All posts filed under: Recipes

Channeling a bit of Robin Hood. Nottinghamshire Venison & Celery Casserole

Both Venison and Celery have strong associations with Nottinghamshire, venison from the King’s Deer of Sherwood Forest of course, and celery which was cultivated at Newdigate House next to the Castle, by Marshal Tallard (the celery was growing wild on the Lenton marshes, and Tallard, held captive here after the Battle of Blenheim, grew it in the garden there). Here’s my take on using two of our celebrated ingredients. Nottinghamshire Wild Venison Casserole Ingredients (serves 4) 500g diced Nottinghamshire venison (wild, from the Thoresby Estate) 6 shallots (peeled and halved if large) 2 large carrots (cut into chunks) 2/3 celery stalks (cut into chunks) 2 cloves garlic (crushed) 1 small glass red wine 5 sprigs fresh thyme (strip the leaves off) Half a dozen button mushrooms 1 x beef stock cube 1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly Plain flour Large knob of Butter Pinch of sugar Method Season flour with salt and pepper and lightly coat the venison. Fry quickly and in batches until browned. Remove the venison and set aside in a bowl. Deglaze the frying …

Newark Show “Cut and Butter” Cake

It is told that the illustrious, and slightly scary sounding, Nottinghamshire Women’s Institute Catering Committee devised this fruit loaf for the Notts County Show held at the Newark Showground every May. I don’t have any dates for this recipe, it appears in Angela Greary’s 1994 local recipes book and follows a similar fruitcake recipe from Southwell, dated 1890. However, it is clearly a very traditional and, indeed, a very simple recipe. Given the array of food choices and exotic street food that characterise so many shows and festivals nowadays (not that I am complaining, you understand ūüėä) ¬†it is nice to think that such a simple and traditional tea loaf was the talk of the show. Apparently it was sold in the refreshment tent, sliced and buttered (hence the name) and was always a popular choice. This recipe (in post-Brexit Imperial measures, I’m afraid) ¬†makes two solid loaves or cakes (put one in the freezer or store in an airtight tin). Ingredients ¬†1 and a half lbs mixed dried fruit, 3/4 pint hot tea (or …

Fish and Chip Shop Tempura Veg

Anything battered is a hit in our household (the husband is Scottish, I cast no aspersions here but, well, you know..). Over time, my light and hardly noticable Tempura Batter has adapted to meet our domestic tastes, so yes, it is more chip shop than Tokyo but still delicious. Made to a fairly typical recipe, but thicker, just 3oz plain flour, 1 tbsp cornflour, pinch of salt, enough ice-cold sparkling mineral water (or lager beer) with a few ice cubs to form a thick paste like batter (or much thinner if you want to be more authentic) whisk roughly – a few lumps are okay. Fry.

Grilled Peach & Mozzarella Salad

This is a bit of a faff, if I’m honest, but well worth it, for a summer salad that is just a bit different. This recipe is from my Summer Salad feature in NG magazines. Allow 1 peach per person (ish). 3 peaches,¬†2 Spring Onions, handful of chopped coriander, half a teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons¬†honey, half teaspoon lime zest, half teaspoon ground cumin, large pinch chilli powder (to taste), 1 tablespoon Tequila (optional), 2 or 3 tablespoons Olive Oil, 1 pack watercress or rocket, Fresh mozzarella. Peel and chop 1 peach. Cut remaining peaches in quarter inch thick rounds (cut through the stem at top and bottom and then slice sideways-in until just before the stone). Mix together the chopped peach, spring onions and next 7 ingredients (and Tequila if using…go on…) in a food processor, add olive oil to desired consistency and pulse a couple of times until combined. Oil a cold griddle pan and heat to a medium high heat. Brush both sides of the peach rounds with some of the dressing …

Field to Pot….Slow Roast Lamb

The fields around the house are bucolic at the moment, the sun is out in the English Spring, and the lambs are skipping around, racing each other and bleating madly. It’s like an episode of the Archers, but without the domestic violence. Spring lambs are a joy to behold, but, now be strong, they are only there enjoying the sun because we eat them . This 4 hour pot roast with red wine, chunky carrots, onions and courgettes, Rosemary, garlic and stock, was devine.

Springtime, Easter & Chocolate, what’s not to like?

The daffodils are out, blossom buds are appearing on the Flowering Cherry trees in the garden and Easter is coming…..one of my favourite holidays. Lamb will be on the menu, along with….chocolate …..of course. Apparently¬†people have been enjoying chocolate for over 4000 years and rumour has it that¬†the 16th Century Aztec Emperor Montezuma drank around 3 gallons a day of liquid chocolate as he believed the bitter beverage to be an aphrodisiac.. I can’t claim that these recipes will turn you on ūüôą but NG Magazines asked me to share some simple delicious chocolate recipes for Easter and here they are. Seriously Easy Chocolate Truffles This recipe makes a lot of Truffles (about 60), you can halve the ingredients if you prefer, or make loads, vary the flavourings and coatings and give as a special gift. 200g Cream Cheese, softened 350g icing sugar, sifted 500g plain chocolate (melted slowly in a heat-proof bowl over simmering hot water) 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla essence Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in …

Khinkali – It’s December, surely it is time for dumplings?

I loved the time I spent in Finland in my late teens and the travelling I did in Karelia and Russia (then the Soviet Union – yep I’m that old) and in particular I loved the various types of “dumplings” that varied between regions and countries but which all had in common the ability to fill you up and warm you up in the very cold Northern winters. It’s not so cold here in Nottinghamshire, in fact, this December must be heading for some sort of record as it was 12 degrees celsius at 7am this morning and the day-time temps rose to 17 degrees celsius yesterday which is, bizarrely, like June. Still, can’t let that get in the way of winter cooking, so here is a version of a Georgian dumpling, known as Khinkali, they are similar to (but as the locals will tell you) nonetheless different from Polish Pierogi or Russian Pelmeni. I can’t vouch for the authenticity of this as it was taught to me so long ago I may have amended …

“Hot Toddy” Batter Pudding – with a wee nip

My local newspaper, the Nottingham Post, asked me for a couple of suggestions for winter warming puddings. Well, Nottinghamshire is traditionally known for its batter puddings and what could be more traditional for winter than a hot toddy – the classic remedy for a winter head cold and sore throat, with honey, lemon and perhaps a wee nip of whisky. This pudding has a subtle touch of all these, and separates into two layers as it bakes. Eat warm straight from the oven and serve with a dash of pouring cream. If you are not keen on whisky, you could go for Brandy, or double up on the honey instead. This is an old recipe, and perhaps something of an acquired taste, some more modern versions turn it into more of a sponge, but traditionally it is an egg batter. Give it a whirl! HOT TODDY PUDDING Serves approx 6 INGREDIENTS 40g (1¬ľoz) plain flour salt (pinch) 200ml (7fl oz) full fat milk 75ml (2¬Ĺfl oz) fresh lemon juice and 1tsp grated zest 3tbsp Scotch …

Warming Winter Puddings – Coconut Sponge with Raspberry Jam

As the nights have drawn in and winter is just over the horizon (although it is unseasonably warm here at the moment) I was invited by our local newspaper, the Nottingham Post, to suggest a couple of warming winter puddings to keep the cold (when it arrives) out. Those of us who went to school in England, and are of a certain age, will remember the steamed and sponge puddings from primary class. When this Coconut and Raspberry Jam Pudding was chalked up on the menu board, even the grey and lumpy mashed potato could be forgiven. So when the Post asked me for a winter pudding, I thought I would go for a bit of nostalgia. This is ¬†so easy to make, very difficult to get wrong and perfect for using up your home-made jams now the summer fruits are over. You could serve it with cream, but really only custard does it justice. Be warned, though this is very sweet, you might need a nap afterwards… Coconut and Raspberry Jam Sponge Pudding 200g …