Archive for January, 2012

Good Gobble Pizza….Good Golly!

As promised for the lovely folks on Good Golly, Good Gobble!  Bailey and Jules who are total pizza lovers here is a lovely vegetarian pizza in their honour, the “Good Gobble Pizza!”

This is a completely new pizza recipe, and one that is so tasty and unexpectedly good.

I love to use samphire, and although not in season at the moment, I grab it whenever I see it, as it is a real delicacy for me, and teamed with some creamy slightly salty goats cheese and couchillo olives, little very sweet and moreish. This makes for an outstanding pizza.

I used my overnight sponge dough for the base, giving a complex tasting base, in a screaming hot oven, cooked on a heavy duty baking sheet.

I spread over a mix of passata, olive oil and pesto, before loading with chunks of goats cheese, a handful of samphire, with a few olives on top.

I used a mix of polenta and semolina on the base to stop it sticking and fired it into the hot oven, it took around 5 minutes to cook, and I drizzled with a little olive oil mixed with pesto.

Enjoy Bailey and Jules!

A fun afternoon talking about meat!

When I decided to start eating meat after being a vegetarian for 14 years, becoming more understanding of the process whereby my meat ends up on my plate was a conscious part of my deal to start eating meat again.

I truly believe the relationship you build up between where you source your meat from, will enable you to obtain the best quality meat for your money, and this is why I am such a strong believer in using good quality but cheaper cuts of meat, and why I feel it is such a good idea to build a good relationship with your local butcher.

One of the great traditional butchers we are blessed with in Devon is Gerald David and Family Master Butchers which I regularly get some of their high welfare meat from, as they are happy to help with more unusual cuts required for BBQ and hot smoking.

I noticed a few days ago that they are running an afternoon Healthy Eating Masterclass for free…i’ll say that again…for FREE…..

Sounds like a good deal to me!

I went along this afternoon not sure what it would be like, but I had a really entertaining couple of hours with some lovely tasters.

Paul the demonstrator was very knowledgeable and entertaining, and gave some great ideas on using some of the wonderful cheaper cuts you can get, such as bone in shin of beef, and showed how to joint a rabbit for a casserole, and very topically discussed Rose Veal and how we should all be eating it, with a mouth watering marinated veal steak for us to taste.

There’s 3 more courses in their westcountry stores throughout February, so if you want to have an entertaining afternoon and get the chance to learn more about some quality meat and some ideas for cooking it then head along to the link above for details.

Note. This is not intended to be an advert, I strongly believe that supporting our traditional local butchers is the way to ensuring that we eat good quality meat.

Crab and Chorizo Orzo

My name’s Marcus and I’m a cookery book addict.

It feels good to share this addiction, and I’m sure there are many of you out there in a similar boat, although I rarely follow a recipe from a book to the letter, the exception being cakes. However the recipes I get most excited about are when I put together a few lovely ingredients and come up with something new and enticing. One of my favourite flavour combinations is cured pork and seafood, such as scallops and black pudding, so here’s my recipe that combines the sweet but robust dark and white crab meat, with the smoky savoury porkiness of chorizo.

Crab meat at this time of year is so good, and full of beautiful orangey pink roe, grab it if you see it.

Crab and Chorizo Orzo

Serves 2

100g chorizo, (cured or uncured is fine)

A couple of shallots or a red onion finely chopped

A garlic clove finely chopped

A splash of olive oil

150g mixed dark and white crab meat

250g Orzo (A pasta shaped like rice grains)

A pinch of smoked paprika

A small handful of chopped flat leaf parsley

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to season

Gently fry off the shallots, garlic and chorizo in a glug of olive oil until soft and golden and the chorizo starts to brown.

Meanwhile cook the Orzo in a pan of plenty of boiling water with a pinch of salt for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop sticking. Drain and add to the chorizo along with a pinch of smoked paprika.

Add the crab meat just before serving, and stir though along with seasoning as required and the flat leaf parsley.

We enjoyed ours with a succulent pan fried sustainably fished Ling fillet, a wedge of lemon, and a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

 

The Best Bread….give this a go!

I’m passionate about the food my family eats, and bread is a daily staple where I think homemade blows away any other product if done right, and to make beautiful artisan breads is easier than you would think, this is one recipe I urge you to give a go.

I love nothing better than having a play with different flours to get different tastes in my bread, and was very excited when I got some Doves Farm Organic, Einkorn Flour, which is an ancient form of wheat, and makes a beautiful nutty wholegrain loaf with a wonderful crumb and crust.

I’ve posted this recipe previously, but use it so often I want to encourage you to give it a go again.

Overnight Sponge Bread

Per loaf

250g strong white bread flour

5g fast action yeast

325g tepid water

Stir these ingredients together to make the sponge, and leave overnight covered away from any draughts.

The next day add a further 250g bread flour, I often use 100g white/150g wholegrain and 10g fine sea salt, and a good splash of olive/rapeseed oil.

Mix thoroughly and then knead until silky smooth roughly 10 minutes. Then leave covered in a warm place for an hour until doubled in size.

Use a tucking action to fold the bread on itself to incorporate some air, and allow to prove for a further hour.

Pop onto a baking sheet in a preheated oven at maximum temperature for 15 minutes (splash a little water onto the base of the oven to create a little steam), and then bake at 200degC for a further 30 minutes until when tapped the base sounds hollow.

Leave to cool slightly and enjoy with copious amounts of good salted butter.

A birthday treat….

Where else to visit for a birthday treat with my family, but the largest producers and farmers market in the westcountry, the Totnes Good Food Sunday. Their motto is “Talk Food, Taste Food, Buy Food” all three of those sound good to me!

I was also looking forward to meeting some of the wonderful producers I’ve had the pleasure of tweeting with and, the one place they all seem to head to is Totnes once a month.

I was most impressed with John Rowswells fruit and veg stall, he’s a real character, and it was great to meet someone so passionate about unusual varieties of vegetables.

His story is a fascinating one http://www.pmrowswell.blogspot.com/ and his tasty looking veg found their way into my shopping bag, including, scorzonera, Barrington Banana shallots, and a huge Romanesco, which i’ll be cooking with shortly.

There were so many mouth watering treats here from Devon and beyond,  Meats and Game, wonderful flavoured salts from Alec at Devon smokehouse, artisan breads and cheeses, Charcuterie from Capreolus and some tasty looking smoked morcilla and chorizos from Spain.

Needless to say I left happy with an overflowing bag of goodies.

The market runs once a month in Totnes’  market square.  http://www.totnesgoodfood.co.uk/

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A love of food….a healthy legacy?

At this time of year a lot of peoples minds are turning to healthy meals, losing weight and resolutions for the year which on the whole is to be encouraged, however I do have my doubts. Children are like little sponges taking all of our actions, views and words onboard, working them out in their heads and using them as the building blocks for their own life. Without this hopefully coming across as a preaching session, I just wanted to share my ideas on the state of our nations health, and hopefully find out yours.

I think if you encourage a balanced view of food, and an understanding of where food comes from, and what you can eat lots of, and what maybe should be eaten less of, along with a bit of fun on the way, then they will surely be able to establish a healthy enjoyable relationship with food for their lives.

I’m especially aware of this at the moment with my toddler son, he’s forming the eating habits now that will continue into his adult life, so we try to give him meals that are fun, reasonably healthy (without being rabbit food) and hopefully inspiring. Though being a toddler of a certain age he knows what he likes and this is never easy, we like to give him a range of things so he has a good choice, a finger-licking treat such as the home smoked ribs, homemade wedges and rustic coleslaw were devoured with glee. At one stage he was demanding “More meat!”.

That’s my boy!

What do you think?

A feast of smoked meats, and a rant.

If you are planning on a new healthy start to 2012 cutting the amount of salt, fat and calories……then look away now….

However if you feel you still want to get stuck into some serious meat then have a gander at this hearty selection of smoked meats I’ve been cooking recently.

I’ve been reading here and there about predictions for food trends for 2012….Peruvian anyone? (well maybe Smoked Guinea Pig…….. Wallace and Grommit our family guinea pigs watch out!).

After recent trends of molecular gastronomy, tiny little portions of tastes, why not do food properly and go big! Serve your family some good quality meat, a decent cheap cut, such as ribs, or some brisket or shoulder of pork, with some crusty home made bread, some simply cooked vegetables, and enjoy real food. Bear in mind all of these meats can be cooked on a BBQ as long as it has a lid, such as a kettle BBQ, these can be picked up very cheaply in the sales at the moment.

Here’s a selection of what has been on my smoker over the Festive Period. 

Hickory smoked bacon collar

Beef short ribs

Zaatar rubbed smoked turkey leg joint

All in all a mouth-watering range of meats, over the moon with my new Christmas present.

Have a great year.

Jack Knight Cooks

From My Kitchen to Yours

Whisked Away Bakery

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The BBQ World of mrdodd

Making simple food great, and great food right.

Bathrooms, Kitchens and Bedrooms

Devon based bathroom installations

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UK BBQ Review site

The Munch and Tattle

A Blog About Food (Mostly BBQ and Grill): Trying everything once and telling you all about it. Good or bad! Blogging from areas around Newport and Cardiff, South Wales.

bake affairs

Bridget`s Bakery Blog

Cornelius Veakins

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CountryWoodSmoke UK BBQ

British BBQ- All the best of UK BBQ, Cooking outdoors whatever the weather.

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Some of the cool and useful food, craft and sustainability skills that your grandparents knew, but probably didn't teach you!

GourmetGloucestershireGirl

An exploration of all things foodie in Gloucestershire!

theshotgunchef.wordpress.com/

Hunting chef William Alldis shows you how to live off the land and create mouthwatering recipes for peanuts! Grow it, forage it, kill it, cook it and enjoy it.

Running Buffet

One man's quest to exercise enough so that he can eat all of the good things that exist in the world

The Knight of the Round Table

Musings and recipes from my kitchen to yours

Jack Knight Cooks

From My Kitchen to Yours

Whisked Away Bakery

Blue sky baking

BUTTER WOULDN'T MELT

Stories from the hearth

The BBQ World of mrdodd

Making simple food great, and great food right.

Bathrooms, Kitchens and Bedrooms

Devon based bathroom installations

UK BBQ Review

UK BBQ Review site

The Munch and Tattle

A Blog About Food (Mostly BBQ and Grill): Trying everything once and telling you all about it. Good or bad! Blogging from areas around Newport and Cardiff, South Wales.

bake affairs

Bridget`s Bakery Blog

Cornelius Veakins

Outdoor BBQ Chef

CountryWoodSmoke UK BBQ

British BBQ- All the best of UK BBQ, Cooking outdoors whatever the weather.

Country Skills for Modern Life

Some of the cool and useful food, craft and sustainability skills that your grandparents knew, but probably didn't teach you!

GourmetGloucestershireGirl

An exploration of all things foodie in Gloucestershire!

theshotgunchef.wordpress.com/

Hunting chef William Alldis shows you how to live off the land and create mouthwatering recipes for peanuts! Grow it, forage it, kill it, cook it and enjoy it.

Running Buffet

One man's quest to exercise enough so that he can eat all of the good things that exist in the world

The Knight of the Round Table

Musings and recipes from my kitchen to yours