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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. 
      2018   December  Mincemeat and Almond Tart
                November  Partridge and Quince
                October     Fig Chutney
                September Cucumber & Celery Salad and Cucumber Raita
                August      Summer Fruit and Almond Cake
                July           Chard and Cheese Tarts
                June          Pea and Pancetta Farfalle
                May          Fried Red or Yellow Peppers (Capsicum)     
                April          Red Onion Marmalade
                March       Colcannon
                February    Celeriac, Apple and Walnut Salad
                January     Lemon Polenta Cake 

      2017   December  Chestnut, Apple and Onion Pie
                November  Parkin and Toffee Apples
                October     Courgette Soup with Boursin
                September Fig and Goats Cheese Focaccia
                August      Raspberry and Amaretti Cake
                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 2018.   Lemon polenta cake.
   Pauline Austerfield asked me to provide a recipe for the start of the new year and as your local cooking councillor.  I am pleased so share my favourite cake 
   based on a Nigel Slater recipe.  Not only a taste of summer for the middle of winter but it has the added bonus of being gluten free. 
   I like to serve this with creme fraiche which balances the lemon perfectly. 

         210 g soft salted butter 
         175 g caster sugar (I use golden)
         125 g ground almonds 
         150 g fine polenta
         100 g whole blanched almonds 
         1 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder 
         3 large eggs 
         Zest of two lemons (save juice for the syrup) 
    Ingredients for syrup
         Juice of two lemons
         125 g icing sugar 
   First line a 20 cm. loose bottom cake tin and grease the sides lightly with butter.   Put the oven on to warm to 180 Deg c/gas mark 4.
   Cream the butter and sugar until light and whipped.  In a separate bowl mix the ground almonds, polenta and baking powder.
   Beat one third of this dry mixture with the creamed butter/sugar mixture.
   Break an egg into a cup and lightly mix and then pour into the creamed butter/sugar mixture. 
   Continue in this pattern until you have used all the eggs and dry ingredients.
   Now beat in the lemon zest.
   Finely chop the whole almonds (by hand or with a food processor) and stir into the mixture. 
   If you feel the mixture is too dry add a dessert spoon of milk. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. 
   The best way to see if the cake is cooked is the amazing aroma filling your kitchen, the cake will feel springy and be a golden brown.  
   Most importantly, it will have shrunk in the tin moving away from the cake tin sides. 
   You may also wish to use a cake tester which should come out cleanish.
   This is important - leave the cake in the tin and place the tin on a plate or wire cooling rack.
   Now make the lemon syrup. Simply place the lemon juice and icing sugar together in a sauce pan (a milk pan is best as it easier to pour) and boil, 
   Once the icing sugar has dissolved this is then ready. 
   Prick the top of the cake with a tooth pick then slowly pour the syrup over the cake making sure you do this slowly so it is absorbed.
   Once cooled remove from the tin and serve 
   James Mallinder

   February 2018.  Celeriac, Apple and Walnut Salad (for 2). 
    Many thanks to Bridget and James for their December and January recipes. 
    I've come home to find that all my stored fruit and vegetables have survived the winter and the salad leaves (rocket, mizuna, land cress, mustard etc.) 
    are doing well. 
    The following recipe combines these into tasty and nutritious salad. 

         1 heaped tbls creme fraiche
         1 dsp virgin olive oil
         1 tsp Dijon mustard 
         1/2 tsp horseradish sauce
         3 oz celeriac 
         1 small eating apple
         6 walnut halves. 
         Salad leaves 
    Mix the creme fraiche, olive oil, mustard and horseradish sauce together. Season with salt and pepper. 
    Peel the celeriac and coarsely grate into a bowl.  Peel and finely slice the apple, chop the walnuts and add to the bowl. 
    Spoon in the dressing and mix well. 
    Wash and dry the leaves and put on plates. 
    Divide the celeriac salad between the two.   I served it with smoked ham. 

   March 2018.  Colcannon  (serves 4).
   Here's a recipe for St Patrick's Day on 17th March.  As with many classic recipes there are many different versions, 
   but I used the vegetables I still had in the garden. 
   You can substitute kale for the cabbage and spring onions for the leeks and also change their proportions 
   .If you want a lower fat version, then steam the leeks and cabbage and omit the melted butter. 
               1 1/2 lb floury potatoes                
               6 oz Savoy cabbage 
               6 oz prepared leeks
               3 oz butter
               150ml milk
     Cook the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain well. 
     Melt 1 oz of the butter in a pan, add the finely sliced leeks, saute gently with the lid on for 10 minutes, 
     then add the sliced cabbage and cook for another 5 minutes. 
     Heat the milk, add to the potatoes with 1oz of the butter and mash until smooth. 
     Fold in the leeks and cabbage, mix well and season with salt and pepper. 
     Spoon into a heated serving dish, make a well in the centre and pour in the remaining melted butter. Serve.

   April 2018.   Red Onion Marmalade (for 3/4 small jars). 

   I've still got plenty of onions left over from last year so I decided to make red onion marmalade. It goes very well with cheese, ham and pate.    
   This version is from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook.               
        2 garlic cloves
               Sea salt and black pepper 
               4 tbls olive oil
               450 g red onions, finely sliced 
               4 tbls red wine
               4 tbls balsamic vinegar 
               1 tbls soft brown sugar
               A few sprigs of thyme
   Crush the garlic with some sea salt and heat the olive oil in a heavy based saucepan.  
   Add the onions and garlic, cover and sweat gently, without allowing them to brown for 20 minutes. 
   Stir every now and then. Remove the pan lid, add the red wine, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, and simmer gently 
   until most of the liquid has evaporated, which will take about 15 - 20 minutes. 
   Add the thyme leaves, season to taste and cook for a further 5 minutes.  Put into warm, sterilised jars and cover. 
   Will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. 

    May 2018.   Fried Red or Yellow Peppers (Capsicum)
     An Italian friend showed me how to make this simple dish.  It makes a change from the usual vegetables and is a great accompaniment for meat or fish. 
     The quantity is enough for 2.  If you want to make more, either use a larger frying pan or cook it in batches as it's important that the onions and pepper are 
     browning in the oil in the pan. I used a 9 inch non stick pan. 
     Remove the outer skin from a medium onion, top and tail, halve and cut in thin slices, lengthwise. 
     Halve the pepper, cut off the stem and remove the seeds and ribs. 
     Slice lengthwise in 1 cm strips.  Halve a garlic clove. 
     Over a medium heat, warm up 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  Add the garlic clove and cook until golden. 
     Remove the clove and discard.  Add the onions to the pan and fry until they are beginning to brown at the edges. Don't let them burn. 
     Push to one side of the pan and add the sliced pepper. 
     You will probably need more olive oil.  Carry on frying, ensuring that the peppers are cooked on both sides. After 10 to 15 minutes they should have softened. 
     Mix the onions in with the peppers, season with salt and pepper and a few basil leaves.  Serve.

  June 2018.   Pea and Pancetta Farfalle  (for 4)
   I always grow three varieties of peas as home grown are so much sweeter than shop bought. Sugar snap and mangetouts are perfect as side 
vegetables and the traditional pea can be used for lots of dishes. I also grew some in the greenhouse over winter and picked the pea shoots
for salad.
   This recipe is from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook.

       10 rashers of smoked, streaky bacon or pancetta
       1 large onion, finely chopped
       1 tbls olive oil
       30 g butter
       350 g farfalle (bow tie pasta)
       1 garlic clove, finely chopped
       400 g fresh shelled peas, cooked for 2 minutes in boiling water
       250 g creme fraiche
       Salt and pepper
       Freshly grated nutmeg
       Handful of grated Parmesan cheese

        Fry the bacon/ pancetta until crisp.  Put onto kitchen paper and then cut into 2 inch lengths. 
        Warm the olive oil and butter in a pan, add the onion and cook gently until soft. 
        Cook the farfalle in boiling salted water according to the instructions on the packet. 
        Add the garlic to the onion and cook for another couple of minutes , then add the bacon/ pancetta and peas. 
        Stir in the creme fraiche, seasoning and nutmeg ( to taste) .
        Combine the sauce and the pasta.   Add plenty of Parmesan.

    July 2018.  Chard.
    I've grown rainbow chard for years, but just used the young leaves in salad. However, the larger leaves also make a tasty side dish and filling for tarts. 
    To prepare as a side dish, allow 4 oz per person. Wash thoroughly, remove the stems and tear the leaves into smaller pieces. 
    Heat butter, or olive oil in a frying pan with a halved clove of garlic and cook the stems on a medium heat for about 10 minutes. 
    Remove the garlic. Add the leaves, turning them over in the pan until wilted. Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. 
    Chard and Cheese Tarts. 

          This is a recipe from Nigel Slater that I've adapted. 

          For each individual tart allow: 
          2 oz chard
          2 oz Reblochon cheese, cut into small pieces 
          1 sheet Jus Rol filo pastry 
          Olive oil or melted butter
     I specify Jus Rol pastry as it's thicker than the supermarket brands and doesn't break up. 
     Nigel used Waterloo cheese but I couldn't find that.  I think that goats cheese or feta would work well too. 
     He also uses melted butter, but I prefer olive oil.     
     Heat the oven to 200 C.  Line a baking sheet with non-stick paper.                
     Wash the chard.  Remove the stems and chop into 1 inch pieces. 
     Heat a small amount of water in a pan and cook the stems for 5 minutes.                
     Add the leaves and cook until wilted.  Pour into a sieve, press out the water and then dry on kitchen paper. 
     Chop and season with salt and pepper.  Cool.  
     Halve the filo sheet and brush one piece on both sides with oil.                
     Repeat with the second and place it on top of the first . Put thechard on top and add the cheese. 
     Bring the pastry up and scrunch it together at the top so you make a parcel . 
     Put on the baking tray and cook for 15 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and brown. 
     Serve with a green salad. 

   August 2018.  Summer Fruit and Almond Cake (6 portions)             
      You can make this cake with any jam, as long as it's not runny, but the summer fruits have a good, strong flavour, which is delicious.
               75 g self-raising flour
               50 g ground almonds 
               85 g butter, softened
               75 g caster sugar
               A few drops of almond essence 
               1 egg
               2 tbsp milk
               75 g summer fruit jam
               25 g flaked almonds
        Preheat the oven to 160C, Gas3 . Grease and line a small loaf tin with baking parchment.
        Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
        Add the almond essence and beat in the egg.  Fold in the flour and ground almonds, add the milk and mix well. 
        Spoon half the mixture into the tin and top with the jam.  Cover with the remaining cake mixture and smooth the top. 
        Sprinkle with the flaked almonds. 
        Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden and the cake is firm to the touch. 
        Leave to stand for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack. 

    September 2018.  Cucumber.
     The cucumber plants in my greenhouse have been very prolific this year so I've been looking for new ways to use them up. 
     Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook has several good recipes and here are a couple of them I like. 
     Cucumber and Celery Salad in mustard dressing (for 6)
         1 cucumber 
         Salt and pepper 
         1 celery head
         1 tbls Dijon mustard 
         1 tsp English mustard 
         1 tbls red wine vinegar 
         Juice of 1 lemon
         4 tbls sunflower oil
         Chopped parsley or winter savoury 
     Peel and de seed the cucumber. Slice the halves into 1 cm thick half moons, put in a colander and sprinkle with salt. 
     Leave to drain for 30 minutes.
     Wash and prepare the celery, then slice it into similar sized chunks.                
     Put the mustards in a bowl. Add the vinegar and lemon juice , and then slowly add the oil to make a thick mustard dressing. 
     Pour the dressing over the cucumber and celery, season with salt, pepper and finely chopped herbs. 
     Cucumber Raita (for 4-6)
     This is perfect to serve with anything spicy as it alleviates the effect of chillies. 
        1/2 cucumber    
        200 g Greek yoghurt 
        Small bunch of mint, finely chopped 
        1 garlic clove, finely chopped 
        Small pinch of ground turmeric 
     Deseed the cucumber and chop finely. Mix with the yogurt, mint and garlic. 
     Season with salt and turmeric. 

   October 2018.   Fig Chutney   (from Nigel Slater)              
     This quantity makes 2 large jars. 
     I've made this chutney for a couple of years. It keeps very well and is good with cheese.
     I used pickling vinegar instead of malt and cider, which worked just as well. 
               250 g soft brown sugar 
               1 kg figs 
               150 ml malt vinegar 
               150 ml cider vinegar 
               250 g onions, finely chopped 
               250 g sultanas
               1 tsp salt
               1 tsp allspice
               1/2 black peppercorns, cracked 
               1 tsp coriander seeds, cracked
     Chop the figs, removing any tough stalks, then put them in a large stainless steel or enamelled pan. 
     Add the vinegars, onions, sultanas, salt and spices, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes until the onions and figs are soft. 
     Stir in the sugar. Place over a low heat, bring slowly to the boil, then turn the heat down so the chutney bubbles gently. 
     Leave for 10 to 15 minutes, with the occasional stir to stop it sticking, until the mixture is thick and jam like. 
     Bottle while hot and seal. 

   November 2018.   Pan Fried Partridge and Quince. (for 2).
     I was given a brace of partridge and decided to just use the breast and legs. We've had a glut of quinces this year 
     so I've been looking for new ways to use them and I thought they would go well with the partridge.  If you don't have quince then pears will do. 
     Take a medium size quince.  Peel, slice lengthways into eight and remove the core.
     Put in a pan with 1 tablespoon of caster sugar and the peeled zest of an orange. 
     Cover with water and cook until the fruit has softened (approx 10 minutes).  Drain the fruit, reserving half a cup of liquid.
     Put your plates in to warm. 
     Season the partridge. Cut two rashers of streaky bacon into thin slices . 
     In a large frying pan, on high heat, add olive oil and cook the bacon until crispy. 
     Push to one side of the pan and then add the partridge.  Brown on both sides, then reduce the heat and cook for another 3 minutes on each side.   
     Remove the bacon and partridge from the pan, put on the warmed plate, cover with foil and rest.
     Melt butter in the pan and add the quince slices. Brown on both sides and cook for a couple of minutes until heated through. Remove from pan.
     Deglaze the pan with half a glass of red wine, add the reserved quince juice and reduce until slightly thicker. Season to taste.  
     Divide the partridge, bacon and quince between the two plates and pour the juice over the meat.  
     I served it with sautéed potatoes and broccoli from the garden .

   December 2018.  Mincemeat and Almond Tart.    A recipe from Bridget Farrar.

   Few things are more iconic than a mince pie at Christmas , however I sometimes find there is just too much pastry going on 
   and this frangipani alternative is equally if not more delicious. 
   It is a winner served with warm cream or brandy flavoured custard and of course a tipple of your choice !

   Use a 28cm loose bottomed Tart tin or bun tray (12 individual tarts)

Ingredients for Pastry
225g plain flour
110g butter
25g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon cold water
Grated zest of an orange

175g caster sugar
175g softened butter
175g ground almonds or 85g each of self-raining flour and ground almonds
4 eggs
1 teaspoon almond essence
400g jar of good quality mincemeat
1 small cooking apple finely chopped
2 tablespoons of brandy or orange liqueur
25g flaked almonds

1. Make the pastry. Place the plain flour in a mixing bowl, cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour with your fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and orange zest.
2. Beat the egg and add to the breadcrumbs using a knife and add just enough water to bring together into a dough.
3. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30mins.
4. Once chilled place pastry onto a floured surface and roll out to approximately 3mm thick and line the tin carefully pressing into the edges. Prick the base lightly with a fork and return to the fridge while you prepare the filling.
5. In a small bowl mix together the mincemeat, chopped apple and brandy/ liqueur and set aside.
6. In a mixing bowl place the softened butter, sugar, eggs, ground almonds and almond essence. Using an electric hand whisk combine ingredients together until light and fluffy (approximately 2 minutes).
7. Spread the mincemeat mixture evenly over the base of the pastry case, cover with the almond topping and sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
8. Bake in the oven pre-heated to 160 degrees C for 35-40 minutes until the pastry and top are golden brown and a knife comes out clean when inserted into tart.
9. Dust with icing sugar and serv warm with cream or custard.