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EDITOR Emma Dance editor@foodlovermagazine.com ADVERTISING MANAGER Zoe Thorner zoe@foodlovermagazine.com

Welcome FOODLOVERS! We’re at that time of year again when the whole country seems to collectively chorus “Can you believe it’s Christmas already?”

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Pamela Evans, Palm Design PUBLISHED BY Ignyte Media CONTRIBUTORS Annie des Forges, Curtis Pitts, Chris Hart, Caroline Drever

THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER® T: 01761409831 www.foodlovermagazine.com Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this publication FOODLOVER® shall not be made liable for any inaccuracies therein. The opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor.

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Contents

04 news

Foodie news from across the West Country.

06 gift guide

Christmas present ideas from our advertisers.

11 COMPETITIONS Win a bundle of Purbeck Cider or a Warrens Bakery Signature Hamper.

39 cookbook corner

Find culinary inspiration in these new releases.

But if you’re not fully in the Christmas spirit yet then don’t worry, we’ve got loads of festive inspiration to help get you in the Yuletide mood – from alternatives to the traditional turkey (p12), to cocktails and canapés to wow your guests (p19), ideas to make the most of your Crimbo leftovers (p24) and fun Christmassy bakes to get the kids involved (p40). We also celebrate some of the best seasonal ingredients (p26) and look ahead to the new year and the Veganuary and Dry January campaigns (p34). So, as we prepare for the inevitable onslaught of turkey, mince pies, and more Baileys than is strictly necessary, there’s just one thing left for me to say:

Emma

Have a very merry Christmas, and a delicious New Year! Emma Dance, Editor

editor@foodlovermagazine.com

Cooking companion:

In season:

Tasty alternatives to the traditional Christmas turkey.

Spotlight on rabbit, pomegranate and swede.

12 Break with tradition 28 eat the seasons 19 COCKTAILS AND CANAPÉS

Bite-sized treats and super sips to ensure you’re the host with the most.

Love local:

34 new year eating Embrace a plant-based diet and consider cutting your alcohol intake this new year.

24 LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS 42 CHEF PROFILE 44 little cooks Make the most of your Crimbo leftovers.

Fun Christmas bakes to get the kids involved.

Meet Gavin Edney from The Elder, in Bath.


NEWS

STAR QUALITY

NEWS&WHAT’SON The latest foodie happenings from across the West Country

BATH & CORNWALL Two West Country hotels are among the latest AA Red Star Winners. The Queensberry Hotel in Bath (home of the Michelin-starred Olive Tree restaurant) was awarded four of the coveted stars, while The Pig at Harlyn Bay in Cornwall won three stars. Simon Numphud, Managing Director at AA Media, said: “As the hospitality industry reopens after a challenging year, it is an honour to announce our latest AA Red Star winners. With the public looking forward to travelling further afield once again, it is inspiring to see hotels like these offering impeccable service and exceptional stays, providing guests with a comfortable and reassuring return to the hospitality sector.” www.ratedtrips.com/awards

FILL UP

Bath-based zero waste shop, Refillable, has made its plastic-free groceries and household essentials available at Bath Spa University’s Newton Park campus. The Refillable Kiosk offers store cupboard staples, refillable toiletries and cleaning products on site, making it easy for students to be more sustainable. “Refillable’s eco-friendly and zero waste ethos is a great fit for our students. With this collaboration with Refillable, we’re able to bring students delicious healthy refills to campus and save the planet at the same time – one of the things we love about Refillable is that even on a student budget, you can get a good quality selection for a great price,” said Rachel Roberts, Catering & Hospitality Manager at Bath Spa University. Stamena Milsheva, co-founder of Refillable, said: “We worked with the Catering Department at Bath Spa University to create a much-needed purchase point where students, visitors and academics at the Newton Park Campus can purchase their daily household and essential groceries items, but all without packaging, with no single use plastic or any other packaging that add additional pressure on the environment. The time left to correct the course of recovery of the planet is very short, hence why we all need to make this a priority in every one’s life.” www.refillable.shop

Loving local At a time when supporting local businesses has become even more important than ever, a new online store specialising in supporting local West Country businesses has just launched. Elston & Son is a small, family-run online shop, specialising in West Country artisan food and drink. The venture was started by Dave Elston, an entrepreneur with a background in retail and eCommerce, to share his passion for the hundreds of small, local and independent artisan food and drink producers across the West Country. The online store aims to link the past, present and future by celebrating traditional methods still being used today by championing the best West Country producers and the brands of the future. They have chosen producers and products that are all made in the West Country and will be adding more and more products and producers as they move forwards. They offer a carefully curated collection of all the best producers, where you can buy cheese to complement your cider or beer together with West Country spirits or mixers, and have them delivered together to you wherever you are in the country. elstonandson.co.uk/

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BATH

WEST COUNTRY


NEWS

Good eggs

DEVON

Little Hollacombe Farm has been named as the Taste of the West Egg Champion. Owned by Sharon and Andrew Jeffrey, the farm in Bideford, Devon, prides itself on not only producing delicious free-range eggs, but also championing the highest possible welfare standards for the chickens. Andrew Jeffrey said: “We walk through and check on all of our chickens three times a day to monitor flock health. We feed our layers with an enhanced nutrition diet that reinforces their natural foraging activity when out in the field. I may be biased, but I think we have created the perfect egg with beautiful rich golden yolks and the Taste of the West judges seem to agree.” The farm will now compete in the Champion of Champions category. www.freerangeeggs.shop

SOMERSET

Image: Alex James

Spring 2022 will see a new name and a new guise for The Pony and Trap in Chew Magna. The gastropub run by brother and sister team, Josh and Holly Eggleton, has picked up a string of awards over the years, including a Michelin star which was first awarded in 2011. Sadly, they were forced to close during the Covid-19 pandemic, but will reopen next year as The Pony Chew Valley — hosting a wedding venue and cookery school, as well as a new restaurant. This will be the latest in Josh Eggleton’s ever-growing culinary empire, which currently includes the veggie-focused Root in Bristol’s Wapping Wharf, two Salt and Malt fish and chip shops (one in the Chew Valley and one on Bristol’s Harbourside), the Kensington Arms in Redland, the Pony Bistro in Bedminster and the expansion of Bristol Beer Factory’s Harbourside Bar. theponynorthstreetco.uk

Box clever The Cornish Food Box Company has won Best Rural Retail Business in the South West at the Rural Business Awards. Now, the family-owned business will represent the region in the national awards. Winners will be announced in February 2022. Established in 2010, The Cornish Food Box Company works with more than 250 Cornish farmers, fishermen,

Sustainable eating Ugly Butterfly by Adam Handling has opened at the Carbis Bay Estate in Cornwall. Ugly Butterfly showcases renowned chef Adam’s passion for converting locally sourced, quality ingredients into beautifully presented dishes, packed full of flavour. In keeping with both Adam’s and the Estate’s ethos, there is a strong focus on sustainability. Ugly Butterfly offers an all-day dining experience with menus created to be as elevated and theatrical as at the lauded ‘Frog by Adam Handling’ in London’s Covent Garden. Offering an allday dining experience, the Ugly Butterfly bar uses trims and offcuts from the ingredients used in the restaurant to create delicious drinks and bar snacks. This bar menu will illustrate that there is no such thing as food waste, much in the same way that there is no such thing as an Ugly Butterfly.

bakers and food businesses. Food boxes, hampers and gifts are delivered to homes, offices and holiday accommodation across Cornwall, the UK and even internationally. Founder and Managing Director, Victoria Amran, is delighted the business is being recognised for its commitment to supporting the rural economy, and to be shortlisted for this prestigious award. Victoria said: “After an incredibly busy summer, and now in the lead

Adam said: “Everything we do at our restaurants and bars is based on the location and surroundings. It’s super important to me to support the local suppliers and Carbis Bay has a beautiful seaside and rural setting, so we’ll be using more of the seafood and foraged ingredients that the area is well-known for.” uglybutterfly.co.uk

CORNWALL

Image: John Hersey.

New beginning

up to Christmas, to be told CORNWALL we have won this award is a fantastic boost. Our team here in Redruth have all worked so hard over the last couple of years through the pandemic when demand for our delivery service increased. It’s so exciting to have been put through to the national awards early next year — hopefully, we will do Cornwall proud and bring the award home to the county!” www.thecornishfoodboxcompany.co.uk

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 5


ADVERTISING FEATURE

CHRISTMAS

gift guide

We all know that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, well, why not tick off both boxes at once this Christmas by warming their heart and filling their tummies with some culinary delights? From hampers to boozy gifts, stocking fillers and kitchen gadgets, we’ve got all the foodie gifts that should be under everyone’s tree this Christmas. So, whether you’re treating someone else or just yourself, when it comes to Christmas shopping, look no further for the most thoughtful and unique presents to spoil your friends and family this season. Don’t forget, you can also give the gift that keeps on giving by gifting that special someone a subscription to Foodlover, so they never miss out on top recipes, kitchen gadgets and delightful delicacies! FREDA’S

Freda’s Gift Box £15 www.fredas.co.uk Three jars of delicious Freda’s Peanut Butter presented in a beautiful gift box, the perfect gift for any loved one. t

DEVON RUM COMPANY

Rum Cocktail Gift Box £26.50 www.devonrumcompany.com Everything you need to create a delicious Devon Stormy Cocktail, including a bag of Spiced Rum and Raisin Fudge.q

CHILLI NO. 5

Travel Size £35 www.chilli-no5.com You will never have to leave home without your Chilli No. 5 Sriracha Cha Cha and Pizza Pizzazz with this set of reuseable 15ml bottles and drawstring pouch travel/kit bag. q

FOWEY VALLEY

Miniatures Presentation Box £20 www.foweyvalleycider.co.uk A beautiful gift box featuring Foy Gin, Fowey Valley Vodka, Eau DeVie and Pommeau. All produced in the family cidery and distillery. p

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ADVERTISING FEATURE LAKELAND

Mrs Bridges’ 12 Days of Christmas Hamper £39.99 www.lakeland.co.uk This beautifully designed jute shopper is full to the brim with chutneys, preserves and sweet treats, perfect for treating your foodie friend! t

CHILLI NO. 5

Pizza Pizzazz Chilli Oil £9 www.chilli-no5.com Virgin olive oil spiced up with the Chilli No. 5 chilli pepper blend. Perfect for your favourite pizza, pasta, rice or noodles. u

AS RAW AS

The Merry Christmas Truffle Selection £23.50 www.asrawas.com A delicious mix of handcrafted dairy free raw chocolate truffles with a range of flavours — so something for everyone! t

DEVON HAMPERS

Christmas Night Hamper £69.50 www.devonhampers.com Find your perfect Christmas gift from Devon Hampers’ great selection of festive hampers, or create your own. q

BAR BUOY MARGARITA

Margarita £22

THERMAPEN

One Thermometer £66 www.thermapen.co.uk Achieve cooking perfection, with a Thermapen thermometer. The favourite kitchen essential is ideal for the home cook, baker, or barbecue enthusiast. p

www.barbuoy.co.uk 3-Star Great Taste Award Winner. Made with 100% agave Tequila this is a premium cocktail with a moreish taste. p

WARRENS BAKERY

Warrens Signature Christmas Hamper £50 www.warrensbakery.co.uk Packed full of tasty Cornish delights, this luxury hamper makes the perfect Christmas gift for up to four people. u

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 7


ADVERTISING FEATURE

GINGERBEARD’S PRESERVES

Miniature Gift Box £5.99

www.gingerbeardspreserves.co.uk A gift box containing three of the best sellers in miniature pots. Choose from 12 flavours, a great gift! t

CHEW VALLEY DISTILLERY

Clementine and Cranberry Gin £35 cvdistillery.co.uk The multi award-winning distillery has re-released this cracking festive gin. Celebrate the right way this Christmas. t

DORSET GINGER

Famous Five Gift Box £15 www.dorsetginger.ltd The perfect Christmas gift for ginger lovers. Each gift box contains 33cl bottles of five flavours. p

CORNWALL’S CHOCOLATE COVE

The Bountiful Hamper £37.50 www.cornwallschocolatecove.co.uk Bring on those involuntary gasps of wonder upon opening, and murmurs of pleasure upon tasting (vegan, raw, free from palm oil, soya, cane sugar and gluten). t

DEVON COVE

Cove Cocktails Espresso Martini Kit £31.90 www.devoncove.co.uk A fantastic gift for Christmas or just to spread a little cheer. Contains all the ingredients you need to make four delicious Espresso Martinis. u

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

MILES TEA AND COFFEE

Miles Hot Chocolate Christmas Cracker £3.99 www.milesteaandcoffee.com The perfect stocking filler for any chocolate lover, four Miles Heavenly Hot chocolate sachets with a pack of mini marshmallows. q

DAVIDSTOW

Davidstow’s Ingot Trio gift set £25 www.davidstowcheddar.co.uk Perfect for cheese lovers, this combines each of their aged, waxed cheddars with perfectly matched Cornish chutney and oat biscuits. p

WARRENS BAKERY

Sweet Moments Mixed Box £17.95 www.warrensbakery.co.uk A delicious assortment of indulgent chocolate brownies, buttery millionaire’s shortbread and tantalising tiffin, carefully wrapped and delivered through your letterbox. t

FOODLOVER MAGAZINE

Annual subscription £12

www.foodlovermagazine.com Give the gift that keeps giving. Your foodie friend or family member will love receiving our magazine throughout the year. p

MILES TEA AND COFFEE

Miles Christmas Mulled Tea Kites £4.75 www.milesteaandcoffee.com Miles Christmas Mulled tea is a full-bodied, rich and aromatic blend, full of festive, fruity flavours that are very much reminiscent of mulled wine. t

WARRENS BAKERY

The Cornish Christmas Hamper for Two £35 www.warrensbakery.co.uk With pasties, Christmas chutney, mince pies, clotted cream and Christmas cake, this makes for a Boxing Day banquet. Just add fizz! u

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 9


ADVERTISING FEATURE

CORNWALL’S CHOCOLATE COVE

The Golden Taster Collections £18.25 www.cornwallschocolatecove.co.uk A sample of everything — perfect for an opulent, enticing tasting journey (vegan, raw, free from palm oil, soya, cane sugar & gluten). q

DELIMANN

Merry Berry Christmas Cream Tea Hamper Box £26.95, Wicker £46.95 www.delimann.co.uk Delicious festive artisan food & drink hampers made in the West Country with free UK mainland delivery and personalised gift message. p

DORSET TREASURES

Christmas Cheese Lovers Gift Hamper £59.95 www.dorsettreasures.co.uk Ideal for any cheese fanatics, this hamper contains three Dorset artisan cheeses, homemade chutney, olives, biscotti and Christmas tree cheeseboard, all presented in a large oval shopper. u

FUSSELS OF SOMERSET

Flavoured Rapeseed Oil Gift Box £8.50 www.fusselsfinefoods.co.uk Fussels of Somerset mini flavoured oils gift box, packed with big flavour! A great stocking filler for a foodie who loves cooking. u

SEA ARCH

Coastal Juniper £24.95 www.seaarchdrinks.com A deliciously refreshing non-alcoholic spirit that’s bursting with seaside botanicals — perfect with tonic, in cocktails or as a thoughtful gift. t

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PRIZES

WIN FOODIE PRIZES WIN A BUNDLE OF PURBECK CIDER The Purbeck Cider Company is an independent cider producer nestled in the heart of the Purbeck Hills in Dorset. They produce naturally delicious premium ciders using 100% single pressed British apples from some of Dorset’s long-forgotten traditional trees, including those in their own orchards. The team is fiercely passionate about traditional orchard management and regeneration, coupled with a dedication to pioneering new and sustainable ways to bring premium craft ciders to market. The result is a range of naturally delicious ciders with no artificial flavours or additives and no concentrates, leaving them full of flavour, as every apple intended. Up for grabs is a mixed case (12 x 500ml bottles), a Katy & Perry pack (6 x 330ml cans), and a Posh Spice Mulled Cider Pouch.

WIN A WARRENS BAKERY LUXURY CORNISH HAMPER For more than 160 years, Warrens Bakery has been bringing together the freshest local ingredients and traditional craft bakery skills, making hand-crimped pasties, freshly baked bread and prized scones and biscuits. The Warrens Bakery recipes have been passed down through the generations are still in use today. You can sample Warren’s delicious bakes in 40 stores across the West Country. You have the chance to win a Warrens Bakery Luxury Cornish Hamper which includes a feast of delights for up to four people: four Warrens Bakery medium traditional Cornish Pasties, or Cheese & Onion Pasties, four Warrens Bakery scones, a large Warrens Bakery saffron cake, a jar of Boddington’s Berries farmhouse apple chutney, a jar of Boddington’s Berries strawberry conserve, a box of Cornish Tea Organic Fusion tea bags, a box of Simply Cornish clotted cream shortbread biscuits and a pot of Rodda’s clotted cream.

TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE OF WINNING THESE FANTASTIC PRIZES, visit www.foodlovermagazine.com/competitions and enter your details by 28 JANUARY 2022. GOOD LUCK! FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 11


CHRISTMAS

ROASTED TURBOT WITH RED WINE SAUCE SERVES 2

2 portions of turbot, 180g each FOR THE SAUCE 50ml port (optional) 100ml of red wine (or 200ml if not using port) 50ml cream 50g butter, diced and kept cold FOR THE CREAMED SWEETCORN (optional) 1 tin of sweetcorn Cream Spring onions, sliced

1 Place the turbot portions on a buttered tray, season and brush with melted butter. Place under a hot grill for 2 min then into an oven at 180˚C/Gas Mark 5 for 6/8 minutes or until cooked. 2 While the fish is cooking, make the sauce. Pour the wine and port into a small pan and reduce over a high heat until the liquid begins to look sticky, add the cream and bring back to the boil. 3 To finish the sauce, whisk in the diced butter a little at a time, do not let the sauce boil while adding the butter (best to move the pan off and onto the heat as you whisk in the butter). 4 Also while the fish cooks, you can make a base of creamed sweetcorn, by mixing the corn into some cream, and boiling. Add some sliced spring onion and it’s ready to serve. 5 To serve, spoon a pool of the red wine sauce in the centre of the plate, add your sweetcorn if included, and place a piece of cooked turbot on top. Recipe by Seafish (www.seafish.org)

12 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER


a

CHRISTMAS

with tradition T

go fish

urkeys have been the traditional centrepiece of Christmas dinner for around 500 years — ever since the 16th century, in fact, when Henry VIII shunned his usual goose and opted to tuck into turkey for his festive feast instead. But, before then, the meat centrepiece of Christmas dinner could be anything from geese, chickens, beef, boars, and even peacocks. And with fears of a turkey shortage this year it could be the perfect time to think about ditching the bird in favour of something a bit different. We’re not suggesting you go full-on medieval and try to snag yourself a peacock — but we’ve got a few ideas for some fabulous centrepieces (and a pud!) that might just inspire you to try something a bit different this Yuletide!

A fish dish makes a light, but delicious, centrepiece

I

n this part of the country, we are spoiled with so many wonderful coastlines, just teeming with beautiful seafood that would be perfect as a Christmas dinner! So, then, it would make perfect sense to look to the sea for inspiration for your festive feast. Chris Hart, director and fishmonger at Harts Natural Seafoods, shares some advice. “If you are thinking of cooking fish for Christmas dinner, the most important thing is to be flexible,” he says. “If you set your heart on having a particular fish, there are no guarantees that any will be caught when you need them, so my best advice would be to choose a few alternatives if you don’t want to be let down, or buy it in advance and freeze. “The best thing about cooking fish instead of turkey is that it can be prepared, cooked and eaten in a fraction of the time it takes to cook a turkey. I’d recommend slow roasting a seasoned, whole fish on a baking tray in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and thyme.

“An average size fish would take about 45 minutes at 150˚C/Gas Mark 2, and don’t forget to baste it every 15 minutes to help keep it moist and full of flavour. “The top five fish I would suggest for Christmas dinner would be brill, monkfish, wild bass, turbot and Dover sole.” Owner of Dorset Shellfish, Caroline Drever, is also a fan of line-caught sea bass “It’s a lovely, sustainable fish,” she says. “Any not large enough are put back for another day. Linecaught bass are caught with a fishing rod so it’s labour intensive and therefore might cost a little more — but it is better quality, sustainable and local. We catch it here in Dorset. It’s great cooked whole in the oven, or you could pan fry fillets. It’s best to buy from a fishmonger who can prepare it for you.” Lobster is regarded as one of the most luxurious ingredients out there at any time of year, so it’s definitely worth considering for your Christmas table. (If you don’t want it as a

main, it would make a yummy and decadent starter too!). “I’d always recommend buying cooked lobster from a fishmonger,” says Caroline. “Lobsters are all caught sustainably in the UK, and any that are too small or have eggs aren’t landed. “The welfare of the creature is to be considered too and the fishmonger knows how to dispatch quickly and humanely! Buying at Christmas can be expensive, however, due to windy weather and tides and more people wanting them. “Look for; a fresh smelling, solid not soft body, feels heavy/to size. The fishmonger would also split the lobster for you, clean it and crack the claws. Lobster is always good served with an indulgent Thermidor sauce, (which we sell on a lobster ready for the grill) or with, garlic or lemon butter or a hollandaise sauce.” www.dorset-shellfish.co.uk www.hartsnaturalseafoods.com

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 13


CHRISTMAS

oh deer! W

ild British venison is the perfect choice for the Christmas dinner table. Itself a cause for celebration, this delicious, wild meat has often led the most healthy and natural life possible. There is an abundance of wild venison this season as a result of the pandemic, so it is the most sustainable red meat with minimal food miles as it is harvested in its natural environment. The wild deer are allowed to forage on hedgerows and in the field and forest and these flora and fauna contribute to the delicious and delicate flavour of the meat. Holly berries are a particular favourite, so these really enhance the natural flavour of venison, making it the perfect centrepiece of any Christmas dinner table. There are a few lovely ways of serving venison, which would be great for Christmas dinner.

14 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

A firm family favourite in the Pitts’ household is a Venison Wellington, which we have coined from Charlotte Vincent of The Five Bells at Clyst Hydon. (See recipe opposite). Another recommendation would be a Frenchtrimmed rack of venison ribs with a macadamia nut crust or a boned and rolled saddle of venison with festive cranberry stuffing. A French-trimmed eight-rib rack of venison would be a also great centrepiece, pan-roasted with garlic, butter and thyme or the haunch is a really good cut to slow cook. A good stew would be a great crowd-pleaser for family and friends. Because venison is in season in the autumn and winter, it goes best with produce that is also in season at this time. I try to match venison with produce of equal seasonality and strength in flavour – what grows together tends to go together. For example, venison and beetroot – I would smoke the beetroot to make sure this comes through in the dish. Kohlrabi or turnip are also great bedfellows

Curtis Pitts from Curtis Pitts Deer Services extols the virtues of venison

as they are both quite peppery and the pepper is the flavour that holds up next to the powerful flavour of venison. Another popular dish is venison, Brussels sprouts, dark chocolate and blackberries – the bitterness of dark chocolate really compliments the powerful flavour notes of wild venison. I also like to use Shibanuma, or unpasteurised soy sauce, aged in cedar wood barrels for two years as a seasoning rather than salt, and the peaty flavours of Connemara single malt whiskey also go very well too. When you’re buying venison look for traceability and provenance. The meat should be a rich dark red colour, well-packed, presented and looked after. Venison should be hung properly and for no more than a week. We currently have game hampers available full of locally sourced game. All of our game is shot locally and the flavour is unbeatable, as the meat tastes of the lush Devon countryside where the animals have been allowed to forage in their natural environment. curtispittsdeerservices.co.uk


CHRISTMAS

VENISON WELLINGTON SERVES 4

500g of loin of venison, cleaned with sinew removed 400g puff pastry 2 egg yolks 1 tbsp of milk Salt and pepper, to season 1 tbsp of vegetable oil FOR THE MUSHROOM DUXELLE 250g of button mushrooms 4 shallots, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 100ml white wine 4 tbsp double cream Butter Salt and pepper, to season FOR THE PANCAKES 150g of plain flour 2 eggs 140ml of milk Oil, for frying

7 Flip the pancake over and cook the other side. Repeat the process again until all of the mixture is used up, keeping the cooked pancakes to one side. 8 Lay a sheet of cling film on a board and lay 3 pancakes onto it, overlapping, so that they cover the cling film. Lay the Parma ham on top in a single layer. 9 Spread the mushroom duxelle over the Parma ham in another even layer and place the venison on top. Roll the pancakes, Parma ham and mushroom mix around the venison, using the cling film to wrap it tightly. Leave to cool in the fridge, preferably overnight. 10 Roll out the puff pastry into a

1 Start by searing the venison. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, season the loin with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Turn every 1–2 minutes to colour the loin on all sides, until it is evenly browned and rare in the centre. Remove from the pan and refrigerate.

thin sheet around 1/4cm thick — if it is pre-rolled, it will need to be rolled thinner. 11 Remove the Wellington from the cling film, lay on top of the the pastry with egg wash. Roll the

2 For the duxelle, melt the butter in the same pan, add the chopped mushrooms and sauté until golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep to one side.

Wellington in the pastry, sealing

3 Add the shallots and chopped garlic to the pan. Cook until soft, then add the mushrooms again and cook quickly until the liquid evaporates. Add the white wine and boil until reduced by half.

is on the underside and set aside

4 Add the cream and cook until the mixture is thick and beginning to darken. Season with salt and pepper and leave to one side.

oven for 20–25 minutes, until the

5 For the pancakes, whisk together the flour, eggs and milk to make a smooth batter.

it should be slightly warm (which

6 Heat a frying pan and add a splash of oil. Once the oil is hot, pour in a small amount of batter to cover the base in a very thin layer and cook until golden on the underside.

Hand crafted cider bursting in flavour. Lovingly hand picked and pressed in an old press in Dorset

pastry and brush the borders of

the joining edge with a little extra

Visit us at our Cider Barn or shop online www.laycockcider.com

egg wash. 12 Roll the Wellington so the seal while you prepare the vegetables. 13 Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. 14 Place the Wellington into the pastry is golden brown. To tell if it is cooked, place a thin metal skewer in the centre of the venison, means the internal temperature is about 49–52°C). 15 Remove the Wellington from the oven, rest for at least 10 minutes in a warm place. Slice and serve up onto a plate.

laycockcider

Email: info@laycockcider.co.uk - Tel: 07730 452 426 Church Farm, Purse Caundle, Sherborne, DT9 5DY

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 15


CHRISTMAS

turkey time

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There’s nothing wrong with sticking with tradition, if that’s your preference. Just make sure you don’t miss out by ordering your turkey in advance. The Cornish Food Box Company can provide turkeys, as well as hampers, with all the trimmings you need for a Crimbo dinner fit for a king. THE PERFECT FREE RANGE ROAST CORNISH TURKEY Make sure you choose a delicious free range or organic locally reared bird! Before you start, make sure you weigh your turkey and calculate cooking time at 20 minutes per kilo, plus 90 minutes. You want to make sure your turkey is at room temperature before it hits the oven so bring it out of the fridge about an hour before you are going to start cooking. Free-range whole turkey 1 onion Bay and rosemary sprigs 50g butter Sea salt and black pepper

5 Add a spoon of chopped rosemary and mix in well. 6 Baste the turkey all over with your seasoned butter. 7 Roast the turkey at 220°C for 30 minutes then turn the oven down to 150˚C, add a cup of water to the roasting tin and baste the turkey again with the juices from the roasting pan. 8 Baste your bird every 20 minutes or so for the rest of the cooking time. 9 You can check if it’s cooked through by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh — if the juices run clear it is ready. 10 Rest your bird for at least 30 minutes before serving but ideally for an hour and half if you have a larger bird.

1 Preheat oven to 220˚C/Gas Mark 7. 2 Put a quartered onion and a large sprig of bay and rosemary in the cavity between the legs. 3 Secure the neck skin in position with skewers and tie the turkey legs together at the top of the drumsticks to give a neat shape. 4 Soften about 50g of butter and season with a couple of generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper.

Recipe by The Cornish Food Box Company (thecornishfoodboxcompany.co.uk)

16 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER


CHRISTMAS

a game bird

Pheasant could make an interesting alternative to turkey this year

Pheasant has a rich and delicious flavour which makes it an ideal candidate for a Christmas dinner centrepiece. Steven Frampton, co-founder of Wild and Game in Bristol, says: “Pheasant is an excellent alternative to turkey for your Christmas dinner — it’s actually a far more interesting and flavoursome meat, but you can cook it in much the same way, and it works beautifully as part of a traditional roast. It’s also

POT ROASTED PHEASANT WITH PUY LENTILS AND PANCETTA SERVES 2

1 pheasant 300g puy lentils (uncooked) 160g cubed pancetta 1 stick of celery, finely chopped 1 medium onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 medium carrot, diced 1 tsp dried thyme 1 tbsp sherry vinegar 900ml chicken stock A glug or two of olive oil A handful of spinach (optional)

1 Pre-heat the oven to 220˚C/Gas Mark 7. 2 Heat the olive oil in a hobproof casserole dish and fry the pheasant until browned. Remove the pheasant and set aside.

highly sustainable, has no additives, and is leaner and higher in protein than turkey. We’ve seen a huge rise in the number of people ordering game from us for Christmas because they are worried about shortages of turkey. Just remember, though, that pheasants are considerably smaller than turkeys — one will feed two people, so make sure you order enough to keep everyone happy.”

5 Add the thyme and cook for one more minute, then pour in the sherry and cook until reduced. 6 Add the stock and the lentils, then place the pheasant back in the pot. 7 Put the lid on and cook for 40 minutes until the lentils have softened and absorbed most of the liquid. Check halfway to ensure it is not drying out and add more stock if you have it, or some water, if needed. If the lentils have not cooked and absorbed enough liquid after 40 minutes, take the lid off and cook for 5-10 minutes more. 8 Remove from the oven and if using spinach, stir it into the

3 Fry the onion, celery, carrot and pancetta in the pot until the onion is translucent.

lentils so that it wilts.

4 Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

Recipe by Wild and Game

9 Serve immediately. (www.wildandgame.co.uk)

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 17


CHRISTMAS

sweet thing T

Christmas doesn’t have to mean Christmas pudding!

CLEMENTINE AND CARDAMOM CHRISTMAS TRIFLE WITH AMARETTO AND PISTACHIO SERVES 8

10 clementines

600ml double cream 60ml amaretto 300g madeira sponge, cut into 2cm slices 100g icing sugar Pinch of salt 450ml whole milk 3 tbsp amaretto 250ml double cream 25g pistachios, chopped 6 cardamom pods 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 5 amaretti biscuits, crumbled 9 medium egg yolks 6-8 physalis, to decorate 75g golden caster sugar Edible gold glitter, to 60g cornflour decorate (optional)

1 Begin by making your custard. In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks with the golden caster sugar until pale and thickened. Then add the cornflour and mix again. In a saucepan, heat the 450ml whole milk, 250ml double cream, 6 bashed cardamom pods and the vanilla bean paste gently until it reaches

18 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

his recipe takes the traditional trifle but gives it a Christmassy twist with the addition of clementines, cardamom, amaretto and pistachio. Not only does it taste amazing, but it makes for a show stopping dessert at your Christmas table.

scalding point. Then remove from the heat and pour gradually into the egg mixture through a sieve to catch the cardamom pods, whisking as you go until all the milk and cream is added and you have a smooth mixture. Clean out the saucepan and the pour the custard back in. Place it onto the heat once more and gently heat over a low flame, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or spatula until the custard has thickened. 2 Remove the custard from the heat and pour into a bowl. Use clingfilm to close cover the surface of the custard — this will stop it from creating a skin — and place into the fridge to cool. 3 You will need a large trifle dish to assemble your dessert. Start with the clementines, peel them and cut into rounds roughly 1cm thick. Place the slices of clementine around the bottom of the trifle dish so they stand up against the sides. Next take the slices of madeira cake and place into the bottom of the dish (these can be used to help stand the

clementine slices up) and keep layering up until you have used all the cake. 4 Next you want to drizzle the madeira cake layer with the 3 tbsp amaretto. The next layer is the custard. Remove the cooled custard from the fridge and pour this over the cake layer. 5 Finally add the 600ml double cream to a large bowl and add the icing sugar and a pinch of salt, then either using a balloon whisk or an electric whisk, whip the cream until it starts to form soft peaks. Add the 60ml amaretto and whisk again — ensuring not to over whisk — you want medium peaks that aren’t too stiff. 6 Spoon the cream over the custard layer and use the back of your spoon to create soft peaks in the top. Decorate the top of the trifle with crushed amaretti biscuits, chopped pistachios, physalis fruit and gold leaf, if desired. Serve. Recipe by Maldon Salt (maldonsalt.co.uk)


d n a s e t i Festive b s p i s l a n seaso

SAUSAGE ROLL PARCELS WITH APPLE & CIDER BRANDY CHUTNEY

These sausage roll parcels are so easy to make and are the perfect accompaniment to white wine and festive fizz. MAKES 15

Plain flour, for dusting 500g pack ready-made puff pastry 450g good quality pork sausage meat (or sausages) 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley 1 small onion, peeled and very finely chopped 150g apple & cider brandy chutney salt and pepper to season 1 egg, beaten

COOKING COMPANION

Cocktail and canapé recipes to wow your guests and ensure you’re the host with the most this festive season.

1 Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease two large baking trays.

4 Put a dessert spoon of the sausage mixture into the centre of the pastry square.

2 Dust the work surface with the plain flour. Roll the pastry (even if you have bought a ready rolled sheet you will need to roll it thinner) until approx. 50cm x 30cm. Cut it into 15 10cm x 10cm squares — use slightly smaller squares if you want them bite sized (7cm x 7cm).

5 Fold the four corners into the middle, making a parcel shape and seal at the top and put onto the greased baking tray.

3 In a bowl mix the sausage meat (if using sausages snip skins and peel), parsley, onion, apple & cider brandy chutney and season.

6 When you’ve done all of the parcels, brush with beaten egg. 7 Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through and the pastry is golden brown. 8 Enjoy them hot or cold. Recipe by Tracklements (www.tracklements.co.uk)

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COOKING COMPANION

Recipes by Annie des Forges, The Table Bruton (www.thetablebruton.com)

SEARED SIRLOIN WITH TRUFFLE OIL ON A TOASTED CROUTON WITH ROCKET & PARMESAN MAKES ABOUT 8

1 baguette Truffle oil Salt flakes A few sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme 1 sirloin steak Rocket Fresh Parmesan

1 Preheat the oven to 140˚C/ Gas Mark 1. Make the croutons by slicing the baguette into thin rounds so there is a thin crust holding the crouton together. You will need around 8 slices. 2 Brush each crouton with truffle oil and put on a baking tray. Season with salt flakes and a few nibs of rosemary or thyme. 3 Put the croutons in the oven to dry out. This will take 20-30 minutes. 4 Trim your steak into a square shape. This will make it easier to cut into even strips for serving. Season with a few salt flakes and a grind of black pepper.

20 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

5 Heat your oil of choice in a frying pan until it’s hot. Stay there, don’t walk away from it, as it’ll start smoking before you know it. 6 Put your steak into the pan. Be careful as it will sizzle and splatter loudly. Don’t play with it or be tempted to push it around either. Let it caramelise in colour, then after 45 seconds turn it over to do the same on the other side. 7 Take it off the heat and put on a board to rest. 8 Slice your steak into miniature, equal-size slices. 9 Place a little rocket on your cooled croutons as a bed so the croutons don’t go soggy from the meat juices. 10 Lie the seared steak on top. Drizzle a drop more of the truffle oil over the steak. Grate on a few Parmesan shards and garnish with an extra leaf of rocket to serve. I still like to add a couple more salt flakes from high as these really lift the flavours.


Images by Garfield Austin

COOKING COMPANION

PRAWN COCKTAIL This is a contemporary twist on the classic starter. Don’t get hung up on the exact amounts, but one king prawn fits into a croustade case. MAKES 24

24 cooked king prawns A tub of Greek yoghurt Ketchup Few drops Tabasco 1 lime Wild Rocket A box of 24 croustade cases

RACLETTE ON A POTATO ROSTI WITH PARMA HAM & CORNICHON

4 Meanwhile, put the grated mix into

I did a couple of seasons in the Swiss Alps of Verbier as a Private Chef and I still hanker for my night off when I’d head to a mountain restaurant for raclette. A recent client asked for a nod to her Swiss roots and she loved the idea of miniaturising the traditional dish into a tiny weeny version in the form of a canapé — and this is how this dish was born!

salt and a good grind of pepper.

a bowl and add your egg, folding it all together and adding a good pinch of 5 Using a teaspoon, divide your mixture into 6-8 equal mounds, lightly flatten them with a few taps and shape them into a mini rosti cake. It should be fat enough to pick up without them falling apart and slim enough to fit into your mouth. 6 Place the rostis carefully into the heated oil. By the time you’ve put the

1 Drain your prawns and then place on a piece of kitchen towel. Pat dry.

1 packet of Raclette

last one in, it’ll almost be time to turn the

2 Cut a few slices of lime into quarters for garnish later.

Slices of Parma ham

first one over on to the other side.

3 To make my version of a Marie-Rose sauce, mix the yoghurt, a good squirt of ketchup, three drops of Tabasco, and juice of half a lime together.

½ an onion

SERVES 6-8

Two baking potatoes 1 fat garlic clove

7 Once both sides are golden, quickly take them off the heat and onto a canapé

1 egg, beaten

plate, like a slate, so they don’t slide about.

4 Now fold in your prawns.

Mini cornichons

8 Ping your raclette slices (time is of the

5 Do not fill your croustade cases until you’re about to serve as they’ll go soggy quickly. When you are ready to serve, line the croustade cases with a couple of rocket leaves (unless you want to go traditional and break off a piece of iceberg to line the case) then with two teaspoons, encourage each sauce covered prawn into the case so there’s nothing on the edges.

Cracked black ground pepper

6 Curl a piece of rocket on top with a mini slice of lime and serve. Add a little cracked pepper too.

Salt flakes Parsley, rocket or figs, to garnish (optional)

1 Firstly, grate your potatoes on the fine grate, the onion and garlic.

essence here and unless you have a heated stone or raclette grill this is the answer!) in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. With a fork mould the right amount onto your rosti. Once they all

2 Put the grated mixture in a sieve and squeeze out all of the water.

have the raclette on them fold some

3 Put your frying pan on with a good splash of oil and let it start to heat up.

cornichon and garnish with a little parsley

Parma ham on top with half a mini or a rocket leaf or a fresh piece of fig.

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COOKING COMPANION

cocktails EGGNOG Can you genuinely claim to have experienced Christmas if you haven’t had a glass of eggnog? The creamy, brandy-based, toothsome drink is not to everyone’s taste, but this version of the festive classic adds chai tea, coconut and almond milk. You’ve simply got to give it a try! SERVES 2-3

250ml coconut milk 500ml almond milk 80ml maple syrup 3 teabags of chai tea (or 2 tsp of chai spice mix in a spice bag)

2 Leave to infuse for 5 minutes. 3 Mix the egg yolks in a bowl and add some warm almond milk then pour it into the saucepan and heat everything up

pinch of salt

again, slowly, stirring constantly.

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 Remove the tea bags/spice

3 egg yolks FOR THE TOPPING

sachets from the pan.

200g whipped cream

5 Pour a shot of brandy into each

Piece of dark chocolate, grated

glass, divide the mixture equally,

1 shot of rum or brandy per glass (optional)

top with whipped cream and a

1 tsp cinnamon, freshly grated

1 Put all the ingredients, except for the egg yolks into a saucepan and warm through slowly. Do not boil!

22 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

fresh grating of cinnamon and chocolate. Recipe by Microplane (www.microplaneintl.com)


COOKING COMPANION

RED HOT SANTA TINI COCKTAIL SERVES 1

2 Mix cocoa powder and paprika on a flat plate and rim a chilled Martini glass with it.

60ml vodka

3 In a shaker, add the vodka, 3 drops

60ml dark chocolate liqueur

of Chilli Spice Drops and the chocolate

Cocoa powder

liqueur. Shake and pour the mixture into

1 tsp paprika powder 4 drops Chilli Spice Drops 2-4 tbsp sweetened whipped cream

the prepared glass. 4 Top it off with the dollops of whipping

1 small Thai chilli pepper, to garnish

cream and garnish by floating the chilli

1 Mix 1 drop of Chilli Spice Drops in sugar syrup to wet the rim of the glass.

pepper on top of the cream. Recipe by Spice Drops (holylama.co.uk)

CHRISTMAS DORSET MULE SERVES 1

20ml freshly squeezed lime juice 20ml Original Ginger or Extra Strong Ginger from The Dorset Ginger Company 100ml cranberry juice 50ml vodka (optional) Topped up with blood orange soda (approx. 50/100ml)

1 Build in Copper Mug or Rocks Glass. Add lime, Dorset Ginger, cranberry juice and vodka (if using). 2 Fill the cup with cubed ice and top up with blood orange soda. 3 Garnish with frozen cranberries and blood orange slices. Recipe and image by Betony & Bird (Instagram @betony_and_bird ) for Dorset Ginger (www.dorsetginger.ltd)

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COOKING COMPANION

LEFTOVER VEG SPIRAL TART SERVES 8-10

Image © from my point of view/Shutterstock.com

Butter, for greasing 5 tbsp olive oil 1 small onion, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 250g butternut squash or pumpkin, cubed in 1cm pieces 4 sage leaves 3 courgettes, finely sliced 3 carrots, finely sliced 3 aubergines, finely sliced 1 tbsp agave syrup 1 tsp chilli flakes 1 sheet shortcrust pastry that’s slightly larger than the tart tin

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C /Gas Mark 6. Grease a pastry dish or tart tin (around 22cm or suitable to the amount of vegetables you have). 2 Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan. Cook the onion until it begins to soften, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the butternut squash or pumpkin and sage along with a tablespoon of water. 3 Cover and cook for 10–12 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and mash until smooth.

Zer0 waste

4 Add the vegetable strips to a bowl with 2 tablespoons of oil, the agave syrup and the chilli flakes then mix. 5 Place the pastry into the pie dish and trim the edges. Spread the mash evenly over the bottom. Make a ‘rose’ by taking three vegetable strips and rolling until you’ve made a tight spiral. Place in the centre of the tart. 6 Place the remaining ribbons around the rose, creating a concentric circle. Brush the remaining olive oil over the tart once you’ve finished. Place in the oven and bake for 40–45 minutes.

Make the most of your festive leftovers

O

ne of the best things about Christmas is the food. But with all the snacks, cheeseboards and sweets – not to mention the main event of Crimbo dinner – we often find ourselves buying far more than we really need, and therefore with piles of leftovers. There’s no need to waste any of the delicious food though. Stored correctly, much of it can last a while, and there are lots of yummy recipes that make the most of the bits and pieces that haven’t been eaten.

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Recipe taken from The Zero-Waste Kitchen by Charmaine Yabsley. Published by Summersdale, £9.99


COOKING COMPANION

safe storage There’s no doubt that Christmas leftovers are completely delicious — Christmas dinner sandwiches, turkey curries, and bubble and squeak are all platefuls of utter joy. But you do need to make sure that you’re storing everything correctly.

TURKEY

LEFTOVER TURKEY VOL-AU-VENTS Vol-au-vents are experiencing a culinary revival of sorts. And why not? You can never really go wrong with puff pastry. You can use this filling to make a pastry-topped pie if you can’t get hold off the ready-made vol-auvent cases. Use any other leftovers like chopped sprouts, mushrooms or leftover herbs to give this recipe your own stamp. MAKES 6

6 ready-made medium sized vol-au-vent cases 200g leftover shredded turkey meat 75-100ml leftover gravy 25g butter 25g plain flour 200ml whole milk ½ tsp chilli flakes ½ tsp dried oregano Handful finely chopped leftover herbs, such as chives or parsley 50g grated cheddar

1 Preheat the oven to 200˚C/Gas Mark 6. Cook the frozen vol-au-vents according to manufacturer’s instructions, then remove from the oven, place on a wire rack and keep aside to cool slightly. 2 Bring the milk to the boil in a small saucepan. Melt the butter in another saucepan and add the flour, stirring continuously until a paste begins to form. Add the milk gradually, stirring as you go until you get a smooth liquid. As you cook on a medium heat for another 5-10 minutes the sauce will thicken — don’t stop stirring! 3 Once the sauce is cooked through add the turkey, leftover gravy and season with chilli flakes, oregano, fresh herbs and the cheese. Remove the lids of the vol-au-vents gently with a teaspoon and add the creamy turkey mix. Now you can either top the vol-au-vents with their pastry lid, or leave them open if you prefer. 4 If you have any more leftover cheese lurking around, top the vol-au-vents with a handful and melt in the grill until golden, taking care that the pastry does not burn. Recipe created by Saliha Mahmood Ahmed (winner of MasterChef UK 2017) to mark the launch of Huzma’s range of Halal frozen turkeys.

Put your turkey in the fridge as soon as it’s cooled down. It should be eaten or frozen within two days of being cooked. If you freeze it, it should last for around three months. If you want to warm your leftover turkey that’s fine — but only once! If you reheat it multiple times you can kill off bacteria, but not toxins.

PIGS IN BLANKETS In the unlikely event that you have any of these tasty morsels left, as soon as they have cooled, wrap them in foil or cling film, put them in the fridge and eat them within three days.

STUFFING The shelf life of stuffing depends a bit on what’s in it. If it contains sausage meat then you’ll need to eat it within three days, but if not then it will last for about four days.

CHEESE A lot of cheese will last reasonably well, but that doesn’t mean you can keep it for months. It’s generally considered fine to slice an odd bit of mould off a hard cheese (just make sure you get rid of any discoloured bits), but that’s a definite no-no with soft cheeses — these need to be thrown away if they’re mouldy. To preserve them for as long as possible, only serve what you think you’ll eat as leaving them out at room temperature for too long could make them go off more quickly.

POTATOES AND VEGETABLES These will last in the fridge for around three to four days, but you could also freeze them. In the freezer, they’ll keep for about 10 months.

SMOKED SALMON Always keep your smoked salmon in the fridge, and use it within three days of opening (or by the ‘use by’ date if that’s earlier!). To stop it drying out, keep it in the original packaging then wrap it in cling film or put it in a sealed plastic bag. Smoked salmon can also be frozen for up to three months.

CHRISTMAS CAKE A Christmas cake can last up to a month if you keep it in an airtight container. Put it in the fridge and it will last up to six months, but chuck it in the freezer and you’ll be able to enjoy it for up to a year.

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COOKING COMPANION

LEFTOVER TURKEY, CHEESE AND TOMATO BAKE A great way to use up turkey leftovers, although you could just as easily replace turkey with any remaining chicken or lamb you may have. Add breadcrumbs, or make some easily with leftover bread, and sprinkle on top for extra crunch. SERVES 2

1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 tsp dried oregano 200g chopped tomatoes 2 tsp sugar 2 tsp vinegar Salt and pepper, to season 240g leftover turkey (or whichever leftover meat you are using) 1 ball mozzarella

1 Preheat the oven to 220°C. 2 Add the oil to a saucepan, then fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes, oregano, sugar, vinegar and season with salt and pepper if you like. Stir until it becomes a thick sauce, then add the turkey. 3 Transfer to a small baking dish. Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and scatter on top of the mixture. Season with salt and pepper. 4 Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden. Serve with a salad or mashed potatoes if you have some to use up.

Recipe taken from The Zero-Waste Kitchen by Charmaine Yabsley. Published by Summersdale, £9.99

1 Add the butter to a heavy based pan and slowly melt. 2 Add the flour and beat to a smooth paste and cook for a couple of minutes. 3 Slowly add the gravy, beating until smooth. Season with salt & pepper if required and allow to cool. 4 Line the base of your pie dish with 2/3 of the pastry (reserve 1/3 for the lid) and press a fork across the bottom. 5 Once the gravy paste has cooled, mix through the left-over meat and vegetables and fill the pie dish 3/4 of the way up. 6 Crumble the leftover stuffing on top of the pie filling. 7 Lay the remaining pastry on top and crimp the edges together to seal.

LEFTOVERS PIE

3 leftover parsnips, cut into 1 cm discs A handful of leftover greens

SERVES 4-6

250ml leftover gravy

8 Brush the egg wash on to the top of the pie and chill in the fridge until ready to cook.

1 pack of ready rolled shortcrust pastry

2 tbsp butter

500g leftover meat, roughly diced

1 tbsp flour

9 Preheat the oven to 200˚C/Gas Mark 6 and bake the pie for approximately 40 minutes until the top is golden and the gravy is starting to bubble through. Serve and enjoy!

3 leftover carrots, cut into 1cm discs

1 egg, beaten

Recipe by Gressingham (gressinghamduck.co.uk)

26 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER


IN SEASON

eat the season!

Jewel fruit P

omegranates are largely associated with warmer climes (America, Spain, the Middle East and India) but they actually fare surprisingly well in the cooler climate of the UK too. The hard, shiny radiant red skin looks appetising, but it’s what’s inside that is the prize of this fruit. (In fact, the skin, and the yellow pith that encases the seeds aren’t really edible.) Encased within are white seeds held in ruby coloured sacs filled with sweet juicy flesh and the whole package is usually what we mean when we talk about pomegranate seeds. To remove the sacs, cut your pomegranate

Pomegranates not only taste delicious but come with a raft of health benefits

across the middle. Then, hold a half over a bowl, cut-side down, and bash the skin with a rolling pin. The jewel-like seeds should pop out easily. To get out the juice, put the seeds in a sieve and gently press out the juice with the back of a spoon. Try to avoid crushing the sacs too much though as they can be bitter. If that all seems like a bit of a faff, then you can buy tubs of pomegranate seeds in most supermarkets. However, these often have a very short shelf life. If you only need a smattering of seeds for your recipe then you can freeze them so there’s no need for wastage. Just line a baking tray

with some baking parchment and spread the seeds out in a single layer — ensuring they are not touching. Put the tray into the freezer for around an hour. (If you skip this step all your seeds will freeze together in a big clump). Once the individual seeds are frozen, you can put them all in an airtight freezer bag and they will last in the freezer for around six months. The pomegranate has become known as a superfood thanks to all the anti-oxidants that are packed in, and they taste fab too. Sprinkle the seeds over salads for a juicy pop or add to cocktails, while the juice makes a yummy marinade.

POMEGRANATE PUNCH SERVES 12

1.75l pomegranate juice 250ml pure maple syrup 250ml vodka (or gin) Seeds of two pomegranates

1 Combine all the ingredients in a large jug. 2 Stir well, then cover and refrigerate. 3 Serve over ice. Recipe by Maple from Canada (maplefromcanada.co.uk)

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IN SEASON

SOUK SPICED AUBERGINES WITH WALNUTS, POMEGRANATE AND TAHINI YOGHURT SERVES 4

2 tsp lightly toasted cumin seeds 1 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp garlic granules 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp turmeric 3 aubergines, cut into wedges Olive oil A pinch of salt and pepper 6 tbsp yoghurt 2 tbsp tahini A squeeze of lemon 60g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

sliced aubergine with olive oil, place on a baking tray and sprinkle over the spices. Season with the salt and pepper. 3 Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, turning over halfway, until tinged golden brown around the edges. 4 Mix the yoghurt with the tahini adding a squeeze of lemon, then dilute with a splash of water to create a good drizzling consistency.

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/ Gas Mark 6.

6 Drizzle the aubergines with the tahini yogurt and pomegranate molasses. Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds, chopped walnuts and flat leaf parsley to serve.

2 Mix all the spices together and put to one side. Brush the

Recipe by California Walnuts (californiawalnuts.co.uk)

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses Small bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped Seeds of half a pomegranate

28 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER


IN SEASON

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit...

It’s time rabbit became flavour of the month again

I

n the past, rabbit was a key part of British cuisine. Then, it seemed to fall out of fashion. Now though, it’s popularity is on the rise again, and for good reason. Rabbits are easy to raise, easy to butcher and easy to prepare. In fact, a rabbit can be ready to eat in as little as 10 weeks, and offer up six times as much meat as a cow for the same amount of food and water put it. On top of that, the meat is higher in protein, and lower in fat, than beef, pork and even chicken. And, most importantly, it’s very tasty. Although there are numerous species of rabbits around the world, when it comes to eating them it basically comes down to two different types — farmed and wild. The farmed variety tends to be a bit fattier with blander,

more grey-coloured flesh, while wild rabbits are smaller, firmer, pinker and gamier in flavour. Rabbits are mostly sold whole (but skinned and gutted), but a friendly butcher will almost certainly joint it for you if you ask nicely. Because rabbits are so lean they have a tendency to dry out if not cooked with care. Whole rabbits roast well — especially young ones, but older specimens can be a bit tougher so slow cooking is the way forward here. Rabbit stew is a bit of a farmhouse classic, but a rich rabbit ragu is delish with pasta, or add some Moroccan spice and serve with couscous. As a general rule, if the flavour combo would work with chicken, it’ll probably work well with rabbit too.

RABBIT BRAISED WITH PRUNES SERVES 4

4 rabbit legs 2 tbsp lard 100g organic smoked streaky nitrate-free bacon, chopped into pieces 2 garlic cloves garlic, chopped 4 sage leaves 2 white onions, finely chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper 330ml beer 1 tbsp tomato purée 200g pitted prunes 100ml organic chicken bone broth

1 In a large deep-frying pan heat the tallow or lard over a medium heat, add the streaky bacon and fry until it starts to render up some of its smoky fat. When the bacon has started to become golden brown and crisp on the edges, remove from the heat, and remove from the pan and set aside, keeping the fat in the pan for browning the rabbit legs. 2 Return the frying pan to a low-medium heat and brown the rabbit legs, when they are done, remove from the pan and set aside. To the same pan add the chopped garlic, onions, sage and a generous pinch of salt. Lower the heat, cover the pan with a lid or foil for 10-15 minutes and let everything simmer and ‘sweat’, be careful not to brown the vegetables. 3 When everything has softened, add the beer to the pan and turn up the heat, allowing the beer to bubble for a minute or so. Stir in the tomato puree and return the rabbit legs to the pan, add the prunes, pour over the organic chicken bone broth and cook for about 45 minutes, until the rabbit meat is tender. Rabbit legs can take longer to cook than other cuts of rabbit so cooking time may be slightly longer than 45 minutes. 4 Season the stew with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve with creamy mashed potato, carrots and green beans. Recipe by Coombe Farm Organic (coombefarmorganic.co.uk)

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IN SEASON

PULLED FAJITA RABBIT FLATBREADS SERVES 4-6

2 whole rabbits, jointed 1 small brown onion, sliced 150ml ketchup 100ml water ½ tbsp smoked paprika ½ tbsp cumin 1 bell pepper, sliced thin 1 red onion, sliced thin 1 garlic clove, minced 1 gem lettuce, shredded FOR THE FAJITA SEASONING 1 tbsp smoked paprika 1 tbsp cumin 1 tbsp ground coriander 1 tbsp dried oregano 1 tbsp garlic powder ½ tbsp chilli powder FOR THE FLATBREADS 250g self raising flour 250ml natural yoghurt 1 tsp salt Oil for brushing FOR THE SALSA 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped 1 small red onion, minced 2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, minced

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1 tsp salt 1 red chilli, finely chopped 1 tbsp olive oil

1 Slice the brown onion and line the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the jointed rabbits on top and season with paprika and cumin. 2 Add the ketchup and water then mix everything together by hand. Cover and set the slow cooker to “high” for 4 hours.

6 Serve with fresh homemade salsa. TO MAKE THE FAJITA SEASONING Combine the spices together in a bowl and store until you are ready to use. TO MAKE THE SALSA Chop all of the vegetables and herbs then transfer to a small bowl. Season with salt and stir in the olive

3 Once cooked, remove the meat from the braising liquid and shred the meat off the bones with two forks, Transfer the meat to a bowl and place to one side.

oil. Cover and refrigerate until you

4 Add one tbsp olive oil to a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the sliced bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until soft then add the minced garlic. Transfer the pulled rabbit meat to pan and sprinkle over the fajita seasoning, using as little or as much as you like (it’s all down to personal taste).

in a bowl then turn out onto a

5 Place a layer of shredded lettuce on top of the flatbread followed by sliced of raw red onion and a generous portion of seasoned fajita rabbit and peppers.

Remove and cover until you are

are ready to serve. TO MAKE THE FLATBREADS 1 Mix the flour, yoghurt and salt well-floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Cut the dough into equal portions then roll out into circles. 2 Heat a dry fry pan until it is smoking hot and gently place your flatbreads. Brush on some olive oil and fry either side for 1 minute. ready to eat. Recipe by Coombe Farm Organic (coombefarmorganic.co.uk)


IN SEASON

Super swede

Make the most of this underrated root vegetable

W

hen it comes to picking our veg, swedes are very often overlooked. It probably doesn’t help that it goes by so many names. In America it’s rutabaga, in Scotland it’s neeps, and it’s also known as the yellow turnip, Swedish turnip and Russian turnip. Somewhat confusingly however, it’s very much not a turnip — that’s a whole different root, and the two are visually quite distinct. Swedes are round, with a purple-green skin and a yellow-y orange flesh that disintegrates easily if overcooked. And while they might have a reputation as an unwieldy specimen that requires a lot of work for very little flavour return, when cooked with care, this simply isn’t true. Swedes have a slightly sweet flavour (not dissimilar to carrot) with a hint of pepperiness. The sweetness is enhanced by roasting (just peel, cube and toss with a splash of oil), and they also mash well.

SWEDE, CELERIAC AND CARROTS BRAISED IN OLIVE OIL This is a Turkish method, common along the Aegean coast, that’s used for cooking lots of different vegetables. The idea is to braise them slowly with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and a little sugar to concentrate and accentuate their natural flavours. It is definitely best served at room temperature, and preferably the next day. SERVES 6

500g swede 500g celeriac 250g carrots Juice of 2 lemons, or to taste 125ml olive oil 2 tsp sugar, or to taste 1½ tsp salt, or to taste 1 fresh bay leaf 4 peppercorns

olive oil, sugar, salt, bay leaf and peppercorns. Add cold water until they are almost but not quite submerged. Cover with baking paper pressed to the surface and a lid and set over a medium heat. 3 When it comes to a simmer, turn the heat down and cook slowly for about 1 hour, until the vegetables are completely tender. Try to avoid stirring too much so that the vegetables hold their shape. Halfway through the cooking time, taste the braising liquid and decide if it needs more lemon, oil or seasonings. 4 When the vegetables are done, lift them out with a slotted spoon into your serving dish and discard the bay leaf and peppercorns.

1 Scrub and peel the vegetables. Cut the carrots into thickish slices on a sharp angle. Cut the swede and celeriac into 1cm slices, and then into 1cm batons. Cut these into cubes or diamonds.

5 With the pan uncovered, boil the braising liquid until reduced and syrupy. Taste it occasionally and stop it from boiling if it’s becoming too salty. Add the herbs to the liquid, then pour it over the vegetables and let cool. Serve at room temperature.

2 Put the veg into a large, wide pan and add the lemon juice,

Recipe by Riverford (riverford.co.uk)

30g fresh parsley, chopped 30g fresh dill, chopped

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PARTY TIME

Party time!

Five good reasons to go out to celebrate The festive season is the perfect excuse to get together with family and friends. But, let’s face it, hosting can be rather stressful at times. Here’s a few good reasons to take the festivities elsewhere this Christmas…

FULLY STOCKED BARS

EVERYONE GETS TO CHOOSE WHAT THEY EAT

Does anyone really drink Baileys at any other time of the year? How many times have you bought all manner of spirits or what-not “for Christmas” only to have a couple of measures, then put the bottle back into the cupboard to be forgotten about? If you’re like us, then just about every year. Go out to a venue and the fully stocked bar will have something for every taste — whether it’s beer, posh wines and champagnes, spirits, and probably even fancy cocktails. Let them stock up on everything and you can keep your drinks cupboard for your personal favourite tipples. Less hassle for you, better for the planet. Double win.

Menus are a glorious thing. A plethora of choices to (hopefully) suit everyone. Everyone can eat something different if they so wish, and it’s not your responsibility to provide eight million different options.

NO WORRYING ABOUT DIETARY REQUIREMENTS Unless you are very lucky, you’ll have at least one person in your party with some sort of dietary requirement. Hospitality venues are set up to cater for this sort of thing (but do everyone a favour and let them know in advance if there’s anything tricky they need to cater for). But your kitchen — not so much. So, what do you do? Have to make something separate for that person — and if it’s a buffet scenario make sure no-one else snaffles it? Or make everyone eat the same thing? Which brings us to our next point...

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NO LEFTOVERS No matter how hard we try, there are inevitably leftovers from any party. And unless you’ve been super organised then there’s a good chance that food has been left out to become, let’s face it, a bit of a sweaty mess which no-one would want to eat afterwards. By eating out you won’t end up with a fridge, or recycling bin, full of leftovers to deal with.

NO CLEARING UP Because it’s not just about the washing up after everyone has left, is it? (That’s what a dishwasher is for!) It’s the fact that you’ve got to make sure the house is clean and tidy before everyone arrives too. Plus, the inevitable spillages (and possibly breakages, depending on how rowdy your guests are!). If you take your party to a restaurant/hotel/bar then it’s all their problem, isn’t it?


PARTY TIME

FAVES The Farrington Inn, Farrington Gurney The quintessential British pub is perfect for a cosy festive celebration. A festive dining menu will be running from November 29 until December 24, and the pub will also be serving mulled wine and cider (with a free mince pie!) to help you get into the Christmas spirit. There will also be a Christmas raffle, with the winner getting an early Christmas present with the draw taking place on New Year’s Eve. thefarringtoninn.co.uk The Francis Hotel, Bath This festive season, guests at The Francis Hotel can enjoy an array of festive dining experiences. Feast your eyes, and your tastebuds, on the hotel’s lavish Christmas Afternoon Tea with delicious festive finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and delicate pastries all accompanied by mulled wine. There’s also a festive menu running from November 20 until December 30. On Christmas Day itself, the hotel’s restaurant, Boho Marché, will be serving five mouth-watering courses with all the trimmings, followed by coffee and mince pies, then settle down to The Queen’s Speech with a slice of sumptuous homemade Christmas cake. If you want to have an extended celebration, then there are two- and three-night Chritasm break packages available too. Then come New Year’s Eve the hotel is hosting a sumptuous five-course dining experience. francishotel.com

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f o r e w o p e h T

d e s a b t n pla Reducing our intake of animal products could benefit our health and the environment so why not try adopting a plant-based diet for Veganuary?

P

lant-based eating is growing in popularity. Whether it’s adopting a full-on vegan lifestyle, taking part in Veganuary, or just ditching the meat once a week for #meatfreemonday, more and more people are recognising the benefits of more plant-based eating for both health and the environment. And going plant-based is easier than ever, with more and more shops and venues offering a growing number of plant-based options.

Helping the planet Food was one of the big issues on the table at this year’s COP26 in Glasgow. So much so, in fact, that delegates were served a “plant-forward” menu, (with 95 per cent of ingredients coming from the UK, and the majority sourced from Scotland) with information alongside each dish showing its environmental impact with a listing of their carbon dioxide equivalent (ie. the collective greenhouse gases produced as a result of the dish). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the lowest carbon dishes were entirely plant-based, while meat-based dishes (especially those containing beef) were the highest. For example, spinach and roasted cauliflower generated just 0.2kg of carbon per serving, while a cheeseburger came in at 3.4kg. According to research, the food production system is responsible for around one third of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, of which 17 per cent can be

34 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

attributed to livestock. Even if you don’t want to follow a vegan diet, skipping one serving of beef a week for a year saves the equivalent emissions to driving 348 miles in a car.

Good for your health Following a plant-based diet could also benefit your health, as Bristol-based Dr Justine Butler of Viva! Health explains. “A healthy vegan diet is packed with foods providing a wide range of nutrients that give you energy, are easy on your digestive system, support your immune system, help clear-up your skin and improve your mood. Studies show that a wellplanned vegan diet can provide all the nutrients you need and lower the risk of many diseases. Heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, narrowing of arteries, stroke and heart attack) is much less common among vegans compared to the rest of the population. And not only can a vegan diet help prevent heart disease, it can also treat it! “A healthy vegan diet is full of foods that provide plenty of energy. Most of all, complex carbohydrates that release their energy gradually and our bodies are made to run on them. So much so that countless athletes have turned to a vegan diet to improve their performance. “With so many incredible vegan options available in supermarkets, there has never been a better time to try vegan!”

pizza MAKE IT ULTIMATE VEGAN PIZZA SERVES 4

FOR THE DOUGH 500g strong white bread flour ¾ tsp salt 1x7g sachet/1½ tsp of fast action dried yeast 1 tbsp golden caster sugar 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 325ml lukewarm water FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE (If you’re short of time, use a shop-bought passata or dairy-free pesto olive oil 1 garlic clove, finely diced 1 tin (400g) plum tomatoes Pinch of salt FOR THE TOPPING Melting vegan cheese Your choice of toppings (eg vegan pepperoni, vegetables, candied walnuts, herbs)

FOR THE DOUGH 1 Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well (hole) in the middle. 2 In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar, oil and water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. 3 Bring the flour in gradually from the sides and whirl it into the liquid using a fork. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough. 4 Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size. 5 Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. 6 If using straight away, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas — this amount of dough is enough to make about 3-4 medium pizzas. 7 Use the dough straight away unless storing. 8 Roll out into whatever shape you fancy until the dough is about 1/2 cm thick. It should be springy but not sticky.


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FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE 1 Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on a low-medium heat and then add the chopped garlic. 2 Cook for a minute or two until the garlic is light golden in colour. 3 Add the tomatoes, a pinch of salt and leave on a low-med heat for 20-25 minutes. 4 Give it a final stir, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. TO ASSEMBLE 1 Heat oven to 250˚C/Gas Mark 9. 2 Spread the passata or pesto onto the freshly rolled (uncooked) dough. 3 Add the cheese first (this prevents the toppings sliding off ).

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4 Add a combination of toppings. 5 Put in the oven for 7-10 minutes until golden and crisp. Recipe by Viva Vegan Recipe Club (veganrecipeclub.org.uk)

pasties

Wild Rabbit pizzas have created a delicious selection of vegan pizzas. They have recently launched a frozen range into Sainsbury’s and Co-op which includes Margherita, Garlicky Mushroom and Sizzlin’ Jackfruit. whiterabbitpizza.co.uk

Somerset-based Ilchester cheese have a range of vegan cheeses including this Melting Mature (perfect for melting on a pizza) and a Vegan Blue Cheeze which features unique blue spirulina veins to mimic the look of blue cheese and has the same creamy texture and sharp and salty taste of the dairy version.

MAKE IT MUSHROOM PASTY SERVES 2

2 tbsp oil 1 onion, chopped Half a red or other coloured pepper, chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 200g mushrooms, chopped 1 tsp dried tarragon or mixed herbs 1-2 tbsp soya sauce Black pepper 1 sheet of puff pastry – Jus Rol is vegan

BUY IT

Cornwall-based Warrens Bakery make a delicious range of vegan pasties which are available from their stores, or can be delivered nationwide! Find out more or order online at warrensbakery.co.uk

4 Add the soya sauce and pepper. 5 Roll out the puff pastry and cut into two 17cm/7 inch squares. Place half the mushroom filling in the middle of each square and fold into a parcel.

1 Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.

6 Seal with a little soya milk and brush the top of the pastry with a little of the same.

2 Heat the oil and fry the onion until soft. Add the chopped red pepper and cook for another few minutes.

7 Place on an oiled tray with the fold facing down and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

3 Add the mushrooms, herbs and garlic and fry until the mushrooms are cooked.

Recipe by Viva Vegan Recipe Club (www.veganrecipeclub.org.uk)

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pies MAKE IT CREAMY LEEK, CELERIAC AND WALNUT PIES 4 INDIVIDUAL PIES USING 150-200ML RAMEKINS OR FOIL PIE CASES

½-1 celeriac (peeled and cubed into ½ inch pieces) 3-4 tbsp water 4 tbsp olive oil Salt Freshly ground pepper 1 leek, finely sliced 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tsp paprika 50g walnut pieces (lightly toasted in the oven for 10 minutes at 180˚C) 1 sheet of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry eg Jus Rol 1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry eg Jus Rol Small amount of soya milk for glazing the pastry FOR THE SAUCE 130g raw cashews (unsalted and unroasted and preferably whole, not pieces) – soaked in a bowl of cold water and covered – for at least 2 hours but up to 8. Doing it overnight is the easiest way! 120-180ml water Fine salt to taste – just a pinch. Add gradually, mix in thoroughly after each addition and remember that sea salt is stronger than regular 2 tbsp white vegan wine – see above 3 fresh sage leaves Juice of half a lemon 1 tsp stock powder (or add more to taste if you like a stronger flavour… do it bit by bit though or it will be too salty!) 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

FOR THE FILLING 1 Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan and then add the leeks. Cook with a lid on for around 8-10 minutes but check they are not sticking or burning. 2 Add the cubed celeriac, garlic, a pinch of salt, paprika and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. 3 Lightly fry for a few minutes then add the water. Place a lid on top then cook for around 20 minutes or until the celeriac is tender. 4 Add the toasted walnuts, taste and season accordingly with salt and freshly ground pepper.

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FOR THE SAUCE 1 Soak the cashews (for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight). 2 Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until really smooth, adding water a little at a time. The more you add the thinner the cream will be – although the cream will thicken when left to stand in its container. Keep blending and scraping down the sides until the mixture is very smooth and creamy and has lost its grainy texture. 3 Transfer the mixture to a medium sized pan and bring to the boil and then simmer until heated through (approx 5-10 minutes). Add more stock/fluid if necessary/to taste.

6 Take the puff pastry and cut a circular lid for each of the pies. If you don’t have pastry cutters, you can use a bowl or top of a glass (if it fits). 7 Cover each of the pies with the puff pastry lid and seal them by sticking the puff pastry lid to the shortcrust base. 8 Brush the lids with a thin layer of soya milk and then bake in the oven until risen and golden (approximately 20-30 minutes). Recipe by Viva Vegan Recipe Club (veganrecipeclub.co.uk)

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TO ASSEMBLE 1 Heat the oven to 220˚C/Gas Mark 6. 2 Oil each ramekin then line with a layer of shortcrust ready to roll pastry. 3 Blind bake them in the oven for 10 minutes, covering them with greaseproof paper weighed down with baking beans or rice. 4 Leave them to cool for 10 minutes then add the celeriac and leek filling until the pie is full. 5 Spoon approximately 5 tablespoons of cashew sauce into each pie (or to your taste).

Bristol-based pie-meisters Pieminister have a yummy range of plant-based pies including Moo-less Moo (jackfruit “steak”, craft ale and black pepper), Kevin (chestnut mushroom, tomato and quinoa with baby onions) and Mock-a-doodle (Tofu “chicken” with smoked garlic and white wine).


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chocolate brownies MAKE IT CHERRY AND ALMOND CHOCOLATE BROWNIES MAKES 16

Cake or Death bakery relocated to from London to Exeter last summer. The bakery turns out scrumptious chocolate brownies which are sold from the shop, and also shipped all over the UK in handy letterbox-friendly boxes. www.cakeordeath.co.uk

100g self-raising flour 70g ground almonds

BUY IT

175g golden caster sugar 3 (level) tbsp cocoa or cacao powder 125g pecans, roughly chopped (optional) ½ tsp salt ½ (level) tsp baking powder 95g glacé cherries, roughly chopped 200g vegan dark chocolate, broken into squares 4 tbsp coconut oil 245ml soya milk or other plant milk 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste ½ tsp almond essence (optional)

1 Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C/Gas Mark 4. 2 Line a 20cm square (or roughly equivalent size) tin with baking parchment. 3 Thoroughly combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Vegan sweet treats Missing chocolate or other sweet treats? Fill your cupboards with these vegan sweet treats

COOKIE MONSTER Doughlicious’ range of ready-to-bake dough is the perfect choice. Choose from Cranberry Oatmeal, Vegan Double Chocolate or Peanut Butter. Just pop in the oven for delicious cookies in 15 minutes. £3.99 from Waitrose.

4 In a jug, mix the soya milk, vanilla extract and

CHILL OUT

almond essence. Set aside.

If you love Japanese Mochi, then you’re going to adore Dough-chi. Think ice cream enrobed with irresistible cookie dough that can be enjoyed straight from the freezer whenever you’re craving a sweet treat. It comes in two vegan flavours – chocolate chip and chocolate truffle. £4.29 from Ocado.

5 Melt the coconut oil and chocolate together using a double boiler (a glass or ceramic bowl that fits on a saucepan of simmering water but doesn’t touch the bottom). 6 Pour the melted chocolate and coconut oil along with the soya milk mix into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir thoroughly until well combined. 7 Pour the mixture into the lined tin and then bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Recipe by Viva Vegan Recipe Club (veganrecipeclub.org.uk)

SHAKE IT UP No need to miss out on milkshakes thanks to Shaken Udder dairyfree shakes which use coconut milk rather than dairy. They come in strawberry and chocolate flavours – yum! £1.60 from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

CHOCS AWAY Love chocolate but want a vegan option that’s just as good, then reach for HAPPi’s range of oat milk chocolate bars. Choose from flavours such as Orange, Salted Caramel and Plain Mi!k. From £1.79 from Holland & Barrett.

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ask the expert

Owner of Cake or Death, Katie Cross, shares her tips for successful vegan baking.

WHAT DO YOU USE TO REPLACE THE NON-VEGAN INGREDIENTS USUALLY FOUND IN BAKING RECIPES (IE. MILK, EGGS)? It depends on what you’re baking. If you are trying to replace eggs in a sponge cake then I would use aquafaba (chickpea or butter bean water) whipped up to stiff peaks and folded through the cake mix at the last minute. Half a tin replaces a few eggs happily. I also might use a little extra baking powder or bicarbonate of soda to help give the cake a little rise. If I don’t need the cake to rise, for example it’s something fudgy like brownies, I would replace eggs with plant milk. If the eggs are for binding the mix, ground flax seed soaked in water is also useful.

CAN NON-VEGAN RECIPES BE MADE VEGAN? OR IS IT BETTER JUST TO FIND A VEGAN RECIPE? Yes, you can make non-vegan recipes vegan in some cases – especially where the recipe doesn’t rely heavily on eggs. Butter can be replaced by plant-based margarine, milk by plant-based milks such as soy milk and cream by soy cream or oat cream. If the recipe needs a lot of eggs it will be more difficult. You may need to practice or experiment a few times – that’s what we do in the Cake or Death bakery.

WHAT DIFFERENCES ARE THERE (IF ANY) BETWEEN THE FLAVOURS AND TEXTURES OF VEGAN AND NON-VEGAN BROWNIES? There is no difference between vegan and non-vegan brownies if they are made with lots of melted chocolate as they are at Cake or Death. Customers often tell me they can’t believe they’re vegan. Our brownies are incredibly rich and fudgy and that is down to chocolate content and quality. If you ever get a cakey brownie it’s because only cocoa powder has been used.

ANY TOP TIPS FOR VEGAN BAKING SUCCESS?! Read vegan baking blogs and you will start to become familiar with the way in which eggs are replaced in baking. Don’t be scared to experiment with your favourite recipes and attempt to veganise; it’s where I’ve had the most success. Use good quality ingredients as the taste will stand out. Put salt in your bakes to bring out the flavours.

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COOKING COMPANION

Cookbook Corner GINGERBREAD

FOR THE LOVE OF THE LAND

ONE TIN BAKES EASY

by Heather Whinney £15, Lorenz books

Compiled by Jenny Jeffries £22, jennyjeffries.co.uk

By Edd Kimber

The fairytale ‘Hansel and Gretel’, in which the children discover a house made entirely of gingerbread, sweets and cake, inspired the trend for making beautiful constructions based on gingerbread. Today, we associate gingerbread with Christmas but there are many other times of year when it makes a fabulous decorative treat. This lovely collection of projects features a wide range of gingerbread delights. The practical step-by-step ideas and inspirations include how to make stamped or cut-out gingerbread shapes to be strung up as garlands or used to create a woodland wonderland scene. There are threedimensional gingerbreads, such as layered trees, a Christmas Eve fireplace, and a festive Santa sleigh. There are, of course, all kinds of gingerbread houses, from grand chalets and a castle, to sweet-festooned cottages and simple log cabins. The last chapter contains gingery biscuits, cupcakes, traybakes and a large ginger bundt. Clear step-by-step instructions and pictures, templates, and foolproof basic gingerbread recipes (golden, dark and lebkuchen, as well as vegan and gluten-free), along with at-aglance cook’s measurement charts, all help ensure gingerbread success.

A cook book to celebrate British farming in all its hardship and glory. For many families, working the land and raising livestock is a true labour of love, and what they produce is the backbone of the country’s food and drink. The dishes in this book make the most of local and seasonal ingredients, creating delicious meals, puddings and bakes that anyone can cook up at home. Alongside that, members of these farming families have told the stories of their livelihoods: from losing sheep in snowstorms to stoking enthusiasm in the next generation, their honesty and passion is an inspiration and an education. Recipes include Blackbrook Beef Bolognese from a traditional lowland farm in Leicestershire, Reestit Mutton Soup by two sisters who run their family farm on Shetland and pheasant and asparagus bake from a family run game shoot in Cambridgeshire, as well as Kentish Lavender Shortbread from Castle Farm and a cocktail featuring fresh edible flowers from Greens of Devon.

One tin, 70 bakes — whether you want cookies or cakes, pastries or desserts, something fruity, chocolatey or nutty, baking just got even easier. Following on from the success of his previous title, One Tin Bakes Edd’s new book is all about instant gratification when you just want to make something easy but delicious. Every bake can be made in the 23 x 33cm (9 x 13in) tin used in his previous book, One Tin Bakes, but Edd will also offer guidance on baking in a 20 x 20cm (8 x 8in) square tin as well as a loaf tin, making these perfectly simple bakes for everyone to try, whatever equipment you have to hand and whoever you’re baking for. You only need minimal skill to whip up something sensational – with ideas for bakes made in one-bowl or with 5-ingredients, as well as popular options for vegan, gluten-free and no-bake treats. One Tin Bakes Easy is full of versatile, achievable and indulgent recipes to wow your friends and family, that you will want to bake time and time again.

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70% 86%

of people sleep better

of people save money

65%

of people notice generally improved health

To find out more about Dry January, or to sign up to take part, visit alcoholchange.org.uk

SEASONAL SUNRISE 1 Fill a glass with ice. 2 Add 50ml Sea Arch Coastal Juniper, 25ml unsweetened cranberry juice and a squeeze of fresh orange juice. 3 Top up with Fever-Tree Clementine & Cinnamon Tonic. 4 Garnish with fresh cranberries and charred clementine.

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Quitting alcohol for Dry January could come with a whole host of benefits.

Ditch the booze A

fter the (almost) inevitable excesses that come with the celebrations of the festive period the new year can be a good time to reset our habits. Dry January is an initiative by Alcohol Change UK that began back in 2013, encouraging people to think about their drinking habits and take a break from alcohol for the month. Last year 130,000 people signed up and around 4 million took part. But why bother? According to Alcohol UK there are a bunch of reasons.

WHAT YOU’LL NOTICE See your skin get brighter, your wallet fuller, your days busier. Feel your step get bouncier, your mind calmer, your nights sleepier. Most people who do Dry January see a whole host of obvious benefits that make Dry January the perfect start to the New Year.

LONG TERM CHANGE The real magic happens when Dry January is over. Dry January helps people to drink more healthily year-round. Research conducted by the University of Sussex has found that six months after Dry January more than 70 per cent of people who take on the month with Alcohol Change UK’s support are still drinking more healthily. On top of that, they have boosted levels of wellbeing, and much more besides. How can it be that just a month off has a long-term impact? Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, or to socialise. It helps us learn the skills we need to

Going soft

Taking part in Dry January doesn’t have to mean compromising on flavour and quality in your drinks… One of the challenges of giving up alcohol can be finding something vaguely interesting to drink that actually tastes good and isn’t just packed with sugar. Thanks to increasing numbers of people choosing to reduce their alcohol intake, however, there is an ever growing market for high quality alternatives. One of those is the Devon-based Sea Arch drinks. We find out more from co-founder Sarah Yates.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A NONALCOHOLIC SPIRIT? My husband Geoff and I ran a wine bar in our home town of Torquay for four years. Like many of our customers, we were looking to live a healthier lifestyle but we still wanted to socialise with friends. We found that an increasing number of people in our bar were looking for better quality alcohol-free options. They no longer wanted claggy, high sugar soft drinks;

manage our drinking. That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about when we drink and how much, so we can avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to. That’s extra good news, because alcohol is linked with more than 60 health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression and seven types of cancer. In fact, alcohol is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability for people aged 15-49 in the UK. Cutting back on alcohol long-term reduces your risk of developing these conditions.

ON THE INSIDE A month alcohol-free has a lot of benefits: research published in 2018, conducted by the Royal Free Hospital and published in the British Medical Journal, found that a month off lowers blood pressure, reduces diabetes risk, lowers cholesterol and reduces levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.

they wanted sippable, sessionable drinks, made and presented with the same skill and sense of occasion as alcoholic drinks, using elegant glasses and quality ingredients. Thus the idea for Sea Arch was born. Geoff bought a still and played around with various ingredients and flavour combinations, creating the first very small batch of Sea Arch spirit. Things have moved on since then and we now work with some of the very best distillers and mixologists to create the Sea Arch range we have today, which is still based around the original blend that Geoff created.

HOW IS SEA ARCH MADE? Sea Arch Coastal Juniper is made from eleven carefully selected, allnatural botanicals. The very best is individually extracted from each botanical using both traditional copper pot and steam distillation, then the distillates are skilfully blended by expert distillers to create a uniquely complex and deliciously full-flavoured alcohol-free spirit.

WHICH ALCOHOLIC SPIRIT WOULD YOU SAY IT IS MOST SIMILAR TO? It’s a juniper-led spirit, and a Sea & T is definitely a great alcohol-free alternative to a G & T, so I suppose you’d say it’s most similar to a gin in style. That said, we’re certainly not trying to mimic gin. I appreciate it can be a useful reference to help people recognise how to enjoy it if they’re not familiar with the category, but this is a different product altogether, providing a healthy alternative that still has the complexity and sense of occasion you’d expect from an alcoholic drink. seaarchdrinks.com

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Taste over trends Meet Gavin Edney, Group Head Chef at The Elder in Bath.

Hi Gavin! Can you tell us a little bit about your career to date? I grew up in Cornwall on the sea where I started my first job in the kitchen shucking oysters, boning mackerel and picking crabs. I soon moved up and around and before joining the team at The Elder, The Forge, and The Woodsman, I was Head Chef at André Garrett at Cliveden, before that, I worked with Galvin restaurants on two new openings and trained at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s. What do you like most about your job? I love that not one day is the same and the fact that I get to see myself and the team get better and better is so important. I really try and push for the environment in our kitchens to be welcoming and friendly, and for everyone to know each other and help each other to learn and grow is the most important aspect for me. It’s so rewarding helping build people a future based off of making our guests really enjoy the meal we have created. Each day we get faced

42 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

with new and exciting challenges and making the impossible happen. Looking at the task ahead is what keeps me falling in love with it each morning. When did you know that you wanted to become a chef? Even from when I was in school, I knew I wanted to work as a chef. I started my work experience at the age of 14 at The Olive Tree restaurant in Bath for a week, which was an amazing way to kickstart my love for the kitchen. After my work experience, I started taking shifts there after work, on weekends and summer holidays etc. They really took me under their wing and looked after me, I felt this was an environment I wanted to be part of. Are there any ingredients you particularly enjoy working with? Why those? One would think it would be venison, which I love working with, but my favourite is pigeon. It is such a versatile and beautiful ingredient with incredible flavours, plus it looks great on

table. Of course, after meeting Mike Robinson (owner of The Elder, as well as The Woodsman and The Forge, and co-founder of The Harwood Arms, a chef and restaurateur, and a passionate sustainability campaigner), who was voted Game Hero 2020, I learned so much about all types of game, and started understanding that there are so many different species to work with. I think my absolute favourite dish to cook is pasta. I find the whole process very therapeutic and there are endless ways to play around with it. Whenever a chef gets put on pasta-duty in the kitchen I am always happy to take over. Of course, coming from a fishing village in Cornwall, I grew up on mackerel, and used to go down and fish on the rocks so working with seafood is always nostalgic for me. Any particular local produce or suppliers you recommend? We, of course, serve Mike’s own deer which is a much more sustainable way of serving meat on the menu, and because we know the exact provenance of each deer, which estate it was shot on, who shot it — it’s a whole journey before it ends up on your plate. We use a couple of other local suppliers that we work closely with for our farmed meat and fish, such as Philip Warren Butchers in Cornwall, who also have the most delicious sausages called Old Cornish. We also use Flying Fish Seafood from Cornwall and Portland Shellfish, who have the highest picked crabmeat on the market. We love working with Bello Wild Foods as well, a fantastic app that allows you to buy whatever the foragers have found that day. Do you have a signature dish? I would say it would have to be our crab tart,


LOVE LOCAL

which is always a crowd pleaser — it’s an explosion of flavour, with layers of lemon mayonnaise and chimichurri, encased in a parmesan shortbread. What can we expect from dining at The Elder? You can expect great and delicious food, which is sustainable and locally sourced. We favour taste over trends, as we prefer to just focus on using great ingredients, while offering a warm and friendly atmosphere with relaxed service and a carefully selected wine list. We want it to be for any celebration or for a Wednesday night dinner. Anything we MUST try? I would say the fallow deer and venison are some of our most popular dishes, the signature crab tart, our Fowey River mussels, raw muntjac deer on crumpet, and there is always a good soufflé going around. We apply just as much love and effort into our starters, with our crusty granary bread made with a mother starter that we have been using for years with salty butter and Bullshot tea. How often do you change the menu? Because we try to be as sustainable as we can be, our menu has seasonal changes, which change little but often because we use exclusively foraged and seasonal ingredients. Britain is our larder, and we cook depending on what is at its best theelder.co.uk

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 43


LITTLE COOKS

PRESENTS MADE

e v o l h wit

I

t’s always lovely to give people presents. This year, why not give some extra special gifts by making some delicious treats? Not only will those who receive them be touched by your thoughtfulness and all the hard work you’ve put in, but you’ll also have loads of fun! Here, we’ve got a few delicious ideas for you to try. Once you’ve finished making your yummy presents you can pack them up in beautifully decorated boxes. Ask your parents or carers to save some of the food packaging, and boxes of any deliveries and then use your imagination to turn them into something stunning! You could decorate them with wrapping paper, or pictures cut from magazines or newspapers. Or you could cover them with drawings or patterns you’ve done yourself. The possibilities are endless — let your imagination run wild! We’d love to see your creations too. If you, or your parents, have social media, ask them to share them with us (don’t forget to tag us in!), or ask them to email your pictures to editor@foodlovermagazine.com.

PECAN SNOWBALLS These snowballs are full of fibre, healthy fat and their light sweetness is made all the more Christmassy with the addition of orange for added vitamin C! MAKES 20

3 egg whites 100g desiccated coconut (+20g for topping) 130g oat flour (or oats blended into flour) 1 tbsp cornflour Pinch sea salt Zest of 1 orange (or zest of 3 clementines) A few good gratings of nutmeg (optional) 105g maple syrup or honey (+2 tsp for brushing) 50g pecans, crushed or roughly chopped

1 Preheat the oven to 200˚C/Gas Mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper. 2 Separate the egg whites from the yolks (save the yolks and use them in a fry up or scrambled egg for breakfast!). 3 Using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks and set aside. 4 Combine the desiccated coconut, oat flour, cornflour, sea salt, zest and nutmeg, leaving a well in the centre. 5 Use a rolling pin to bash the pecans into small pieces (in the middle of a clean tea towel works well!). 6 Add the egg whites, honey/maple syrup and crushed pecans to the well and mix to combine. 7 Use a tablespoon to scoop the mixture and form it into balls just bigger than a 50p (it should make around 20). The mixture is a bit sticky, but it rolls well — you can rub oil into your hands to make it a bit less sticky! Place the balls on the lined baking tray. 8 Bake for 10 mins until the tops begin to go golden. 9 Blitz the remaining 20g desiccated coconut in a blender to make ‘snow’. 10 Mix 2 teaspoons of honey/maple syrup with a little water ready to roll the balls in. 11 Allow the pecan balls to cool slightly and then roll each one in the honey/maple syrup mix and then in the milled coconut to create a snow effect. Recipe by Little Cooks Co (www.littlecooksco.co.uk)

44 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER


LITTLE COOKS

SNOWY FESTIVE FIR TREES

6 Spoon a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat on each triangle. Carefully spread inside the border.

MAKES 18

320g ready-rolled puff pastry sheet

Scatter almonds over.

2 tsp milk

7 Bake for 20 minutes until crisp and golden.

275g mincemeat

Leave to cool on a wiore rack.

2 tbsp flaked almonds 75g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)

8 Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice and 1

2 tsp lemon juice

tsp water. Drizzle icing at the pointed end of the trees and a little further down to look like snow.

1 Unroll pastry and cut in half lengthways. Cut 9 triangles per strip, each 7cm across bottom and about 12cm at sides. Reserve trimmings. 2 Arrange the triangles on 2 baking trays lined with baking paper. Score a line around the triangles to make a thin border.

When set, dust with icing sugar. TIP: Prepare one tray of trees and bake them while you prepare the other tray. If the mincemeat slides off trees while baking, quickly pile it back on as soon as they are out

3 Cut a small square out of leftover pastry and press on to the base of each triangle for a trunk.

of the oven. These will keep for three days in

4 Brush the border and trunk with milk. Chill.

Recipe taken from the 2022 Dairy Diary.

5 Preheat oven to 200˚C/Gas Mark 6.

Available now at www.Dairydiary.co.uk

RUDOLPH CHRISTMAS CAKES A great alternative to traditional mince pies! MAKES 16

100g cocktail cherries, chopped 125g unsalted butter, room temperature 75g caster sugar 2 large eggs 125g self raising Flour 1tsp baking powder TO DECORATE: 16 cocktail cherries 100g milk chocolate 200 butter, softened 400g icing sugar 5 tbsp cocoa powder 1 bag of Cadbury Curly Wurlys, cut into sections

an airtight container.

add the eggs a little at a time and continue to beat in between each addition. 3 Fold in the flour, baking powder and cherries and divide the mixture between the cases. 4 Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 5 Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (make sure the bowl isn’t touching the water) and stir until melted. 6 Mix the butter and icing sugar together and sift in the cocoa. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix again until smooth.

1 Pre-heat the oven to 190°C and divide 16 paper cases between 2 muffin tins.

7 Pipe the icing over the cupcakes, top with a cocktail cherry (for the nose), add the candy eyes and use pieces of Cadbury Curly Wurly to create the antlers.

2 Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy,

Recipe by Opies (www.opiesfoods.com)

32 edible eyes

HINTS AND TIPS The cakes can be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months.

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 45


LITTLE COOKS

CHOCOLATE CHERRY CRINKLES A spoonful of luscious cherry conserve moulded into the dough, gives these fudgy, crinkly cookies an irresistible brownietextured centre. MAKES 15-18 MINI MOUTHFULS

85g granulated sugar 2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil ½ tsp vanilla extract 1 egg 75g plain flour 30g cocoa ½ tsp baking powder Large pinch salt 45g icing sugar About 3 tbsp black cherry conserve

1 Put the sugar, oil and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using the paddle attachment, beat for 2-3 minutes until combined. Alternatively, beat well with a wooden spoon. 2 Add the egg and beat again for 2-3 minutes.

46 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

3 Slowly beat in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. The mixture will look like raw cake mix at this stage but that’s ok. Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight, to firm up. 4 When ready to bake, heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan oven, gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment and put the icing sugar in a small bowl. 5 With fingers dusted with icing sugar, pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into walnut sized balls. Press the balls into flat discs and put a generous ½ tsp of conserve in the middle. Bring up the edges of the dough and pinch together to seal in the conserve. Roll again lightly into a ball and drop into the icing sugar. Roll around in the sugar until thoroughly coated and drop, seam side down, onto the lined tray. 6 Bake the cookies for 7-10 minutes or until they have risen and crinkled. Leave to cool then store in an airtight jar. Recipe by Bonne Maman (www.bonnemaman.co.uk)

COOK’S TIP Make sure that there is plenty of icing sugar on the cookies before baking as some will melt into the dough, but the excess forms the powdered effect on the outside. Don’t worry if a little conserve is showing before baking. The mixture will make 6-8 larger cookies, just bake for 3-4 minutes longer. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


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