Posts tagged 'cooking'

Scones by Andrew

Andrew did some great scones the other day with no additional bicarbonate. He said it was a recipe he picked up at the BBC.

So here is a quick back to basics scone recipe.

675g Self Raising Flour

165 g of butter

75 of caster flour

450ml Milk

Get your oven up to 220.c

Rub butter & flour together

Add a pinch of salt

Add the sugar and stir Gradually add the milk while stirring, stop at the right consistency. Knead lightly on a floured surface. Roll out fairly chunky, it depends on your personal preference . Cut out onto baking paper on a baking tray. Brush the tops with milk.

Bake for 15min circa

If you like add some Sultanas or you can add cheese to make it savoury


When we first opened we served, Tamarind and tonic. It is an iconic drink of Cookie.

You can pep it up a bit with a shot of Gin. Mix in some mint or cucumber and you practically have a Pimms.

Believed to originate in East Africa, tamarind now grows extensively throughout the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and the West Indies. Tamarind means ‘date of India’ In Hindu mythology, tamarind is associated with the wedding of the god Krishna which is celebrated by a feast in November. In Victorian times, the British in Goa kept a tamarind in one ear when venturing into the native quarter to keep themselves free from harassment because the locals believed the fresh pods were inhabited by malevolent demons. This earned the colonials the nickname ‘Lugimlee’ or ‘tamarind heads’, and it has stuck to this day.

Tamarind syryp is a very versitle ingredient for cooking and great in drinks, cocktails and smoothies.

Try it with lime juice and tonic or lemon and mint for example, or blended with coconut milk and ice.

You can use it curries, dahls, chutneys, stews, sauces. Or when making barbecue sauce and jerk seasoning. Use for glazing porkchops, lambchops and seafood.

Great for pickles and jam and In desserts- drizzled over fresh fruit, over grilled pineapple with chili, over coconut flan, fried bananas or sweet plantains. Guava, papaya, mango, and cantaloupe all beg for tamarind and mint.

You can use it in baking to add color and flavor in dark breads, in pastry fillings, muffins and cakes.

Raspberry jam  

4lbs rasps

4lbs sugar

Soften fruit in pan over a low heat (stirring gently occasionally,) for 20mins

Stir in sugar stirring until every bit of sugar has melted.

Bring jam to boil and boil rapidly for 8 mins.

Test for set by putting a small amount on a cold plate and allow to cool (while you do this remove jam from heat or it will over cook). If jam wrinkles when pushed slightly with your finger it is set. If not return pan to boil for a few more minutes and repeat test.

When ready turn off heat and leave to settle for 15 mins. Then pot into warm jars.

Seville Orange Marmalade

2lb(900grams)seville oranges – in shops Jan. – February each year

4 pints water (2.25 ltrs)

1 lemon

4lbs granulated sugar(1.8kg) slightly warmed

1/2 teaspoon butter

6 jam jars,9 inch square muslin

Begin by cutting oranges and lemon in half and squeezing out juice. Add the juice and the water pot. All the pips  and any pith still clinging to the squeezer are put in the muslin square and tied with a piece of string to make a bit of a bag. Tie this to the handle of the pan so that it is suspended in the water.

Cut the peel with a sharp knife into thin shred and add to the pan. Simmer for 2hrs until  soft. Remove bag of pips and cool on a plate. Pour on the measured sugar, keeping a low heat, stir until all sugar is dissolved.

Check this carefully. When you are sure the sugar has melted squeeze the bag of pips over the pan so that all the sticky substance goes into the jam. You can squeeze the bag between 2 saucers. It is a bit messy!!! Stir the pot and turn up heat to  a fast boil.

After 15 minutes take a small spoon of the marmalade an put it on a cold plate to cool.  If it wrinkles when you push your finger against it it is ready. if not, return to boil for another 5 minutes and test again. When you are happy that it is set, turn off heat and leave in pot for 20 mins. Ladle into warm jars and seal tops with waxed discs.


Once apon a time the world was divided into two, those who watched Fanny Cradock and those who ate Couscous.

Our friend Gail just reminded me of how good couscous can be, and how many different types there are. She had two couscous salads ready this afternoon. She had ptitim which is an known as Israeli couscous and the second “normal couscous”

Here are two really quick recipes:

Brown the onions add the ptitim couscous and brown that too, add chicken stock, chuck in some big oyster mushrooms and puy lentils and that is it (truley easy and it is lovely cold too).

The second was “normal couscous which was mixed with pomegranite seeds flaked almond blended with Sev Mamra (chickpeas noodles) coriander and the juice of three limes.

Recipe for Spelt


Spelt (Triticum spelta syn. T. aestivum spelta), Farro to Italians and Dinkle to Germans, is one of the oldest grains. Actually, there are some slight differences (Farro must be soaked, whereas spelt can be boiled straight off), but we will ignore these for the sake of simplicity. Spelt can be traced back to the Bronze Age, from the area of the Fertile Crescent and the birthplace of western civilization.

Spelt is rich in vitamins and is a strong anti oxidant. It contains phosphorus, sodium, calcium and magnesium. It has a low amino acid content, but contains protein, polyunsaturated fats, iron and mineral salts.

Sown in autumn and cropped in summer in an area ranging between 300 and 1000m altitude, spelt does not require rich soils and is grown without fertilizers and herbicides.

We source our spelt from Garfangnana in the province of Lucca, Italy. The Spelt of Garfangnana has an IGP certification, an Italian certification ensuring it is from the area and conforms to traditional standards.

Consorzio Produttori Farro della Garfagnana

Via La Torre Pio

55035 Castelnuovo Garfagnana (LU)


phone: (+39) 0583/65189

Cooking with Spelt

Spelt comes as a husk or milled. If required, you can put it in a coffee grinder and give it a spin to get it to the preferred consistency.

You can add spelt to most dishes as a substitute for barley or other grains to give you a hearty nutty flavour.

Here are the basics of our Farro Soup

The base (soffritto)

Onion, celery and a carrot cooked slowly at a low heat in a few tablespoons of olive oil until your onion becomes translucent and everything begins to sweat a little. Don’t brown it or you will need to throw it. While cooking the soffritto, add diced pancetta or guanciale or, if you don’t have either, use some smoked bacon.


Add plum tomatoes and continue slow cooking for a few minutes then add stock. Sometimes you can leave out the stock, especially if you have used guanciale, and just add water or half a stock cube.

When everything is mixed up nicely and on a slow bubble, add in the spelt and cook slowly with a sprig of thyme or rosemary, or a bit of both, and a couple of bay leaves. Season.

Stir often and check it is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.


Serve with pecorino cheese and a splash of cold olive oil.

Some people might like it with a bit of chilli oil, or Olio Santo (Holy Oil) as my dad calls it.