Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Wild fennel pannacotta with elderflower jelly

Recipe & food styling: the chefs at Tudor Farmhouse Hotel, Gloucestershire

Foraging in the Forest of Dean

A violet-grey mantle of fog prowled through the trees as we drove deeper and deeper into the Forest of Dean. It cleared briefly on the crest of a small hill, then hurriedly gathered us back into its murky moth jar, adding three new specimens to the dawn collection as it did so. At the moment at which we reached our destination (the aptly named Clearwell) - it was gone.

Our guide Raoul Van Den Broucke opens the boot and checks his kit. Walking stick. Hat. Knife. Basket. Hand-held vacuum cleaner? He explains that its primary use is to gather Garlic mustard seeds once they have fallen to the ground; the dry pods are so fragile that even the the slightest of touches sends them scattering. The thought of an unassuming pair of ramblers chancing upon Raoul as he hoovers the forest floor with a vacuum cleaner keeps me amused for the rest of the day. Raoul has a mischievous twinkle in his eye and a gift for anecdote; its easy to warm to his enthusiasm for life, wild food and the natural world.

Over a pint of ale in the village pub, we examine our bounty. Wild garlic, Hop shoots, Nettles, Wild onions - more than enough with which to fashion a tasty lunch. The pub overlooks an old churchyard filled with Yew; Raoul explains that unlike the deadly poisonous needles, the berry (Aril) flesh is sweet, and edible (always spit out the seeds though). As we walk quietly around the church afterwards, sunlight glances through a stained-glass window, covering a nearby tomb with kaleidoscopic patterns of gentle colour.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Slow cooked shepherd's pie

Recipe and food styling: Jassy Davis
Find the recipe >>> Here <<<

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Thai carrot slaw

Shot for BBC Good Food magazine, April '12 issue
Recipe: Ally Bright
Food styling: Rosie Reynolds

Find the recipe >>> Here <<<

Monday, 5 March 2012

Sausage and fennel casserole

The joy of a good snorker casserole. As chance would have it I've still got a few wild fennel seed heads tumbleweeding around the kitchen; the perfect addition to this Spanish-style one pot...

12 Good quality pork sausages
3 Rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
A splash of cider
4 garlic bulbs, sliced
2Tsp Wild fennel seeds
1 Red Chilli, finely chopped
1Tsp Fresh thyme leaves
2 Red onions, chopped into wedges
1 Bulb fennel, sliced lengthways into wedges
2 Tins chopped tomatoes
1 Tin Borlotti beans
1 Tin black eyed peas
200ml Chicken stock
3Tsp Smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Jacket potatoes and parsley, to serve

Fry the sausages until they’ve gained a bit of golden colour, then put to one side (it doesn’t matter if they’re not cooked all the way through).

2 fry the bacon in a shallow pan until crispy. Remove the bacon before de-glazing the pan with a splash of cider. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, chilli and thyme and stir on a low heat for about five minutes. Add the remaining ingredients (including the sausages and bacon) and keep on a medium simmer for a good 35-45 minutes. Serve with crispy jacket potatoes and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Appledrane featured in Fabulous Food magazine

There is a two page feature on Appledrane in the Spring issue of Fabulous Food magazine; opening their new "Bloggers' bites" series. Very excited and flattered to have been asked; they've run my Scallops with wild leek, pepper and black mustard leaf dressing recipe from last summer. Here it is!