Monthly Archives: October 2011

Cornish Delights

I’ve just come back from a lovely, relaxing, mini holiday in Cornwall; a beautiful place with its own fascinating history.

My particular interest in Cornwall, (as you may have guessed) was in its delicious and unique foods! I successfully stuffed myself for 4 days, eating fish, cooked breakfasts, pasties, scones and much more. The delicious choices are endless, there are so many places to eat, and snack. Definitely do not go there on a diet!

Here’s a few of my favourites from our little indulgent trip:

Fresh Fish

Having a long coastline and plenty of fishing villages means that there is a substantial selection of fresh fish and seafood restaurants. Rick Stein has even opened 4 restaurants in Padstow, Cornwall, as well as a fish & chips restaurant and seafood bar in Falmouth. The flavour of the fresh fish was absolutely delicious, the tastiest I have ever had in England.

From top left cockwise: fish pie at Polpear cafe, The Lizard. Rick Stein's fish & chips in Falmouth. Fresh fish sign at The Lizard. Traditional English Breakfast of smoked haddock and poached egg at the Camilla House, Penzance. Crab, prawn and smoked salmon risotto, East Looe.

Cornish Pasties

Although there are some earlier mentions of pasties (dating as far back as 1200), the most known history of pasties is that they were designed for the tin miners to eat at work, so that their dirty hands would not touch the food. The delicious beef, onion, potato and swede filling and main pastry casing would be eaten and the hard crimped pastry crust would be discarded. The traditional Cornish pasty even has Protected Geographical Indication in Europe, so that you cannot label it Cornish if it hasn’t been made there. These days you can get all sorts of fillings, I had a chicken and vegetable pasty in Falmouth, but there are also vegetarian, wholemeal, and cheese ones. As a tourist in Cornwall, the pasty is pretty exciting! I passed many pasty shops in every town, even the small villages seem to cater for the pasty craving visitor!

A selection of pasties from all around Cornwall

Clotted Cream

Clotted cream is made from the fat from full fat milk, boiled off and then cooled. For my non British friends – it is a delicious, thick, sweet cream which is traditionally eaten on a scone as part of a cream tea, with jam and tea. If you haven’t tried this yet, it really is the most scrumptious English treat in existence! There’s plenty of recipes online if you want to try and make it yourself.

In Devon, they spread the clotted cream first and then the jam, however in Cornwall they do it the other way around! I have to agree with the Cornish way!

Selection of cream tea from all around Cornwall

Other

And here’s a few extras I just couldn’t resist posting, plus a few pictures of the beautiful Cornish scenery.

Left: Summer fruit brioche pudding with Cornish ginger ale custard. Right: Beetroot and pear bruschetta with feta and pine nut salad. Both at the Old Sail Loft, East Looe

From top left clockwise: The Lizard, the Lizard cliffs, East Looe at night, St Michael's Mount, East Looe at sunset, The Lizard blackberry bushes, The Lizard cliffs, East Looe boats.

The Peels, Seeds and Stalks.

Am I the only person who thinks vegetable waste is really beautiful? I love the mixtures of colours and textures that comes from the remains of your cooking; the bits you would throw in the bin or compost.

Cookies and Cream Fudge Brownies


Mmm what’s better than a delicious chocolate brownie warm from the oven and a glass of milk?

As it’s the last day of chocolate week, here’s my contribution! This is a yummy brownie I made recently with Oreo biscuits, from Lorraine Pascale’s cookbook ‘Baking Made Easy’. I bought this cookbook straight after watching her BBC series last year and I’ve tried many of the recipes. Baking is really the only type of cooking that I do follow recipes and hers are very simple and easy. I’m pretty confident with my cooking normally, I like to experiment with different ingredients and make up new dishes, but I would never do that with baking because it really is a complicated science and I wouldn’t know where to start. I can’t wait to try her new wheat free peanut butter brownie recipe.

This cookies and cream brownie recipe is nice and easy, and I like the use of oreos instead of nuts. However, I really need to invest in an electric whisk to speed things up! I tend to use less sugar than the 165g stated because I don’t like them too sweet. They always turn out delicious! Chewy and soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. I recommend eating them straight from the oven with a glass of cold milk!

If you have a foolproof brownie recipe I’d love to hear from you! Also, if you recommend any other recipes from this book let me know.

Quorn Chilli Con Carne

No I’m not vegetarian. But I like to experiment with different ingredients and health is very important to me. It is commonly said that too much meat is bad for you, and I am personally quite happy eating vegetarian meals a lot of the time. However, I will definitely eat meat when I go home for Friday night dinner and my mum has made her roast chicken!

A quick, easy and cheap beef substitute is quorn mince. It is high in protein and fibre and low in fat. If you feel like you’ve had a bit too much meat recently, or you want to try out quorn, then here is a quick recipe for veggie chilli con carne. The only difference between this and a meaty chilli is the quorn and stock, so this recipe would work fine with beef mince as well, just leave it to cook for a bit longer.

If you haven’t eaten quorn before, or didn’t like it last time, I dare you to give this a go. Let me know what you think. Similarly, if you often cook with quorn and have any comments or tips, I’d love to hear from you. So far, the biggest thing I’ve learnt about quorn is just that it needs just a bit more spice and flavour than cooking with meat.

Quorn Chilli Con Carne

Start to finish time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
500g quorn mince
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil
1 tin kidney beans
1 vegetable stock cube
1 red pepper, sliced
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1tsp lemon juice
Salt & pepper

Spices:
2 tbsps cumin powder
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander powder

1. Heat the oil in the pan and add the onion and garlic. Gently fry until softened. Add the tinned tomatoes and stock cube and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat.

2. Heat the spices in a separate pan and then add to the pot.

3. Add the quorn, coriander, sliced pepper, lemon juice and the kidney beans and cook for a further 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot with rice, a tortilla and sour cream.

The spices that I’ve used make a delicious combination for any Mexican dish, whether it’s fajitas or burrito, or anything else. I like to make extra and keep it in a jar in the spice cupboard to save time next time!

Do you like quorn? What’s your favourite way to cook it? Are you also a non-veggie who eats veggie food?