August Recipe – Ratatouille in Tomato Pancakes

Pancake batter:

125g. / 4 1/2 ozs. plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
300mls. / 10fl ozs. milk (full fat is best)
a little olive oil for frying
2 tbsps. tomato puree
2 tbsps. water
1 tsp. dried basil

Ratatouille:

Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 aubergine, diced
2 courgettes, sliced or diced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp. tomato puree
2 tbsps. red wine
pinch of caster sugar
salt and pepper
2 tbsps. chopped basil
4 tbsps. grated Parmesan

Method:

  1. To make the pancake batter sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the egg and gradually work in the milk and beat to form a smooth batter.  Whisk in the tomato puree, 2 tbsps water and the dried basil. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. To make the pancakes, heat a little oil in a good non-stick crepe or omelette pan. Add a ladle of batter and swirl to coat the base.  Cook for 1 – 2 minutes until golden and then flip or turn over and cook the other side.  Slide on to a plate and keep warm whilst cooking the remaining pancakes, oiling the pan between each one.
  3. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, red and green peppers, aubergine and courgettes.  Fry stirring for 5 – 10 minutes until they begin to soften, then add tomatoes, tomato puree, wine, sugar, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, then stir in the chopped basil.
  4. Use the ratatouille to fill the pancakes. Roll up and serve straight away, dusted with Parmesan.  Or, prepare the pancakes in advance, roll them up and place in a baking dish, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and reheat in a medium hot oven. .

Tips:

I don’t bother to let my pancake batter stand and it is still fine.  Do make sure you use a good non-stick pan, that is essential.  You can make the pancakes the day before and store in the fridge.  i put a sheet of kitchen paper between each one.  They also freeze really well but I wouldn’t try and freeze the ratatouille mixture, there is too much water in courgettes and aubergines for them to freeze well.

Local Food Updates – Thursday 23rd July

Please continue to support our local food producers and retailers, and Shop Safe Shop Ledbury.  

Local restaurants, pubs and cafés – Please support these as they reopen.  Many feature food and drink produced locally on their menus.

Amongst those in Ledbury Town that have reopened are The Malt House in Church Lane (with outdoor space) and Cameron and Swan in the Homend.  The Feathers (High Street) is back in business, as is The Olive Tree (The Homend).

A number of local pubs have reopened serving food including The Horseshoes (The Homend), The Farmers Arms (Wellington Heath), The Oak (Staplow) and The Walwyn Arms (Much Marcle).   Check their Facebook or Web sites for details and booking arrangements.

Outside Ledbury, The Nest (near Trumpet) offers a spaced out café service and a place to picnic.  You can even order your picnic in advance!

We have updated our Local Food Information Page on our website with the following – click here to access the page.

Cherries! – Hill House Farm, Ross Road, Ledbury have now sold out of this year’s cherry crop

Veg Box Deliveries are now available from The Strawberry Stop (Siddington Farm) – see their Facebook site at @thestrawberrystop or phone 01531 632664 (9am – 5pm) for details of all they have on offer and prices. – and Little Marcle Farmshop (organic) – phone 07970 296153 for order options and delivery details.

Y Pass Fish and Chips is now open for take-aways and eat-ins Tuesday to Saturday, and is still doing deliveries on Fridays and Saturdays – phone 01531 632843.

Lastly – please wear a face mask in shops to protect all those who work hard to serve us – Shop Safe Shop Ledbury

July Recipes – Courgettes

As courgettes are so readily available this month here are two recipes.

PUREE OF GRILLED COURGETTES WITH GOAT’S CHEESE AND HAZELNUTS

This recipe is for a starter but it would make a light lunch.

675g/ 1½ lbs similar sized courgettes
a little olive oil
40g / 1½ oz butter
¼ nutmeg, grated
75g / 3oz goat’s cheese log
40g / 1½ oz chopped hazelnuts
salt and pepper

Top and tail the courgettes, cut them in half lengthways and smear oil all over.  Heat the grill high and grill the courgettes on both sides until blackened in places.  Then put them in a food processor with the butter, grated nutmeg and some salt and pepper.  Whizz until smooth and scrape into a gratin dish.

Crumble the goat’s cheese into small pieces and sprinkle over the puree.  Scatter on the hazelnuts, drizzle over a little oil and put under a hot grill until the cheese is bubbling.  The dish can be kept warm in a low oven for up to half an hour.

Tips – Grilling the courgettes instead of steaming them dries them out a bit and also adds a pleasant smoky taste.  Serve with crusty bread.


FLORA’S FAMOUS COURGETTE CAKE

For the cake:

60g / 2 oz raisins, optional
250g / 9 oz courgettes (2 – 3) weighed before grating
2 large eggs
125ml   / 4½ fl oz vegetable oil
150g / 5½ oz  caster sugar
225g / 8 oz self raising flour
½ tsp. bicarb of soda and ½ tsp. baking powder

For the icing:

200g / 8 oz  cream cheese
100g / 4 oz  icing sugar, sieved
juice of 1 lime or more to taste
2 – 3 tbsps. chopped pistachio nuts

For the filling:

Lime or lemon curd

Preheat oven to 180C / gas mark 4.  Line 2 x 21cm / 9 inch sandwich tins and grease.

If you are using raisins put them in a bowl and cover with warm water to plump up.  Wipe the courgettes with a kitchen towel and grate.  The coarse side of a box grater is best.  Put them in a sieve over the sink to remove excess water.

Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy.  Sieve in the flour, bicarb and baking powder and beat until combined.  Stir in the courgettes and add the drained raisins.  Pour into the tins and bake for 30 minutes.  Leave in their tins for 5 – 10 minutes then turn out and cool on a rack.

If you cannot buy lime curd a good lemon will do with a little freshly squeezed lime juice added.  Beat the cream cheese until smooth, add the icing sugar and beat and stir in the lime juice to taste.  Put one cake on a plate and spread with the lime or lemon curd.  Put the other cake on top and smear thickly with the cream cheese icing.  If you feel the icing needs firming up put in the fridge for a while.

Just before serving scatter over the pistachios.  Serves 8.   


NFU seek support to maintain farmed food standards

Trade deals in respect of farmed food products will define what standards should apply to produce traded between countries.  The UK Government is currently developing new trade agreements with foreign countries as part of the Brexit process.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has launched a petition asking for your support for their campaign to ensure that standards agreed in these negotiations on imported food to the UK should be to leading world standards, recognising the UK’s high standards of safety and welfare.

Some might argue that standards in the UK could or should be at more sustainable levels than now in many differing ways, but relaxation of import standards would create a lower base from which improvements could move forward, quite apart from any economic or health implications.

The NFU state: “Farming throughout the UK has high standards of safety and welfare with an ambition to be net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.  There are very strict controls on farming methods allowed in the UK.”   They ask that such standards should apply to all food which is imported here so what we eat is safe, traceable and produced to high welfare and environmental standards. 

To find out more about the reasons for the petition and an opportunity to “sign” it, visit https://www.campaigns.nfuonline.com/page/56262/petition/1?locale=en-GB.

Feel free to pass this information to others who may be interested.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts on this issue at ask@ledburyfoodgroup.org – it could change radically farming in this country.

Ledbury Food Group – Notice of Annual General Meeting 2019/20

We are required by the constitution to do as follows – “The Annual General Meeting shall be held every May, or within the following three months for the following purposes:

a) Election of i) Chairperson ii) Secretary iii) Treasurer iv) Member(s) of the Committee

b) Presentation of accounts

c) Appointment of auditor

The Secretary will notify all members of the date of the meeting not less than 14 days before the AGM”

In the current circumstances it is not possible to hold a physical meeting, and not likely to be so within the time required for the AGM.  The committee have therefore agreed that we should hold a “virtual” event via the group’s website and email.

To meet the needs of this we have prepared.

  1. A report by the acting chairman of the group’s activities in the year to 31 March 2020. Click to access this.
      
  2. The annual accounts of the Group for the year to 31 March 2020.  Click to access this. It is proposed that Helen Lawson-Smith should continue to be our appointed examiner and that the 2019/20 account will be reviewed by her when circumstances allow.

The following committee members have confirmed that they are willing to continue to serve for the year 2020/21

  • Griff Holliday
  • David McCauley
  • Jackie Denman
  • Nina Shields
  • Caroline Handley
  • Nick Morris
  • John Davenport

The following officers have confirmed that they are willing to continue in these roles

  • Griff Holliday – Secretary
  • David McCauley – Treasurer

It is proposed that these persons listed above should continue in role for the next year.

Please note:

  • The office of Chairman of the group is currently vacant
  • There is opportunity for up to 3 more persons to become committee members – if you are interested please contact the group’s secretary.

If any registered members have any concerns about these proposals please contact us before 30th June.  Otherwise these proposals will be deemed effective from that date.

We will be happy to receive any questions and comments from both registered members and supporters within this period or at any other time.

Contact us at ask@ledburyfoodgroup.org or phone 01531 633637

Griff Holliday

Secretary, Ledbury Food Group

8th June 2020

June Recipe – Blackcurrant Plate Pie

Pastry:

225g. Self-raising flour
100g. cold butter, cubed
2 tbsps. caster sugar
2 – 3 tbsps. very cold water

Filling:  

300g. blackcurrants
125 – 150g. caster sugar
Cornflour and semolina (see notes)

Egg white to glaze

Method

Make the pastry by rubbing the cold butter into the flour with your fingertips (or use the food processor).  Add the water gradually (you might need an extra tablespoon).  Bring the pastry together and cut into 2 halves.  Roll one half out and place on the pie plate (see notes).

Mix the blackcurrants with a couple of tablespoons of sieved cornflour.  Sprinkle the base with semolina and top with the blackcurrants.  Do not go right up to the edge.  Paint the edge with either egg white or yolk to seal and place the other rolled out pastry half on top.  Seal by pressing the edges together.  Cut a slit in the top to allow the steam to escape.  Paint the egg white on the pastry and I sprinkle a little more caster sugar over.  Bake at 180 for 25 minutes.  Serve warm or cold with cream or ice cream.

Tips

I use my Mother’s pyrex plate to cook this on.  It measures 9 inches or 23 cms.  I believe you can easily buy enamel pie plates from most kitchen shops or  I think Wellworthit.  I have 3 pyrex plates which belonged to my late Mother.

The recipe uses self raising flour and it works so keep to that.  I haven’t rested the pastry when I have made it and it has rolled out easily and successfully.  I have had a small amount leftover, enough to make about 4 jam tarts!  I haven’t stored my pie in the fridge as I think this tends to make the pastry go soggy but it has kept well for about 4 days out of the fridge, even in the hot weather.

The cornflour absorbs some of the juice the blackcurrants leach out.  My Mother was taught the semolina trick by a Scottish friend and it helps prevent soggy bottoms and keeps the pastry crisp. 

You could use this recipe for other fruit, some of which e.g. apples you would have to slightly cook first I think.  I have used frozen blackcurrants (defrosted) as I had a lot in my freezer, donated by a kind neighbour. 

Ledbury Country Market – now accepting orders!

The Ledbury Country Market has announced that from this week (w/c Monday 11th May) it is accepting orders for collection on Friday mornings in Ledbury.

The Market is offering the following products:

  • cakes and other baked goods
  • savoury goods
  • charcuterie
  • eggs
  • honey
  • apple juice
  • jellies – marmalades – jams – chutneys
  • plants and herbs
  • vegetables

They hope to provide flowers soon.

To register your interest in this new service and pick up an order form visit www.ledburycountrymarket.co.uk or find out more at 01684 540595.

Orders will need to be placed by email to orders@ledburycountymarket.co.uk by Tuesday evening.  They will be available for collection on the coming Friday at St Katherine’s Hall, Ledbury between 10.30 and noon.  Please pay by card on collection of your order.

For those living locally who must isolate, delivery of orders may be possible – please check.

Ledbury Country Market is part of the nationwide organisation, Country Markets Limited, and also a member of the Herefordshire Country Markets Society Limited.

For other information please visit the Local  Food Information page >>