Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Cheese and Herb Cornbread



This loaf, just from the oven, smells amazing.  Full of chives and dill and a very strong Quickes cheese.  We serve with creamy scrambled eggs and the optional extra of Tregida Smokehouse's smoked salmon or Devon Rose's unsmoked bacon (thick sliced of course).


155g self raising flour
1 table spn caster sugar
2 tea spns baking powder
1 tea spn salt
110g fine polenta
60g grated cheddar
1 handful chopped herbs (parsley, dill)
2 large eggs
250ml buttermilk
4 tablespns oil (rapeseed or olive)

Pre heat oven to 180 / gas 4 / 170 convection
Grease a 20cm x 10cm loaf tin
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  Add polenta, cheese, herbs, eggs, buttermilk and oil and mix in to combine.  Spoon mixture into tin and bake for approx 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.  Cool in tin for a few minutes and turn out carefully onto a wire rack.
(Can be frozen whole or in slices)

Friday, 12 April 2013

Herb Labne

A quick and easy 'yoghurt' cheese is a Labne, which has a fresh cream cheesiness about it and works as both a sweet and savoury dish.   I follow Alice Hart's recipe from her wonderful Vegetarian cookbook, which I set out below. 
So far, I've made a sweet Labne with sugar and lemon zest through it and ate it with poached fruit - blooming lovely!  However, this time, I've made a herby one to accompany smoked salmon and sourdough bread (and having not eaten it all, is available to guest as a breakfast special).

Chive and Dill Sheep's Yogurt Labne


How to make labne
©       Rinse and wring out a sheet of muslin and use to line a sieve, make sure there is enough cloth overhanging the edge of the sieve to be folded over the yogurt later.  Place the sieve over a bowl.

©       Stir ½ teaspoon of salt into 500g of plain yoghurt (I've been using sheep's yogurt) and add your chosen herbs.

©       Spoon the yoghurt into the cloth and fold the cloth edges over the yoghurt.

©       Place a small plate or saucer on top and weigh down with a tin. Leave in a cool place for up to 15 hours.

©       The longer you leave the cheese, the firmer it will be.

©       Use it as it is or beat in extra herbs.  The cheese will keep chilled for up to 4 days.  Alternatively, form into small walnut-sized balls and put in a sterilise jar.  Pour over extra virgin oil to cover and leave to marinate of at least one day.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

A Great Gluten-free Breakfast Dish

Goats Cheese, Caramelised Red Onion & Red Pepper Tortilla

This dish works great as both a vegetarian breakfast and a gluten-free breakfast with a difference.



Goats cheese, red onion & red pepper tortilla

Ingredients

Olive Oil
2 red onions sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
500g waxy potatoes
5 free-range eggs (large)
Chives, snipped
Capricorn goats cheese, sliced
Seasoning to taste


Pre-heat oven to 180 or gas 4.

In a non-stick frying pan, heat the olive oil and gently fry the onions until lights brown.  In a separate pan cook the potatoes in salted water until just cooked (15-20 mins), cool and peel and slice.  Add the potatoes to the onions to soak up some of the juices, add the diced pepper, season and cook for 5 mins.  Whisk eggs, season and chives together, pour over the potatoes, pepper and onions making sure all ingredients are covered.  Arrange sliced cheese on top and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until set.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Devon Open Gardens

There are some wonderful local gardens taking part in the National Gardens Scheme and raise a lot of money for charity.  I've listed below local gardens that are in The National Gardens Scheme which are open to visit in April.


Sunday 14  - 17                   Bickham Gardens in Kenn, EX6 7XL   2 - 5pm

Saturday 20 & Sunday 21      Sidbury Manor, Sidbury, EX10 0QE    2 - 5pm

Saturday 27 & Sunday 28      Hillrise, Sidford, EX10 9SL                1.30 - 5.30pm


Not forgetting that Burrow Farm Gardens in Axminster and Forde Abbey Gardens are now open for the year.

Please contact me if you would like more detailed information.


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Axe Estuary Wetlands and Seaton Marshes

We are so lucky that the Axe Estuary Wetlands (including Seaton Marshes) are just on Swan Hill House's doorstep.  As the evenings are getting lighter, take an evening stroll to the hides and watch the wide collection of wildlife.   Or take a tram and view the wetlands on wheels! 

The EDDc's Countryside Team and the Seaton Tramway host a number of events over the year from bird watching trips, bat spotting and BBQ's.  Take a look at the coming events list and give it a visit.

Meet the Birds sessions run on every second Thursday and last Saturday of the month throughout the year. No booking required and is free to join. Meet at Tower Hide.

Here is what's happening in April

Bird Ringing Breakfast - Saturday 13 April   8am - 12pm - free

Wild Wetlands BBQ - Friday 26 April  5pm - 7pm   - £2.50 per hot dog/burger

Contact the EDDS's Countryside Team on 01395 517557 or www.eastdevon.gov.uk/countryside for details on these two events


Bird Hide on Wheels - Saturday 27 April  5pm - 7pm - booking required and at a cost of £12.50 pp

Contact Seaton Tramway on 01297 20375 or www.tram.co.uk to book