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

January 2015.    Marmalade.

    This recipe is from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook.  I usually make half this quantity which is about 5 jars.  When you've made it, try the recipes 
     for Marmalade Ice Cream and Chocolate Orange Cake which are on the Village Voices website.
     For about 3.5 kg : 
         1.4 kg Seville oranges
         1 tsp salt
         Juice of 2 lemons
         2.7 kg granulated sugar 
     Put a saucer in the fridge to cool.
     Scrub the oranges and put them whole into a large preserving pan, along with 2.4 litres of water and the salt.  
     Cover with a lid and simmer the fruit gently until soft, which can take up to an hour.                
     Reserve the liquid.  Halve the fruit, scooping out the pith and pips with a spoon and putting them in a small saucepan. 
     Add 300 ml of the liquid and simmer for 10 minutes. 
     Slice the orange peel to your preferred size and add to the reserved liquid in the preserving pan. 
     Strain the pips and pith and add this liquid as well. 
     Pour in the lemon juice and sugar, and heat slowly to dissolve the sugar completely, stirring all the time. 
     Increase the heat and bring to a rapid boil, then turn down a little and cook until the setting point is reached (at least 20 minutes).
     To test for the setting point, put a teaspoonful of marmalade on the cold saucer and wait for a few minutes.  
     Once it is cold, the jam should wrinkle when you push it with your finger. 
     After taking the pan off the heat, skim the scum from the surface with a spoon. 
     Allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes to stop the peel floating to the top.     
     Ladle into sterilised jars, allow to cool and cover.

February 2015.    Lamb Hotpot.
    I love roast lamb but I'm not too keen on cold lamb the next day. When I found this recipe from Nigel Slater it solved the problem.   
    It also works with beef.  It's difficult to give quantities as it depends on how much lamb you have left.
    Pre-heat oven to 180 C Gas 4. 
    Remove the lamb from the bone, discarding the fat, and cut into slices. Arrange in the bottom of a lidded casserole. 
    Thinly slice a large onion and cook in olive oil in another pan until soft. Add the remains of gravy and cooking juices 
    (supplement with stock if necessary) cook for a further 5 minutes. Check seasoning. 
    Pour over the lamb (there should be enough liquid to cover it) and add a bay leaf and rosemary. 
    Thinly slice a potato and arrange on top to cover contents. Put the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 45 minutes. 
    Remove the lid and cook for another 15 minutes until the potatoes have browned, remove bay leaf when serving.

    If you have any left over vegetables they can also be added to the mixture.  I usually serve with a baked potato and pickled red cabbage.

March 2015.   Macaroons.    (Recipe by Jess Richardson).

    These are my favourite baked treat for unexpected guests. They're quick to whip up and contain just four ingredients - all of which can be stashed
     in the store cupboard (topped up with a dash down the road for eggs if needed!). 
Don't be put off by the name. These macaroons are really easy to make. You can add extra flavours too - try adding orange zest and cardamom when mixing or dip in dark chocolate when baked. Chewy and very moreish, they travel well so if you manage not to eat them all they make a great gift.
    Makes approximately 20 - 25.

200g ground almonds
200g caster sugar
2 large egg whites
20-25 whole almonds

Pre-heat the oven to 200C Gas 6. Line a tray (or two) with baking paper.
Add the ground almonds, sugar and egg whites into a bowl. Mix to make a thick paste. Using your hands form the mixture into balls about the size of small walnuts. Pop them on the sheet, spacing a few centimetres apart. Top each with a whole almond, flattening each ball a little as you do so. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Keep a watchful eye - you don't want them too brown.
Leave them to cool on the tray and enjoy!

April 2015.   Hot Cross Bun, Toffee and Banana Pudding.   For 6.              
   I made this pudding last Easter and can't wait to try it again. (from Nigel Slater). 
3 firm bananas 3 hot cross buns 150 g light muscavado sugar 375 ml double cream Vanilla extract
     Set the oven at 180 C / Gas 3 
     Peel and slice the bananas into thick rounds. Slice the hot cross buns and tear them into small pieces. 
     Put the sugar and cream into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as the sugar has melted add the vanilla extract, stir and set aside.
     Line a small loaf tin with baking parchment, leaving some overhanging the edges. 
     Pour some of the butterscotch sauce into the tin then pile in the torn pieces of hot cross bun and the banana.
     Pour over the rest of the butterscotch sauce and press the bun pieces down so they become saturated with the sauce.
     Bake for 30 minutes until lightly firm.  Leave for 10 to 20 minutes before turning out and cutting into thick slices. 
     Serve with double cream.

May 2015.   Cauliflower Cheese with Leek    (for 2). 
               Half a cauliflower (approx 8 oz.) 
               1 medium leek 
               1/2 oz butter 
               1/2 oz plain flour
               1/4 pint milk 
               3 oz strong cheddar cheese, grated.
               6 rashers of streaky bacon 
               1 lb mashed potato 
Put the potatoes on to cook. In a small non stick pan, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir together and cook gently for a few minutes. 
Add the milk, a small amount at a time, stirring constantly (it's often a good idea to take it off the heat) . The sauce will be thick. 
Put to one side.  Wash the leek discarding any tough outer leaves and slice into 1 inch pieces. 
Break the cauliflower into florets and cut off thick pieces of stem. Arrange the leek in the bottom of a pan and cover with the cauliflower, 
stems down. 
Add enough water to cover the leeks and a dash of salt.  Put on the lid, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and cook for approx 4 minutes. 
You should be able to pierce the cauliflower stem with a sharp knife. 
Drain the vegetables into a sieve, retaining the cooking liquid. By this time the potatoes should be tender so mash them and add your usual 
amounts of butter and milk.  Set aside.  Put the grill on and heat a deep sided 8 inch pie dish. 
Gently reheat the sauce, beating in the reserved vegetable water until the sauce is thinner. 
Add 2 oz of the cheese and stir until melted.  Check the seasoning.  Spoon the mashed potato around the sides of the heated dish, arrange 
the leek and cauliflower in the middle, pour the sauce over and scatter the rest of the cheese on top. 
Put under the grill until the cheese has browned.  The bacon can also be grilled or fried as you wish.
Cauliflower and creme fraiche.
A very easy way of serving cauliflower.  Cook it in the usual way and when tender drain into a sieve. 
Return the pan to the stove and on a low heat add creme fraiche (a couple of dessert spoons per portion). 
When warmed through, add the cauliflower and stir into the creme fraiche. 
Grate plenty of Parmesan cheese over and allow to melt. 

June 2015.   Strawberry and Cucumber Salad  (by Nigel Slater) 
   This is a delicious and refreshing summer salad. The quantities given here will give you a large bowl but it can easily be scaled down for 2 people. 
   The recipe for Elderflower Cordial is on the Village Voices website and in the June 2010 issue of the magazine.
        For the syrup: 
             3 tbsp honey
             10 mint leaves
             5 tbsp elderflower cordial 
        2 medium cucumbers
        450 g strawberries 
   Put the honey, mint and elderflower cordial into a blender and blitz to a thick syrup.  If you don't have a blender, chop the mint very finely, 
   mix it with the honey and cordial, then leave it for an hour.  Strain through a fine sieve to remove the mint leaves. 
   Peel the cucumbers, slice them in half down their length, then scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon.  Dice the flesh finely and put in a large bowl. 
   Hull the strawberries, slice in two and mix carefully in with the cucumber.  Pour the mint and elderflower syrup over the fruit and stir in gently. 
   Leave for 20 minutes in the fridge before serving.
   If you have a bumper crop of strawberries this year don't forget that they are well worth freezing.  They retain their colour and taste so can be added to 
   other summer fruits in a compote or heated with a little sugar to make a sauce for ice cream. 
   I also liquidise the fruit and pour into small plastic containers and freeze. 
   Added to fresh orange juice it makes a delicious breakfast treat. 

July 2015.    Onion Tart   (for 3 or 4)               
I'm still using up last years onions and made this tart for supper, served with new potatoes and a mixed leaf salad. Allow plenty of time to rest the 
pastry and slow cook the onions. Make in a 6 inch (16 cm) loose bottomed tart tin .
     For the pastry: 
               100 g plain flour
               50 g butter cold and cut into cubes
               1tbls cream cheese
               50 ml double cream 
               Pinch of salt
               1 tbls grated Parmesan
     For the filling:
               450 g onions
               A knob of butter
               1 tbls olive oil
               1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
               150 ml double cream 
               60 g grated cheddar cheese
               Salt, pepper and grated nutmeg
     Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle in the salt, Parmesan, add the cream cheese and 
     mix in with a spoon.  
     Slowly pour in the cream and bring it together to make a smooth dough.  Fashion into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
     Peel the onions, quarter, then slice as thinly as possible.
     In a preferably non-stick pan with a lid, melt the butter and add the olive oil.  Put in the onions, give a good stir, cover with the lid and, on a low heat, 
     cook them for 30 minutes.  Keep an eye on them and stir occasionally. 
     Remove the pastry from the fridge, roll out into a circle and use to line the greased the pie tin, bringing the pastry up above the sides of the tin .
     Return to the fridge.                
     Take the lid off the onions, which should now be tender and continue to cook for another 20 minutes or so until all the liquid has evaporated.  
     Put on one side to cool. 
     Preheat the oven to 200 C /Gas 6.  Prick the bottom of the tart tin with a fork, line with baking or grease proof paper and fill with baking beans or rice. 
     Put the tin on a baking tray, it will be easier to get in and out of the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Take out of of the oven, remove the paper and beans, 
     return to the oven for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat .
     Take the pastry out of the oven and cool. 
     Turn the oven on again to 180 C / Gas 4 
     In a bowl, beat the eggs, cream and half the Cheddar together, season and add plenty of grated nutmeg. 
     Stir in the onions.  Spoon into the tart tin, the mixture should come up to the top and scatter on the remaining cheese. 
     Carefully slide the tart into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until the top has browned.  Allow to cool a little before serving.

August 2015.  Peach Melba (for 2).               
     Made with fresh fruit, this is the most delicious dessert. If your peaches aren't ripe cook them for longer. 
               2 ripe but firm peaches
               1 dessert spoon sugar
               2 scoops good vanilla ice cream (recipe on VV website) 
               250 g raspberries (fresh or frozen) 
               Icing sugar
               Almond biscuits to serve (recipe on VV website) 
     Heat up some water in a pan large enough to take the peaches and add the sugar . 
     When dissolved, carefully lower in the peaches and simmer for 3 minutes, turning over if the water doesn't cover the fruit. 
     With a slotted  spoon, remove the peaches onto a plate and allow to cool.
     Put the raspberries in a sieve over a bowl and squash with a spoon to release the juice.  Add icing sugar to taste. 
     Slip the skins off the peaches and halve, removing the stone.  Place the two halves in a sundae dish and arrange a scoop of ice cream between them. 
     Pour over the raspberry sauce and serve with the almond  biscuits.

September 2015.   Peperonata.    (from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook)
   I've made this for two years running and it's a marvellous way of preserving capsicum peppers. If you don't grow them, they are usually 
   very cheap on markets at this time of year. 
   For 1 jar :                
               4 red peppers
               2 yellow peppers
               2 tbls caster sugar
               200 ml white wine vinegar
               200 ml extra virgin olive oil
   Roast the peppers whole for half an hour in a medium oven (180C / gas 4). 
   Put them in a bowl and cover with cling film for 5 minutes. 
   When cool enough to handle, skin, deseed and cut into thin strips. 
   Put them in a pan, add the sugar and vinegar and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. 
   Put the mixture into a warm sterilised jar, filling it to the top, and cover with olive oil. 
   Secure the lid, turn the jar upside down and wrap it in plenty of cloth. (I used an old towel). 
   Leave it for a couple of days so it cools slowly, which aids the preserving. It should keep for over a year, but, once opened keep in the fridge. 

October 2015.    Aubergines. 
I had never been a fan of aubergines until I discovered some good recipes. Here are a couple of dishes that can be a starter or snack.
    (i).   Baba Ghanoush. (from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook).  For 6. 
               3 medium aubergines
               2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with 2 teaspoons salt
               Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon 
               3 tblsp tahini
               4 tblsp olive oil
               Salt and pepper
       Pierce the skins of the aubergines and cook them in a hot oven for approx 30 minutes until they are soft inside. 
       Allow them to cool, then cut lengthways and scrape out the flesh. 
       Discard any large seeds and put the flesh and juices in a food processor and blitz. 
       Add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, tahini and olive oil. Check seasoning and serve with toasted pitta bread or naan bread. 
    (ii).  Aubergine chips with coriander salt (for 4)
                I dessert spoon coriander seeds
               2 dessert spoons sea salt
               2 medium aubergines 
               4 tbsp olive oil 
               Yoghurt to serve
       Preheat the oven to 200 C, Gas 6 . Put the coriander seeds in a metal dish and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. 
       When cooled transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind with the sea salt. 
       Take 2 non stick baking trays, divide the oil between them and put to heat up in the oven. 
       Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and then into long chips about an inch wide. 
       Place the chips on the heated tray and turn them in the oil.  Make sure they aren't touching. 
       Sprinkle with the coriander salt and return to the oven and cook for approx 30 minutes or until the chips have browned and crisped up. 
       Serve with the yoghurt.  Any spare coriander salt will keep in a screw top jar (it's also a good seasoning for pork). 

November 2015.  Stuffed Peppers (for 2)              
   I had a few tablespoons of cooked rice left over from dinner so decided to use them in this recipe. 
   You could also add mushrooms and French beans.  If you don't like goats cheese, use mozzarella or grated cheddar. 
               2 red or yellow peppers 
               1 onion, finely chopped
               1 courgette, chopped
               10 cherry or 3 Italian tomatoes, chopped and deseeded.
               8 runner beans, thinly sliced
               Basil leaves
               I vegetable stock cube
               Cooked rice 
               1 small goats cheese, sliced
               Olive oil
    Pre heat the oven to 200 C Gas 6.  Slice the peppers in half lengthwise, removing the seeds and ribs. 
    Put into a baking tray, cut side up, so they fit snugly and cook for approx 30 minutes.
    While they are cooking, heat a desert spoon of olive oil in a pan, add the onions and cook until soft. 
    Follow with the other vegetables, continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring if required. 
    Dissolve the stock cube in 250 ml boiling water and add to the mixture. 
    Cook for another 10 minutes then add the rice.  Simmer and reduce the  liquid. 
    Stir in the chopped basil leaves and check seasoning.  
    Remove the peppers from the oven and soak up any liquid in them with kitchen paper. 
    Divide the vegetable/ rice mixture between the pepper halves and top with the cheese. 
    Return to the oven and cook until the cheese has melted. Serve.

    December 2015.   Beetroot Fritters with Gravlax  (from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries 2)               
    Gravlax is salmon cured with herbs and usually comes in a pack with a sachet of mustard sauce.  If you use ordinary smoked salmon there is a recipe for dressing. 
    The recipe makes 6 fritters which is a hearty lunch for 2 or 3 people.
          250 g beetroot                
          I medium onion, red if possible 
          1 egg, beaten
          2 dessert spoons plain flour
          2 table spoons olive oil
          300 g gravlax or smoked salmon
    Scrub the beetroots and pare off any discoloured bits.  Grate them coarsely,trying to make the strands as long as possible, on to a couple of sheets of kitchen paper. 
    Squeeze to remove any excess moisture and put into a bowl.  Peel and halve the onion, then slice very thinly and stir into the beetroot. 
    Season with salt and pepper and add the flour and beaten egg.  Mix well.
    I used two,7 inch non stick frying pans, putting a spoonful of oil in each and heating up.  Roughly divide the mixture into 6 and drop 3 portions into each pan. 
    Flatten them with a fish slice, then leave to cook over a moderate heat for 3 or 4 minutes, until just starting to crisp.  
    Flip them over and cook the other side. 
    Serve on warmed plates. 
    Cut the gravlax or salmon into large slices and divide among the fritters.  Spoon over the dressing. 

    A recipe for the dressing: 
    Whisk together 1 tablespoon each of grain and Dijon mustard with 2 tablespoons each of chopped dill, rapeseed oil and water.