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By Well Seasoned, Jan 2 2018 09:49AM

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas


2018 is, obviously, an exciting year for us and we're now on the three month countdown to publication day for the book. We've probably got one more final proof read to do before everything is set in stone and the book goes to print.


Until then, assuming you've had enough turkey and sprouts to last a lifetime (or until next Christmas anyway), how about a new recipe from Russell to launch your January? Walter Rose are a traditional butchers in Wiltshire and Russ has long used them to supply top-notch meat and game, both for his restaurant and for our Well Seasoned recipe testing. On their blog this month is a picanha rump cap recipe. Paprika and pickled jalepenos add a bit of welcome warmth to some classic winter ingredients - parsley root, cabbage and apples.


You can find the recipe HERE.


By Well Seasoned, Dec 16 2017 10:00AM

Well, hopefully you’ve seen that the book is now available to pre-order (if you haven't we've failed!)


Having put so much hard work into writing and photographing over the last couple of years it’s a really exciting time for us now as we can start to reveal some of the recipes and content.


Since we’re in the festive season, how about this as a little present? It's from the Decemeber chapter.


Clementine and sultana frangipane tarts


They are as enchanting as any bauble on a Christmas tree: the shine, the vibrant orange colour and, occasionally, the contrast of green leaves. The clementine is, to my mind, inextricably linked with the festive season, and so one thought led to another and an alternative to a mince pie came to the fore. Baked as small tarts or as one large tart to slice, this brings together so many of my seasonal favourites. Add some clotted cream or spiced brandy butter, a little of the fresh fruit and just a touch of the clementine confit and dessert is sorted. Or, of course, as the cook, you can indulge in some quality control straight from the cooling rack…


I make no apologies for this being a complex recipe and, in mitigation, all the elements could be made separately over a number of days and then assembled before baking. The confit will keep for several weeks, the frangipane and pastry freeze well and you could even blind bake the pastry cases the day before you cook the tarts.


(If you need a bit more guidance, you can also find this recipe with step-by-step photos on Russell’s website HERE.)


Makes 12 small tarts using a deep muffin tin


For the sweet pastry


115g unsalted butter

85g caster sugar

2 Blackacre Farm free range egg yolks

2tbs cold water

55g corn flour

180g soft plain flour

2g Maldon salt, fine ground


For the clementine confit

(makes much more than required but has many other uses)


8 clementines

500g granulated sugar

500ml water

2 cinnamon sticks

10 black peppercorns

For the frangipane

100g unsalted butter

100g dark muscovado sugar

1½ large, free-range eggs (100g)

1 tbs self-raising flour

100g roasted almonds, blitzed to a powder

1 tsp mixed spice

pinch of finely ground Maldon salt


For the sultanas


100g sultanas

100ml cider


First make the pastry. Cream the butter and caster sugar together. Beat until the mixture starts to go pale. Combine the egg yolks and the water and beat gradually into the butter mix. Mix the flours and the salt and sift onto the butter mix. Use a rubber spatula to fold the flour in – you are aiming for dough that is homogenous but has been worked as little as possible. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and bring together into a cylinder. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 mins.


Then, when you're ready to cook.


1. Preheat oven to 170C.


2. To make the clementine confit, start by blanching the clementines. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil then simmer gently for 10 minutes, then drain and refresh in cold water. Repeat three more times.


3. In a clean saucepan, combine the sugar, water and spices and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Prick the blanched clementines several times with a cocktail stick, add to the syrup and cover with baking parchment. Use a saucer or small plate to keep the clementines submerged and simmer very gently for around 1½ hours. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a blender and purée until completely smooth. Use a little of the cooking syrup if necessary. You are looking for a consistency similar to lemon curd.


4. For the frangipane, cream together the butter and sugar. Gradually beat in the egg, adding the flour in stages along with it. Fold in the almonds, mixed spice and salt and combine thoroughly. Transfer to a piping bag.


5. Simmer the sultanas in the cider until all the liquid is reduced/has been absorbed. Allow to cool.


6. Roll out the sweet pastry to approximately 4mm thick and use to line your chosen tart tin. Chill and then blind bake at 170C until just set and a light golden colour.


7. Add enough clementine confit to the sultanas to create something akin to mincemeat. Place a generous teaspoonful in the tart shells if individual, or spread across the base of the tart if making a large one. Pipe on the frangipane and bake at 170C for around 20 minutes until the frangipane is risen and firm when pressed lightly.


8. Allow to cool slightly in the tin and then remove to a cooling rack. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.


By Well Seasoned, Dec 12 2017 12:38PM

We're delighted finally to be able to reveal the cover for Well Seasoned! After many months of hard work and debate, here it is.


We wanted something that captured the essence of the book, that would jump out at shoppers from the shelf and which is appropriate for our Spring launch date. We hope we've managed all of that.


Big thanks go to our designer Matt Inwood and the team at Anima, Head of Zeus who have been so willing to take our comments on board. Russell and I really love it but, of course, it's you the reader who really matters. What do you think??


Obviously its a big milestone as far as any book is concerned but finalising the cover also means we can now open the new website and launch pre-sales for the book. Hopefully you'll like the new fresh-look website, centred around the book. The blog will, of course, continue here with plenty of new recipes and sample content from the book.


We're really excited to be able to share some of that as we begin the countdown to the launch in March.


Welcome to an exciting new season!



PS when you click through to Amazon to pre-order you'll see a very different cover. Don't panic! That was a holding image we gave them while we were having the Big Cover Debate. We've now sent the new one and it should be updated in the next couple of days.



By Well Seasoned, Nov 3 2017 03:00AM

This is a repeat of a piece from the old Well Seasoned site but since the beginning of October, I've been up to my ears in great value, great tasting pheasant, so I thought I'd re-post. It's also worth mentioning that Russell's recipe in the previous post (Buttermilk Partridge Burgers) works very well with pheasant so there's no excuse not to be eating game of one kind or another this weekend.


-----


Some five years ago it was rumoured that a disgruntled KFC employee, faced with redundancy, had revealed the “secret blend” of herbs and spices used by the (in)famous fried chicken joint. A social media frenzy catapulted the recipe round the world faster than you can say “Colonel Saunders” and although the company has never publically confirmed it, the consensus seems to be that it is, at the very least, a good approximation of their recipe.


The ethical difficulties with eating KFC chicken hardly need to be spelled out on this blog. The problem is, as most of us would have to admit, it tastes pretty darn good. So what to do? Well, thankfully the angry ex-chicken-fryer's revelation has given us the opportunity to put an ethical twist on the oh-so-naughty finger lickin’ dish. Since we’re in the middle of the pheasant season we wanted to see if the recipe translated from KFC to KFP. We’re pleased to say it most definitely does.


Here’s “our” recipe using two pheasants we brought home from a small Dorset shoot last weekend. The original spice mix apparently includes mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) a flavour enhancer which we decided to forgo. We’ve tweaked the list a little more and, since pheasant has a tendency to dry out, marinading in milk gives it the required extra succulence.


Homemade KFC/KFP


Ingredients


1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons salt


4 pheasant breasts, halved (you can also use a jointed whole pheasant or free range chicken)

250g plain white flour

1/2pt whole milk

1 egg


Method


Marinade the pheasant in milk for two hours. When you're ready to cook, heat your oven to 200C. Mix the herbs, spices and flour together in a mixing bowl. Remove the pheasant breasts from the milk and pat dry with kitchen towel. Lightly beat the egg in a second bowl. Now, dip each piece of breast meat first into the egg and then into the spiced flour. (You can work in batches dipping and coating three or four pieces at a time as long as there is space in the flour bowl to move the pieces around and ensure they all get a good coating). Heat 6 tbsp of oil in a frying pan - enough to cover the base. Shallow fry the meat pieces on a high heat for 2 minutes on each side until the coating is golden brown. (Fry in batches if the pan is too crowded). Now transfer the chicken pieces to a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Allow to cool for a minute or two before serving with coleslaw and beans. (Plating up in a big bucket is optional).



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