Chefs Seasonal thoughts
~~Chefs seasonal thoughts for August and September
The Norden Arms head chef Peter Clough shares his seasonal recommendations for this summer's Vegetables, fruit and Fish to look out for whilst it's at its best.
Globe Artichoke is not a vegetable you should consider if you are in a hurry to make dinner, patience shown in preparation is rewarded when it comes to eating with subtle flavoured leaves and the beautiful mouth watering artichoke heart. It's hard to think of a main course that the artichoke wouldn't fit in well with, or it can simply be enjoyed on its own with hollandaise sauce or a classic vinaigrette.
Samphire Grass is getting better and better each week and is a firm favourite in The Norden Arms kitchen, It is naturally salty so just quickly fry it in butter with black pepper. I am constantly sourcing the best of the crop and am actually getting my Samphire Grass from my fresh fish supplier. As you know, I'm always keen to source local produce and am pleased to find that this summer's crops from Lancashire are in their prime. Lancashire Fennel is stunning at the moment, with its mild aniseed flavour its great braised in chicken stock or try it sliced finely and added to homemade coleslaw to give your guests something a little different at your BBQ this summer. Another fantastic Lancashire vegetable is Purple Mange tout, give your vegetable or salad dishes more colour with this very fast cooking vegetable and the counties Watercress is also having a good season this year and makes a fantastic simple chilled soup. Stone fruit such as Peaches, Apricots and cherries are becoming a lot more readily available, Look out for the smaller flatter 'Doughnut' Peach; Delicious poached in a citrus stock syrup.
Fish- Popular fish that you will find on our specials soon will be, Sea Trout- Very much like Salmon in its looks and Delicious at this time of the year. Plaice- The ever popular flat white fish, and Mackerel; which when fresh and raw is one of the most delicious fish you can eat and can manage to carry a lot of strong flavours such as horseradish, citrus, curry spices and pickled vegetables.
Dates for foodies...
The 1st of August marks the date of the beginning of the Red Deer Stag season in England, most of the Venison produced in the UK is from wild Deer that roam freely rather than farmed, Resulting in superior meat. Buying from a trusted butcher will ensure you excellent quality meat and also the chance to pick up any cooking tips.