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Seasonal Recipes

January
Celery and Chorizo Soup in 10 minutes.  James Tanner from Tanner's Restaurant, Plymouth

You'll need 50g/2oz chopped celery, 1 garlic clove finely chopped,  200ml/7fl oz chicken stock, 100g/3½oz tinned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, 100g/3½oz  chorizo from a chub, peeled and sliced or diced if you prefer and 1 tbsp oil.  Unsliced granary bread from Fox's.

Simply place the celery, garlic, chicken stock and beans into a saucepan over a high heat. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for eight minutes, until the celery has softened.  Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat the oil and fry the chorizo pieces for about five minutes, until golden on all sides.   Ladle the soup into a bowl and spoon over the chorizo.  serve with some gorgeous unsliced granary from Fox's bakery.

February
Seville Orange Marmalade
from Sarah Beattie, food writer and cookery teacher
You'll need:  For each 450g / 1lb Seville oranges, 2 lemons or 1 lemon plus 1 lime, 1.75 ltr / 3pt water, 1.5kg / 3lbs sugar.

Wash the fruit. Halve and squeeze out the juice, place in a cold place. Scrape out the pips and membranes and tie them up in a piece of clean muslin or cheesecloth. (A new stockingette dishcloth, boiled and dried, is an acceptable substitute). Finely slice the peels and place in a large bowl with the water and the bag of pips. Leave overnight if possible. Tip into a large pan and bring to the boil. Simmer slowly until the peel is very soft – could take a couple of hours.

While the peel is cooking, scrub some jam jars very well in hot soapy water, rinse and dry off in a low oven. Keep warm. Sterilise the lids too.  When the peel is done, take the pan off the heat. Remove the bag. Add the sugar and stir well. Stir in the reserved juice. Ensure that all the sugar is completely dissolved before bringing back to the boil – the scratchy, rasping noise as you stir will cease. Boil until setting point is reached - 105°C / 220°F on a sugar thermometer - or test by spooning a little onto a cold saucer. When ready, the surface of the marmalade will wrinkle when pushed with a finger. Allow to stand for about a quarter of an hour then fill your warm dry jars. Cover and label.

Chicken and Celeriac Pie by Lesley Walters, West Country Chef
For an easy main meal, try Lesley Walters, Chicken and Celeriac pie which takes less than 30 mins to prepare.  Lesley is famous for using local ingredients.  She presented us with our Internet Retailer of the Year Award, in October.

You'll need:
¾ celeriac, peeled and diced, 2 very large potatoes, peeled and diced, 55g/2oz unsalted Quicke's butter, 55ml/2oz organic double cream from Riverford, seasoning for the top and for the pie, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 red onions, peeled and diced, the other ¼ celeriac, peeled and diced, 2 chicken breasts, sliced from Wilkinsons, ½ glass white wine, 150ml/5fl oz double cream, seasoning, a handful fresh chives, chopped and 3 small knobs of butter. 

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7 and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.  Boil the potato and ¾ of the celeriac in the water for 10-12 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from the heat, drain and then mash together with the butter, cream and seasoning until smooth.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Gently soften the red onion and remaining celeriac for a few minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes until they colour.  Add the wine, cream and seasoning and reduce the heat. Simmer for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and place the chicken mixture into a large ovenproof dish.
3. Sprinkle over the chives and cover with the mashed potato and celeriac, forking it down neatly.  Dot with three small knobs of butter and bake in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden.
4. Serve the pie immediately.

March
Rhubarb Crumble by James Tanner from Plymouth & Ready Steady Cook
You'll Need:
For the rhubarb filling: 150g/5oz rhubarb, 1 large lemon, peeled and chopped, 1 vanilla pod, seeds only, 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated, 50ml/2fl oz lemon juice, 2 tbsp honey. 
For the crumble topping:  150g/5oz oat biscuits, crushed, 50g/2oz hazelnuts, toasted and chopped.
To serve: Ice cream, clotted cream or double cream.

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.  Place all of the rhubarb filling ingredients into an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and cook for five minutes, stirring often, to soften.
2. Sprinkle over the biscuits and hazelnuts to cover and transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until the crumble topping is golden brown and the rhubarb cooked through.
3. To serve, spoon out the crumble into a dish with a large scoop of ice cream, clotted cream or poured double cream beside.

For left over forced rhubarb:
Unlike sturdier outdoor-grown stalks, tender forced rhubarb has an elegant sourness that needs only very light cooking - but it does need tempering with sweetness. Douse the stalks in soft brown sugar with some orange zest and bake in a moderate oven - perfect with thick double cream. Or poach in a thick sugar syrup or orange juice and use for jellies and sorbets.

April
Chicken & Spinach Curry
You’ll need:
3 tablespoons of oil, 1 onion, Crushed garlic(I use about 3 cloves but then I like garlic), Fresh ginger (2 good slices finely chopped), Fresh chillies, 1 or 2 organic ones or about 5 bird eye chillies should do, Ground cumin, turmeric, coriander and garam masala. About a teaspoon of each except half for the garam masala. Half a dozen or so fresh tomatoes, diced roughly
500g of chicken breast, free range or organic tastes best, Small pot of double cream, Riverford’s is really good. 250g of Spinach

Method:
1.Fry the onion and the garlic in the oil over a moderate heat for a minute or so before adding the ginger, chillies and spices. Cook for a further minute.
2.Rinse and dice the tomatoes and add them to the pan. Turn the heat down and cook for about 5 or 10 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down to a dry pulp.
3.Meanwhile chop the chicken into small pieces and, when the tomatoes are ready, turn the heat up to high and add to the pan. Stir fry until all the chicken has turned white and season with salt and pepper as required.
4.Add the cream and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes.
5.Add the spinach and stir in as it wilts. Serve immediately.

This takes about 20-30 minutes so we put the rice on at the start. Serve on a bed of rice with naan bread.

Pan-fried chicken breast, wild garlic and wild mushrooms with boiled new potatoes  by Bryn Williams from Saturday Kitchen (serves 2)  
Preparation time less than 30 mins, cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients
2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on, salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil, 6 baby onions, peeled and halved, ½ tsp caster sugar, 6 new potatoes, halved lengthwise, 1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped, 50g/2oz butter, 200g/7oz pied de mouton mushrooms (or other wild mushrooms), cleaned and trimmed, 4 shallots, finely chopped, 200ml/7fl oz single cream, 12 wild garlic leaves, finely chopped

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas 3.
2. For the chicken, season both of the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then place, skin-side down, into a hot ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat. Cook until the skin is golden-brown, then add the baby onions and sugar to the pan.
3. Turn the chicken breasts over and transfer to the oven to cook for a further 7-8 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for five minutes.
4. For the potatoes, place the potatoes into a saucepan of water, add salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes, or until tender, then drain off the liquid.
5. Add the chives and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and leave to stand.
6. For the mushrooms, heat a non-stick frying pan until hot and add the butter to the pan. When the butter is foaming, add the mushrooms, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and leave to fry for 1-2 minutes.
7. Add the chopped shallots and cook for a further two minutes.
8. Reduce the heat and add the single cream. Gently heat to bring to the boil, and, once boiling, reduce the heat and add the wild garlic leaves. Stir well and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
9. To serve, pour the mushroom mixture into two serving bowls and place the chicken breasts on top. Place the baby onions around the plate and serve the new potatoes on the side.

May
Whole Poached Salmon with Potatoes and English Asparagus
by James Martin from Great Food Live
James Martin's whole poached salmon makes a tasteful Sunday lunch or evening meal.  Team it with Jersey Royals and asparagus for a light meal that's seasonal in April/May...

Ingredients
1 x 2.5kg whole salmon, cleaned, 1 onion, quartered, 2 Bay leaves, 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 lemon, quartered, freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.  To serve: lemon wedges and Jersey Royal potatoes plus English Asparagus, mayonnaise.

 Method
1. Put the salmon in either a fish kettle or a large roasting tin. Pour in enough cold water to cover the fish. Add the onion, bay leaves, vinegar, lemon, a good pinch of salt and a few twists of black pepper.  Cover with a lid or tin foil and bring to the boil on the stove. As soon as it boils, turn off the heat and leave the fish to stand in the water until it has cooled to room temperature. By this stage, the skin should peel away easily the flesh will be flaky.  Meanwhile prepare and cook vegetables - we love to steam ours.
2. Carefully remove the salmon from its cooking juices and transfer to a chopping board. Scrape off the skin and discard. Put the salmon on a large flat serving dish.
3. To serve, lever off big chunks of fish and serve at room temperature, accompanied with lemon wedges, mayonnaise, steamed English asparagus and Jersey Royal potatoes.

June
Roast Lamb Leg with garlic & rosemary
from Delia
Ingredients
1 leg of lamb, 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced lengthways into about 24 slivers, 2 large stems fresh rosemary, cut into about 24 small sprigs, 1 small onion, peeled, salt and freshly milled black pepper.  You will also need a solid roasting tin with a base measuring 11 x 9 inches (28 x 23 cm) and 2 inches (5 cm) deep. 

For the Onion and Rosemary Sauce: 1 rounded tablespoon rosemary leaves, 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped, 1 oz (25 g) butter, 1 oz (25 g) plain flour, 6 fl oz (175 ml) milk, 6 fl oz (175 ml) vegetable stock, 2 tablespoons crème fraîche, salt and freshly milled black pepper.
1.  Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375ºF (190ºC).   Begin by making about 24 small, deep cuts in the skin of the lamb using a small, sharp knife. Then push a sliver of garlic, followed by a small sprig of rosemary, into each cut, and season the meat generously with salt and freshly milled black pepper.
2.  Next, cut the onion in half and place it in the bottom of the roasting tin, then transfer the lamb to the tin to sit on top of the onion halves.   Cover the tin loosely with foil, then cook in the oven on a high shelf for 1½ hours. After this, take the foil off and let it cook for another 30 minutes.
3.   Remove the lamb from the oven, cover loosely with foil again and allow to rest for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the Rosemary and Onion Sauce.   In a small saucepan, melt the butter and cook the onions over a very gentle heat for about 5 minutes – it's important not to let them colour, so keep an eye on them. While that's happening, bruise the rosemary leaves with a pestle and mortar to release their oil, then chop them very, very finely and add them to the onion. Then continue to cook as gently as possible for a further 15 minutes, again, without letting the onions colour too much.
4.    Next, using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the onions and their buttery juices till smooth, then gradually add the milk, a little at a time, still stirring, followed by the stock, bit by bit, whilst vigorously whisking with a balloon whisk.
5.    Now taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper and let it barely simmer on the lowest possible heat for 5 minutes.
6.    Next, remove it from the heat, then liquidise or process half of it, then return it to the saucepan to join the other half.
7.    Then re-heat gently, add the crème fraîche and pour it into a warmed serving jug. This recipe makes about 1 pint (570 ml) sauce.

We made this recipe with our first piece of "fine" lamb and have never forgotten it. We varied it a bit by letting juices fall on our roasters but you'll just to have buy two to test your favourite recipe....

July
Strawberry & Apple Jam
Recipe from Jennie Beardsley from J B Preserves.
You will need
:  620g ripe strawberries (just under 1.5 lb - eat a few yourself!), 620g peeled, cored and chopped bramley apples, 1k 240g granulated sugar, juice of two lemons.

Recipe
1.  Put 3 - 4 tablespoons of water in a large pan with lemon juice, add  chopped cooking apples and simmer until just soft.
2.  Add strawberries ( quartered if they are large ) and simmer for 10 minutes stirring to prevent sticking.
3.  Add sugar and heat gently until dissolved then boil rapidly, stirring occassionally until between 108 degree c and 110 degree c. If you do not have a jam thermometer you can test the setting point by putting a small amount of jam on a cold saucer to cool. The jam is set when the surface wrinkles when pushed with your finger and when you tilt the plate the jam moves very slowly downwards.
4.  Pour into sterilized warmed jars and seal.

This recipe makes approx 4 x 454g jars which will keep for a year with seals unbroken. Once opened store in the fridge and consume within 3-4 weeks.

It is possible to reduce the amount of apples and increase the amount of strawberries but the setting quality will be affected as apples are high in pectin and strawberries are low in pectin. Lemon juice helps with setting.  You can also use just strawberries and no apples by using an artificial pectin product or "jam sugar" which has pectin added. Jennie would not use additives hence her recipe.  

August
Grilled Lamb Cutlets in Vinegar and Mint on Grilled Fennel with Feta Dressing  by Brian Turner from Great Food Live

Brian Turner's juicy marinated lamb cutlets are served a bed of fennel with a delicious feta dressing.  Fennel is great at this time of year and tastes delicious.  Quick and easy once the marinating is done but good enough for a dinner party.  If you're rushed serve with Red Earth dauphinoise potatoes and some french beans.

Servings: 4
Level of difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour marinating
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
8 tbsp Olive oil, 4 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp Mint, chopped, 12 West Country trimmed lamb cutlets, (bone, fat and skin removed),  1 fennel bulb, cut in 12 slices, 25g Butter, melted, ½ lemon, juice only
100g Feta cheese, diced, 1 tbsp Parsley, chopped, 2 tsp tomato puree

Method
1. Mix 4 tbsp olive oil with the white the wine vinegar and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Place the cutlets in the marinade and leave to stand for 1 hour. 
2.   Plunge the fennel into boiling water for 2 minutes; take out and cool.
3. Preheat the grill.  Brush 2 grill pans with oil.  Put the fennel into one pan and brush with melted butter. Grill the fennel for one minute on each side or until lightly coloured, and season with salt and pepper. Remove the fennel from the pan.
4. Heat the second grill pan. Remove the cutlets from the marinade and brush off any excess. Grill the cutlets until pink. Turn the cutlets over and finish cooking, usually about 2-3 minutes each side. Remove from the heat and leave to rest.
5. To make the dressing; heat the remaining oil in a medium pan. Add the lemon juice and cheese and heat for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the tomato puree and parsley.
6. Arrange the cutlets on the fennel, pour over the dressing and serve straight away.

October
Seafood in Spicy Coconut Sauce by Jill Dupleix from Good Food Live
The spice is undeniably right in this sensational seafood medley with fragrant coconut sauce from Jill Dupleix and Terry Durack

Servings: 2
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
200g fine green beans, 1 tbsp sunflower oil, 1 tbsp laksa paste or Thai red curry paste, 250ml coconut milk, pinch of sea salt, 2 tsp soft brown sugar, 100g bamboo shoots, drained,

For the fish:
1 tbsp sunflower oil, 250g salmon fillet, cut lengthways into two, 4 king prawns, 4 large fresh scallops, cleaned, freshly ground salt and black pepper, juice of 1 lime,

Method
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the beans until tender. Drain and keep warm.
2. To make the sauce, heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan or wok. Add the curry laksa paste and fry over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, salt, sugar, tomatoes and bamboo shoots, stirring constantly. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
3. To cook the fish, heat the oil in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Add the salmon fillet skin-side down and cook for 2-3 minutes, gently pressing into the pan to help crisp the skin. Add the prawns and scallops and cook for 1 minute. Turn the salmon, scallops and prawns over and cook for 1 minute on the other side. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Spoon the cooked beans into the centre of two warmed shallow pasta plates. Divide the salmon, prawns and scallops equally between the two dishes and arrange over the beans.
5. Stir the lime juice into the sauce, ladle it around the seafood and serve immediately.

Pumpkin and Apple Soup
Preparation time less than 30 mins
Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients
2 onions, peeled and chopped, 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed, 1 tbsp olive oil
500g/1lb 2oz pumpkin, skinned, seeded and cubed, 2 baking apples, peeled, cored and chopped, 570ml/1 pint vegetable stock, 300ml/½pint dry cider or apple juice
2 sprigs fresh sage, salt and pepper

Method
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the pumpkin, chopped apples and sage.
2. Cook for another 2 minutes, season well and add the stock and the cider or apple juice. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the ingredients are tender.
3. Liquidise and serve piping hot with crusty bread.

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