Friday, 25 November 2011

LoveFood - River Cottage

Friday's LoveFood comes from a friend of mine, Jess. She's a total foodie - even more than me! She was very kind to take part in this (as I know how busy she is!) and for that, I thank her! If you want to check out her blog (tad outdated, but still... and rumour has it a new blog is on the way...) go to Here, Jess chats about River Cottage and simple vegetarian recipes that she hopes you will like...

So, this is my contribution to Andy's Love Food Blog week. Andy asked me to write an entry as he knows I am a massive food fan! My main obsession is River Cottage and the whole growing your own and eating off your own land kinda thing. For the last five years I have been collecting the books, watching the series and growing my own food and experimenting with my own home grown veg. I even went to the trouble of going to Jimmy's Food Festival last year and queuing as early as I can to run to the River Cottage tent to get my signed book.... yes LOSER, I know! But I just can't get enough of it!

My top three RC books to get inspiration from is the 'River Cottage Everyday', 'River Cottage Veg Everyday' and the 'River Cottage Family Cookbook'. My boyfriend and I even tried to go veggie during the current series of River Cottage Veg Everyday that is on Channel 4 at the moment, it lasted 2 weeks. It is just so difficult to find the time to cook the meals from the recipes out of the book, although some are easy, it just takes much longer than cooking a hunk of meat or fish. As a veterinary nurse, I spend a good 45 hours or more at work and with two puppies of my own, it is just physically impossible to spend that much time in the kitchen in the evenings, if I did I wouldn't have dinner until 9/10pm! Although the good thing that came out of it is that we eat a lot less meat at home and try to make at least 3 veggie meals a week.

So on that note, here are three simple vegetarian recipes (that can be converted into meat feasts) I have created, that have been tried and tested with the approval of others:

Baked Camembert Fondue with crudités (and steak)
 Camembert (must be the ones in the wooden boxes)
 1 whole garlic clove
 Carrots
 Celery
 Broccoli
 and any other vegetables you wish to dip in the fondue
 Steak (optional)
 bread (optional)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200c
2. Take the Camembert out of any plastic packaging and if the box has gaps in it put tin foil at the bottom of the box and put the Camembert back in.
3. Use a knife and score in the middle of the Camembert and stick the whole clove of garlic in, then put the lid of the box back on and bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese goes all ooey and gooey.
4. Steam any of the vegetables that need it e.g. broccoli. And cut the other vegetables into finger size pieces.
5. (optional) cook the steak to how you like it, slice into thin slices.
6. Serve with any breads etc.

Garden Omelette with goats cheese
This recipe works best in the spring/summer when everything is at its best in the garden. Alternatively use any thing ripe and fresh preferably from a farm shop or green grocers (it tastes much fresher and has more flavour)
 whatever you have in the garden that is ripe
 eggs (2 per person)
 pinch smoked paprika
 30 ml milk or 1 Tbs cream
 soft goats cheese
 salt and pepper to taste

1. Beat the eggs with the milk/cream and smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
2. In a frying pan on low-med heat, gently fry all your veg, until soft
3. put the egg in, and gently heat. Making sure its not too hot otherwise the bottom will burn and the top will be raw.
4. Once the omelette looks like the bottom is solid, crumble some goats cheese on top and place under a hot grill.
5. Serve with any garden flowers (such as pansy's, nasturtium, marigold petals etc.) and a piece of toasted bread or a side salad.

In the omelette I made in the photo. I used garlic, tomatoes, chillies and topped it off with edible pansy's and salad I had in the garden.

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