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                                                                               FROM OUR COUNTRY KITCHEN
     For some time now, Pauline Austerfield has been publishing recipes in the Village Voices magazine, under the heading 'From Our Country Kitchen'.
     This is a chance to see them all.  They are shown below in date order - the most recent first. 
     Click on the month of the recipe that you require, or here for an alphabetical index.  
     Artwork by Pauline as well. 
      2017   July          Watercress Soup
                                Watercress and Orange Salad
               June          Gooseberry & Elderflower Pastries
                                Gooseberry Sauce
               May          Asparagus, Potato and Feta Salad         
               April          Rhubarb Syllabub
               March        Linseed and Treacle Bread
               February    Chicken Marengo
               January      Gratin of Pumpkin and Barlotti Beans

      2016  December  Chocolate Crunch Torte with Stem Ginger and Figs    
               November   Cinnamon Apple Cake
               October      Piccalilli
               September  Plum and Almond Pasties
               August       Spinach Tart
               July           Strawberry Cream Dessert 
               June          Cromer Crab Cakes
               April           Double Ginger Cake
               March        Blackberry and Apple Tarts
               February    Moules Marinière
               January      Tarte Tatin
      2015  December  Beetroot Fritters with Gravlax
               November  Stuffed Peppers
               October     Aubergines  -  Baba Ghanoush
                                                  -  Aubergine Chips
               September  Peperonata
               August       Peach Melba
               July           Onion Tart
               June          Strawberry and Cucumber Salad 
               May           Cauliflower Cheese with Leek
                                Cauliflower with Creme Fraiche. 
               April          Hot Cross Bun, Toffee and Banana Pudding
               March        Macaroons
               February     Lamb Hotpot
               January      Marmalade

      2014  December   Pumpkin and Chicken
               November   Broccoli Soup with Cheese
               October      Harissa paste (chillies)
               September  Courgette Frittata
               August       Gooseberry Fool
               July            Blackcurrant Cup Cakes and Jam.
               June           Lebanese Beetroot Salad
               May           Almond Biscuits
               April           Spring Vegetable Risotto
               February     Vanilla Cheesecake
               January       A Comforting Soup (poultry & veg.)
      2013  December   (Windfall) Apple and Quince Cake 
               November   Rice Pudding
               October      Pumpkin with Coconut
                                 Peppers and Prawns  
               September  Courgette, Tomato and Ricotta Bake
               July            Russian Redcurrant and Raspberry Pudding.
               June           Meringues.  
                              + Lemon Curd & Orange Parfait
               May            Banana and Carrot Cake 
               April            Rhubarb Muscovado Sponge
               March         Coq au Vin
               February     Celeriac and Walnut Remoulade    
                              + Caramelised Celeriac with Pancetta
               January       Candied Citrus Peel

      2012  December    Pumpkins and Squashes 2
               November     Bramley Apple Gingerbread
               October       Chicken Thighs with Sweet Chestnut Stuffing     
               September   Tomato with Goat's Cheese and Rosemary 
               August         Plum Tart
               July             Elderflower and Gooseberry Jam
               June            Broad Bean Hummus and Broad Bean Soup..
               May             Asparagus with Almonds
                               + Asparagus Pasta with Lemon
               April            Chocolate Orange Cake
                               + Marmalade Ice Cream
               February      Gratin of Beans and Bacon
                               + Baked Onions with Parmesan and Cream
      2011  December     Pumpkins and Squashes  
               November      Bolotti Beans with Sage and Borlotti Hummus
               October        Chaffcombe Apple Pudding and Peperoni alla Piemontese
               September    Greek Courgette Pie and a Courgette Side Dish 
               August          Pastry with Quark and Vegetable & Blue Cheese Tart
               July              Clafoutis 
               June             Wimbledon Cake 
               May              Pork with Rhubarb
               April              Nettle Rarebit
               March           Rocket and Potato Soup
               January         Pheasant with Apples

      2010  December     Roasted Pumpkin Soup
               November      Hotpot of Sausages and Apples 
               October         Poached Pears 
               September    (i) Half Tomatoes and (ii) Courgette Cake 
               August         Greek Salad and Feta, Potato & Rosemary Bread
               June             Elderflower Cordial
               May              Rhubarb and 'Heaven and Earth'
               April              Lemon Curd
               March           Rabbit and Apple Casserole
               January         Vegetable Soup

     2009  December     Focaccia Bread    
               November     French Onion Soup and Shallot Tart
               October        Baking Potatoes
               September    Damson Compote, Baked Figs, Blackberries & Apple
               August         Summer Fruit Trifle        
               July              Lettuce Soup 
               June             Samphire
               May              A Garden Salad (with Asparagus)
               April              Vegetable Shepherd's Pie
               March           Nettle Soup and Winter Carrots     

      2008  November     Pumpkin Stuff 
               October        Cooking Apples
               September    Courgette and Mint Soup
               August         Tomato Soup and Parsley Butter
               July              Mint Sauce and Pesto Sauce
               June             Asparagus Spears
               May              Ice Cream
               April             Leek and Potato Pies
               February       Cabbage Stuff 

      2007  December      Red Cabbage
               October         Pickled Pears or Quinces
               August          Courgettes
               July               Potato and Broad Bean Salad
               June              Strawberries
               May               Potatoes Lyonnaise

    January 2017.   Gratin of Pumpkin and Borlotti Beans.
     This is a delicious, vegetarian recipe from Nigel Slater that uses our homegrown produce.  If you haven't any dried borlotti beans then a 400g tin will do.
               1 small onion, halved and sliced lengthwise
               2 tbls olive oil
               7oz prepared pumpkin or squash
               4oz dried borlotti beans
               4oz gruyere cheese, diced
               125ml double cream
               ½ oz grated Parmesan
               salt and pepper
    The night before, put the beans in a bowl and add plenty of water.  
    To prepare, rinse and cook in unsalted water for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender.
    Warm the oil in a pan and add the onions. When softened, add the diced pumpkin and continue cooking until the pumpkin has started to colour. 
    Heat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
    Grease a baking dish and scattered over the diced gruyere.  If you are using tinned beans, rinse them well. 
    Mix the beans, pumpkin and onion and put on top. 
    Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the cream and scatter with the grated Parmesan.
    Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the cream is bubbling around the edges. 

    February 2017.   Chicken Marengo  (serves 4).
     My mother used to make this dish and it's a very tasty way to cook chicken.  In the original recipe you add cooked prawns, but I have never fancied the 
     combination. White wine is often used instead of sherry.  My recipe includes celery and carrots, so a side vegetable isn't required.
            4 tbsp olive oil
            2 large skinless chicken breasts
            6oz onions, finely sliced
            6oz carrots, sliced
            2 sticks of celery, sliced
            4oz chestnut mushrooms, sliced
            1 pint chicken stock
            1 small glass sherry
            1 400g can chopped tomatoes
            1 tbsp tomato puree
            2 bay leaves
            Salt and pepper
       Pre-heat the oven to 180C / Gas 4.
       Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a flameproof, lidded casserole. Halve the chicken breasts and add to the pan, cooking for 10 minutes each side. 
       Remove and keep warm.
       Add the remaining olive oil and onions and cook for 5 minutes, then add the carrots and celery. 
       Stir to prevent sticking, cook for 10 minutes then add the mushrooms.
       Cook for another 5 minutes then pour in the sherry, stock and tomatoes.  Stir in the tomato puree, add the bay leaves, then bring to the boil.
       Take off the heat, cover and put in the oven.
       Cook for an hour, take out and check if the carrot is tender. If not, return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
       I usually serve this with baked potatoes and sour cream. Depending upon their size,  I suggest you put the potatoes in the oven before the casserole.

     March 2017.   Linseed and Treacle Bread  (from Nigel Slater)              
       This might not sound very appetising but I've made it a couple  of times and everyone thought it very tasty. 
       It's particularly good with a winter vegetable soup and is best served warm or toasted.
       I replaced the white bread flour with wholemeal and I couldn't find barley flakes or linseeds but it still worked out fine. 
               Rye flour 200 g 
               Strong white bread flour 200 g
               Barley flakes 50 g
               Sea salt 1 tsp
               Black treacle 2 tbsp
               Warm water. 350 ml
               Fast acting yeast 1 x 7 g sachet
               Rolled oats 40 g 
               Pumpkin seeds 35 g
               Sunflower seeds 25 g
               Golden linseeds 30 g
               Sultanas 75g
     Warm your mixing bowl.  Combine the flours and barley flakes in the bowl and add the salt. 
     Put the black treacle in a jug and stir in the warm water and yeast. 
     Pour into the flours and add the oats,seeds and sultanas.  Mix well using a wooden spoon. This will be a very moist dough. 
     Scrape it out onto a floured board.  Wash out the bowl, dry and add a little flour.  Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise for an hour or so. 
     Pre heat the oven to 220 C / Gas 8 and put a baking tray in to heat.                
     When the dough has risen transfer it to a greased baking tray, shape it into a loaf then put it onto the heated tray in the oven . 
     Cook for 35 minutes until the crust is crisp.   Remove and cool on a rack before slicing. 

    April 2017.  Rhubarb Syllabub (from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook).     Serves 6-8
     Juice and zest of 1 orange
     100 g caster sugar 
     500 g forced rhubarb
     2 cardamom pods
     2 star 

     For the Syllabub
     284 ml double cream
     Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
     3 tbsps dry sherry or white wine
     100 g caster sugar
     Preheat the oven to 190C /Gas 5.
     Warm the orange juice in an roasting tray and dissolve the sugar in it. 
     Cut the rhubarb into 3 inch pieces add to the juice with the orange zest and spices.  Cook in the oven for 15 minutes. 
     With a slotted spoon remove the rhubarb pieces from the juice and then boil up the juice until it thickens.  Allow to cool.
     To make the syllabub, put the cream, lemon zest and juice, alcohol and sugar into a bowl and beat until the mixture becomes thick and light. 
     Remove the spices from the rhubarb.  Put the rhubarb into individual glasses, spoon the syllabub mixture over the top and chill for a couple of hours. 
     Serve with almond biscuits (recipe here on Village Voices website)

   May 2017.   Asparagus, Potato and Feta Salad   (for 4)              
     A lovely, early summer salad that works well on its own or would go well with ham. 
               750 g small new potatoes, scrubbed
               500 g asparagus, trimmed
               3 tbsp fresh mint, finely sliced 
               2 tbsp chives, chopped
               100 g Greek feta, crumbled
               3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
               1 dsp white wine vinegar 
               1 tsp English mustard
               1 tsp runny honey
               Salt and pepper
     Cook the new potatoes until tender, drain and cut in half. Briefly cook the asparagus, (it shouldn't go soft) and cut into 3 inch pieces. 
     Put both into a bowl with the feta and herbs.  Mix the mustard, honey,vinegar, salt and pepper, then whisk in the olive oil. 
     Pour onto the salad and toss gently to coat the ingredients. 
     Serve while still warm. 

     June 2017.   Gooseberry and elderflower pastries (serves 4).
     If you grow gooseberries it's best to wait until they're really ripe before picking. That way they require less sugar and are more tender. 
     I used up frozen berries from last year to make these recipes that produce more juice than fresh. 
     The recipe for elderflower cordial is on the Village Voices website.
               200 g block puff pastry
               300 g gooseberries, topped and tailed.
               60 g caster sugar
               2 tbsp elderflower cordial
               125 ml double cream
     Preheat the oven to 200 C Gas 6.
     Put the berries in a pan with the sugar and cordial and heat gently until the berries are tender. 
     Squash them with a wooden spoon then pour into a sieve over a bowl and allow to drain. 
     Return the juice to the pan on a low heat and reduce by half to a syrup. Remove from the heat.
     Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Quarter the pastry into 4 rectangles. 
     With a sharp knife,score a line around the inside of each piece and pierce all over the inside with a fork. 
     Brush with the syrup and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until browned and puffed up. Place on a wire rack and cool slightly. 
     Using the sharp knife cut round the scored line on each pastry, carefully remove the centre and reserve. 
     Scrape out any uncooked pastry.
     Pour the cream into a bowl and whip, adding the rest of the syrup as you go. 
     Fold in the gooseberries and taste to see if you want any more sugar. 
     Cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. Divide the gooseberry mixture between the pastry cases just before serving and top with the lid.
     Gooseberry Sauce

    I bought some mackerel fillets and decided to try them with gooseberry sauce. It worked really well and would also be good with pork.
               375 g gooseberries, topped and tailed
               2 tbsp water
               30 g caster sugar
               30 butter, softened
               1/2 tsp ground ginger
     Put the berries, water and sugar in a pan and heat gently until the berries are tender. 
     Pour off any excess juice and beat the fruit with a wooden spoon until it resembles a sauce. 
     Mix in the butter and ginger.  I served it in small bowls with the mackerel.

    July 2017.   Watercress.              
     I'd forgotten how tasty watercress is until I bought a couple of  bunches at a farmer's market last week. Unfortunately, it doesn't keep for long 
     so only buy if it's really fresh.
     If you can't use it straight away, cut off the stem ends, put in cold water for an hour, drain and then seal in a plastic bag 
     and store in the salad drawer of the fridge. 
     Rinse well before use. 
     I use the tops for salad and the stems and any bruised leaves for soup. 
   Watercress Soup (for 2) 
               2 bunches of watercress, tops removed 
               1 small onion, finely chopped 
               1 medium potato, diced small 
               1 pint chicken or vegetable stock 
               1 oz butter
               A squeeze of lemon juice
               Half a cup of milk 
               2 desert spoons of cream 
     Melt the butter in a thick bottom pan and soften the onion. Add the potato and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir, so it doesn't stick. 
     Add the watercress and then the stock. Simmer until the potato is cooked. Remove from the heat and liquidise. 
     Return to the pan, squeeze in the lemon and then add the milk. Stir well and reheat. 
     Check the seasoning, pour into bowls and garnish with the cream. 
   Watercress and Orange Salad 
               Tops from 2 bunches of watercress 
               2 oranges
               2 tbls extra virgin olive oil 
               1 tbls white wine vinegar 
               2 tsp Dijon mustard 
               Salt and pepper 
     Slice off both ends of the oranges. With a sharp knife, cut away the peel and the pith. Cut along the membranes to remove segments. 
     Squeeze the juice from the remains of the oranges into a small bowl, then add the oil, vinegar and mustard. 
     Whisk to combine and season to taste. 
     In a larger bowl, toss together the watercress, orange segments and dressing. Serve immediately.