Chefs Blog June 2017... And so it begins, less deep space, more deep into the creation of vegetarian and vegan foods.
I would like to welcome you all to my first blog post and thank you for using your time to read it! I will be using this platform to keep you guys up to date with what’s been going on at Archie’s, what will be happening and just some good old foodie info!
It’s certainly been a cracking month here in Cornwall. I’m feeling very lucky to have been nourished by the sunshine and by the experiences it brings. The sea has been a welcomed friend and eating on open fire as the night draws; well what more could you ask for. We’ve been working hard as well though to make some great changes and improvements too. I definitely feel that the brilliant range of salads we offer is what makes us unique and what a perfect lunch in this scorching heat. So rather than hiding them away all to ourselves in the kitchen we’ve just purchased a new counter top fridge for the Truro deli so all of you lovely people can feast your eyes on the array of colours and choice that we have to offer. Come and grab yourself a salad box to take away or we’ll box up one of our deli treats and add a mixed salad to it for only £2.
Back by popular demand are my salad class demonstrations. A massive apology to those who have been patiently waiting for them to return. I had my first class in over one year this week and it was great. A big thank you to the group for making it such a fun experience! I’ve got three more planned for the summer (tues 4th July, tues 18th July and fri 4th August) so if any of you are interested to join me to find out what goes into the creation of our salads drop us a call or email! The class runs for about one and a half hours and I will show you how to make nine different salads. You’ll also leave with salads to taste and the recipe cards complete with nutritional information.
At the start of the month we were working hard to change over to our summer menu here at Archie’s in Truro. The transition has been really smooth so we’re all really happy and can’t wait for you all to come in to try out the new dishes. We’ve already noticed a trend for the current favourite dish; the Dosa. I’m over the moon that you all love this as much as me. It was a bit tricky finding a supplier for the Urad dal but now we’ve got it we’re well away. Dosa originate in India where they are a much loved street food staple. We love the way that the fermentation brings a nice tang and the crispy edges are to die for. It looks like they’re about to become very popular with Vegan life magazine devoting there front cover to a great picture of this legendary Indian street food.
So for those of you who would like to try making Dosa at home here’s the recipe we follow...
- 275g white basmati rice
- 60g split urad dal
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
Wash the rice in plenty of water until the water runs clear. Now place the rice, dal and fenugreek seeds into a bowl and cover with double the volume of water and leave to soak overnight.
The next day drain the dal and rice mix and place into a blender and mix. You will need to add enough water to make a double cream consistency. Now place the batter back into a bowl, add the salt and cover with cling film. This mix needs to be left in a warm spot to ferment for 24hours; it’s this process that will give the pancakes their characteristic tang.
Now you’ve got your batter it’s time to cook! Heat a small amount of oil in a large frying pan. Leave the oil on a low heat for a few minutes to help make the pan less sticky. Now turn up the heat and ladle the batter into the middle of the pan and then use the bottom of the ladle to spread the batter around the pan in a circular motion (this part is a bit tricky, but practise does make perfect). Leave the dosa to cook for a few minutes and when the edges start to lift away from the pan carefully, flip and cook for another 1 minute.
Experiment with fillings and enjoy this vegan and gluten free delicacy, I hope you love them as much as we do!
The coming of the sun has also been motivating me to do plenty of foraging. Pickings have included wild garlic, 3 pointed leeks, sorrel, jack by the hedge, sea beet, sea kale and of course the flavour that I associate with the coming of summer, elderflower. Make the most of this beautifully fragrant and refreshing flower but remember not to pick it all leave some to form elderberries later in the year. I made some lovely elderflower cordial which opens up to the possibilities of making plenty of sweet treats. I’ve made a delicious elderflower and strawberry sorbet which is most welcome to help cool down. We also made a really nice elderflower and lemon baked cheesecake which went down a storm in the Truro cafe.
I’m really happy that you guys all loved the wild pesto we’ve been selling in the Truro deli. It’s super easy to make and you can find a recipe on our website!
This gorgeous weather has also inspired me to make some vegan ice cream to help cool down all of you lovely people. It’s really easy to make. Just freeze a few bananas and place them into a blender with a small amount of nut milk and what ever else you want to add for flavour. I went with Tahini and almond butter. Whizz it up and pop it in the freezer. Great to get the kids involved as well.
I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen this morning with essential oils. Dotera make an excellent array of essential oils that aren’t just great for aromatherapy but are knock out good for flavouring foods. I’ve made a white peach and rosemary cheesecake with citrus notes using the oils. I’m looking forward to some feedback and hope you all enjoy it.
On a final note thank you to all of you for reading my post, I truly hope it gives you an insight into our kitchen life at Archie Browns in Truro. I wish you all a happy summer peas and love to you all x x x x x x.
Billy Trenerry x