July 2011 Archives

Flaky pastry

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This basic flaky pastry recipe can be used for all kinds of sweet and savoury dishes - quiches, tarts, pies and galettes of all kinds.  It should bake until golden brown, break into buttery flakes and taste delicious. 

smtomatogalette0006.jpgThe pastry will keep in the fridge wrapped in clingfilm overnight, or in the freezer for several months. 

Once you've made it a few times you'll realise it can be done quickly and easily and tastes so much better than store-bought.  Use good unsalted butter and plain (all purpose) white flour. 

Secret Kitchen menu, 16th July 2011

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Cucumber martinis
Gravlax on rye bread with broad beans & dill

Burratina & mozzarella with peaches, figs & rocket
with homemade foccacia

Squid ink risotto with grilled squid, alioli,
roasted red pepper & tomato salad and green salad

Summer pudding with cream

Coffee, teas and homemade liqueurs

Cooking Club, Tues 12th & Weds 13th July 2011

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smquiches0002.JPGThe Cooking Club is a monthly series of classes that you can dip in and out of as you please.  Classes are usually held on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of the month, 6-10pm.  At each class we cook a seasonal supper, the stars of which are Riverford's beautiful organic vegetables and fruits. 

Each class focuses on different produce and culinary techniques, so if you attend several they form a course.  You will develop knife skills and learn easy but delicious dishes you can repeat at home.

Classes end with an informal meal together around the table with some good wine, and recipes to take home. 

SmMoroccanClass0805100010.JPG“The Cooking Club was such GREAT fun and DELICIOUS … I very much look forward to coming back.”

"Very useful, clear, helpful and observant. Anna made sure we were all involved."

Example menu for summer 2011:
(exact menus depend on ingredient availability and guests’ preferences)
Melon & lime cocktails
Tomato galette
Courgette frittata
Fennel braised with lemon & Parmesan
Strawberry & rose Eton Mess

Date:  Tuesday 12th, repeated Wednesday 13th July 2011

Time:  6 - 10pm

Location:  London N5 (Arsenal tube 2 mins walk)

Price:  £40 per person per class.  Or £35 if you book 3 Cooking Club class places, which could be 3 for you, or you plus 2 friends, or as gifts, or any combination of those options.

To book:  Email Anna
  Please read the booking terms & conditions before booking your place.  Thank you.

Cooking class poll results

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Here are the results from my June 2011 cooking class vote.  Thank you all for voting!  Look out for some new classes on the calendar soon...

class poll results July 2011 trim.jpg


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This French pastry-less tart (actually more like a puffy, fruit-studded thick pancake) is traditionally made with unstoned cherries, but you can stone them if you like, or substitute plums or other fruits. 

If you do stone the cherries, pop the stones in a jar and cover with the strongest, plainest alcohol you have (97% from Italy, or the strongest vodka you can find).  Store somewhere dark and shake the jar every now and then when you remember.  Several months later you will have kirsch!


Gooseberry curd

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A delicious alternative to lemon curd - for toast, scones, tarts, berries, meringues or whatever you fancy.  This recipe is based on one by Marguerite Patten.  It uses more sugar than more ‘modern’ recipes, but this means it should last several months as opposed to several weeks.  I don’t enjoy agonising over whether to eat something possibly past its safety limit, so prefer to use the extra sugar.  And it tastes great.  


Wild rice, spinach and broad bean salad

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This recipe is adapted from ‘Everyday & Sunday recipes from Riverford Farm’ by Jane Baxter and Guy Watson, which is a great cookbook (not least because it contains five of my recipes!).  It is the perfect salad for late spring and early summer, when spinach and broad beans are in season. 

The pomegranate molasses really makes the dish.  Look for it in Middle Eastern and Turkish food shops.  It should be just reduced pure pomegranate juice with nothing added - intensely sweet and sour at the same time, a bit like aged balsamic vinegar.


Culinary Anthropologist