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Yesterday I dug up my horseradish plant that’s been growing all year not having any idea on what to expect.  It certainly put up a fight trying to dig it out, with at least two long roots that disappeared into the depths of my raised bed and beyond.  In the end I had a good poke about, took a couple of long roots and put the main plant back in the soil – it’s got lots of new growth and hopefully it will continue to grow.  Only time with tell.

Mr Rigg made us Jamie Oliver’s meal for baby Yorkshire puds with a creamy smoked trout and horseradish pate.  The horseradish was for the smoke trout, and we just grated it in – the heat from the horseradish was incredible.  Along with a pile of green leaves it made a light and delicious dinner.  And very satisfying to use our own homegrown horseradish.

This time last week I was enjoying a morning of venison cookery in the stunning old kitchen at Dunham Massey National Trust.  As a volunteer and editor of an internal National Trust newsletter on food I went along to find out what it was all about.

What a wonderful morning.  In my opinion there were several things that set this cookery demonstration apart from others:

Firstly, the setting.  The event was held in the original old kitchen at Dunham Massey, a room that you would normally wander through on your tour of the house.  It is an impressive room, bright with high ceilings, a massive Aga, a beautiful collection of copper pans, and a hefty big wooden workbench.

Secondly, the venison.  The meat used in the cookery demonstration came from the deer park – perhaps if you a regular walker at Dunham Massey you might have even passed that same deer that we got to sample.

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Last night we had a simple supper of homemade trout pate spread thickly on slices of pumpernickel bread topped with a morsel of homegrown lettuce.

The recipe was inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s version in his book River Cottage Everyday.  I had planned to follow it to the letter, but it seems that I picked up soft cheese rather than crème fraîche while out shopping, so I ended up making it up and tasting it as I went along. 

We ate the pate on slices of the Barbakan’s pumpernickel bread, which was delicious – dark, sticky and chewy.  Every mouthful felt good for you.  It has been agreed we must eat more of it more often.

Here’s my version, without exact measurements – mix and taste, then amend.  Alternatively follow Hugh’s recipe.

Smoked trout pate

Feeds 2 for dinner or 4 as a starter

Approx 250-300g smoked trout (I used a combination of smoke trout and hot smoked trout)
A couple of spoonfuls of soft cheese/cream cheese
A dollop of mayonnaise
A couple of teaspoons of English mustard
Lots of lemon juice
A good grinding of black pepper
A bunch of chives, snipped
Chive flowers

In a blender add half the smoked trout, the soft cheese and mustard.  Blitz.  Add more soft cheese if it’s a bit dry and the mayonnaise.  Add a good amount of lemon juice and the ground black pepper. 

Blitz and then taste.  You want it to have a good punchy kick of mustard, but not overpowering.  And a nice fresh lemony background taste.  I added a tiny splash of water just to loosen the pate a little.

Flake the remaining smoke trout and stir into the pate – this gives a nice texture.  Also stir in the snipped chives and the chive flowers which you should pull from the head.

Eat with pumpernickel or a dark rye bread and a crisp green salad.  This would also make an excellent canapé – a tiny chunk of bread spread with pate and topped with a piece of lettuce or a sprinkling of chives and chive flowers.

french tapas dinner

Hopefully I’m going to start getting back into posting.  I’ve been a bit useless really.  And I miss it.

Here are some snaps of our French antipasto style dinner – we were celebrating 6 years together!  We are trying to save for our wedding at the moment, so decided to stay at home and eat well rather than going out for dinner.

We had a selection of French saucisson sec (some encrusted with herbs)…

french saucisson

…tiny fragrant olives, gooey Reblochon, silky St Agur blue cheese…

french cheese and olives

…sun-dried tomatoes, organic chicken liver pate (a much tastier homemade version here), a bowl of delicate salad leaves topped with shavings of Parmesan…

salad with parmesan

…and all brought together with a bowl of crusty baguette.  Eaten in front of a roaring log fire…

french tapas log fire

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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