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Foodie Events in Cornwall - April 2011



A round-up of this months foodie happening in the Duchy.


Porthleven Food and Music Festival Sunday April 10th 10am - 9:30pm. The festival will have 70 local food stalls and 6 tip-top Chefs who've been asked to cook with economical cuts and local food. There are two real beer tents, a Fish Barbecue, a Hog Roast, a fancy dress parade, bands and buskers of all sorts throughout the day, a Big Top, an Art Trail, a historic Porthleven Exhibition, demonstrations of fish preparation, Hip-Hop Dancers, a Skate Jam, a Drama Workshop, a Music Workshop, a Circus Skills Workshop, traditional Cornish Singing and a great evening band "Not The Beatles!" – The Festival is put together by a hard-working team of village volunteers of all ages, for everybody. Entry is free.

Bodmin Plant and Herb Nursery - Herb Festival Weekend.  April 16th and 17th. Annual Celebration of all things herbal including local food producers and crafts. Entry is free


Trereife Easter Fair April 22- April 25th. One of the many attractions over the weekend will be the highly entertaining cookery demonstrations by Andy Appleton head chef of Jamie Oliver’s inspired ‘Fifteen’ restaurant and Sanjay Kumar from Slow Food Cornwall, alongside Robin Turner and Nick Howells from Newlyn’s fish industry. Visitors will have the chance to sample the dishes and purchase the ingredients which will be on sale in the food marquee.

At the top of every younger visitor’s list of things to do has to be the taking part in Trereife’s Grand Easter Egg Hunt. Taking place within the woods and around the walled garden, the Egg Hunt has become very popular with hundreds of happy children expected to be eagerly following the clues this year.

Open 10am - 5pm. Price £3 Adults, £2 Children, under 5's free

Marhamchurch Farmers Market. Sunday 10th April 10am - 2pm. The Bray Institute, Marhamchurch, Nr Bude.

Please email me beth@jamandclottedcream.co.uk if you would like your foodie event listed.
Beth Sachs
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Harbour Restaurant, Port Isaac: A Review


Cornwall's Spring Feast Fortnight is now in full swing and yesterday, on a gloriously balmy Spring evening, we drove down to The Harbour Restaurant in Port Isaac to sample some of the dishes on their Spring Feast Menu.



The quaint 15th Century building that the Harbour Restaurant calls home is located right by the waters edge in the small fishing village of Port Isaac (aka Port Wenn of Doc Martin fame). It is run by professional chef Emily, who  trained at the well respected cookery school Tante Marie. She also spent time on the continent, which is reflected in the style of dishes she serves, before returning to the UK  to set up home in North Cornwall.

The restaurant prides itself on using the freshest local produce available - the fish, for example are landed just yards from the front door in the small fishing port. Emily also sources meat and poultry from nearby farms, cured meat from Deli Farm in Delabole - just 5 miles away, as well as local cornish cheeses from small artisan producers. The menu changes almost daily, reflecting the latest catch or offering from her local suppliers.

The atmosphere in the restaurant was cosy and relaxed and the decor captured the essence of a typical Cornish seaside fishing port, with picturesque views out to sea an added bonus. Front of house service was very friendly and attentive and the specials were presented at the table clearly and informatively. We started the meal with some homemade garlic focaccia, which had an almost cake like melt in the mouth texture, onion bread and olive oil.

Fish and seafood feature heavily on the menu and for starters I opted for the scallops served simply with garlic, lemon and parsley with a rocket salad. The scallops  were beautifully presented in their shells, perfectly cooked and tender. The evenings menu also provided the option of fishcakes with chilli jam, which had a fresh lemony taste, smoked mackerel pate as well as broad beans with olives and mozzarella. I would have quite happily eaten them all.

For the main course I chose the only non fish item on the menu, leek and cornish blue tart with homemade rustic chips. The saltiness of the cheese complimented the sweet leeks perfectly in a crisp pastry case and the homemade chips were chunky (just how I like them) and well seasoned. The monkfish, coppa, vine tomato and rosemary potato dish that my husband ordered and which I got to have a sneaky taste of, was beautiful. The monkfish was mild and slightly sweet and was complimented perfectly by the salty coppa and vine tomatoes. For my husband (who by self-confession has never been a huge fish fan) to enjoy a meal so much speaks volumes for the quality of the food and its flavours.

We couldn't resist having a look at the dessert menu and as soon as I laid eyes on the vanilla panna cotta with passion fruit it was a done deal. The panna cotta was set to perfection, had a gloriously smooth texture and  a subtle vanilla flavour, which complimented the passion fruit coulis perfectly. My husband opted, as he usually does, for chocolate - an indulgent brownie with vanilla ice cream. The brownie was perfectly crisp on top with a lovely soft texture in the centre, a nice deep chocolate taste without being overpoweringly dark and rich. It rounded off an amazing meal.

Jason and Emily have established the restaurant beautifully and judging by the number of enquiries on the night it looks set to thrive into the future. For reservations please call 01208 880237
Beth Sachs
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Meet my Cybermummy Sponsor & A Giveaway


COMPETITION CLOSED
Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I am off to Cybermummy this year....and I can't wait! Cybermummy is the UK's premier blogging conference aimed at parent bloggers and this year it has really pulled out all the stops. There are some fab speakers lined up (Sarah Brown is the keynote speaker) as well as lots exciting workshops (I'm particularly looking forward to the Writing workshop) - if you are interested you can see the jam packed schedule here.

Today I'd like to announce Bottlegreen as my sponsor to the conference and also hold a little giveaway to celebrate them launching a brand new presse - Green Tea and Elderflower - which tastes amazing, especially mixed with vodka! Its delicate,  fragrant and extremely refreshing! Another plus is that its made with only natural ingredients with no added preservatives or sweeteners. Roll on the summer I say!

For your chance to win 6 bottles of Green Tea and Elderflower Presse all you need to do is;
1. Tell me how would you serve the new flavour? How about with ice or a slice of lime? Maybe mixed with your favourite alcohol, or even as a jelly? There are endless possibilities so get thinking.
2. Answers can be left in the comments section of this blog, on Twitter (start your tweet @jamandcream bottlegreen), or on the Jam and Clotted Cream Facebook page.
3. If you RT the competition on Twitter or Share on Facebook you will gain an extra entry, just let me know you have done so.
4. Open to UK residents only
5. Competition closes on Friday 1st April at 5pm (GMT)

Good Luck x

Please note I received the sample as a gift
Beth Sachs
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Tides Restaurant, The Mariners: Spring Feast Fortnight




The first ever Cornwall Spring Feast Fortnight launched on Friday (and runs from 18th March - 1st April), with the aim of showcasing the county's fresh new flavours of Spring. Participating chefs and restaurants will be offering Spring Feast menu's at very affordable prices  - £14 for two courses and £18 for three courses (on selected services). Details of participating restaurants can be found on the Cornwall Food and Drink website.

I was lucky enough to visit Tides Restaurant, at The Mariners, Rock on Saturday, run by head chef Tom Scade to sample their Spring Feast menu. Tom and his team use fresh, seasonal produce in wonderfully styled and flavoursome dishes. The front of house staff were friendly and attentive and the dining room had a clean, fresh feel about it utilising decor synonymous with the local area. This, coupled with magnificent views over the estuary provided a relaxed and pleasurable dining experience.

The special Spring Feast menu at Tides is as follows;

Starters:
Chilled Vichyssoise with Camel Oyster Beignets
Locally Shot Rabbit and Leek Terrine with Tarragon Mayonnaise

Mains:
Shoulder of Pork, Smoked Potato Puree and Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Roasted Ling, Parsley Pain Perdu, Cauliflower with Toasted Almonds

Dessert:
Set Vanilla Cream with Apple Jelly and Ginger Beer Granita
Cornish Blue Cheese, Caramelised Red Onion Chutney and Homemade Oat Cakes


I sampled all of the dishes on the Spring Feast menu. They were all beautifully presented, with some of the dishes coming out on traditional slate boards - I'm wondering whether it was local Delabole slate? The food was well seasoned and full of flavour but the real highlight of the meal for me was the Roasted Ling. Ling, a fish that belongs to the cod family has significantly declined in popularity in recent years but the meat has a wonderfully sweet , delicate flavour and it partnered perfectly with the Parsley Pain Perdu. Another favourite of mine was the Set Vanilla Cream dessert  - served in a small kilner jar it was layered with the Apple Jelly and Ginger Beer Granita and came with some buttery homemade shortbread fingers. The textures were a real sensation!

I dined with my husband and he particularly enjoyed the pork, which just fell apart when cut. The  accompanying smoked potato puree was gorgeously creamy and the purple sprouting broccoli was fresh  with a wonderfully vibrant colour. The meal was rounded off well with some local Cornish Blue - and I'd love the recipe for Tom's homemade caramelised red onion chutney!

A truly stunning meal and we will be returning very soon.

For reservations and bookings please call Tom and his team on 01208 863679
Beth Sachs
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Lentil, Bean and Bacon Stew


Lentil Bean and Bacon Stew 

I'm hoping Spring is on the way, but just before we see the last of the cold nights here is a great recipe that's cheap and easy to prepare and most importantly delicious and hearty! Feel free to serve it with rice or potatoes, but I find a nice hunk of bread is more than enough. Instead of Thyme you could add Rosemary and if you don't have fresh herbs, by all means substitute with some dried  - a couple of heaped teaspoon should be about right.

LENTIL, BEAN AND BACON STEW

| Serves: 4  | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 45 Minutes  | Total Time: 55 Minutes |


Ingredients: 

  • Glug of oil
  • 150g Bacon lardons
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 200g Dried Green Lentils
  • Splash Vermouth 
  • Large Sprig of Thyme, leaves picked
  • 350ml Chicken Stock
  • 400g Tin of Tomatoes
  • 400g Tin Chickpeas, drained
  • 400g Tin of Canellini Beans

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Heat oil in a large casserole and fry the bacon, garlic and onion for 5 minutes.
  • Step 2: Add the green lentils, stir, then pour in the Vermouth and let it reduce down.
  • Step 3: Add the tomatoes, thyme and stock and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Step 4: Finally add the beans and cook for a further 20 - 30 minutes.
  • Step 5: Serve with some crusty bread.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 18th March 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Tomato, Bacon and Feta Bake


Tomato, Bacon and Feta Bake


My perfect Friday night supper served with a nice crusty baguette. You could try substituting the feta with another cheese - perhaps mozzarella, but I  personally love the salty richness that feta brings to a dish. 

For a vegetarian alternative just omit the bacon!


TOMATO, FETA AND BACON BAKE


| Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 25 Minutes |


Ingredients: 


  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Rashers of Bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 TSP Chili Flakes
  • 2 x 400g Tins of Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 TBSP Fresh Oregano Leaves, chopped
  • 400g Feta, cut into chunks
  • Serve with crusty bread

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200c/180 fan/ Gas 6. Cook with onion, garlic and bacon in a pan for 5 minutes.
  • Step 2: Add the chili flakes and tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Step 3: Stir in the oregano and season to taste.
  • Step 4: In an oven proof dish scatter the feta over the bottom before spooning over the sauce.
  • Step 5: Bake for 20 minutes and serve with crusty bread.

| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 11th March 2011 |


Beth Sachs
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Chocolate Fudge Muffins


Choc Fudge Muffins

I've been busy spring cleaning the kitchen cupboards - a job I find very satisfying as I end up with lots of half opened jars and packets that I then have to incorporate into meals and baking - it gets my brain working anyway. These muffins were inspired by half opened packets of chocolate and sugars I found lurking at the back of the baking cupboard. They make great lunchbox treats and are super quick to make. If you haven't got any sour cream to hand just sub with some greek yogurt or creme fraiche.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE MUFFINS
By Beth Sachs, 7th March 2011

Ingredients:
  • 80g Dark Chocolate
  • 85g Butter
  • 2 TBSP Full Fat Milk
  • 200g Self Raising Flour
  • 1/2 TSP Bicarb
  • 85g Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml Sour Cream
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
Instructions:
  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 190c/170fan and line a 12 hole muffin tin with silicone cases. Melt the butter, milk and chocolate in the microwave, being careful not to burn it.
  • Step 2: Sieve together the flour, bicarb then mix through the sugars. In another bowl beat the egg, vanilla extract, and sour cream together. Combine the cooled chocolate mix and sour cream mix in with the dry ingredients. Fold in gently - do not overmix!
  • Step 3: Spoon into cases and bake for 20 minutes.
Beth Sachs
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