Pork Rilette

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I love living in Spain, the sun, the people and of course the fantastic food. In fact in my book, it is one of the best countries in the world for food. I live in the north of Spain, not that far from the French border. If there is one country in the world that could possibly push Spain into second place, it would be France. I am therefore ideally placed to sample the culinary skills of two of the finest exponents of the art. There is however one part of France that holds a special place in my heart, or should I say stomach, and that is the Périgord region.

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Beynac-et-Cazenac

I have visited Provence a couple of times, I have travelled through France a few times too, particularly up around Bordeaux and the western coast, I even worked in the centre of Paris for a couple of years. I am sure there are many culinary delights still waiting to be discovered, but so far Périgord is my preferred corner of France……..

……….Although traditionally more of a northern French dish, I wanted to share with you today the rilette, a coarse pâté-like dish normally eaten with bread or toast. Unlike a true pâté it contains no liver and it can be made with many different meats or indeed fish. I have chosen the traditional way with belly pork. It is amazing to me how the French can they take something as simple as belly pork and turn it into a veritable delicacy, with just the addition of a few other basic ingredients…….

To read the rest of the article a see the recipe please click here.

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Black Currant Cheesecake Porridge

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When I look at old recipes, recipes of a bygone age, I am struck by how different the cooking methods were. Even a couple of generations back they had little more than a wood fired stove and a pair of hands to make their meals with. Nowadays of course we have many electrical gadgets, indeed I might say that we have a surfeit of them. The modern home has everything from microwave ovens, through multifunction mixers and blenders to the omnipotent Thermomix! One might wonder where it will all end…..

Those of you who like Science Fiction will have seen futuristic scenes where by simply pressing a button, a whole meal materialises in seconds as if by magic. Science Fiction right? Well a couple of recent articles have led me to believe that the this future is possibly nearer than one might imagine…..

………… My reason for talking about food gadgets is that I was given a new one for Christmas. My sister and her husband gave me a spurtle. For those of you unfamiliar with this most useful of kitchen gadgets, it is a hand-powered rotating, low drag coefficient, carved wooden precision implement with a stick-like profile that has been in use in Scotland since the 15th century……….

To read the rest of the article and to see the recipe please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Teisen Ann Dafis / Welsh Fruit Cake

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This week is all about a traditional Welsh fruit cake. I’ve had the recipe in printed form for 30 years so why make it now you might ask?

Well I guess there are a number of reasons. My maternal grandfather’s side of the family came from Wales. When I was very young I lived there for a while and throughout my informative years I spent many holidays there. Important reasons no doubt, but again one might ask why now?

Well a big part of the “why now” has to do with the fact that I decided I wanted to learn Welsh!

As an infant I was enthralled by a children’s programme on Welsh television. They had this humongous snakes and ladders board set-up where the children would walk around the board depending on the number they achieved from rolling the die. There were ladders to be climbed and slides, as snakes, to be slid down. Most entertaining to a young mind and with the constant repetition at least I learnt the numbers in Welsh from one to six!………….

………One of the places we would often visit is Conwy, or Conway in English. Its magnificent castle again made a great impression on my young mind. If you like castles then Wales is the place to go, they are really magnificently large military fortifications. In no way are these the palace-castles of other countries, these were built for one purpose only, war. If my recommendation were not enough, the UNESCO considers Conwy castle one of the finest examples of late 13th century military architecture in Europe.

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……Oh….. and before I forget…. for you English teachers out there and I know I have a couple at least. The cake is called Ann Dafis. Welsh has a few double letters, “ff” is one of them. A double “ff” is pronounced as an “f”, whilst a single “f” is pronounced as a “v”. The name of the cake therefore would be pronounced Ann Davis in English. The same pronunciation rule applies to and explains the difference between the words “of” and “off” in English!

To read the rest of the article and to see the recipe please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Nine Plait Herb and Cheese Bread (Re-post)

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Here is a simple bread recipe that can be made as a loaf, a simple three strand plait or, well whatever you want to really. As I was having one of those relaxing baking days I decided to push the boat out and go for a nine strand plait. When you get the hang of it, the plaiting is not actually that difficult, yet can produce a complex structure that makes quite a centrepiece for when you are entertaining guests.

This particular dough is one of my favourites, but of course you can use just about any hand or machine-made dough. If this one doesn’t suit, just pick the one you like and are most familiar with. The one I suggest today has a good texture and with the addition of herbs and cheese a good, strong flavour too……………..

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………I make quite a bit of bread as I live in a small village without a bakery. It was not always the case as we had an excellent local one until relatively recently. We would pop in for some freshly made bread, and almost always walk out with some other local (sweet) delicacy they had, still warm from the oven. Not for lack of clientele did the bakery close, but alas, close it did. A young couple opened a small shop selling bread in the centre of town, unfortunately it did not take off. Perhaps the locals, in the majority septuagenarians or greater, didn’t approve. Perhaps it was because the dough was brought in ready made, with only the final bake performed on-site? Anyroad, whatever the reason, all I really know that we now have no bakery! (And yes I can use anyroad, it was officially added into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016).

One of the biggest problems in this region of Spain is the ever increasing population growth of a few major cities and towns, with the corresponding drop in the local villages……….

To read the rest of the article and to see the recipe please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Nine Plait Herb and Cheese Bread 

13-completed-whole-bread

Here is a simple bread recipe that can be made as a loaf, a simple three strand plait or, well whatever you want to really. As I was having one of those relaxing baking days I decided to push the boat out and go for a nine strand plait. When you get the hang of it, the plaiting is not actually that difficult, yet can produce a complex structure that makes quite a centrepiece for when you are entertaining guests.

This particular dough is one of my favourites, but of course you can use just about any hand or machine-made dough. If this one doesn’t suit, just pick the one you like and are most familiar with. The one I suggest today has a good texture and with the addition of herbs and cheese a good, strong flavour too……………..

14-bread-cut

………I make quite a bit of bread as I live in a small village without a bakery. It was not always the case as we had an excellent local one until relatively recently. We would pop in for some freshly made bread, and almost always walk out with some other local (sweet) delicacy they had, still warm from the oven. Not for lack of clientele did the bakery close, but alas, close it did. A young couple opened a small shop selling bread in the centre of town, unfortunately it did not take off. Perhaps the locals, in the majority septuagenarians or greater, didn’t approve. Perhaps it was because the dough was brought in ready made, with only the final bake performed on-site? Anyroad, whatever the reason, all I really know that we now have no bakery! (And yes I can use anyroad, it was officially added into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016).

One of the biggest problems in this region of Spain is the ever increasing population growth of a few major cities and towns, with the corresponding drop in the local villages……….

To read the rest of the article and to see the recipe please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge