Food Hugs At The Ready!
You know when you want a brilliant ‘food hug’? A dish that wraps its arms around you and gives you a warm glow of happiness… Well here’s two gems from The Mowbray Kitchen that are right at the top of the pile in the Food Hug department!
These two super-handy recipes can make a posh dinner, or a simple lunch - and are totally flexible - we thought it would be useful to have a couple of ideas for Easter Feasts that might need a little extra comfort factor. We love making these outside over a little fire...In a well seasoned pot! Could be another little 'at home' project perhaps! Cooking outdoors always smells great - and we swear it tastes better as well!
This is our second installment of our DIY Edits - we LOVED seeing your pickle results from last week on Instagram! We'll be keeping on bringing you a taste and flavour from our Kitchens until we can welcome you back through our doors in the future for Private Dining, Weddings and Meetings & Events.
We would recommend serving up both of these dishes with something wonderful from Starmore Boss - who normally curate our a wine lists for all feasting activities! They have an online shop up and running - so well worth a peek!
Over to The Mowbray Kitchen
These recipes use simple ingredients, but rely on seasoning to really make them shine. Seasoning isn’t just adding salt and pepper; acidity and sweetness play a big role - we’ve joted a couple of thoughts on what champion when it comes to adding that extra special touch to simple dishes.
Taste & Seasoning
We use lemon zest & juice, vinegar as well as sea salt and quite often a touch of crumbled muscovado to balance the flavour of our sauces.
Salt, Sweet, Sour, Bitter
Balancing these elements can elevate your cooking. Sour, or acidity can balance out salty or bitter flavours. Adding sweetness or salt can round out and make the taste fuller, and enhance flavours. We like to use muscovado as it adds sweetness and a touch of bitterness. Tomato puree is often used as a base for sauces as it brings some bitterness.
Sometimes a little olive oil or butter can make a big difference if a sauce tastes good but lacks richness. We are big fans of adding a little dairy; a blob of creme fraiche can lighten the texture and freshen up the flavour of a rich or salty meal. Sometimes a splash of water is all that’s needed if the flavour is overly rich, sweet or cloying.
Food Hug 1. White Beans with Smoked Garlic, Rosemary & White Wine
We’ve used canned beans, because we often have a tin or two in the cupboard. But you might find it easier at the moment to get dried - just soak and cook according to the pack instructions, before finishing as below.
You can use any beans, butterbean, haricot blanc or cannellini - lentils would work as well. These beans go great with good quality sausages, any braised or roasted beef or pork - or make them the star of a meal with some kale or other greens. If you’ve been baking at home, they are great with some warm crusty bread for lunch.
For a posh dinner try with a great steak or roasting joint from Farmison - served Tagliata style; sliced to share, with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano & wild rocket. We use Farmison in The Mowbray Kitchen for our aged beef - they specialise in Yorkshire bred meat and are delivering as normal!
2 x 400g tins Cannellini Beans (or any white beans) drained and rinsed
4 Cloves Smoked Garlic
4 Sprigs rosemary
2 Tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large White Onion
275ml White Wine
1 Large Lemon, zest and juice
White Wine Vinegar (or other vinegars - sherry, balsamic)
Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
FInely dice the onion, chop the garlic and strip the rosemary
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, medium heat, sweat the onions, garlic and half the rosemary for about 10 minutes without colour
Add the white wine, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid down by about three quarters
Add the beans and mix well, stir on medium heat until thoroughly heated
Add the lemon zest and juice and rosemary
Add salt, cracked black pepper and vinegar to taste
Food Hug 2. Tomato & Basil Sauce
This is our top-secret tomato sauce recipe, and the secret ingredients are a little bit of time, effort and plenty of taste testing! A good tomato sauce needs to be a bit sweet, tangy, deep in flavour and silky, spaghetti coating consistency. Toasting the garlic provides that depth of flavour, and don’t skimp on the olive oil - this is what gives the sauce the silky mouthfeel.
Gently warm and add drained spaghetti (with a splash of the pasta water) - allow to bubble so that the pasta is perfectly coated. Add fresh basil, serve with grated parmesan.
The great things about this is that it's ultra flexible- and can be used a couple of ways beyond pasta!
Let down with a splash of hot water, and enjoy it as a delicious soup.
Use in a Parmigiana - grilled aubergines & mozzarella - al forno for those cold nights!
This will also keep in the fridge for a few days - or freeze it! Bring it to a simmer if it splits when defrosting to get the consistency back. Add fresh basil and lemon zest to freshen it up!
400ml Tomato Passata
4 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
30g Basil, Stalks sliced and leaves picked
1 Large Lemon, zest and juice
2 tbsp caster sugar or granulated sugar
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (or White Wine Vinegar)
In a cold heavy bottomed saucepan, put the olive oil and sliced garlic
Put the saucepan on a medium heat and stir the garlic continuously until it starts to turn light brown at the edges
Add the shredded basil stalks and cook for a further minute
Add the Tomato Passata and a splash of water
Add the Balsamic Vinegar, Sugar and a big splash of Hendersons Relish
Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly
Add the Lemon Zest and Juice
Add Salt, Cracked Black Pepper and more Vinegar and Hendersons Relish to taste
Stir in the Basil leaves just before serving