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Friday, 20 July 2018

Recipe Experiment: Agretti (aka Barba Di Frate or Monk’s Beard)

This is a recipe for baked place w/ monks beard & flageolet beans . . . .
Pretty healthy and gluten free!

I haven’t done a post in a while, so when Liam & Lu (of Bengrove Market Garden) handed me a bunch of Barba di Frate I thought I’d scribble a few notes down.

So, what is it? If like me you’ve never come across it, it’s flesh is like samphire (juicy and bulbous), with a lot less saltiness (since it’s land based) it has a light  flavour and firm texture. When cooked you can eat all but the thickest parts, and the soft needle shape leaves can be eaten raw.

Agretti (aka Barba Di Frate or Monk’s Beard)

Quick tip: to make you agretti / herbs last longer . . .

Cut the ends of the stalks off with a SHARP knife and place in water in the fridge to make them last a lot longer! (Easily DOUBLE their longevity!)

I’m pretty busy with the markets so I made a simple (relatively unattended) healthy dish. 

Because it has a delicate flavour I thought I cook it using flageolet beans and a piece of place.

ingredients (serves 1)

for the baked place with monks beard
120g flageolet beans
200g chicken stock (1/2 cube + 200ml water)
1/2 lemon (don't forget to zest lemon before squeezing!)
1 small place
60g monk’s beard
15g butter

for the garnish
15g extra virgin olive oil 
lemon zest
monk’s beard fronds

First pick the agretti of the thick (larger than 3mm) stalks. Keep both stalks and finer leaves.

Then . . . 

Place the beans on some tin foil in a baking tray.

Add lemon zest.

Add 200g chicken stock.

Black pepper.

Put the place on top. . .

Add a little extra virgin olive oil & season with a little salt.

Top with some of the thick agretti stalks. (to stop the tin foil sticking to the skin)

Fold tin foil over leaving an opening for steam to escape. Place in a preheated oven @ 180C for 20 mins

Once out of the oven place the fish in a (warm) dish with the beans . . keep the stock for the agretti & sauce. 

Add half the butter to a hot pan. Melt it, add the agretti and toss it in the butter.
Cook for a couple of minutes.

Use the reserved stock to add to the pan with the agretti.

Include a few beans, and crush them smooth to add body to the sauce,
stir in and simmer for 2-3 minutes more. . .

Finally add the rest of the butter, a good squeeze of lemon juice,
and stir in to finish the sauce.

Top the fish with the agretti & sauce, drizzle a touch of extra virgin olive oil over the top,
and garnish with lemon zest.

Lush & healthy! Result!

Thanks Liam & Lu (Bengrove Market Garden) for the intro to a rather good veggie!!

This recipe will work well with pretty much any white fish.
If you’re veggie you could replace the fish with seared courgette halves.

Available in season (now obviously - posted July) from Castle Cary Market on Facebook

Monday, 12 February 2018

Recipe: Ribeye Steak Wrap w/ Awesome Sauce

It’s been a while coming but after all sorts of distractions we’ve finally got around to bottling one of the most commented on sauces that we do at the banquet:

We’ve decided to call it . . . . wait for it . . . . . Awesome sauce!! 

Currently available at Castle Cary Market on Tuesdays

Here is the first quick and easy recipe suggestion for it . . .

* cook red pepper
* cook steak & leave to rest
* mix salad w/ awesome sauce
* warm wrap
* slice steak & assemble
* devour

ingredients (make quick lunch for 1)

for the steak wrap
1/3 red pepper (charred)
1 steak (left to warm up to room temp before cooking)
1 tortilla wrap
25g mixed salad leaves (nice if there’s a little rocket / arugula in the mix)
6 baby plum tomatoes (sliced)
awesome sauce (to taste)

Slice up the red pepper and toss it in a little olive oil. Sear it in the frying pan you’re going to use for the steak. (it will give the steak a lovely flavour)

Once ready put the red pepper in a salad bowl.

Other than your choice of sauce the next most important thing is how to cook the perfect steak:
It’s really simple. 
1. Make sure sure your steak is at room temperature before you start.
If it was room temperature to start (rather than straight from the fridge) the middle won’t be stone cold when you’re done cooking it, and you’ll end up with the perfect steak.

2. Season and oil the steak in a Tupperware box. Rather than putting oil in the pan. 
This means you can get the pan a lot hotter with a lot less smoke, which in turn means you can get a great golden brown colour on your steak really quickly, and that means the middle won’t be over cooked!

3. Put a drop (literally) of oil in your pan and turn the heat up high, when the droplet starts to smoke you’re ready to cook.

4. Place the steak in the pan and cook for a minute or so until the underside it brown (or charred depending on your choice of steak), turn it and repeat.
For this post I used a ribeye. This particularly good ribeye steak was from Penleigh Farm Shop in Frome . . . thanks Owen!!

5. Once brown on both sides remove the steak and place on a warm plate to rest while you finish the rest . . .

Put the salad leaves, and tomato, in with the red pepper and add a good slug of awesome sauce (available here) and mix until everything is evenly coated.

I like to warm my wrap in the pan (w/ the juices from the steak) add great flavour!

Turn out the wrap and assemble that bad boy!!!


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More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
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