Thursday, 30 September 2010


You have all heard of the galette but I want to tell you about the calette! It is exactly the same as a galette but with one striking healthy difference. There is no processed meats in a calette. Instead of meat, you place a nice healthy cabbage leaf which has been steamed for one minute. It helps to place the cabbage leaf inside on the base of the pancake and then add other ingredients as desired including cheese, tomato, thyme, egg, salt and pepper to taste. Three minutes later you have your calette.

You will need for the mix

0.5 kg of buckwheat flour (sarrasin)
1 litre water
tspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients very slowly in a bowl for 30 minutes using your hands to feel the grain of the flour change slowly and become almost silky. Once ready you can keep it in the fridge for up to four days. Using a large spoon, place each pancake mix on a hot pan which has been greased with non flavoured pork or goose fat or non salted butter if easier to find. Place the calette on the pan and once formed, add the egg (break and spread the egg)cabbage leaf, cheese, tomato and herbs as desired. Fold the calette into an envelope and serve immediately.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Apple Chutney

With food costs on the rise there is even more reason to get out to the hedgerows and forage! The windfall season is here and apples and blackberies are there for the picking! Today I will let you in on a wonderful recipe for apple chutney. This recipe has been in my family since I was kneehigh!

You will need:

1.8 kgs apples
.91 kgs onions
.50 kgs sugar
.50 kgs sultanas or dates
sprinkle of salt & cayenne pepper to taste
half litre of apple vinegar


Wash, core and chop the apples, add the onions, sugar and sultanas (chopped fine) to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with vinegar and simmer gently for 2 hours stirring frequently. Place into sterilised jars, cover tightly and store in a cool,dark place.

Apple chutney is delightful with all sorts of foods but I love it with cheese dishes miscellaneous salads and even with a spicy curry!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Cooking Weekend

A weekend of cooking and fun was planned and that certainly was delivered. The cooking element included mussel soup with saffron, artichoke in citrus sauce, fish cakes with remoulade sauce, langoustine stuffed chicken leg with mushroom sauce, apple gratin with homemade poppyseed ice cream, caesar salad, frikadeller meat balls, warm smoked fish with horseradish cream, veal fillet with tarragon sauce and creme fraiche potatoes and rosemary roasted vegetables and an enormous dish of tiamisu which was all consumed in three rounds!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Rose Hip Posset - A new dessert from Kerrouet House

Well not surprising given all the talk about the abundance of rose hips recently and all the harvesting I have been doing of late! I have developed a new recipe using rose hips , cream and sugar and that's it (oh and the rose petal for garnish which is optional). This was only made for the first time yesterday and I think it will be a real hit with our students. It is very powerful being tart with a great bite and zesty appeal which can be sweetened to taste although I prefer it fairly plain with just a little sugar.

You will need
* 2 kg fresh rose hips (cleaned with seeds removed)
* 200 g sugar
* 500 ml fresh cream
* 1 rose hip flower (optional)
* 100 ml of water


Place the deseeded clean rosehips in a pan and boil gently in water for 30 minutes to reduce to syrup mix.
In another pan, place the cream and sugar together and slowly bring to the boil mixing constantly.
Add the rose hip syrup to the cream and sugar and boil again for 2 minutes stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
Pour the rose hip posset into 6 serving bowls and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
Place the bowls in the refrigerator to set for at least 5 hours before serving. Decorate with wild rose hip petal if desired.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Rose Petal Jelly

With all the rose hip around just waiting to be picked I simply had to add another recipe for you. This jelly is easy to make, absolutely delicious and can be utilised in numerous ways. I like it served with fresh scones!
You will need:

1 cup fresh, fragrant,rose petals
Juice of one lemon
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 package powdered pectin
1 1/2 cups water

Rose petals are best gathered in the morning. Cut off the white base on each clump of petals as it adds bitterness. Put petals, lemon juice, and 3/4 cup water in blender and blend until smooth. Gradually add sugar. Put mixture in sauce pan and stir in pectin, 3/4 cup water and boil the mixture hard for one minute, stirring constantly. Put it all back in the cleaned blender and stir until smooth. Pour into hot, sterile jars leaving 1/4- inch head space. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath, or freeze.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Panna Cotta with fresh summer berries

This dish is one of the most popular of all our recipes and students just keep on asking for it year on year! Serves 6 - 8

You will need:
1/2 Litre of fresh cream
1 Vanilla pod split lengthways, seeds scraped out
50 gram of sugar
2 gelatine leaves
Little bit of lemon zest
Autumn fruit sauce or whatever is in season
150 grams strawberries chopped
150 gram black and white grapes chopped
150 gram dark chocolate
Tbsp of honey -to taste
Small sprig of fresh mint
Grand Marnier or Framboise liqueur to taste


Mix all the ingredients in a small pan and heat up to simmer
Soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water until soft.
Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves,
then add to the pan and take off the heat.
Stir until the gelatine has dissolved.
Divide the mixture among 6 -8 small ramekins and leave to cool.
Place into the fridge for at least 2 hour, until set.
Autumn fruit sauce
Mix the chopped strawberries and grapes and flavour it with the
liqueurs and honey.
To serve, turn each panna cotta out onto a serving plate and serve it
with the sauce pouring the dark hot chocolate around adding the mint leaf to decorate.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Old Fashioned Rose Hip Jam

So I start with an old fashioned jam recipe which dates way back to the 18th century. First pick your buds and go for firm ones which are not too soft. This is not as simple as it sounds as the best taste and colour comes from the ripest buds but try deseeding a soft bud and it will mush in your hands! Now some folk say wait for the first frost before you get out collecting and foraging but I say no as by then the risk of mold developing in the buds is high and the birds will have eaten the best of the crop in any event! So if you really want to get the superior taste which comes from a cold frost, place the buds in the freezer for a few hours but be warned that when it comes to removing those dam seeds, you may have a terrible mush to deal with! I therefore say pick firm and go unless you are making a syrup and going to strain everything anyway using a muslim bag!

Wash the buds and trim the tails. Then simply cut the buds in half with a small sharp knife and with a gentle twist of the blade you will quickly become an expert at removing the seeds. You will find water helps both to keep the hands clean and the seeds at bay. You will need:

1 Kg. of cleaned rose hips deseeded
1 Kg. sugar
3 dl. apple cider vinegar
3 dl. water
2 Vanilla pods


Boil up sugar, water, vinegar and the vanilla pods, cut the vanilla pods open to
remove their seeds . Add the rose hips in the sugar syrup and simmer for 30 minutes. The syrup will become thick and heavy. Check for the setting point and bottle up in sterilised jars.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

John Keats and Rose Hip Jam

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells

Yes I dare say Keats would have loved rose hip hedgerows but I don't know if he ever tasted rose hip jam! If you know then I would be delighted to hear.

Rose hip is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C in the plant world. Rose hips also contain the active galactolipid compound GOPO, which has anti-inflammatory properties and is effective at reducing pain and improving mobility for those with osteoarthritis. Rose hip syrup has been well regarded for hundreds of years as an aid to good health and a cure for sore throats, colds and flu like ailments.

Rose hips also make a delicious jelly, a luxurious chuckney and a voluptuous tart which was very popular in the 16th century.

This is now the time of year to get out and start collecting those sexy wild ruby buds and I promise you a few lovely recipes to use to ensure your jam, chuckney, syrup or tart is both delicious and healthy.