#EatSussex Staples: Wholemeal Bread

 

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We’re well into #eatsussex August, and as we’ve discovered, staples have been a little thin on the ground. Wholemeal flour and potatoes have become our number 1 (not that we’re really complaining, I mean, potatoes AND flour products? Delicious…) We’ve gotten a little creative, and made #eatsussex pizzas, gnocchi, cakes with local fruit and – of course! – lots of bread.

Where do we get out Sussex grown flour?

Our richly flavoured wholemeal Sussex flour is from Lurgashall Watermill near Chichester. This 17th century mill doesn’t just provide a wholesome #eatsussex staple, but is a joy to visit!

Our Recipe:

Want our recipe for an all Sussex staple of wholemeal bread? Here you go…

450g of strong wholemeal Sussex flour
1 dessert spoon of salt
2 teaspoons of yeast
350ml of hot water

Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and gradually combine the water and flour to make a dough. Hand mix until the dough is smooth (adding more water if necessary).

On a floured surface, transfer the dough and stretch it oblong, folding one edge into the centre, and the other over that. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.

When risen, bake at 200c for 40 minutes.

Enjoy!

bred1The dough is rising!

Additions:

A handful of rosemary will transform the flavour for heavenly and aromatic bread to eat with Sussex soups and stews. A serving of hemp protein powder (grown in Arundel) will transform a conventional bread into a wholesome and sustaining super-food loaf, rich in plant protein and omega fatty acids…

digRosemary bread in the making.

Screenshot3Muir preparing for some baking…

#EatSussex Staples: Wholemeal Bread

Mushroom Salt – Your Kitchen Friend

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Mushroom salt isn’t a new concept – it’s long since been used in many types of Asian cooking – but here in Sussex, it’s fairly  new to the kitchen cabinet as other flavoured salts have held the floor for a long time.  Anyway, this is not so much a flavoured salt, but a finely ground mushroom powder with salt.

Firstly, the taste!  Our mushroom salts are prepared by Merryhill Mushrooms, who have won awards for the quality and flavour of their mushrooms.  Merryhill are not a new company – they have been advising as consultants for 30 years, but more recently have turned their experience to creating new and innovative mushroom products.  Growing carefully chosen mushroom types on their organic compost, is yielding a rainbow of wonderful mushroom varieties.

Using in the kitchen

But, back to the mushroom salt – this is a good tool to keep in the kitchen.  It transforms roasted veg or roast meats (particularly chicken).  Adding a sprinkle to pasta or to a stew gives a greater depth than you can achieve with mushroom ketchup.

Try it on popcorn for a zippy flavour or homemade chips…or really any potato dish can be lifted.

The Shitake Mushroom salt has an earthy flavour which just melts into root vegetables.  The Traditional Mushroom salt has a lighter touch which is more universal in terms of sprinkling onto any dish.  For a spicy flavour on wedges and roasts, the Mesquite smoked salt gives a piquancy and richness.

Adding a sprinkle of salt to cooked mushrooms gives a fantastic intense flavour that contrasts with eggs for a punchy breakfast dish (we have been sprinkling it on everything so far for our #eatsussex month to create some new flavour notes to work with on the breakfast front).

Salt

Lower in sodium

Mushroom salt is also highly useful as it’s lower in sodium than regular salt.  A bonus if you’re trying to reduce sodium intake.

Adding mushroom salt adds richness to a dish so you need fewer ingredients to add depth of flavour – ie less fat and certainly no additional salt.

Using smoked salt like Mesquite has a stronger aroma which works even better with dishes that need something more robust.


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Mushroom Salt – Your Kitchen Friend

On air with BBC Sussex!

We kicked off August with a short interview this morning on BBC Sussex Breakfast with Neil Pringle. Did you catch us? If not, check out the clip on BBC Iplayer – just skip ahead to 2hrs 42 minutes. We discussed an #eatsussex breakfast, the range of local produce availabile, #eatsussex challenges and adapting #eatsussex to different dietary needs (Nick and Jim are carnivores, Muir and Connie are vegetarian, and I’m vegan – we’ve got everything covered!)

For the demonstration breakfast, Muir cooked up a beautiful breakfast tart with local wholemeal flour, Sussex rainbow chard, intensely flavoured Sussex tomatoes and local dairy and eggs. We also had some Sussex chipolata sausages and sauteed mushrooms – all of which the crew seemed to enjoy having afterwards! We included a whole host of gorgeous locally grown veggies and fruits to garnish and accompany the meal, to show that there’s no depriving yourself when it comes to eating local (Mmm, all of these ingredients can be sourced from our website if this is making you hungry!)

 

“The rules?”, Neil asked us. Here they are – the basic #eatsussex rules we’re following for the next month:

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Coffee and tea for our sanity – but ONLY sustainably sourced and locally processed (we get our coffee from Edgcumbes and tea from MD Tea). Mesto Olive Oil is owned by Cate and Vasilis, who live in Brighton but own an olive grove in Crete and transport all of their own olives. We use this as a healthy alternative to butter but also love our Southdowns Butter.

We’re excited about our food adventure – and we’d love it if you would join us! There are wonderful dishes, different produce, new cafes, restaurants and foods to discover and fall in love with. Not to mention the challenge of letting go of old favourites (but replacing them with something just as delicious – we’ll post on the things we discover to replace our non-local food loves). It’ll be an eye opening month, and if you want to commit to the whole month or even just try one meal, let us know! Hashtag/ tag us in your pictures and posts…

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Muir (right) and Phoebe (left) outside BBC Sussex.

 

 

 

 

On air with BBC Sussex!

#Eatsussex August is here!

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#Eatsussex August has finally arrived! We’ve got a whole month of eating ENTIRELY Sussex sourced foods – and we couldn’t be more excited.

However, while we regularly whip up meals from food grown and produced in Sussex, we’ve still relied on a loaf of bread, a packet of oats etc. here and there from supermarkets (I know, I know!) August will be an adventure as we get creative with our Sussex ingredients and sourcing. We’ll keep you updated on the joys, struggles and discoveries we make along the way.

But, first thing’s first – and that’s breakfast!

Tuesday morning breakfast:

1 cup of strong Edgecumbs coffee
Fresh local sourdough from the bakery (but we’ll start making our own with Sussex flour – stay tuned for our recipe)
South Downs Dairy butter (and this is a wonderful rich colour from the healthy diet the cows eat!)
Raw Brighton and Hove Blackman Bee Farm set honey
Tibbs Fruit Farm strawberries (my fave)

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This was truly a simple meal to revel in the beauty of the flavours from small-scale, high quality, local producers. Raw honey, sweet strawberries, rich local butter and crunchy, toasted fresh sourdough bread. Oh, perfection… Move over supermarket produce – we’ve got a tastier and more ethical alternative…

Instagram

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #eatsussex in your creations this month! We can’t wait to see what you whip up, and we’ll regram the eats we love the most.

#Eatsussex August is here!

#eatsussex Redcurrant Recipes

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Redcurrant and Blackcurrant Compote

Even in the height of a British summer, we have spells where you need something to counterbalance a humid drizzly spell.  Especially on our coastal side of the Downs where we are cloaked in grey sea frets, we can take a quick drive over the hills to bask in warm sunshine.  Although that sometimes works vice versa, so not really complaining about our micro-climate.

But a given is that soups and ragouts may be out of place in hotter climates, there’s a place for a one pot supper at any time of year whether you’re serving it with pasta, rice or salad. A jar of a redcurrant or blackcurrant compote is a handy alternative to imported pomegranate molasses to gently stir into a sauce for instant depth.


Redcurrant Compote

  • 1kg Tibbs Farm redcurrants
  • 4 tablespoons Brighton and Hove honey
  • 4 tablespoons water

In a large stainless steel or copper pan, combine all the ingredients.  Warm together over a slow heat for 5-10 minutes until the redcurrants start to pop.  Cook gently for a further 5 mins, then pour carefully into a large mason jar.

Cool, then fridge and this will keep for up to a week.  Alternatively, divide and freeze into manageable portions.

Use in sauces and stews or mix into porridge or yoghurt.  This is not a very sweet version – just the main tartness has had its edges softened.  The fruitiness still shines through so if you are using in sweet dishes, then you may want to add a little more honey when you swirl through your yoghurt…

Ripe_redcurrants


Sussex Beef Ragout with Redcurrants

Ingredients
Serves: 6 

  • 40g Southdowns butter
  • 900g Sussex braising steak, diced into 2.5cm pieces
  • 3 rashers rindless streaky Sussex bacon, chopped
  • 2 large wet onions, chopped
  • 110g flat Thakeham mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 2 Tangmere red peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 170g Tibbs Farm redcurrant compote*
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons plain flour (try Weald & Downland)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large tablespoon Brighton & Hove honey
  • 2 pinches of locally sourced Allspice (try Seven Sisters)
  • 300ml stock or a light ale
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150 C / Gas 2.
  2. Melt butter in a large oven proof pan. Add the beef and sear over a high heat, until well browned. Remove the beef and set aside, then add bacon, and cook until crisp.
  3. Add onions and reduce the heat to gently caramelise for around 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Add the beef back to the pan and adding the red peppers and currants. Sprinkle over the flour and season with spices. Mix well and pour over the stock or ale and bay leaves. Add enough water to cover the ingredients and cover.
  5. Bake slowly in the preheated oven for 3 hours or until meat is really tender.
  6. Just prior to serving, remove the bay leaves, add chopped parsley and more seasoning if desired.
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Seven Sisters Delicious Spice Mix (from Lewes)

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#eatsussex Redcurrant Recipes

#eatsussex Easy Green Beans with Pursha, Garlic & Olive Oil

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#eatsussex Recipe

Easy Green Beans with Lemon, Garlic & Olive Oil

Citrus is easily our favourite family flavour, so the thought of going for a whole month without any lemons or oranges, is not our ideal culinary situation.  Adding lemon zest and a dash of juice to most one-pot dish reduces the need to add extra salt; Or just a squeeze of lemon over fish or veggies gives a magical lift.

So, for #eatsussex, we have taken the bull by the horns and grown our own.  An organic pursha fruit mini-tree which was grown by the wonderful Emily at Plants4presents.  I was heading towards the lemon tree, but she diverted us to these little green/yellow fruits which now find their way into most of our dishes.  They are delicate skinned and a cross between a clementine/lemon.  Maybe because they’re fresh from the tree, the smell is pretty heady and sweet…small but powerful fruit.  Because they are so dainty, there’s no need to peel as the pith hasn’t become dry and bitter….just slice and chuck the whole thing in.

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Our olive oil, of course is Mestó grown by Cate and Vasilis at their own farm in Crete and driven back to Brighton by them after pressing.  So, we are including these in our #eatsussex as the provenance is sustainably sourced, organically grown and local.  And the olive oil is bloody good….

Our green beans (or bobby beans as they’re inexplicably known) are grown biodynamically by Toos at Laines.  Freshly picked beans are more nutritious and the freshness of the flavours are pronounced.


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Ingredients

500g green beans

2-3 tablespoons Mestó olive oil

4 cloves garlic (ours was home grown, but we will have Sussex soon)

1 small lemon (or 3 tiny pursha)

Seasoning

Method

Blanch the green beans in a large pan of salted water until tender, 3 minutes or so. Drain and cool.

Gently saute the garlic in the olive oil until softened – for 1-2 minutes.  Add the green beans and cook for a further minute to warm through.

Toss in the slices of citrus and give the dish a quick burst at a high heat to release the flavours.  Serve at room temperature.


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#eatsussex Easy Green Beans with Pursha, Garlic & Olive Oil

Local Blackcurrants and Redcurrants

There’s an abundance of summer fruit right now, but the season is so short that it’s hard to manage.  If you freeze the fruit now and as fresh as possible, then you’ll have a rich supply of nutritious berries for winter porridge, tarts – and savoury dishes.

Our blackcurrants from Tibbs Farm are handpicked and fresh as you like.  Again, this year we are lucky with the weather – seem to remember last year, the rain spoiled so much of the crop.


How to store

Blackcurrants and redcurrants are both prone to mould so don’t wash before storing in the fridge.  Ensure they are dry and loosely pack into a shallow bowl.  Cover and they should store for around 5 days to a week.

How to freeze

Wash the currants carefully, pat try and create a single layer on a baking sheet.  Freeze quickly then transfer to a freezer bag and store.

Ways of using

Currants have a pleasingly soft tartness which is a shame to drown in sugar.  Adding raw honey rounds off the sharp edges nicely so the absolute richness of the flavour can speak for itself.  Redcurrants rarely feature in desserts and are generally relegated to jellies when they are paired with savoury foods.

A British summer is a peculiar beast.  In early and late summer it can be blazingly hot during the day and plummet to toe chilling iciness by mid-evening…and of course, there is the ever present threat of rain in even the bluest sky.  So, barbecues are planned and, one way or another, vast plates of sausages and chicken are cooked.  Inevitably there is usually plenty left over and if a comforting dish is needed the following day to combat being cold/wet/hungover, then a salty salad of sausage or chicken with redcurrants will cover most bases.

Nigel Slater is the master of the simple but imaginative dish with kitchen cupboard ingredients which just hit the spot:

Sausage and redcurrant salad

4 good handfuls mixed salad leaves
5-6 cold, cooked sausages
100g redcurrants

For the dressing
½ tsp English mustard
1 tsp honey
1 tsp cider vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

Put the mustard, honey and vinegar for the dressing in a small jam jar with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add the oil, put on the lid and shake to emulsify.

Put the salad leaves in a large bowl and trickle over half the dressing. Toss, then arrange on a large serving plate. Cut the sausages in half lengthways, then cut into half moons and scatter over the salad leaves. Put the currants in a small bowl and give them a quick press or two with the end of a rolling pin or pestle, just to crush a few and create a bit of juice – you want most of them to stay whole. Combine with the remaining dressing, then scatter/spoon over the salad and serve with bread.


Blackcurrant slaw

1 small head of red cabbage
250g blackcurrants
75g raw honey

Julienne the cabbage finely.  Wrap in a clean tea towel and squeeze out excess moisture.

Mash the currants slightly to just burst and drizzle over the honey (to taste).  Fold carefully into the cabbage and toss well.  Cover and fridge to allow the flavours to absorb.

Perfect with rich cold meat such as game, venison or duck.


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Local Blackcurrants and Redcurrants