Busy? Try this easy and delicious pak choi recipe for quick weekday greens!

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Looking for a leafy green that’s easy to clean, simple to prepare, quick to cook, and unbelievably delicious?

Well, we’ve got the vegetable for you…

Local pak choi!

Seriously underused, Sussex pak choi is a superstar in the kitchen and positively one of the healthiest foods you can eat (take a look at this link for evidence of pak choi’s super-powers).

This #EatSussex favourite of ours is grown by Toni, our wonderful Italian farmer over near Arundel.

Sweeter, crunchier, more digestible and quicker to cook than it’s more popular cruciferous cousins (we’re looking at you, broccoli), it’s about time pak choi became a kitchen staple – rather than the occasional visitor. There are a million delicious ways to use this plant (basically, in place of any greens in any recipe you choose).

Did you know?

This leaf goes by many names, and you may be more familiar with bok choy or Chinese cabbage.

Whatsmore, these leaves last a long time. But if you really want to be #zerowaste, simply place the base in a jar filled with a little water. Not only will this add weeks to your pak choi shelf life, it will even regenerate a lack lusture plant that’s been left to long, allowing for new leaf growth!

Hungry?

We decided to share a tasty, fiery, flavoursome side we love to whip up now this leaf is back on the menu.

You can find us serving this leafy green as a side to whatever we’re eating that night. Whether it’s meat for Nick or vegetarian options for Muir and Connie, these greens are an exciting, pleasurable and versatile part of our diet. Sussex pak choi needs only an accent of flavour – grown in healthy soil and on a small scale, this local leaf truly tastes superior.

Quick, easy and delicious chili-garlic pak choi

You’ll need
2-3 heads of Sussex pak choi, sliced or whole leaves
A generous glug of Mesto Olive Oil
1/2 medium chilli, deseeded and cut into rounds
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Seasoning

Method
In a large wok, heat a good splash of oil. When hot, add in the garlic and chilli. Stir rapidly until the flavours start to meld and throw in the pak choi. Continue cooking for a few minutes on a high heat until the pak choi starts to soften and is well combined with the garlic and chilli.

Finally, season well with black pepper and a pinch of salt. A squeeze of fresh lemon also helps to bring out the  beautiful flavour of the pak choi.

And, that’s it. Enjoy!

You can find Sussex pak choi here on our website. 


Image 1: Bok Choi by Tom Taker/FLICKR (CC)

Busy? Try this easy and delicious pak choi recipe for quick weekday greens!

Lancing College Farm

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Cultured butter – what is it and why is it so good?

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Cultured butter – what is it?

You may have seen some of our Instagram posts raving about this particular Sussex dairy. Cultured butter is a distinctive butter – unlike any you can easily buy.

Richly flavoured and tang reminiscent of creme fraiche, this melt-in-the-mouth dairy is created by adding live bacteria to butter before churning. Regular butter, also known as ‘sweet butter’, is simply churned fresh cream.

Why is it so good?

Adding cultures to butter creates a wonderfully different butter to the one you’ve grown accustomed to. How exactly?

Adding cultures:

  • Gives it a tangier taste.
  • Gives it a higher fat percentage, making it smoother, silkier and richer in flavour.
  • Makes it more healthful and digestible through the light fermentation process.
  • Adds an acidity that is perfect for baking.

Once upon a time, cultured butter was the norm. Culturing – or souring – dairy was a natural process for before contemporary refrigeration and ensured that it lasted longer. When pasteurization came into practice, natural cultures were killed off, and ‘sweet butter’ (uncultured) became the household standard.

Cultured butter, however, is still popular across the continent – and we’re thrilled to be offering it at Fin and Farm.

The secret to making the best, tastiest butter?

By starting with quality, flavorsome, rich cream. Fortunately, this is what we do best in Sussex with our small-scale, artisan producers. And, nobody knows Sussex cream like Knob Butter, the makers of our exquisite cultured butter. Their butter is made from cream from small, family run local dairies that rear cows in a traditional and gentle way. Ethical, sustainable, healthy – you can taste the difference!

Our suggestions for enjoying…

On fresh, crusty bread, with some Perfectly Preserved blood orange and bergamot marmalade or raw Sussex honey, for simple, honest, delicious local flavour…

You can find Sussex cultured butter HERE.

Brighton Butter, Cultured

Cultured butter – what is it and why is it so good?

Surprise yourself with local sorrel

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What is sorrel?

This leaf may look mild and unassuming – but, pop some into your mouth and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at it’s sour, lemony flavour.

Tart, citrusy sorrel (sor-uhl) is a wonderful spring ingredient to play with. Spinach-like in appearance (but much more exciting in flavour) add a citrusy element of delight to your cooking.

How to use?

For salads, chop mature leaves and use like a herb, or add baby leaves whole to a variety of other greens. Enjoy raw in pestos and smoothies (really!), or temper it’s tartness by cooking in soups, stews, or anywhere in place of lemon (a great #EatSussex alternative!).

Bright green, healthy looking leaves bring the best flavour – store in the fridge or place stems in water and wash before cooking to maintain freshness.

Need some inspiration for using this wonderful spring herb?

Sussex Sorrel Soup

This charmingly green soup is perfect paired with local, crusty bread and salted Southdowns butter. Best enjoyed after a long tramp in the Sussex countryside…

You’ll need:
A generous dab of Southdowns Sussex butter
2 medium biodynamic Sussex onions, diced
3 cloves garlic (or replace some of the local greens with a generous handful of biodynamic local wild garlic)
A handful of fresh English thyme
Black papper
A pinch of cumin
1 large flavoursome local potato, diced
A good handful of local greens of choice, chopped
A generous handful of biodynamic Sussex sorrel (save a few leaves to garnish)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 can of white beans

Method
In a large pan, heat the butter and saute the onions, garlic, thyme and spices until the flavours meld. Add in the potato and cover with stock. Bring to the simmer and cook until the potato is tender. Towards the end of cooking, add in the fresh, local greens (including the sorrel) and cook until tender, but still a pleasant green.

Once cooked, blend thorough and add in the white beans. Serve garnished with fresh sorrel, and enjoy this creamy, lemony, green soup with a side of crusty, local bread…

Want to get your hands on sorrel?

Supermarkets may offer the illusion of choice, but you’ll be pushed to find this refreshing, bring leaf. For local, biodynamic sorrel brimming with flavour and healthfulness, go to our website today!

Sorrel, Bunch, Biodynamic


Image 1: Sorrel by Lori Erickson/ FLICK (CC)

Surprise yourself with local sorrel

Seasonal cheese – it’s really a thing!

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Did you know that cheese is seasonal? 

When you think of flavour and cheese, what comes to mind? A distinctive, tangy brie or creamy, milk Stilton?

Well, it’s not just about the type of cheese your buying. Nuances in flavour are directly impacted by the environment. You may already consider yourself a cheese aficionado –  but, there’s a whole new level of appreciation of dairy to discover when you consider natural environment and seasonality.

So how, exactly, is cheese seasonal?

It’s all about plant life, of course! Just as late summer apples and spring asparagus have their seasons, the diet cows eat is determined by the seasons. During winter, cattle are sheltered from harsh, biting weather, eating a diet rich in hay, silage and grain. As a result, winter cheese is often the creamiest and tangiest cheese you’ll find. As calving season comes in, milk is richer and higher in fat and protein.

As the weather mellows, a diet rich in green leaves makes for a mild, light and softly-flavoured cheese. An abundance of wildflowers over the summer, and greater variety of plant-life imbues cheese with complexity of flavour and floral notes. Late season dairy returns to a grassier flavour, as flowers die off and greens become a staple once again.

So, for local, artisan cheeses that have escaped the fate of homogenisation for large markets, the seasons provide one of the most intriguing determiners of flavour. From Sussex summer meadows filled with wildflowers to cold winter nights and piles of locally harvested hay – Sussex cheese really is unique!

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Eating seasonal cheese:

If you want to taste the seasonal pleasures of cheese – turn away from the supermarket. With commercial cheeses made to taste homogeneous and consistent in flavour, small, artisan and local producers will open up new worlds of flavour to even the most expeirenced cheese lovers.

The advice from one cheese connoisseur? Enjoy fresh cheeses from the months March to October, and aged cheeses (approx. 6 months) between October and March to make the most of the beautiful summer notes. Of course, all cheese varieties are different. So get to know you’re favourite varieties and how they are made – and observe the seasons to discover worlds of flavour!

Explore our incredible range of Sussex, small-batch cheeses and tell us: What’s your favourite season?

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Image 1: Drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds by Dave_S./Flickr (CC
Image 2: Galium sp by –Tico–/Flickr (CC)

Seasonal cheese – it’s really a thing!

Sussex baby leeks – what to do with them?

You’ve seen our young, sweet-spicy baby turnips. Next on the Spring menu?

Baby leeks!

These tender little leeks, grown over in the charming countryside outside Chichester, have a delicate, sweetly earthy flavour and beautifully soft texture.

Easily mistaken for spring onions, don’t let baby leeks fool you. With their classic-blue green hue and distinct, pleasant leek-y scent, baby leeks are the sweeter sibling to the mature leeks you’ve become accustomed to.

A treat to cook up, these leeks are a delight for your seasonal plate.

But, how, exactly, do you eat them?

Mild enough to eat raw, you can finely slice and add to salads (but use sparingly as they still have a distinct flavour). Due to their texture and size, baby leeks are perfect for blanching, chargrilling and cooking whole. You can also replace for mature leeks in any recipe that you desire a quicker cooking time, sweeter flavour and softer texture.

They pair beautifully with pork (speaking of, did you see our ethical pork farm share for traditionally reared, healthy and humane meat?), organic Saltmarsh lamb, or flavoursome Sussex heritage potatoes. Simply saute in local, golden butter for a minimalist way to fully appreciate this delicate Spring vegetable.

Be sure to rinse them thoroughly, as grit and soil from growing can easily get caught in leek leaves!

You can use in any number of recipes that strike your fancy. We dug up this mouth-watering dish that we think you’ll enjoy…

Roasted baby leeks with thyme, garlic and cheese:

You’ll need:
20 baby Sussex leeks
A generous dab of local butter
A handful of fresh English thyme
1/2 bulb of aromatic garlic
100g buttery Sussex goat’s cheese
Salt and pepper

Method
Slice the leeks length-ways and wash thoroughly. Place in a heavy bottomed baking dish, and scatter with stalks of thyme and bulbs of whole garlic (these will take on a caramel-garlic quality). Gently melt the butter (or use oil) in a pan over a low heat, and brush the leeks generously. Season well with salt and pepper.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Crumble on the cheese and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the cheese has cooked, and the leeks are a perfect, buttery texture. Cover with foil if necessary for even cooking.

Enjoy on it’s own, or to accompany baked fish or roasted local potatoes…

Go online to try Sussex baby leek today!

Sussex baby leeks – what to do with them?