streamcombe farm poole hill dulverton TA22 9SA UK
Welcome to the Streamcombe recipe page – an occasional source of seasonal culinary inspiration and “wisdom” (or, at least, some opinions and musings). If you have any questions about any of the recipes, or want any tips, please just drop us an email.
Krupnyk - 2 December 2010
(Fire Vodka or Honey Vodka)
Forget mulled wine, this is a real Christmas drink. A Polish classic. Part of the joy of this recipe is the making – I have spent many happy hours in the kitchen brewing, sampling, mixing, sampling, tweaking spices, sampling……. This is great stuff served cold but even better when warmed up and is the ultimate cold cure, sipped by the side of a roaring fire (after a couple of good sized glasses, most bodily sensations become well numbed). My advice is to make plenty – it is easier to make in larger quantities and it would be a shame to run out
For the minimum, reasonable quantity;
2 bottles of vodka (the stronger the better!)
2 jars of clear honey (a blended one is fine)
Half a dozen cloves
A stick of cinnamon
A couple of peppercorns
A good grate of nutmeg
A vanilla pod
The juice of half an orange
The juice of half a lemon
A couple of big slices of zest from each of the orange and lemon
1 Pour the vodka into a big, heavy bottomed pan, add all of the spices and citrus stuff. Cover and begin to heat fairly gently
2 Once the vodka is getting quite warm, add the honey and stir it in well. You now need to pay attention and stir regularly as if you overheat it the honey can burn and you end up with something akin to cough mixture. The mixture should be kept hot but below boiling
3 Gently heat and infuse the mixture for at least 30 mins(an hour is better), sampling regularly, until you have attained a good, spicy flavour. Try to keep the pan covered as much as possible so that you don’t lose the valuable alcohol. Don’t light a match!
4 Once you are happy with the flavour (or have drunk so much of it that you have ceased caring), scoop out the spices, allow it to cool a bit then pour it in to bottles through a sieve. The liquid will be a light brown and cloudy at this stage and you need to leave the bottles to stand for a day or so for the sediment to settle out
5 Once the Krupnyk has settled, you should have clear, golden liquid in the top part of the bottle and brown sludge in the bottom. Decant of the clear stuff and discard the sludge. You can strain the sludge through a muslin or paper coffee filter, but it takes ages and I think it has a slightly poorer flavour (sort of analogous to extra virgin and standard olive oil)
6 Drink. As I said, it’s good either cold or reheated. You can keep it for a really long time (I still have ¼ of a bottle left over from last year) and, if anything, it seems to become mellower with age
(N.B. Hot vodka is very flammable, and so I would like to point out that it is a bad idea to lean over the pan! If it should catch light, just put the lid on and it will go out)
Apple and hazelnut frangipane tart - 17 October 2010
The below is a great autumn recipe, featured during a recent appearance on Amy Cole’s show on BBC Radio Devon. It uses some of the abundant produce of the season, with hazelnuts as a twist on a normal frangipane, giving it a much richer flavour. Also works brilliantly with pears, or with plums, apricots or rhubarb if you just use ground almonds. Bit of a long recipe this one but is actually just nine ingredients and only takes about 30mins to make (excluding cooking time).
The pastry – Pate sucré
2 egg yolks
60g butter cut into small pieces
120g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pile the flour and sugar on to a clean worktop, make a well in the centre and put in the butter, egg yolks and vanilla. Rub the ingredients together with your fingertips, until completely mixed. Then take ¼ of the mixture and smear it across the worktop with the heel of your hand (trust me!) to make it into a paste. Repeat with the remaining mixture then bring it all together and give it a very quick knead (because of the lack of water in this pastry it is very hard to overwork it and make it tough). You should now have a smooth, slightly crumbly pastry dough.
Roll the pastry out to 3mm thick and line a 7” pastry ring or tart case with it (if you get any tears or gaps just plug them firmly with bits of the dough - it sticks back together really well). Place in the fridge for at least 20mins to rest, then blind bake for 20mins at 200 Celcius (conventional oven) until golden. Remove from the tin when cool.
40g ground hazelnuts
20g ground almonds
1 tsp vanilla essence
20g self raising flour
Beat together the butter and sugar, then beat in the nuts, egg and vanilla, then finally mix in the flour.
Finishing the tart
Spread a layer of apricot jam on the inside of the tart case base then spoon in the frangipane mixture and spread it out so that it is level. Quarter a couple of sharp, crisp apples (Cox’s are ideal) and cut out the core. Then slice the apples into thin wedges (about 4mm at the thick edge). Arrange these, slightly overlapping, on the top of the frangipane so that it is well covered up. Sprinkle with a little sugar and bake for about 30mins at 150 Celcius, until risen and browning on top.
When it has cooled you can give it a finishing touch by brushing it with a glaze made from apricot jam mixed with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash boiling water. Just serve with a dollop of creme fraiche... but if you had a glass of chilled Muscat de St Jean to accompany it, then so much the better.
Asparagus and wild sorrel salad - 21 May 2010
You can keep things quite simple with good asparagus – there is nothing quite like some melted butter, a squeeze of lemon and a grind of black pepper to accentuate the flavour. The following recipe takes it just a little further, incorporating a little parmesan for its salty, nutty flavour, and some zingy leaves of wild sorrel.
Sorrel is widespread in fields and verges and is easily recognisable by its arrow-shaped leaves, spears of tiny red flowers and lemony taste. There are a couple of other plants you could initially get it confused with (Lords and Ladies or young dock leaves in particular) but when you have seen it once it is unmistakeable. Obviously, don’t eat any wild plants until you are absolutely sure of what they are.
So, if you have got your asparagus and sorrel, just steam the asparagus for about 8 minutes then toss it in some melted butter with a squeeze of lemon juice and a good grind of black pepper. Then simply pile up the asparagus on your plates with a few of the sorrel leaves and shavings of parmesan dotted in between and pour over any remaining melted butter (which usually goes a nice mauve colour thanks to the asparagus juices).
Another twist is to add a drizzle of cold pressed rapeseed oil, which is the British alternative to olive oil. It has an amazing golden colour and quite an asparagussy taste in its own right. There are a few different producers around but my favourites are “Fussels” which is our local Somerset oil and one of the originals “Mellow Yellow”, made by Duncan and Eli Farrington. Well worth having in the cupboard.
Wine is a tricky one with asparagus as it has such a distinct flavour. Your wine therefore needs to be similarly well flavoured. Good, floral Sauvignon Blanc from either South Africa or New Zealand will work, alternatively try a Gavi from Italy, which can be wonderfully rich.
Wild Garlic - 7 May 2010
I like to do a quick bit of foraging and feature something wild on our menus and this week we are celebrating the coming of spring and the ample supplies of wild garlic (ramsons). For those not familiar with this plant, it can currently be found in most shaded hedgerows and woodlands and is easily identifiable by its lush, elongated, green leaves and later, delicate white flowers. Plus the often overwhelming smell of garlic, of course. You can eat all of the plant, but the leaves are generally the best bit – the flowers do look beautiful in a salad but can be a bit bitter and, for those used to plump cloves of Spanish garlic, the bulbs are possibly the most disappointing thing you could ever spend 5 minutes exhuming. It tastes garlicky, as you would expect, but is relatively mild and has a definite spring oniony quality as well.
So, to a recipe. I considered doing mussels, but it is so simple it barely counts (steam your cleaned mussels open with a glass of white wine, some olive oil and a grind of black pepper, add a glug of double cream and a handful of roughly chopped wild garlic leaves and a bit of parsley, toss together and eat with lots of good bread – see a bit to easy). As a result, the proper recipe is this…..
Lamb with wild garlic scented flageolet beans (for 2)
Flageolet beans are particularly satisfying as they create a lovely creamy texture but hold their shape and have a delicate flavour. You can prepare the beans in advance and then just cook off your lamb and other veg when you are ready to eat.
For the beans;
6 to 8 wild garlic leaves
A ripe tomato
A can of flageolet beans
A couple of “branches” of parsley
A splash of white wine
Extra virgin olive oil
A knob of butter
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil gently in a small saucepan, dice the tomato and add it. Fry for a minute or so then add the wine and cook for another minute. Add the beans (don’t drain them – the starchy water in the can contributes to the consistency), garlic, parsley and a grind of pepper and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Taste and season to your taste. The texture should be silky and substantial but still quite fluid – add a splash of water if required. The beans are now ready and can be refrigerated or served at once. Before serving melt in the knob of butter.
For the lamb;
A rack of 6 ribs of lamb – French trimmed
A little lemon juice
A clove of garlic
Salt and pepper
Cut the lamb in to two equal racks of three ribs each and rub with a generous amount of salt and a little olive oil. Sear the lamb on all sides in a very hot frying pan, so that the meat has taken on a nice bit of colour (should only need 30 seconds per side if your pan is properly hot). Transfer the racks to a roasting tray so that they are sitting skin side up, then put them into an oven preheated to 210 Celcius (fan oven – use 230 Celcius for a conventional oven) for 15 minutes. While the lamb is in the oven, finely chop the garlic and mix with a squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt, to make a marinade. Remove the lamb after the 15 minutes is up, brush it with the marinade and return it to the oven for a further 10 minutes. The lamb should be cooked to a nice medium at this point, but it does depend a bit on the size of your lamb racks of course. Transfer to a warm plate to rest for a few minutes before carving down between the rib bones to give three neat little cutlets. Serve the lamb on a bed of the beans with some steamed spring greens tossed in butter and black pepper, and small, crisp jacket potatoes.
The ideal wine match would be a nice St Emillion or perhaps a Chilean Merlot (good value and incredibly reliable in recent years).