Monday, October 6, 2014

Kitchen Diary #1

I am going to try and do a quick post each week to chat about some of the recipes I have been cooking, interesting articles I have read, new books on the shelf or anything that I hope might be of interest to anyone that drops by.

I'll try and keep it organised but method is not one of my strengths so bear with me.


This week I have tried the Soy Roasted Cashews from author and blogger chocolate and zucchini. I was glad to use up some almost out of date whole cashews lurking in the larder and although you need to start the recipe a day ahead to allow the nuts to absorb the soy sauce this is a very simple 2 ingredient trick that transforms the cashews into a moreish snack with minimal effort.


I bought 'Brilliant Bread', by James Morton soon after it was published in 2013, but have only recently started using it enough to feel I could recommend it. James Morton was a contestant in the 2012 Great British Bake off series, and it was clear from the start he could bake excellent bread, though I don't agree with some of the things he says in his introduction about 'other' bread books. Brilliant Bread though, has some very easy to follow, and very reliable recipes. The range it covers is good with sections on basic loaves, flavoured breads, sourdough, enriched breads, laminated doughs and a few none yeasted items too. I have made the banana muffins and they were as good as any others I have made.  I've made the rye and raisin bread twice but the second time I swapped apricots and some hazelnuts for the raisins. Both times I produced a very flavoursome loaf with a nice chewy, but thin crust. Here is the apricot version.


Chef Chris Eden of the Driftwood Hotel
On Sunday I went along to day two of the Boscastle Food, Art and Craft Festival. This is a really fun even in North Cornwall that manages to attract some of the best chefs working in, or connected to Cornwall, who give some cracking cookery demonstrations. For an entrance price of just £3 you get to watch some very talented chefs and if you are lucky sample some of the dishes. There is also plenty of excellent local food to sample, and to take away with you. For my lunch I had the best crab sandwich ever, thanks to the joint work of the Boscastle Fishing Company who supplied the crab and the Wellington Hotel who were turning it out as filled focaccia sandwiches.
Sorry about the odd picture but I am sat down waiting for the next demo and have just been handed this huge crab sandwich and a glass of Tintagel Castle Gold beer; and I'm not sure I can take a photo without tragically dropping one of them so the lap seemed the safest place to park the sandwich!

I just caught the end of the demo by Andy Appleton of Fifteen Cornwall who prepared venison with a squash and chestnut caponata that also got to taste. This 'squash caponata' is cooked separately to the venison so it could be served along with many others roasts or vegetarian options. Cubes of roasted crown prince squash are cooked with onion, cherry tomatoes, fennel root, chilli, chestnuts, thyme and dried cranberries steeped in balsamic vinegar. It made a delicious sweet and sour medly that would be wonderful at Christmas.  I'm planning on cooking it soon.

Have a great week!

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