This is it; the two week countdown to Christmas has begun! It’s time to celebrate and see lots of friends. But that can mean a huge amount of stress on the cooks in the house. Here at Relish we are constantly being asked for ideas and help. Everything from Veggie and Vegan treats to interesting or a bit different side dishes, gluten free options and much more. So whether you want to jazz up those sides or go meat free here are a few of our ideas to help you get a few more veggies into the forthcoming days, and more importantly how to save yourself a bit of time and help take the stress out of creating the perfect big feast.
Potato Blinis – easy to make last minute but also happy to sit in the fridge for a day or two if your entertaining solo or just don’t want the hassle on the night. These work just as well if they’re large or small and if you don’t fancy Smoked Salmon how about salted cucumber and confit egg yolks (much easier than it sounds).
Twice Baked Soufflés – have got me out of a sticky jam on more than one occasion. Make them when you have 30 mins spare, cook them once then chill and freeze. Can be cooked from frozen in next to no time if am unexpected caller pops round. Just remember to check the cheeses that your using – not all cheese is veggie friendly. A good jar of chutney from your store cupboard and some fresh rocket leaves or a few slices of apple and some crushed walnuts is all you need to go along side,
Pasta – no not pesto pasta that the kids plough through! Home made Ravioli. You need to have a pasta machine for rolling the dough nice and thin but if like me you’ve yet to get the blades for cutting the ribbons of Tagliatelle its still easy to create the slightly more rustic (wonky!) look. or have a go at Ravioli all you need is a pastry cutter. I use the same one for mince pies and scones. Fresh Pasta freezes really well and can be cooked straight from frozen so if like me your prone to over filling your little parcels this might be the trick that you need to stop them failing apart in the water. Now usually I go for plain pasta with a stuffing of Cod, Prawns, basil and ricotta. But how about stuffing with butternut squash and chestnuts or even making beetroot pasta (simply add roasted beetroot puree to the dry ingredients) and stuff with grated courgettes and cream cheese.
Pumpkin Pie – just the mention of these two words used to have me running for the hills until I read Bryn Williams books and now its one of my most favourites. Make an interesting pastry – substitute a bit of wholemeal flour, add a handful of walnuts or pumpkin seeds. And then jazz up the filling – try adding marmalade to the roast pumpkin when you mash or puree it – or a little orange juice if that’s a step too far! Cook off a couple of handfuls of cranberries again in orange juice add a slug of your finest balsamic vinegar then scatter over the top of pie before you bake it, adds colour and texture and I love the sharpness of the cranberries against the sweet vegetable filling.
Salads – We love salads here and believe that there’s rarely a meal that isn’t improved by adding some bright fresh raw ingredients to the side. So why not make them good enough to stand alone. Roasted Golden Beetroot with some crumbled Stilton and a handful of capers, sitting on a bunch of watercress with a little honey and mustard dressing looks a million dollars, tastes just as good and takes nano seconds to plate up. Or how about some sautéed fennel and chicory with a sharp dressing of chillies, ginger and rosemary; a perfect first course before a heavy main. And Ottolenghi does the most amazing raw Brussel Sprout Salad that you’ve just got to eat to believe!
But what about the main event. I’m a bit like a kid in a candy shop at this point – I just don’t know what to choose – they all look amazing and I Like them all. So after lots of thought, plenty of testers and a few willing guinea pigs these are the top three dishes that we will be cooking this year. All will be available from the deli counter from Sturday but do get in touch if you want us to put some aside for you.
Roast Lentil Loaf
Parsnip, Cranberry & Chestnut Loaf
The first rule of creating the perfect cheese board is that there are no rules!
A single generous dollop of gorgonzola dolce with a baked fig ball and a scattering of hazelnuts is just as impressive as a vast array of cheese.
The classic board consists of three types; A Hard (Cheddar), A Soft (Brie) and a Blue (Stilton) and this can be a good backbone to your cheese board, but you don’t need to stop there. Let your creative side blossom…
Add a seasonal cheese such as a Vacherin Mont d’Or
Or a Goats Cheese like the Ragstone Roll or for an unusual shape the Tor Pyramid
Add a local – Swaledale, Wensleydale
If you know a guest is pregnant, vegetarian or lactose intolerant there’s still loads to add to keep them included. All our main cheeses are written up on the blackboards and are marked if Pasteurised, or Vegetarian, and the type of milk used, Cows, Ewes or Goats etc. If you don’t want too many cheeses think about swapping one or two. Perhaps swapping the Stilton (cows) for a Roquefort (ewes) Mrs Bells Blue (local & ewes) or swapping the Cheddar for a Manchego (ewes milk) or Ribblesdale (local & goats milk)
Channel your inner Artistry!
Think about the shape of your cheese board, is it wooden, china or slate? Long and thin, round or square? Then think about the way you position the cheeses. Contrasting shapes, heights and colours all add drama.
Yes chutney is a great condiment to put with a cheese board but what about some Membrillo, a baked fig ball, an almond cake or some truffle honey. A Farmhouse cheddar and a bowl of piccalilli will soon get demolished on Boxing Day.
Whilst Red Wine is the classic partner its not the only good choice. White wine goes much better with a lemony goats cheese. A sweet Sauterne goes well with a salty blue. And champagne is fabulous with a creamy cows milk like the Delice de Bourgugone. Beer is equally as good, try a strong blonde with Parmegiano Reggiano or a cider with an English Farmhouse Cheddar like the Wookey Hole and a shot of Sloe gin will make you think twice about automatically reaching for the Port bottle.
Basic Cheese Care
Love your cheese – don’t suffocate it! Wrap cling film over the front of the cheese but leave the rind uncovered to breath. Wax paper is much kinder on soft cheeses like a brie – feel free to ask for a couple of extra sheets we have lots and lots of it! Foil is the best for Blue cheeses.
Lastly remember that in order to appreciate all the flavours and textures of the cheeses you need to serve them at room temperature. Take them out of the fridge at least one hour before you want to eat them. Leave them uncovered somewhere in the cool if possible, if the only space available is a tiny perch in a warm kitchen just pop a damp tea towel over them to stop them drying out.
We’ve lots of Cheeses in the fridge now so please pop in and browse. If there’s something particular you’d like me to get hold of please let me know. Usually we can get things within a day or two.
Enjoy! Soph x
The Friday Night Fish Club
August 4th 7.30pm £30 per person
Crab Salad and pickled White Radish
with a Cucumber and Horseradish mousse
Seared Halibut and Gazpacho Salsa
with Tomato Vinaigrette
Mussel, Seaweed 7 Lime Risotto
Cod baked with Parsley and Lemon Pesto
Gooseberry Custard Tart
with Gooseberry & Ginger Sorbet
To book & pay for reservations please call the deli on 01653 699389
Please bring your own wine.
Dinner for Two £50 – Packed in a Sturdy Relish Hamper Box
just unpack, re-heat & enjoy!
Mini Yorkshire Puddings with rare beef
Smoked Salmon Blinis
Filo baskets with Malton Relish & Fresh Goats Curd
Spiced duck Breast Salad with Blood Orange & Dates
Aubergine Rolls filled with Walnuts & Pomegranate
Braised Venison with Beetroot & Horseradish
Smoked Haddock with Indian scented lentils
Pumpkin & Chestnut Risotto
All served with White Bean Puree, Uzbeki Style Carrots
& Tray Baked Baby Courgettes
Pink Rhubarb baked with Star Anise & Mango
Chestnut Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce
Orders are now being taken for Valentines Hampers
Pick up on Friday 13th or Saturday 14th
Full payment required at time of booking
Fresh white fish from Malton Fisheries …
Queen Scallops, Tiger Prawns & Oak Roast Salmon …
with parsley sauce & fluffy mash ….
Celebrate the start of Easter Weekend with one of our fabulous Fish Pies, but hurry as last orders are today, Tuesday 15th 6pm. Pick up on Thursday or Good Friday, or come and eat in the deli on Good Friday evening, we are open till 8pm.
Please order today; by phone, tweet, email or even in person!!
Minimum order 1 portion
Dairy free option available
and just because its Easter … FREE SIMNEL CAKE with all orders of 6 portions or more.