Category: From The Kitchen

Highly Commended Restaurant of the Year

2016 Seafood Restaurant of the Year Competition

2016 - Highly Commended (2)

We are excited to announce that we have been Highly Commended in the Seafish/The Caterer Seafood Restaurant of the Year Award.

The judging was undertaken by a panel of industry judges who determined that we were in the top 23 seafood restaurants in the UK and judged our restaurant to be Highly Commended.

Our ethos is to only use sustainable seasonally sourced seafood from local waters.
We work very closely with our two local fish suppliers, Wings of St Mawes and Fish for Thought, who we have a great relationship with. We try and only purchase from day boat fishermen, and rely on our suppliers to advise us of the provenance of the seafood and request specifically to purchase only sustainable sourced seafood.

 

More details can be seen at https://www.thecaterer.com/articles/367323/shortlist-for-2016-restaurant-of-the-year-revealed.

Guy’s Chocolate Parfait

Although this dish may look a little complicated, it can be easily achieved and leave you looking pretty good in front of your guests, and lets be honest, who doesn’t love a bit of chocolate.

Lets start off with the chocolate parfait. This should be made a day in advance, as it will need to freeze. Along with the yoghurt sorbet.

Chocolate Parfait

Ingredients:
300g dark chocolate chocolate
1000ml  double cream
200ml water
230g caster sugar
12 free-range eggs yolks

Method:
For the parfait, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, taking care that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.

Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks and set aside. Bring the water and sugar to the boil in a small pan.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale and thickened. Pour in the sugar syrup and continue to whisk for one minute. Whisk the melted chocolate into this mixture, then quickly fold in the whipped cream.

Take two bread tins or any suitable container, this could even be a plastic tub, and line them with cling film. Then pour the mixture in and smooth off the top with a warm spoon so it’s even and flat.

Place into the freezer to freeze overnight,

Yoghurt Sorbet

Ingredients:
375ml water
55g glucose
250g caster sugar
44g lemon juice
310g yogurt

Method:

Begin the sorbet syrup the day before you need to make the sorbet so it has time to chill properly: Combine the water, glucose and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil. Allow to chill overnight.

Pour the yoghurt into a large bowl and slowly whisk in the lemon juice. Continue to whisk gently as you add the sorbet syrup in a slow stream. Whisk continuously as though you were making mayonnaise. Transfer the mixture to a container and place in the freezer. Every two hours you will need to take a whisk and beat the mixture for a few seconds to stop it setting rock solid. Once it has been fully frozen, smooth off the top, and keep in the freezer until ready to use.

Further ingredients:

Dried gingerbread crisps (can be purchased from most supermarkets)
Some small coriander leaves
Seeds from 2 passion fruits

Assembly:

Pull your chocolate parfait out of the fridge, and using a hot knife, cut a slice, about as thick as your index finger, and reserve to one side.

Place the parfait on a chilled plate. Snap your gingerbread wafers into pieces and rest them on the parfait, and try and be as artistic as you can here, this bit will make all the difference. Remember be confident, I believe in you!

Once you’ve been super artistic with the gingerbread, take your sorbet and a teaspoon. Again using that amazing artistic side you’ve clearly just expressed, get three tea spoon scoops, and dot them around on the parfait and the plate.

Next take some of the passion fruit seeds and dress those around the plate, and on top of the parfait. And put on a few coriander leaves.

Now get that dessert to the table and await massive praise for your culinary skill and artistic flair, and obviously enjoy the dessert.

Guy’s Best Christmas Turkey Recipe

Head Chef, Guy Owen shares his best Christmas Turkey recipe….

Personally for me, to get the best result from a roast turkey is to brine it for 48 hours, in a brine containing all of the flavours that we would associate with Christmas, these being orange, bay, cinnamon, clove etc.

This recipe is based on a turkey weighing 5kg (enough to feed around 10 people)

Firstly the brine:-
3 litres of tap water
300g table salt
250g sugar
5 bay leaves
4 oranges (zest and juice)
1 onion cut in half
Two heads of garlic in half
A few white peppercorns
A few coriander seeds
15-20 cloves (depending on how much you like the flavour)
2 cinnamon sticks

Take a large container (one that is wide enough and deep enough to take the whole turkey).

Mix all of the ingredients together and stir until all of the salt and sugar have dissolved.

Place your turkey in there and let it brine for 48 hours in the fridge. (If the turkey isn’t completely submerged in the brine, rotate the bird every 8-10 hours)

After the 48 hour period is up, remove the turkey, pat it completely dry using paper towels, and sprinkle a small amount of salt over the whole bird (make sure it is only a small amount as the brine would have natural seasoned the meat) Then leave the bird, uncovered, in the fridge for an hour (this will help dry the skin out a bit, leading to a delicious crispy, perfect skin)

Now for the cooking.

For a 5kg bird the cooking times are as follows:-
Oven temp – 180 degrees
Cooking time – 3hrs 15 mins
Basing allowance’s – 6 (this means a basting every 30 minutes roughly)

It is always recommended when cooking any roast, to not bake it directly on the metal of the baking tray, this is mainly due to the metal becoming so hot, that it will actually over cook or scald the part of the meat in contact with the metal tray. So slice a couple of carrots, or an onion or something, lay on the base of the tray, and lay the meat on top of this. This will not affect the cooking in anyway, and helps to deliver better flavour and a greater yield of all of those lovely roasting juice’s that’ll be used to make the gravy at the end.

Once the turkey is in the baking dish, lay a few pieces of streaky bacon over the top of the crown (the bacon becomes a natural baster in itself and protects the top of the turkey breast from over cooking quite so fast). Season with a little olive oil, and pepper, no more salt at this point. Then cover all of the turkey in some tin foil. Place into the oven and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes (remembering you will need to baste the turkey 3 times in this period). Turn the turkey around and bake for a further 1 hour and 30 minutes (remember to continue with the basting). This would have taken you to within 15 minutes of the required cooking time.

Now remove the turkey from the oven and turn the heat up to 240 degrees Celsius. Whilst waiting for the oven to heat up to the required temperature, continually continue to baste . Drain off any excess juices and reserve in a pan to make the gravy, then return the bird to the hot oven without the foil on it for fifteen minutes, to brown the skin all over.

Once the skin is all golden brown and crispy, remove from the oven and let the bird rest for at least 30 minutes (preferably 45 minutes). Carve and serve at the table – enjoy!

 

And his Top Tips for Brussel Sprouts….

I love Brussel sprouts in which ever form they come in, but a lot of people find them extremely boring, and only have them at the Christmas day table by way of tradition instead of actually enjoying them. A very quick and effective recipe below to brighten them up and offer something completely different than the usual more traditional ways.

Ingredients:-
2 banana shallots (very thinly sliced)
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 kg Brussel sprouts (very thinly sliced, some supermarkets have sprouts already shredded down like this)
1 large teaspoon of curry powder
2 tablespoons raisins
A good knob of butter
Salt and pepper

Method:-
Add a little butter to a pan on a low-medium heat.  Sweat the sliced shallots down first until tender, then add the garlic and continue to sweat down. Turn the heat up a little and add the sprouts. Cook until soft, then add the raisin, curry powder and butter. Cook out for around 5 minutes on a medium heat. Season and serve immediately.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas.
Guy

Guy’s Recipe for Apple and Cider Souffle

Apple Puree Base

ingredients:

500g apple puree

50g cornflour

Pinch of salt

150g sugar

50ml water.

Method:

Take the cornflour and water, mix these together to form a soft paste, reserve to one side

Add the apple puree, salt and sugar to a pan and heat up. Then when it’s hot, whisk in the cornflour and water mix, and cook out for 1 minutes. Place puree into a container and cool in the fridge.

 

Pear and Lime sorbet

Ingredients:

600g of pear puree

5 limes (zest and juice)

200g sugar

200ml water.

Method:

Place all ingredients into a pan, and heat gently to the boil. Whisk very hard once boiling point has been reached, then transfer to an ice-cream machine and add the juice of half a lemon halfway through churning. Once churned correctly, place in a container and put into the freezer.

 

Apple and cider soufflé- oven 180 degrees.

200g egg whites

75g castor sugar

110g apple puree base

40g cider base

Method:

Cider base:

Take a 500ml bottle of cider and bring it to the boil in a pan. Boil for 1 minute, take off the heat, place in a container and put into the fridge to cool

Soufflé

Take 4 medium sized ramekins, and butter the inner edges. Once butter, add a small amount of sugar to the bottom of the dish and roll the dishes at and angle to line the edges of the dishes with the sugar.

Take a food processor, and whisk the egg whites to medium peek. Once medium peek has been reached, add the sugar to the mix and continue to beat until stiff peek gets reached.

In a separate bowl add the apple puree and cider and using a metal spoon, mix together until fully incorporated together.

Then gently spoon a 3rd of the egg white mix into the apple mix, and beat very firmly (this is to ensure the apple mix is incorporated into the egg mix, don’t worry about knocking the air out of the eggs at this point). Once mixed in, and another 3rd of the mix, and using the metal spoon, gently fold the mixture together,  once this is done do exactly the same for the remaining 3rd of the egg white mix.

Take your lined ramekins, and add your egg mix to fill each one. Gently tap on the base of each ramekin to release and large air bubbles, and using a pallet knife, smooth off the tops. Next place the fill and ready ramekins on a tray and bake at 180 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until they are fully risen.

Take out and serve with the pear and lime sorbet immediately.

Guy’s recipe for Cox apple tarte, calvados raisin and vanilla ice-cream

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The dish is compiled of several elements, so I’ve created this straight forward version of the dish for you to cook at home, this recipe will make two tart, for a dinner party scale up as needed.

For the calvados raisins…

Ingredients:

150 g raisin

150g calvados

200 grams sugar stock (equal amounts of water and sugar, boiled together for 1 minute, then cooled down)

Method:

Mix the raisins, calvados and sugar stock together and allow to soak for at least 24 hours.

 

Now for the tart…

Ingredients:

8 English (preferably Cornish) cox apples

Very good, all butter puff pastry (shop bought is fine)

Vanilla (fresh pod or essence)

Sugar stock (equal amounts of water and sugar, boiled together for 1 minute then left to cool)

Method:

Lay out your puff pastry on a lightly floured surface (remembering it must be kept fridge cold at all times, otherwise the pastry will not puff properly). Now take a small plate or suitable sized round stencil (usually a small saucer does the trick here) and lay it on the pastry and using a sharp ended knife, carefully cut around the plate so you are left with a disk of pastry, and place it back in the fridge on a piece of greaseproof paper, to keep it fridge cold. Continue this until the desired amount of tarte bases are cut.

Now move onto the apples. Peel 4 of the apples, cut them into quarters, remove the pips and cores. Now chop them down into fairly small pieces, place into a none stick pan, with the vanilla pod scrapped in, or a teaspoon of vanilla essence. And cook gently until the apple has broken down and looks a little like apple sauce. Strain off any excess liquid, and either blend the pulp down in a blender, or if you are without a blender, place on a chopping board and chop it right down until smooth. Cool this mix down in the fridge and reserve it to one side.

Take the other four apples, and keep the skin on. Then cut off the apple cheeks and slice them thinly across the apple. Reserve 1 of the apples and cut off the cheeks. Take the cheeks and cut a thin slice off it, then using a small ring cutter, cut a small disc of apple out roughly ½ -1 inch in width.

Now you are ready to assemble. Take out your apple puree and your pastry. Bring your apple slices over and your apple disc. Firstly take some apple puree and spread it all over the pastry giving it a good 1-2 cm in depth layer. Then take your apple slices and spiral them around the tart in an even and clockwise fashion, then place the disc of apple in the very centre of the tart. Once all the tarts are made. Bake in the over at 180 degrees Celsius for 12 minutes.

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Pull out of the oven and leave to cool for just a couple of minutes, you don’t want to serve these straight away as somebody could seriously burn their mouths as a lot of natural sugar would have begun to caramelise. Once cooled, using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the tartes with your  pre-made sugar stock solution. This will give them a really nice glazed look.

To serve, place the cox apple tarte in the middle of a plate, scatter some of the calvados raisins over the top of the tarte and around the plate, also adding some of the raisin liquor to the plate and tarte (obviously if you are cooking for children then this wouldn’t be appropriate, but if it’s just for 18’s and over, keep adding until you feel you are having a good time!!!)  Then simply take a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream and serve it onto or to the side, and enjoy!!

I’d love to see the results of your labours- share your pictures with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Guy

Summer

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Our summer so far has been lot’s of fun, fishing trips, beach parties and the wonderful Zuma even visited… it’s not quite over yet! Come over and join us, create your own version of summer.

Heligan Harvest Partnership

We are delighted to be partnering with The Lost Gardens of Heligan for their two week Heligan Harvest from 1st – 16th October.

Our Head Chef, Guy Owen, will work closely with the Heligan Kitchen to influence the menu throughout Harvest, drawing inspiration and finding harmonious pairings within Heligan’s Productive Gardens, as well as headlining at two much anticipated feast nights on Saturday 8th & 15th October.

“As a chef, the opportunity to work alongside an incredible company such as The Lost Gardens of Heligan is truly a dream come true. Their attention to detail, the hard work and stunning array of heritage fruit and vegetables is second to none. This Harvest celebration is going to be a wonderful way to begin our relationship and promote local, sustainable and heritage produce” – Guy Owen, Head Chef

Dave Richards, F1 Racing Interview. St Mawes, England. 5th June 2015 Photo: Drew GibsonHarvest Feast Nights will run for two exclusive nights, on Saturday 8th and 15th October, with limited places available. The evening is sure to guarantee you an incredible atmosphere right in the heart of The Lost Gardens, teamed with live music and an incredible three-course meal inspired by Heligan’s Heritage and delivered by The Idle Rock’s Guy Owen and the Heligan Kitchen.

The_Changing_Room_-_BoatSerenading diners will be The Changing Room, a beguiling rootsy, Celtic-infused, folk band hailing from Looe, who draw much of their inspiration from the industrial heritage of Cornwall. Award winning vocals along with the melodic tones of an accordion, guitar, harp and banjo deliver a winning combination and unique sound, to perfectly compliment this celebration of food.

Harvest_Feast_TableHarvest Feast Night ticket prices are inclusive of garden admission and it is strongly advised to book your tickets early, as these sell out fast! Both feasts will be based around a fixed menu so please advise at time of booking of all dietary requirements.

Once all bookings are in, we will create a seating plan. If you would like to be grouped with someone not included in your booking, please mention this at the time as we cannot make changes to the seating plan on the night.

To book your place at the Harvest Feast Night table call The Lost Gardens of Heligan reception on 01726 845100. Ticket prices are £35 per person for Heligan Members (not Local Pass holders) and £40 per person for non-members.

All other Harvest activities are free with garden admission, unless otherwise stated.
For more information please visit http://heligan.com/events/heligan-events/harvest-feast-saturday-8th-october 

 

‘Heligan’s Garden’.

 

 

This seasonal dish is the one which really celebrates a proper working English garden in the summer time. You’ll need to have your barbeque lit and ready to go for this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Serves 2

Dish Ingredients

BBQ Sharpe’s Express new potatoes, rainbow chard, globe artichoke, summer truffle, quails egg, heritage carrot, mint.

 

BBQ Potatoes

300ml olive oi

2 stalks basil

2 cloves garlic

2 stalks tarragon

20 coriander seeds

Half a lemon zest

10 x Sharpe’s Express new potatoes, cut into wedges.

 

Method

Take all of the ingredients, except the potatoes and place in a pan and gently bring up to a medium heat. When the tarragon and basil begin to lightly fizz, remove from the heat and set aside, to cool naturally for around an hour; this will give the flavours a chance to develop and permeate into the oil.

After the hour is up, strain off the ingredients and discard, then place the oil back into the saucepan along with the potato wedges. Place this back onto a low heat and leave the potatoes to very slowly cook/confit in the oil. This method will help retain the potatoes natural moisture, meaning you will have a far better product after barbequing.

Once the potatoes are soft to a sharp knife point, remove them from the oil and place on a piece of kitchen towel or a clean J-cloth to remove any excess oi. Allow to cool.

Once they are cool, then place the flat side down on the barbeque, sprinkle with some good sea salt and leave them on for long enough to ensure good strong bar marks are left on them; this is where part of the smoky flavour will come from, plus it looks great! Leave them to sit in a small amount of melted butter and chopped herbs.

 

Quails Eggs

6 x quail’s eggs

3 hen eggs

200g fine breadcrumbs

100 g flour

 

Method

Bring a medium sized pan of water to the boil and also have a bowl of ice water ready to the side. Set a timer to 1 minute 45 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, place your quail’s eggs on it and gently place in to the boiling water, press start on the timer and cook for the 1 minute 4 seconds. Remove immediately when the timer goes off and plunge into the ice water. Leave to cool for around 10 minutes and very carefully peel the eggs to remove all of the shell.

Take your peeled eggs and bread crumb them; first rolling them in the flour, then into the beaten hen’s eggs, then into the breadcrumbs- so the eggs are covered evenly in the fine breadcrumbs. Put to one side.

 

Watercress Puree

2 bunches of watercress

1 bag baby leaf spinach

Butter

Salt

 

Method

Before you start you will need a pan of boiling water ready to go, a bowl of ice water and a good food blender.

To make the watercress puree take the 2 bunches of watercress and pick down the leaves off the main stalk, leaving some of the smaller stalk on is ok.

Reserve a few of the leaves for garnish. Then mix the watercress with the baby leaf spinach and wash well. Then put all the leaves into the pan of boiling water and cook them. You can check to see how they are cooked by carefully pulling a leaf out of the water with a spoon and rubbing between your thumb and finger. If the leaf breaks up its ready to take out, if it forms a ball then it still needs longer.

Once cooked, plunge into ice water to cool off rapidly, then strain off all the water and squeeze the excess out of the leaves using a cloth.

Place the leaves, some salt and a little melted butter into the blender. You will need a little jug of fresh cold water on the side to get the puree to blend. Start the blender on a low speed and gradually increase the speed to full, then start adding some of the cold water, bit by bit, until the puree starts to blend evenly. Blend until smooth, and pour into a container and keep in the fridge until you plate up.

 

Globe Artichokes

1 globe artichoke

2 shallots

10 coriander seeds

200ml vegetable stock

200ml olive oil

200 ml white wine

2 sprigs thyme

1 sprig rosemary

10 white peppercorns

 

Method

Place all the ingredients into a pan except the artichoke. Bring to a gentle simmer and remove quickly, leave to cool down naturally.

Next you must prep the artichoke. You will need a bowl of cold water with a couple of lemons squeezed into it; this will prevent the artichoke from going black once prepped. Start by peeling of the leaves closest to the stalk and go about 4 deep in doing that, then remove the stalk completely.

Using a sharp serrated knife cut off the remaining leaves, being careful not to cut through the core of the artichoke.

Using a spoon, you will need to remove the artichoke heart, which looks like a lot of little wispy strands. You can achieve this by using the spoon and digging it all out. Using a peeler tidy up the rest of the artichoke. You should have something that resembles a naval shape. Place it into the lemon water to remove any excess and black.

Next place it in the cold poaching liquor and cook gently for around 30 minutes

Once cooked, remove from the liquor and cut into wedges (roughly 6)

 

Truffle Mayonnaise

3 egg yolks

200ml vegetable oil

100ml olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

Pinch salt to taste

20ml truffle oil (purchase in most good supermarkets)

 

Method

In a large bowl, place the egg yolks and start to whisk them. Next add the mustard, vinegar and truffle oil- whisk until fully incorporated with the yolks. Then in a steady and slow stream, add the oils whilst continuously whisking until the mayonnaise has formed. If you need to add a little water to loosen then do.

 

Other Ingredients

6 peeled and cooked baby heritage carrots

12 medium leaves rainbow chard (blanched and seasoned with melted butter and chopped herbs)

Some small mint leaves

Watercress tops

Mint oil

Nasturtium leaves

Nasturtium flowers

Grated summer truffle

 

To assemble

Start with a large dinner plate. Take the barbequed potatoes and warm them in a little melted butter, salt and chopped herbs in a pan. Once they are warm drain them off and place randomly around the plate.

Next deep fry the quail’s eggs for around 1 minute, take them out, season with salt and place randomly on the plate.

Then continue the processes with the cooked carrot, artichoke wedges, rainbow chard, watercress tops, nasturtium leaves and flowers.

Then place small spoonful’s of the watercress puree in and around the other ingredients, you want it to all look like there’s no pattern to it all, but the presentation has been thought out to compliment the ingredients and show them off on the plate; after all this is a celebration of what is growing in a garden, it doesn’t all need to look immaculate for It to look beautiful.

Place some small dots of the truffle mayonnaise around on the plate, shave over the truffle and serve with a drizzle of mint oil.

The dish wants to be just warm. I think if it is served to hot it kills the idea of it being a summer salad dish, and too cold and the flavours won’t come through. So just above room temperature is perfect in my eyes

JANUARY KING CABBAGE, FETA, CELERIAC, RAW PEAR, PICKLED LINSEED RECIPE

This February, the Idle Rock’s Head Chef Guy Owen takes inspiration from a commonly used, highly nutritious, but often underrated vegetable- the humble cabbage.

Serves 4

Butter poached cabbage
Ingredients:
1 January king cabbage
175g melted butter
Sea salt

Method:
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and reserve for the puree later.
Take the main cabbage heart and split it into 4 large wedges.

Place the cabbage in a deep cast iron dish, cover the cabbage in 75% butter and 25% water, along with some seasoning and place a lid on the pan. Bake in the oven at 110-120 degrees centigrade for around 3 hours.

Once cooked and cooled, remove the cabbage and pat it down slightly.

Next barbeque or blowtorch it, to give a lovely dark colour and a smoky flavour. Place on a metal tray, and gently pull back the leaves and crumble a little feta between the layers. Close them all back up and bake in the oven for 3-4 minutes to melt the cheese.

Roast cabbage puree
Method:
Using the outer leaves reserved from earlier, cut them down into smaller pieces, and cook them in boiling water until tender. In a heavy based saucepan, add some butter and colour it slightly. Add the cooked cabbage and really roast it off, keep it moving the whole time. When there is sufficient colour, transfer to a blender and blend to a smooth puree.

Celeriac Crush
Ingredients:
1 celeriac
Sea salt
Thyme
Garlic
Olive oil

Method:
Wash the outside of the celeriac thoroughly and place it on a large sheet of tin foil, large enough to encase the whole celeriac. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt, drizzle with olive oil, add the thyme and garlic, and wrap up in the foil. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for around 1 hour 30 mins. Poke with a knife to make sure it is cooked all the way through. If not then continue to cook until very tender.

Leave it to cool on the side. Then un-wrap and split it in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the pulp, discard the leftover skin, and chop up the pulp until fairly fine. Season with a little butter and salt to taste.

Pickled linseed
Ingredients:
100g white wine
100g white wine vinegar
100g sugar
50g linseed

Method:
Boil the sugar, white wine and white wine vinegar together. Place the linseed into a container and immediately pour the hot liquid over them. Cover and leave to pickle for at least 24 hours in the fridge.

To serve
Ingredients:
A couple of stems of cavelo nero
Raw, thin slices of pear
Raw, thin slices of cauliflower
Raw crumbled feta

Method:
Take a large diner plate and swipe some roast cabbage puree down the centre.
Next place the barbequed cabbage on the plate.
Then liberally scatter some of the celeriac crush around the plate.
Crumble some of the raw feta over the plate.
Add the pear slices and cauliflower.
Add the cook cavelo nero and drizzle some olive oil over it all.
Serve immediately

The King of Vegetables

This February, the Idle Rock’s Head Chef Guy Owen takes inspiration from a commonly used, highly nutritious, but often underrated vegetable- the humble cabbage.

January King: Brassica oleracea var. sabauda is a late Victorian heirloom cabbage, which sits somewhere between a Savoy and white cabbage. It is known as Chou de Milan de Pontoise in France and is a winter vegetable, which has been cultivated in England since 1867.The heads of January King are dense and tend to weigh just over a pound and are crammed with vitamins and health benefiting properties. The leaf pigmentation is truly beautiful and almost changes daily, making it a chameleon amid its vegetable comrades. Their overall colour is a blueish green, with flecks of true turquoise, blushes of purple on the outer leaves and streaks of violet on some of the stems.“January King is one of our favourite cabbages in the Heligan Kitchen Garden, not just for its looks and taste, but also because it sits really well in the ground for up to a couple of months; which provides a welcomed extended harvest, perfect for these leaner months” comments Nicola Bradley, Head of Productive Gardens.

We have four vegetarian dishes a day on our à la carte menu, one of which is entirely dedicated to The Lost Gardens of Heligan and their current crop and is simply called, ‘Heligan’s Garden.’ On request, you can also have the tasting menu, based solely on vegetables.

With recent scientific research indicating that five portions of fruit and veg a day are good for you, but ten is even better and could even prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide every year; the need to showcase the mighty vegetable is even more significant than before.

“Our focus on vegetarian food is to show the versatility and beauty of nature, working with Heligan Gardens gives us direct access to vegetables at their best. Not only are we showing how delicious vegetarian food can be, but also working hard on sustainability within Cornwall,” comments Guy.

On the menu at The Idle Rocks this month is, barbequed January King, stuffed with feta. Celeriac, Cavolo Nero, raw pear and pickled linseed.

Please click here for the recipe, if you wish to try this delicious dish at home for yourself.

A Pre-Incan Relic to Satisfy Your Taste Buds! Tubers and Taramasalata

This month saw Head Chef, Guy Owen taking one of Heligan’s and indeed one of the worlds, lesser-known tuberous vegetables to London for an exclusive fine dining evening, at the prestigious Relais & Chateaux Headquarters in London.

Mashua – Tropaeolum tuberosum – commonly known as tuberous nasturtium, is a root crop that originates from the Andes Mountains of South America, specifically in the Titicaca basin of Peru and Bolivia.Mashua is a member of the nasturtium family with long twining stems on which three to five lobed leaves form and commonly grows up to at least 8 and possibly up to 12 feet tall if given something to climb. In the autumn mashua produce attractive trumpet-shaped red/orange flowers and are fast growing in cool, wet weather. Evidence exists of ancient use of mashua, as far back as 8000 years ago, with introduction to Europe as circa 1827.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan have been growing this unusual root as a small demonstration crop for almost 20 years; nodding to our Victorian predecessors and their intrigue for oddities in the garden.

All parts of the plant can be eaten raw or cooked; with the underground tubers the most frequently consumed part. The raw flavour of mashua is likened to a strong radish, which packs a warm punch. It tends to be more common to eat mashua cooked which produces a result similar to turnip, which is favoured and easier on the western palate. The flowers have large nectaries and are sweet with a bit of aniseed flavour and its leaves are delicious as a spicy salad green leaf.

The tubers can reach up to 4 inches long and have a shiny, waxy skin that cleans easily and it is these that Guy used in his taramasalata, mashua, smoked mackerel and parsley velouté canapé, for the exclusive Relais & Chateaux night in London. He will also be using this wonderful crop on the menus in coming weeks.

Pickled mashua

Mushroom Tortellini with Heligan Black Salsify (Scorzonera) Recipe

In the second of our collaborations with the Lost Garden of Heligan, we share our Junior Sous Chef, Lawrence Snowden’s special Mushroom Tortellini Recipe with Black Salsify (Scorzonera).

mushroom-tortellini-with-heligan-salsify-recipeServes 4

Ingredients for Duxelle mix:
250g chestnut mushrooms
250g button mushrooms
200g peeled chestnuts
50g butter
1 garlic clove – minced
1 banana shallot – finely diced
100ml Port
Salt
Black pepper
3 sprigs tarragon
1/2 bunch chives
Cep puree to bind

Method:
Blitz all mushrooms in food processor. Add mushrooms, garlic, shallot and thyme to hot pan and sauté. When pan is dry add port, continue to cook until almost all the liquid is gone. Meanwhile roast the chestnuts in foaming butter, once brown drain and chop finely and add to mushrooms. Add chopped herbs. Transfer into muslin cloth, tie up and hang for 12 hours until excess liquid has drained. Fold in cep puree to bind.

Ingredients for Cep puree:
500g ceps
500g button mushrooms
100g butter
100ml cream
100ml milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Method:
Colour sliced ceps in pan with butter. Once coloured add button mushrooms and sweat mushrooms. Once soft add cream and milk. Bring to boil and reduce slightly. Blend, check for seasoning, and add lemon juice.

Ingredients for spinach pasta:
150g 00 flour
150g spinach puree
100g egg yolk
Pinch of salt

Method:
Make spinach puree by blanching spinach until soft, cool quickly in iced water then drain. Squeeze out excess water and blend in food blender.
Put flour, spinach puree and salt and blend in food processor, add egg yolk until incorporated.
Take out and knead with your hands to bring pasta together. Cling film and leave to rest for at least half an hour in fridge.

To assemble the tortellini:
Roll out the pasta into sheets using a pasta machine. Divide the pasta dough into quarters. Work with one piece at a time and keep the other pieces covered. Run the dough through a pasta roller on progressively thinner settings until you have a sheet of paper-thin pasta. (Setting #6 on a Kitchen Aid pasta roller attachment.)
Shaping round tortellini: Cut the sheet into rounds using a 3″ round cutter, spacing the rounds as close together as possible. Gather the scraps into a ball and put them with the remaining pieces of dough to re-roll later.
Place 35g of filling in the middle of each round of pasta. Dip your finger in the bowl of water and run it along the edge of the round to moisten. Fold the dough over to form a half moon, then draw the two corners together to form a rounded bonnet-shape. Press tightly to seal. Toss with flour, set aside on a baking sheet with semolina and cover. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough, re-rolling the scraps.

Ingredients for roasted salsify puree:
5 large sticks of salsify – peeled and sliced
100ml butter
100ml cream
100ml milk
50ml water
Lemon juice to taste
Salt

Method:
In a large pan roast the salsify in hot foaming butter until golden brown and soft, stirring regularly. Add cream, bring to boil and blend. Add milk and water to puree consistency.
Season and add lemon juice to taste.

Ingredients for mushroom and Madeira sauce:
1 banana shallot
1 clove garlic
1 sprig thyme
100ml Madeira
75g button mushrooms – sliced
100ml cream
Milk

Method:
Sweat shallots, garlic and thyme in a pan. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until soft. Add Madeira and reduce by half. Add cream, bring to boil and blitz. Add milk to light sauce consistency.

Ingredients for basil oil:
2 bunches basil
50ml olive oil
50ml veg oil

Method:
Firstly blanch basil in salted water until soft, quickly cool down in iced water and drain. Squeeze out excess water.
Blend all ingredients and hang through muslin.

Ingredients to garnish:
250g oyster mushrooms
3 chestnuts – peeled and sliced thinly.
1 punnet of basil cress.

To Assemble:
Place tortellini in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Meanwhile warm the cep and salsify puree and spoon salsify puree onto the plate. Place dots of cep puree around the plate.
Sauté the oyster mushrooms in a hot pan, once soft finish with a little bit of butter and season.
Place tortellini in centre of the plate, placing oyster mushrooms around it.
Warm mushroom and Madeira sauce and drizzle around the plate.
Scatter sliced chestnuts around the dish, drizzle the basil oil around generously and finish with the basil cress.

Read more about Black Salsify (Scorzonera)

Scorzonera (Black Salsify) Should be better known and grown!

This winter sees The Lost Gardens of Heligan and The Idle Rocks celebrate heritage produce in the most fitting way possible, by incorporating one of the world’s lesser-known vegetables within the hotel’s exclusive winter menu.

Scorzonera is a root vegetable seldom seen in supermarkets or on restaurant menus outside of Europe. Often known as Black Salsify, serpent root, viper’s herb and viper’s grass; Scorzonera is a real culinary delicacy, with a unique subtle flavour reminiscent of oyster and asparagus. It is notoriously hard to harvest owing to its delicate and deep, uniformed black skinned roots.Originating in the Mediterranean, Scorzonera was foraged and used by the ancient Romans as well as the Greeks and cultivated sometime around the 1500s, where they were used for ornamental, medicinal, and culinary purposes.“Each year we always have the fun challenge of seeing who can harvest the longest Scorzonera without breaking it, as they are incredibly delicate and so deep rooted. I imagine it’s for this reason that so many people shy away from growing this wonderful root vegetable and it can be quite time consuming if you grow a lot of it like we do here at the gardens.” Nicola Bradley, Head of Productive Garden.Scorzonera has many health benefits including the ability to lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, stimulate hair growth, increase circulation, improve numerous elements of your digestive health, increase the metabolism and positively affect bone mineral density. It also contains significant amounts of fibre and is one of the best dietary sources of insulin, which reduces the concentrations of harmful bacteria in the gut and has a positive effect on the immune system.Scorzonera roots keep well in the ground all winter long and are still good to eat right through until the beginning of spring.  Any roots left in over winter will produce tender shoots and can be cooked like asparagus and come spring the pretty yellow flowers can also be steamed and eaten.Heligan’s Scorzonera maxima were harvested on the 21st December and is going to be part of the vegetarian dish on the Idle Rock’s winter menu. Sous Chef Samira Effa and Junior Sous Chef Lawrence Snowden have designed the dish, which will include roasted Heligan Scorzonera, mushroom tortellini, Jerusalem artichokes and kale.

To read more about our collaboration with The Lost Gardens of Heligan here.

See Guy’s recipe for Mushroom Tortellini with Black Salsify (Scorzonera) here.

Thanks to Albert Savage for another great selection of images.

Medlar Jelly Recipe

In the first of our collaborations with the Lost Garden of Heligan, we share Head Chef, Guy Owen’s Medlar Jelly Recipe.  Totally simple and totally delicious.

img-20161207-wa0000

Ingredients
750g Medlars (It is important to note that the medlars should be well ‘bletted’ before use)
1 small granny smith apple
½ lemon juice and zest
1 lime zest
1 small shot of sherry (25ml)
280g jam sugar/castor sugar

Method

img-20161207-wa0006Wash the outside of the medlar, then cut them into quarters and place into a medium sized pan. Literally cut them in quarters and put them in, no need to skin them or anything.

Add sherry, lemon, lime, apple (skin and core as well). Then cover with enough water so the medlar just start to float, but only just.

Put them onto a high heat and bring to the boil. Once they start to boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and leave to cook for around 1 hour.

img-20161207-wa0005In a colander, lay some cheese cloth down so it covers the whole colander, P
lace it over a deep bowl, a
nd pour all of the contents into it. It is very important at this point that you just leave it all alone. Do not try and push the fruit to extract all of the juices as you will end up with a cloudy jelly, and you don’t want that.

Leave everything in the fridge to strain off overnight.

The following morning take the strained liquid. You should have around 500ml of liquid.

img-20161207-wa0007Place liquid and sugar into a pan and bring to the boil. Take a
sugar thermometer and heat the liquid until it reaches 104 degree Celsius. To double check to make sure the jelly is at the right temperature, take a very cold plate (maybe put it in the freezer or fridge for a few minutes), pour a little spoon of jelly on the plate, allow to cool and if it is ‘set’, or ripples when you touch it, it is ready.

Following that it is a simple case of transferring to clean jam jars for storage. Keep in the fridge for up to 10 months.

img-20161208-wa0000At The Idle Rocks, our diversity with this amazing, very under used product is endless. This year we will be introducing dandelion to the jelly. We will take the yellow flowers, pick the individual petals and add them to the hot jelly mixture and then leaving them to set in the jelly, which not only offers great colour, but also a little tiny peppery kick.

 

img-20161208-wa0001-copyThe best use for medlar jelly is with cheese or as part of a ploughman’s lunch.

Read more about Medlar: The Forgotten Fruit

The Forgotten Fruit: Medlar

As you may have read, we have teamed up with The Lost Gardens of Heligan, home to the Finest Productive Gardens in Britain, to celebrate Great Cornish food. This collaboration sees the best horticultural practises and heritage produce being showcased by our chef, in the heart of Cornwall. This November marked the start of this relationship and our Head Chef, Guy Owen, is using the much understated and almost forgotten, medlar fruit.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0014.JPGHeligan’s hardy ornamental Medlar Nottingham, sits proudly espaliered in the historical Melon Yard and boasts beautiful white blooms in late spring and early summer.  Its fruit is characteristically tart if eaten raw, but makes pleasantly flavoured jellies and can be used in desserts once fully ripe.

Medlar whose name originates in France, were a favourite of both the Greeks and the Romans but it was the Elizabethans and Victorians who were its biggest admirers. They aren’t the most attractive of fruit and owing to the fact the fruits should be allowed to rot before eating, it is no wonder why they fell out of favour among consumers.

Medlars tolerate most soils and do well as long as the soil is fertile and well drained. Their leaves and flowers are easily damaged in strong winds so a warm sheltered spot in full sun or partial shade is best; the Melon Yard a perfect example. Heligan’s medlar gets a good pruning in the winter, which helps to maintain a healthy shape and encourages good flowering and fruiting for the following season.

medlar

Medlars are commonly ready to pick in late October to early November, when they are about 1 to 2 inches in diameter; it should be noted that at this stage they are not fully ripe or palatable. The fruit can be left on the tree well into autumn to develop flavour and benefits from the first frost to aid ripening. Cornwall’s mild climate cannot guarantee the fruit receive this, therefore traditionally Heligan’s medlar are stored eye downwards in trays in their Apple Store.

The fruit’s flesh softens, turns brown and sweetens usually about two or three weeks after harvesting; this fermentation process is called bletting and was coined by the botanist John Lindley in 1848, around the time that the medlar was at the precipice of its popularity within society. Bletting allows the cell walls of the fruit to break down, converting starch into sugars and decreasing the acid and tannins, simply put- making a hard, bitter fruit into a sweet one.

medlar-photo-credit-albert-savage-2

Heligan’s medlar were harvested on the 7th November and spent the next two weeks in the ‘bletting stage’ in their Apple Store, before making their way over to our Head Chef, Guy Owen, who has now transformed them into a delicious jelly to accompany our locally sourced cheeses on our cheese board.  See Guy’s recipe for Medlar Jelly here.

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