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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. 
      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 2013.    Candied Citrus Peel.              
The following recipe has been kindly given to us by Isobel Lilley from the local Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).  It is perfect for January 
as it's the best season for citrus fruits.  I've always liked candied fruit and the orange strips are even more delicious dipped in melted dark chocolate 
and allowed to cool on greaseproof paper. Just right with an after dinner coffee.
               1.   Skin fruit with pith - the thicker the better 
               2.   Soak in cold water - 1 hour - drain.
               3.   Simmer in fresh water for 15 minutes - drain.
               4.   Cut into sticks, weigh, add same weight of sugar.
               5.   Shake, leave overnight with an occasional shake.
               6.   Next day, cook very gently in saucepan without lid for 2 hours - stir occasionally.
               7.   Put on to a grid to drain for 2-3 days to dry off.
               8.   Roll in caster sugar and store in a jar.
Use any left over thick syrup by adding to other fruit in or on top of a cake.

February 2013.    Celeriac.

I have managed to grow celeriac successfully for the first time this year so I'm trying something different to the usual soup or mash.  I've always 
loved celeriac remoulade and the recipe below, from Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries, is very easy to make.               
Celeriac and Walnut Remoulade
      Ingredients:     1 large celeriac
                            250 ml crème fraiche 
                           Juice of half a lemon 
                           1 or 2 tbls grain mustard (according to taste) 
                           A handful of shelled walnuts (optional) 
          1.   Mix the crème fraiche, lemon juice and mustard together and stir in the chopped walnuts, salt and pepper  to taste. 
          2.   Peel the celeriac, cut into large chunks then grate coarsely. Add to the dressing and stir until all the celeriac is coated. 
                Try to do this quickly so the celeriac doesn't discolour. 
          3.   Serve with ham or any other salad ingredients. 
I also found the following recipe in Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook, which is very tasty.  I served them with roast chicken wings from 
Sutton Hoo Farm. 
Caramelised Celeriac with Pancetta (serves 4 - 5) 
      Ingredients:      1 large celeriac, peeled and sliced into 10 pieces 
                            20 slices of pancetta 
                            ½ tbls chopped lemon thyme (or fresh thyme and lemon juice!)                
                            ½ tbls chopped rosemary 
                            2 garlic cloves, chopped 
                            Salt and black pepper 
                            2 tbls olive oil 
           1.   Pre-heat the oven to 160 C /gas 3 
           2.   Steam the raw chunks of celeriac for 10 minutes. 
           3.   Mix all the ingredients for the dressing (not the pancetta) in  a large bowl and add the celeriac: mix well and leave
                 for at least 10 minutes. 
           4.   Wrap each chunk in 2 slices of pancetta and roast them until the pancetta is crisp and the celeriac is tender, which should 
                 take about half an hour. 

   March 2013.   Coq au Vin.

    If you keep chickens and let them hatch their eggs, you will end up with some cockerels. They are a much better flavour than 
    chicken and well-suited to this robust Winter Dish.  You can, of course, use chicken instead.  I'm just giving approximate quantities 
    of the ingredients as I'm sure you can judge how much you will need. This is a recipe I have worked out over the years.

    First, joint the bird, removing the flesh from the breast bones and dividing the thighs into two.  Put the carcass in a roasting tin in a 
    medium oven and roast for half an hour. Remove, put in a large pan with a sliced onion, carrot and stick of celery, bay leaf and mixed 
    Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook for an hour or so until the liquid is reduced to about a pint.  Strain into a jug. 
    Alternatively, use a chicken stock cube.
    In a heavy-bottomed casserole dish, heat some olive oil and brown the cockerel pieces and season.  Remove to a warm plate.  Add more oil if required 
    and soften a couple of sliced onions.  Push these to the side of the pan and add some chopped, streaky bacon.  Cook until browned. 

    Add a few button mushrooms, or sliced large ones and some very small onions.  Stir in a couple of spoonfuls of plain flour and cook for a few minutes, 
    stirring meanwhile.  Put the meat into the pan.  Add a pint of red wine and heat until bubbling, then pour in the stock.  If the meat is not well covered by 
    liquid add more wine.
    Check seasoning and add a few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf. Give the whole lot a good stir.  Cover the pan and put in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C 
    for a couple of hours. Check after half and hour that there is still plenty of liquid and reduce the heat slightly.   Check once again after an hour and add more 
    wine if necessary. When the meat is nice and tender take out of the oven, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs and serve.
    I generally bake a potato for each person in the oven with the casserole. (Note : Chicken won't take as long as cockerel).

   April 2013.   Rhubarb Muscovado Sponge.     Serves 4 to 6.

    Another delicious recipe from Nigel Slater.  Use forced rhubarb - it is much more tender and has a better colour.

     Ingredients :    1 lb rhubarb
                           1 blood orange
                           4 tbsp caster sugar
           For the sponge :
                          4 oz butter
                          3 oz light muscovado sugar
                          2 oz caster sugar
                          2 oz ground almonds
                          3 oz self-raising flour
                         1/2 tsp ground ginger 
                         1/2 tsp mixed spice
                         2 large puinches ground cinnamon
                         2 eggs

   You will need a 3 pint ovenproof pudding basin.

   1.   Cut the rhubarb into 2 inch pieces, tip them into a saucepan and add the juice and grated zest of the orange.
   2.   Add 2 tbsp of water and the caster sugar, then bring to the boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the rhubarb softens.
   3.   Using a slotted poon, transfer the rhubarb to the pudding basin and press flat.
         Switch on the oven 160C, Gas 3.
   4.   In a bowl, cream the butter and sugars until soft and light.  Mix together the almonds, flour and spices.  Lightly beat the eggs a little at a time.
         Incorporate the eggs into the butter and sugar, then mix in the almonds, flour and spices.
   5.   Spoon the cake mixture on top of the rhubarb and smooth the surface level.  Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, covering the dish lightly with foil
         if it appears to be browning too quickly.
   6.   Allow to cool slightly then serve with the heated juice and cream or custard.

May 2013.   Banana and Carrot Cake.               
This is hardly a seasonal recipe but it was so cold in early April when I wrote this, that I wanted comfort food.  I had bought too many 
bananas and was looking for a way of using some when I found this recipe in The Big Book of Best Kept Secrets of the Women's 
Institute.  t is very easy to make, is light and tasty, and uses ingredients you will probably have in your kitchen cupboard.  I made it 
in half the quantity in a smaller loaf tin and it gave me 6 good size slices.

               8 oz self-raising flour
               2 tsps baking powder
               3 oz soft brown sugar
               4 oz carrots, finely grated 
               2 ozs sultanas or chopped dates
               2 eggs, beaten
               4 oz sunflower oil or olive oil spread, melted
               2 ripe bananas, mashed.

               1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 C gas mark 5 and grease and line a 2 lb loaf tin.
               2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, carrots and sultanas/dates. Mix well.
               3. Stir in the eggs, margarine (I used melted butter) and bananas to make a soft dropping consistency.
               4. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for one hour (using half quantities it took 35 minutes).
               5. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out to cool on a wire rack.

     June 2013.    Meringues.             
     I had never made meringues before, but faced with three surplus egg whites I took the plunge.  I consulted various cookery books
     and discovered the following:  
     For each egg white use 2 oz of sugar. If you want white meringues use caster sugar but you can mix it with light brown soft or 
     muscavado sugar which produces coffee coloured meringues which taste of toffee. Mix the sugars well before using. 
     Put the egg whites in a large bowl and beat with a hand held electric whisk until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar a teaspoonful 
     at a time, whisking well after each addition until all the sugar has been added.
     Line baking trays with non-stick baking paper (I found I needed 1 tray for each egg white).
     Heat the oven to 100 C , Gas Low. 
     I put a dollop of egg white on the lined tray and then spread it to the required shape with a flat bladed knife. If you have a piping bag 
     you can use that instead. With the three egg whites I made 4 individual meringues, 2 x 5 inch discs and 2 x 7 inch. 
     Put them in the oven and cook for 2 to 3 hours until the meringue is crisp and has dried out. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
     They store well in an air tight container. If you want to use them immediately and like them soft in the middle then cook for less time.
     Meringues are good covered in whipped cream and fruit or used to make Strawberry Mess (see recipe on our website) 

     I also tried the following recipe from Nigel Slater, which was excellent.
    Lemon Curd and Orange Parfait   (serves 6-8).
               500 ml double cream
               180 gm meringues
               8 heaped tbls lemon curd (recipe here)
               Grated zest of 1 orange
               A plastic freezer box (9 in. x 5in. x 3 deep) lined with cling film.

     Pour the cream into a chilled mixing bowl and whisk until soft and thick. 
     Crumble the meringues into the cream, add the lemon curd and then grate 
     in the orange zest. Stir gently, do not over mix.
     Tip the mixture into the container, cover and freeze until set.  Allow 4 hours. 
     Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before serving.  
     Cut into slices. ( I made individual portions using lined creme fraiche or yoghurt pots). 

   July 2013.    Russian Redcurrant and Raspberry Pudding (serves 4).
    I can see that I'm going to have a bumper crop of red currants this summer so I've been looking for suitable recipes. Red currants 
   are often added to sweeter fruits like cherries when making jam and are part of the classic summer fruit mixture. They also make a 
   beautiful jelly.  Sarah Raven has a few recipes in her Garden Cookbook which are worth trying. 

               8 oz redcurrants
               8 oz raspberries 
               4 tbls caster sugar  
               275 ml sour cream
               2 eggs
               1 tbls flour 

               Pre heat the oven to 150 C , Gas mark 2. 
               Put the fruit into a shallow gratin dish, scatter over 3 tbls of the sugar and place in the middle of the oven, until the fruit are hot through.
               Beat the sour cream with the eggs, flour and remaining sugar. 
               Pour the mixture over the fruit, return the dish to the oven ,on the top shelf. 
               Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the topping turns a pale golden brown and goes firm. 
               Sprinkle with a little more sugar before serving. 

      This is best served hot or warm. I also found that it is not the easiest dish to serve and now make it in individual dishes.

   September 2013.   Courgette, Tomato and Ricotta Bake.
             A tasty way of using courgettes and very easy to make.  The recipe is from Nigel Slater.  Serves 4 
               1 lb courgettes
               Olive oil
               1 small onion
               1 1/2 lb tomatoes
               A handful of basil leaves
               250 g ricotta
               Set the oven at 180 / Gas 4 . Remove the stalks from the courgettes then slice them down their length into strips as thick as a pound coin. 
               Brush them lightly with olive oil and grill them on both sides until tender ( I fry them in a ridged frying pan so they look like they've been 
               cooked on a barbecue ). 
               Remove and season with salt and pepper.  Finely chop the onions and soften them in olive oil in a shallow pan . 
               Skin the tomatoes, chop them and add to the onions, leaving the mixture to simmer down to a soft, slushy sauce. 
               Season and add the torn basil leaves.  Layer the courgettes with the tomato sauce and ricotta in a shallow baking dish. 
               Drizzle over some olive oil and bake until the tomato sauce is bubbling.                

    October 2013.   (i).  Pumpkin and Coconut. 
                                    (ii).  Peppers with Prawns.
   The following recipes are from a friend in Goa who is a marvellous cook and turns vegetables into something special.  She doesn't work from a recipe 
   book so the quantities given are trial and error on my part.  The two dishes go very well together and you can serve rice with them as well.
   Pumpkin and Coconut
   Pumpkins or squash vary so much in size you'll have to judge how much you need.  For 2 people I use half a coconut. The rest can be wrapped in 
   cling film and will keep for a week or two in the bottom of the fridge.  The coconut water isn't used in the recipe so just drink it.
      To prepare the coconut, pierce two holes at the smooth end and pour out the water. Split the coconut in two and with a lemon zester, or something 
      similar, scrape out the flesh so you have grated coconut.  
      Peel and de-seed a pumpkin or squash.  
      Finely chop an onion and dice the pumpkin into 1 inch pieces. 
      Put the onion and pumpkin into a lidded pan, with a little water, and cook gently for 20 minutes (I've found it better to use a non-stick pan) or until 
      the pumpkin is tender. 
      Add grated coconut, a slurp of olive or sunflower oil, stir and leave for 2 minutes. Check seasoning and serve.
  Peppers with Prawns
    Use green peppers (capsicums). Ginger and garlic paste is available in Asian stores and large supermarkets. 
      For each green pepper allow 4oz peeled prawns, a heaped teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste and half a teaspoon 
      of turmeric. 
      Slice the peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds. 
      Boil a large pan of water and blanch the peppers for 3 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon onto a wire rack, 
      upside down and allow to drain. 
      Soften some finely chopped onions. 
      Mix the prawns, onions, turmeric, ginger and garlic paste, salt and pepper in a bowl. 
      Thoroughly dry the peppers with kitchen paper and fill them with the prawn mixture. 
      Push it well in and then dust the top with flour. 
      Heat oil in a frying pan and gently fry the peppers for 5 minutes each side until they are heated through.
Pumpkin, peppers, onion and prawns

     November 2013.   Rice Pudding.
       I hadn't had rice pudding since my Mum made it, a long time ago, but searching for a different desert I found this recipe 
       in an old book of Nigel Slater's, Real Fast Puddings. 
       I tried it out on some friends and everyone thought it delicious, so here you are.

The Twenty-Minute Rice Pudding. Serves 4
8 tablespoons arborio or pudding rice
1/2 pint double cream
1/2 pint milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons caster sugar

Put the rice in a medium-sized, heavy-based pan, then pour in the milk, cream, vanilla and water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then turn it down and cook gently until the rice is tender, then stir in the sugar. It will need the occasional stir. I found it took more like 30 minutes and you may have to add more milk. If you make it ahead of time it will go solid but add more liquid and it will heat up fine.
I served with a spoonful of lemon curd (recipe on the website) and grated some lemon zest into the rice. It's also great with a dollop of summer fruit compote or home made jam.

December 2013.   Windfall Apple and Quince Cake.
   This recipe is from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook.  As I have lots of quince I don't use apples and for the topping I use the syrup left over
   from making pickled pears (or quinces) . The recipe for which is on the website (here).  
   This is best served warm as a dessert with cream or ice cream but can also be eaten for afternoon tea. 
   For 6.
         1 large quince or cooking apple or a mixture of both 
         1 lemon 
         125 g soft brown sugar 
         100 g butter
         1 egg 
         45 g self-raising flour 
         1/2 tsp baking powder
         50 g ground almonds
         25 g flaked almonds
         Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.  Line a loose bottom 7 inch baking tin with baking paper.
         Peel, core and roughly chop the apple / quince and place in an ovenproof dish with the juice and zest of half the lemon and 25g of the sugar. 
         Give it all a good stir, cover and bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the fruit is soft.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.                
         Cream 75 g of the butter with 75 g sugar then mix in the egg.  Fold in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds. 
         Add the cooked fruit and mix in.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin, ensuring the fruit is evenly distributed.  Bake for 25 minutes.
         Melt the remaining 25 g butter in a saucepan, add the rest of the sugar and lemon juice and zest. 
         Add the flaked almonds. Take the cake out of the oven and spread the mixture on top.  Bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown.  
         Allow to cool a little before serving.