Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘mackerel’

Dear Wild Cooks,

In my eyes, the opportunity to cook for a group of like-minded, fun-loving foragers is one not to be missed. So when I was invited to cook for The International Wine and Food Society’s Leeds branch I accepted without hesitation! The group are definately up for some fun and eager to learn about food and wine that complement foraged ingredients.

The evening seemed made for my foraging friends Chris and Rose Bax of Taste the Wild who lead the foraging walk around the stunning Hillbark Gardens in Bardsey.

Chris offering his expert foraging advice to the group

Chris offering his expert foraging advice to the group


The owners, Tim Gittins and Malcolm Simm, were on hand to look after everyone which was a good job as there was a total of 33 members on the evening.Chris and Rose discussed their foraging finds with the group. The gardens are truly amazing and Tim and Malcolm often have charity open days so keeep a look out on their website www.hillbark.co.uk  . The foraged finds on the evening included sweet cicely, mugwort, pineapple weed, corn mint and bitter cress. They are amazing ingredients folks and I, along with the help of my commis Tim Norton and his partner Becky, cooked up the following menu for the group:

Introducing the dishes

Introducing the dishes


Canapes

Goats Cheese En Croute with Sweet Cicely Seeds
Vegetarian Foragers’ Parcels using Rosebay Willow Herb

Mains

Smoked Trout Marinaded in Elderflower, Chick Weed, Bitter Cress, Wood Sorrel
BBQ Smoked Cherry Wood Mackerel with ‘Jack by the Hedge’ Root 
Pigeon with Nettle Spelt
Rabbit and Mugwort Dahl

Puddings

Forager’s Infusion Chocolate Marquise
Corn Mint and Cumin Granite
Meadow Sweet Biscuit
Ground Ivy Jelly
Wood Sorrel Mojito

Coffee and Lemon Balm Tea

Supper Club!

Supper Club!

Please click on the links above to follow the fun and easy recipes. As we ate the dishes, Chris and Rose passed on more helpful advice. Here is a great extract from their note:

Be aware that there might be a backlash at some point from people who are worried about the countryside being plundered. However, foraging is about understanding and respecting the natural environment and provising that pickers follow a basic code of conduct it can only improve our knowledge and husbandry of the countryside”.

I hope you enjoy the dishes as much as the guests did on the evening. The event was declared a great success and Tim even said it was their best supper club to date which was great to hear. My thanks go to Chris and Rose Bax who made the foraging side so interesting for the guests adn my commis Tim and his partner Becky for their help. Huge thanks must also go to Tim and Malcolm who of course made this evening possible and kindly invited me to take part.

Steph the Forager on tour – supper club style!!

Read Full Post »

Dear Wild Cooks,

Spring is a here and the nature we all love is budding into life again after a relatively mild winter. Wild garlic shoots are peeping out, but today is all about wood sorrel and as Rene Redzepi (Chef owner of the world’s finest restaurant, Noma) recently said, “wood sorrel is the glue that holds my kitchen team together”! Another local character here in Yorkshire and a foraging buddy of mine, Chris Bax, calls it the “Haribo of the forest”!

In order to source wood sorrel whilst out foraging, here’s a few tips on what to look out for…

1. A nice woods with no dogs nearby!

2. A thin stem about the size of a piece of salad cress but usually a little thinner with a burgundy tinge towards the base of the stem. This greeny burgundy leaf has delicate heart shaped petals (three in a clover like form) and is a lovely garnish for any salad.

See recipe here, Whitby Seafish Mackerel, Forager’s Salad, Pickled Baby Vegetables

Whitby Seafish Mackerel, Forager's Salad, Pickled Baby Vegetables

Whitby Seafish Mackerel, Forager's Salad, Pickled Baby Vegetables

Happy Cooking!

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Have you ever been mackerel fishing? It was the best fishing trip I have been on, and I can proudly say that I caught four mackerel!

"Someone say four mackerel?!"

"Someone say four mackerel?!"

Mackerel are usually found about 8 ft to 20 ft under water and do not often reach the shore line so we hopped on board in anticipation! 

Boating fun in St Ives

Boating fun in St Ives

Our boat captain briefed us on how to achieve the best catch. It was so simple but fun as we all held our a mackerel fishing lines over the side of the boat. We each used a weighted line which had a hook on the end and a tiny red fleck of feathery-looking bait. As the weighted line was thrown into the water it plunged down into the depths and towards the sea bed (this is known as ‘feathering’).

What fun...
What fun…

After a short while we were instructed to quickly wind up our line and it is the motion of pulling up the line at speed that seemed to attract the fish to the bait.

I worked next to a Doctor and his son and all three of us managed to catch a fish, whilst some of the other guys were unlucky (I noticed our feathers were red and some other people had yellow ones – top tip there folks!!).

It is an amazing feeling (as a ‘none fishing person’) when you actually realise you have caught a fish and pull it up the line.

Catch of the day!

Catch of the day!

As we wrapped up the spare line into the mackerel fishing line frame, the fish were lively and their silvery skin seemed to gleam freshness and wholesomeness as they appeared at the surface.

The boat echoed in excitement as fish came over board and people shared ideas of how they would later be enjoyed on BBQs across Cornwall by all us budding fishing folk!

I enjoyed the fish simply stuffed with lemon wedges and thyme leaves and then placed on the BBQ and cooked for approximately three minutes each side until cooked through. The fillets lifted easily from the fish and tasted superb. After all, even a wild cook wants a simple holiday meal!

Cornwall is definitely a great place to go mackerel fishing – especially with a red feather!

What an amazing place- Happy Days

What an amazing place- Happy Days

I am sure the “Fishermens’ Friends” band we watched earlier on in the week on the beach at Port Isaac would have been proud of us tourists!

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 134 other followers