Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jurassic Foot...raaaarrghhhh!!!

Leafing through the internet I came across The Townmill Bakery this wicked little place down in Dorset. It combines an artisan bakery with a cafe. They included some recipes on the site including this one for Fruit and Nut Bread aka Jurassic Foot.
I loved the shape so gave it a go. They have loads of bread recipes on their website, definitely have a look. I feel a research trip is required :o)

Plant Watch! Kitchen Garden

I am the least green fingered person in the world, having committed mass murder to a herb garden last summer. However my friend Kim (the lucky owner of 8 very green fingers) persuaded me to give the old growing thing a try. She has started a small business selling seedlings and these funky little instant gardens. Okay I confess that the main reason I agreed was because the pots she had looked cool.

As I only have an indoor windowsill to 'grow' things on she picked out the appropriate seedlings and helped me to create my garden. There were only babies when they arrived but seem to be thriving. Although Stokesy watered them last night and they've looked a bit sad since then.......I'm suspecting overzealous watering......he is not taking the blame but who else could it have been?????

Oh if you want a cool garden like mine give Kim a bell on 819434

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Relish newsletter - June events

Summer events, news and recipes

Well it's all go here at Relish. Apologies for news drought, I know that people have been waiting impatiently beside their inboxes for the latest goings-on.

Queenie Roadshow - TT Week - On behalf of Tim Croft at
Island Seafare (your man for queenies and gorgeous hot smoked salmon on the island) I will be undertaking a cooking tour of the island. Armed only with a frying pan, several sharp knives and, of course, some queenies I'll be showing people ways to enjoy this wonderful, local, sustainable product. Dates include: Peel Day on Mad Sunday, the Grandstand (Monday 8th June) and Ramsey Sprint (Tuesday 9th).

Isle of Man Queenie Festival - 29th June - 4th July - I'll be doing another lap of the island with the Queenie Roadshow to build up for Marine Week. Then it's down to Port St Mary for the Manx Queenie Recipe Challenge (3rd July). I'll be hosting the competition as 2 finalists battle it out to be crowned King of the Queenies. For full details and to enter your recipe go to

Food Theatre @ Queenie Festival - 4th July - To be found down on the quay in Port St Mary. Yours truly will be hosting the day and cooking too. Also showing us how it's done will be Joan from Tanroagan Restaurant, whilst The Wine Cellar will be there to do some seafood-friendly wine matching. Other chefs to be confirmed..........maybe even some off the telly.....oooh I say celebrities!

Manx Food Fair @ Tynwald Day - 6th July - What a great weekend for foodies on the Island! To rounding off the weekend head to Tynwald for more Food Theatre featuring Ellerslie Oil, Greeba Mushrooms, Tanroagan, Island Seafare, Friends of Laxey School with their recipe book, oh plus that girl from Relish will be cooking and hosting. She gets around that girl!

So I hope to see some of you at the events, no heckling please!

Cookery School and Outside Catering
T: 07624 453324

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cookery School - Victoria's birthday

Victoria's friends (from left - Tracy, Trudi, Rosemary + Glenna) arranged a surprise birthday present for her.......for all of them to attend the cookery school for the afternoon. They had a busy session ahead of them covering......Poppy seed + blue cheese biscuits, Pea + ham tart, Massaman curry, Mini pavlovas and Chocolate truffles to finish.

The girls took on various roles. I think it's fair to say that some were more of the supervisory nature (!) whilst others were in the 'flour up to the elbows' department. Victoria got special dispensary though as she had had her nails done......oh and of course it was her birthday.
Mmmm Massaman curry. Everyone loved learning how to taste/season the curry with fish sauce/lemon/chilli/sugar at the end. Making the difference between a good curry and a great one.Here's the birthday girl...............showing off the mini pavlovas, perfectly decorated by her and Trudi.

Everyone enjoyed themselves and went home well fed and watered. When I asked Glenna what she had gained from the course, she said 'Five pounds!' hahahahaha

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Essential Kit: The rubber glove

Don't worry, I'm not letting you into some dark and sordid corner of my bedroom life (that's on my other blog hahaha). But the rubber glove is an essential part of kitchen kit. Perfect for people who are a bit squeamish about touching raw meat/fish, but also very useful for reducing cross-contamination when making a variety of dishes. So don't panic if your partner comes home brandishing a box of long as they leave them in the kitchen ;o)

Chilli bread

I wandered lonely as a cloud.......around the internet and found this recipe for Chilli Bread on another blog. I usually get all my bread from Liz at The Good Loaf but she had very rudely gone on holiday for a couple of weeks, leaving Stokesy and I high and dry. I just can't face eating commercially produced bread anymore so I had to roll up my sleeves and do the deed myself. I was absolutely made up with the result

375g wholemeal strong flour
375g white strong flour
3 teaspoons salt
2-3 teaspoons chilli flakes
7g sachet of dry yeast

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl
Add 450ml water (at room temperature)
Combine into dough & knead until elastic - around 5/10 minutes
Leave to rise in bowl (cover with damp cloth) for 2 hours
Knock back & shape into 'tin' shaped & pop in a floured tin
Leave to rise again for 45 minutes
Cook for 15 minutes at 230 ° c then for 20/25 minutes at 200 ° c until cooked
Leave to cool on rack

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cookery School - Jenny + friends

Jenny and her intrepid followers (Trudi, Simon and Clint) had a day at my cookery school on Sunday. Lucky them! They'd thought long and hard about what they wanted to learn and decided to go for broke with some technical dishes. The day started with slow braising the pork for the main course, making pasta dough for the starter, filleting the fish (with the aid of my special examination gloves) and then a quick break with some Thai noodle soup (it's important to keep your strength up).

Here Jenny and Simon team up to roll out some perfect sheets of ravioli......there was very little marital squabbling which is very different from my house!

The first dish we worked towards was 'Open ravioli with poached trout, creamed peas + lettuce, topped with a dill foam' nice and simple ;o) Everyone worked together to get the dish out. Trudi + Clint on pasta, trout and foam duties. Jenny + Simon doing the honours with the creamed peas and lettuce. As you can see from the picture it was a success. Layers of light pasta with delicate trout and vegetables in between. A lovely summer dish. Nice work team!

Next up.......Slow braised pork with pan-fried gurnard, plus a nice beany tomato-ey stew with a grain mustard sauce and lovely crispy crackling. Did the team keep it together and get another perfect dish out??? Course they did! This time Jenny + Simon were on fish duty whilst Trudi + Clint put the sauce together.

I think Clint was just checking that he had the biggest portion..........very sensible.
A good day for all involved :o)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tamarind + Peanut curry

I find there is nothing quite like calculating my tax liability to make me go around turning lights off and the thermostat down...............and cooking a cheap b*stard meal. So that calls for veggies, pulses and spices. On Meena's Gujarathi cooking day she showed us a Tamarind and Peanut curry, stupidly I never wrote down the recipe so it's taken me a couple of goes to get somethig even vaguely approaching her version. Try this:

2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large dried chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp ginger, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp tamarind puree
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
3 handfuls peanuts
1 handful cauliflower, cut into small florets

Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan then add the dried chillies and mustard/cumin seeds, fry until the seeds pop and start trying to escape from the pan. Now add the ginger and tamarind puree. Stir for 1 minute then add a long pour of water, salt, sugar, peanuts and cauliflower. Lid on and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Taste, as you may need to add more salt or sugar. It seems like a lot of sugar but the tamarind is so sour, it needs it.