No. 43 - April 2006
Welcome to the Recipes4us.co.uk free monthly newsletter and April 1st sees our 6th Birthday and I am very pleased to be able to say that we are still growing, not only with regards to additions to the site, but also as to the amount of visitors we are getting. Once again, I'd like to thank you for your continued support and here's to the next 6 years!
If you have any suggestions for additions to this newsletter, please write to me at Newsletter@Recipes4us.co.uk .
Happy Cooking !
Florence Sandeman, Editor
Did you know……
50% of all the world's rice is eaten within 8 miles of where it is grown
What's New This Month
Click the picture to find lots of information about Kiwifruit plus lots of recipes
Cooking Tip of the Month
If a recipe calls for butter and yours is hard, you can grate it. The grated pieces blend into recipes more easily and come to room temperature quickly.
What's in Season
Asparagus, broccoli carrots, chervil, early cucumbers, Jersey Royal Potatoes, kale, morel mushrooms, radishes, rocket rhubarb, rosemary, spinach, early strawberries, watercress - don't forget cockles, spring Lamb, brown crabs, lobsters and langoustines!
How does your Kitchen Garden grow
Sowing is still the order of the day but unlike March April is a time when you can sow the majority of vegetable and herb seeds outdoors unless there is an unusually long cold snap.
Continue to sow Broad beans, Brussels sprouts, dill, summer cabbage, carrots, turnips cauliflowers, Kohl Rabi, Leeks, peas, lettuce, marjoram, parsnips, radish, spinach, spring onions
Start thinning out seeds which were sown last month but in order to prevent large gaps occurring, only thin to half the final distance.
Continue to sow Aubergines, Capsicums (Sweet peppers), Chives, mint,, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, sweet basil, thyme, tomatoes
Start thinning out seeds which were sown in pots or trays last month once they are about 12mm/1/2" tall.. Don't delay too long as crowded plants not only fight for light, making them grow tall and spindly, but they are also more prone to damping off disease
For detailed growing instructions visit growing herbs and vegetables section
To celebrate Easter Day this year (16th April) , I’m going to feature a recipe using Passion Fruit, the reason being that the plant was given it’s name by Christian missionaries who used the flower to symbolise the “Passion of Christ” i.e. his suffering at the crucifixion, to the indigenous natives in South America.
When you look at the flower, it’s easy to see why. The double row of coloured filaments (the corona) represented either the crown of thorns and a halo. The ten sepals and petals represented the disciples (apart from Judas and Peter, who both distanced themselves from Christ prior to the crucifixion – mmmmm, a little contrived but...... The five anthers were the five wounds on his body, and the three stigmas the nails. And it doesn’t stop there! The leaves represent the spear that the Roman soldiers used to pierce his side or in some cases the clutching hands of the soldiers and the tendrils (which you can’t actually see in this picture) the whips which were used to scourge him.
So, here’s a lovely cake to bake for your Easter tea…..or any other time for that matter.
Coconut & Passion Fruit Layer Cake
This is a thumbnail. Click on the picture for a larger version
Prep and Cooking time:
50 minutes plus cooling
Makes 1 x 20cm/8-inch two-layer cake
225/8oz Butter or Margarine
225/8oz Caster Sugar
3 Eggs, beaten
½ - 1 teasp Vanilla Extract
100g/4oz Desiccated (Shredded) Coconut
150g/5oz Self Raising flour
For the filling
175g/6oz Cream Cheese or Mascarpone
200ml/7fl.oz. Crème Fraîche
1 tbsp Caster Sugar
4 Passion Fruit
1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4 and grease and line 2 x 17.5cm/7 inch round sandwich tins with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
3. Gradually add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Don’t worry if the mixture starts to curdle, just add a spoonful of the flour and carry on.
4. . Fold in the coconut and flour and mix well. Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes. try not to open the oven door before 20 minutes cooking time.
5. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Carefully peel off the paper and allow to cool completely.
6. Place the cream cheese, crème fraîche and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until well blended. Set aside.
7. Cut each passion fruits in half and scoop the seeds and pulp out into a bowl.
8. Once the cakes are completely cold place one on a serving platter, spread the cheese filling evenly over the top, making sure you take it completely to the edges of the cake.
9. Top with the passion fruit pulp, once again allowing it to go right to the edges, then place the other cake on top and sprinkle with icing sugar.
CAN'T FIND PASSION FRUIT?
Whether you're looking for everyday, exotic or unusual food and drink, visit
Food shopping has never been easier !
Two for the price of One
Not only is it St. George's Day on 23rd April but it’s also Shakespeare’s birthday.
Well, actually the exact date of Shakespeare's birthday isn’t known. However we do know that he was baptized on 26 April 1564, so 23rd April has become his “official” date of birth – I assume allowing for a few days for the parties involved to have recovered sufficiently from the birth! He also happened to die on 23 April in 1616 so it’s as good a date as any to celebrate his life and works.
Why not remember Shakespeare and St George by making a good old English recipe from Elizabethan times. Never fear, you won’t have to find any swans or blackbirds or a quarter of Stag to spit roast. Below is a recipe for Syllabub which dates back to those times but which is still made today, albeit in a slightly modified form.
Originally syllabub was made as a drink. It was seasoned with plenty of nutmeg and decorated with cream. However, by the seventeenth century the traditional milk and ale had been replaced by cream and wine and/or brandy and it has evolved into a dessert which can be made to look quite stunning when served in tall glasses.
Ye Olde English Brandy Syllabub
Serves 6 Prep time:
10mins plus infusing and chilling
The Rind and Juice of 1 Lemon
75g/3oz Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Cognac or Brandy
5tbsp Sweet White Wine
300ml/10fl.oz. Double Cream
1. Place the lemon rind, juice, sugar, brandy and wine in a bowl, mix well and leave to stand for 2 hours.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks.
3. Strain the infused brandy mixture into the cream and whisk until well blended.
4. Transfer to small serving glasses and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve chilled.
And to get you more in the mood, here’s a couple of quotes from Shakespeare’s writings. . . . all with a culinary theme of course!
Quote from All's Well That Ends Well
“Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a kernel out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond and no true traveller (That’s telling him)
Quote from Romeo and Juliet
LADY CAPULET: Hold, take these keys, and fetch more spices, nurse.
NURSE: They call for dates and quinces in the pastry. (Sounds very yummy to me)
New and featured Recipes
V = Vegetarian GF = Gluten/wheat Free DF = Dairy Free
Kiwifruit Dressing Vegan GF DF
Coriander Kiwi Salsa Vegan GF DF
Roast Potatoes with Rosemary Vegan GF DF
Clapshot V GF
Desserts Cakes & Bakes
Kiwifruit Syllabub V GF
Kiwifruit Sorbet Vegan GF DF
Soups, Appetisers & Starters
Avocado with Kiwifruit V GF DF
Potato Hash GF DF
Lancashire Hotpot GF DF
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