Ruth

    Ruth

    Thursday, 15 August 2019 18:43

    Sshhh ... licking the plate at The Northgate

    It was so tempting to have a lick of the plate and the juices left in the bottom of the bowl, once I had polished off the Isle of Wight tomato salad at The Northgate last week. The delicious hibiscus and sherry vinaigrette dressed tomatoes, topped with light, whipped cobnut cream and nasturtium pesto reminded me of a Spanish Gazpacho. And sitting outside on the lavender edged terrace, on what must be Bury's only central, outdoor, dining space added to the relaxed and laid back dining experience at this striking Victorian townhouse. I was invited to try the new menu and to tour the newly refurbed restaurant, cocktail bar and lounge ... all are quite stunning. There's a private dining room seating 14 (complete with giant framed cockatoos looking on). A brilliant and boldly decorated cocktail bar and a Chef's table where you can dine and watch the brigade at work. Head Chef Greig Young uses the best produce he can find, with the Taste of East Anglia menu (£45 a head) offering a selection of seasonal small plates, inspired by the local area and it's producers. And no I didn't only eat a salad, I ate bread made with Pakenham Mill flour, then a crisp and light Norfolk Dapple gougere, next came hand cut beef tartare with pickled mustard, broad beans and red endive, followed by a spiced East Anglian bhaji using local potatoes, and the finale of the savoury plates; fillet of plaice in a seaweed crust with a crisp lobster 'scampi' on a light hollandaise, lifted by slices of pickled cucumber.  Greig chose to serve a whipped dark Tosier chocolate, creme de cacao ice cream on a saucy kombucha, caramel espresso as a pre-dessert and then for the main dessert - like I really needed two, roast white chocolate with hibiscus (think Caramac, but better) with roasted red fruit, raspberries and milk ice cream. As well as the superb food at The Northgate staff are also delightful, providing a professional, discreet yet friendly service under the expert guidance of Manager Michael Box.

    That's French for my birthday (part 2.) This time up North at Flint Vineyard in Earsham. Owner Ben Witchell took us on his two hour Winemaker's Tour which was bloomin' brilliant. If you want to learn how to make wine then this is as good as it gets on an English vineyard tour (and I've done a few.) Ben shared his story of giving up his day job in order to study Oenology and Viticulture at Plumpton College from where he travelled to Beaujolais to take up his first winemaking post. Hannah his wife has accompanied him on his journey and together they now run this cutting edge vineyard. The tour started at 10am with a welcome glass of Charmat Rose, the best time of the day for your tastebuds apparently. Ben walked and talked with us to the vineyard and then on to the winery, which was followed by a tutored tasting of their Silex Blanc, Bacchus and Pinot Noir. We stayed on for the 15 mile lunch (an additional £19.50) but worth every penny and included plates of Baron Bigod and St Jude cheeses, Marsh Pig charcuterie, Hempnall Village bakery bread and Eastgate Larder medlar jelly; all produced a corks pop away from the vineyard. Oh! ... and the lunch includes another glass of wine.

    Tuesday, 06 August 2019 12:19

    A souffle for supper

    I made this for supper last night with a bag of swiss chard grown by my cousin Jo. Posting the pics on Instagram has obviously whetted a few appetites so here's the recipe. A savoury souffle is not as hard as it looks and can turn very economical ingredients into a luxurious dish. For a perfectly fluffy and towering souffle, remember no peeking while it's cooking. Put it in the oven (don't slam the door or you'll knock the air out) and patiently wait for the cooking time to elapse. Experiment by using different cheeses and swap spinach for mushrooms, cooked leeks, roasted peppers or anything else you fancy.

    Sunday, 28 July 2019 18:04

    Easy peasy lemon squeezy

    I just made this delicious squidgy lemon and lime curd shortbread. It's for pudding tonight but Scarlett and I can't stop ourselves, so maybe there'll be none left by then.

    Wednesday, 26 June 2019 17:35

    Edis of Ely

    Still warm and crunchy from the fryer, you can't beat an Edis of Ely scotch egg for lunch.

    That's French for 'my birthday party in France'. Bored with Brexit and looking for some entente cordiale I celebrated my 60th in France. One large Gite hired, fourteen of my bestest invited and several sacks of baguettes gorged. Castillonnes is a 20 minute drive from Bergerac airport and close to Maison Vari in Monbazillac who put on a great wine tasting. I even found a local Chef Marianne to come and cook us a fabulous birthday meal. Why did it all have to end?

    One of my go to recipes when I fancy a meat free meal which is wholesome and healthy. From my Second Chalice Recipe Book and copied into my online Recipe Book now.

    Monday, 20 May 2019 12:51

    Milkshake Wars

    What's the best milkshake to throw at a politician? McDonalds (deliciously thick) or BurgerKing (an explosion of flavour in a cup)? Not condoning violence here at SF HQ obvs, but just keeping up with the news.

    Bury Wholefoods is a Bury St Edmunds-based organic food shop, established in 2018 by owner and health food fanatic Dawn Carrington. Bury Wholefoods has a regular market stall on Bury St Edmunds market on the 1st Saturday of every month. You'll find a range of organic wholefoods and also be encouraged to adopt a 'zero waste lifestyle' by taking your containers to refill. As well as wholefoods there's a zero waste product range and the opportunity to go plastic-free and help the fight for a sustainable environment. They sell a number of wholefoods that feature in our recipes here on SuffolkFoodie including buckwheat for our yummy chocolate, hazelnut and buckwheat brownies and quinoa for our tabbouleh salad. If you can't make it to the market or want to order online they have a very good website.

    Tuesday, 14 May 2019 14:32

    Caponata

    Chopped veg ready for a Caponata salad as Lidl had aubergines for 49p each. Caponata originates from Sicily. Sicilians all have their own version of this slightly salt, piquant aubergine dish, with many variations depending on what vegetables are available. Fennel is very good in place of the celery. Serve hot or cold, but never straight from the fridge.

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