Fresh & Local
Food is so important – we need it to live, of course, but it features in our celebrations, our entertainment, our ways of expressing affection… It’s everywhere, so it makes sense to use only the best, the freshest, the healthiest options. And that’s where local food comes in.
Buying local is a fantastic way of contributing to the local economy, and the local community. Where is the satisfaction of buying ingredients from the supermarket when you can go to a farmer’s market, farm shop, or other local supplier and buy direct from the source? Not only is that supporting a local business, but it also means you know exactly where the food came from. If you don’t, ask – it’s likely the exact spot can be seen from the shop’s window!
We asked some of the very best chefs in the South East to give us their favourite recipes that can be cooked with locally sourced, fresh ingredients.
Cereal Milk Panna Cotta
from Semone Bonner of The Set Restaurant, Brighton
www.thesetrestaurant.com // 01273 855572
This recipe is very easy to produce but does take some time to complete as you have to infuse the milk and cream so that it takes on the flavour of the cereal milk. The great thing about this particular recipe is that it can be adapted however you want for personal preference just by changing the cereals. Like chocolate? Use Coco Pops! Enjoy honey flavours? Honey Cheerios will work!
Once it is complete you can put whatever you want on top of the panna cotta. At the restaurant we use milk ice cream, milk foam crisps, homemade sugar puffs and a cereal granola. But there is nothing to stop you adding chocolate, fruit and berries or more cereal.
150g Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
6 gelatine leaves
125g caster sugar
- Place the milk, cream and cereal into a large container and allow to infuse for a minimum of four hours. Overnight in the fridge would be best, as the longer you can wait the better the taste at the end.
- Once the dairy has taken on the flavours of the cereal, strain all the cereal out of the liquid and discard.
- Meanwhile place the gelatine leaves into cold water to bloom (soften). This normally takes about 10 minutes.
- Measure out 1 litre of the cereal-infused milk and place into a saucepan. Add the sugar and heat gently.
- Squeeze all of the excess water from the gelatine and add to the hot milk. You don’t need to boil the milk, you just need to have it hot enough to melt the gelatine.
- Stir well but do not whisk as this will create bubbles in your panna cotta. You just want to make sure all of the gelatine is dispersed evenly in the liquid.
- Pour the milk evenly into 6 cereal bowls and set in the fridge. The panna cotta should have a slight wobble but won’t set hard. This normally takes about 4 hours.
Chargrilled Kentish Asparagus, Soft Boiled Duck Egg, Pecorino and Asparagus Shavings
from Andy McLeish of Chapter One, Locks Bottom
www.chapteronerestaurant.co.uk // 01689 854848
4 duck eggs
2 bunches asparagus
- Snap the bottom 1/2 inch off the asparagus and blanch in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, then refresh in iced water. Drain and put aside. Leave four pieces of asparagus raw and set aside.
- Boil the duck eggs in salted water for 4 minutes, then run under cold water until the egg has completely cooled. Carefully peel the egg leaving it whole.
- Shave the Pecorino with a potato peeler and put aside.
- Take the four pieces of raw asparagus and slice them thinly. The easiest way is to use a potato peeler again.
Rub the asparagus gently with olive oil and place on a preheated char grill to colour lightly. Remove from the char grill and put equal amounts of asparagus on four plates. Toss the peeled asparagus strips in a little lemon and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them on the plate beside the asparagus. Cut the duck egg in half and place on the asparagus, season with rock salt and pepper. Serve.
Slow Cooked Noisettes of Salt Marsh Lamb with a Marinade of Indian Pickling Spices
from Dev Biswall of The Ambrette
www.theambrette.co.uk // 01227 200777
The lamb used is the Romney breed which grazes on the salt marshes in coastal Kent. The meat is naturally sweeter, juicier, and has a natural salty flavour due to coastal herbs and samphire in its diet. It also has excellent marbling due to the tough environmental conditions compared to pasture-fed animals. Most salt marsh lamb today is exported to France where it is prized by top chefs.
4 medium-sized lamb noisettes
1tbsp of rapeseed oil
2 tsp of ginger paste
1 tsp of garlic paste
1 tbsp of Indian mixed pickle
1 pinch of Himalayan salt
1 pinch of red chilli powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of fenugreek leaves
1 tsp of green chilli paste
- Combine all marinade ingredients and blend to a paste.
- Cook the noisettes sous vide in a water bath at 55oC for one hour. Take out from the water bath then marinade for half an hour.
- Sear the lamb well on both sides and finish in the oven for 3-5 minutes before serving.
Iberico Pork Presa, Razor Clams and Wild Garlic Butter
from Graham Garrett of The West House, Biddenden
www.thewesthouserestaurant.co.uk // 01580 291341
125g soft butter
1/2 banana shallot (peeled and chopped)
50g wild garlic leaves
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Pinch of Espelette pepper
500g razor clams
Glass of dry white wine
800g pork presa (shoulder)
White or purple sprouting broccoli
Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the wild garlic butter, put all of the ingredients (the wild garlic leaves can be found in Kent, and foraging is a great way to pick your own) into a blender and blitz until smooth. Scrape into cling film and roll tightly to form a neat log. Store in the fridge until required.
- Wash the clams under cold running water for a few minutes. Meanwhile, heat a shallow pan until it’s really hot. Put in the razor clams and pour over the wine. Cover with a lid straight away to trap the steam – leave the clams to cook for 1 minute then drain through a colander (keep the juices).
- Once the clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells. Cut away the intestinal tract and foot of the clam, retaining only the nice white firm fleshy bits. Slice diagonally.
- Heat a grill pan. Coat the pork in a little olive oil and season with fine sea salt. Place on the pan and cook for about five minutes on each side, turning occasionally, making sure it doesn’t burn. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
- To serve, quickly blanche a few pieces of sprouting broccoli for about a minute. Put them on the grill to finish cooking and give them a charred flavour. Season with fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper.
- Warm a little clam juice in a small pan, add a couple of slices of garlic butter and the sliced clams to gently warm.
- Carve the pork into slices and place on warm places with the broccoli. Spoon the clams and buttery juices over the pork.
Treacle Tart with Stem Ginger & Coriander Ice Cream
from Michael Mealey of The Curlew, Bodiam
www.thecurlewrestaurant.co.uk // 01580 861394
For the tart case:
450g plain flour
150g icing sugar
Zest of one orange
225g cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk
- Place the flour, sugar and orange zest into the mixer and mix.
- Add the butter, and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the eggs and milk, mix until it comes together. Do not over work!
- Turn out onto the work surface and form into a ball, cover in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
- Blind bake at 180oC for 15 minutes. Take your baking beans out and brush with egg yolk. Bake for 8 more minutes and cool.
For the treacle filling:
275g golden syrup
25g black treacle
60g ground almonds
150g double cream
Zest of 1 orange
- Gently warm the syrup and treacle, so it’s easier to work with.
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and mix until it’s emulsified.
- Fill your pre-baked tart case with the mixture and bake at 170oC for 30 minutes until cooked.
We serve the treacle tart with poached local rhubarb which has been poached in a rhubarb stock with a little piece of fresh ginger. Also stem ginger and coriander ice cream. We make this with a basic ice cream recipe and infuse with stem ginger and fresh coriander. When chilled with churn in the ice cream machine.