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Seasonal Recipes and What's in Season Guide

Seasonal Recipes

Simple, straight forward seasonal food recipes that are easy to prepare, using fine, fresh and local ingredients, tried, trusted and brought to you by the Essex Gourmet Food and Drink Guide...

Whether you are cooking for yourself, the family or a dinner party the following recipes, gleened from friends, family and some celebrity chefs are sure to please - all Tried, Trusted and Enjoyed.

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What's in Season in AUGUST?

August
Beetroot Cucumber
Greengages Peppers
Monkfish Redcurrants
Squid Sweetcorn
Well you can pretty much take your pick from the bounty of crunchy sweet vegetables and salads, ripe juicy berries, stoned fruit, and wonderful fish and shellfish that are all at their best right now.



Simple Seasonal Recipes

Seasonal Recipes at a Glance

Recipe Archive
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Barbecued Whole Corn with Coriander and Lime Butter Recipe

Barbecued Whole Corn with Coriander and Lime Butter

Mmmm, those plump yellow kernels bursting with fresh juiciness - sweetcorn, or corn on the cob is fabulous fresh from the field. The fresher the better, as it will start to toughen the longer it is left. I usually steam or boil it and eat it with seasoning and lots of butter, however, this recipe from Bill Granger is a fabulous flavour combination and very simple. Barbecued Whole Corn with Coriander and Lime Butter
Serves:  6
Preparation Time:  15 mins
Cooking Time:  20 mins
6 corn on the cob
1 tbsp Olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper
100g Butter, softened
1 red chilli, finely diced
2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 lime, grated zest
1. Pull back the husk of each corn, but take care to leave them attached. Clean the corns and remove the silk.

2. Brush the corn with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Replace the husks and tie the ends in place with kitchen string.

3. Barbecue, over hot coals for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

4. While the corn is cooking, put the butter, chilli, coriander and lime zest in a bowl and beat to blend everything together.

5. Shape the butter into a cylinder about 4cm diameter. Roll in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until needed (alternatively, you can serve it straight from the bowl if preferred).

6. When the corn is tender and charred on the outside, take the cobs off the barbecue and serve with the lime butter.
Buy sweetcorn that is still in its husk, it will keep longer that way. The husk should be green in colour and a snug fit.
Australian Chardonnay ...
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Cumin Roast Peppers and Tomatoes Recipe

Cumin Roast Peppers and Tomatoes

We see Peppers year round in shops, although July to October brings the best of British peppers to the market. Their crunchy, juicy texture and sweet flavour make them ideal for salads, stir-fries or stuffed as a main dish. I find that baking peppers intensifies their flavour, as with the simple recipe below, which is a real winner served with fish or meat. Cumin Roast Peppers and Tomatoes
Serves:  6
Preparation Time:  5 mins
Cooking Time:  35 mins
4 Red peppers , deseeded and cut into large chunks
3 tbsp Olive oil
600g Cherry tomato on the vine (or use smallish tomatoes and halve them)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
100g Fat green olives
1. Put the peppers in a medium roasting tray (or an ovenproof frying pan will do) and splash with 2 tbsp of the oil. Season generously, then roast at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for about 20 mins, until softened a little.

2. Then Sit the bunches of tomatoes among the peppers, scatter the cumin over everything, then drizzle with the rest of the oil.

3. Season again, then roast for about 10 mins until the tomato skins have split. Toss the olives through just before serving.

Can be made up to a day ahead and served cold, or reheated in a hot oven for 5 mins.
Peppers will keep well in the fridge for two or three days. To prolong their shelf life you could peel them by burning the skin all over and then placing them in a plastic bag to cool the skin should then peel off easily. Store them in the fridge in an airtight container covered with some olive oil.
Rioja Rosado ...
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Greengage Tart Recipe

Greengage Tart

Greengages are actually plums, only yellowy-green in colour. They are oval in shape and deliciously sweet and luscious when ripe. Greengages are an excellent dessert plum; they are great in jam, crumbles, pies and tarts. The recipe below is of old English origin, courtesy of allbritishfood.com. Its fab. Greengage Tart
Serves:  6
Preparation Time:  20 mins
Cooking Time:  50 mins
175 g (6 oz) Plain wholemeal flour
Pinch of salt
75 g (3 oz) Butter
25 g (1 oz) Toasted hazelnuts, very finely chopped
15 ml (1 tbsp) Soft light brown sugar
450 g (1 lb) Greengages or plums, halved and stoned
2 eggs
300 ml (10 fl oz) Fresh single cream
Caster sugar (optional)
resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the hazelnuts and sugar and enough water to bind the mixture together.

2. Knead lightly on a lightly greased floured surface, then roll out and use to line a greased 20.5 cm (8 inch) fluted flan dish or tin. Bake blind at 200C (400F) mark 6 for 10 - 15 minutes, until set.

3. Arrange the fruit, cut side down, in the pastry case. Beat the eggs with the cream and a little sugar, if liked, and pour over the fruit. Bake at 200C (400F) mark 6 for 30 - 40 minutes, until golden and puffy.

Serve warm
When buying or picking Greengages, look for smooth, unbruised skin with a chalky bloom, and firm flesh that gives a little when it's gently squeezed.
Muscat Beaumes-de-Venise ...
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Panfried Fish with Fresh Beetroot Salsa Recipe

Panfried Fish with Fresh Beetroot Salsa

Beetroots earthy, sweet and rich flavour lends itself well to all manner of dishes and not just a vibrant addition to salads. It goes surprisingly well with fish, try it with salmon, mackerel or white fish as with the recipe below. Panfried Fish with Fresh Beetroot Salsa
Serves:  4
Preparation Time:  15 mins
Cooking Time:  10 mins
4 Small diced cooked beetroot
8 Chopped spring onions
1 Seeded and chopped red chilli
2 tbsp Chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp Lemon juice
5 tbsp Olive oil
4 Fillets of unskinned firm white fish
A little plain flour
25g Butter
1. Put the diced cooked beetroot into a bowl. Add the chopped spring onions, seeded and chopped red chilli, chopped fresh mint, lemon juice and olive oil. Season and stir well.

2. Dust the fillets of unskinned firm white fish with a little plain flour. Melt the butter in a large pan with the olive oil. Fry the fish fillets on each side for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Serve with the beetroot salsa.
When buying beetroot, look for firm bulbs with fresh leafy tops, you can cook the tops as you would do spinach or greens they are very tasty.
Alto Adige Pinot Grigio ...
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Redcurrant and Sweet Wine Granita Recipe

Redcurrant and Sweet Wine Granita

Redcurrants are beautiful little berries ideal mixed with other berries of the season and eaten simply with some cream or in a summer pudding. Try this simple Granita for a wonderful taste of the summer; simple and sublime. Redcurrant and Sweet Wine Granita
Serves:  4
Preparation Time:  10 mins
Cooking Time:  10 mins - Plus 4 hours freezing time.
300g Redcurrants
100g Caster sugar , plus extra to taste
1 Orange , zested and juiced
1 Glass sweet dessert wine , such as Muscat
1. Put the redcurrants, sugar and orange juice and zest into a large pan with 100ml water. Cook gently for 5-10 minutes until the redcurrants have burst. Whizz in a food processor or blender then push through a sieve (taste and add a little more sugar if needed).

2. Stir in the wine. Pour into a large baking dish and freeze for at least 4 hours. Serve in small glasses.
When buying or picking redcurrants go for those that are plump, shiny and firm. They will keep in the fridge for up to three days. An easy way to remove the fruits is to run a fork down the stem.
Brown Brothers Late-Harvest Orange Muscat & Flora ...
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Roasted Monkfish - Italian Style Recipe

Roasted Monkfish - Italian Style

The Monkfish is not blessed with natural good looks, although this does not stop it from being extremely popular. Its tender, firm and flaky white flesh is deliciously sweet, delicate and quite lobster like. Its a versatile little fish that can be cooked in a multitude of ways. This baked one pot dish is quick to prepare and quite delicious. Roasted Monkfish - Italian Style
Serves:  4
Preparation Time:  5 mins
Cooking Time:  20 mins
4 Fillets of Monkfish
1 tbsp Olive oil
500g Cherry tomatoes
50g Black olives
25g Pine nuts
Large handful of fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat the oven to fan 180C/ conventional 200C/gas 6. Take the fish fillets with the skin on, and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the fillets skin side down for 2-3 minutes until just crisp. Transfer to a large roasting tin, skin side down.

2. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and scatter around the fillets. Cut the olives in half and scatter over the tomatoes, followed by the pine nuts. Season.

3. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the fish is tender. Remove from the oven and scatter the tomatoes with a the basil leaves.

4. Spoon onto four warm plates and top each with fish. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.
When buying Monkfish, look for moist, glistening white fillets that are sweet smelling. Monkfish has a thin grey membrane covering the meat, remove this before cooking, or ask your fishmonger to do this for you.
Bardolino ...
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Salt and Pepper Squid Recipe

Salt and Pepper Squid

If your only experience of squid is some pappy, rubbery frozen calamaris, then you have really missed out on a prize catch. Fresh squid cooked quickly is delicious, sweet and delicate. This Asian inspired recipe is fantastic and a real crowd pleaser. Salt and Pepper Squid
Serves:  2
Preparation Time:  15 mins
Cooking Time:  5 mins
1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
1 tsp Chilli flakes
1 tbsp Sea salt flakes
4 tbsp Plain flour
4 tbsp Cornflour
400g Squid , cleaned
Groundnut oil for deep frying
Lemon wedges to serve
1. Crush together the peppercorns, chilli flakes and sea salt with a pestle and mortar then mix with the flours. Slit the squid hoods down one side, open out then score the inside lightly in a criss-cross pattern and cut into bite-size pieces.

2. Fill a large pan or wok 1/3 full with oil. Heat until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Coat the squid pieces in the flour, shaking off the excess, and fry for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Serve with lemon wedges.
Fresh Squid should smell of the ocean. Look for those that are shiny and firm. It's best to buy smaller squid as the larger varieties may be slightly tough. If possible, ask your fishmonger to clean them and remove the innards for you.
German Riesling Kabinet ...
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Seared Salmon with Buttered Cucumber Spaghetti and Capers Recipe

Seared Salmon with Buttered Cucumber Spaghetti and Capers

Cucumber is a fresh juicy member of the squash family. It is packed full of nutrients and is very good for the skin. Although it is usually eaten raw, cucumber is excellent lightly cooked as with this delicious and impressive recipe courtesy of Martin Blunos. Seared Salmon with Buttered Cucumber Spaghetti and Capers
Serves:  4
Preparation Time:  15 mins
Cooking Time:  5 mins
2 Medium cucumbers
1 tbsp Olive oil
4 Salmon, escalopes, thin
1 Pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper
100ml Dry vermouth or dry white wine
1 tbsp Capers
75g Unsalted Butter
1 Lemon, juice, freshly squeezed
1. Halve the cucumbers lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Finely shred the cucumber halves lengthways into long thin shreds, using a mandolin. Spread out the cucumber shreds on kitchen paper (to soak up excess moisture) and store in the refrigerator until needed.

2. Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan until hot. Add in the olive oil, heat through briefly and add in the salmon escalopes.

3. Season the salmon with salt and freshly ground pepper and fry for 2-3 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat up the vermouth. Add in the cucumber shreds and gently heat through the cucumber.

5. Add the capers and butter to the cucumber and shake the pan from side to side to help the mixture emulsify. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and lemon juice.

6. Divide the cucumber among 4 serving plates. Top each portion with a salmon escalope, turning the salmon over so that the fried side is upwards. Squeeze over a little lemon juice and serve at once.
Much of the vitamin A found in Cucumbers is stored in the skin, so instead of peeling cucumbers give them a wash to retain the nutrients.
Sancerre ...
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