Blog & Recipes

News, Recipes and things to enjoy and look forward to

News

Paradise Foods is providing great food to takeaway – just come along and see what you would like to eat and take home that special dish. We are open from 10am until 2pm Tuesday to Sunday each week at Daleside Nurseries, Killinghall HG3 2AY.  

Paradise also provide special bespoke Hampers for you to collect for that special dinner party at home. Just email  enquiries@paradisewithfrj.co.uk or call on 01423 755196 to make your arrangements. 

It is healthy and nutritious food from an Airstream Wagon situated in a beautiful Garden Centre, a safe and delightful place for you to collect those special dishes that will inspire your taste buds and enjoy beautiful surroundings when you feel the need for some fresh air!

The beautiful plants at Daleside Nurseries will also restore your equilibrium.

Every week we will be giving you a great recipe to make you feel good you can prepare at home. Also the recipe will be versatile so you can tailor it to your own personal taste. 

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Chicken & Oregano Patties with Mozzarella, Asparagus & Broad Beans

At this time of year when our weather seems to be cooler than expected I am always delighted to see the resilience of Oregano and experience the delight of this flavoursome herb.

Oregano is a flowering mountain herb related to Marjoram, sometimes referred to as Wild Marjoram.  It is a perennial and seems to be fairly resistant to our climate even though it has mediterranean origins.  Like most herbs, the flavour is in the leaf and can sometimes be more powerful when dried than when used from fresh.  It has warm, aromatic and sensual flavours and the leaves are stunning when put through salads. I  love this herb and grow it in abundance.

this recipe is for Chicken and Oregano Patties.  Once again this recipe can be built on and extended to suit your individual requirements. 

For 4 Starter size portions, you will need:

4 Chicken Thighs

50g Smoked or Parma Ham

1 Onion or 4 finely chopped Spring Onions

Zest of 1 Lemon

4 Tinned Anchovy Fillets

20g Brown Breadcrumbs

A Handful of Chopped Oregano – approx. 10g

1 Egg

Black Pepper

1 Tablespoon of finest Olive Oil

1/2 Pint of Chicken Stock

1 Tablespoon of Flour

To Garnish: Sliced Mozzarella, Asparagus and Broad Beans and plenty of fresh Oregano

Bone out the chicken thighs and mince (or finely chop) the chicken, ham, anchovy fillets, breadcrumbs and onion.  Mix well and add the lemon zest, pepper and herbs.  Separate the egg, which the white until soft, mix the yolk into the chicken mixture and lastly the whipped egg white.  (The whipped egg white ensures that the patties are light and soft when cooked.). With a little flour, shape into small round patties.

Place the olive oil into a small roasting tin, heat through and place the patties in the roasting tin and give them a good shake so they don’t stick!  Put them through the oven at 180c – 200c, dependant on oven variation, for 20 – 25 mins.  Remove from the oven and take out the patties, keep them warm.  Place the chicken stock in the still warm pan.  reduce by half with a squeeze of lemon juice and pour over the patties.

Serve with sliced Mozzarella, Broad Beans, fresh Asparagus and Lemon Zest.

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In Search of the Perfect Loaf!

Having for years made my own bread domestically, I recently decided it was taking up too much of my time.  I bought a bread machine on the recommendation of many friends but found having to poke the paddle out of the centre of the finished loaf exceedingly naff and the appearance ruined!

With the excitement of our hospitality industry opening up again, Harrogate has been amazing with venue’s like the Fat Badger, The Yorkshire Hotel, William and Vic’s and many more offering such imaginative and creative outside spaces in which to consume their well established great food and drink.

I came across Tilly Peppers on Cold Bath Road now run by a lady called Jessica and received such a warm and vibrant welcome from her.  A young and creative menu serving imaginative Breakfast and Lunches, such as her Cowboy Beans with Pulled Pork and her Falafel with Spinach and Mango Chutney.  Her lovely homemade breads and available to take away or eat in.  These breads are different flavours with imaginative fillings.  Quite delicious!

Across the road is Manna Bakery.  A very efficient looking and commercial shop where I bought a Sourdough Loaf that was perfect in every way, available alongside Croissants and happy looking Preserves.  Who needs a bread machine?!

At the bottom of Cold Bath Road is Gron, a Scandinavian Cafe and takeaway, the name meaning quite literally Green. It is now coming into its’ own unique style as the rules relax further.  This is well worth a visit to experience a Beetroot, Avocado and Pickled ‘Poke’ Bowl – eat out with a difference!  Or perhaps a Gron Breakfast Bagel with a Vegan Sausage Pate, Avocado, Mozzarella, Spinach and a Cashew Mayo.

These delightful young Cafe’s seem to be a new way of eating with good fresh ingredients and different breads which is so exciting and will hopefully give Harrogate a whole new culinary reputation.

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Creativity at its Best

Since outside hospitality has been permitted, Harrogate has got its vibe back!

There are so many small hospitality businesses popping up, exciting Deli’s with pavement seating springing up everywhere.  On a grander scale Astro turf is making an appearance as never before.

Don’t forget with the amenities that are locally offered, takeaways are still a safe option to be enjoyed within your bubble in this lovely weather.  It has been a saving grace giving hospitality a kick start back into life again and I think we are all looking forward to May 17th when we can safely enjoy what we locally do so well with all our super hostelries and eat indoors.

For the moment, outside dining can be enjoyed by us all and bearing in mind in warmer climes lighter food is favourite.  This weeks’ recipe is a Spring Vegetable and Herb Delice.  All my recipes I like to think are versatile and this dish is great to go with a BBQ when entertaining.  You essentially make the base cake and pile it high with vegetables with a little chilli or aioli to finish off.  It suffices as an accompaniment or a dish in its own right. 

You will need:

1 Medium sized Hispi, pointed cabbage

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

120g Sourdough Crumb

15g Parsley

10g Tarragon

500g Philadelphia Cheese or goats Curd

1 Egg

 A Pinch of Chilli Powder (Optional)

A Grating of Nutmeg

Method:

Cut the cabbage into 4 and season and oil it.  Place in the oven at 200c for 20 mins.  The cabbage should be crunchy.  Remove the outer burnt leaves and chop the centre of the cabbage finely.  Add the goats curd or cheese.  In your food blender wizz your green crumb with your parsley and tarragon (or any other fresh herbs you have to hand).

Add the cabbage mixture to the egg, season with the chilli and nutmeg.

Place in a silicone lined mould, approx. 120cm.  Place in the oven for 25 minutes at 160c.  Remove from the oven and fill the top of the cake with fresh vegetables and herbs.  Pipe on chilli aioli, mayonnaise or spiced yoghurt.

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Grab your Rug & Thermals!

It used to be the case when dining in expensive and elegant restaurant that the waiter would provide you with a stool to sit your grand handbag on!  It was of course then in certain circles that the bag was an exclusive design.  With times changing and at present with outside dining only, restaurants are using every inch of fresh air space that they have.  When all the excitement has died down will your designer rug replace the handbag stool?

These are exciting times in the hospitality industry , apart from restaurateurs fighting for survival and needing all the support they can get, Cafe culture is developing in all shapes and sizes.  I am so looking forward to sampling some of these imaginative venues and I am sure out of this will blossom great seasonal offerings.

Fresh Asparagus is now starting to appear alongside the first shoots of Lovage.  Lovage is such valuable addition to the garden, it is a fiercely strong perennial, wild or cultivated, and its’ seeds when in flower make a great garnish.  Its leaves are a terrific flavour and its’ roots braised in a cream sauce make a fabulous accompaniment.  It is a very English plant with great historic culinary interest.  Beware a little goes a long way!  What about Asparagus and Lovage Soup, a warming and delicious dish to eat late at  night after the pub followed by a delicious Mushroom Tart.  (Only the stalks should be used to make the Soup, tips being left to garnish the Mushroom Tart with bacon or salad.)

You will need:

33g Unsalted butter

68g Shallots, finely chopped

150g Flat Mushrooms – gills removed and peeled

50g Dried Morel Mushrooms (Reconstituted in a little brandy)

100ml Whipping Cream

5 Egg Yolks

Method:

In a small saucepan melt the butter and soften the shallots until translucent over a medium heat.  Slice the flat mushrooms and add then with the morels to the pan and cook for 5 – 7 minutes until the pan is almost dry.  Add the cream to the pan and reduce the volume by 1/4 over a medium heat.  Allow to cool slightly.  then add 18ml of the juice from the dried mushrooms and the 5 egg yolks.  Blend until smooth.  Place the mixture into your pastry case and bake in the oven for 5 – 7 minutes until set at 150c.  These can be made in advance and heated through and very versatile with whatever you serve with it at that time of night!

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Watercress – A Hard Act to Follow!

This common Brassica I always feel is somewhat overlooked, yet it has amazing health benefits and is packed with nutrients.  It is high in antioxidants and its taste outshines lettuce when used as a salad base.

We love to use Watercress as a great base or accompaniment for many of our dishes.  Especially this time of year when Spring is in the air but the temperature is still a little contrary!

This weeks recipe is for a Watercress Mousse.  Not only is this a delicious way of serving this great leaf it also lends itself to many additives.  We have put it with artichoke, spring onions, asparagus and added a little Dragon Fruit for interest!  It sits in a chilled Watercress Soup / Sauce.  The list of things you can build on with this dish makes it very versatile and healthy.

Watercress Mousse:

100g Watercress

50g White Wine Vinegar or White Wine

50g Water

60g Philadelphia Cream Cheese Light

3g Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Powder

40g Mayonnaise

2 Softened Leaves of Gelatine or Agar

Wizz the watercress with the white wine and water liquid in your food processor.  Fold in the cream cheese.  Add the salt and mustard powder and then the mayonnaise.  Soften 2 leaves of gelatine, add them to your mix.  Leave to set in round moulds .

For the Watercress Soup / Sauce you will need:

1 Shallot

60g Celeriac

100g Watercress

1/2 Pint Water / White Wine

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 Pinch of Nutmeg

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon of Natural Yoghurt

Sweat off the shallot and celeriac in the olive oil and cool.  When soft, blitz with the watercress and add the pinch of Nutmeg.  Correct the seasoning and chill down.  This is served cold and is simply delicious with the mousse that sits in the centre of the bowl.

Note that we also have a great fondness of Wild Watercress that can be found by streams and water edges with slow flowing water – this really is super healthy!  Please double check that is it watercress and always wash well when collected!

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Hot Cross Buns

Good Friday is a day to eat Hot Cross Buns!  It is said the Monks baked Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday , hence the cross on this spiced bun as a symbol of celebration.  It was said if you hung a Hot Cross Bun from your kitchen rafters on Good Friday the bread would remain fresh and mould free throughout the whole year.  The cross was supposed to expel bad spirits and people who shared a Hot Cross Bun were to enjoy a close friendship and bond for the coming year.

It was Elizabeth 1st who decreed the Hot Cross Buns should only be sold on Good Friday and no other day.  While all this is superstition and legend, what is interesting is traditionally in this country high days and holidays are celebrated by spice in our food.So considered a treat!

Unfortunately the supermarkets have started making these treats available all year round so therefore a confusion has arisen over when we would like to eat them.  I would suggest that my making them ourselves it adds a sense of occasion and enjoyment for the family on the day.

So, at Easter, we would expect to eat for Breakfast on Good Friday a freshly boiled chicken’s egg with onion skin in the water to turn the shell of the egg yellow and then paint a face on the it, followed by warm Hot Cross Buns.  In your Hot Cross Bun you might like to put chocolate, marmalade of cheese, to name but a few suggestions!  On Easter Saturday it is a time to consume all those lovely chocolate eggs and great celebrations on Easter Sunday with Simnel Cake – Apostle Cake.  This is a fruit cake with marzipan running through it and a ball of marzipan on top to represent an Apostle.  Please note no icing! (Icing is just for Christmas!)

But once again mixed spices run through all these foods and by making your own you can determine how spicy you would like these delicious morsels to be.  Ginger, Mixed Spice, Cinnamon, Fennel & Nigella Seeds – get experimenting!

You will need for approx. 12 Buns:

300g Strong Bread Flour

6g Salt

1 Tsp Mixed Spice 

300g Softened Butter

45g Soft Brown Sugar

Zest of 1 Lemon

5g Dried Yeast

1 Egg

100ml Warm Water

25g Mixed Peel

500g Currents

Mix the dried yeast with the warm milk and allow to stand. beat in the egg and sugar.  Sieve in the flour, salt, mixed spice and add in the softened butter.  Add the zest of lemon and sugar.  Mix well.  Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film and prove for 1 hour after which add the currents and mixed peel.Knock back and knead well.  Make the mixture in to 60g balls and put on a silicone lined baking tray to prove.  When they start to prove, mix 300g flour with 300g water and place in a piping bag, then pipe a cross on top of each bun.  Leave to continue proving until doubled in size.  this proving time will depend on the warmth of your kitchen – it doesn’t need to be too hot!  Cook at 180c – 190c for 30 minutes.  

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A Time to think about Celebrations – A Chocolate Easter Cake

Easter will soon be upon us, now is the time to start preparing.  Last year it came and went without ceremony, this year it is a time of hope and positive forward thinking. Europe has always had the most elegant chocolate shops run by skilled craftsmen which are a joy to behold.  Their wonderful creations are bought for their sheer style and elegance and of course, their wonderful taste.  These bastions of skill are very hard to replicate.  Harrogate however has the good fortune to have the wonderful Tearooms at Betty’s which produce their Yorkshire versions.

My suggestion for an Easter Cake recipe is a Sacher Torte, produced by the famous Sacher Hotel in Vienna.  Invented by Franz Sacher in 1832 it’s beauty and quality has stood the test of time.  Many recipes have ground almond in them, this recipe has been replaced with almond essence which makes a lighter version. Using Gluten Free flour this recipe can be enjoyed by all.  This makes a wonderful celebration cake as it can be decorated as you wish giving you own personal style to this sensuous creation.  There is nothing more beautiful at Easter than the first signs of Spring flowers which we use to decorate the cake along with chocolate nibs.

110g Butter

110g Caster Sugar

5 Eggs – separated

175g Plain Dark Chocolate, best quality

1/4 teaspoon Almond Essence

110g Gluten Free Flour

1 Dessertpoon of of good Apricot Jam

110g Plain Chocolate

4 Tablespoons of Water

2 Teaspoons of Glycerine

75g Icing Sugar

You will need a 7.5 inch cake tin or a slightly larger one, dependant on how you would like the cake.  Line the tin with silicone paper.

Melt 175g of chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water. Do not overheat.  Put your butter and sugar into a food processor and wizzes well!  Add the 5 egg yolks and beat to a smooth mixture.  Add the melted chocolate and fold into the mixture and fold through.  When fully incorporated whisk the egg whites until stiff and mix together.  Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 35m-40 mins, depending on oven variation.  When cooked allow the cake to stand, cool in the tin for approx. 1 hour.  It will be a little fragile due to the Gluten Free flour.

Melt the Apricot Jam over a gentle heat.  Brush the cake with the jam generously.  Leave to dry.  Melt the 110g plain chocolate and 4 tablespoons of water over a simmering pan of water.  Stir in the glycerine and the 75g sieved icing sugar.  This should be a nice, slightly runny consistency.  Leave to set and decorate as you wish with mini Easter Eggs or fresh flowers. 

You can make smaller, individual versions of this cake using individual rings, decorated with a raspberry sorbet and a tuille biscuit – a super dessert!

 

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You can never have too much Lemon!

It was a sunny day when the lemon trees arrived at Daleside Nurseries, what a joy to behold!  As they were unpacked the aroma was exotic.

This tie of year we start to think about lemons.  maybe it is the colour, but certainly the flavour enhances our spring foods.  The lemon that we so take for granted and is so beneficial to our diet is used for culinary and non culinary purposes throughout the world and is one of the few fruits that give a sweet and sour taste.  It is a rich source of vitamin C and has many other health benefits. In Morocco for instance, lemons are preserved in jars or barrels of salt.  The salt penetrates the peel and rind, preserving them, which makes an invaluable contribution to so many dishes.

Our speedy recipe for Preserved Lemon:

Take three 3 unwaxed lemons, washed well and place in a pan of cold water.  Boil them until they are soft right the way through.  This should take about 20 minutes.  Cool.  Cut in half and scrape out the pith and the flesh.  Push through a sieve, discarding the pips and pith.  Finely shred the skin and add to the sieved skin.  Add a teaspoon of salt and place back in the boiled water – just enough to cover the lemon, and then reduce.  This makes a lovely lemon preserve to keep in your fridge and to enhance your daily cooking.  

Lemon Tart and Savoury Lemon Jelly are great standby’s for starters and desserts, fish, chicken steamed with lemon, garlic and herbs.

Lemon Verbena is a herb and makes a wonderful lemon tea and takes the smell and taste of a lemon.  Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme, certain Mints and Magnolia Grande Flora tree flowers all have the same beautiful flavour.  Bergamot, which I adore, are grown in Italy and are termed as an orange although they are very similar to a lemon.  The tree blossoms during the winter and the juice is less sour than the lemon.  the perfume is sensational.

These are all tools for cooks’ to value and to be enjoyed.

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The Anticipation of Spring

When fresh peas in the pod start appearing in our greengrocers’ shelf along with delightful baby broad beans, one really knows that spring has arrived.

One of Britains favourite Legumes marries so well with all our little baby hedgerow herbs that are beginning to show their faces.  Sweet Cicely, Wild Garlic, baby Nettles to name but a few enhance the flavour and add an earthiness to this great Legume.  High in many nutrients and anti oxidants , they are a great source of protein.  At the height of the season the best and prime peas are often frozen which enables us to enjoy them throughout the winter months.  As a cook I would always make the best use of them.  At this time of year the fresh peas are so sweet and sensational that they hardly need any cooking and indeed I use them as a garnish to many of my dishes. Their versatility is almost unique.  This Pea Tart recipe is great for a supper that can be made in advance and you can add to it as much or as little as you like, such as Parma Ham, smoked salmon, walnuts, cobnuts, leeks or preserved citrus.  Once again I think this is so important to be able to put a variation on a basic recipe. 

Ingredients for my Pea & Wild Herb Tart:

A Puff Pastry Shell Case

200g frozen peas

80g white wine

7g salt

60g mayonnaise

80g Philadelphia whole fat cheese

80g whipped cream

2 leaves of gelatine of your choice

A small bunch of fresh mint and sweet cicely

Garnish:

Parma Ham, Peas, Broad Beans, Wild Herbs, Vinaigrette

Method:

Pour boiling water over the peas.  Drain and let stand for a minute.  Drain well again and squeeze any excess water out of them.

Pop them in a food processor with the salt and cream cheese.  Warm and soften the gelatine on the white wine and blend with the peas.  Fold in the mayonnaise.  Chop the mint and sweet Cicely with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and add to the mayonnaise.  Finally fold in the cream.

For into your crips pastry shells and place in the fridge to set up.  Garnish with the fresh Legumes, Parma Ham, Vinaigrette and other ingredients of your choice.

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Salty Fingers, Samphire, Leek & Mussels

For those not in the know, Harrogate has a wonderful new fish shop, Tarbetts on Commercial Road.  Their service is exemplary and their fish a joy to behold.  Salty Fingers is a coastal succulent (salicomia).  Like Samphire, that any good fishmonger sells, it likes salty marshes.  It has a delicious salty, juicy flavour and complements fish dishes beautifully as well as many other foods.

Leeks – where would we be without them?  A fabulous vegetable that can be the base for a sauce, especially with Mussels, or as a starter, leek vinaigrette or as a vegetable crumble with lentils.  The list is endless and they are always something I have in my flavour tool box.  This weeks recipe shows Poached Cod, Leek & Mussels finished with Salty Fingers, Samphire and Sea Vegetables.  Broken down it is a very simple ndish to execute.

1 piece of Cod

1 Leek

100g Cream

1 Knob of Butter

Splash of white wine

A Handful of Mussels

A Bunch of Thyme

1 Shallot

Season the Cod and steam or poach, this should take no longer than 5 mins and the Cod should be opaque.  Wash and finely chop the Leek, sweat it off in a little butter and a tablespoon of water until very soft.  While the leek is cooking, wash the Mussels thoroughly and discard any that are open, have a hole or have cracked.  This is important as these are NOT usable.  Heat a pan until very hot, add the white wine, chopped shallot, some Thyme and the Mussels.  Put the lid on.  Steam the Mussels in the white wine until they have all opened.  Allow to coo.  remove from their shells.  Strain the juice in to the softened leeks and blend.  Pass through a sieve, add the cream, bring to the boil and finish with a knob of butter.

Place the finished sauce on the plate.  Place the Cod in the centre with the Mussels around.  Garnish with washed salty fingers, samphire and sea vegetables.  At this time of year you may like to serve with Jersey Royals.  To finish your meal, what about some specialist cheese from the aptly named Cheese Board opposite the fish shop.  A cheese lovers Heaven!

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Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic grows in abundance in Yorkshire at this time of year.  It loves damp conditions, especially around rivers and streams or boggy woodland.  It has green pointy leaves not to be confused with a snow drop leaf!  It is at its best now before the white flowers come as it’s flavour is mild and fresh.  The flowers however look very attractive garnished with peas and young vegetables.  In a few weeks time you will spot it everywhere in this area and the smell becomes overpowering with the leaf becoming strong and coarse.  It has other names, such as Bear’s Garlic, Ramsoms and Wood Garlic.  The leaf makes amazing Pesto that can be added to most types of cooking for flavour enhancement.  The young shoots are great to be included in herby, leafy salads or stirred through warm vegetables for another dimension.  It also makes a lovely Green Oil that always looks very pretty on a plate along with a little Balsamic Vinegar to create a flavour balance.

This weeks recipe is for a Wild Garlic Crust, placed on some seared Lamb which makes for great complimentary spring flavours, or can be used on top of a Vegetable Lasagne, fish, stuffed Butternut Squash to name but a few ideas.

For a Wild Garlic Crust:

A Handful of Wild Garlic Leaves

100g White Soft Breadcrumbs

50g Gruyere Cheese

50g Melted Butter

Pulverise the garlic leaf with the melted butter, add the breadcrumbs and cheese, blend until smooth and mix to a ball.  Place between 2 sheets of acetate and roll.  Set up in the fridge and then cut to the desired size.

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The Versatility of Celeriac or Celery Root

This is an underrated root vegetable.  Because Celery tastes strong and herbaceous , especially the leaves, many people could be put off using the root.  The root in actual fact is a marvellous chef’s tool.  It has a milder flavour and therefore is great served raw as a remoulade, fabulous for puree, a great soup thickener and best of all a great substitute for flour in this case.  I steam the root whole in the oven with oil, garlic and seasoning for approx. 1 hour at 180c.  Of course this is dependant on the size of the root.  Once cool, it can be sliced wafer thin and used as perhaps you would use pasta sheets.  Therefore, it is great for stuffing, making vegetable gratin’s and enhances lentils and pulses.  It’s very texture and light flavour is a great adage to any food.  Please note that it will discolour so art is recommended that if not baking, once peeled it is placed in acidulated water.  If you are using it as a base for a sauce or puree, cook it in a little milk which will then preserve the white intensity.  

Smoked Haddock (or white fish) Wrapped in Celeriac with pickled Vegetables and Greens.

(serves 2)                                          

1/2 Celeriac

1 Large Fillet of Smoked Haddock

1 Leek

200ml Cream

A Little Olive Oil

Seasoning

1/2 Fennel

A Handful of Mixed Herbs

1/4 Cabbage

2 Florets of Purple Sprouting

A Little Sliced Cucumber (Batons)

A Handful of Peas

1 Tablespoons of White Balsamic 

Parmesan Shavings

Method:

Slice the fennel and cabbage very thinly and place with the florets of sprouting, cucumber and peas in the white balsamic for 1 hour.  Slice as thinly as you can your steam celeriac.

Chop the leek and cook it in the cream with some seasoning until soft.  Cool.  Lay out the celeriac on a piece of Cling Film.  Place the leek mixture on top of the celeriac and place the fish of your choice down the centre.  Wrap into a neat parcel and place in an oiled oven proof dish.  Place in the oven at 180c for 15 -m20 mins, dependant on oven variation.  remove from the oven, cut in half widthways and place on a plate with mixed herb leaves and pickled vegetables.  Grate some fresh parmesan over and if desired serve with a tomato or turmeric sauce.

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A Heart for every member of the family for Valentine’s Day.

This is an old fashioned Valentine’s Ginger Cheesecake with a heart for every member of your family.  February 14th celebrates St Valentine, the patron saint of love and romance, also know as the feast of St Valentine.  What could be nicer than to make a delicious cake for a special occasion that all the family can enjoy to celebrate?  It is an appreciation of special people in your life.

A proper cheesecake, in our opinion at Paradise, is a baked cake and not some gelatinous mousse!  At the beginning of the century New York had a great reputation for what we call original cheesecake.  This is a similar recipe.  Adding a ginger puree and yellow sultanate the base and using pastry rather than biscuit (which I always felt was cheating!). To garnish this cake, we made some red jelly hearts out of rhubarb juice mixed with red orange juice.  Not only is this fun and pretty but once again cuts the richness of this very moreish cheesecake!  This cake keeps well and it is important not to make it too thick, otherwise the richness of it detracts from the enjoyment.

For the Pastry Base

225g Plain Flour

55g Icing Sugar

140g Unsalted Butter

1 Egg

Pinch of Salt

You will also need for the start of the filling

A Handful of Yellow Sultanas

1 Dessertspoon of Ginger Puree

Rub the butter in to the dry ingredients using your food processor. Add the egg.  Remove from the machine, bring together and chill for 30 mins.  Grease a 30cm x 20cm tray with a 3cm depth.  Roll out the pastry and line the tray.  Mix a handful of yellow sultanas with a dessertspoonful of ginger puree.  Spread on top of the pastry.

For the Cheesecake

375g Philadelphia Cheese

3 Eggs

1 Egg Yolk

45g Sugar

75g Double Cream

Zest & Juice of 1 Lemon

A Couple of drops of Vanilla Essence

Mix the cream cheese with the eggs, sugar and cream together in your food processor.  Blend well and pour on top of the pastry.  Place in the oven at 140c / 150c for 30 – 35 mins, depending on oven variation.  It should be slightly risen and firm.

For the Jelly

250ml Red Orange Juice

250ml Rhubarb Juice

70g Sugar

4 Leaves of vegetarian Gelatine

boil together and reduce by half.  Add the gelatine leaves.  Cool and pass through a sieve. Place on a tray lined with acetate or use a non stick tray. Set up in the fridge.  Cut out hearts to decorate.

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Green & Tangy

Alexander is a weed with a terrific flavour but beware when foraging not to mix it up with similar weeds!You find it growing from February to June and the young stems have a unique flavour experience.  In the Spring they are the biggest and boldest plants in the hedgerow.  They are a type of ancient cultivated food that the Romans brought to Britain, hence it is known as a Mediterranean plant.  It appears in hedgerows, woodlands and along road sides and the stems are similar to celery and has yellow or green bell flowers. Every part is edible including the stems and leaves.  Having said that in these times if you don’t have the access to look for this lovely weed the taste is similar to celery leaf which I often use with the zest of a lemon. We love the flavour of spelt cooked without seasoning and chopped Alexander put through it.  The marriage produces a very spring like flavour.  Roasting cabbage ins a herb pesto or making a stuffing to include spelt and Alexander, again is something different.  While some of us have more time on our hands at the moment, experimenting in the kitchen for that special dinner can be creatively satisfying and good fun!  This week is my dish of Green Pasta, Stuffed Cabbage, Wild Mushrooms & Crusted Brill.

To Start with:

Green Pesto

Put your herbs and leaf into your blender and choose a good Olive Oil blending approx. the same quantity of oil to herb.  You can then season the taste by popping in a little Cider Vinegar to produce acidity.  Correct the seasoning.

The Green Pasta

The green pasta can be made adding the green oil from the pesto to replace the oil in your favourite recipe.

The Stuffed Cabbage

Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, trim the core, plunge into boiling salted water and cook for a couple of minutes until the leaf is soft, not overcooked.  Dry on a paper towel.  Chop a shallot, mushroom, cooked spelt and a handful of chopped Alexander .  Cook together in a little olive oil.  Mix together and place on the cabbage leaf.  Roll together and tie with string to make a parcel.  roast in the oven with a little olive oil.  (Alternatively quarter you cabbage, spread over with Alexander pesto.) Roast both versions in the oven for 8 to 10 mins until soft, but still has a crunch, at 180c  – 200c.

Wild Mushrooms

Not always readily available so if this is the case use Shittake mushrooms, sliced and sautéed off.  This adds a great flavour dimension.

Crusted Brill

For the crust, fry a handful of breadcrumbs in a knob of butter or oil with grated lemon zest until crispy.  Add a teaspoon of chopped Alexander through it.  Place on top of your cooked, seasoned fish.

This can all be brought together with a fine, plain tomato sauce.

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Some Like it Hot!

A little heat in our daily diet is nourishing and comforting.  As I have mentioned before, my extremely talented Grandmother would always have a glass of Crabbie’s Ginger Wine after a winter walk, often followed by a hot and spicy vegetables soup, stacked with ginger.

Ginger has been cultivated for centuries.  It’s popularity as a spice gradually spreading from China and India to the west.  Today it is probably one of the most used and universally popular spices.  From the tuberous root stock joints which are laterally compressed this produces amazing flavour that once again can also produce oil that is used for medicinal purposes.  Ginger is now very common place and perhaps because of its availability slightly undervalued.  It belongs to the same family as Turmeric, again a root that serves many health benefits.  

As a Chef I would not be without fresh and dried ginger in my larder, it is one of my flavour building blocks.  As a strong root it is a great base for complementing herbs such as Lemon Thyme, Crushed Lemon Grass, Coriander and Cardamom Seed to name but a few. So when slow cooking, such as Stews, Belly Pork and Stir Fries, grated ginger should be part of one’s Aromats.

Dried ginger is a great additive  to cakes and puddings, again stimulating other spices and sugars.  With out, ginger can be addictive!  The more you use it the more compelling it becomes.

Last week I gave a recipe for Seville Orange Marmalade, this week I. have a Yorkshire Parkin with lots of ginger and a Seville Orange Marmalade topping.  Yorkshire Parkin could be classed as a gingerbread with oatmeal and has a wonderful nutty flavour and is great to eat as a sweet or a savoury.  A very competitive cake in Yorkshire households and so therefore many different views, recipe’s and opinions on it!  A lot of people will argue that it should have treacle and dark sugar but I prefer to produce it with a lighter more fragrant and modern touch.

For the Parkin

225g Medium Oatmeal (not rolled oats!)

110g Self Raising Flour (can be Gluten Free)

Pinch of Salt

200g Golden Syrup

110g Butter

110g Light, Soft Brown Sugar

3 Large Teaspoons of Ground Ginger

1 Beaten Egg

1 Tablespoon of Milk

To make the batter, place the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan and melt down, do not boil.  Stir in the oatmeal, flour, ginger and salt until all is blended together.  Add the beaten egg and milk and pour in to a 8 inch square silicone paper lined tin.  Bake at 150c for approx. 35 – 40 minutes.  Allow to cool before removing from the tin.

For the Frosting:

100g Softened Butter

4 Tablespoons of Icing Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Crabbie’s Ginger Wine

Add together and beat well.  Spread on top of the Parkin and top with Seville Orange Marmalade.  Delicious!

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The joy of Oranges in January!

The Seville Orange is prized for making British Marmalade as it is higher in pectin than the usual sweet orange.  Introduced to Spain and many other parts of the world, but native to south east Asia there are many varieties of this beautiful, bittersweet orange.  For example some are used in essential oils and herbal medicines.  The peel can be used in the production of Bitters and also dried, ground and candied.  There is just so much you can do with this wonderful orange as well as the much publicised Orange Marmalade that we make at this time of year.  Some recipes seem to me to be complicated with others being relatively simple.  The red orange is far more beautiful to look at but in my opinion does not have the versatility of the Seville.The Seville’s depth of flavour is a wonderful accompaniment to fish, meat and vegetable dishes.

For a Classic Seville Orange Marmalade:

1 x kg Seville Oranges

Juice of 1 Lemon

2 x kg Granulated Sugar

Wash the oranges well and place in a pan with approx. 2 Litres of cold water.  Cook slowly whole.  When cool, remove the oranges from the liquid, reserving the liquid.  Cut the oranges in half, spoon out the insides and place in a piece of Muslin.  Tie with string forming a bag.  Shred the oranges and place back in to the reserved liquid. Add the sugar and the muslin bag and the lemon juice.  Bring to the boil for approx. 10 – 20 minutes until it sets. (To check it has set, drop a little of the marmalade on to a saucer with a drop of water and it should wrinkle.). Remove the muslin bag and discard.  Place your marmalade in warm, sterilised jars.

For a Red Orange Gel:

4 x Red Oranges

100g Water

130g Sugar

Approx. 1 Teaspoon of Agar, according to packet instructions. (Optional.)

Zest one of the oranges and juice all four.  Add all the ingredients together.  Reduce by half, forming a syrup and pour through a sieve.  Add the Agar for a gel or just use the syrup.

Cheese Fritters with a Red Orange Dressing:

150g Chickpea Flour

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder

3 Tablespoons of finely grated Manchego Cheese (or similar).

Chopped Parsley

Chopped Thyme

2 Spring Onions, Chopped

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Place the flour in a bowl with the spring onions and baking powder.  Season.  Add 2 ml of cold water and mix together to form a batter.  Stir in the grated cheese and the thyme and parsley.  Heat the oil in a sauté pan and drop the batter Ibn as if you were making scotch pancakes.  Serve the fritters with a salad of your choice – avocado, crunchy leaves, red chicory and finely diced fennel is delicious.  Lastly your red orange gel and dressing.

For the Dressing:

1 Teaspoon of Mustard

2 Teaspoons of Sherry Vinegar

4 Teaspoons of Olive Oil

Red Orange Syrup

Best together to form the Dressing.

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Saute of Summerstone Beef & Anchovy with Winter Vegetables & Spelt

In this present time we are all trying to lead a safe and healthy lifestyle.  A Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the best and easily produced in most households.  We have always believed that one great Olive Oil, the best you can afford, is all you need to use.  Even for fried eggs it is delicious! It has such huge health benefits as does the humble Anchovy.  A small fish that is full of flavour, salt cured, packed in olive oil and canned it produces the 5th umami taste.  They are great to add to pesto’s, vegetables and meats, fish dishes and cheese.

Summerstone Estate Belted Galloway is locally hand reared in Nidderdale.  It has the most amazing flavour coming from our local terroir.  Red meat such as this is a great treat to be eaten once a month.  With a plethora of herbs and vegetables that you are able to use seasonally, a tin of anchovies with this beef produces a sensational tasty dish. We would recommend that this dish is served with Organic Pearled Spelt, a great source of of fibre and protein.  Once again you can add your own creativity, subject to availability to a recipe like this.  You will need:

140 Belted Galloway Rump, diced

1 x small tin of Anchovies, chopped

1 x Shallot

A Handful of Chopped Herbs

80g Cooked Spelt

100g Root Vegetables, raw

3 or 4 Mushrooms

4 Kallettes or 2 baby Pak Choi

1 Tsp Pesto

4 Cherry Tomatoes, seared and skinned

32g Coconut Milk

1 Tsp Tomato Ketchup or Puree

1 Tbs Olive Oil

Method:

Warm a Saute pan and add the olive oil, shallot, diced Beef and root vegetables.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the juices start to amalgamate.  Add the anchovies, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, kallettes and coconut milk.  Cook for a further 2 minutes.  Add the tomato puree or ketchup and correct the seasoning.  Mix in the chopped herbs with the spelt.  Serve together. Serves 2___________

Broccoli, Cashew, Parsnip, Maple, Mixed Kales and Crouton. 

This dish works well on its own or a great accompaniment to Smoked Haddock in a pesto cream, Hot Smoked Salmon or Parma Ham.  It has super versatility! Why not try a lime based cocktail to drink alongside?


For 1 generous portion you will need:

20g Piccolo Parsnips, washed, peeled and steamed until they have a bite (Approx. 6 mins).

1 x Tablespoon of Olive Oil

20g Unsalted Cashew Nuts (Not Roasted)

60g Broccoli Tenderstem, steamed for 1 minute

20g Mixed Kale, steamed very lightly

12g Julienne (fine strips) of Spring Onion

30g Herb Pesto (Oil and a bunch of fresh herbs whizzed up in a blender)

15g Maple Syrup

15g Mixed Herbs

Handful of Croutons

You will see from the picture we have the last of the Nasturtium seeds, flowers and leaf. These can be substituted with Coriander, Basil or Mint flowers for flavour.

Method:

Place the olive oil in a pan with the parsnips and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the Cashews for 1 ½ minutes.

Add the Broccoli and Kale, Herb Pesto and stir well.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the Maple Syrup.

Garnish with the Mixed Herbs, Spring Onion and Croutons.

NB The Croutons, if you would like to be a little adventurous, can always have Marmite, Cream Cheese and a squeeze of Lime for that umami taste!

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Wild Mushroom, Coconut Rice, Celeriac, Kale, Turmeric & Humous

Add a sparkle to a seasonal November dish!

This is designed to be a starter, vegetarian main course or a side dish.

The quantities are for 1 and for that special occasion I recommend it being partnered with a fabulous quality sparking wine.  Made just outside of York it is Brut Dunesford Pinot Gris 2018.  This wine has a refined dryness, slightly sweet on the palate and well balanced.  With the Turmeric in this dish makes a huge sensation in the mouth.  How exciting it is to be able to produce local food partnered with local wine!  It is rare and quite special.

For the Recipe I have taken:

35g Mixed Wild Mushrooms

50g Cooked Rice – either Jasmine or Brown

½ Lime, Zest and juice

1 x Celeriac with 4 discs cut out, approx. 12g each

20g Humous

15g Variegated Kale

10g Fresh Turmeric, finely grated

10g Fresh Ginger

Chopped Fresh Mixed Herbs and flowers for garnish

1 Tbsp White Balsamic

Salt / Pepper to taste

¼ Green Chilli

10g Coconut Milk

Tsp Olive Oil

20g Butter

Peel the Celeriac and with a medium size cutter cut out 4 discs.  

Poach in a little water (or stock or your choice), butter, salt and pepper until cooked.

Sauté off the mixed mushrooms in a little oil, salt and pepper.

Finely chop the green chilli, taking care to remove the seeds.

Stir the chilli in to the rice with the coconut milk, grated ginger and a sprinkling of chopped herbs.

Mix the grated turmeric in the white balsamic.

Pour the lime juice over the kale.

Build the celeriac, rice and mushrooms on a plate, finishing with the humous and placing the turmeric on top.

Garnish with the remaining ingredients. 

This is delicious!

It can also be prepared in advance which always helps a busy cook!

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Chestnut, Yellow Beetroot, Clementine and Sticky Ham.

As we are beginning to get a little Christmasey here at Paradise takeaway (for the moment!) to cheer ourselves up during these quiet November days, the seasonal and warming flavours of this dish produce an excitement on the palate and makes us think of all the good things to come!

A large glass of Ginger Wine enhances the earthy, healthy flavours making once more a very versatile dish that can be extended or made more delicate, as required.

For the ingredients, per portion, you will require:

2 x Chestnuts

1 tsp Oil

Mixed Herbs

1 x Yellow Beetroot

A Bunch of Watercress

1 x Clementine

150g Cooked Bacon Chop

1 x Tsp Tapenade

5g Fresh Ginger

20g Maple Syrup

50ml Orange Juice

2 x Slices of Shallot or 10g

Method:

Roast the Beetroot at 200c for 30 mins with a little oil, garlic and mixed herbs.

After 15 mins add nipped Chestnuts.  (Skins cut to stop them exploding!)

Cook for a further 15 mins and remove the beetroot and chestnuts from the oven.

Peel the clementine and remove pith and segment.

Cut the fresh ginger into thin strips.

Slice the bacon into 1cm thick strips.

Put the orange juice, maple and shallot in a pan and bring to the boil.

Add bacon and ginger.

Cook until nicely caramelised, approx. 15 mins.

Add the beetroot and chestnuts.

Arrange on a plate with lots of dressed watercress and the Tapenade.

A dollop of Sour Cream or Yoghurt adds a touch of luxury.

A Recipe for the dressing:

15g Honey Cider Vinegar

1 tsp English Mustard

30g Olive Oil

Mix together.  This will make a great dressing for the watercress and will stand you in good stead kept in the fridge for future use.

Once again, adding fresh herb such as rosemary, coriander and basil will always enhance further.