Recipes with Tomatoes

PUBLISHED: 18:17 04 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:23 20 February 2013

Here's how - and where - to find it in Shropshire

Strap: Here's how - and where - to find it in Shropshire


Food glorious food! Or rather, food glorious British food. To celebrate this country's scrumptious grub, the seventh running of British Food Fortnight takes place from September 20 to October 5. Around the country, retailers and restaurateurs will make a special effort to promote British produce. You can find out more at www.britishfoodfortnight.co.uk.
Coincidentally, the RSPCA's Freedom Food Farm Animal Week is from 22 to 28 September. Freedom Food is the RSPCA's farm animal welfare and food labelling scheme - if you see the Freedom Food logo, you know the product and the way it was farmed has been assessed by the RSPCA. For Farm Animal Week, as well as special events around the country, there's an opportunity to test how welfare-friendly your shopping and eating decisions are - go to www.animalwelfarefootprint.com. More information about the RSPCA's scheme can be found at www.freedomfood.co.uk.
Soil Association Organic Fortnight is also in September - from the 6th to 21st. Soil Association supporters, businesses and communities will be hosting events to raise awareness of the environmental, health and social benefits of organic production. More information is available from www.soilassociation.org/organicfortnight.
As well as the Freedom Food logo, there are others to look for to ensure you are buying high quality British produce.
The quality standard scheme for English beef and lamb is promoted by the Beefy and Lamby characters and includes an eating quality element. You can find more information and your nearest Quality Standard Mark butcher from www.eblex.org.uk. For many, many beef and lamb recipes go to www.beefyandlamby.co.uk.
There's also a British meat quality standard for pork, bacon, sausages and ham. This time, the website for more information is www.bpex.org.uk and recipes can be found at http://demo.lovepork.co.uk/Recipes.asp.
Assured Food Standards manages the Red Tractor quality assurance mark, which covers chicken, pork, lamb, beef, fruit, vegetables, salad, flour, sugar and dairy products. For recipes and other information, go to www.myredtractor.co.uk/site/rtc_recipes.php.
Canal Floddies - a traditional British recipe
Allegedly, navvies building canals would cook these on their shovels over a fire. You may prefer to use a pan!
The recipe below was supplied by the Vegetarian Society (www.vegsoc.org) and includes sun-dried tomatoes instead of the traditional chopped bacon. Before you exclaim that sun-dried tomatoes don't come from Britain, the British Tomato Growers' Association (www.britishtomatoes.co.uk) suggests how to make 'sun-dried' tomatoes: sprinkle equal amounts of caster sugar and salt over halved tomatoes, place them cut side up on a baking sheet and cook in the oven on a low heat for two and a half hours, until most of the liquid has dried out. The recipe also includes lovage, an old English herb with a flavour similar to celery.

Ingredients (makes four)
350g potato, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled
10 'sun-dried' tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tbsp young lovage leaves finely chopped, optional
(substitute celery leaves)
25g self-raising flour
1 medium free-range egg, beaten
To taste, salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method
1. Coarsely grate the potato and squeeze out any liquid and press between kitchen paper.
2. Grate the onion and mix with the potato and sun dried tomatoes.
3. Place the self-raising flour in a mixing bowl and add the egg. Mix well.
4. Add the potato mixture to the flour and egg, season and mix well.
5. Divide the mixture into four and shape into rounds using an 8cm pastry ring.
6 Heat the oil in a frying pan and when hot add the floddies. Reduce heat a little and fry, turning until well browned on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper.
7. Place each floddy on a plate and top with a portion of hot mushy peas and a free-range poached egg. Garnish with finely chopped lovage.




Caroline Bedell interview with pic sent by Hancock

Headline: Where does your food come from?
Just ask!

Standfirst:
The Country Land and Business Association has 36,000 members in England and Wales - owners of land, property and businesses. It provides professional advice to its members and promotes its members' interests.
It is running an on-going campaign called Just Ask to encourage people to enquire where the food on their plate comes from and increase their awareness of the quality of local food.
Dave Hancock asked Caroline Bedell, CLA regional director for the West Midlands, about the work of the CLA and its Just Ask campaign.

Caroline knows about the land and the difficulties faced by rural businesses. Before joining the CLA, she worked as a land agent with Balfours - managing estates. She has been the CLA regional director for the West Midlands for 18 months - a job that involves a lot of policy work and lobbying across a wide range of subjects.
"We're sort of pro-active insurance for our members," she says. "We can give them impartial advice on many issues and there's no fee involved. This might include Capital Gains Tax, business rates and other legal matters.
"Our lobbying work includes climate change issues, CAP - the Common Agricultural Policy - reform and, most recently, fly-tipping and access to broadband. Broadband access is vital if high-end jobs are to be attracted to rural areas."
There are strong two-ways links between CLA staff who are involved with lobbying and the members. "Our experts need to know the real issues affecting members with proposed developments or changes in the law. At the same time, our members can speak to the actual person in the CLA doing the lobbying and learn what for and against arguments are being put forward."
In the West Midlands, CLA Enterprise Works is the organisation's training arm. It offers training for everything from diversification to waste management, which is available (for a fee) to both members and non-members.
Caroline moved on to discuss the CLA's Just Ask campaign. "It was launched just over a year ago by Tony Blair," she explains. "It's about getting the public to ask where their food comes from and supports the move towards eating more local produce. It encourages people to ask about the origins of the food they are served in a restaurant or the ranges of food products on offer at their local supermarket."
One of the important things to help people know where their food comes from is good labelling. In many cases, the information shown on labels is confusing. The CLA believes the government should be involved with simplifying labelling - reducing the number of kitemarks and standards logos, for example.
So-called traceability is another consideration. "The fruit industry has long been ahead on traceability," Caroline says. "They have advantages - the product is packaged at source within a tight timeframe and they can afford to do it as the product has high value for its weight. In some cases, better traceability can just mean more paperwork without improving profits. It can be difficult to decide when traceability should start and finish. Of meat products, only beef is labelled at source, for example."
The CLA recognises that there needs to be a balance between healthy eating and the carbon footprint of a product. Are imported organic products better than homegrown non-organic ones? Should we buy products from developing countries to help their economies even though they come with high food miles?
Just Ask is not about providing the answers, more about getting people to consider the questions. As part of the campaign, the CLA is undertaking surveys - with some interesting results. "Recently, we investigated public and private sector food procurement policies," says Caroline. "Two thirds of organisations aim to buy British or local produce and 60 per cent said they would think about buying more local food products. However, only two per cent of food procured by the public sector is actually produced locally - so there's still a long way to go."
CLA West Midlands is based at Knightley, Woodseaves, Stafford, ST20 0JW. Tel: 01785 284 722, email caroline.bedell@cla.org.uk www.cla.org.uk.





Headline: Impeccable taste


Standfirst:
Michelin-starred Chef Alan Murchison, Managing Director of Ludlow's La Bcasse, renowned for its fine food using the best seasonal produce from local suppliers, shares three recipes from his book food for thought, described by Egon Ronay as the most beautiful cookery book he has ever seen. food for thought can be ordered online at www.labecasse.co.uk.
La Bcasse, 17 Corve Street, Ludlow tel: 01584 872325.


Pressed tomato terrine, tomato jelly, Picadon goat's cheese and Bloody Mary sorbet

When possible buy tomatoes that have been ripened on the vine. This dish also works well with the addition of some poached lobster or langoustine.
Serves 10

Tomato consomm
2kg very ripe vine tomatoes
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
3 shallots finely sliced
1 bulb fennel
2 cloves garlic
1 sprig thyme
2 sprigs tarragon
Bunch of basil
Dash of Worcester Sauce
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Salt, sugar and pepper to taste
Method
Blend all ingredients making sure the mixture is not too smooth, you are looking for a coarse dice effect. Place in the refrigerator in a non-metal container and allow the flavours to infuse for 4 hours.
Hang overnight in the refrigerator in a muslin cloth.
Correct seasoning
3 leaves gelatine per
500ml of liquid
(you need 500ml for four
servings)

Bloody Mary sorbet
100g onions, finely chopped
75ml olive oil
1kg plum tomatoes, chopped
250ml tomato juice
100ml stock syrup (500g water and 500g sugar brought to boil)
10ml white wine vinegar
75ml vodka
Dash of Worcester Sauce
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Celery salt, to taste
Method
Sweat the onions in the olive oil until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook out until the mixture has reduced in quantity by half. Cool. Blend the tomato mixture with the tomato juice, stock syrup, vinegar and vodka. Pass through a fine sieve and season to taste with the Tabasco and Worcester sauces and celery salt. Churn in an ice cream machine and reserve.


Tomato terrine
(makes 1 terrine)
24 large plum vine tomatoes,
salt and pepper to taste
75ml eight-year-old
balsamic vinegar

Goat's cheese fondue
100g Picadon goat's
cheese,
50g crme frache
25ml double cream

Garnish
Extra virgin olive oil
Sprigs of basil cress
Dried basil crisps

Preparation
Make the tomato consomm and Bloody Mary base 24 hours in
advance. To make the terrine, blanch the tomatoes and refresh. Peel, de-seed and
cut into petals. Place on kitchen paper to remove excess moisture.
Season the tomato petals well and add the balsamic vinegar. Line a
small triangular terrine mould with cling film and layer in the tomato
petals. Press with a 5kg (minimum) weight overnight.
The goat's cheese fondue can be made well in advance. Blend the
goat's cheese and crme frache until smooth. Add the cream and
season then place in the refrigerator to firm up. Quenelle and place
back in the refrigerator 1 hour before required.
To set the jelly and finish the dish, soak the gelatine in cold water until
soft. Heat 100ml of the consomm and whisk in the gelatine, then
return to 400ml of the chilled consomm. Set in four large serving
bowls for 1 hour before serving.

Alan's advice
Don't keep the tomato
consomm in a metal bowl
or dish as the metal
can taint the delicate
flavour.



Coq
Coq au vin, braised corn-fed chicken in red wine and
tarragon, pomme pure, roast shallots and cpe fricasse
A classic dish that is hard to beat. It is very important to make sure that the chicken you buy is of the
best quality, preferably corn-fed. I suggest using traditional free-range chicken from Lou in south-west
France.

Serves 4

Chicken
1 x 1.5kg corn-fed Lou
chicken
750ml red wine
2 heads garlic
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
150g unsalted butter
600ml brown chicken stock
600ml white chicken stock

White chicken stock
1.5kg chicken wings
1.5 litres water
1 onion
2 sticks celery
1 leek
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
2 cloves garlic
Method
Place 1kg of the chicken wings in
the water and bring up to the boil.
Skim and simmer for 45 minutes.
Pass through a colander and add
the remaining chicken wings and
vegetables.
Bring back to the boil and simmer
for 30 minutes, skimming every
10 minutes.
Pass through a fine sieve and
reduce by half

Brown chicken stock
1.5kg chicken wings
1.5 litres white chicken stock
1 onion, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
half leek, diced
150g unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
2 cloves garlic
Method
Place the chicken wings in the
oven at 200C for 30 minutes and
roast until golden brown, turning
every 10 minutes.
Place 1kg of the roasted bones in
the stock and bring up to the boil.
Skim and simmer for 45 minutes.
Caramelise the vegetables in the
butter then pour into a colander
to remove the excess fat. Add to
the stock with the bay, thyme and
garlic and simmer for 30 minutes.
Pass through a colander and add
the remaining chicken wings.
Bring back to the boil and simmer
for 30 minutes, skimming every 10
minutes. Pass through a fine sieve
and reduce by half

Garnish
Pomme pure
Pomme Pure
2 large Desiree potatoes
250g coarse sea salt
50g butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
Method
Cover a small baking tray with
the salt and place the potatoes on
it, making sure there is an even
layer under each potato. Bake the
potatoes at 180C for about 1.5 hours
hours, until soft - the skin should
not be too dark. Remove the
potatoes from the tray. Cut them
in half, scoop out the cooked
potato and pass through a fine
sieve. Place the dry mash into a
pan and beat in the butter over
a low heat. Season to taste.

12 roast shallots
200g bouchon cpes
100g unsalted butter
5g chopped garlic

12 pieces confit tomato
Confit Tomato
1 kg ripe cherry vine tomatoes
100ml extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Method
In small batches, blanch the
tomatoes in boiling salted water
for 10 seconds and refresh in
iced water. Peel off the skins and
arrange the tomatoes evenly on
a non-stick tray. Sprinkle with
the olive oil, salt and pepper
and put into a very low oven at
60-70C overnight, or until the
tomatoes have reduced in volume
by 50 per cent. Allow to cool, then
place in a sealed container in the
refrigerator.

Dried tarragon
50g chopped tarragon
12 large sprigs tarragon or coriander
Dash of olive oil
Method
Take a large plate and cover it tightly with clingfilm.
Brush lightly with olive oil then carefully place the herb springs on to the cling film. Microwave on full power for 60-80 seconds until the herbs start to dry out. Remove from the microwave and place above the stove in a hot dry place for 1 hour.


Preparation
Portion the chicken by removing the legs and splitting the drumsticks
from the thighs, split the crown in to four even pieces.
Marinate the chicken in the red wine, garlic, thyme and bay leaves
for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Strain the red wine, garlic and herbs and add to the chicken
stocks. Dry the chicken thoroughly on kitchen paper. Caramelise
the chicken in the butter - it should be golden brown all over.
Place the chicken in a casserole dish and cover with the red wine
and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and skim. Place the casserole
dish in the oven at 150C and cook for 60 minutes. Remove from
oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes, then strain off the stock
into a pan and reduce quickly by two-thirds. Correct the seasoning
and pour over the cooked chicken.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the pomme pure and roast
the shallots.

Alan's advice
If you find that the tarragon is a little
overpowering, blanch it in boiling
salted water for 30 seconds and
refresh. This leaves you with a much
milder flavour.


Wild strawberry marshmallow, iced vanilla parfait
and spiced strawberry pure

When possible try to use the fragrant mara de bois strawberry from Kent, the season is very short but
the taste and texture are truly unique.

Serves 4

Vanilla parfait
Vanilla parfait
30g water
75g sugar
1 egg
3 egg yolks
2 vanilla pods
300g double cream
Method
Boil the water and sugar until
you reach 121C. In a food mixer,
whisk the egg and yolks until light.
With the machine running, slowly
drizzle the syrup down the side of
the bowl and continue until the
mixture is cool and fluffy.
Split the vanilla pods and scrape
the seeds into the cream. Whip
to soft peak and fold into the
egg mixture. Chill. Pipe into the
desired moulds




Spiced strawberry sauce
Spiced strawberry
sauce
500g strawberry pure
125g balsamic vinegar
5 peppercorns
3 star anise
Method
Put the pure and vinegar in a
saucepan. Wrap the spices in a
muslin pouch and add to the pan.
Bring to the boil. Reduce the
pure by one third and allow the
spices to infuse for 30 minutes.
Pass through a sieve and chill.
Marshmallow
80g egg whites
190g caster sugar
50g water
3 leaves gelatine
seeds of 1 large vanilla pod
Wild strawberry sorbet
Wild strawberry
sorbet
1.5 litres water
300g sugar
1kg wild strawberry pure (Boiron)
Method
Bring the water and sugar to the
boil in a medium-sized pan. Whisk
in the pure and chill. Pour into
an ice cream machine and churn
until smooth

250g wild strawberry pure
dash of lemon juice
60g sugar syrup
1.1kg caster sugar
900g water
125g glucose

Method
Place all the ingredients in a
saucepan and mix well. Bring to
the boil and make sure everything
is dissolved. Pass through a
chinois.
Reserve until cool, and store in
the refrigerator.




To finish
Fresh strawberries
Crushed pink peppercorns
Vanilla analgise


Preparation
Make the vanilla parfait and spiced strawberry sauce following
the basic recipes. The parfait can be kept in the freezer for
a week easily.
To make the marshmallow, place the egg whites in an electric
mixing bowl. At this point put the sugar and water in a pan and
heat to 115C. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 15 minutes,
strain well and set aside. Start whisking the whites on full speed,
and when the sugar reaches 121C pour it carefully down the side
of the bowl onto the whisked whites. Ensure that the syrup does
not hit the whisk. Now add the soaked gelatine and scrape in the
vanilla seeds. Continue whisking at a medium speed until cool. Fill 6cm
dome mould with the marshmallow and freeze. Scoop out the
centres with a large Parisian scoop, and refreeze.
Make the sorbet by mixing all the ingredients together. Freeze
and Pacojet or churn in an ice cream machine as normal. When
set, fill in the scooped-out marshmallows and return to the freezer
until required.
To finish the dish, remove the parfait from the freezer 10 minutes
before serving. Place the marshmallow on top of the parfait and
very carefully colour with a blow torch.

Alan's advice
Another welcome addition is
poached fresh strawberries in a light
syrup, add a touch of cinnamon
and star anise, and allow to infuse
overnight in the refrigerator.

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