3kg sea aster leaves, washed and trimmed
3 tbsp olive oil
100g pignoli (pine nuts)
1 garlic clove, mashed
2 tsp lemon juice
black pepper, to taste

Cut any large sea aster leaves into pieces then heat the oil in a large, deep, frying pan or wok. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden then add the spinach, garlic, lemon juice and black pepper to taste. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes or until the spinach is barely tender. Serve immediately with pasta or gnocci (roast potato gnocci are excellent).

For more information about Sea Aster and to see more sea aster based recipe, please visit the Celtnet Wild Food information page for Sea Aster, Aster tripolium.

For all the wild food recipes on this blog, see the wild food recipes page.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Rugosa Rose Hips as Wild Food

As autumn is pretty much here, this article is the first in an occasional series dealing with autumn fruits and fungi as they become available. This article deals with the first of the autumn fruit, the Rugosa rose hip.

The Rugosa Rose, Rosa rugosa (also known as the Japanese Rose, Ramanas Rose, Beach Tomato, Sea Tomato, Saltspray Rose and Beach Rose) is a deciduous shrubby rose species originally native to eastern Asia, (particularly northeastern China, Japan, Korea and southeastern Siberia), where it grows on the coast, often on sand dunes. Due to its tolerance for salty conditions and its ability to stabilize sand dunes it has been transported and introduced worldwide.

This hardy rose species has been introduced to many British coastal and city areas. Though much larger and robust in all aspects than the native British Dog Rose (Rosa canina) the rugosa rose's hips and flower petals are edible and can be prepared in the same way as dog rose petals and hips.

However, the much larger hips of the rugosa rose are much softer than those of the dog rose. They are in peak condition right now, when the dog rose hips are not quite completely ripe yet. So, this weekend, if you have rugosa rose bushes near you why not go out to pick rose hips.

You can find suggestions for recipes for them on the Celtnet Rugosa rose information and recipes page. You can also substitute them for the recipes on the Celtnet Dog Rose Information and Recipes page.

All rose hips are very high in Vitamin C and they were collected to make cordials during the Second World War.

But to get you started, here is a new recipe for a Rose Hip Leather:

Rugosa Rose Hip Leather Recipe

Fruit leathers are an excellent way of preserving certain fruit for later use in the year. Leathers are dissolved to make drinks in the Middle East and are also used as the basis for fruit desserts or they can be eaten as sweets (candies), making them much more versatile than you think. This recipe is for a classic recipe using rose hips that preserves the fruit's vitamin C content in the leather.


1l rugosa rose hips, picked when ripe
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice

Pick clean rugosa rose hips that are very ripe (just beginning to soften). Trim the stem and blossom ends of the fruit then place in a pan along with just enough cold water to barely cover. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for between 10 and 15 minutes.

Take off the heat and press through a fine-meshed sieve. Turn anything left in the sieve back into your pan, add cold water to barely cover then bring to a boil (this will extract any fruit flesh still left). Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes then press through the sieve once again. Repeat the cooking process one more time then discard anything left in the sieve (you will only have seeds and skins left.

Combine the honey and lemon juice with the fruit puree. Now line a baking tray with heat-proof clingfilm (the kind you can microwave). Note that an average baking tray (about 30cm x 42cm) will hold about 500ml of purée.

Add the purée to the covered baking tray, spread evenly with a spatula (you want a depth of about 4mm) then place in an oven pre-heated to 140°C. Place the baking tray in the oven but leave the door ajar (you want the steam to escape, as you are drying the leather) and cook for about 6 hours, or until the fruit leather is very dry. The exact drying time will depend on the sugar levels, the more sugar the longer it will take to dry.

The leather must be completely dry, or it will not keep. To ensure the leather is dry simply try to pull it away from the clingfilm (plastic wrap). If it comes away easily and holds its shape then it is dry (make sure its not too dry though, as then it will crumble bit it can still be eaten as a candy).

To store, cover the fruit leather in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and roll loosely. Place in a clean, dry container and seal (I typically use a pasta jar with a bung). It will keep in the store cupboard for between 4 and 12 months or you can refrigerate and keep even longer.

For all the wild food recipes on this blog, see the wild food recipes page.

Find more British recipes on the Recipes from the British Isles page of this blog.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Common Mallow Cheese Recipe

I know that autumn is here when the flowers have all fallen from the common mallow plants and the fruit, called 'cheeses' are still green and edible. These can be eaten raw and taste quite bland but mildly nutty. They can also be cooked and can be used instead of peas in just about any recipe.

Fowl Sauté with Common Mallow Cheese

left-over cold roast fowl (chicken, turkey, goose etc)
250g mallow cheeses
300ml weak stock
60g butter
1/2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp caster sugar
salt, freshly-ground black pepper and ground mace, to taste

Strip the meat from the fowl and cut into pieces then sprinkle with the salt, black pepper and mace. Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the seasoned fowl meat and fry until well browned. Scatter the flour over the top and stir in to form a smooth roux.

Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly to form a smooth sauce. Now add the peas, bring to a simmer and cook gently for about 20 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Add the sugar and take off the heat.

To serve, arrange the meat around the sides of the dish and the peas in a mound in the centre. As an alternate, you can substitute button mushrooms for the peas.

Find more Mrs Beeton Recipes Here and more Traditional Victorian Recipes Here.

This recipe is adapted from Mrs Beeton's recipe of 1861 for Fowl Sauté with Peas.

For more Common Mallow recipes see the Celtnet Common Mallow Information and Recipes page.

For all the wild food recipes on this blog, see the wild food recipes page.

Find more British recipes on the Recipes from the British Isles page of this blog.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Vegan Chocolate and Parsnip Muffins

It surprises many people, but grated parsnips can be used in cakes, just like grated carrots or grated (but cooked) beetroot. Parsnips are particularly suitable because they have a subtle but sweet flavour.

Here is a classic recipe for a vegan muffin that uses grated parsnips in the mix.

Vegan Chocolate and Parsnip Muffins

180g plain flour
35g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 whole, ripe, banana, mashed
100g Muscovado sugar
100ml unsweeteled apple sauce (or stewed mango)
60ml almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g finely-grated parsnips
4 tbsp finely-chopped walnuts

Line your muffin tin with paper and lightly spray the inside with oil.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon.

Mash the bananas in a separate bowl then cream together with the apple sauce and the sugar. Add in the milk and beat to combine then mix in the vanilla extract, grated parsnips and nuts. Stir until thoroughly combined then add the flour mix to the wet ingredient mix in three or four batches.

Stir until just combined then spoon the batter into the greased muffin cups (fill each well no more than 3/4 full). Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 170ºC and bake for between 18 and 25 minutes, or until the top is springy and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffin emerges cleanly.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

You can find many more recipes for muffins of all kinds on the Celtnet Muffin Information and Recipes page.

Find more British recipes on the Recipes from the British Isles page of this blog.
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