Netherton Foundry Shropshire

Netherton Foundry Shropshire
Classic cookware, made in England

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Pea flour fritters

We recently attended at series of talks and demonstrations at Bristol Food Connections, which is a brilliant, city wide collection of food oriented events which take place over 2 weeks.  It's all over for 2019, but be sure to check out next year's itinerary - there's bound to be something that appeals to you.
These simple, tasty fritters were firstly inspired by Jenny Chandler who was talking to Nick Saltmarsh, one of the founders of Hodmedods, who describe themselves as "Britain's pulse and grain pioneers".  Jenny's book, Pulse is a great read, has some fantastic recipes and is a terrific introduction to the world of cooking with pulses, if you have not ventured there before.
Second inspiration came from Genevieve Taylor and, in particular, her latest book Charred, which is all about vegetarian barbecue food.

These were cooked on our split chapa, along with some spiced, glazed  carrots; leeks; peppers stuffed with kidney beans and garlic; cherry tomatoes and Padron peppers.
Not only are they a beautiful pale green colour and extremely tasty, they are also gluten free for anyone suffering from gluten intolerance or coeliac disease.

150g green pea flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp nigella seeds
Salt and pepper
100ml milk (dairy or non dairy alternative)
150g grated courgette 
300g tinned sweetcorn
Handful of chopped mint.

Grate the courgette coarsely and place in a colander over a bowl.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and leave to stand for 30 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly, drain and then squeeze out as much excess moisture as you can - use your hands, it's the most effective method.
If your courgettes are baby ones, straight from the garden you can skip this bit, as they are not quite as moisture laden as the ones you buy.

Tip the flour, baking powder, a good pinch of salt, plenty of black pepper and the nigella seeds into a large mixing bowl.
Add the eggs and milk and beat until you have a smooth batter.
Stir in the courgette, sweetcorn and mint.

You can either cook these on a griddle or chapa over the barbecue or an open fire.  In which case, drop single tablespoons of batter onto a medium hot griddle.  cook for 2 - 3 minutes, until the underside is golden and the top is beginning to set.  Flip them over and cook for another couple of minute s to brown the other side.
Alternatively put a tablespoon of oil and a small knob of butter in a large frying pan and heat over the hob, on a medium heat and then proceed as if you were cooking on the griddle. 
These are nice on their own, but liberal splodges of ketchup or sriracha wouldn't go amiss.

Netherton Foundry Shropshire 2019 ©

Monday, 8 July 2019

Rhubarb galette

Social media is awash with strawberries and cherries at the moment, and why not?  A short lived season of photogenic lusciousness.
We love the sheer, unadulterated joy of seasonal fruit and are lucky enough to have strawberry and pineberry plants and a glorious cherry tree.  Nothing beats a sun warmed strawberry eaten straight from the plant.  And the cherries taste sweeter for the victory of getting to them before the birds - we get the lower branch crop and they have their pick of the loftier harvest.

As well as the fresh fruit, there have been jams and gins, tarts and cakes and a Savarin Montmorency from our 1970s Cordon Bleu Cook Book, which calls for ¾ gill milk!  This was cooked in our 9" savarin tin.

But in addition to all this sexy red fruit, there is still some late season rhubarb flourishing at the bottom of the garden and it may not be so in your face but it is oh so delicious.
Here it is in a free form, inelegant galette, with an amateurish attempt at the picture perfect chevron patterns beloved of Instagram.  Okay, so I didn't measure each piece of rhubarb to ensure consistency, I didn't use a protractor for pinpoint accuracy and do you know what - I don't care, the taste was what really mattered.  Life's too short!

5 long sticks rhubarb
Grated rind of an orange
80g sugar
( I used orange infused sugar, made by placing orange peel into a jar of sugar - the sugar draws out the oil from the peel, drying and preserving it and flavouring the sugar. #wastenot).

150g self raising flour
75g butter, cut into small pieces
25g sugar
1 beaten egg

100g cream cheese
50g sugar
100g ground almonds

Heat the oven to 180ºC 
Cut the rhubarb into short lengths and place in an oven proof dish.  Sprikle the sugar and orange zest over the top and place in the oven.  cook for around 15 - 20 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft, but still holds its shape.
Check for sweetness and sprinkle on a little more sugar if necessary, but bear in mind that you will need a little tartness to counter the sweet pastry and filling.
Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the base and the filling.

Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the butter.  Rub in with your fingertips until it looks like a bowl of breadcrumbs.  Add the sugar and distribute evenly. Mix in the beaten egg and bring together to form a ball of dough.
(All of this can be done in a food processor if you prefer - mine just happened to be full of bread dough)

Dust your worktop with flour and roll out the dough around 4mm thick.  Carefully transfer to a baking sheet, the 15" griddle plate is perfect.

Beat the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth and then stir in the ground almonds.  Carefully spread this over the pastry base, leaving a 5cm border.
Arrange - or simply tip- the rhubarb over the filling.
Pull up the edges of the pastry to meet the filling.  this will form a nice crust and prevent any juices from running out and burning.

Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
Serve at room temperature.

Netherton Foundry Shropshire 2019 ©

Friday, 28 June 2019

The pan amnesty

“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.”
The words of the late Pete Seeger, on an album released in 2008 and even more relevant today than they were then.
Were he still with us, no doubt Pete Seeger, a life long environmental activist, would be at the forefront of the environmental campaigns across the globe today.

His words may sound harsh, but they are what we all need to hear.  And the order is important – recycling is a headline hitting concept, but it should never be the first resort.
We should be looking to reduce our consumption of non renewable, unsustainable materials such as single use plastics.  We do not use any single use plastics and only one silicon washer on the lids of our cookware. And we are looking for alternatives for even that component. Our packaging is all paper based and can be re-used, recycled or composted.

Our pans are seasoned with natural flax oil, so they can be re-seasoned and restored again and again.  In fact, they longer you use them the better they get.  And we sell all the spares you need to make repairing them a simple process.  Do try not to burn the handles, but it’s not the end of the pan, or the end of the world, if you do.

And so we come to rebuilding and re-using.  We would love more people to own Netherton cookware, to use it daily, to cherish it, to hand it on to the next generation.  And we recognise that the reason many people do not buy new pans is that they “already have more pans than we need”. 
So we have come up with a plan. 

But first a few words about food banks – we are filled with admiration for the staff and volunteers who run food banks around the country, but we are unhappy with the necessity for them in 21st century Britain.
It is over 75 years since the Attlee government basically enacted every recommendation made by eccentric patrician liberal reformer Sir William Beveridge, who exceeded his simple brief – to survey the country’s social insurance programmes – with a wide range of suggestions aimed at eradicating what he called the five “giant evils”: want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness.
Whatever Attlee thought of him, Beveridge was no socialist. He thought taking the burden of healthcare and pension costs away from corporations and individuals and giving them to the government would increase the competitiveness of British industry while producing healthier, wealthier, more motivated and more productive workers keen to buy British goods.
Yet here we are, the fifth biggest economy in the world and the evil of want is blighting the lives of thousands of people.
And we cannot blame it on the evil of idleness either – in 2017/2018 over 28% of referrals to food banks were for low income households, ie people in paid employment, who couldn’t afford to put food on the table.

I hope the foodbank closes
The reasons that drive people to a foodbank are really complex. Essentially, it tends to be because of low-pay work and issues with the benefits system. We’ve already seen in Lambeth, which we are on the border of, Universal Credit rolled out as a full service in December last year. In the last six months we’ve seen the use of the foodbank rise by 150 per cent. Maybe not all of that is a direct result of Universal Credit but the numbers have gone up massively.
I don’t think foodbanks should be part of our norm. I hope the foodbank closes because we have a benefits system that supports vulnerable people when they need it.”
Rebekah Gibson is manager of Oasis Centre Waterloo foodbank
We cannot solve the problem of people not having enough to eat on our own, nor can you.  But we can all do our bit. 
The issues are vast and complex; people may not have the means to cook food, they may not be able to afford to turn the cooker on; they may not have the knowledge and skills to turn their donated food into an appealing meal; they may not have the basic equipment, have you ever tried to open a can of soup without a tin opener?

And this where the #panamnesty plan comes in.
Bring us your old pan and we will restore it to as close to new as possible and pass it on to a food bank, who can give it a new home.
In exchange, we will give you a discount on a new Netherton pan, that you can use and use and eventually hand on the next generation.
 “Food banks should not exist – not a single one – in an economically developed nation seven decades after the construction of a welfare state. 

Agreed, but as long as they do …………….then we should all do whatever we can to support them, from the donation of a single can of beans to a full week’s shop, to volunteering and helping out, campaigning and sourcing new supplies or taking part in the #panamnesty

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Roast cauliflower fritters

Nubbles of soft, spicy cauliflower, with a crispy batter coating, just lush!

1 cauliflower, broken into florets
1 tblsp rapeseed oil
2 tblsp natural yogurt
2 heaped tsp Mr Wolf Sweet Rabey James, or a spice blend of your choice.
100g self raising flour

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC
Mix the oil, yogurt and spice mix together and coat the cauliflower florets generously.
Save any residue.
Toss the florets into a prospector pan or oven proof dish and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
While they are cooking, add the flour to the left over spicy yogurt mix and whisk in enough water to create a batter the consistency of double cream.

Place a wok or large saucepan on the stove and add enough oil to deep fry the florets.  Heat to around 180ºC or until a drop of the batter rises to the surface and turns golden brown in around 30 seconds.
Drop the roasted florets gently into the batter and then into the hot oil.
Cook until golden then carefully remove, drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately, with an extra dusting of seasoning if desired.

We ate ours with an aubergine purée, baby gem lettuce charred in miso butter and flatbreads.

Netherton Foundry Shropshire 2019 ©

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Marmalade and ginger barbecue chicken

A simple chicken recipe to try out the new chapa range.  This requires so little effort and the results are disproportionately delicious to the amount of work put in.
Sit back and enjoy the compliments.

Now I know that there at least as many opinions about marmalade as there are marmalades, but let's not go there, hey?  Let's simply choose your favourite.  I used home made, but suggest you use a tangy, not overly sweet one for this recipe, I guess even a lime marmalade would do the trick.

8 - 10 chicken thighs
2 tblsp marmalade
Juice and finely grated  zest of 1 orange - I used a Seville orange that I'd been keeping in the freezer
1" peeled and grated ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
Crushed chilli to taste

Mix the marinade ingredients together and massage into the chicken. Leave to stand while you get the BBQ chapa alight.
Alternatively heat the oven to 180ºC
Scale this up depending on the size of your party and if you are cooking for a crowd, you are gonna need a bigger chapa.

Cook the chicken over the flames, turning frequently to prevent burning, until the juices run clear.
Or cook in a prospector pan in the oven for 25 minutes.

Netherton Foundry Shropshire © 2019

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Ginger and lime pork on the chapa

We are making the most of the sunny weather and cooking outdoors at every opportunity.
It is remarkably simple to turn some basic ingredients in to something a little bit special for a mid week treat.  This marinade combined ginger and lime in a classic combination - why not try a rum, ginger beer and lime juice cocktail while this is cooking.
The chapas are easy to assemble and use, making an impromptu barbecue evening an absolute breeze.

Pork loin, we cooked 5 generous pieces, but this marinade is enough for up to 8 pieces, I reckon.

1" peeled and grated fresh ginger
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 tblsp honey
2 tblsp soy sauce
1 tblsp rapeseed oil, we used Bennett and Dunn oak smoked oil to ramp up the barbecue flavours.
Black pepper - a generous grinding
½ tsp crushed fennel seed

Mix the marinade ingredients together and massage into the pork steaks.
Set aside while you get a steady fire under the chapa.  You need to wait until the flames have died down and the heat is coming from glowing logs or grey charcoal.

Put the pork onto the chapa and cook for around 10 to 15 minutes on each side.  Keep turning over if it looks as though the honey is blackening too quickly.
Serve with orange, fennel and watercress salad.

Take a look at the full range of outdoor cooking options on the website

Netherton Foundry Shropshire 2019 ©

Monday, 13 May 2019

Orange and thyme syrup cake

Zesty and zingy, this is moist, syrup drenched, gluten free cake to be eaten as an indulgent pudding.

2 eggs
120g butter, melted 
120g + 30g sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Small sprig of fresh thyme
60g polenta
60g ground almonds
A slug of orange booze (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC
Line the base of a cake tin with greaseproof papaer or baking parchment.  This is a fragile, friable cake and this will help to turn it out.

Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy.  Stir in the melted butter, 120g of sugar and the orange zest.
I used some orange scented sugar to boost the citrus hit.  Next time you peel an orange, place the peel straight into a jar of sugar and store in the cupboard.  The peel will slowly release its oil into the sugar, making it perfect for baking, sweetening poached rhubarb and perking up a meringue.
Fold in the polenta and ground almonds and spoon into the cake tin.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden brown.

While the cake is baking, mix the orange juice with the remaining sugar and, if using, the booze.  I had a bottle of Seville orange and clove vodka to hand, which was just perfect, but Cointreau would be a good substitute.

Remove the cake from the oven and drench in the syrup - the sugar will form a crunchy crust on the cake.

Serve with something creamy, like Greek yogurt, double cream or Mascarpone.

Netherton Foundry Shropshire 2019 ©