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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. 
      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
               August          Courgettes
               July               Potato and Broad Bean Salad
               June              Strawberries
               May               Potatoes Lyonnaise

January 2014.    A Comforting Soup.
I usually make this when we've had pheasant or cockerel for dinner, but it would work using any game bird or poultry. 
There are no fixed amounts of any ingredient, just use what you have to hand.  Start the day before you plan to eat the soup. 
If you are using dried beans (haricot, borlotti or flageolet) put them to soak in cold water.  Tinned beans work just as well - just give them 
a good rinse before adding to the soup.
Take all the remaining meat from the bird and save in the fridge.  Put the carcass with left over gravy and giblets in a large pan. 
Add sliced onion, carrot, celery, herbs (bay leaf, parsley, thyme, rosemary, marjoram) and a few whole black peppers. 
Cover with cold water, bring up to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours until the carcass has disintegrated 
and the liquid has thickened slightly.  Pour through a sieve into a jug or bowl and leave to cool.  Put in the fridge overnight. 
To make the soup, drain the beans and rinse.  Put in a pan with plenty of water and cook until tender (which can take up to an hour). 
Drain.  Take the stock out of the fridge and remove any fat from the top.  In a heavy bottomed, lidded pan, soften thinly sliced onion in 
olive oil.  Then add sliced carrot, celery, mushrooms, courgette and cabbage etc. 
Cook briefly, then add the stock and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender.  Add the diced meat and the beans and bring up 
to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes.  Check the seasoning.  If you are using a game bird add a dash of dry sherry. 
Serve with a piece of Focaccia bread.

February 2014.   Vanilla Cheesecake.               
This is a very simple, light and easy to make a cheese cake.  I served with a summer fruit mixture and cream.  Serves 6 
           200 g full fat cream cheese at room temperature 
           1 egg and 1 egg yolk
           75 g caster sugar  
           1 tsp vanilla extract 
           8 digestive biscuits 
           40 g butter
    Put the oven on 180 C ,Gas 4.  Place the butter in an oven proof dish in the oven until it melts. 
    Crush the digestive biscuits in a bowl and mix in the melted butter.                
    Grease and flour a 7 inch loose bottomed cake tin.  Put the biscuit/butter mixture in the cake tin and flatten it down with the back of a spoon.
    Separate the egg and whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until the colour lightens.  Beat the cream cheese and vanilla into the eggs and mix 
    until smooth.  Whisk the egg white into soft peaks and fold in.  Pour the mixture into the cake tin and put in the centre of the oven. 
    Bake for approx. 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and it feels fairly firm. Turn off the oven but leave the cake in for another 15 minutes. 
    Allow to cool.
    Run a knife around the edge of the tin and remove.  Gently slide the cake off the tin base onto a plate. Slice and serve. 

April 2014.   Spring Vegetable Risotto.      For 4 to 5 (from Sarah Raven's Garden Cook Book).              
      This is a dish to look forward to when the Spring vegetables are ready
               450 g selection of new vegetables, including asparagus, broad beans, peas,mange touts etc.
               Approx, 1.5 litres good vegetable or chicken stock
               100 g butter
               1 large onion, finely chopped
               500 g Arborio rice
               2 glasses white wine
               130 g grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve.
         Blanch the vegetables for 2 minutes in a large pan of boiling water.                
         Drain and plunge into cold water to stop them cooking further.  Put to one side.  Heat up the stock.
         Melt half the butter in a heavy based pan and fry the onion without allowing it to colour until soft.  
         Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. 
         Add the wine and cook until absorbed.
         Gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously.  Allow each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. 
         This will take approx. 25 minutes. Check at this stage if the rice is cooked to your taste.  If not carry on adding more stock.
         Take off the heat and beat in the remaining butter.  Add the blanched vegetables and the Parmesan, and heat through.
         Check the seasoning and serve with extra Parmesan.

May 2014.   Almond Biscuits.               
   These light, crisp biscuits are ideal to serve with ice cream, fruit fools and mousse.  They're very easy to make and keep well in an airtight 
   container.  The recipe comes from Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook and makes 30 biscuits.  I usually do half this quantity.
               2 egg whites                
               4 oz plain flour
               1/2 tsp vanilla extract
               2 oz butter, melted and cooled
               1 oz flaked almonds
               4 oz caster sugar
    Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.  Put the egg whites into a bowl and beat in the sugar until frothy. 
    Stir in the flour and vanilla extract, then add the melted butter and mix thoroughly.
    Put 6 teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto each baking tray, spacing them well apart to allow for spreading. 
    Flatten them out with the back of the spoon until approx. 4 inches long.  Sprinkle with a few flaked almonds.
    Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C, Gas 4 for about 6 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.  The centres will still be pale.                
    Allow the biscuits to cool for 30 seconds or so then with a fish slice ease them off the baking tray and onto a wire rack. 
    Leave to cool and they will become crisp.
    Repeat until all the mixture is used. 

June 2014.   Lebanese Beetroot Salad  (for 4)               
   I'm not very good at growing beet root as the mice always seem to get there first but nowadays it's cheap to buy fresh in bunches.
   It keeps for ages in a plastic bag in the fridge and can be used raw or cooked.  The following recipe is from Sarah Raven's Garden Cook Book 
   and is delicious.  It's great as a starter or as part of a selection of meze.  Serve with warm pitta bread.
               4 medium beetroot
               1 garlic clove
               1 tsp salt
               2 tbls tahini (sesame seed paste)
               500 ml yoghurt
               Handful of coarsely chopped mint leaves
   Clean off any dirt from the beetroot, cut off the leaves but leave an inch of stem. 
   Put them into a pan, cover with water and cook until tender, for approx. 30 to 40 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, peel them.
   In a bowl, pound the garlic with the salt and stir in the tahini and yoghurt, mixing thoroughly.
   Cut the beetroot into chunks and put in a shallow dish. 
   Spread the yoghurt mixture over the top of the beetroot and scatter with lots of mint.

July 2014.   Blackcurrant Cup Cakes and Jam.              
It's always worth having a few black currant bushes in the garden.  Once they settle in they produce lots of fruit which freezes well and makes delicious jam. 
The following recipes are from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook . You can use frozen berries for both these recipes.
     Blackcurrant cup cakes.   For 12 cupcakes.
               100 g blackcurrants, topped and tailed
               1 tbls light brown sugar
               100 g butter
               100 g caster sugar
               2 eggs
               100 g self-raising flour
               1 tsp baking powder
       Preheat the oven to 200 C Gas 6.    
       Rinse the blackcurrants and toss them in the brown sugar.
       Cream the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy, and beat in the eggs.  Gradually add the flour, sifted with the baking powder. 
       Stir the blackcurrants into the mixture.  Spoon the mixture into the cake cases, they will rise when cooking put on a baking tray 
       and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. 
       Allow them to cool in their cases on a wire tray. 
     Blackcurrant Jam.    For 6 to 8 jars.
               1.2 kg granulated sugar, still in its packets
               900g blackcurrants
               Juice of 1 lemon 
       Warm the sugar in its packets or in a bowl in a very low oven for about half an hour.
       Put the berries in a heavy based pan with 600 ml water.  Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently until the fruit is tender.  
       Put a saucer in the freezer. 
       Add the warmed sugar and lemon juice, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Bring to the boil again and boil rapidly for about 20 minutes.
       To test for set put a few drops of jam on the cold saucer and leave it to cool.  If the jam wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it's ready. 
        If not, carry on cooking and try again.
       Spoon off any scum from the surface and allow the jam to stand for 15 minutes before ladling it into warm, sterilised jars. 
       Allow to cool and screw on the lids and label.  It keeps well but once opened keep the jar in the fridge.

   August 2014.    Gooseberry Fool (for 4).              
        You can use fresh or frozen berries for this. Use red gooseberries if available as they will give a better colour. 
         If you don't have elderflower cordial use water and sugar. 
               250 g gooseberries , topped and tailed 
               1 tbls elderflower cordial
               1 tbls summer fruit jam or Redcurrant jelly
               170 g carton of low fat Greek yoghurt 
               150 ml double cream 
               Fruit to decorate. 
         Put the gooseberries into a non stick pan with the elderflower cordial  and gently cook until the fruit is tender. Using a wooden spoon crush the fruit. 
         Stir in the jam and continue cooking on a low heat until any liquid has evaporated.
         Allow  to cool and then put in the fridge. 
         Put the double cream into a bowl and whisk until stiff. 
         Stir in the yoghurt . Fold in the fruit mixture then spoon into 4 sundae dishes.   
         Return to the fridge and allow to chill for an hour.  Decorate with a sprig of redcurrants or other fruit. 
         Serve with almond biscuits (see recipe on Village Voices website).

    September 2014.   Courgette Frittata (for 2).
       Here is our annual courgette recipe so you've no excuse for not using them.
               1 tblsp olive oil
               3 medium free range eggs, beaten
               1 small onion, finely chopped
               1 medium courgette, thinly sliced
               A quarter of a pack of feta cheese, crumbled
               Salt and pepper
       In a non stick frying pan gently heat the olive oil and soften the onion. 
       Add the courgette and cook for 5 minutes (you may have to add more olive oil).
       Turn on the grill. Arrange the vegetables evenly in the frying pan.  Turn up the heat slightly. 
       Add salt and pepper to the beaten eggs and pour over the onions and courgettes, ensuring they are all covered. 
       Crumble the feta on top and turn down the heat again. 
       Cook for 5 minutes or so, checking if the bottom of the frittata is browning by easing it up with a spatula. 
       Take it off the heat and put under the grill until the feta has browned. 
       Serve immediately with a green salad and crusty bread.

October 2014.   Harissa Paste (chillies).               
   I made Harissa last year with chillies that I'd grown.  It's a spicy paste that can be added to tomato sauces on pasta or used as a stuffing 
   for a rolled shoulder of lamb.  It keeps very well in the fridge once you've opened the jar.  Try to avoid handling the chillies, once roasted I 
   hold them down with a fork while I remove the seeds and skin. 
               6 chillies, roasted, peeled and deseeded
               6 tbls tomato purée
               8 garlic cloves, crushed
               3 tsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground
               3 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and ground
               6 tbls olive oil
               1 tsp red wine vinegar
               3 tbls coriander, chopped
               salt, pepper and sugar
   Put the chillies, tomato purée, garlic and ground spices in a food processor.  Whizz until smooth.  
   Drizzle in the olive oil and vinegar then add the coriander. 
   Correct the seasoning.  Spoon into a small sterilised jar and smooth the top. 
   Pour in a small amount of olive oil to seal.
   Keep in the fridge once opened.

November 2014.    Broccoli Soup with Cheese   (serves 4).

   My summer purple sprouting broccoli has survived the caterpillars and is still going strong.  When a friend brought round 
   some stilton I thought this was a good time to make Broccoli soup. 
   You can use any type of broccoli but the cheese needs to have a strong flavour  eg. Stilton or Gorgonzola.

             450 g broccoli
             30g butter
             1 onion ,chopped
             1 medium potato , diced
             1.2 litres hot chicken or veg. stock
             1 tbls lemon juice
             200 ml milk
             115 g strong cheese
             Double cream 

        Wash and trim the broccoli , break into florets if large and slice stems. Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, 
        add the onion , potato and garlic and cook until the onion has softened but not browned . 
        Stir in the broccoli then add the stock and lemon juice and cook for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly and pour into a liquidizer 
        or food processor and purée. 
        Add the milk and crumbled cheese and reheat but do not boil, check the seasoning and serve with a dash of cream. 

December 2014.    Pumpkin and Chicken  (serves 2)
    I've always thought that the best parts of the chicken were the wings, especially when roasted until crisp. Last time I was at the butchers 
    they were trimming the wings off the breasts so I bought a lot and put them in the freezer. When my pumpkins were ready I decided to roast 
    them together and the result was a very tasty supper dish. If you can't find wings I'm sure legs or thighs would work as well. 
         2 or 4 chicken wings, depending on size
         9 oz prepared pumpkin or squash
         6 small onions, approx 1 oz each 
         I parsnip
         Olive oil 
         Rosemary and thyme
    Pre-heat the oven to 180 C, Gas 4. Cut up the pumpkin into 1-2 inch pieces. Rub the loose skin off the onions, trim the roots and top. 
    Peel the parsnip and slice into batons. Pour a couple of tablespoons of oil into a roasting tray and put in the oven for 10 minutes. 
    Take out, add the chicken, pumpkin and parsnip and coat with oil. Season well with salt and pepper.   
    Add the onions and sprinkle over the rosemary and thyme leaves. 
    Put in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, take out, turn every thing over and return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until every thing is 
    nicely roasted. 
    Serve, providing a sharp knife to slit open the onion skins.