Sunday, 24 June 2012

Forager's cookcard #1: Red clover

This is so simple to make and is a real thirst quencher. Red Clover flowers are abundant and easy to identify - if you're feeling flamboyant, a few strips of fresh Root Ginger work well in here too, as does a hearty slosh of Vodka when serving.

Red clover lemonade
A large bowl of fresh Red Clover blossoms
1 Litre of Water
5Tbsp Honey
The juice of 2 large Lemons

Heat the Clover flowers in one litre of water; bring to a near-simmer and stir intermittently for about fifteen minutes (keep a lid on the saucepan between stirs). Kill the heat, then stir in the honey until it has dissolved. Leave to cool, then strain the liquid through muslin into a fresh bowl. Squeeze in the Lemon juice, then chill the Lemonade in the fridge. Serve with slices of fresh Lemon, ice and a handful of fresh Clover flowers.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Black Forest Gateau

Recipe: Sarah Cook
Food styling: Val Barrett

Find the recipe >>>HERE<<<

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Elderflower Margarita

If you've been out picking Elderflowers to make cordial over the last few weeks, here's a quick idea that'll make good use of some of your batch. It's a variation on a classic Margarita - personally, I tend to steer clear of Triple Sec that's often used too (bad experience in my youth). It matters not though - Tequila and Elderflower get on fabulously well.

50ml Tequila
15ml Elderflower cordial
Juice of two Limes
Crushed Maldon Sea Salt

Rub the rim of a glass with half a cut lime, then dip in salt. Rattle the ingredients together in a cockail shaker with a few ice cubes, then serve immediately.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Mead baked apricots with pistachios

About a dozen Apricots, cut in half with stones removed
2Tbsp golden caster sugar
A wine glass of Mead (I used Lindisfarne)
2 Star anise
1 Cinnamon stick
Chopped pistachios and creme fraiche, to serve

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Arrange to Apricots cut side up on a baking tray, then scatter over the sugar, star anise and cinnamon stick. Pour the Mead into the tray and bake for 30-40 minutes - keep spooning the liquid over the fruit regularly. Serve with the chopped pistachios and creme fraiche.

Razor clams with bacon and Salmoriglio

Salmoriglio is a simple sauce-cum-marinade that originates from Southern Italy. It's great spooned over barbecued meat and fish; I've also been using leftover Salmoriglio in a similar way to pesto, stirred through pasta with a few prawns and a sprinkling of crumbled Feta. As for this tasty 'Spoots recipe, careful not to overcook the clams otherwise they become rubbery, with a texture not dissimilar (I imagine) to chewing on a old tube of bathroom sealant.

About a dozen razor clams
2 Garlic cloves, chopped
3 Rashers of streaky bacon, chopped
1 Red chilli, chopped
A large glass of White wine
Parsley leaves, to serve

3 Garlic cloves
A pinch of sea salt
A bunch of fresh Oregano (leaves only)
A pinch of Pepper
The juice of 1/2 a Lemon
200ml Olive oil

1 Using a pestle and mortar, pound the Garlic and salt to a paste, then add the Oregano. Once the leaves have begun to break down, start adding the olive oil slowly and keep crushing everything together. Finaly, add the lemon juice and pepper, then give it all a final mix through.
2 Give the clams a soak in lightly salted cold water for 5-10 minutes. Fry the bacon in a large pan until crispy, then stir in the garlic and chilli to soften for a few minutes. Nestle the clams on top of everything, pour in the wine and pop a lid on the pan. It'll only take about two minutes for them to cook. Serve in shallow bowls with Salmoriglio drizzled over the clams and plenty of crusty bread to mop up the juice.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

2012 Observer Food Monthly Awards

If you have a spare moment, there's still time to vote for Appledrane in the 'Best Food Blog' category at the 2012 Observer Food Monthly Awards. It's been a glorious year and I've welcomed many new friends to the site; thanks to everyone for your continued support, advice and lovely comments. Just click on the link below to vote. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012