25 June 12

Crab Salad with Semi-dried Tomatoes and Sugar-cured Lemon

Don’t you just love a good traditional British summer?! We have so far had a pretty rubbish start to the summer; the central heating still comes on during some of the cold June evenings. It is quite depressing to think we are heading for the ‘height’ of summer when the longest day and shortest night will come and go and I am still wearing my winter clobber!

Anyhow, enough said of the weather because the British natural larder is a good indication that it’s summer. The asparagus season is nearing an end, but peas, broad beans and tomatoes are all in season, not forgetting too about the fabulous sweet crab from the Norfolk coast. We live by the coast and not far from Cromer where the world-famous Cromer crab comes from. Well technically, it’s nearly seventy miles from us, but in this side of the country distance does not really


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18 June 12

Gooseberry Fool with Garibaldi Fingers

It’s that time of the year when the summer season is delivering wonderful fruits and vegetables in abundance. It’s really difficult for me to choose one particular ingredient as my favourite, and as the season progresses, my favourites change.

For me, gooseberries are a quintessential British summer ingredient. I love their slightly hairy exterior and their face-pulling tart flesh. The gooseberry shrub/bush itself is fairly small and has very sharp spikes so take extra care when picking gooseberries as these spikes can do some pretty nasty damage.

Gooseberries are versatile and not only make fantastic puddings and baked goodies, they also go particularly well with rich meats and fish, such as duck, goose and mackerel. Gooseberries also make delicious curds, jams, chutneys and, believe it or not, a wonderful Gooseberry and Ginger Ale.

Once the season starts, we get a regular supply of gooseberries from our good friends Suvie and


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01 June 12

Confit Salmon, Pickled Ginger Celeriac, Haricot Beans

Boys and their toys!! OK I have to confess I also like kitchen tools, especially ones that do something slightly clever and out of the ordinary. Mr.P and the chefs acquired a swirly whirly vegetable turner. It’s called a Japanese turning vegetable slicer – spriraliser (I was not even aware that such a word exists, well it does now).  You attach the vegetable on one side, then turn the sling and long shoe string ribbons of vegetable appear on the other end. Yep, they are having fun and I have learned something new. I have put the celeriac through this slicer and made long strings ready to be pickled. I found that inspiration and creativity set in as I wrapped the strings of pickled celeriac around the confit salmon. It looks pretty, neat and very different.

Ginger is such a wonderful ingredient and is available in a lot of different


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21 May 12

Crème Caramel with Brandied Sultanas, Pine Nuts and Thyme

Spring has sprung, and finally we had rain. The grass is green and the bracken is starting to come through. I have finally spotted some elderflowers in the hedgerows today which left me with a sigh of relief as I feared they may not show their faces this year round. Although we are relieved to have had rain, the temperature is low and without the slightly warmer days our fruit farmers and gardeners fear of poor pollination as the bees need a bit more heat to be active.

I’m a softy for all kinds of custard based puddings and  crème caramel is probably one of my foodie weaknesses. It’s fairly easy to make with only the caramel that can be slightly tricky. It’s easy to overcook the caramel and be left with a bitter burnt sugar taste. Best advice is watch the caramel at all times, and preparation is key.


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