Monday, April 30, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Kathy's favorite sausage recipe. Maybe she'll give us the recipe sometime.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
After finishing our curbside lunch, we took our sticky hands and full stomachs and headed further down the street. We were amazed to see that our food court wasn’t the only one as the food and goodness stretched for blocks and blocks.
In the front window of this shop they have a tempting display of large moist slabs of salt beef which they are happy to slice for you and pile on a fresh bagel or light rye for the incredible price of 4 measly pounds. By this time my partner in dietary crime (aka Adrian) and I got caught up in the spirit of the place, and since I had never tried it before, and we were ready for a little dessert anyway, we found ourselves ordering one.
We stood in the fast moving line for what seemed like an eternity until we stepped out into the bright sunshine with a little bit of heaven in our hands (I swear I could hear the angels sing). We had opted to have our salt beef served the traditional way on light rye with a healthy slathering of English mustard and a generous amount of sliced gherkins arranged on top. Adrian handed me my half and I carefully raised the warm sandwich to my mouth just as the one slice of pickle on my half squirted out the bottom bouncing off the top of the electrical cabinet we were using as a dining table. Damn!
Knowing how heartbroken I was, Susan tried to make it better by convincing me that the 5 second rule had surely not been violated, and then even tried to talk me into cleaning it off with an antibacterial wipe. Even though I must admit that I considered it for just a second, the movie Contagion came to mind and I just couldn’t. No sir, my maiden voyage into English salt beef was going to have to be sans gherkin, and I'm happy to say that I loved it anyway.
English salt beef is really just corned beef to us Americans. Wanting to cure my own for some time, I thought that this was my perfect opportunity. Still wanting to have that true English salt beef experience, I combined a couple of English recipes, cleaned out the fridge and let it cure for 10 days. As you will see in my recipe, I boiled mine; served it on light rye with big dollop of mustard (I used extra strong Dijon) and lots and lots of extra pickles just in case.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
These are just a few of their beautiful guest rooms. If you are interested in a stay at Langar Hall and would like more information on this child and pet friendly country hotel, please click here. Thank you so much Avi and Imogen for giving us such open access to your lovely property. Imogen, I so envy you as you are living my dream.
Since our little tour is now over and while we're on the topic of tea, I thought I’d kind of clear something up for some of my fellow Americans. If you would like to enjoy some tea or coffee, finger sandwiches and scones, you want to have “tea” or “afternoon tea”, not “high tea”. High tea is more of a meal which is served on a high dining table (as opposed to a low coffee table) early in the evening. Food served for high tea is heartier fare than what you find for afternoon tea. I found out early on living in England that children customarily have their supper early in the evening and it is called tea but it could actually be called their high tea.
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Thursday, April 5, 2012
More from the Midlands: Long Clawson Dairy's Blue Stilton and My Version of Delia's Recipe for Stilton Soup
As the popularity of his cheese began to grow, Thornhill soon found it difficult to keep up with demand and enlisted a renowned Leicestershire (pronounced "lester-shire") cheesemaker named Frances Pawlett for help in its production. Pawlett then formed a cooperative with other dairies around her Leicestershire farm to produce this cheese using the Stilton recipe.
With its location on the main road from London to Edinburgh, The Bell Inn soon became a main outlet to trade the cheese, with production being moved almost exclusively to Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.
Although there are many gaps in the history of Stilton cheese, what is known is that many people most certainly played a part in the evolution of this cheese, making it the delicious final product that we now enjoy.
Today, true Stilton can only be produced in the three adjoining counties of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire by five licensed creameries. These facilities include Long Clawson Dairy, Colston Bassett Dairy, Cropwell Bishop, Tuxford and Tebbutt Creamery, and Websters. Production of this cheese by these dairies is strictly governed under the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) by the European Commission.
The first step in the production of Long Clawson’s cheese is gathering the milk from their participating dairies. After it is tested, cleared for production and pasteurized, the fresh milk is poured into the vats and starter culture, vegetable rennet and penicillium roqueforti (blue mold spores) are added. During this stage the curds are formed and separates from the whey. This process takes approximately 22 hours.
Each stack is rotated 3 times so it is evenly drained and hydrated. Excess whey can be seen under the stacks as they are rotated.
After the whey is drained, the cheese is ready to be removed from the molds.
At this point the drained cheese, which now weighs approximately 22 pounds, is removed from the molds, smoothed on the outside and wrapped in plastic.
A vat containing Red Leicester
Red Leicester cheese aging. I wish this was smell-o-vision as the rich smell of the buttery casing is indescribable.
Not only is Stilton a wonderful cheese to eat with fruit, nuts and biscuits, it is also a great cheese to cook with. A few years ago my host Karen introduced me to Delia Smith's delightful recipe for Stilton soup which is a combination of Stilton, celery, onions and cream and it was an instant favorite of mine. I couldn't possibly do a post about Stilton without passing this recipe on to you. For more recipes ideas, please click through to Long Clawson's site to see how versatile this cheese can be.
I have to give Delia Smith full credit for the inspiration for this soup, but it is really a hybrid recipe. I combined her recipes for Stilton Soup and Bleu Cheese Soup and also felt I had to gild the lily a bit and add a few touches of my own. Since I think all soups should get the bay leaf treatment I have added one here, threw in some thyme and garlic, added a little extra stock and reduced the cream just a bit. You're really going to love this recipe.