17 April 13

Rhubarb and Brown Sugar Meringue Mess

It’s that time of the year again when I just cannot get enough of rhubarb! This year I have made plenty of rhubarb puddings, including baked white chocolate and rhubarb cheesecake and this one – a rhubarb and brown sugar meringue mess, which is a favourite and one that is cherished by all our regulars.

I feel like a bit of a fraud making a meringue mess, as I feel it’s easy to make and I am concerned that our customers think I am cheating by making something that is so simple, hence, I am adding a few layers of complication to the recipe to ensure that I earn my keep and reputation of being a hard-working chef!

Our famous brown sugar meringue messes take on various different flavours and guises as the seasons evolve. We start the year off with poached rhubarb, then move onto strawberry, followed by gooseberry,

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01 April 13

Pan-Fried Gurnard with Spicy Sausage and Lentils

Who would have thought that we would still be enduring snow in March? With this cold and very confusing weather my thoughts turn to hearty dishes with bags of flavour. My head tells me we should start to cook lighter dishes with a feeling of spring, but my heart and stomach are asking for hearty soul food. This recipe has bags of flavour and soul and is definitely satisfying. We shall leave the lighter spring-like dishes for another week or two.

We are lucky enough to have plenty of good butchers to choose from in our area, we buy our sausages from Five Winds Farm, and I believe their spicy British-made chorizo-style sausages are delicious and the best we can buy in the local area. They are packed full of flavour with an ever so slightly mild spiciness which makes them the perfect ingredient to use in recipes such as

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20 March 13

Baked Butternut Squash and Chickpea Falafels

I am fond of butternut squash and have featured many recipes on this website that include it. I suppose my love for all squashes and pumpkins comes from my mother. She too has a special affection towards this fruit (botanically it’s a fruit, not a vegetable), cooking it often when I lived at home with her when I was younger. Mum usually adds sugar, lots of cinnamon, some nutmeg and a great lump of butter to peeled, deseeded and diced squash or pumpkin, then cooks it all together in a saucepan with about 4 tablespoons cold water over a very low heat for about 30 minutes. The result is slow-cooked squash or pumpkin with slightly caramelised sweet and savoury notes – delicious! It’s ideal served with roast leg of lamb, roast potatoes and plenty of gravy. Just the thought of it makes make me long for Mum so many miles

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06 February 13

Poached Salmon Rillettes with Smoked Eel and Cox’s Apple Salad

The compilation of this dish is one I like very much. I quickly get bored of dishes when the textures are mostly similar or ‘monotone’ – this is how I refer to it in the kitchen when talking to our chefs about creating new dishes. I find a dish consisting of a few surprises and gems makes the best eat.

The fresh apple, crispy bacon and soft pâté-like texture of the rillettes, plus the silky softness of the smoked eel, all work beautifully together in this recipe. Do not overdo the smoked eel as it could easily overpower the dish and it’s also pricy. You don’t really need that much either.

We have a wonderful smokehouse situated 9 miles from us here in Suffolk, called Pinney’s of Orford. Their award wining oak smoked wild English silver eels are delicious and perfect used in small quantities in a salad such as

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