Wednesday 31 January 2018

Black Pudding & Buffalo Cheeses!

I was lucky enough to have recently been sent some delicious goodies from Laverstoke Park Farm to try out and see what I could do with! If you don't already know, Laverstoke is "2,500 acres of bio-dynamic and organic farming in Hampshire ... owned and run by ex-racing driver and Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter. He wanted to create a farming environment that would follow nature as closely as possible, combining 21st century science, together with the most environmentally friendly farming methods available," with a view to creating "Better tasting, healthy food.
Without compromise." 

The cheeses are all produced from the milk of the Asian water Buffalo herd who graze freely on organic pasture, full of 31 different herbs, grasses and clovers. Meanwhile, their kitchen is one of the few in the UK who use fresh pig’s blood in their black pudding. This is made using a rare Scottish Hebridian style recipe that uses medium sized oatmeal as opposed to fat additives and has no added nitrates, preservatives or colours. Even reminding my 6 year old it's prime ingredient was fresh pig's blood, didn't put her off - she just loves black pudding!

I began my recipe ideas by trawling the internet to see more traditional pairings and recipes for the cheeses I was sent: Buffalo Mozzarella and Buffalo Ricotta. And also for the Black Pudding. Then I narrowed down what I'd like to do with it and began devising my own! Obviously, crusty bread is a big winner with both cheese and the black pudding, so that features heavily, but also the freshness and cleanliness of ripe, crispy fruit, such as pears and apples works well with both and cuts through the creaminess of the cheese. I always feel ricotta needs a little help to encourage the flavours to come through and develop too, so tend to add black pepper, thyme, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to this. In fact, a very simple recipe is to do just that and smear onto hunks of sourdough!

A quick idea is to add a big dollop of the ricotta to tomato based stews. This was the first thing I did as I was part way through cooking a sausage, chorizo, mushroom and paprika stew type thing when the produce arrived and I just couldn't resist adding a mild creaminess to it. Simply fry off chopped sausages and chorizo with olive oil. Add mushrooms, smoked paprika and a tin of chopped tomatoes. And, as usual, a pinch of sugar to counteract the acidity form the tomatoes. Bubble until thickened. Take off the heat, season well and add a large spoonful of ricotta, stirring through before serving. 

Black Pudding Huevos Rancheros

This very British take on a classic Mexican egg dish is very quick and easy, especially for a weekend brunch. 

Ingredients: Serves 4 as a small brunch portion

Half a red onion, sliced
2 crushed garlic cloves
Small piece of chorizo - cubed
Small piece of Laverstoke Park Farm black pudding - cubed
flat tsp smoked paprika
Can of chopped tomatoes
half tsp dried oregano
pinch of sugar 
4 eggs


Fry black pudding and chorizo in a tiny little bit of olive oil over a high heat.
Sprinkle over smoked paprika and toss in the pan for half a minute.
Add sliced red onions and crushed garlic. Keep the ingredients moving and fry until beginning to soften. Turn heat down lower and leave.
Once softened, add can tomatoes and dried oregano and a pinch of sugar. Keep simmering to reduce liquid. 
Once at your desired consistency pour into one large of 4 individual oven dishes, top with egg and bake until white is cooked and the yolk still runny.

Serve with crispy dippable bread.

Disclaimer: The products I received were complimentary for review and recipe development purposes. All opinions given are my own, honest and truthful.

Tuesday 30 January 2018

Family Times

I'm back to it...the blog! But in a more manageable way. So, I'd like to introduce you to my new venture: a family / lifestyle blog, The Chimney House. This new blog will feature a monthly round-up entitled 'Meet, Make & Munch' with a focus on what me and my family have been up to over the last few weeks, highlighting any, well highlights, and giving suggestions on where friends, family and people could meet; what you could make, either with your little ones, or for yourself or the house; and what or where to eat! The make could be a munch, or, indeed the munch a make! Other aspects of the new site include my musings as a sleep deprived mummy, and, of course, a link to here. I'll continue to post recipes and solely food based posts on here and link to them from the new site, but they probably won't be as frequent as before! More time to focus on these little poppets!

Please hop over to The Chimney House and have a look around. Subscribe if you think it's something you might be interested in and keep popping back here to find those favourite recipes and new ideas.
Thanks for staying with me over the years...I hope you continue to enjoy this slimlined site and the new ideas over on The Chimney House too.
Merlotti x
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