Week 1

Cornish Garden Frittata
Hedgerow Muffins
Full Cornish Breakfast
Pork Cassoulet

I may have deliberately made Week 1 as un-daunting as possible – choosing some nice, convenient dinners to look forward to as the week went on.
However, there are some obvious scuppers to the brilliant plan of cooking through the Great Cornish Food Book in autumn/winter which arose almost immediately; the most pressing of which being that a lot of the produce and goodies mentioned are semi-reliant on it being warm and sunny outside, and that quite possibly, the book wasn’t written to be an all-consuming intensive culinary challenge – more of something to be seasonally dipped into, as and when the ingredients came up.
But that’s not how we do things here at Cornwall Food and Drink, so I soldiered on, choosing Cornish as much as possible. Of course.

 

Recipe 1: Cornish Garden Fritatta

Time taken: 30 mins

Perfect for: Midweek tea or quick weekend lunch

I’d made this before when it was actually summertime, and it was splendid. This time I made a couple of alterations, roasting some squash and adding that in instead of the broad beans, which appear to only be in season for about 5 minutes some time during August. Hunting for summer veg was a good excuse to clear out the freezer, in which I tracked down some stray runner beans, and I managed to nab one of the very last courgettes of the season and a few tomatoes from our Cornish Food Box. A lack of non-stick frying pans meant I piled the mixture in to a baking tray then carved it up, which worked just fine. All the salad in that picture came from either our out-of-control rocket bush in the garden, or from the veg box.

Cornish Garden Frittata (using eggs from St Ewe Free Range Eggs) can be found on page 87 of the Great Cornish Food Book.

 

Recipe 2: Hedgerow Muffins

Time taken: 1 hour (including cooling time)

Perfect for: A quick afternoon treat

Having eyed these up ever since I first bought the book for my Scotland-bound mother late last year, I took the plunge this weekend and made them in about 30 minutes. They use melted butter which means you don’t have to faff about with an electric mixer, and the yoghurt (Trewithen, obviously) gives them a gorgeous tang which picks out the sharp sweetness of the blackberries (again, these were dug out of the freezer – I picked them back when there was that amazing glut back in late August, and they’ve really just been hanging around since then.)

Clare Sivam (of Clare’s Cottage Cakes), who gave us the recipe for the book, has always been enviably impeccable with her rustic, effortless presentation, so it was really encouraging to make something that looked just as beautiful as she would create, and as edible. Amazing what a dusting of icing sugar can do, isn’t it?
Gorgeous, easy and moreish. ‘Nuff said.

Clare’s Cottage Hedgerow Muffins can be found on page 43.

 

Recipe 3: Hugo Woolley’s Full Cornish Breakfast

Time taken: 20 minutes, tops

Perfect for: Sunday morning energy-fix, accompanied by coffee and the Archers omnibus

Hugo is very specific about cooking particular elements of this breakfast – but you’d definitely do well to trust his judgement, because the results are mighty fine. I never usually fry sausages, or eggs, but using the pan twice means all the flavours combine, and there’s less washing up to do afterwards. I was sad to find I didn’t know what Cornish relish was or where I could find it, so I used Worcester Sauce instead (naughty) on the tomatoes – which have since become my new favourite breakfast side dish on some toasted sourdough.

Hugo Woolley’s (of Woodlands B&B – recent Choose Cornish award winners!) Full Cornish Breakfast is on page 87.

 

Recipe 4: Pork Cassoulet

Time taken: 2 hours or so, plus slow-cooking over an afternoon-evening

Perfect for: A long indulgent weekend off, or for impressing meat-eating guests at a chilled-out dinner

This recipe (a new edition to this second print run of the book – from James Nathan of the Green Room at Retallack Resort) is one of those indulgent, slow-burn (not literally) autumnal suppers that you lazily prepare over several hours and enjoy with a glass of red wine on a Sunday afternoon. At first, it seemed a little daunting because of the number of ingredients and the amount of time it takes, but really it’s no more taxing than say, making a lasagne – and it’s way tastier.

I reduced the amounts of everything to serve just 2 people, which reduced the slow-cooking time by about an hour. I used Mount Hawke belly pork and hog’s pudding from the butchers in St Agnes (how cheap is belly pork?! I had no idea – but my local butcher did half a kilo for £2.50, which was fantastic.) Had to opt out of black pudding, because let’s face it, it’s got to come from Primrose Herd, and they weren’t at the Farmer’s Market in Truro that day. I’ll be stocking up with them next time.

A gorgeous, rich and surprisingly easy dish to make, will definitely be doing it again this winter.

James Nathan’s Pork Cassoulet is on page 81.

 

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