Sunday, May 2, 2010

Relish Cooks.....with Tanroagan

Read an article in The Times today including one of my least favourite words......Foodie....that word really gets up my nose. People who say ‘Oh I’m a real foodie’ T*****s. Why do we have to have such a silly name to categorise someone who enjoys good food? In Italy we’d be called humans.

Things are busy busy in the Relish camp this month with cookery classes, demonstrations (cookery ones, rather than the ‘Maggie Out’ type) plus various catering bits and pieces. I harvested my first wild garlic of the season and used it in homemade mayonnaise for the lovely St.Johns WI ladies who came to the cookery school for a night out.

And I’ve had a cookery book binge, exciting times. I can particularly recommend the following:
‘Gourmet food for a fiver’ by Jason Atherton, chef at Maze. I went there last year you know.
‘Eat Me’ cupcake book by Xanthe Clay, slightly annoying tone and some poor piccies but good recipes. Love the look of the Bollywood cupcakes
‘Dough’ by Richard Bertinet. Using his French style kneading technique even I can make edible bread. Result.

Errm anyway where was I? Oh yeah, we’re at Tanroagan this month. Hanging out with, chef and owner, Joan Mowatt. I am addicted to their scallop/foccacia starter and chocolate rolo brownie dessert, yum. I have even managed to persuade Joan to teach a class at the cookery school, wahoo!

Joan has plenty of experience in the catering trade, having owned a hotel in Lincolnshire before moving to Island to retire. So, the retirement hasn’t exactly gone to plan as her restaurant is always packed.

Joan loves her desserts just as much as me so she has treated us to ‘Gorseflower Pannacotta’ which uses an abundance of local produce. The gorse flowers, cream and milk.

Gorseflower Pannacotta – serves 6

You’ll need to collect a few branches of gorse and pick the flowers. The prickles are super-sharp so definitely arm yourself with gloves and scissors. Or if you’re like me forget both and feel the pain!

700ml double cream
100ml milk
100g gorse flowers
110g caster sugar
3 gelatine leaves

Put the cream, milk, gorse flowers and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and bring gently to the boil. Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 40 minutes.

Soak the gelatine in cold water for about 5 minutes, until soft and pliable, then remove and squeeze out all of the water. Bring the gorse flower mixture back to the boil, remove from the heat again and whisk in the gelatine, making sure it has dissolved. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing the gorse flowers to extract as much flavour as possible. Leave to cool, then pour into lightly oiled dariole moulds (about 130ml capacity) cover and leave in the fridge overnight to set.

Great served with coconut sorbet to complement the coconut-y flavour of the gorse flowers.

Full article with photos and video in the Manx Independent around 7th May

Next month we’re with the lads down at Paddy’s Market as they prepare for the Queenie Festival