Gently poach Chegworth Valley organically grown Bramley Apples, Lemon Juice, a little Sugar and Steenbergs Organic Vanilla Extract – make on Sunday and have it on Wheat free Bircher Muesli for breakfast for the rest of the week.
Roast small cubes of Forge Farm Pumpkin with Rosemary and Garlic then toss with Rustichella Spaghetti, Olive Oil and Herbs for an easy mid week supper
Make a lovely wintery drink for parties by heating Chegworth Valley Winter Warmer apple and blackberry juice and dressing with a dash of Womersley Raspberry Vinegar and a good shot of Vestal Kaszebe Vodka
Make an instant dinner party salad with slices of Chegworth Valley Conference Pears into a salad of bitter leaves, toasted walnuts and Colston Bassett Stilton dressed with a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing
Start these chilly Autumn mornings with a hearty, warming yet healthy breakfast. Treat our Bircher Muesli as porridge and heat with milk or water and a pinch of salt. Drizzle with Regents Park Honey and top with a whole grated Chegworth Valley Conference Pear.
Start the day with thick slices of St John Bakery Sourdough spread with Sun and Seed Blanched Almond Butter and drizzled with London Honey
Confit Broccoli – Blanch then slow cook florets and stalks of broccoli in Arbequina Olive Oil, Ortiz Anchovies, slivers of garlic and Steenberg’s Chilli Flakes – wonderful through pasta or just on a piece of toasted sourdough bread.
Rhubarb and vinegar
Super Quick Relish – Barely cover Champagne Rhubarb with equal parts Unio Moscatel Vinegar and water and simmer with root ginger, salt and a shaking of sugar for 15 minutes. Great with grilled oily fish or our Confit Duck legs from the fridge.
Roast beetroot and carrots with a halved head of garlic and toss through black beluga lentils, rocket and a simple dressing of Sicilian lemon juice, Nunez de Prado olive oil and flaky Cornish Sea Salt. A perfect fridge standby as its even tastier on day two.
Simple Supper – Steam purple sprouting broccoli and toss through cooked Sapori and Colori Spaghetti with a pinch of Steenbergs dried chilli flakes, crushed garlic and a good slug of Nunez de Prado olive oil. Finish with freshly grated lemon zest.
Salty and Moreish – Make simple nibbles to accompany a few cocktails by teaming our Parmesan Biscuits with pieces of crumbled Dorstone Cheese and Tomato Stall Oak Roast Tomatoes
Butter bean dip
Drain a jar of Judion de la Granja Butter Beans and blitz with lemon juice, garlic and De Calabria Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make a simple dip for Autumn root vegetables, or our buttermilk cracker shards
Don’t let day old bread go to the birds when it can make a brilliant starter or quick lunch in seconds. Griddle or toast slices of Artisan Sourdough bread and then rub lightly with garlic and drizzle with De Calabria Extra Virgin Olive Oil, before topping with well seasoned fresh Isle of Wight tomatoes and a pinch of Cornish sea salt
Breakfast on a Plate – Our award winning Good Afternoon Jam, filled with sharp but sweet mixed berries, slathered on to simply toasted Artisan Sourdough toast with CalonWen Unsalted Butter – the perfect start to the day in our book
Instant Pudding – Make a quick compote with new season’s Victoria Plums, a sprinkling of sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and a squeeze of fresh orange juice. Serve warm over a good quality vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.
Supper in Seconds – Flash a couple of Duck Confit Legs through the oven and serve with shredded Cavolo Nero gently wilted in a pan with some slivers of garlic, a teaspoon of Caramelised Onion chutney, a good sprinkle of Cornish Sea Salt and a squeeze of lemon.
Simple Supper – Fry chunks of Brindisa chorizo with onion and garlic until browned. Add a pinch of paprika and chilli flakes then cook with tinned tomatoes. Season. Add aldente penne pasta, freshly chopped Isle of Wight tomatoes and handfuls of flat leaf parsley just before serving.
Spiced hot chocolate
A Warm Cuddle – Add a few crushed green cardamom pods, some fennel seeds, pink peppercorns or mellow chilli flakes to simmering milk and allow to infuse for five minutes before passing through a sieve. Then pour it over hot chocolate flakes. Add a pinch of sea salt to bring out the flavour.
Take a clean bowl and sit it on a damp cloth to avoid movement. Whisk two egg yolks at room temperature with a pinch of salt. Measure 250ml of light oil, either sunflower , olive or groundnut. Very slowly, whisking constantly, pour in a thin stream of the oil. Should the mixture split, add 2 tbsp of hot water and continue to whisk. Once the oil is incorporated, whisk in 1 tsp of Dijon mustard and 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar. Taste for seasoning. Add finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, 1 tsp of chopped capers, 1 tsp of chopped cornichons and chopped dill to serve with fish.
Master the art of tempering chocolate to give your handmade gifts that glossy professional finish. Using a digital thermometer, heat 250g of chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water to 45C. Then cool to 26C, by gently stirring off the heat on a cool surface. Return to the heat, taking the chocolate up to 30C, then remove immediately. It’s now ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 200°C /400°F /gas mark 6. Line a roasting tin with baking parchment. Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Dress in a few tablespoons of light olive oil, just enough to coat. Cover the vegetables with any robust herbs or garlic and season well. Place in the hot oven and reduce the temperature to180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Move the vegetables every 10 minutes, until caramelised on the outside and softened on the inside, but holding good shape. Remove and adjust the seasoning. Splashing a tray of roast pumpkin with sherry vinegar halfway through cooking will add to its caramelisation and depth.
Honey and sage dressing
Infuse 75ml light olive oil by gently frying several sage leaves and a few slivers of garlic in it until they impart their flavour. Pass through a sieve and whisk in 25ml of sherry vinegar, 2 tsp of good flavoured honey and sea salt. Use over roasted roots.
Orange and honey
Weekend Breakfast – Navel oranges are at their best right now – sliced segments dressed with warmed London Honey and thyme leaves make a lovely light weekend breakfast added to thick River Cottage yogurt
Porridge aficionados should equip themselves with a ‘spurtle’, a 15th-century kitchen tool which is a rod-like shape and is perfect for stirring porridge. Traditionalists are firm on what makes porridge: only untreated pinhead oatmeal – coarse-, medium- or fine-textured – water and salt. We are all for tradition, but also happy to experiment so our morning porridge keeps our taste buds on their metaphorical toes. Whether traditional or a little left-field, here are a few simple rules to help you make your porridge memorable every morning
1) Slow, even cooking is required, so porridge must be made in a pan; please no microwaves that can create uneven heat spots.
2) Stir continuously for up to 10 minutes, watching for the texture to become thick, but still pourable (spurtles at the ready).
3) Add salt halfway through cooking: adding it too early can toughen the oats; too late can result in a thin ‘afterthought’ taste.
4) For a truly authentic porridge, only pinhead oats will do. But we quite like a mixture of equal parts of coarse pinhead with jumbo rolled oats: toothsome but not a grind. Standard rolled oats give a very sloppy, poor relation to the real thing.
5) Use water as your main liquid and add whole milk, soya, coconut or nut milk – milk should make up somewhere between one-third and one-half of the total liquid – to give you something satisfying and flavoursome without being overly rich.
6) Soak your oats overnight if you want to cut down on cooking time in the morning; this will probably save you five minutes or so. We sometimes soak our oats with some whole nuts in the water. These give off their milk overnight, creating light nut milk to add a subtle richness to porridge.
Classic Leeks Mimosa – Poach baby leeks in white wine and water with a few Steenberg’s Whole peppercorns and a couple of bay leaves. Finish with a simple vinaigrette and the finest grating of hard boiled organic egg.
Coat cauliflower florets with Arabica Ras el Hanout and Chiltern Cold Pressed Rape Seed Oil and bake till golden. Excellent with a grilled lamb chop and some wilted spinach drizzled with warmed Arabica Tahini.
Chegworth Valley beetroots are great at the moment. Mandolin ruby, candy striped Choggia or golden beetroot into wafer thin discs and layer with torn pieces of Buffalo Mozzarella. Dress with Unio Moscatel Vinegar and Nunez de Prado Flor de Aceite Olive Oil, fresh herbs and some scattered toasted seeds
Use Cavolo Nero or January King cabbage as an unusual salad green – just shred and massage with Nunez de Prado Olive Oil and a good Sherry Vinegar and serve with chunks of sweet roasted carrot and parsnip, with a good shaving of Parmesan to finish it off.
Figs and honey
Classic Flavours – Cut a cross into the top of some seasonal figs to open up the flesh, drizzle with Regent’s Park honey and crumble over your favourite blue cheese and some chopped walnuts.
Start the day – Grate Chegworth Beauty apples over our award winning Sour Cherry Granola and serve with Brown Cow Organics Natural Yogurt and a drizzle of Womersley Golden Raspberry and Chilli vinegar.
Chocolate fruit and nut rounds
Chocolate Fruit and Nut Rounds – the perfect handmade gift for your loved one: Using tempered chocolate (see How To), make 5cm discs of melted chocolate on baking parchment. As the chocolate is setting, push toasted pistachios, yellow raisins and cranberries into the pools of chocolate. Allow to set and serve with coffee after supper.
Take pancakes to the next level with some homemade flavoured sugars. Simply add your ingredients to a jar of sugar and leave for a week or two. Or, if time is tight then you can speed up the infusion by just whizzing the ingredients in a food processor for 30 seconds or so. Besides adorning your pancakes, flavoured sugars are great sprinkled on biscuits before baking in the oven, to dredge French toast, caramelise desserts under the grill, scatter over fresh fruit salads or fold into buttercreams. Our favourite flavour combinations included cardamon and mint, clementine and cinnamon, lemongrass and lime and vanilla.
Purple sprouting broccoli
Purple sprouting broccoli, or ‘PSB’ as we call it in the kitchen, is a brassica and close cousin of the tighter headed and more common calabrese or green broccoli. Don’t worry too much about the lower leaves that come with it, it’s the tender purple heads that hold the sweet flavour. Be careful not to overcook it – best steamed and checked for done-ness with a round-ended knife to see if it slips easily through. Simple melted butter or a more adventurous hollandaise sauce are both a very good friend to PSB.
Taste of the Hedgerow – Sweat and blitz foraged wild nettles (don’t forget to wear rubber gloves!) with True Foods Vegetable Stock and finish with a dash of cream to make a velvety green springtime soup
Get your foraging boots on this weekend and hunt out some wild garlic (just starting to appear in hedgerows) to make a simple pasta sauce. Melt good quality Anchovies and Dried Chilli Flakes in a pan and toss with foraged wild garlic and ‘al dente’ Geometry of Pasta Spaghetti.
Watercress is not just a salad leaf, we like to use it as a green too – simply serve a large undressed handful to accompany our new Sutton Hoo spatchcock chicken with garlic and herbs, creamed potatoes and a spoonful of our Chilli Jam.
Chocolate fudge icing
Set a saucepan over a low heat and dissolve 125g of caster sugar into125g of double cream. Do not boil. Pour over 100g of grated dark chocolate in a bowl and stir to melt, then beat in 75g of unsalted butter until glossy. Cover with cling film and allow to cool and thicken, then apply to a cake with a palette knife.
Sour cream icing
Melt 150g of dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Once melted, turn off the heat. Beat in 150ml of sour cream. Sift over 100g of icing sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract and continue to stir. Leave to cool until icing reaches a spreadable consistency.
Pour-over chocolate icing
Melt 90g of unsalted butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir in 3 tbsp of milk, 20g of cocoa powder and 1⁄2 tsp of vanilla extract. Whisk this into 190g of sifted icing sugar. Add 40g of finely chopped nuts. Pour over a cake and allow to set.
Chcolate cream icing
Melt 125g of dark chocolate over a bain-marie. Whip 250g of double cream to soft peaks with 1⁄2 tsp of vanilla extract. Fold together with half a punnet of raspberries. Spread through the middle and over the top of the cake. Scatter the remaining raspberries over and dust with icing sugar.
Preheat the oven to 110ºC/225ºF. Wash and halve a punnet or two of cherry tomatoes and lay them on a baking parchment-lined baking sheet, cut side up. Season each with sea salt, one or two thyme leaves and drizzle with light olive oil. Cook for about 2 hours, depending on size. Try one: they should have shrunk to half the size and taste intense. Place into sterilised jars and cover with sunflower oil. Keep in the fridge and eat within one month
An apple a day
Wafer thin slices of Chegworth Valley apples and celeriac make a great addition to a salad of bitter leaves and toasted walnuts, dressed with De Calabria Extra Virgin Olive Oil, lemon juice and a little Borage Flower Honey from the London Honey Company.
Blitz a couple of 125g punnets of Chegworth Valley Raspberries with 75g of caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Push through a sieve and add 100ml of water and freeze for four hours stirring with a fork every hour or so until crystallized. Serve in little glasses with our Vanilla Shortbread
Easy summer dessert
Whip a carton of Longley double cream to soft peaks adding vanilla from your store cupboard. Dab a small amount on your dessert plate, then place a Vanilla or Chocolate Shortbread biscuit on top. Add more cream, raspberries and another biscuit. Layer up again and serve with a dusting of icing sugar
Indulgent eggy bread
Weekend Treat – Use up stale bread to make a lazy eggy bread weekend breakfast treat – just place slices in an egg and milk mixture (1tbs milk for every couple of eggs) and leave to soak up in the fridge for 10 minutes. Heat some butter in a pan and fry your eggy bread till golden. Serve with Apricot and Vanilla Jam.
Tomato Slice – Make a speedy supper by topping pre-rolled all butter puff pastry with caramelised onions that have been cooled down, fresh tomato slices, anchovies, capers and fresh thyme. Season and bake for 12 minutes at 200 degrees C until the crust is golden brown. Serve with a green leaf salad and a glass of well chilled Bergerie de la Bastide white wine.
Seasonal Side – Sauté sliced Chegworth Valley squash in a little oil and garlic, then grate over Starnachas cheese and some day old breadcrumbs before flashing under the grill. Very good as a side with grilled chicken or just on its own with some soft salad leaves and crumbled Ragstone cheese
Pan toasted granola
Over a low heat, toast a couple of handfuls (75g) of chopped almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, coconut flakes or any other nuts in a dry frying pan until toasty smelling. Set aside. Toast a handful (50g) of whole pumpkin and sunflower seeds in the same pan until they pop. Set aside. Now toast 4 good handfuls (125g) of jumbo rolled oats in the pan until starting to smell nutty. Reduce the heat to low and add 1 heaped tbsp of coconut oil and the same of honey or maple syrup and stir to coat. Once combined, add 1 tsp of good vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Return the nuts and seeds to the pan and stir until clumping together. Cool on a large plate before storing in an airtight jar.
Quick Chocolate Truffles – blitz 150g of dark chocolate in a food processor until granular. Heat 100ml of double cream, 2tbs of Somerset cider brandy, or any dark rum or brandy to hand and 1tbs of muscovado sugar until almost boiling, then slowly pour over the chocolate, blending until you have a paste. Cover and chill for 45 mins. Once firm, roll into small bite-sized balls of about 15g each and dust with cocoa powder. Chill. Makes about 15.
To 125g of soft salted butter add 1 tsp each of three complementary freshly ground spices. Try nutmeg, cinnamon and dried chilli to finish off roasted pumpkin dishes or cardamom seed, turmeric and fenugreek seed as a base for spiced rice or curries. Form into a roll, cut into about 12 portions and store in the fridge or freezer.