Category: Accompaniments

Lemon & Elderflower Cordial

It’s the perfect time to pick Elderflower (so I’ve been told!) This is my first experience of foraging, and I had such a buzz from making something that I’d found (for free!), picked and brewed.  I’m also SURE that drinking it has helped my hayfever this year. A deliciously refreshing drink that’s so easy to make, lasts for ages and is great in a Gin and Tonic as well as on it’s own. Remember that this is a cordial and so will need to have lots of water added to it before drinking – sparkling water turns it in to a grown up refereshing non-alcoholic summer drink.

Ingredients: 

10 Elderflower heads (as in a big bunch of flowers per ‘head’)

Half litre water

2 x fresh unwaxed lemons

440g white caster sugar

40g Citric acid

Instructions: 

1. Gently wash the elderflower heads under cold water to get rid of any creepy crawly nasties

2. Add the sugar to a pan with half a litre of boiling water and leave on a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved

3. Using a potato peeler, remove strips of zest from the lemons and add these to a large bowl or clean bucket, along with the elderflower heads.

4. Slice the lemons in to rounds and add these to the bowl along with the citric acid

5. Pour over the sugar, water fluid, give everything a really good stir, ensuring the flower heads are thoroughly submerged in the water

6. Cover with a clean cloth and leave at room temperature overnight (or for at least 14 hours)

7. Using a potato masher, press gently down on the flowers and the lemons to release some more lovely flavour

8. Cover the bottom of a sieve with a piece of muslin and then strain the liquid through this so that it runs clear without any bits

9. Pour the cordial in to clean bottles and store in the fridge for up to three weeks, or put in clean plastic bottles and freeze, where it will keep for around 3 months until defrosted

Enjoy!

‘Used up’ lamb samosas

Running out of ideas for your lamb left over from Easter?! Here’s the perfect tasty solution. The basis of this samosa recipe came from Favediets but we’ve made it a little simpler and adapted it to use up our leftover lamb. You could either remove the lamb completely for a veggie option, or alternatively swap it for a different meat such as chicken or beef…

Ingredients: 

2 x large white potatoes

1 medium sized white onion

1 tablespoon nigella seeds

1 dessert spoon cumin powder

1 dessert spoon garam masal

1 dessert spoon tamarind

1 teaspoon medium curry powder

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

1 cup of frozen peas

Left over chopped up lamb meat

1 pack filo pastry

Large knob of melted butter

Sea salt & cracked black pepper to season

– makes approx 10 samosas –

Instructions:

1. Chop the potatoes in to small centimeter square cubes. Add to boiling water and simmer until they’re just soft (approx 7 minutes) add the frozen peas at the last minute before draining

2. Finely chop the onion and place in to a large bowl with the potatoes and peas

3. Add in all spices and the rest of the ingredients (except the lamb and butter) – give a good mix. Cover and leave to rest for half an hour

4. Take a sheet of filo pastry and fold three times length ways

5. Take a large spoonful of the mixture and place on the bottom right corner of the pastry, then add some of the lamb on top.

6. Fold the bottom right corner up into a triangle shape, bringing the mixture with it, then fold the triangle down and keep going until you are left with a triangle fold of the pastry left. Brush the edges of this with some of the melted butter, and finish off the fold to seal the samosa.

7. Brush the outside of the samosa with melted butter and when they’re all made, place on a baking tray

8. Pop the samosas into the oven for 20 minutes on gasmark 6 or until they are golden and crispy

Enjoy with a big dollop of greek yoghurt and some fresh finely chopped mint

White asparagus spears with Parma ham

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Great as a starter or a lunch time snack, this tasty dish takes minutes to prepare.

Ingredients: 

8 white asparagus spear (you can use green if that’s all you can get) 
shaved parmesan slices

tablespoon fresh thyme finely chopped

4 slices of parma ham 

3 tablespoons olive oil

– serves 2 –


Instructions:

1. Snap the ends off of the asparagus tips 

2. slice the parma hams slices into half and lay a few shavings of parmesan onto each piece 

3. wrap a piece of parma ham and parmesan around each asparagus tip 

4. Mix together the olive oil and thyme in a bowl 

5. Brush some of the oil onto the base of a baking tray and lay the asparagus spears on top. 

6. Brush each spear with the oil and thyme and pop into the oven on gas mark 6 for 15 minutes, or until the parma ham has crisped up. 

Enjoy!

Tomato chilli jam

Gorgeous with cheese of any kind, cold meats, in sausage sandwiches, smeared in to the pastry when making sausage rolls – or even add a dollop in to your Sunday gravy. This is a sweet and savoury favourite and will last for a good few weeks in the fridge (if it’s not been eaten before then!)

The inspiration came when we decided to grow some tomatoes one year and ended up with way too many to eat. A search through the recipe books came up with a Tamsin Day-lewis chilli jam recipe which I’ve since tweaked and simplified over the years. Add a little more chilli if you like things ‘hot’.

Ingredients:

1ib tomatoes (can be any kind of tomato but sweet & cherry are the best!)

5 small cloves of garlic

3 thumbs of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

1 fresh whole red chilli

40ml thai fish sauce

1lb unrefined golden caster sugar

150ml red wine vinegar

– makes two large jars-

Instructions:

1. Blend half of the tomatoes (seeds, skins and all!), the chili, garlic, ginger and fish sauce to a fine puree.

2. Place the puree, sugar and vinegar into a large deep saucepan and bring to the boil slowly.

3. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and chop the rest of the tomatoes roughly. Add to the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients and leave to simmer for around an hour and a half. Stir every 15/20 minutes and skim off any foam that gathers on the top.

4. After an hour and a half the sauce with stiffen and get gloupy. Divide the mixture into two warmed glass jam jars and allow to cool for 20 minutes before popping into the fridge to cool.

Enjoy!

Pea and mint pasta salad

Nice and simple with fresh, clean flavours. Another great accompaniment to any BBQ…

Ingredients: 

1 mug full of small dried pasta shells

Big handful of fresh mint

4 tablespoons olive oil 

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

A cup full of frozen peas 

A cup full of frozen soya beans (or more peas if you’d prefer instead of soya beans?!) 

Seasoning (ground black pepper and sea salt)

 

Instructions: 

1. Cook the pasta to your liking and once cooked, run the pasta under some cold water so that the heat is taken out. 

2. Add the pasta to a large serving bowl and add to it the mint, olive oil, white wine vinegar and plenty of seasoning.  

3. Stir really well, and then if needed add a little more seasoning/olive oil to taste, ensuring that everything’s coated. 

Enjoy!

Beetroot, green beans and feta cheese

 

Ingredients: 

2 large handfulls of green beans (blanched in hot water) 

150g good quality feta cheese 

3 large pickled beetroots (cut into wedges)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 

1 teaspoon english mustard

The juice of half a lemon

3 finely cut spring onions

Seasoning (salt and ground black pepper) 

 

Instructions: 
Take a large bowl and throw in your mustard, olive oil, white wine vinegar, chopped spring onions, lemon juice and seasoning. Mix together with a spoon and then add in your beetroot and green beans. coat them in the sauce and then to finish sprinkle your diced feta cheese over the top. 

Great served with roasted sweet potatoes and spatch-cooked chicken