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Recipe for Halloween: Stuffed Munchkins aka a Little Orange Hug

Stuffed Munchkins are a joyous thing. They will demand little of you, and can be put together in minutes. They’re tiny little pumpkins, if you’re thinking that I have lost the plot, and you can get them in most supermarkets. You can pretty much put anything in them and then retire them to the oven for approximately half an hour and leave it to cook. When done, the pumpkin wall will be tender, and you can pull the flesh off with your spoon as you eat the rest of the filling.

Pumpkin has an inoffensive sweet flesh that goes with most things. It loves spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, adores chilli, plays well with herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage, and is blissfully happy with bacon and chorizo.

The stuffing, if it depends on anything, depends on the size of the munchkin. They’re generally very small so will cook quicker than rice added raw, but some are bigger and can take it. I’ve stuffed mine with items that will cook relatively quickly, go well with each other, and that will love the munchkin too.

You can of course stuff bigger pumpkins too and I have done really fun things with them, including making a creamy macaroni cheese with bacon inside one as it roasted, and cooking a delicious garlic, rice and herb soup spiked with chilli. This may sound like not very much, but don’t forget the pumpkin is in there too and with good stock, it is a winner.

Happy Halloween and enjoy your stuffed munchkin.

Recipe on iVillage

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: approx 30 minutes

Ingredients

4 munchkins of similar sizes
150ml double cream
1 leek, halved lengthways and finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
4 slices bacon, finely sliced (or jamon if you prefer)
A pinch of chilli per munchkin
Some fresh thyme

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 deg C.
Slice the top off of each munchkin and scoop the seeds and stringy bits out with a spoon. Discard.
Place the leek, garlic, bacon / ham, a pinch of thyme and a pinch of chilli.
Divide the cream between the 4 munchkins. This should fill them. Season with sea salt and stir.
Place the lid on and roast in the oven for approx half an hour, or until the pumpkin flesh is soft.
Before you serve, scrape some of the pumpkin from the edge into the soup, leaving the rest for your guests to scoop out. Sprinkle with fresh thyme to serve.
Enjoy!

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Breakfast of Champions at Hawksmoor Guildhall

It takes a lot of love and curiosity to get me out of my bed and on the tube at 7am on a Monday morning. Especially when I had gone to bed at 1am, and woken again at 5.

Hawksmoor can inspire this. This morning, I accidentally became one of the first official customers at the new Hawksmoor Guildhall. I was invited to breakfast last week during the soft launch, but there were some problems with the kitchen, so they kindly offered me a breakfast at my leisure to compensate. I picked today, as it was the friendliest day in my diary, to discover that it was the first day that the new Hawksmoor was officially open when I arrived. Not that you could tell, everything was perfect from service to coffee to steak.

This is the third in the mini steak empire, now three branches strong. Based in Guildhall near Moorgate, this is the first branch to serve breakfast, from 7 am Mon – Fri. I quite like the way they ensure that every branch has an individual touch.

We had to try the steak and eggs with crisp delicious hash browns. A 25og rib eye with two eggs and two hash browns is £21, and it’s delicious. Served perfectly medium rare (at my request) with gooey egg yolks to drag your steak through, this protein powerhouse should see me through lunch.

My friend ordered a Sausage & Egg HkMuffin (£8.50), the cheeky Hawksmoor take on the McMuffin, also available for Sunday brunch at the Spittalifields branch. The custom sausage is gamey and moist, the cheese oozing and the muffin huge. He loved it and I quite liked my taste of it too.

We drank Climpsons coffee – coincidentally the coffee that I am drinking at home now too – brewed in a chemex to give the purest taste possible. There wasn’t a trace of bitterness, just lovely smooth coffee. We ordered another. Out of curiosity, I also ordered a Green Juice, a super refreshing blend of cucumber, apple, pineapple and green pepper. It was gorgeous.

We finished with a some pastries – an incredible plum and custard doughnut that is the nicest thing to pass my lips in a while – and a pecan pastry, also delicious but somewhat in the shade of the doughnut. Although, yet again, nicer than any equivalent I have had recently. These surprised me, it is a steakhouse not a bakehouse, and I can see myself going to this steakhouse for mid morning coffee and pastries in the future.

It is Monday morning, and I have rather a lot to do, so I sadly didn’t indulge in any bloody marys or other breakfast cocktails on this occasion.  I do want to go back and disgrace myself by indulging in too many starting with the Climpsons Martini to wake me up before progressing through the Marmalade Cocktail and the Salty Dog. Also the Cornflake Hardshake with a shot of bourbon. Many more too in food including the giant Hawksmoor breakfast to share featuring trotters, bone marrow and all sorts of umami rich meaty goodness.

There’s much more to try and I left Hawksmoor smiling, wanting more, and feeling like I had made a great start to my week. I can’t wait to go back and explore.

http://thehawksmoor.co.uk/

Hawksmoor Guildhall
10/12 Basinghall St.
London
EC2V 5BQ
020 7397 8120

 

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Recipe: Some Homemade Toffee Apples for Halloween

Toffee apples!  Don’t they just screech Halloween? That and swishing around the Irish countryside in a contortion of refuse sacks, crafted by myself to signify a witches costume. When I really made the effort I had backcombed huge hair sprayed blue to match. My sister, cousins and I would wail in 3 part harmony at our neighbours doors in the hope of some coins, fun size chocolate or the dreaded monkey nuts. We hated them so much (the monkey nuts that is).

Toffee apples have become a more recent symbol for me. We made them once as children – they’re really very easy, I don’t know why we didn’t make them more – but it’s as an adult that I have come to enjoy making them more and more. They are receptive to flavours, but for this, I have stuck with the original and best. Simple, homemade pure butter toffee encasing a delicious apple on a stick. They’re also the perfect thing to give to visiting children on Halloween night.

I like to use small apples for these, especially tiny cox apples or similar sharp tasting ones that are lovely once you pierce the hard toffee. The contrast of sweet crisp toffee and juicy sharp apple is delightful. It never fails to please. If using a small apple, then you can also use wooden kebab skewers as a stick, which are very easy to source. With its long stem, they are lovely arranged like flowers in a vase to give to kids or adult guests for Halloween celebrations.

This recipe will coat 6 apples comfortably, and you should have some leftover. I always have a heavily buttered greaseproof lined small tray on the side to pour the excess in. I sprinkle sea salt on top and in minutes I have lovely sea salted toffee.

These will keep for 2-3 days (although aim for 2), wrapped in cellophane. It also makes them very pretty, and it’s worth doing anyway. It’s Halloween so I got orange and purple cellophane from my local art supplies shop. Clear would be good too of course.

It’s worth investing in a sugar or jam thermometer – in fact I would insist. It’s easier and more precise, and you are less likely to make mistakes like use it too early when it won’t harden or burn your toffee – which is very easy to do.

Full recipe on iVillage – Toffee Apples for Halloween

Enjoy! (They’re really fun to make and tasty too)

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Recipe: Spritely Halloween Pumpkin Soup with Lemongrass, Chilli & Ginger

Pumpkins are not just for Jack O’ Lanterns or pumpkin pie. No sir! Pumpkins are utterly delicious. You may remember my recent pumpkin & pecan mash on this blog. This time I have turned the humble – and cheap – pumpkin into an aromatic dish for Halloween.

Now, don’t be afraid of pumpkin. They look big and intimidating, but roast it in quarters with the skin on and you can scoop lovely soft flesh out which is perfect for soup. Not only is this the easy way, it is also the best for flavour, the water evaporates off and you are left with something far more pumpkin-y than before.

Lemongrass, with its gorgeous citrus high notes, is wonderful with pumpkin. Some chilli is required for a Halloween soup – it has to be a little scary – and to round it all off some lovely fresh ginger. If you haven’t used lemongrass before, worry not. It’s also easy when you know how and is very easy to source these days too in most supermarkets. Simply peel the outer rough leaves – usually about two – and shred finely.

Now, if you’re ever feeling poorly, this soup – minus the chilli – will do wonders for your tum. It’s very gentle and soothing and the lemongrass will pep you up, although maybe reduce it to one lemongrass stalk. Pumpkin itself is an anti-oxidant powerhouse and is rich in B vitamins too. If you are watching your weight, pumpkin is very low in calories. So, it is a winner all around, wouldn’t you agree?

Recipe on iVillage: Spritely Halloween pumpkin soup with lemongrass, chilli & ginger | iVillage UK

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GEORGIA! A Little More Georgia…

I found another memory card. Tucked away in a forgotten pocket of my camera bag. Stored on it were all the photos that I was sure that I took but couldn’d find. Food stuff, flea market stuff, a priest. It’s a little eclectic.

Promise a recipe later today :)

Some Georgian cheese in cheese action - cheese stuffed with fresher cottage cheese - very nice

Shaping bread

Traditional Georgian bread baking - people shaped!


Hazelnuts in a grape / flour shell - quite like it! (I brought some back too)

Sheep to the slaugter - literally (I was told for a religious sacrifice, it was on the church premises - I didn't see)

A priest before a baptism

Toupée & hat stall at the flea market in Tlibisi, Georgia

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Exciting News: 12 Week Recipe Column in the Evening Standard

Exciting news here, folks! I have a recipe column in the Evening Standard for 12 weeks. It started yesterday (Thursday) with an interview piece also.

So, don’t forget to look out for it, Londoners – every Thursday for the next, well, 11 weeks – hope you enjoy. Non-Londoners, don’t worry, it will be online.

We started this week with Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter.

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Recipe: A little Indulgence with Chorizo, Smashed Pea, Mint & Scallops

We don’t eat enough fish. We really don’t. I don’t know why, for islanders, we have such an aversion to it and why it is so difficult to source good fresh fish.

Of course, there are great fishmongers and we need to support them. Fish is so good for us, healthy and quick too cook too. It’s an ethical minefield but your fishmonger will advise what is good to eat. Ethical fish is often inexpensive too, there’s a lot of fish which we usually don’t eat – and therefore over fish – that tastes great too.

Now, you hear scallops and you probably think ‘eeeek, they’re so expensive!’ And they are. Especially if you buy the ones that don’t harm the sea floor and taste better – and please do buy hand-dived scallops from your fishmonger if you can. However, there are ways of serving a scallop dish where it becomes a bit of a bargain. And that is to serve them with other ingredients that suit and also bring down the cost of the over all dish.

This dish is a perfect starter or grazing snack if you have friends round. One large scallop will do per person, and will feel so luxurious that everyone will be happy. Serve with a crisp white wine on cold winter night and remember summer while you toast your toes in front of the fire. Of course you can also serve it as a main or just make a lot for yourself.

Chorizo is a dream with scallops. It’s bolshy big, strong and is a perfect partner with the more delicate scallop, and in small amounts it doesn’t overwhelm. The sweetness and delicacy of the humble pea – and frozen is fine – pitches in perfectly, and some fresh mint livens it all up. Some onion serves as a gentle base adding some further sweetness.

This takes 15 minutes – honestly – and rewards you with flavour in spades. If you want to be a bit more luxurious, add some cream, although it is perfectly nice and fresh without it.

Recipe on iVillage: A little Indulgence with chorizo, smashed pea, mint & scallops | iVillage UK

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Georgia on My Mind: Some More Photos

I can’t resist. I just love looking back on the photos from last weekends trip to Georgia and I thought that I would share some more here. Lots of food stuff, lots of wine stuff, and lots of lovely people. Enjoy!

Gorgeous Georgian Landscape

Candles in the oldest Christian Orthodox chruch in Georgia (built circa 5th century)

Lighting candles in the church

Light entertainment

Georgian wishing tree

Pomegranate

Georgian wine maker with his wine at a food & wine fair

A very happy monk, showcasing their wines and honey at a food & wine fair in Georgia

Georgian orange wine made by monks - really delicious - will explain in a post soon!

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A Postcard from Tbilisi in Georgia

Greetings from Tbilisi in Georgia! I have the usual blog backlog with a couple of recipes to share with you this week – including an aromatic poached chicken (poached with lemongrass, galangal, chilli and such) – and also my mini guide to Gothenburg after last weeks trip. First though, while I am here, I want to share some photos of Tlibisi, the capital of Georgia, where I am spending my weekend.

Highlights? The food market was a huge one, the flea market also, although I resisted buying anything despite the many amazing gems. Having spent the last month sorting items for storage, I had to talk some sense to myself before embarking on the flea market voyage.

Lunch today was also great, featuring giant dumplings similar to my favourite Chinese Xiao Long Bao with soup inside. It turns out that they influence these, as they travelled to Mongolia, who brought similar here. That’s a rough summary, budding food anthropologists, but I just love a little cultural food quirk. Dinner was too, but I’ve not edited the photos yet, I’ll be back with those soon.

Khinkali: beef & pork dumplings with soup inside

Inside the dumpling :)

Lots of delicious walnut bits

Traditional sulphur baths - smell like rotten eggs but apparantly amazing for your skin and lungs

Two old ladies chinwagging by the cathedral, flower in the foreground

This made me smile! Extremely happy sculpture of a Georgian film director

Pomegranate flower

Squash!

Grapes

Pomegranates

Preserved wild yellow Ppums - cooked traditionally with lamb & tarragon

Fresh walnuts

Marigolds and chillies

Pickled garlic

Some lovely friendly locals

Terrific Georgian smoked cheese

Icons watching over the cheeses

Another friendly local who requested that I take his picture :)

Flea Market

Flea Market

Flea Market

Flea Market

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Recipe: Healthy Harissa & Yogurt Lamb Kebabs with Cous Cous

A little bit of spice and heat in our food does wonders for a blue mood brought on by dreary weather. Marinaded meats become super tender when allowed to sit and bathe for a bit, and a post work dinner becomes a much brighter prospect when you’ve done the (small amount) of work the night or morning before.

These spiced up harissa and yogurt lamb kebabs are healthy too as they are oven baked. The harissa heat is soothed a notch by the creamy yogurt, with the tomato puree adding a little sweetness and fruitiness.

Harissa is a delicious North African spice paste. It is very easy to make, and I often do. The blends vary but the core of it is chilli heat with spices like coriander. It’s quite easy to source too, although if you do, do try and find the Le Phare du Cap Bon brand available in little yellow tins and tubes. It is the best that I have tried, and I always have some in my cupboard for speedy suppers. You can get it in ethnic food shops and also on specialist websites like The Good Fork.

I like to use lamb with this marinade although it would work really well with chicken or beef too, so use your personal preference. Diced lamb steak from the leg works well, and will cook a little quicker than the lamb neck that I prefer to use here, only because you don’t want to overcook it so that it gets tough – there is less fat to protect it you see. Neck is a full flavoured often overlooked cut, and it has little streaks of fat through which really boost the flavour and also keep it moist. Do use your preferred cut though.

I like to serve these with a light couscous with cooling cucumber and mint, and some fruity red pepper. I dress it simply with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Make extra – leftovers make great lunch and the cooked meat is great in a pita sandwich the next day.

Note: Cheaper tomato purees can be bitter, if yours is a little bitter add a little sugar to the marinade and that should help. It’s easier to invest in a better puree though.

Get the recipe on iVillage: Healthy harissa & yogurt lamb kebabs with cous cous | iVillage UK

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OFM Awards: Best Blogger

Photo from OFM article "Electric Ladyland" in the OFM this Sunday :)

I am still absolutely thrilled as I type this, and a little stunned. Last night I was at the OFM Awards and was awarded Best Blogger. It was a great night and the awards themselves were a really positive celebration of good things in food. To say I was honoured is a massive understatement.

Lots of inspiring people were celebrated like Michel Roux for lifetime achievement in food, The Ethicurean in Somerset (only open a year but doing something wonderful and rightly being commended for it), Tristram Stuart for his work on food waste (including his book Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal).

Johnny Pusztai from JT Beedham was best producer, and I really need to try his pork, the secret to the flavour is that he feeds the pigs smokey bacon crisps. I love it! Best restaurant was Dinner, to my great shame I have yet to eat there but must rectify that soon.

I was delighted to see some of my favourite regular haunts awarded too: Koya for cheap eats (I can’t get enough of their noodles, they really are the best in London and I go there all the time), The Bull and Last for their terrific Sunday lunches and Mark’s Bar at Hix for Best Bar. We finished our night there and hugely enjoyed it.

Maltby St Market also got a well deserved nod for best newcomer and Yotam Ottolenghi won Best Cookbook for his lovely vegetarian tome Plenty. Food Personality was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsall for his brilliant work on his Fish Fight, and Young Chef was
Paul Foster from Tuddenham Mill, Suffolk who has spent time in the kitchen of Sat Bains, The French Laundry and WD-50 and seeks influence and ingredients from his local surroundings.

I also got to meet some of my food heroes that I have admired for a long time. I spotted Claudia Roden but was too shy to talk to her and was a little gobsmacked when she came over to congratulate me. What a lovely lady. Of course she got no sense from me, and all I could do was tell her repeatedly how much I love her books. But I really do.

That’s all from me for now, I have a hangover to nurse, but do head on over to the Guardian to take a look at the pics of the winners.  And do make sure to buy The Observer on Sunday for more details on the awards in the OFM, as well as all of the lovely regular stuff.

Ps. thanks SO MUCH for the votes, and I am aware that I owe you all a chorizo jam recipe. Coming soon :)

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More Photos from Lovely Gothenburg

The side of Saluhallen (the food market) at night

It’s my last night in Gothenburg. I have really enjoyed it, and I have only seen the tip. It’s been quite food-centric, as you might expect, but next time I do want to get out and see the islands and get out to the surrounding countryside. This all hinges on me learning to drive this Winter, which I have promised myself I will.

I love the pace here. It’s all happy and very relaxed. Everyone is just getting on with their everyday business. For a city of its size (500,000) the food on offer is really terrific – 5 michelin starred restaurants and great mid-range ones too. It is expensive, but there are great offers too, which I have been exploring and will write about soon. For now some more photos. Enjoy!

Chefs in synchrony at Basement, Gothenburg

Amuse of beef tartare with goats cheese sauce, thyme & capers served with a shot of onion soup, at Basement

Variations of Swedish Lobster, Scallop & Seaweed Served with a Lobster Emulsion, Crispy Mature Cheese, Dill & Cucumber at Basement, Gothenburg

Great coffee at Bar Centro, Gothenburg

Familjen Restaurant, Gothenburg

Overnight Roast Shoulder of Deer at Familjen Restaurant, Gothenburg

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A Postcard from Gothenburg

Greetings from lovely Gothenburg! I am here for the weekend to explore and eat (of course). One day in and I feel so relaxed. I love a second city – really I do! Hello Cork, one of my favourites where I lived for 8 years, and I really did prefer Split in Croatia to Dubrovnik. Hey, I am already wildly off the point.

Gothenburg boasts 5 michelin starred restaurants and lots of mid range. I am exploring the gamut, hoping to get a little bit of everything. I am letting the trip evolve day by day, which I love to do.

Here are some photo highlights of the trip so far. Enjoy!

Some pizza at the end of my rainbow yesterday - pretty!

Can I have this in A3 please?

Smoked quail egg with bleak roe, reindeer and other wonders at Sjömagasinet

Smoked quail egg with bleak roe, reindeer and other wonders at Sjömagasinet

Sjömagasinet

Diners at the Central Food Market

Feskekörka (Fish Church) in Gothenburg

Catch of the Day (Plaice) at Restaurant Gabriel, Feskekörka (delicious!)

Superb chocolates from Jeanna Kanold in the Central Market or nearby at Victoria Passage

Fantastic Blueberry & Cardamom Chocolates from Kanold

de Matteo - great coffee

HALLO!

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The Importance of Cooking with Children & The Gentle Art of Cookery (Book Review)

One of my biggest “beefs” in food, is that we now seem to have been persuaded that in order to keep ourselves nourished, we need to be immensely talented. Chef talented. When really all it is, is in the best way, to learn as a child in a natural way, at home or in school.

Now before, you slam your laptop lid shut and roar, HOW DO WE DO THAT, WE ALL HAVE TO WORK! My mother and father both worked, but I learned in school, as well as occasional baking forays with my mother and other family at the weekend.

So, I was absolutely charmed when recently flicking through one of Quadrille’s most recent Classic Voices in Food, The Gentle Art of Cookery by Mrs CF Leyel & Miss Olga Hartley, originally published in 1925. Tucked towards the back of the book is a gorgeous and comprehensive chapter on cooking with children.

Contained within are lots of classics that I remember making like fudge, meringues and toffee. There are some unusual things which probably wouldn’t wash now, like an ostrich egg made using a dozen hens eggs with a pigs bladder for a mould (!!!). I love it. There are many other chapters of course, including one dedicated to chestnuts, home made wines and cups and the more traditional fish, meat, poultry

The pre-amble to the chapter is beautiful, and I think conveys a message most of us have now forgotten. And that is, just how magical it is for a child to cook in a kitchen. I’ve reproduced it here for you. I would highly recommend buying the book.

Many children listen to the story of Cinderella with their sympathy for the heroine warped by the reflection that at any rate she was given the free run of the kitchen when the family departed for the ball. Most children prefer the kitchen to the nursery or drawing-room. If the cook is an Irishwoman, she will welcome the society of five or six children in the kitchen at all hours; if she is any other nationality she will probably prefer them one at a time or not at all. But it is a pity when a child is debarred from all contact with the practical affairs of the home during its impressionable years, and anyway, the time to interest children in cookery is when they are under twelve, when their education cannot or should not be all book work, and when it is undiluted bliss to be allowed to shell peas, pick currants and whisk eggs. By the time they are eighteen the glamour of life will be re-oriented. but when they are very young there is romance in the oven and the singing kettle.

A child in the kitchen is an alchemist learning the properties of these mysterious elements – fire and water. A saucepan is a crucible in which anything might happen. Cooking is sheer magic to the child, pure white magic. A child watches the kneading of flour and water into dough and the transmutation of the pale dough into crusty loaves and brown cakes with the delighted wonder with which the cherubim and seraphim must have looked on at the creation of the world.

It is easy to give children the natural primitive pleasure of making things themselves. They can make or help to make their own toffee and ginger beer; they can cut their own gingerbread ducks and whales. Not all of the following recipes are intended to be made by children themselves. The “ostrich-egg” calls for some skill, and the point of others is their surprise. But they have been chosen because they will appeal to children by providing the combination of the familiar with the unexpected, which is the real zest of pleasure to children all over the world.

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Recipe: Cauliflower Cheese to Sooth the Nerves and Iron Out Your Soul

Tastes MUCH better than it looks. Brown sourdough breadcrumb topping you see...

It’s hot outside, I know. But let us not deceive ourselves, it is October and that will all change soon, in fact, it’s changing already. So, I am going to help you to prepare for that first grim October day with a lovely comforting recipe for cauliflower cheese.

A classic, no? What feelings does it evoke for you? It makes me think of nice warm fires and toasty toes in slippers. Dark nights closing in and mulled wine. Comfort, pure comfort, with a little hint of spice.

I don’t go to the trouble of making a proper white sauce here. I prefer the simplicity and luxury of cream. It’s crap outside so lets make it very nice inside. There is a little pre-amble but it is worth it. I recommend flavouring the cream first with bay leaves, garlic and pepper corns. This gives the dish some warm aromatics and a little bit of oomph. Layers of flavour that will give your cauliflower cheese its own X Factor.

Read more: Cauliflower cheese to sooth the nerves and iron out your soul | iVillage UK http://www.ivillage.co.uk/cauliflower-cheese-sooth-the-nerves-and-iron-out-your-soul/135956#ixzz1Zq2hqQ00

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Recipe: Trina Hahnemann’s Slow Roast Whole Celeriac with Salt Crust

It’s a terrible photo, isn’t it? TERRIBLE. Not only do I not have a proper camera as before, I have now mislaid the charger for this one and am on my last percentile of battery. So I had to take this shot in a dark kitchen (the bulb is gone), with a bright flash, in 15 seconds. I want to write about this though, so here you go. Normal service should resume soon.

Trina Hahnemann, Nordic food goddess, shared this recipe with me last Xmas. I meant to make it but never did. Then she shared it at her Abergavenny Masterclass and brought it to my attention once more. I tasted it again and knew I had to make it as soon as I got back to my kitchen.

Halen Mon salts were also at Abergavenny. I am already a huge fan of their salts (I would walk miles for the vanilla salt in particular), and discovered a new one (to me), spiced sea salt. It’s addictive.

Halen Mon sea salts are large flakes of Anglesey sea salt from Wales, with so much flavour. They started simply making it in a pot on her aga, stocking it first in a local shop. Halen Mon salts are now available in 22 countries and they supply some of the worlds best restaurants incl the now closed El Bulli and The Fat Duck. They also supply my kitchen – I love the stuff and treat myself to it. It’s quite simply a delicious and fantastic ingredient.

image nicked from the Halen Mon website

The spiced sea salt is a wonder. Heady with 8 warm spices, giant flakes nestle among smaller ones, and brown in colour it is magical. I knew that I would need to use it for the slow roast whole celeriac recipe.

Preperation time for this is 5 minutes, tops. Clean your celeriac and cut off only the most grizzly bits. Leave the skin on, it’s delicious, nutritious and gives the crust great texture. Coat in extra virgin olive oil and then cover with sea salt. Cover with foil and roast for 2 hours at 175 deg C. Next time, I would leave it uncovered for the last 10 minutes to get a crisper, drier crust.

Serve whole and cut into slices as you would a roast. It’s a fantastic centre piece and the smell! Oh, the smell is wonderful. Especially with that spiced sea salt in the mix. The celeriac will be cooked through but retains it’s firmness. It’s a real joy to eat.

Enjoy!