Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Cranberry & goats cheese topped nut roast / caramelised shallots / spring cabbage / slow roast tomato salsa

image courtesy of
*Part of the sizzling staffordshire menu series*

This recipe makes use of one of our larder dishes in the form of our nut roast, whilst combining elements of a more luxurious nature in the form of our nut roast. As a dish, its very filling, very nutritious and extremely tasty giving a sweet element to the palate, and is pleasing year round.

You will need (per serving):

2 slices of our cashew & butternut squash roast
2 or 3 tbsp slow roast tomato salsa
1 tbsp cranberry sauce / cranberryjelly
100g goats cheese, rind still intact
5 small shallots, halved
tsp brown sugar
handful shredded spring cabbage (blanched)
100g butter
salt and pepper to taste

The doing bit:

take the 2 slices of nut roast, smear with the cranberry sauce. Slice the goats cheese and apply atop the nut roast slices. Place in hot oven (about 180C) on a greased baking tray and allow to cook.

Whilst your nut roast warms up nicely, in a pan add a small amount of oil. Heat up and add the shallots and cook until coloured then place on a very low heat and add the sugar and allow to melt and glaze the shallots. By this point the shallots should be soft. Place lid on the pan and take from the heat and allow to rest. These shoudl keep warm whilst you warm up the rest.

In another pan add the butter and melt. Add the cabbage and cook until soft, season with salt and pepper.

Remove the nut roast from the oven when the goats cheese has coloured and the nut roast is piping hot. Serve on a bed of the spring cabbage, decorate the plate with the shallots surrounding, and serve the tomato salsa on the side.


Saturday, 19 May 2012

Whole sea bream / sauteed new potatoes & shallots / chilli butter / sea asparagus

image courtesy of
*Part of the sizzling staffordshire menu series*

I'm very very fond of sea bream. Back in the day we used to use guilt head bream, but any sea bream will do for this recipe where necessary. You can even use whole seabass as a substitute, although the fish will be a good deal sweeter. It all depends on your preference.

We used to use this dish as a healthier alternative to fish and chips, with a spicy edge. The sautee'd new potatoes are very enjoyable and a good "chip" substitute.The shallots give a nice sweetness, and the fact were going to slightly caramelise them first will work well with the sweetness of the spuds here also. The sea asparagus gives a nice touch too, its rather light, and goes pehnomenally well with almost all fish dishes. Last but not least the chilli butter gives us some nice texture and a spicy edge. Im confident you'll enjoy this one.

You will need (per serving)

1 whole sea bream / guilt head bream - gutted, descaled, fins removed and slashed 3/4 times accross the body.
1 portion (roughly 4 potatoes) of cooked new potatoes, skin on and halved vertically
2 shallots, peeled and halved
1 portion (roughly 80-100g) sea asparagus
1 portion chilli butter
tsp olive oil
tsp butter, salted
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
salt and pepper

The doing bit:

For the fish, once slashed brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place under grill for about 8 mins per side, turn over the fish once one side is cooked and repeat. IN the last 2 minutes add the chilli butter.

For the accompmaniments:

In a saute pan, add a small amount of olive oil then add the shallots and saute until coloured. Add the potatoes and cook until potatoes are golden brown, keeping them moving roughly every minute. Add the bron sugar and allow to melt to coat the dish. Season with salt and pepper

For the sea asparagus:

In a pan add the salted butter until melted then add the sea asparagus. cook until tender and season with salt and pepper where required.

Assemble items on plate and devour.


Grilled Sand sole / crushed new potatoes / lemon butter

Image courtesy of
*Part of the sizzling staffordshire menu series*

Sand sole is one of the sole family of fishes that has a wonderful flavour, but isnt as pricey as the glorious dover sole. Sand sole comes under several names such as torbay sole, witch sole, and in this case sand sole.

As an accompaniment, crushed new potatoes arent set in stone. They do however provide a wonderful means of comfort food to accompany the fish. You can of course replase this with mashed potatoes, satuee'd new potatoes, or even just buttered new potatoes if you wish. Other suitable accompaniments include sea asparagus, spinach, watercress, asparagus, french trimmed beans, or even tenderstem broccoli.

You will need:

1 sand / witch / torbay sole
1 portion lemon butter
salt and pepper
tbsp olive oil.
1 portion new potatoes, cooked and hot, skin on.

The doing bit:

Brush the fish with the olive oil using a pastry brush and season with salt and pepper. Grill the fish for about 10 minutes until desired cooking, in the last minute add the lemon butter portion to the fish.

Pack the new potatoes into a presentation ring on the plate and crush them wholst doing so. Glaze the potatoes with a little bit of the liquor / butter from the fish. Serve the fish on the side.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Confit duck legs / orange braised fennel / plum sauce

image courtesy of
*Part of the sizzling staffordshire menu series*

This wonderful fragrant dish provides an uplifting tone and clean flavours for the palate to enjoy. t combines the tartness and sweetness of both the plums and the fennel, whilst providing a hearty middle ground with the confit duck legs. Its ideal as a main course or as a light lunch, depending on your serving size.

You will need (per serving):

2 confit duck legs
1 serving orange braised fennel
1 serving plum sauce

I would also recommend you serve with a potato dish such as pommes boulangeres to complete the main course for full satisfaction.

The doing bit:

Reheat the confit duck legs by searing in a pan, Add the fennel to the pan, cover loosely with foil and place in hot oven (roughly 200C) for about 10 mins until heated through.

In a seperate saucepan heat up the plum sauce.

Assembly, arrange fennel in crisscross pattern overlapping, serve each confit duck leg alternating gaps. glaze with sauce and decorate around with remaining sauce. Serve any potato or accompanying dishes seperately in a "help yourself" fashion..


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Barrel of pork fillet / caramelised apple / bed of braised red cabbage / pommes boulangeres & calvados sauce

Image provided courtesy of
*part of the sizzling staffordshire menu series*

Alright, I know where you're coming from. It sounds complex, but this dish is remarkably simple. Combining the sweet elements from the sweet red cabbage and the caralemised apple, and complemented in texture and tone with the calvados sauce, the fillet or pork will sit very well alongside also the pommes boulangeres - a classic french dish that is wonderfully comforting.

Originally designed as a winter dish, this dish can also be incorporated up to late spring legitimately and year round with the availability of ingredients that we have today.It is quite cheap to produce (about 5-6GBP per head using supermarket prices) which makes it a great treat for the weekend. You can cut cost further by using pork chop or loin steaks or even shoulder steaks, bear in mind however the cooking time may vary.

You will need (serves 2):

Two thirds of a pork fillet, trimmed and cut into two portions.
6 Slices of pancetta
6 sage leaves
1 whole red cabbage (medium sized), de-stalked and chopped finely into strands
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 glass red wine
tsp olive oil
1 large measure of calvados, or regular brandy will do if needs must.
1 small onion very finely chopped.
tbsp butter
2 portions pommes boulangeres (as a side)
1 apple, halved and decored
tbsp honey.
150ml cream
tsp dijon mustard

The doing bit:

Prepare the pork: Take each pork portion and wrap with a slice of pancetta, tucking a sage leaf underneath each slice. Continue until each piece is wrapped with 3 slices and sage leaves. When cooking, in a pan add a little oil to coat the pan, and heat until almost smoking. Sear each side of the pork until coloured gently then place in a hot over 200C in the same pan for about 8-10 minutes until cooked. Add the apple halves flesh side down while searing the pork and then turn upside down when entering the oven.

For the cabbage (prepare in advance), in a pan add a little of the olive oil to coat the pan, heat and then add the cabbage until it turns bright purple. add the balsamic vinegar and allow to cook for about a minute.Sprinkle in a double pinch of sea salt, then add the red wine and bring to a simmer. Stir the cabbage and cover the pan stirring occasionally. Cook for about 30-40 mins or until cabbage has reached desired texture. Drain and set to one side to reheat where necessary.

Heat up the boulangeres and add a little milk where neccesary to retain moisture. Don't worry too much as boulangeres is a dish that can survive a while in the oven.

For the sauce, in a saucepan add the butter and the finely chopped onion, and cook until it begins to soften. Add the brandy and flame or reduce until alcohol has gone, then add the mustard, heat up slightly then add the cream. Reduce until thickened and season accordingly.

Assembly, begin with the pommes, boulangeres centre plate. Add the red cabbage on top gently. Carve the pork into 3 or 4 slices and sit this as the crowning glory on top of the cabbage. Caramelised apple to the side and decorate with the sauce around, and garnish with the honey.

Devour accordingly.