Tuesday's celebration of the 10 year anniversary of Lou Hutton's Food of Course Cookery School in Somerset provided an evening spent gorging on deeeeelicious canapes made by previous students. Perfectly formed Lemon Tarts, Beetroot Rosti with a Quinelle of Goats Cheese and succulent tortellini, were washed down with Orchard Mist cocktail. Appropriate taste bud tuning for the next day's eager tour of the neighbouring Bath and West Show...
...And exploit it, I did. It's not every day you get to pair your wild boar and apple sausage with a toxic, brain cell-removing 'Cider by Rosie'. A minefield of culinary beasts - not to mention the oversized prize winning bulls - meant no chance of starvation, and I am no shrinking violet when it comes to tasting samples.
Then to Hay-on-wye fest, where the likes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall talked food and books and all-things-culture. A book in one hand and a pimms in the other, sheeps milk ice cream, deck chairs in the sun, listening to creative creatures, and tapping away to Laura Marling in concert. Not bad eh?
So as a thank you to a fab food-filled week, here is an adaptation of one of Lou's mouthwatering canapes:
Pre-cooked beetroot in natural juices, 250g
200g (or 4 small) eggs
4 tbsps milk/cream
salt and pepper
2 tbsbs melted butter
100g somerset soft goats cheese
200g soft cheese
10 g chopped walnut
Watercress, spinach and rocket salad
4 tbsps of balsamic vinegar to reduce
Whisk in the grated beetroot with the beaten eggs and sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of melted butter to the mix.
Heat up the remaining butter in a flat, non-stick frying pan (cm) on a hight heat. Pour in the eggs. Ideally the frittata should be about 1 cm thick. Cook for 5 minutes until cooked on both sides (The best way to flip is to slide the frittata on a plate, hold the pan over the un-cooked side and turn). Place the omelette on a plate to cool slightly. If you like it warm you can always pop the shapes back into a pan of melted butter and crisp them up - it's just easier to cut if cool.
Meanwhile, fold the goats cheese into the soft cheese until firm and mouldable. I like it with just a hint of the goats cheese, but if you like a stronger taste, just add more goat in the place of soft cheese.
For the salad, I used spinach, watercress and rocket, and added chopped walnuts. Slice the apple with a vegetable peeler into thin shavings, and fold into a flower shape to serve next to the frittata. When it's time to serve, slide it slightly under the frittata to hold it in shape.
Pour four tablespoons on balsamic vinegar into a warm pan and reduce until thick. You can buy it pre-reduced but this is so easy to make and produces a rich, sugary and sharp taste.
With a 3 inch cookie cutter, punch out 6 circles of the cooled frittata. Place each on a large plate, and spoon on an almost triangluar shape of the goats cheese mix. Place a few basil leaves on each quinelle, and serve with a handful of salad. This is an in season, easy and delcious starter. For canape size, simple use a small cookie cutter!
A summer smacker!