The chef and food writer shares his tips for eating seasonally this October as night approaches. 183343037
Summer, now, is a distant memory and cups of roses have become red cups. Coats appear from the closets, bonfires are lit and one begins to deal with the big question of the day: Is it too early to turn on the heating?
But that’s why we love the British seasons – that gradual change from light to dark, warm to cold, salad to soup. The vegetable garden is preparing for frost and the brassica is all there. Things in the kitchen get a little slower, with old Le Creuset pulled out of his usual summer exile, the back of the cupboard and being upgraded again to the big. time.
However, it wasn’t quite winter. Apples are at their best and we have over 3000 varieties. Of those, we seem to eat about two: the gloomy Pink Lady (usually imported) and the Golden Delicious. It’s worth looking for other types, sweet (Evelina, Cameo) and sharp (Bramley’s Seedling, Calvilles), or a combination of the two (Cox’s Orange Pippin). Bramley’s can be used in sweet and savory dishes.
Apple sauce is a must for the kitchen, it goes as good with pork chops as it is with ice cream, just like pork chops with cream and apples from the Norman classics. Florence White, IN Good things in England, has a recipe for apple pie, “one of our oldest English dishes”. Food writer P. Morton Shand was a fan. “An English apple pie has a rare advantage when a real cook achieves it,” he said aloud, “and it’s not so much.” There is an endless number of sweets, dumplings, pies, pancakes, purees and pies. Pears, which are still quite common, are equally versatile.
Leeks, cabbage, rainbow chard, kale and purple broccoli thrive – as well as the main crops of potatoes, parsnips, swedes, and turnips. And also squash and squash, too, though they still failed to move me. Sorry, but I tried. I suppose decent pumpkin soup can be toasty and nutty-cooked too, but you can’t love everything, so I’ll leave the adoration to you.
What is the season in october
An apple; beetroot; berries; blackberries; Broccoli; squash acorns; Celery. celery; chestnut; dandelion; mollusks; crab nuts; Dover duck sole; elderberries; goose; protest; rabbit; salted fish; horseradish; Jerusalem artichoke; cabbage; as a kohl. shallots; mackerel; the duck. medlar; mussels; oysters; parsnip; partridge; pear; pheasant; potatoes (the main crop); Pumpkin; quince; rabbit; Sultan Ibrahim fish; salsify. suede. sweet corn; truffles (white); radish; Deer meat; Walnuts; watercress; wild mushrooms
What I love is the balls, at best after the first frost, when the leather softens and ‘fade’ (becomes a rotten touch). It’s as pungent when raw as you can imagine – uneaten. Freeze it overnight, then put it in a sterilized container with half the weight of the sugar (so 500g of shallots need 250g of sugar) and 70cl of gin or vodka. Store it in a dark place, rotating the jar gently every day for the first week. Two months later, a paradise of slaw awaits you.
Walnuts are ready to harvest. Remove the green hull (wear rubber gloves, as phenols in the hull can cause irritation as well as stains), wash and dry carefully, then spread in a thin layer in a dry room. They should take no more than three or four days until they are ready to break and eat.
The pheasant is now in its season, and although it is a lean bird and can tend to be dehydrated, we must treat it with a greater respect. Try cooking in Normandy style, with butter, Cox’s apple, and cream—double and sour—plus a big Calvado slug.
As winter approaches and the freezer is full, you may be bored with the birds. But don’t worry, they can be made into a stock, casserole, or curry. If you are going to shoot, always take a stent and eat it too. Seasonal eating is not only about the hot stars, but the less important players as well. Each element has its place. Even, I suppose, that faded old pumpkin.
Recipe: Sticky Apple-Toffee Pudding
The late Gary Rhodes was a brilliant British chef, and despite his classic French training, he was an early fan of traditional British food at a time when food was out of the ordinary.
He was also one hell of a talented chef. This recipe is from New British classicsautumnal to its core and best served, all great puddings are always served with custard, double cream or vanilla ice cream.
To prepare fat pastries
- 175g self-raising flour
- a pinch of salt
- 75gm beef or vegetable fat
- 150 ml water or milk
- 50gm unsalted butter
- 25 gm – 50 gm fine and dark brown sugar
- 675gm apples, peeled and cut into quarters
- 50 gm butter
- 75gm light brown sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
To prepare the pastry, sift the flour and salt together. Add the lard, while stirring, into the water or milk. The dough can now be made and mixed, creating a smooth consistency. Roll it up and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Pour the butter into a 900ml (1½ liter) pudding tub and sprinkle with dark brown sugar. The more you spray, the stronger the flavor of the toffee. Roll out three-quarters of the dough and drain the basin.
Cut the apple quarters in half again, into eight slices for each apple. It can be cut in half to form coarse pieces.
Melt the butter. Once the bubbles are boiling, add the apples and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add sugar and lemon juice and remove from heat. Leave to cool and then spoon the apples into the sink.
Roll the remaining quarter of the dough and place it over the pudding, sealing the edges well. It can be covered with folded greaseproof paper and foil and tied with string if necessary. Steam over boiling water for 1 to 1 hour, top up with hot water if necessary.
Once cooked, remove from steamer and let rest for five minutes, before carefully turning off.
Sizzling, crunchy, irresistibly crunchy bacon begins with a traditional breed of well-bred pig with a slow and meticulous treatment.
Credit: Laurie Patterson/Getty
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