2 October 2011

Autumn Foraging (and Scrounging)

~  Menu  ~

Wild Mushrooms on Toast with Black Garlic Alfredo
Glass of Secret Red
Fresh Plums

Hasn’t the weather been amazing?  Last Thursday was the best day I personally have experienced since, um … early June or so.  My darling and I had a few hours holiday; we went to Porthcothan beach where he went kayaking and I laid about reading (an excellent book – Katherine Mansfield’s “The Garden Party”, I’ve read it before, what a writer!) then picnic lunch (of no particular foodie interest although I enjoyed it), then blackberrying and sloeing and we finished it all off with a drink at the pub, of course.


In the picture above - wild sloes, my real man off to the sea (just in case you were wondering what he looks like!), wild mushrooms and two wasps shagging* on my darling's foot - it was a romantic sort of a day!

In addition to the blackberries and sloes we also picked a few wild mushrooms (these, of course, add a wonderful frisson of danger to any meal) and have been given apples, plums, tomatoes and sweet, hot, long pepper things from people’s gardens and allotments.   

So these are the things I have done so far …

I cooked and froze half the apples and all the blackberries in usable portions – to brighten our winter although hopefully the weather will stay like this!  We picked so many blackberries the ones in the bottom of the box were crushed so I puréed them with a handful of brandy (approx 1 tbsp) and some caster sugar.  I now have a lush sauce for ice cream. 

I made Apple Chutney which I have never done before – it’s OK, very appley and goes well with cheddar, especially Cornish Crackler, but next time I shall be a lot more adventurous.


Sloe Gin 

This is a sort of autumn rumpot (see here for rumtopf/ rumpot recipe) now I come to think of it.  I really don’t like gin but my Daddy always made sloe gin and it was yummy.  This is my first go at it.  It’s dead easy; take 500g of fresh sloes and pierce each one a few times with a darning needle or, alternatively, freeze the sloes and then give them a good bashing – the idea is to open the skins up a bit.  Divide the fruits between 2 x 70cl or so clean, sterilised bottles.  Add 125g of sugar to each bottle and top up with gin.  Seal the bottles, give them a good shake and store in a cool dark place, next to your rumtopf.  Give them a shake every week or so.

With the tomatoes and some of the peppers I made my normal roasted tomato soup and
I have done something yummy with a few more of the hot chillies but I will tell all about this in my next post.


Now then - the mushrooms.  As you may know I am obsessed with black garlic so I made up a seriously yummy lunch based on a meal I had at The Basement in Padstow a little while ago. 

Mushrooms on Toast with Black Garlic Alfredo

I love this dish and will probably make it often.

Per person …

15g butter
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
80ml double cream
2 cloves of black garlic – coarsely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a handful of mushrooms - quartered
1 tbsp olive oil
A thick slice of great bread

~   First make the Alfredo Sauce – in a small pan simply heat together the first four ingredients till the butter has melted and a thickish sauce has formed.  Set aside for a few minutes for the garlic flavour to infuse into the sauce whilst cooking the mushrooms.
~   In a separate pan sauté the mushrooms in the olive oil till golden – sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
~   Toast the bread.
~   Top the toast with the mushrooms and pour over the sauce.


*  I do apologise for being so crude but I think "making love" would have been a bit too anthropomorphic! 

Also, whilst apologising, I am sorry to have been so long between posts - my computer was very poorly.









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1 comment:

debs said...

and how do you feel today?are you sure they were mushrooms?!!!
i picked mushrooms in the scillies but was not allowed to cook them! x