Observer Food Monthly Awards 2016

At the beginning of October, Observer Food Monthly published the 2016 winners/runners-up from The OFM Awards. We were delighted to see that The Bookshop had been listed as a runner-up in the 'Best Cheap Eats - favourite places to eat under £15' category. In addition, A Rule of Tum had also been mentioned as a runner-up in the 'Best Ethical Restaurant' category. 

A massive thank you to everyone who voted, we truly appreciate your continued love and support!

To view the full list of winners/runners-up, please click on the categories below...

'Best Cheap Eats'
'Best Ethical Restaurant'

SUPPLIER / NEAL'S YARD CREAMERY

The mornings start early on top of Dorstone Hill, where Charlie and Grainne Westhead have spend the last twenty or so years building a sustainable family home and making a living producing some truly exceptional organic cheeses.

The family is inspiring, both for their intentionality and ambition. After taking the creamery part of the business from Neal's Yard Dairy, they have grown to national acclaim over the years. Their home life fits hand-in-hand with the creamery. It is a place where everything feels purposeful and thought over, but still a work in progress, always aspiring to achieve more. 

As Charlie lights the boiler for the day's energy, he explains how this has been a long learning process, never striving for perfection, but always seeking to improve. He tells us how the fuel for the boiler comes from a local woodland at the foot of the hill, just next to the farm that produces the organic goats milk used for their cheeses. This is a common theme on Dorstone Hill, where life's daily needs, from fuel to food never seem more than a stones throw away.

Lunchtime is a particularly sweet time in the Westhead household, the food set before us on the table was fragrant and fresh. The kitchen in which we sat was highly personal, as represented by the collected and meaningful objects from Charlie and Grainne's lives. Our time spend at Dorstone Hill was an experience sprung from heritage and sustained by a family committed to daily improvement.

Charlie explains the inner workings of the small batch creamery which is based at his home in Dorstone Hill.

Charlie explains the inner workings of the small batch creamery which is based at his home in Dorstone Hill.

Jon Fills moulds to strain off whey for their Ragstone - a fresh goats cheese.

Jon Fills moulds to strain off whey for their Ragstone - a fresh goats cheese.

The Dorstone Ash is a goats cheese made from raw goats milk, then dusted in an edible charcoal ash.

The Dorstone Ash is a goats cheese made from raw goats milk, then dusted in an edible charcoal ash.

COOKING WITH / QUINCE

Food has always been much more than just a means of nourishing the body. Food can take us on a journey, allowing us to explore new flavours that can provide us with an experience which heightens our senses and arouses our taste buds.

As we head into late autumn, with the festive season nearing, I’ve put together a simple way to spruce up your cheese board, using a fruit which is often forgotten – the modest quince.

Belonging to the same family as apples and pears, quince is rich in vitamin A and C and packed full of fibre and iron. Resembling a lumpy pear, quince rocks smooth, golden skin and has a white/yellow flesh which quickly transforms to a beautiful deep rose pink when oxidised.

Growing predominately in Turkey in Southeast Asia, quince can be a tricky fruit to get your hands on in the UK. If you’re anything like me, though, you enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and might find success by asking around at your local farmer’s market. Often enough you’ll stumble across someone who has a few quince trees scattered around the farm that their grandparents planted 50 or so years ago.

Dorian

 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED...

 

THYME CRACKERS

• 3 tsp Baking Powder
• 1 tsp Cornish Sea Salt
• 350g Plain Flour
• 90g Unsalted Butter
• 5 Sprigs of Fresh Yhyme
• 140ml Water

QUINCE

• 4 Quince
• 8 Sprigs of Thyme
• 500ml Dry Cider
• 100g Honey

 

METHOD

THYME CRACKERS

For the thyme crackers, finely chop the thyme and dice the butter. Combine the remaining ingredients in a mixer until it forms a dough, but do not over mix. Divide into 6 balls and cover in cling film to chill for 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the fridge an allow to come to room temperature. Roll the dough through a pasta machine, starting at the widest setting and working it down to setting 2. Place on a non-stick baking sheet.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/Gas mark 4 for 12 minutes. Break the crackers into sizes to suit. Cool and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

METHOD

QUINCE

Place the cider, thyme and honey in a pan.

Peel and core the quince, and slice each quarter into three pieces. Make sure as you are cutting them, you place the quince straight into the cider as they oxidise very quickly.

Put the pan on the heat and very gently poach until the quince is just soft. Remove the quince from the cider mix, place into a container. Reduce the liquid that is left by half then pour over the quince and chill.

Serve with blue cheese I recommend Monkland blue from Herefordshire, and your homemade thyme crackers.

 

 

 

STAFF STORIES / AMBER

Been a huge fan of AROT from the early days. Enjoying being a part of it all now and super excited about being a part of the future.

 

AMBER'S JAM
Freebird - Lynyrd Skynyrd

 

FAV MEAL TO COOK AT HOME
Considering I'm such a foodie, I'm not the greatest cook at home so something simple that I can't mess up.

 

FAV A RULE OF TUM DISH
Curds / Brownie / Wings - all at once!

 

ONE PERSON I'D HAVE DINNER WITH DEAD OR ALIVE       
My Dad - he passed away when I was younger. I would love to have dinner and ask him loads of questions about life + adulting. 

 

WHAT WAS MY ROLE AT A RULE OF TUM WHEN I STARTED & WHAT IS IT NOW?
FOH waitress > Deputy Manager 

 

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS OLD
A vampire slayer! I'm pretty sure Buffy came out when I was 6 or 7 and I was obsessed!

SUPPLIER / FARMER TOM JONES

The man, the myth, the legend... Farmer Tom Jones rears grass fed Hereford and Dexter cattle along with a few heritage breeds of lamb and mutton at his farm in west Herefordshire.

Growing up on the beautiful Welsh boarders, Tom was surrounded by fields, farms and food. After spending some time in London, Tom packed up his knapsack and headed home to the family farm. Full of big ideas, staunch determination and a bucket load of charisma, he turned the traditional business on his head and began providing top-notch restaurants with top-notch meat.

Tom is a farmer, butcher, cook, husband, father and storyteller. His life is full of characters and quirk. His instagram feed (@farmertomjones) tells us about the individual stories, whilst painting the colourful personalities of the creatures with which he works everyday. From Hereford's 'Cattle Catwalk' to 'Alton Towers' (the abattoir), Tom shows his animals living long, happy, trouble-free lives. 

Whether home or in the hustle and bustle of the restaurant industry, Tom is an excellent cook. Cooking for people unleashes his passion and fascination for flavours, simplicity and satisfying food. Over time, this is where his aspirations have moved. Using his fantastic quality meat as the focus of creating rustic, tasty and uncomplicated dishes. 

We love working with Tom. His grass fed, hung for a month, jam packed with flavour meats are hands down the best we've ever tasted - wouldn't you agree?

STAFF STORIES / LUCI

A year ago I came back to Hereford after finishing Uni. In need of a place to work I googled ‘independent restaurants’ and A Rule of Tum was at the top of the list! A week later I was working full-time in the Burger Shop and loving it! The food was wicked and the team awesome. In the winter months we started working towards the launch of The Bookshop, such a great project to be a part of. Opening the bar was hard work but well worth it, especially when the cocktail menu had to be tried and tested! When I left to go travelling for 5 months I knew I'd be back...and I was right. Having done my time front of house and on the bar I asked to have a crack at the kitchen side of things. And here I am, working on the other side. What can I say...it's been, and still is an awesome place to be a part of!!

 

LUCI’S JAM
This will have to remain a mystery…

 

FAV MEAL TO COOK AT HOME
This is a tricky one, and is always changing. Currently it has to be scrambled eggs with heaps of buttery goodness and avo with lime. Slap that on a piece of sourdough bread and munch away!

 

FAV A RULE OF TUM DISH
From The Burger Shop it’s gotta be a double patty beetroot salad. But my all time winner is leftover Sunday Lunch from The Bookshop, followed by sticky toffee pud.

 

ONE PERSON I’D HAVE DINNER WITH DEAD OR ALIVE
I panicked and went with Einstein…?

 

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS OLD
A ballet dancer or a farmer. Maybe both?

COOKING WITH / BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Autumn calls for a celebration! A time to pay tribute to all of the hardworking farmers who have put in countless hours over the summer months to bring us this year’s harvest. Not only is it the most beautiful of seasons, it’s a great time of year for fruit and veg -  one of my favourites being butternut squash.

Sweet and nutty in flavour, coming in various shapes and sizes, there is something comforting about butternut squash that seems to evoke autumn.

Often referred to, and used as a vegetable, butternut squash is actually a fruit belonging to the Cuburbita Moschata species along with other family members pumpkin, cucumber and courgette. A versatile ‘fruit’, butternut squash can be roasted, toasted, puréed for soups or mashed into casseroles, breads and muffins. It’s also a great source of vitamin A and C and offers a well-balanced source of complex carbohydrates.

As we officially welcomed Autumn on the 22nd of September, I thought we’d share with you a seasonal dish The Bookshop’s Chef Nicole has prepared. It makes a delicious autumnal side dish to your Sunday roast, served with a generous dollop of Neal’s Yard Yoghurt and a sprinkle of sumac and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Enjoy,
Dorian

WHAT YOU'LL NEED...

ROAST SQUASH
• 1 Butternut Squash          
• 2 tbsp Olive Oil
• 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
• 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
• 2 Red Chillies
• 4 Cloves of Garlic
• 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

CORIANDER OIL 
• 50g Fresh Coriander
• 3 tbsp Olive Oil
• 1 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
• Squeeze of Lemon
• Sea Salt

GARNISH
• 150g Neal’s Yard Yoghurt
• 50g Pumpkin Seeds
• A few pinches of Sumac
• Leaves to Garnish 

 

METHOD
Preheat your oven to 200 with fan

To prepare the squash, leave the skin on - this adds a great texture and flavour to the dish. Cut the squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds - discard. Cut in half width ways and then cut into one and a half centimetre lengths.

Place the squash in a bowl and toss with the chillies cut in half, crushed garlic with the skin on, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and sea salt. Place onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes. 

Whilst the squash is roasting, in a blender place the bunch of coriander roughly chopped (stalks too), blitz until fine and add the olive oil and rapeseed oil. If needed, add more oil for consistency. Add a squeeze of lemon and sea salt to taste. The coriander oil should be highly seasoned to add flavour to the squash.

To toast the pumpkin seeds, place in a dry frying pan on a low heat, keep watching them and moving them around until perfectly toasted.

 

Once the squash is cool (room temperature is ideal) place in a bowl and dress with the coriander oil so that it is coated all over.

Neatly place the squash on a plate and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with yoghurt and a dusting of sumac. Garnish with seasonal leaves or herbs.  

SALT CARAMEL + HAZELNUT BROWNIE

The Salt Caramel + Hazelnut Brownie has been a Burger Shop staple since it made its debut on our menu. A definite crowd pleaser, I'm happy to share this naughty little recipe with you to be created (and eaten) in the comforts of your own home. 

Dorian

 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED...

 

BROWNIE

• 170g Skinned Hazelnuts
• 170g Butter
• 470g Dark Soft Brown Sugar
• 120g Maple Syrup
• 8 Eggs, beaten
• 190g Plain Flour
• 25g Coco Powder
• 440g Dark Chocolate
• ½ tsp Salt

 

CARAMEL

• 200g Sugar
• 60g Butter, cubed
• 15g Sea Salt

 

METHOD
Pre heat oven to 150c

CARAMEL 

Place grease proof paper onto a metal tray in preparation for the hot caramel.

Place the sugar into a heavy based pan over a medium heat until the sugar turns a dark golden colour and the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the cubed butter until melted and combined. Pour the mixture onto the lined tray and spread out into a thin layer, scatter the salt over and leave to cool.

BROWNIE

Place butter, sugar, chocolate and maple syrup into a thick based pan over a low heat to melt. Beat the eggs and place in a bowl and leave to one side. Sieve the flour & coco powder and add the salt. One the chocolate mixture is smooth and completely dissolved, stir in the beaten eggs, and add in the flour mixture. Lastly stir in the hazelnuts.

Pour the mixer into a lined rectangle cake tin (12x10 inch) and smash up the caramel into thumb nail size pieces, scatter over the brownie.

Place in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until just set. Take out and allow to cool… it should still be soft and gooey in the middle.

 

GREEN SAUCE

I’m always looking for new ways of incorporating exciting flavours to our menu, using as much of the seasonal ingredients we have at our doorstep. We’re spoilt for choice in Herefordshire when it comes to working directly with the producers growing and rearing delicious food.

When creating new dishes, sometimes making a small change to a traditional recipe can result in something truly amazing. This month we’re sharing our ‘green sauce’ recipe from Steak Night at The Bookshop. Traditionally an Argentinian steak condiment referred to as ‘Chimichurri’ we made a few adjustments due to seasonality and to add a British flare.

The green sauce is a light, fresh and uplifting recipe, which can take a grass fed steak to a new level.

Dorian 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED...

GREEN SAUCE

• ½ Bunch Mint                           

• Bunch Parsley

• 50g Watercress                 

• ½ Bunch Tarragon                    

• ½ Bunch Basil                           

• 2 Garlic Cloves             

• 2 Scotch Bonnets           

• Squeeze Lime                          

• 40g Capers                         

• Sea Salt, to taste

• Sherry Vinegar, to taste

• Pomace Oil, to consistency

METHOD

Blitz ingredients one at a time in the order listed. Add sea salt, sherry vinegar and pomace oil last to desired taste and consistency. Serve in a ramekin or drizzle directly on steak.

STAFF STORIES / KATIE

I started out at a previous restaurant where I worked with Jon and he showed me the FOH ways. I moved to working the odd Thursday + Sunday at the Beer In Hand, until I heard that the boys were opening a shop of their own. I gave Ed a call + started at the Burger Shop when they opened, and have had an awesome time ever since. I've met some great people along the way and made friendships that will last a lifetime.

 

FAV MEAL TO COOK AT HOME
Veg covered in a mountain of gravy.

 

FAV A RULE OF TUM DISH
A chip butty with cheese, ketchup + tarragon mayo...or a Falafel Burger.

 

ONE PERSON I'D HAVE DINNER WITH DEAD OR ALIVE       
David Attenborough.

 

WHAT WAS MY ROLE AT A RULE OF TUM WHEN I STARTED & WHAT IS IT NOW?
I started off as a Kitchen Porter then decided I preferred Front of House.

 

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS OLD
A vet. I guess I'm not too far off, as I'm currently studying Zoological Management.

STAFF STORIES / CALEB

Firstly, I never intended to stay in Hereford any longer than 6 months. I have now been working for A Rule of Tum for 8 months, and loving it, still. I walked in looking for a part-time job to supplement my travels, but I find ambition very infectious. Seeing how much the guys care about this place and how far they are willing to go to please customers and staff has made me really happy. It is a pleasure to be a part of the family and I am learning as well as growing. 

 

CALEB'S JAM
That would be The Song of Ice + Fire by George R.R. Martin... Oh wait, you meant music. Anything by Fat Freddy's Drop, Cay's Crays is a tune but Slings + Arrows is always amazing. 

 

FAV MEAL TO COOK AT HOME
I prefer not to, honestly. Cooking for one is a tad morose, what's wrong with an apple + a glass of water. If it's anything, it's brownies or banana bread.

 

FAV A RULE OF TUM DISH
I try to eat everything, it's hard to not say Farmer Tom... but I think I have to say my favourite. I could eat the spring greens from Sunday Lunch for the rest of my life and be happy as. 

 

ONE PERSON I'D HAVE DINNER WITH DEAD OR ALIVE       
I am a fan of free thinkers, people that deviate from the norm. A good night out for me would be all about the conversation and ease of topic change. David Icke would be my personal choice. 

 

WHAT WAS MY ROLE AT A RULE OF TUM WHEN I STARTED & WHAT IS IT NOW?
I was part-time in the bar and full-time elsewhere. I enjoyed it so much here that I tried juggling full-time hours at both jobs but unfortunately a management position has taken priority and I am now full-time here running The Bookshop's bar area.

 

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS OLD
I wanted to be a veterinarian... until I had to take my Labrador (Zack) to be put down. It was then that I realised I could never hack it. 

 

 

COOKING WITH / CHERRIES

Cherries are one of my favourite summer fruits. Packed with a plethora of benefiting compounds that are essential for wellness, these sweet and tart ruby red treats are like Mother Nature’s candy.

Beginning at the end of May and finishing in early August, cherries have a relatively short season. With Herefordshire being home to some of the largest cherry orchards in England, I try to incorporate them into as many of our dishes as possible.

As it’s National Cherry Day on July 16th, I thought we would celebrate with a dessert that Chef Liam put together - Chocolate Mousse Cake topped with organic Herefordshire cherries, Neal's Yard crème fraîche and honeycomb.

Dorian

 

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS //  

Helps You Sleep Better
If you drink cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before your evening meal, you will increase the levels of melatonin in your body, which helps to provide a more restful sleep.

Slows the Ageing of Skin
Cherries have the highest antioxidant level of any fruit. Antioxidants help the body fight the free radicals that make us look old. Drinking one glass of tart cherry juice daily slows down the ageing process.

Reduces Muscle Pain
A cup and a half of tart cherries, or one cup of tart cherry juice can reduce muscle inflammation and soreness.

Good for the Heart
Cherries are very high in potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension. The phytosterols in cherries also helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels.

Decreases Belly Fat
Tart cherries reduces belly fat. 

Helps With Osteoarthritis Relief
The pain and discomfort of swollen joints were reduced when tart cherry juice was consumed twice a day for three weeks.

Reduces Risk of Stroke
Tart cherries provide cardiovascular benefits.

 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED...

 

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE
(makes 20 portions)

• 675g Dark Chocolate
• 10 Whole Free Range Eggs
• 575g Caster Sugar
• 450g Butter, softened 

 

SLOE GIN CHERRIES

• 1 Punnet Red Cherries
• 50g Caster Sugar
• 100ml Sloe Gin
• Squeeze of Lemon Juice 

 

HONEYCOMBE

• 40g Honey
• 70g Glucose
• 2 1/2 tbsp Water
• 200g Caster Sugar
• 1 tbsp Bicarb

 

METHOD

 

HONEYCOMBE

Place the honey, glucose, sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil. (Use a deep pan as will rise quickly when bicarb is added). Reduce heat and cook until light brown caramel.

Take off the heat and whisk in bicarb for 5 seconds. Pour into tray and store in the freezer for later.

 

CHERRIES  

Halve and de-stone cherries. Add all other ingredients and mix together. Set aside for later.

 

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE
(turn oven to 160 degrees)

Beat eggs with 1/3 of sugar until the volume quadruples - this process will take around 10 minutes in a mixer. Heat the remaining sugar in a small pan with 250ml water until sugar dissolves and creates a syrup.

Place chocolate and butter in hot syrup and stir until mixed thoroughly. This works best when using a wooden spoon.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly (just warm).

Add warm chocolate syrup to eggs and continue beating, more gently, until combined. This should take approximately 20 seconds, no more. Pour mixture into a lined bread tin.

Cook in a water bath up to the rim for 1 hour, or until cake has set. Once cooled, store in the fridge.

Using a hot knife, cut 1cm portions ensuring to wipe the knife in between cuts. Lay on a plate and garnish with crème fraîche, honeycomb. and cherries.

 

STAFF STORIES / BETH

I've not worked at A Rule of Tum for that long, but I feel like I fit right in with the team. It's like one big happy family. 

 

BETH'S JAM
Kids – MGMT because it never fails to put me in a good mood. That and Walking On A Dream by Empire Of The Sun.

 

FAV MEAL TO COOK AT HOME
I LOVE baking! Anything from biscuits to brownies and cakes, baking is right up my alley. I can also make a mean bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese. 

 

FAV A RULE OF TUM DISH
The Salted Caramel + Hazelnut Brownie hands down! Coming from a girl who didn't even like brownies to begin with, that tells you just how bloody good they are!

 

ONE PERSON I'D HAVE DINNER WITH DEAD OR ALIVE       
I'd start my evening off by enjoying canapés with Julia Roberts, to find out the real adventures of what went into making Notting Hill and Pretty Woman.

I'd move on to the main course with Michael Palin.

And I'd finish my evening off eating dessert with David Attenborough. Inspired greatly by each of these incredible human beings.

 

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS OLD
A potter or an architect. Although both are quite different, I enjoy doing anything creative. I love it!

WIMBLEDON AT BURGER SHOP

It's Wimbledon Finals Week and we have transformed the Burger Shop's garden into a mini tennis court, showing all the matches and a menu to boot!

Serving up our take on some of Wimbledon’s signature treats, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Chase Distillery to create refreshing cocktails and summer desserts for you to enjoy whilst you watch the matches live!

If you’re about this week/weekend pop in and say hey!


WIMBLEDON MENU

Chase Fruit Cup Jelly
Cucumber Sorbet, Strawberries, Raspberries, Cucumber + Mint

Organic Strawberries + Cream
Neal's Yard Crème Fraîche, Pistachio Meringue

Chase Fruit Cup
Chase Fruit Cup, Williams GB Gin, Mint, Cucumber, Citrus + Summer Fruits with a top up of Fever-Tree Ginger Ale

#ComeOnTim

Big thanks to CM Landscapes for coming in over the weekend to create the space – it looks great!

COOKING WITH / COURGETTE FLOWERS

Courgette flowers are a wonderful summer vegetable which, when cooked correctly, make a deliciously fresh seasonal dish.

Belonging to the squash family, courgette flowers can be a tricky vegetable to get your hands on. To guarantee courgette flowers I’d recommend growing your own, but you could get lucky whilst shopping at your local farmer’s market throughout the summer months.

Here at A Rule of Tum we source our courgette flowers from Carey Organics. Based on their farm in the heart of Herefordshire, Seb has been supplying us with fresh organic produce since we started out.

My favourite way to enjoy courgette flowers is by stuffing them with goat’s cheese curd. I love using Neal’s Yard Creamery in Dorstone - their ranges of cheese, yoghurt and crème fraîche is next level.

The stuffed courgette flower recipe that Chef Liam has prepared below is simple, light, and of course delicious with a chilled glass of white wine!

Dorian

 

WINE PAIRING BY NOBLE & WILD

This dish is bursting with summer flavours, so you really want a wine that can stand up to it, without overpowering. Something crisp and zesty...

 

Clip, Loureiro 2012, DO Monte de Vaia, Vinho Verde, Portugal £10.45

A superb example of Vinho Verde, made from the local Loureiro grape variety up in Portugal's cool, verdant North-West. This wine is packed with bright citrus fruits and peachy aromas. The finish is long and dry with a touch of minerality, thanks to the granitic soils. And at only 11% alc this is perfect summer wine.

Noble & Wild, 3 The Mews, St Owen’s Street, Hereford, HR1 2JB

 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED...

 

FLOWERS (serves 4)

• 8 Courgette Flowers (with small courgette attached)

• 200g Goat’s Cheese Curd

• ½ Bunch Mint Finely Chopped

• 50ml Double Cream

• Black Pepper

 

BATTER

• 100g Plain Flour

• 40g Cornflour

• ½ tsp Baking Powder

• ½ tsp Sea Salt

• 200–225ml Ice-cold Sparkling Mineral Water to finish

• Flaky Sea Salt

 

GARNISH

• 2 Shallots Finely Chopped

• 4 Cloves Garlic Finely Sliced

• 100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus extra for dressing)

• 2 Tomatoes (skinned, deseeded and diced)

• 150g Broad Beans Double Podded

• 100g Fresh Peas

• 100g Rainbow Chard

• 50ml Sherry Vinegar (plus extra for dressing)

• Salt & Pepper (to taste)

• 1 Head Chicory Leaves (separated)

• 1 Bunch Radish Finely Sliced

 

 

METHOD

Set deep fat fryer to 170c

First stuff the flowers, combine the goats curd, mint and double cream and season to taste. Place into a piping bag with a medium nozzle. Carefully open up each flower and stuff with the cheese mix: you should get 2–4 teaspoons in each one, depending on size. Twist the petals gently to enclose the mixture, like a sealed pillow. Place onto a tray with others and refrigerate.

Make the batter by placing all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, blitz with a stick blender and pass through a sieve. Rest in fridge

In a large based fry pan, place the oil, shallots and garlic on a very low heat and gently warm through until the onions and garlic are soft, but not coloured. Add the rainbow chard at this point and cook down until slightly wilted about 1 ½ minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the broad beans, peas, tomatoes and sherry vinegar. Adjust seasoning and vinegar to taste.

In a separate bowl, dress the chicory and radish with a little olive oil and sherry vinegar.

Dip one stuffed courgette flower into the batter and immediately lower into the hot oil. Repeat with a couple more; do not cook more than 3 or 4 at a time. Cook for 1–2 minutes, until puffed up, crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper, with a good pinch of sea salt, while you cook the remaining flowers.

To plate, place the chicory mix as a bed on the plate, scatter over the fresh pea and tomato mix with the dressing over and place the courgette flowers on top.

STAFF STORIES / ALEX

I'm fairly new to the A Rule of Tum team, but already feel like I've been here for years!

 

ALEX'S JAM
Madness – Night Boat to Cairo

 

FAV MEAL TO COOK AT HOME
Chilli con carne, because it's simple and tasty!

 

FAV A RULE OF TUM DISH
Good ol' Farmer Tom!

 

ONE PERSON I'D HAVE DINNER WITH DEAD OR ALIVE       
David Attenborough. 

 

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS OLD
Everything!

COOKING WITH / NETTLES

The Spring months of April and May bring with them a number of exciting ingredients to play with in our kitchens. One that often gets forgotten, and is readily available, the humble nettle.

Easily foraged, and high in iron, calcium, vitamin C and a plethora of other nutrients, nettles have been used for hundreds of years as a remedy for muscle and joint pain, eczema, arthritis, gout and anaemia. Health perks aside, nettles are a gift to anyone who favours cooking with local, seasonal and fresh ingredients.

We are very lucky at A Rule of Tum to have Farmer Tom Jones at our doorstep who supplies us with his selection of aged meats. His beef and lamb are simply next level.

This month it only seemed fitting to create a recipe that pays tribute to a few of my favourite ingredients at this time of year... nettles, the jersey royal, and Farmer Tom’s delicious aged beef.

Dorian

 

TIPS FOR PICKING…

• Pick when the plant is young. Older plants can be bitter and fibrous. Make sure they haven’t flowered yet.

• Cut the top 4-6 inches of the plant to allow regrowth so that you're able to harvest again.

• Wear proper gloves and clothing to avoid getting stung!

      

FUN FACT…

• The leaves of nettle plants help to keep fruit fresh and ripe, stiffening and stopping mould from forming.

• Their high nitrogen content can be used to compost, fuelling the bacteria to help break down materials more effectively and efficiently.

 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED...

 

BEEF

• 600g Flat Iron or Bavette (Aged at least 30 days)

• Dash Oil

• 50g Butter

• Salt

• Pepper

 

MUSHROOMS

• 4 Large Field Mushrooms

• 125g Butter

• ½ Bulb Minced Garlic

• 25g Finely Chopped Parsley

• Good Pinch Sea Salt

• 150g land Cress

 

GREEN SAUCE

• 100g Wild Nettles

• 100g Watercress (plus extra to garnish)

• 2 Bunches Mint

• 1 Bunch Tarragon

• 3 Cloves Garlic

• 3 Fillets of Anchovies

• 50g Capers

• 75ml Olive Oil (plus a little extra for dressing)

• 75ml Rapeseed Oil

• 5-10g Salt

• 50ml Sherry Vinegar

 

POTATOES

• 500g Jersey Royals

• 20g Salt

• 100ml Rapeseed Oil

• 50g Oak Chips

 

METHOD

The beef should be well aged, but if you want to intensify its flavour, place it in the fridge on grease proof paper and leave it to age a further few days.

First prepare the smoked oil. Get a large sealed container ready that will fit the vessel holding the oil and the hot pan of smoking chips. In a heavy based pan, place the oak chips and cover with foil. Put on a high flame until smoking and leave until all chips have blackened. Place this and the oil into the sealed container, lifting the foil cover from the pan so that the smoke escapes more readily. Leave as long as possible.

Next make the garlic butter. Place parsley, garlic and seasoning into a food processor. Once combined, add the diced butter until smooth. Peel the outer skin off the mushrooms and generously smear the mushrooms with  garlic butter. Place on a baking tray with a little water in the bottom and sprinkle with sea salt. Cover with foil and bake at 160c for 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

To make the green sauce, place all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth but with a slightly course consistency. Set aside.

Place potatoes into a pan with salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft. Drain water and allow to cool slightly in a bowl. Drizzle smoked oil and crush into the potatoes. Keep warm to serve.

Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Place in a searing hot pan with oil for about 2 minutes per side. Add butter to the pan and coat the beef for a further minute with the melted butter. Remove the beef from the pan and rest on a rack for 5 minutes

To serve, warm the mushrooms, dress the land cress in a little olive oil and carve the beef. Dress the mushrooms and beef with the green nettle sauce and serve with smoked potatoes.

STAFF STORIES / SEB

I started in September as a bumbling politics graduate, with little kitchen experience. At first I was rather intimidated by the quality of the food produced by the chefs. Over the period of 7 months I have grown in confidence and ability and now feel like a valuable member of staff.

 

SEB'S JAM
Ding ding dong – Waipod Phetsuphan

 

FAV MEAL TO COOK AT HOME
Has to be stir fry. Quick and easy, with room for experimentation. Infallibly an excellent dish to eat.

 

FAV A RULE OF TUM DISH
Monkland Blue Burger. Fantastic balance of flavour and very easy to assemble.

 

ONE PERSON I'D HAVE DINNER WITH DEAD OR ALIVE       
Jorge Luis Borges. I would very much enjoy a first hand encounter with his hybrid of classics, reinterpreted through a penchant for surrealism.

 

WHAT WAS MY ROLE AT A RULE OF TUM WHEN I STARTED & WHAT IS IT NOW?
I started as a line chef + general hindrance, but now I’m a key staff member and a ‘genuine structural aid’ in the kitchen.

 

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS OLD
I’m not certain I had that much perspective. There was some idea of being a scientist, but at that age I used to wear a policeman hat and write down the obscene crimes committed by my parents (such as leaving the toilet seat up) in a little notebook. Based on that, I would have to go with ‘petty official’ or maybe a parking warden.