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Archive for April, 2011

Dear Wild Cooks,
 
Taking time to smell the roses is always a good thing in my book, so when I was approached to M.C and do a cooking demonstration at the Harrogate Flower Show I was delighted…roses, chefs and all!!

Rob gets me involved in his demo!

Rob gets me involved in his demo!

Robert Ramsden was as passionate as ever about Yorkshire food and brought some wonderful local and international produce along for his demonstration.

My Great British Menu compatriot, Tim Bilton, showed us how to cook John Dory in a lovely springtime recipe packed with flavour, and even used his own brand of olive oil and wine! 

Tim prepares his fennel and pea shoot salad
Tim prepares his fennel and pea shoot salad

I found some great foraging finds in a fresh patch of woods at Rudding Park which went down really well at the show.

Have you ever tried edible flowers? There are some great ones around at the moment, such as borage flowers, chamomile, and chives. Remember to always check before eating that they are edible and not a protected species.

Flower power…!!

Steph x

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Wow, can you believe it is the 100th entry on The Wild Cooks’ Blog?

To celebrate this momentous milestone, here is a quick, easy and fun way to pack a forager’s punch into a bowl of springtime pasta. This meal is quick, vibrant, wild and an understated tasty dish!

Knaresborough is a small market town only a few miles from Rudding Park.  Down by the river there is an abundance of  nettles, ground ivy, dandelion, sticky weed and wild garlic and I also managed to source hawthorn “bread and cheese” leaves which will add a sharp twist to our springtime spirals of pasta.

I went for a walk (avoiding the paths less travelled by our four legged friends!) and look what I came up with… 

Searching for my ingredients

Searching for my ingredients

 

Me picking the wild garlic

Me picking the wild garlic

So, hot footing it back to the kitchen and a ½ hour of cooking produced a simple, lovely, springtime meal.

Lots of wild food finds!

Lots of wild food finds!

Foraged finds and tips:

Nettles – ouch! Remember they still have their sting until cooked!
Wild garlic
Hawthorn leaves (otherwise known as ‘bread and cheese’)
Sticky weed (known as Goose Grass – remember as a kid throwing it on your friends’ jumpers and watching it stick!)
Dandelion
Ground ivy (this is not to be mixed up with ivy which is not edible – look for the tiny purple flowers and the hoof like leaves for ground ivy)

"Bread and Cheese" - Hawthorn Leaves
“Bread and Cheese” – Hawthorn Leaves

Please have a look at our recipe.

Wild food is brilliant fun – always remember to make sure you know what you are picking, some wild food can be dangerous to eat.

Happy Foraging!

Steph x 

Foraged Pasta Delight!

Foraged Pasta Delight!

 
 

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Dear Wild Cooks,

What an experience, what fun! It was amazing to be a part of the Great British Menu and many thanks to the crew for making the whole experience truly memorable.

I want all my Wild Cooks to have the recipes and I have included a few tips and inspirations along the way to tell you how each dish came about.

It is a monster blog but probably best to be digested as one piece!

Overall, I thought what the judges said was fair and in some cases very kind. It made my day when I heard Prue Leith comment about my cooking ability, Oliver Peyton’s vote and Matthew Fort’s comment on the lamb ‘being wonderful’. Nigel Haworth too was full of constructive criticism and also praise which was very grounding and kept us three chefs motivated throughout the week.

I hope you enjoyed my week and enjoy the rest of the series!

Steph x

view my Great British Menu recipes and tips

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Dear Wild Cooks

I would love to share my Great British Menu recipes with you all but I am under embargo at present and I must mind my P’s and Q’s if I want to be asked to go back next year – that’s if they will have me!

However, the recipes are available on the BBC website.

Great British Menu - 6:30pm BBC2

Great British Menu - 6:30pm BBC2

It is so weird watching yourself on TV! It was great to forage with my dad and I am very proud that ‘pops’  rose to the challenge as he is usually quite quiet and reserved! We had been foraging for a while, collecting ingredients for the relish and trying to perfect my pigeon dish.

It was also great too see my mum on the TV on Monday night and all the family are now buzzing with excitement!

Now, getting back to the wild food and what we are all about Wild Cooks, let’s see …..

Anyone blown away by the amount of wild garlic around at present?

Why not try this wild garlic soup recipe – it’s a classic and a taste sensation as wild garlic is one of my favourite foraged ingredients.

If you are not sure of what wild garlic is, believe me it is probably one of the easiest things to forage for as a wild food novice.

Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic Soup Recipe

You must forgive me for this rather brief blog wild cooks, but I am busy preparing for a Rudding Park press evening which is being held tonight and I need to crack on with the cooking! This afternoon’s agenda includes foraging for the wild food to accompany my Sticky Pigeon Breast with Beetroot Hedgerow Crisps and Forager’s Relish.

Why not fill in your e mail address on the home page and I will send you my wild food photos – I am sure there will be lots to see!

Steph x

(Head still not huge…did you see the look of fear at the stage where we all get our scores- dry mouths and white faces all round!)

Tune in to BBC2 tonight at 6:30 pm for the meat course!

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