meringue, aqua faba, gbbo, BBC Wiltshire, Desserts

The Food Experience

Food. We all need to eat, but how do we get the best out of our food? Experience is the key. I hope I can explain this here:

gluten free, cake, sweet canapes, chocolate, home made
Its in the eating

OK guys, I’m a sixty-three year old person with a wealth of experience in cookery, food & nutrition. There are plenty of others out there like me. Scanning the social media sites, feeds are awash with advertisements for cakes, canapes & cauldrons of healthy foods, but, everyone with the eye for a quick buck can Google a recipe, watch the instructions on YouTube & all of a sudden they are a cook/caterer/dietician/food writer. Come on, wake up. Real chefs/cooks are time served, they know how to create recipes from a few ingredients, they can pop round & look in your fridge & have the knowledge to create a tasty meal from a few ingredients, they do not rely on packet mixes – expensive – or recipes from in-store mags,which are suggesting you buy their ingredients. Experienced foodies have the know how to substitute ingredients & produce quick, healthy meals. The key word in this missive is EXPERIENCE.

Cooking, cookery, food, recipes, baking
Experience Counts

My interest in cooking started when I watched my Mother cooking. Mum was a great home cook, producing good, tasty, substantial meals, from scratch for her family. I always thought that if I changed this & added that, I could create interesting variations on a theme. I built on this experience & went on to be a family cook at a rectory The Kitchen Experience in the Cotswolds. Prue Leith wrote several articles & published recipes of mine in the Guardian.  I opened a Dinner Party delivery service & “Private Dinning Room” in Broad Campden, Gloucestershire, which attracted many celebrities of the day. The idea being that guests told me their likes & dislikes, I then created the recipes & menu around these likes.  People brought their own wines & a jolly time was had by all.

Country Houses, Shoots, Polo matches, Dinner Parties, Fine Dining
Cowdray House, Cowdray Park, Midhurst, West Sussex

I spent many a happy year at Cowdray Park in Midhurst as private family cook before moving on to Harrods, designing food for the food hall & as Mr Al-Fayed’s family cook.

You may well ask. Why am I not rich & famous? The reason being, I spent my money & time on bringing up my son & travelling to broaden my knowledge & love of all countries cuisines.

Currently, being a person of a “certain age” – read “On the scrap heap” – I converted a Stable, below my rented accommodation, at a National Trust Property into a Catering Kitchen Truffleicious at Great Chalfield I registered with the local Council, earned my 5* food hygiene status & pay rent to serve totally homemade, healthy food to the visiting card holding, trust members of the public. Now, don’t get me wrong. Through constant Social Media marketing – my own – & the generous help of local guides The Pig Guide & local radio BBC Wiltshire GBBO Challenge I have built up a loyal following, who visit to sample my homemade delicacies. Unfortunately, neither the donor family of the property or The National Trust seem to be aware of the service I provide on their property. The verbal abuse I experience is quite extraordinary, just because I do not serve chips, or shop bought white sliced bread. Loyalty to tenants? Unheard of.

Vegetarian, homemade food, raw food, gluten free, bread
“How can I help”

This brings me to a conundrum. I keep getting asked for my recipes. Netflix, recently filmed here. I provided lunch for them, one of the producers from “LA” is desperate to have the recipe of my Gluten free Lemon Mousse Cake?. Another company who is using a photo of my Wiltshire Cider Cake, in their 2019 Calender wants the recipe. It has taken me 40 yrs to be able to perfect these recipes, I am also about to write a book containing these recipes with 40% profits going to the charity MIND . Why do they think they are just available. Gratis.

 

Times & shopping habits have changed, however, experience still prevails. Why would you want to buy or serve a tasteless, nutritionally dubious, ready meal when you could learn in a couple of hours, the tricks of the trade? Cookery Tuition

By the way. Should anyone out there need a Food/recipe consultant to help them create original recipes, for their food outlets, just remember. ” I haven’t been crushed “. Yet.

If you have been. Thanks for reading.

 

Tropical fruit, Aquafaba, meringue, baking, GBBO,

BBC Wiltshire GBBO Challenge

I’m always up for a challenge!  So when I heard Rachel Houghton announce on her BBC Radio Wiltshire morning show, someone was urgently required to bake Prue Leith’s technical challenge, Vegan Tropical Fruit Meringue,  GBBO recipe’s  as on The Great British Bake Off,  I immediately thought, I’m your woman & rang the radio station

Now, this was required for 11 am tomorrow morning. Quickly Googling the recipe, I headed to the shops for ingredients.  Most were already in my store cupboard, but I did not have a supply of juicy tropical fruit.  Waitrose however, were ahead of the game &  stocked to the brim with fruits for GBBO baking enthusiasts. I scooped up Mango’s, passion fruit, kiwi fruit, pomegranates & a pineapple & headed for my kitchen.

I have never baked a vegan egg free meringue before. However I do have experience with the ordinary variety, the trick of these being enough whisking, before gradually adding the sugar to produce smooth, billowy, satiny peaks of meringue.

 

I must say I had a double interest in this challenge. In the late eighties, when I was a good few years younger & just embarking on my cooking career, I was lucky enough to have Prue Leith write an article about me in The Guardian. you can read more about  this by following the link.  The Kitchen Experience So to bake one of her recipes, as a challenge, all these years later, I found very satisfying.

Having whisked up the Aquafaba – Chickpea juice for the uninitiated – to the desired consistency. I gradually added the sugar, beating well between each addition. When I had achieved what I thought was the right texture, I piled the “meringue” into a piping bag, fitted with a star nozzle & swirled rings onto the marked, baking parchment, & popped it into the oven.

 

While the mixture was whisking, I quickly made up the Patisserie Creme & left to cool. I found, in my oven,  the disks of meringue needed a longer cooking time than the recipe stated.  Left to cool, I then assembled the dessert. I still felt that the disks, could have done with further cooking time, as they were weeping, slightly in the middle. Still no matter once put together I was quite happy with the result, but will make a note on the cooking time, for next time. This is not a dessert to make in advance. it is best made, assembled & served on the same day.

Now. The proof of the pudding, is in the eating. I found a lady passing by outside & asked, in the interest of cookery, would she be prepared to taste my effort & give her comments on the radio. – I had not told her at this point that the meringue, was in fact made with chickpea juice! – She thought it tasted quite delicious & was amazed to find out what it was made with.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge & enjoyed working with different ingredients. I look forward to adapting the method & producing more Vegan goodies in the future.

Should you want to know more about me, my recipes & the products & services I retail, please visit my home page:

Menus Autumn-Winter 2018

HAPPY BAKING

If you are wondering what I did with the chickpeas, I’m happy to tell you that I used them in another recipe, this time one of mine, which you will find here :

 Truffleicious blog

 

 

 

Food, Healthy Eating. Mediterranean diet, Vegetarian food, Salads, Low fodmap diet

Poor Man’s Caviar

Well, here I am again. Another month has whizzed by & August is upon us. At TRUFFLEicious, the hot weather has me thinking about salads, this month my thoughts turned to Caviar. Not the expensive Sturgeons roe, type of Caviar – although, that would be nice – but Poor Man’s Caviar.

Food, Tappa's, Home made Caviar, Aubergines, Olives
A great addition to some Tappa’s on a Summer Evening

Aubergines -Also known as Egg Plant & Poor man’s meat, because you can cut them into thick meaty slices- are cheap at this time of the year, especially if you frequent your local market. I mozy on over to Chippenham on a Saturday morning & fill my bags to the brim, with lovely fresh fruit & vegetables. I’m the sort of shopper who buys what’s cheap & seasonal & decide what to make with it, when I get home. Yes, you’ve guessed it. three large shiny, purple, black Aubergines were to become my Poor Man’s Caviar.

You can adapt the recipe below, to suit your personal taste, by adding different, herbs & spices, more or less garlic, seeds, small additions of other veg, – beetroot is nice as it gives it a beautiful pink colour & an earthy undertone.

Mediterranean Vegetables, Salads, Aubergines, Olive oil, Healthy Food
Roasted Aubergine. The vital ingredient.

POOR MAN’S CAVIAR.  Serves 6. GF/ DF/ V/ Vegan/ Low Fodmap

Oven Temp 180c 350f Gas Mk 4

Ingredients:

3. Large Aubergines

2. Lemon’s (juiced)

1. Fresh Chilli. Deseeded & chopped

3. Cloves Garlic, crushed

150 ml Olive Oil

Seasoning

Herbs of choice. I used Marjoram & Lemon Balm.

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven, place the Aubergines on a large baking tray & roast for about 40mins, until tender. Remove from the oven, allow to cool & remove the skin.

Place the Aubergine pulp in a sieve & squeeze until the bitter juices are removed.

Place the pulp in a food processor, along with the garlic, chilli, & herbs. Pulse, until a smooth puree forms.

While the motor is still running, gradually dribble in the lemon juice & olive oil.

Adjust the seasonings to your liking. If you like it thicker add less oil.

I particularly like this spread on bread, in place of butter, in a sandwich. Or served with home made potato crackers to go with a large G&T.


DITCH THOSE BAGGED SUPERMARKET SALADS.

salads, grated salads, mixed salads, shredded salads, vegetables
Healthy mixed salad at a fraction of the price.

While you are at the Veggie Stall, purchase some, carrots, beetroot, celery, etc & make your own salads. All you need is the grating disc on the food processor or a hand grater, for individual amounts. Not only will you save yourself, oodles of cash, veg start to loose their nutrients when they are chopped, so you can save on the vitamin pills as well.

If you find you haven’t the time to make on a daily basis, line a glass bowl with kitchen roll add the shredded salad & cover with more kitchen roll, kept in the salad drawer at the bottom of the fridge, it will last for several day.

Just think. You won’t have that smelly, slimy plastic bag in the fridge to throw away!!!!

Until next time.

 

 

Food, recipes, ice cream, sherbet, gelato

Truffleicious Food – July

Hi Guys. Well, July has certainly been a been a stonker of a month & food looms heavily in my thoughts. We are basking in the middle of a fabulous heat wave, temperatures are reaching 30c here in the UK. As you all know, us Brits are always on about the weather, it’s either too hot, or cold, too wet or too dry. Myself, I love it. Let it last forever I say, as it’s the kind of weather that inspires me to rustle up some healthy, refreshing salads & interesting dressings. As for desserts, what could be nicer than a huge bowl of fresh, seasonal fruits, strawberries, raspberries, peaches & a delicious homemade sherbet or ice-cream.

This month I am going to share with you some of my own recipes, These are recipes which I have developed over the many years I have spent in hot kitchens. All of the dishes in the recipes below, can be purchased, freshly, homemade, from Truffleicious at the Stables Kitchen in Great Chalfield Wiltshire.

The first recipe is for a versatile, low-calorie dressing, which pairs, particularly well with eggs & tomatoes. It also gives a lift to a new potato salad. It is always worth making your own salad dressings as they are far cheaper than their commercially made counterparts & are free from artificial flavourings, colours & additives.

For more recipes, you can visit my sister site Truffleicious.blog

Food, recipe, salad dressing, homemade, Gluten free

Dress up your salads

Nicoise Dressing. Gluten Free, Vegetarian. Vegan (if anchovies omitted) Low Fodmap Diet.

Makes 250ml

In the bowl of a food processor place the ingredients listed below. Whizz them together until smooth & get tossing:

150ml Greek Natural Yoghurt.

1 Large fresh Tomato, deseeded & chopped. To deseed, cut the tomato into 4 quarters & scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon.

1 Clove Garlic, crushed.

1 Tbspn organic Tomato Puree.

4 Anchovy Fillets, Chopped

Small handful of Fresh Basil Leaves, torn.

Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste.


My next recipe is for a cooling citrus fruit sherbet. You can use any citrus fruit, or a mixture, depending on your taste. As in the previous recipe make your own & avoid additives, preservatives, colouring’s etc. Let the natural fruit flavour zing through:

Lemon Sherbet. Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Low Fodmap.

Makes 1.5 Ltrs

250g Granulated Sugar.

250ml Water

1/8 tspn Salt

330 ml Freshly squeezed citrus fruit Juice

200 ml milk

600 ml Natural Greek Yoghurt.

Method

Dssolve the Sugar in the water, allow to cool & add salt, Citrus Juice & Milk. Pour into your ice-cream maker.& freeze according to manufactures instructions.

Turn into a chilled bowl & gently fold in the yoghurt.

Turn into a sterilized container with a lid & freeze until requires.

Serve in scoops topped with fresh seasonal fruits & fresh Lemon Balm.


So, there we have it. A couple of light summer recipes, to keep you going through the heat wave.

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to make your own, you can always pop along to me & purchase some.

Food, Home made, recipes, diets, healthy eating

Truffleicious – Stable Kitchen

https://www.jscache.com/wejs?wtype=selfserveprop&uniq=956&locationId=14899561&lang=en_UK&rating=true&nreviews=5&writereviewlink=true&popIdx=true&iswide=false&border=true&display_version=2

food, Chocolate, strawberries, cake, glutenfree

Truffleicious in June

As we welcome in flaming June, find out what Truffleicious has to offer.

Another month has flown by. My Stable Kitchen has been busy during the previous few weeks, both with customers & creating new updates for our menu.

Earlier in May, we catered for a film company, who were doing some research, prior to filming at Great Chalfield this month. Forty seven lunches were duly, prepared & packed to sate their appetites on their home bound coach journey.

Their chosen menu, catered for all dietary requirements. Gluten free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian & Vegan, all freshly homemade on the day Four different salads accompanied either, cheddar cheese, feta, olives & sun-dried tomatoes,or humus, along with a selection of six different home made breads. A gluten free Lemon Mousse Cake was also on offer for dessert. It was very gratifying to receive a lovely comment from them, on the visitors book page of my website.

Bread is one of my favourite foods, not he nasty, plastic, additive containing, bread you get from the shops, but real doughy breads, full of flavour & goodness & more that a sprinkling of different seeds. One of the reasons I decided to experiment with different breads was because I have been following a low FodMap diet, you can read my blog on the subject if you follow the link.

Food, bread, baking, sharing breads, spely
Bread at it’s best. With Cheese, inside.

Shop brought bread, I found, was one of the most bloat making foods in my diet. So, rather than give it up, I decided to make my own breads using different Organic flours & local products. The results were amazing, no longer did I swell up like a balloon after eating bread & the flavour was far superior to anything shop bought. I have a strong suspicion that apart from Celiac’s, to whom, gluten is a serious issue, most people who perceive themselves as “Gluten Intolerant” are more susceptible to the additives & preservatives, so commonly found in the mass produced, ready meals & products in today’s food market.

Look forward to seeing a range of my homemade breads served Ploughman’s style with Salads & Smoked Mackerel, Cheddar, humus or Smoked Salmon. Perfect for a picnic.

A very, very, naughty but nice sweet pie is also on the menu. A version of the recipe for my Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Butter Pie, can be found on myrecipeblog This dessert is a great treat for this time of the year as it needs very little cooking, so you won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen.

Making the most of seasonal soft fruits, I have also added a gluten free raspberry ice cream, & pictured at the top of this blog, Chocolate & Strawberry gateaux, also gluten free.

food, baking, chocolate, peanut butter, tart, pie
Very naughty, but nice.

On the other hand, if you prefer not to spend any time in the kitchen, you can always visit me at Stables Kitchen, Great Chalfield Manor, Wiltshire & try some of my goodies for yourself. Try some peanut butter tart, topped with fresh banana tart.