Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kitchen Diary #3

October always seems to be the month in which I pick sloes to make a small batch of sloe gin. There are a few sloe bushes not far from our house that seem to reliably set fruit and of course while starting off the new batch it seems a good idea to sample some of the last. I don't like heavily sweetened drinks so my sloe gin has very little added sugar compared to most but here is a useful article from the Guardian on  How to Make Sloe Gin
I was quite pleased with my bread bake this week which was a plain white boule made with a preferment which is crudely some dough that you start a day or two before the actual bake and which does seem to add flavour.
My loaf is a bit uneven but the crust was nice and crisp and the crumb quite springy so no prizes but no complaints. I have recently found a useful website that has a lot of bread tutorial info including video clips of tricky things to describe like shaping loaves. It is quite detailed so perhaps more for bread geeks but well worth a look: Bread Making 101

My simple recipe for the week is a Ginger Yogurt Sauce to serve with fish. I ate this at Outlaws Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac some months ago and it is included in the book Nathan Outlaw published this year under the same name as the restaurant. They also serve a similar yogurt sauce but with horseradish.

I ate this at home with a salmon steak marinated in 1-2 tbs of  sriracha chilli sauce and baked until only just cooked. In the book the sauce is served with barbecued chilli-squid. I had some sauce leftover which I served with a roasted butternut squash soup and this too was also a delicious combination. The ginger flavour is quite bold but not overpowering.

150g root ginger peeled and chopped coarsely
200ml greek style yoghurt

  • Blitz the ginger in a blender
  • Tip out onto a square of muslin and gather up so you can now squeeze out the juice without leting any bits escape.
  • Squeeze the juice out into a bowl and measure 3tbs.
  • Stir the ginger juice into the yogurt.
  • season with a pinch of salt.

If you like coriander leaf you can also add 1 tsp or so of freshly chopped leaf to the sauce.

Cookery Books
Autumn does seem to be the time of year when many new cookery books are released in time for the Christmas spending spree. There haven't been many releases I feel I need to buy so far, but one that caught my eye was A Simply Delicious Christmas by Darina Allen. She is one of my long standing food heroes who once put Keith Floyd in his place when he visited her cookery school, so I doubt anyone messes with her.
This is a revised and expanded edition of the much earlier book by the same name that now has a slightly seventies dinner party feel to it including as it does a recipe for the once ubiquitous piped Duchesse potatoes.

Last Sunday was the North Devon Food Festival, held annually in Barnstaple Pannier Market. The organisers do well to make this a free entry festival and it was pretty packed so I hope everyone was happy. There were a good range of food producers from the area including this rather clever chocolate display piece from Copper Hill Chocolates
I spent quite a large part of my visit in the cookery demonstration theater where the star of the day was the charming Michael Caines. I have incredible admiration for this chef who makes a huge contribution to foodie events in the area and is frequently involved with local initiatives and competitions for young and trainee chefs. He had three students from the local college assisting him on Sunday and here they all are just before the demo starts.
Enjoy your week!

No comments:

Post a Comment