the website for Hollesley,
Boyton, Capel St Andrew
and Shingle Street

Home Page
                                                                   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. 
      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 and 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
               August          Courgettes
               July               Potato and Broad Bean Salad
               June              Strawberries
               May               Potatoes Lyonnaise
February 2012.   Here are two recipes from Nigel Slater for cold winter nights, both using onions, one of the few vegetables that store well.

            (i)  Gratin of Beans and Bacon                                                         (ii)  Baked Onions with Parmesan and Cream
             1 large onion
             2 tblsp olive oil
             thyme, a few sprigs
             6 rashers smoked bacon
             2 x 400 gm tins of haricot beans
             200 gm creme fraiche
             3 tblsp grated parmesan cheese               
       Set the oven to 200 C/Gas 6.  Peel the onion, halve it, and cut each half
       into thick slices.
       Pour the oil into a frying pan and cook the onions till soft and golden. 
       Pull the leaves from the thyme sprigs and stir into the onions. 
       Cut the bacon into short pieces and add to the pan, stirring occasionally 
       until cooked. 
       Drain the beans and rinse them in a sieve under the cold tap. 
       Tip them into the onions with the creme fraiche and stir until bubbling.
       Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. 
       Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle the parmesan on top. 
       Bake for 30 minutes or so, until the top is crisp and the sauce bubbling 
       round the edges.

   (I only used 1 can of beans which I found quite enough.  You can of 
   course, use dried beans but they will need to be soaked overnight and 
   then cooked first)
This is great with cold roast beef and baked potatoes.
            4 medium onions
            200 ml double cream
            3 sprigs thyme leaves
            3 tblsp grated parmesan
     Set the oven at 180C/Gas 4.  Peel the onions and bring to the boil in a
     large deep pot of water.
     Simmer for about 25 minutes or until tender.
     Lift them out with a slotted spoon.
     Slice the onions in half from root to tip and put them cut side down 
     in an oven-proof dish.
     Mix the cream and thyme leaves and tip over the onions.
     Season with salt and pepper and top with the grated parmesan. 
     Bake for 25- 35 minutes until golden and bubbling.

April 2012.     I made a few jars of marmalade in January, as I find it a useful ingredient in other dishes.

          (i)  Chocolate Orange Cake.                                                                   (ii)  Marmalade Ice Cream.
Every time I serve this I am asked for the recipe.  It is best eaten for pudding,
slightly warm.
           125 g butter
           100 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
           300 g good, thin-cut marmalade
           150 g caster sugar
           2 eggs beaten with a pinch of salt
           150 g self-raising flour
     Preheat the oven to 180c, gas 4. 
     Butter and flour a 20 cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
     Put the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low heat. 
     When it's nearly melted, stir in the chocolate. 
     Leave for a minute to begin melting, then take the pan off the heat and stir 
     with a wooden spoon until the butter and chocolate are smooth and liquid. 
     Add the marmalade, sugar and eggs, stirring until well mixed. 
     Sift the flour and fold into the mixture. 
     Pour into the cake tin and bake for approx. 50 minutes. 
     Cool in the tin, on a rack, for 10 minutes before turning out. Serve warm.

If you really like marmalade you might want to serve it with this delicious 
ice cream from Sarah Ravens' Garden Cookbook.             
    350 g Seville marmalade
        300 ml double cream
        300 ml full fat natural yoghurt
        3 tblsp orange juice
    Put all the ingredients into a plastic freezer container.
    Stir until well mixed, cover and freeze. 
    To serve, remove from the freezer 20 minutes before use.

May 2012.   Asparagus.   

We are fortunate to have lots of local asparagus and I have been using the following recipes from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook where she pairs it with lemon. For both recipes, prepare the asparagus by breaking off the tough ends and then steam or boil them for approx 5 to 7 minutes depending on the thickness: they should still have some bite to them.
       (i) Asparagus with Almonds (for 4 as a starter).                                      (ii) Asparagus Pasta with Lemon (for 4).
        Grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1/2 lemon
        2 lbs asparagus 
        Plenty of toasted slivered almonds
        2 oz butter 
        Salt to taste

  Prepare the asparagus as above, melt the butter and add the lemon juice. 
  Drain the asparagus when cooked and divide between 4 warm plates. 
  Pour over the lemon butter and scatter over the lemon zest, almonds and salt.
                    8 oz asparagus 
                    Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
                    10 oz penne 
                    Salt and pepper
                    1 oz butter 
                    1tbls finely chopped parsley
                    100 ml double cream 
                    Grated Parmesan cheese

      Prepare the asparagus. Cook the pasta as directed on the packet. 
      Cut the cooked asparagus into 3 inch pieces. 
      Melt the butter in a pan, add the cream and heat gently until hot 
      and then add the asparagus and lemon juice/zest. 
      Take off the heat and leave for 5 minutes for the flavours to blend. 
      Drain the pasta when cooked. 
      Carefully stir in the asparagus and lemon sauce. 
      Season to taste and serve with the chopped parsley and grated Parmesan..

June 2012.    Broad Beans.              
You either love them or hate them, but they are worth growing because you never find  them in the shops as young tender beans.  As soon as the skins 
change from pale green to grey they will be tough and leathery.  However, all is not lost because if you cook older beans and then remove the skins they 
are fine to eat.  It is rather fiddly but worth it, as any resulting dish is a lovely bright green in colour and it means you don't waste any of your precious crop. 

The following recipe (from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook) is much nicer if the skins are removed.
Broad bean hummus (for 4 as a starter).

               6 oz shelled broad beans
               2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
               Handful of finely chopped mint (or dill)
               Juice and grated zest of one lemon
               Salt and pepper
               Slivers of pecorino or Parmesan cheese
    Boil the beans for 5 minutes or so until they are tender, then squeeze them out of their skins. 
    Purée them with the olive oil, lemon zest and mint. 
    Pour in the lemon juice slowly, you might not need all of it, the mixture does not want to be too sloppy; season to taste.
    If you serve as a crostini (on toasted ciabatta or baguette rubbed with garlic) top with the cheese.
    It's also good as a dip with pitta bread or tortilla chips.

Broad Bean Soup.
   You can also make soup with older beans without having to remove the skins. 

   Soften a chopped onion in olive oil in the usual way, add stock, bring up to 
   the boil, add the beans and cook for 10 minutes. 
   Remove from the heat, add chopped, fresh sage and liquidise, pour through a sieve. 
   Add cream or creme fraiche and season to taste.

July 2012.   Elderflower and Gooseberry Jam.
I made this jam last year and it was a great success.  My gooseberries are red and the jam was a beautiful colour.  The recipe is from Sarah Raven's 
Garden Cookbook and I will give it to you as it appears in her book. 
I have to admit that I didn't warm the sugar and that I've found adding butter doesn't make much difference to the froth on top so I've stopped doing that.   
If the elderflowers have finished by the time your gooseberries are ripe then use elderflower cordial instead (the recipe is here on the website).
     For 10 - 12 jars 
           15 g butter
           2.7 kg gooseberries 
           A few elderflower heads,
           2.7 kg sugar, still in its packet tied in a muslin bag
     1.   Put a small plate in the freezer. Top and tail the gooseberries and put them into a preserving pan with 1.1 litres water. 
           Warm the sugar in its packets or a bowl in a very low oven for half an hour.
     2.   Simmer the fruit gently, with the muslin bag of elderflower heads tied to the pan handle, until it is soft. 
           Pour in the warm sugar, stirring to make sure it has dissolved.
     3.   Add the butter, raise the heat and boil rapidly until the setting point is reached: (to find this, cool a plate in the freezer and    
           drop a small amount of the jam on it. Wait for it to cool and then push it gently with your finger tip. If the jam wrinkles then it  
           has reached setting point)
     4.   Skim off any froth, then pour into clean, warm jars, cover with wax discs and seal.

August 2012.   Plum Tart.              
The original recipe for this (from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook) is for an upside down cake. For that you need a frying pan you can put in the oven  
and I don't have one, so I make it in a tart tin and serve it as it comes. It tastes delicious either way. 
Serves 4.
               6 oz sugar 
               2 oz soft butter
               6 oz plums, stoned and halved (exact quantity will depend on the type of plum) 
               3 oz self-raising flour
               2 medium eggs
      Pre heat the oven to 170C /gas 3. 
      Put 3 oz of the sugar in a pan with 70 ml of water and heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then cook without stirring until the sugar 
      caramelises to a rich golden brown. 
      Pour the caramel into a 6 inch tart tin or oven proof dish. Arrange the plums, cut side down in a single layer over the caramel in the dish.
      Cream the butter with the rest of the sugar, beat in the eggs, one  at a time, and fold in the flour.
      When mixed, spoon over the plums and spread in as even a layer as possible. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. 
      The centre should be firm to the touch and the edges slightly shrunk from the sides. If you want to serve it with the plums on top, allow it to rest for
      5 minutes, make sure the sponge is not stuck to the sides of the dish, cover with an upturned plate and flip over. 
      Serve with cream, ice cream or crème fraiche.

September 2012.   Tomato with Goat's Cheese and Rosemary.
  I ate this dish in Paris and it was so delicious and so easy to make I've been having it ever since.  It requires fresh or soft goat's cheese, not the one 
  with a rind.  If you have individual gratin dishes then use them but it can be made in one large one. 
     Preheat the oven to 180C Gas 4 (for 2)
     First make a tomato sauce: soften a finely-chopped onion in butter and add chopped garlic. 
     Skin and de-seed 1lb of ripe tomatoes, chopped small and add to the onion and garlic. 
     Cook until reduced and not watery, season. 
     Take 150gm of the goat's cheese and divide into 2 portions, moulding it into a couple of mounds with a spoon. 
     Pour the sauce into the gratin dish, put in the cheese and top with a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary. 
     Cook in the oven for approx. 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.                
     Serve with crusty bread.
    I also discovered an excellent dressing for tomatoes (for 2).
    Tomato dressing.
     Put 1dsp white wine vinegar in a bowl, add salt and pepper. 
     Mix in 2dsp cream. 
     Slice 2 large, ripe tomatoes. 
     Drain off the juice into the dressing then add 4 sprigs of basil, finely sliced. 
     Fold in the tomato slices and gently mix with a spoon until the tomatoes are coated with dressing.

October 2012.    Chicken Thighs with Sweet Chestnut Stuffing.

  There are plenty of sweet chestnut trees around here, probably introduced by the Romans. The nuts don't grow very large but they are still worth gathering 
  as they are very tasty.  The easiest way to cook them is to pierce the skin with a sharp knife, put them on a chestnut roaster and roast them on an open fire.   
  Let them cool down a little before you take off the skins.
  Chestnuts also make an excellent stuffing as used in the following recipe from Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook. 

  First, cook the chestnuts.  With a sharp knife make a long cut in the flat side of each chestnut and put them into a pan of boiling water. 
  Check after 5 minutes to see if they are soft, they may take longer but you don't want them to collapse. 
  Allow to cool slightly, then pull off the outer skin and peel away the inner skin.  It's a bit fiddly, but worth it.
    Chicken thighs with chestnut stuffing (serves 4)
       8 boneless chicken thighs with the skin on
      1/4 pint chicken stock
      1 tbsp cranberry or redcurrant jelly
    For the stuffing
      1/2 oz butter 
      1 oz fresh, brown bread crumbs
      2 streaky bacon rashers, rinds removed and diced 
      1 tbsp chopped parsley
      1 small onion, finely chopped 
      4oz peeled chestnuts 
      1 egg yolk
      salt and black pepper
     1.  Make the stuffing. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the bacon and onion and cook over a medium heat until the onion is soft and the bacon crisp.
     2.  Add the chopped chestnuts, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the bread crumbs and parsley, season, then 
          bind with the egg yolk.
     3.  Place the chicken thighs, skin side down, on a chopping board, and divide the stuffing between them. Roll each thigh to enclose the stuffing and 
         secure with a cocktail stick or butchers string.  Sprinkle with salt.
     4.  Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in roasting tin, and cook in a preheated oven at 190 C, Gas 5, for 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken 
         has browned and is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the roasting tin and keep warm.
     5.  Pour off any excess fat, put the tin on the hob and pour in the stock.  Bring to the boil for 3 to 5 minutes until syrupy, stirring to dissolve any sediment 
          and cooking juices. Stir in the cranberry or redcurrant jelly and cook for 1 minute to melt the jelly.  Check the seasoning.
     Remove the cocktail sticks or string from the chicken and put onto warmed plates. Add any juices to the sauce, then serve with the chicken.
     Any spare peeled, cooked chestnuts can be frozen for future use.

November 2012.   Bramley Apple Gingerbread.  Serves 5.
This recipe is from Best Kept Secrets of the Womens Institute which has some very good seasonal recipes.  
               450 g (1lb) Bramley apples
               1tbls lemon juice
               1tbls sugar
               65 g golden syrup
               40 g light soft brown sugar
               40 g olive oil spread (or butter)
               110 g plain flour
               ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
               1 tsp ground ginger
               1 egg
               2 tbls skimmed milk
          1.   Peel, core and slice the apples, toss in the lemon juice, add the spoonful of sugar and spoon into an oven proof dish.
          2.   Pre-heat the oven to 170 C, gas 3.
          3.   Put the syrup, brown sugar and spread [butter] into a saucepan, place over a low heat and melt. 
                Mix together and do not allow to boil, then leave to cool.
          4.   Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a mixing bowl.
          5.   Beat the egg and add the milk to it.
          6.   Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid ingredients.  Mix well to form a smooth batter.
          7.   Spoon the gingerbread over the apples.  Place the dish on a baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for about 3/4 hour. 
                If the top starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with a piece of foil.

December 2012.   Pumpkins and Squashes 2  (for the purpose of these recipes either are suitable).                            
   This year the garden produced lots of pumpkins of all sizes.  I use them as an alternative to potatoes as they have a third of the 
   calories and are just as versatile (see previous recipes on our website).  The only downside is preparation, as the skins are very 
   tough and it can be difficult to slice them.  It was pleasing to find a recipe which requires the minimum of preparation.  I had several 
   small pumpkins, weighing approx.1½ lbs which are suitable for one person.  The recipe works for any size, providing it's not too big 
   for the oven.
   1.  Remove the stem from the pumpkin and place it stem side down on a work surface.  With a small, sharp knife carefully cut the 
        top off creating a lid. Using a spoon scrape outthe seeds and stringy bits.
   2.  Line a roasting tin with kitchen foil and pre-heat the oven to 200C Gas 6.
   3.  Now make the fillings for the pumpkin. I've tried three different ones so far, no doubt you can think of alternatives.  All quantities 
        are approximate as the size of the pumpkin cavity will vary (you can always fill them with water first and measure that to give 
        you some idea).  Fill the cavity up to nearly full.
               a)  Heat up double cream with crushed garlic, salt and pepper.  Pour into the pumpkin and add a couple of ounces of grated 
               b)  In a pan soften a sliced onion in olive oil, add chopped vegetables of choice and cook for 5 minutes.  Add vegetable or 
                    chicken stock and continue to cook until nearly tender.  Season.  Pour into pumpkin.
               c)  I've turned my surplus tomatoes into a sauce with onions and basil which I pot up and freeze.  I defrosted one of these, 
                    added some crushed garlic and water, heated it and then poured it into the pumpkin.
   4.  Replace the lid on top of the pumpkins, place on the roasting tin and put in the oven  Cook for 15 mins. then reduce the temperature 
        to 180C Gas 4 and cook for another 45 mins. If you are using a larger pumpkin I suggest you allow an extra 15 minutes per pound. 
        The outside of the pumpkin will go brown.  Cover with foil to avoid this.
   5.  Remove from the oven, allow it to cool for a few minutes and remove the lid. Insert a sharp knife into the flesh and check that it is tender. 
        Hold the  pumpkin with one hand and use a spoon to carefully scrape away the cooked flesh and add to the filling.  You will end up with 
        a stew/vegetable puree.  Check the seasoning.  With small pumpkins, put each on a warmed plate and serve; with larger ones spoon out 
        the contents and serve  in bowls.