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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. 
      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
     December 2011.   Pumpkins and Squashes.

     I grew winter squash this year and ended up with a lovely selection of sizes and shapes.  They were not too big, generally 
     providing enough for one meal for two. 
     I also used them instead of potatoes, as they are particularly good roasted or mashed.  Here are a couple of recipes from 
     Nigel Slater which can be side dishes or vegetarian main courses.  
     Either pumpkin or squash can be used.
      1.   Squash Stew (for 4).

             2lb Pumpkin, butternut or winter squash 
             400g can chopped tomatoes
             2 tsp tomato puree
             3tbls olive oil 
             1 tsp dried oregano
             2 onions 
             Parsley, a few sprigs.

     2.   Pumpkin Ragout
           (for 6 as a side dish, or 4 as a main course).

           1 large butternut squash or small pumpkin 
2 large onions
2 tbls olive oil
6 juniper berries
2 tbls plain flour
1 glass white wine
1 pint veg. or chicken stock
2 sprigs rosemary
a few sprigs of parsley


Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut it into 1 inch chunks. 
Warm the oil in a wide, deep pan, add the squash and leave them to fry until golden brown on the edges, moving them around the pan to stop them sticking. When browned remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add more oil to the pan and then the peeled and sliced onions. Cook them slowly until soft.
Stir in the tomato puree then add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper.
Fill the empty tomato can with water, pour into the pan and, stirring, bring to the boil.
Return the squash to the pan, leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until all is cooked and the liquid reduced. Serve with rice or a baked potato.
Peel and slice the onions, soften in the oil over a medium heat. Add the finely chopped rosemary leaves and crushed juniper berries.
Peel, seed and dice the pumpkin, add to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook for another 5 minutes.
Pour in the stock and wine and bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until all is tender.
Stir in the parsley and serve.
Serve with rice or potatoes.

   November 2011.    Borlotti Beans.

     Borlotti beans grow very well here and they don't need any manure to crop prolifically.  Their red and cream pods are very attractive.  They are used fresh or 
     can be dried and stored for the winter.  The following recipes are from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook.
      1.   Borlotti Beans with Sage  
            For 6 as a starter or 8 as a side dish
           1 lb fresh borlotti beans 
              (or 8 oz dried and soaked overnight in cold water) 
           3oz pancetta or smoked bacon, chopped
           1 garlic clove, peeled 
           Slurp of wine vinegar
           6 sage leaves, chopped 
           2 tbls Dijon mustard
           3 tbls extra virgin olive oil 
           Salt and black pepper.

     2.   Borlotti Hummus (for 6).
           8 oz fresh borlotti beans, 
or 4 oz dried,soaked overnight in cold water
Juice and grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovies
Salt and black pepper
1 garlic clove
Chopped coriander leaves (optional)


   Put the beans, garlic and chopped sage into a pan of unsalted water, bring to the boil and
   simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain them and, while still warm add 1 tbls of the
   olive oil and set aside.
   Meanwhile, fry the pancetta until crisp and add to the beans. 
   Mix together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and slowly whisk in the rest of the olive oil. 
   Pour this over the still warm beans. Serve.               
  (I had some ham hock left over so used that instead of pancetta and substituted English
  mustard for French, which also worked well. I served the beans with a salad of mixed
  spicy leaves for lunch using 8oz of fresh beans for 2 people.)

  Cook the beans for 1/2 hour or until tender in plenty of water.  
  Strain, reserving the cooking liquid, allow to cool then puree them with the drained anchovies, 
  garlic, lemon juice and zest and a little of the cooking liquid and olive oil. 
  Season well and add the chopped coriander.  Serve with warm pitta-bread.
  If you don't like anchovies, omit them and add more lemon. If you haven't got a food
  processor mash the beans with a fork and chop the other ingredients finely.

     October 2011.      Chaffcombe Apple Pudding and Peperoni Alla Piemontese. 

  The following recipe is from Friends of the Earth Cookbook 
   by Veronica Sekules.  It was published in 1980 and was 
   ahead of its time in having lots of good fruit and vegetable recipes. 
   Chaffcombe Apple Pudding  (serves 4).

         3 cooking apples, peeled, cored and grated 
        Zest and juice of 1 orange 
        2 oz Demerara sugar, 
        1 oz Caster sugar 
        2 oz butter 
        5 oz oat flakes 
    Melt the butter in a saucepan and add 2 oz of the Demerara sugar. 
    Stir for a couple of minutes then add the oat flakes. 
    When well mixed take off the heat and allow to cool, stirring 
    occasionally to keep the mixture loose. 
    Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5). 
    Mix the grated apple orange juice and zest and caster sugar and 
    put into an ovenproof dish. 
    Spread the oat mixture on top and put into the oven, cooking 
    for approximately 30 minutes or until the oats have browned on top. 


  For the first time I've successfully grown peppers (capsicum) and they are delicious 
   in this recipe from Nigel Slater. 
  Peperoni Alla Piemontese. 
     Allow one red or yellow pepper per person. 
     Heat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4). Slice the peppers in half lengthways, 
     discarding the seeds and core. 
     Halve small tomatoes and fill the pepper halves. 
     Add a couple of slices of garlic and some basil leaves, tucked under the tomatoes. 
     Season with salt and pepper. 
     Put the peppers in an oven proof dish and ensure they are level.   
     Pour Extra Virgin olive oil in to each pepper, until half filled.                
     Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the peppers have softened. 
     Serve with lots of good crusty bread to mop up the juices. 

     Other ingredients can be added if you wish - anchovies, olives or courgettes etc.
     They are good served hot or cold. 

    September 2011.    Courgette Recipes. 
    Here are our annual courgette recipes.  The first is from Sarah Raven's Garden Cook Book.
       1.   Greek Courgette Pie (for four).
               1 lb courgettes, grated
               1 onion, finely chopped
               olive oil
               filo pastry
               100 grm (1/2 pack) feta cheese
               1 egg
               2 tbls double cream
               chopped dill, parsley and mint
               milk for glazing.
      1.    Put courgettes into a colander and salt them.  Allow to drain for 30 minutes, then squeeze out any excess juice.  
             Fry the onion in olive oil until soft then add the courgettes and cook for another 15 minutes.  Cool.
      2.    Preheat the oven to 200 c/gas mark 6.  Separate out five filo pastry sheets.  Brush side with olive oil and place 
             oiled side down in an 8"x 5" roasting tin.  Brush the topside with olive oil.  Repeat with 2 more sheets.  
             Pour the onion/courgette mixture in and crumble the feta cheese over it.  
             Beat the eggs and cream together with the chopped herbs and spread over the top.  
             Season with salt and pepper.  Fold the filo sheets up over the mixture and brush with the oil.  
             Place two more oiled filo sheets over the top, tucking the extra down the sides.  Don't worry if the pastry tears,
             just patch it in with the olive oil.  Brush again with olive oil and glaze with milk.
      3.    Put the pie in the preheated oven and cook for approx 1/2 hour or until the pastry is brown and crispy.  
            Allow to cool a little before serving.
            Good with a mixed leaf salad and new potatoes.
      2.   The second recipe is from Elizabeth Maskell of Shingle Street.
         She serves it as a side dish to chicken and I tried it as a starter with crusty bread. It's delicious.
           Melt butter in a saucepan and gently saute sliced courgettes until nearly soft.
           Add chopped garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.
           Pour in some double cream and a squeeze of lemon juice.
           Add chopped dill or oregano.  Season to taste.

     August 2011.     Pastry with Quark and Vegetable & Blue Cheese Tart.               
     The Nordic Bakery Cookbook by Miisa Mink contains excellent recipes utilising garden produce.  Quark pastry is quite 
     different to short pastry but is easy  to make and results in delicious tarts.  Quark, a low fat dairy product comes in 250g 
     cartons and is available from supermarkets.

     Make the full quantity of dough as any surplus to requirements can be wrapped in cling film and frozen.
     1.   Pastry with Quark

               250 g butter at room temperature 
               250 g strong white bread flour
               250 g quark cheese 
               1 tsp baking powder
       Put the butter and quark in a mixing bowl and beat well with a wooden spoon. 
       Add the flour/baking powder.  Mix until a dough and roll into a ball lattened into a disc. 
       Wrap in cling film; chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until it is required.
    2.   Vegetable and Blue Cheese Tart.  Serves 6 (starter) or 4 (main course).
      Preheat oven to 200c/400f Gas Mk 6.
               Quark pastry
               200 g broccoli florets
               200 g cauliflower florets
               1 tbls vegetable oil
               1 onion finely chopped
               100 g halved cherry tomatoes
               75 g crumbly blue cheese
               75 g Cheddar, grated
               ground black pepper
       Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into small chunks. 
       Put into a pan of boiling water and cook for 3 or 4 minutes; drain, cool and dry on kitchen paper. 
       Fry the onions in the oil until softened.  Allow to cool.
       Take the quark pastry from fridge and divide in 2. (Only half is needed for this recipe.)
       Grease a 26 cm [10 inch] loose-bottomed flan tin.  Roll out the pastry on a floured surface.
       Line tin with the pastry, pressing it into the fluted edges, cutting  off the surplus. 
       Tip the onion into the pastry case and spread evenly.  
       Top with the broccoli, cauliflower and cherry tomatoes (cut side  up). 
       Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top; season with black pepper.                
       Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.                
       Allow to cool before serving; also good served cold the next day.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C or gas mark 5.
Butter and flour an ovenproof dish
Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, vanilla and salt, then sift in the flour.
When the mixture is smooth, mix in the milk.
Pour about 1/2 inch of batter into the dish, cover with the fruit and then pour in the
remaining batter.  If using plums, place them cut side up.

Bake in the middle of the over for 40 minutes, until it has risen and is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm with cream or creme fraiche.
  July 2011.   Clafoutis (serves 6). 

   This is basically fruit in a sweet batter and is very easy to make.  
   It is traditionally made with cherries but also works well with plums. 

   This recipe is taken from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook.
         Butter for the dish
         2 oz plain flour, plus a little extra for the dish
         3 eggs
         4 oz caster sugar
         1 tbls vanilla extract
         1/4 tsp salt
         1/2 pint milk
         1 lb stoned cherries or plums (use sweet dessert varieties)
         icing sugar.

   June 2011.   Wimbledon Cake (provides 6 portions). 
            2 free range medium eggs
            3 oz caster sugar
            4 oz ground almonds
            1/2 tsp baking powder

          For the filling :

            1/4 pint double cream
            3 oz fresh ripe strawberries

Heat the oven to 170c/325f/gas mark 3.               
Grease and line a 7" loose bottomed cake tin.
Separate the eggs, putting the yolks into a larger bowl. 
Add the sugar to the yolks and beat with a fork until well mixed and a paler yellow. 
Use a hand whisk to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Using a metal spoon, add the whites to the yolk mixture, gently folding them in. 
Add the almonds and baking powder, carefully folding together until well mixed. 
Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth the top. 
Put into the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes until brown on top. 
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 20 minutes. 
Run a knife around the side of the tin.  Turn the cake out, remove the paper and 
cool on a wire rack. 
To divide the cake horizontally take a length of cotton thread, longer than the 
circumference of the cake. 
Position it around the cake, halfway down, gently pull the ends of the cotton 
so it slices through the cake.

Whip the cream until thick and spread over the bottom half of the cake. 
Cover with sliced strawberries and then replace the top of the sponge.
You can fill this cake with anything you like.  It is a good summer cake 
as it is so light and I often serve it with summer fruit compote as a pudding.

     May 2011. Pork with Rhubarb (serves 2).
      A friend sent me this recipe.  It is very easy, delicious and an excellent way of using rhubarb and Suffolk pork.  
      I simplified the instructions and used what I had in the larder.
          1 tblsp. oil
          1 small knob of butter
          2 pork chops (I used leg steaks, they are leaner and cheaper than chops and just as tender)
          1 small glass of tawny port (I used sweet dessert wine, sweet sherry would be fine)
          1/2 pint chicken stock
          1/2 lb rhubarb
          1 tblsp. sugar
          2 tsp grated ginger (I used 1 large piece of stem ginger chopped fine)
          I tblsp. double cream
          In a heavy bottomed, lidded casserole heat the butter and olive oil. 
          Trim any fat from the pork, season and add to the pan and brown on both sides. 
          Remove the pork and any excess oil from the pan.
          Add the port and stock to the pan, bring to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. 
          Wash and trim the rhubarb and cut into 1 inch pieces. 
          Cook the rhubarb in a small pan with the sugar and a little water until tender.   
          Add the ginger and then pour into the casserole. 
          Return the pork to the casserole, bring to the boil, cover and put into a preheated oven at 180 c for ½ hour or until tender.  
          Remove the pork and keep warm.  Reduce the liquid until it thickens and add the cream.  Reheat and check the seasoning.
          Put the pork on warm plates and pour over the sauce.
          Serve with mashed potatoes.

    April 2011.   Nettle Rarebit.  Serves 2.     
I gave you a recipe for nettle soup in Village Voices March 2009 and have now found other ways of cooking this tasty and 
nutritious leaf. 
Pick the tips of the young nettles using rubber gloves and rinse thoroughly in a sieve.  Drain, then steam for approximately 
5 minutes until wilted.  A large quantity will require longer.  Drain and add butter. 
It can be used as spinach and is delicious with a poached egg on top. 
Nigel Slater has a recipe for Nettle Rarebit which makes a great light lunch.
       For 2. 
               1 tbls olive oil 
               3 oz Nettle tops 
               100 g creme fraiche 
               2 tsp grain mustard 
               3 oz grated cheese (the recipe is for Caerphilly but I used Cheddar)                
               2 large slices of fresh wholemeal or granary bread 
         Rinse the nettles as above and dry on kitchen paper. 
         Put the olive oil in a pan and warm it over a moderate heat, then add the nettle tops and let them cook for a few minutes, 
         turning them over until they have wilted. 
         Remove them from the pan and chop roughly.  
         Mix with the creme fraiche, mustard and half the grated cheese. 
         Toast the bread lightly on both sides. 
         Spread the nettle mixture over each piece of toast and then top with the remaining cheese. 
         Put under the grill and cook until the top has browned. 

  March 2011.     Rocket and Potato Soup.   Serves 2.

One of the few things in my garden to survive the snow and the mice have been salad crops.  Rocket, land cress and spicy salad mix only need to be 
netted against pigeons and you can have fresh, tasty salads all winter.  I also left some Anya potatoes in the ground well covered with soil and weeds, 
and have just dug them up untouched by the frost.  The following recipe combines both in a delicious soup.  If you are not keen on rocket, watercress 
would be a good substitute.
             8 oz Anya or salad potatoes
             1 chicken stock cube
             1 small onion
             1 tbls olive oil
             Sprig of fresh rosemary
             2 oz stale ciabatta or foccacia
             2oz home grown rocket or 4oz shop bought
             Extra Virgin olive oil (optional) 
Scrub the potatoes and pare off the eyes and any blemishes. 
Boil in salted water until tender. Drain into a jug containing the stock cube, 
to make just over a pint, and stir to dissolve the cube. 
In a heavy bottomed pan warm the olive oil and cook the finely chopped onion 
until soft, stirring to ensure it does not burn. 
Add the chopped rosemary leaves. 
Cut the bread into bite size pieces.
Pour the stock onto the onions in the pan, add the sliced potatoes and reheat. 
Add the rinsed rocket and then the bread.  Stir, check the seasoning, then 
remove from the heat and ladle into bowls. 
Top with a slurp of Extra Virgin olive oil.

   January 2011.     Pheasant with Apples.  

      Serves 2 to 4 depending on the size of the pheasant.
      We can get very good game in Suffolk and this recipe is delicious.  It also is a good way of using stored apples.

  1 pheasant cut into serving pieces
   2 tbls olive oil
   1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and sliced
   2 small eating apples, Cox or similar, peeled, cored & sliced
   2 stalks celery sliced
   1 onion sliced
   1 tbls plain flour
   1 pint chicken or game stock
   1/2 pint white wine
   1 bay leaf

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, lidded casserole. 
When hot, add the pheasant pieces and cook on both sides until browned. 
Lift out of the pan and put to one side.

Lower the heat, add more olive oil if necessary, add the celery and onion and cook until soft. 
Add the apple slices and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the flour and stir in for a minute and then pour in the stock and white wine, stirring 
all the time.
Return the pheasant pieces to the pan, check the seasoning and add the bay leaf.
Cover and cook in a preheated oven at 180c, Gas 4 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until tender.
Check occasionally and add more wine if necessary.
This goes well with baked potatoes which can be cooked in the oven at the same time.