Thursday, 28 October 2010

October guest blog: Blue Skies and Lincolnshire Pies...

For me, Lincolnshire has always been a Garden of Eden: a terrain full to the brim with enchanting tales and breathtaking scenery which is hidden away behind the veil of metropolitan society.

Many stories I had been told of patchwork meadows, quirky foods and Iron Age settlements. I never once dared to transcend this barrier between dream and reality until I was offered the chance to visit Lincolnshire for the first time.

The first day began with arduous car trip all the way from the Dorset coast. As we entered Lincolnshire, the land became pristinely flat with the rolling hills like a palette of colour. We had set off in the early hours of the morning, when the sky was aflame with glorious sunrise. Therefore, we were in need of a good breakfast to kickstart us for the day ahead. We stopped at a local farm shop and enjoyed a basic fry up. Unadorned yet deeply flavoursome, the breakfast had me back into a fit and zealous mentality.

Our first stop was to Tealby, a picturesque village enclosed by a lining of conifers in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds. As we approached our accommodation, smells of manure to pollen passed through me like a chainsaw through frogspawn. Even from our accommodation, I could see the cattle grazing over the flat plains and the rows of agricultural crops. Our accommodation was a quaint cottage with traditional interior. I would have liked to have relaxed in the armchair in the sitting room but we were soon off to explore.

Redhill Farm are producers of national award winning free range pork, using traditional, simple methods to produce fine quality fresh pork on the farm from their own herd. Named after the farm itself, the business started in 1998 when Jane Tomlinson diversified her husband Terry’s farming business in response to the growing need for high quality local produce.

As we basked in the sun, Jane came out to give us a tour of her farm. Instantly, her dedication to local food as well as her gregarious nature became clear. Approaching the smokery, the aroma of mingling spices created a surge of appetite within me. I found it incredible to see just how pigs are bred and the strong ethic behind the whole operation. We saw pigs, all with their own huts, rolling around in a pool of mud, suckling their piglets and enjoying their carefree lifestyles. Personally, I find pork a difficult ingredient to cook perfectly as many distributors can lie about origin. Jane’s quality assurance at every stage was meaningful to me and I can see why Redhill farm is known as ‘the stall with the queue’. These pigs had their sweltered faces soused by cool drinking water, their hunger fed by an assortment of feed and their desire for care tended to by Jane and her family. As she presented me with a hamper, bursting with Lincolnshire specialties, it was a true culinary and personal delight.

Moisture clung to my burn flesh as I stood waiting to leave so I decided to sit by the car and focus in on an oak leaf, imposing me into its shade. The sky was of so delicate a blue as to contain something of gently mockery. There was no wind so the lone leaf sidled on its going downwards and touched at last so intangibly the earth with which it was to merge, that the gesture was much gentler than the greeting. The car engine roaring into gear brought me back to myself. With the taste of salty bacon marring my tongue, we headed for Uncle Henry’s farm shop.

Based around 5 miles away from the centre of Gainsborough, Uncle Henry’s is a secluded farm and coffee shop named after Henry Wright. Today, the farm is mixed arable and livestock farm growing many crops and has a large pig herd. The farm aims to promote environmentally responsible farming. In the shop, we saw an array of local produce ranging from pork haslets to stacks of idiosyncratic cheeses to the infamous cauliflower. Everywhere I looked; this shop was championing everything from Lincolnshire and delivered a strong ethical message again. All of us salivating, we picked out some goodies such as a locally sourced grape pressé and cured slices of bacon, directly from the farm. Around the shop, zesty perfumes and meaty aromas tainted the air, arousing fervent wonder on my palette.

As the sunset began to dominate the surroundings, stars studded the sky and I was surrounded by colour that looked like spots of jam, splashed across the sky. We headed through the narrow streets, past the blistering paint and gilt of once bright murals into the centre of Louth, to ‘Melanie’s’, a contemporary restaurant serving local produce at its finest. I ordered the ambitious main of fillet steak in a red wine jus which didn’t fail to deliver in any sense. The beef flaked under my fork, melting slowly into a warm sensation in my mouth. The tang of the red wine added a different dimension with the steamed vegetables, ever so slightly adding a softer and warmer texture to the dish. Overall, my beef along with the duck and sea bass the rest of my family enjoyed, proved food can be of paramount quality without having travelled from the iridescent shores of Denmark.

As the night drew in, we promenaded under the stars which proved a psychedelic phenomenon piercing through the silence of the darkness. We made our way back to the cottage and lit the fire. Its orange and red tendrils explored the fireplace like a new born’s hand, and with the fire crackling gently, I slipped into sleep on my capacious bed.

As I woke up on the second day, I saw the sky ushering in a gray and forbidding manner. We decided to explore Lincoln, and set out after a warming breakfast of delicately smoked bacon, gently caramelised sausage and softly fried egg, all donated by Red hill farm. As we left the enchanting hills of Tealby, the land opened up once again, creating a natural pathway to our destination: the Iron Age settlement of Lincoln.

The heart of this fruitful county is a place full of chic retail and beautiful architecture with historic and mysterious tales pumping through its veins. Walking down the streets, I caught the smells of griddling sausages and rubbed orange peel, among the multitude of sounds. Despite being of Iron Age origin, the town is sculpted around the Tudor era which adds to the quirky charm of the place. Whilst we had to leave to head back home, sitting under the voluminous facade of the cathedral was enough the sear your inner marrow with wonder.

Overall, the trip to Lincolnshire was a real dive into an unknown pool of agricultural and culinary discovery. I not only learnt about the capricious consumer view on local food but the trip was also a personal development for me as a young cook/writer. Whether I am need of inspiration for Watz4Dinner or creative flare, a euphoric shiver will always race through and vitalise me, taking me away to Lincolnshire: land of blue skies and Lincolnshire pies.

This month our guest blog was written by Ryan Gruss; winner of the Guild of Food Writers WriteIt competition 2010 and author of the Watz4Dinner blog.
As the Tastes of Lincolnshire team are busy preparing for the Sausage Festival at the weekend, we thought it would be a good idea to raise the profile of the protected status of the Lincolnshire Sausage, especially as we're also fast approaching British Sausage Week too!

Don't miss our Tastes of Lincolnshire BIG Sausage Festival on Saturday 30th October from 10am to 4pm in Lincoln Castle and Castle Square, Lincoln. It's free and there's lots of entertainment and of course lots of sausages and local produce to sample!

British Sausage Week takes place from 1st - 7th November. More info at:

Bangers and cash!

Jane Tomlinson, Director of Redhill Farm Free Range Pork, farms in Lincolnshire with her husband Terry. As well as running the business, Jane has three children and is founder of Lincolnshire Farmer’s Markets, a founder member of Tastes of Lincolnshire, an Ambassador for Select Lincolnshire and a SlowFood member. Here she discusses the not so humble Lincolnshire sausage.

Sausages are serious business! Just over £650 million was spent on sausages last year and the figure is rising.That is equivalent to nearly £30 per household. No wonder there has been a lot of attention lately in the progress of the application for Protected Status for the Lincolnshire Sausage. If it wasn’t such big business Lincolnshire Sausage would already have it’s protected status – as ever it all comes back to money.

The issue here isn’t why should Lincolnshire Sausages be awarded protected status – I think we all agree that it’s a regional speciality originating from our county. All genuine producers of Lincolnshire sausages with a connection to the county have agreed that their own secret methods are fundamentally the same. (ie: The agreed specification is 70% minimum pork coarsely ground open texture, breadcrumb or bread rusk, sage, seasoning and natural casings). The only stumbling block is that if Lincolnshire sausages get Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) this means that ALL Lincolnshire Sausages have to be Produced or Processed or Prepared in Lincolnshire. That in itself isn’t much to ask. I would have preferred we insisted on the PDO status (Protected Designation of Origin) where all three have to be carried out in Lincolnshire – but apparently that isn’t even remotely viable – so we’re not insisting that the pork and other ingredients have to be produced in Lincolnshire, or even the UK, that means we are even allowing our county sausages to be made with imported pork by some big companies that supply the vast majority of sausages sold by the multiples outside the county. You won’t catch any self-respecting Lincolnshire butcher touching the stuff I might add. No, all we are asking is that whoever you are, however big and whoever you supply, with ingredients from whereever, is just that you make them in Lincolnshire.

Most producers could commit to that you would think, even the multi-million pound processor or supermarket chain – they should at least be made to have a processing facility within Lincolnshire – rewarding the county of Lincolnshire with jobs and industry and the knock-on effect that this boost to the local economy would bring. In an ideal world if we had PDO status and the pork and other main ingredients had to come from the county that would benefit the whole industry supply chain of farmers, growers, slaughterhouses, butchers, processors, packers and distributors. Last time I looked there seemed to be plenty of empty industrial units and sites to develop and I’m sure we have a few people unemployed to fill the jobs.

Just for once when we have an opportunity like this, when we have something unique in this county, something which is very rare in this world of globalised, homogenised food production, would it seem too much to ask that the county that has this regional heritage actually gets some benefit from it? Something many people may not be aware of is that in many other counties in the UK they have lost their small independent butchers shops to bigger “chain” butchers. These businesses operate in the same way as the supermarkets – having central production and distribution depots churning out the same standardised products to all outlets regardless of region.

Lincolnshire as a county is an exception in this respect having many generation family butchers due to the deep rooted rural connections with farming and the service that these family butchers provided in our historical market towns.These butchers are still providing that vital link now, keeping skills alive and offering REAL locally reared meats and producing something of quality for those that value it.These butchers and other specialist producers like them are very proud of their heritage and the Lincolnshire Sausage.

So that’s it, the issue is that big businesses don’t want to move into Lincolnshire to be able to produce Lincolnshire sausages. We’re not fighting EU opinion over whether the Lincolnshire sausage fits the criteria for protected status – of course it does! We’re not going to be lining the pockets of the vast majority of small independent producers of Lincolnshire Sausages anyway – most of us mainly sell locally within Lincolnshire and will continue to do so after PGI status.
If we can’t succeed in insisting that all Lincolnshire sausages have to be produced in Lincolnshire then we’re giving away one of our precious assets and a chance to build the local economy for generations to come and giving it to big businesses and intensive farmers of imported pork at the expense of our own farms, our own jobs and local economy.

You may think why bother? Let them do what they like! But do you feel any pride when you see the Red Arrows fly over, do you enjoy the Wolds or feel any sense of belonging when you’ve been away and return to the view of the Lincoln Cathedral? Would you so readily give them away? If not, then let’s not give our food heritage away either. For more information on the Lincolnshire Sausage Association see website
Jane Tomlinson, Redhill Farm

Friday, 1 October 2010

Pan Fried Salmon Steaks on a Bed of Watercress Cream

Salmon steaks are very versatile, tasty and economical.   This makes a lovely quick lunch or supper dish  - healthy too!

Serves 4

4 salmon steaks
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt & freshly ground black pepper
25g/1oz butter
2 spring onions, finely chopped
bunch watercress, finely chopped
8 tbsp low fat crème fraiche
watercress springs and lemon wedges to garnish


1. Season the salmon steaks with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan, pan fry the salmon steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, gently fry the spring onions without browning.  Add the watercress, mix in the crème fraiche and warm through.

3. Divide the sauce between 4 plates, place a salmon steak on top and garnish with watercress and lemon wedges before serving.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkins are part of the squash family; a really versatile vegetable excellent in casseroles, soups or roast in olive oil with garlic - or wonderful in this risotto.

Serves 4-6

Olive oil for frying
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 fat cloves garlic, finely sliced
450g/1lb pumpkin flesh, chopped into small pieces
1 tsp dried herbs
350g/12oz risotto rice
glass white wine - optional
1.2 litres/2pts hot vegetable stock
black pepper to season
2 tomatoes chopped
chopped parsley
grated parmesan
25g/2oz dried pumpkin seeds


1. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan, fry the onion and garlic until soft and just beginning to brown. Add the pumpkin and fry for about a further 5 minutes..

2. Add the herbs and rice and stir well, then add the glass of wine (if using) then a ladle at a time gradually add the hot stock, stirring well until all the liquid has been absorbed and the pumpkin is tender. This will take about 20-25 minutes to add the stock. The risotto should be thick and creamy at this stage. Add the chopped tomatoes and black pepper.

3. Serve the risotto sprinkled with chopped parsley grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of dried pumpkin seeds. To serve, try with a mixed leaf salad.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Lincolnshire Sausage Paprika

This is a wonderful easy to make family recipe!

Serves 4

450g/1lb Lincolnshire Sausages
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, peeled & sliced
1 tbsp paprika
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
150g/6oz button mushrooms
300ml/ ½ pt stock
freshly ground black pepper


1. Dry fry the sausages until browned on all sides remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Add the oil and onions to the pan and fry until browned.  Add the paprika and cook for a further minute, then add the tomatoes to the pan with the puree. Stir well then add the mushrooms and stock.

3. Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat then return the sausages to the pan and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.

4. Serve with fresh seasonal vegetables.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Now you may think this sounds really strange, but it works amazingly well. After all we are no strangers to carrot cake!

Serves 6

75g/3oz cocoa powder or powdered drinking chocolate
175g/6oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
250g/8oz caster sugar
250g cooked beetroot
3 large eggs
200ml corn oil
1tsp vanilla extract
Icing sugar for dusting


1. Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4  line a 20cm (8in) round or square cake tin.  Sift the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder into a bowl. Mix in the sugar, and set these dry ingredients aside.

2. Purée the beetroot in a food processor.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and oil, and whizz until it is smooth. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the beetroot mixture and mix it all lightly. Pour into the prepared cake tin.

4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean (cover with a loose sheet of foil if it starts to brown at about 30 minutes).

5.  This cake will not rise a great deal, and the top will crack. After removing from the oven, leave it for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan. Cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar before serving.  Or you could make a chocolate or orange butter cream for the top.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Cheese Topped Rustic Potatoes

This can be served either as an accompaniment to a meal or as a dish on its own, and served with a salad.

1kg/2lb 3oz potatoes washed and sliced into 5cm/ ½ thick pieces
350ml/12fl oz milk
4 cloves garlic, sliced
50g butter
1 tsp rosemary
½ tsp nutmeg
75g/3oz strong cheddar cheese


1. Place the sliced potatoes with the remaining ingredients apart from the cheese, in a saucepan and bring to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes giving the occasional stir.  This will loosen the starch and give a creamier texture.

2. Transfer the to a 2 litre ovenproof dish and leave to cool if preparing in advance.

3. When ready to cook place in a pre-heated oven Gas 6/200C and cook for 30 minutes uncovered or until golden and cooked.

4. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until the cheese has melted

Friday, 24 September 2010

Lincolnshire Day Menu at The Barley Mow

Lincolnshire Day
Friday 1st October 2010

At The Barley Mow, Friskney, PE22 8SD.
Tel. 01754 820 883

To celebrate Lincolnshire Day we have put together a delicious menu using traditional Lincolnshire food.

To feel like a true ‘yellowbelly’ book your table now!!!

2 courses £12
3 courses £15


Broccoli & Lincoln blue cheese Soup (v) with local crusty bread
Hot Smoked Salmon fishcake with a chilli dipping sauce
Stuffed Chine with local crusty bread & pickles
Hot Haslet, fried onion and Tatie hash on mixed leaf

Main courses

Lincoln Red Beef, Batemans XB and onion Pie
served with roasted vegetables & mash potato
Beer Battered Grimsby Haddock
handcut chips & minted Peas
Slow roasted Belly pork on creamy mash
served with mulled apple cider gravy & roasted vegetables
Stuffed pepper with Lincolnshire poacher cheese risotto
served on mixed leaf with a tomato and herb salad
Lincoln Red Rump Steak (£3 supplement) or Fillet steak (£7 supplement)
handcut chips, tomato, onion rings, mushrooms & house butter
Boston Sausages and mash with onion gravy and vegetables


Apple and bramble Crumble and custard
Crème brulee with poached pear compote
Steamed Raspberry and almond sponge with custard
Chocolate Brownie with vanilla ice-cream
Lincolnshire Cheese board with plum bread (£2 supplement)

All dishes are cooked to order and subject to availability.
Some dishes may contain nuts. Please let your server know if you have any allergies.
This menu is only available on Friday 1st October 2010 5.30pm-9pm.
2 course price of £12 is based on : starter & main or main & dessert, you are welcome to have two starter dishes if you prefer however please be advised that the price will still be £12.00.

Christmas Theme
‘Ladies Night’
Thursday 18th November

Smoked Haddock & Leek Bake

Smoked haddock really is the tastiest fish - look for the uncoloured variety.  The breadcrumb and cheese topping makes a pleasant change to the usual mashed potato.  This can be made in advance and frozen until needed.

450g/1lb smoked haddock
570ml/1pt milk
1 slice onion
1 bay leaf
25g/1oz butter
2 leeks, finely sliced
25g/1oz plain flour
freshly ground black pepper

175g/6oz fresh white breadcrumbs
75g/3oz Lincolnshire Poacher cheese, grated


1. Place the fish in a large saucepan with the milk, onion and bay leaf.  Bring to the boil and poach until just cooked - this will only take 2-3 minutes, then allow to cool. Remove from the liquid, strain and reserve the milk then remove the skin from the haddock.  Gently flake the fish and lay in an ovenproof dish.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the leeks and sweat until soft.  Remove from the heat and add the flour, mixing well.

3. Gradually add the reserved milk, stirring well between each addition.  Return the pan to the heat and gradually bring to the boil - stirring all the time until the sauce has thickend.  Simmer for 2 minutes, season with pepper.

4. Pour the sauce over the fish.  Mix the breadcrumbs and cheese together and sprinkle over the sauce.  Place the dish on a baking tray then cook at Gas 5/180C for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

5. Serve with green vegetables or a crispy salad.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Boozy Beef

This recipe is exactly as it sounds and is quite delicious - but definitely for adult tastes.  To allow the flavours to really develop, make the day before serving.

Serves 4-6

1kg/ 2 ¼ lb locally produced beef braising steak
2 onions, peeled and cut into quarters
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp mustard powder
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp oil
570ml/1 pt red wine
150ml/ ¼ pt port
1 tbsp redcurrant/blackberry jelly
sprigs of fresh thyme


1. Either leave the steak in whole pieces or cut into cubes or strips. Place the steak in a dish with the onions and pour over the wine and port.  Cover and leave to stand for a few hours.

2. Drain well, reserving the liquid.  Place the flour and mustard powder in a plastic bag with the salt and pepper.  Put the steak in the bag and shake well to coat with the flour.

3. Heat the oil in a casserole that is suitable for the hotplate and oven.  Fry the beef and onions until browned.  Add the reserved liquor to the casserole, with the jelly and fresh thyme, cover with a lid and place in the oven.  Cook for 2/3 hours at Gas 2 /150C Simmering oven of an Aga.

4. When tender remove the thyme sprigs. Taste for seasoning, either leave to cool, refrigerate overnight and re-heat to serve the next day.  Or serve when cooked with jacket or mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Chicken & Pear Casserole

This really is a simple-to-prepare casserole, making the most of autumn fruit to give a delicious flavour.

1 large onion, peeled and sliced
4 British chicken breasts, quarters, or 8 chicken thighs
1 tbsp oil
1 small can prunes
4 small pears, cored and quartered
150ml/ ¼ pt white wine
salt & pepper to taste


1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion for about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken and fry for a further 5 minutes.
2. Drain the prunes, reserve the syrup and make up to 150 ml/ ¼ pt with water.  Place the prunes and pears in the pan, add the prune syrup, wine and salt and pepper.
3. At this stage either place a lid on the pan and simmer on the hotplate or place in an oven heated to Gas 5/190C for 45min or until the chicken is cooked.
4. Serve with jacket potatoes or rice and seasonal vegetables.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Sweet Potato & Roast Garlic Soup

Today's recipe in celebration of British Food Fortnight is a lovely warming autumn/winter treat. Perfect for a cosy lunch or wholesome starter.

Don’t be put off by the amount of garlic in this recipe, by roasting the garlic it gives the soup the most amazing flavour. Wonderful served with hunks of warm crusty bread.


1 tbsp oil

2 large sweet potatoes

1 bulb garlic (the whole thing)

1 onion. chopped

1 head celery washed and sliced

1 leek, sliced

2 pts/ 1.2 litres well flavoured chicken or vegetable stock


splash of cream to serve


1. Wrap the sweet potatoes in foil place on a baking tray with the whole garlic bulb. Place in a hot oven for about 15 minutes or until the garlic is soft. Remove the garlic and leave to cool, continue to cook the sweet potatoes until tender.
2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, celery and leek cook over a gentle heat until soft.
3. When cooked remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, allow to cool slightly then remove the skin and add the flesh to the pan. Remove the skin from the garlic and add the flesh to the pan.

4. Add the stock and heat until the vegetables are tender. Blend the soup, season to taste - and just before serving add a swirl of cream.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Baked Plums with Honey Oat Topping

Our first in a series of recipes from Sally Elkington at Lincs FM Farming Programme to celebrate British Food Fortnight - look out for more every day this week and next.

British Plums are such a treat when they are in season so make the most of them. This recipe is a tasty variation of a crumble.

750g/1 ½ lbs Victoria plums

50g/2oz soft brown sugar

75g/3oz butter

3 tbs runny honey

175g/6oz oats

1. Wash and remove the stones from the plums. Layer them in a shallow ovenproof dish, a flan dish is ideal.

2. Gently melt the butter with the honey, remove from the heat and stir in the oats. Sprinkle the mixture over the plums and bake in the oven Gas 4/180C for 30 –35 minutes.

3. Serve warm or cold with cream, custard or ice cream.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Celebrate harvest with a taste of Lincolnshire

From Sally and Andrew Jackson, The Pink Pig:

The combine has been washed down (mostly transferring the dirt to Andrew - you should have see the bath water!), the onions are drying and the potatoes are sacked up...we're going to thank everyone for a great harvest by giving you the best of all the produce grown here on the farm....everything that we serve for dinner on the Friday 24th September from 7pm, will be from our own fields...the menu is:

Pea and ham soup (Andrew grows fresh peas and our own ham);Roast tomato tartlet (tomatoes from our polytunnel) or pork liver pate with red onion marmalade (Carl's onions) all served with homemade bread

A trio of sausages (homemade) with leek mash; squash, potato and sage bake, Lincolnshire Hotpot (our own organic lamb) or Pork steak with apple sauce (from our orchard)

Spiced plum crumble or Blackberry Brulee (we have the scratches to prove it!)

All for just £19.99 for three courses. Local fruit wines and beers will be available.
Ring 01724 844467 to book (quickly!).
Don't forget our food fair on October 3rd plus our bargain 4 meals for under £5 offer on all through September.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Picnic Treats

Try these tasty pasties for an al fresco treat. Recipe from Rachel Green, Tastes of Lincolnshire and local food champion.

Spicy Chorizo, New Potato and Tomato Pasties
Makes 12

150g chorizo sausage, sliced
350g new potatoes, cooked and cut into small pieces
110g Cheddar cheese, grated
110g sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chives
1 tbsp basil
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp double cream
2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Sea salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6


First prepare the filling, place the chorizo, new potatoes, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, chives, basil, mayonnaise and cream in a bowl, season with sea salt and black pepper, remembering that the chorizo and sun-dried tomatoes may be salty, and mix well.

Place the puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface and cut out 16 – 18 cm rounds, using a suitably sized saucer or bowl as a template. Place a spoonful of the filling in the middle of each pastry circle.

Brush the edges with beaten egg, bring the edges together into a half moon shape and crimp to seal. Repeat with the remaining pasties. Place on a greased baking sheet. Brush the top of the pasties with the remaining beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes until crisp and golden brown.

Shakespeare is coming to the Butterfly and Wildlife Park

Shakespeare is coming to the Butterfly and Wildlife Park with a professional production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Twelve actors from the Shooting Stars Theatre Company will transport visitors into a world of fairies and magic on both Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August at 4pm. The performance is FREE with the admission ticket to the park. Bring along some seating to enjoy the outdoor production.

During the day various activities for younger visitors to enjoy will include:
ARTS AND CRAFTS: Come and create fairy wings, wands and crowns, as well as mix up magical fairy dust!
ACTING WORKSHOPS: Come and meet the characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and have fun joining in the drama games. Recreate scenes from the play, with help and direction from the professional actors.

Park activities will continue to run as normal, including bird of prey display (weather permitting) and animal encounters. The Tastes of Lincolnshire tearoom and snack cabin will be open for refreshments, or bring your own picnic.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Ukrainian Honey Cake


3 large eggs
150g/5oz Sugar
225g/8oz Honey
125ml/4fl oz Sunflower oil
1/2 Orange, juice and zest of
2 tbsp Plain yoghurt
450g/1lb Plain flour
1 level tsp Baking powder
1 level tsp Baking soda
1 level tsp Ground cinnamon
2 level tsp Ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, honey, oil, orange juice, zest and finally the yoghurt. Using a hand mixer on a low speed, beat together until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinammon and ginger, beat slowly until they form a creamy batter. Pour the batter equally into two 900g/2lbs load tins lined with greaseproof cases and place in the centre of the oven.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until well risen. Press the top of the cakes, if firm the cakes are cooked, if not turn down the temperature to 140C/275F/Gas Mark 1 or until the top feels firm when gently pressed. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad with a Chilli & Rosemary Dressing

Serves 4-6

1 Sprig of fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 Red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 Clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
120ml Rapeseed oil
55ml Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Runny Lincolnshire honey
Sea salt and black pepper

4 tbsp Rapeseed oil
2 Courgettes, cut lengthways into 2mm thick slices
2 Red peppers, deseeded and cut into large chunks
2 Yellow peppers, deseeded and cut into large chunks
2 Red onions, peeled and sliced
1 Bunch of spring onions, trimmed and cut in half
200g Small broccoli florets
Sea salt and black pepper

Prepare the dressing by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste. For the salad, heat a heavy based frying pan or griddle pan with half the rapeseed oil and sear the courgettes on both sides until well charred and slightly soft. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl to cool then repeat with the red onion, red and yellow peppers and then again with the broccoli and spring onions. Season the vegetables as you cook them and add the rest of the oil to the pan as you need it.

Leave the vegetables to cool, then toss the cooked vegetables with a little of the dressing and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

Transfer to a salad bowl and drizzle with the remaining dressing, garnish with a spring of fresh rosemary. Ideally served with BBQ meats on a sunny evening!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Food Comes to The Market Rasen Races

Come to the races on Sunday 16 May and sample some of Lincolnshire's finest local produce. As you sip on a Pimms and wander the paddocks, there'll be stalls selling delicious treats from cheeses to chocolate.

Along with all of our lovely food you can bring the family to see Shetland Ponies, vintage tractors, hounds and much more!

For more information visit the Market Rasen Races website