Contact Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Shropshire

Contact Us

info@shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk
01588 676060

To help reduce spam, please enter CXWAR into the box below:

close »

Open Daily 10am - 5pm

01588 676060     info@shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk

For those of you thinking of taking one of our cooking courses, we'd like to introduce you to your cookery trainer. Milly Rees moved to Shropshire in 1997 and runs workshops and demonstrations, caters, and cooks in our Cafe if we need a helping hand. Each Tuesday she will provide a recipe, cooking tip or introduce an ingredient which will hopefully fire your enthusiasm for cooking. Look within this section of our website for courses that you can take with her.

Milly Rees like to serve this with a blackberry and damson coulis but poached pears or plums would also be delicious. Mary Berry’s recipe suggests lemon curd and passionfruit. So it’s up to you.

Hazelnut Roulade

5 egg whites
275g caster sugar
50g shelled, roughly chopped hazelnuts
300ml double cream, whipped

1. Preheat the oven 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6 and line a Swiss roll tin with greased, non-stick baking paper, pushing it into the corners

2. Whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer on full speed until stiff

3. Very gradually add the sugar at high speed

4. Whisk until even stiffer and all the sugar has been included. Then mix in two-thirds of the hazelnuts

5. Spread the meringue mixture into the prepared tin and sprinkle the remaining hazelnuts evenly over the top

6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until a pale gold colour

7. Lower the oven temperature to 160°C/ fan 140°C/gas mark 3, and continue baking for a further 20 minutes, until firm to the touch

8. Remove the meringue from the oven and turn, hazelnut-side down, on to a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Remove the paper from the base of the cooked meringue and allow to cool for about 10 minutes

9. When cool, spread the whipped cream over the meringue. Start to roll tightly from the short end, until it is rolled up like a Swiss roll

10. Wrap in non-stick paper and chill before serving

Nb I like to lightly toast the hazelnuts first. You needn’t bother with this or maybe just buy them ready toasted........

 

Click here to download this recipe.

 


Lamb is lovely at this time of year. You might need to put an order in with your friendly butcher as these cuts get booked by all the local eateries!

Rack of lamb with mustard and herb crumb

Serves 4

1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon minced garlic, about 3 cloves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 (6-7 bone) French trimmed racks of lamb,
1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine bread crumbs, garlic and rosemary in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.

Season racks all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear rack of lamb for 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. Set aside to cool. (option - Deglaze the pan with a little white wine and stir in a little redcurrant jelly and some stock if you have some. Bubble it through, season and reduce until it makes a juice to serve with the lamb)

Brush rack of lamb with mustard. Press bread crumb mixture evenly on the meaty side of the racks. Cover the ends of the bones with foil and place bone-side down in the skillet. Roast for 15 - 20 minutes until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F (for medium rare) with an instant read meat thermometer. Set aside for 5 minutes before serving.

Note –If you wish to prepare in advance, get the cutlets to the crumb stage and keep in the fridge but remember to get them out to lose their cool before roasting. If they are very cold, you will need to extend the cooking time.

Click here to download this recipe.
 

Although Milly loves a good steak and ale casserole, comforting Autumnal stews don’t need to be brown and meat filled. This one is full of colour, vitamin C and the beans make it extra nourishing. It is also great cold the next day tapas style with salty cheese or some cured meats and spicy sausage.

Caponata

2 large aubergines                                                                                    2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Olive oil                                                                                                     1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 large red onion, halved and sliced                                                         1 tsp cocoa
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped                                                                  Salt and Pepper
2 tins plum tomatoes (or 8 skinned and chopped fresh ripe toms)           Small bunch of basil
1 tin of cannellini beans, drained                                                               2 tbsp. capers

To serve—small bunch of parsley, chopped
A little fresh mint, chopped
Crème fraiche

Cut the aubergine into chunks. Either tip the chunks on to a tray, drizzle with oil and brown for 20 minutes on the top shelf of a hot oven or fry in batches until nicely browned.
If sautéing the aubergine, remove to a bowl, add a little more oil to the pan and gently fry the onions until soft. Add the garlic and cook on for another minute.
Replace the aubergine and mix well with the onions. Tear up the basil and add this and all the other casserole ingredi-ents and simmer everything over a low heat for 40 minutes. Check to make sure it doesn’t dry out too much. (I like to swill out the tomato tins with a little water and put this in too.) Season well with salt and black pepper.
You could cook it in the oven instead in a lidded casserole dish.
When ready to serve, scatter over the parsley and mint and you might like to spoon on some crème fraiche....

Click here to download this recipe
 

Wild food: Greater Plantain Seed Recipe

From Robin Harford, Guest Blogger on Woodland Trust

I love the flavour of Greater Plantain seeds (Plantago major). They have a mild, nutty taste. Greater Plantain seed is also pretty high in calcium. This recipe makes a superb snack.

Ingredients

1 handful of Greater Plantain
3 handfuls of Pumpkin seeds
3 handfuls of Sesame seeds
Good splash of Tamari / Soy sauce

Suggested Instructions

Put your seed mix into a non-stick frying pan and toast the seeds lightly.

Add a generous dash of Tamari or Soy sauce and coat the seed mix, allowing any excess Tamari / Soy sauce to evaporate.

Turn out into bowls.

Serves: Use a snack

Identifying Greater Plantain

Greater Plantain has broad oval leaves which form a rosette on the ground. Yellow-green flower spikes grow up from the leaves and their flowers are small and packed closely together. The leaves are tough and elastic.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

The fish stall in Stretton is on Thursday and of course there is the fish house in Ludlow or the market - we are not that landlocked after all!

Scallop, apple and Rocket Salad

Allow five scallops per person. (Remove the corals and treat yourself to these grilled on toast with
lemon.) If you buy frozen then go for the luxury whoppers to avoid disappointment.

Allow a big handful of rocket and watercress per person
2 tart apples, peeled and cut into wedges
Balsamic vinegar
sunflower oil and butter
Salt and black pepper

You can fry the scallops from frozen but I prefer to defrost them first and dry them off in kitchen
paper.
Melt some butter into the frying pan and let the apple wedges caramelise then remove and keep
warm.
Pour a glug of oil into the pan. If you have two pans so much the better. While you are waiting for
the oil to heat up, spread out your plates and make a nest of salad leaves on each. When the oil is
hot but not burning place the scallops round the pan in diminishing circles (or pans) as if you were
numbering a clock starting at the top. Leave for a minute then turn the first one over. When it looks
nicely toasted start to turn them all over and brown on the other side. If you doubt that they are
cooked, break one open. It should be white in the middle rather than opaque. Scoop them onto their
rocket nests, swirl some balsamic vinegar round the pans and drizzle this over and scatter the apple
around. Serve pronto with enough fluffy bread to mop up the juices.

Nb I like to scatter over some toasted hazelnuts or sunflower seeds for a bit of extra crunch.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

Oh this recipe excites me, I have been looking for something else to do with my courgettes!

Pickled cucumbers

Fantastic with cheese or cold meats. You could use courgettes instead or a mix of the two if you need to.

3 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
3 large onions, thinly sliced
50g salt
600ml  white wine vinegar
400g brown sugar
1/2tsp turmeric
6 cloves
1 tbsp mustard seed

You will need 4 or 5 jars, preferably with plastic lids. I find coffee jars are perfect but don’t worry too much if you only have metal lids. The vinegar can make them rust a bit but usually we eat it up before this happens! Wide necked jars make life easier.

Layer the onions with the cucumbers and salt in a colander. Place a saucer or plate on the top so that it fits snugly. Put a weight (a tin of beans will do) on the top and put the colander over a bowl for 2 hours to catch the drips.

Shake the colander to get rid of the excess liquid and pat the vegetables with a clean dishcloth or paper towel to dry them off as much as possible.

Put all the other ingredients into a large pan and heat slowly to dissolve the sugar. Add the cucumbers and onions. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute.

Use a slotted spoon to spoon the cucumbers and onions into the wide necked jars. Pack the veg down. Meanwhile, boil up the vinegar mixture for 15 minutes before pouring on top of the veg.

Seal the jars. Label when cold and store for at least 2 weeks before eating.

 Click here to download this recipe.

 

This is a local recipe passed on to me by my neighbour whose family have been here for
generations. She calls it Shropshire apple chutney so I am not going to argue with her about
the origin. Anyway, it’s delicious.

Shropshire Apple Chutney

Leave to mature for at least a month before eating.
Nb I used a mix of eaters and cookers and have converted the recipe into metric.

2kg apples, peeled, cored and chopped small
1kg brown sugar
700g onions, peeled and chopped small
1.2 litres malt vinegar
500g chopped dates
200g raisins
2 heaped tsp ground ginger (I used a big tbsp of fresh this time)
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 heaped tsp cayenne

Simmer the apples, onions, sugar and vinegar until pulpy.
Add all the other ingredients and simmer for at least 15 minutes until thick.
Pot up into sterilised, warm jars and top with waxed paper discs before screwing on the lids.
Ideally use plastic lids .Coffee jars are good for this. I cover the top of the jar with a double
layer of cling film if I have to use metal because the vinegar can corrode.

Click here to download this recipe 

 

Blackberry, bay and honey tart

For pastry                                                      Frangipane

250g flour                                                       100g butter
2 tsp honey                                                     4 tbsp. honey
130g butter                                                      2 eggs
1 egg, lightly beaten                                       100g ground almonds
50ml cold water                                              2 tbsp. flour
                                                                       Zest of a lemon
                                                                       1tsp vanilla essence
                                                                       450g blackberries
                                                                       6 bay leaves

Make the pastry by hand or in the processor by blending all the ingredients except the water. Add this a little at a time in case you don’t need it all in order to get to a dough ball. Wrap the dough in cling film for at least half an hour.

Butter a 22cm loose bottomed tin. Roll out your pastry on a floured board and line your tin, prick the base with a fork before putting it in the freezer for half an hour.

Preheat your oven to 200c and line the pastry with grease proof and use beans or coins to weigh the paper down. Bake for 10 minutes with the paper on then remove the paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180c.

To make the frangipane, use an electric whisk to mix the butter and honey then slowly add the eggs. Mix in the other frangipane ingredients. Scatter half the blackberries onto the pastry, smooth on the frangipane before pushing in the rest of the blackberries. Stick the bay leaves round the edge.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. If the edges get brown, cover with foil and cook on a bit longer. The centre should be set but still a little soft.

Allow it to cool enough to remove from the tin but this is best served warm.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

Cashew cheese

280g raw cashews                                                 1 tblsp soya yogurt
175 ml water                                                          1 tblsp of chopped fresh herbs,
1/2 tsp garlic salt                                                            chives, tarragon or dill plus extra for
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon                                                garnish
Juice of half a lemon                                              Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the cashews in a bowl of water overnight.

Drain the nuts and blend in a processor with the 175 ml water until smooth>
You will need to scrape it down with a spatula a couple of times.

Add all the other ingredients and blend again.

Tip the mixture into a plastic bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave on a sunny
windowsill or warm place for 24 hours. You could mould your cheese into a lined container or roll it in herbs to form a log or ball.

Store in the fridge for up to a week. I like to drizzle it with chilli or garlic olive oil when serving it.

Click here to download this recipe. 

 

This is Milly's favourite lentil soup for flavour and also for its simplicity. She recently made it on her return from Devon as she had nothing in the fridge; a very satisfying bowlful after 2 weeks of scrappy holiday fare.

Lebanese lentil Soup

Nb. This time I used pickled lemons and frozen coriander in place of fresh

1 x 425g tine of plum tomatoes or 4 large fresh tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped

2 onions, finely chopped                                                               5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger                                                        1 lemon (or 2 sections of chopped preserved lemon, skin only)

1 tbsp. ground cumin                                                                    300g red lentils

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper                                                                1 litre veg or chicken stock

Salt                                                                                               fresh or frozen coriander (optional)

Heat a little oil in a large pan and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cook gently for 5 minutes.

Add the cumin, cayenne and a good pinch of salt. Stir for a minute.

Add the lentils, tomatoes and 4 slices of lemon (or preserved lemon). Add the stock.
Stir and simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes. Add more liquid as desired.
Stir in some chopped coriander and top with a slice or two of lemon.

 Click here to download this recipe.

 

Braised and barbequed short ribs

This is a great way of serving these meaty ribs but you need to know that they are cooked the day before you want to barbeque them. If the weather turns to rain, don’t worry as the ribs are delicious simply braised. In this case, make them the day before and let them cool over night so that you can skim off the fat and reduce the sauce a bit before adding the other ingredients.
Serves 6

6 short ribs (your butcher might cut them in half if you like)                 Butter/oil
Salt, pepper                                                                                          Dijon Mustard
2 red onions                                                                                         Tomato ketchup 
2 carrots                                                                                                Honey
1 fennel bulb                                                                                          Worcester sauce
A few sprigs of thyme
A bottle of ale

  • Season and brown the ribs in a large frying pan and set aside.
  • Chop up the veg and fry gently for a few minutes in some butter and oil. Transfer to a roasting pan or slow cooker. Top with the ribs and tuck some herbs around them.
  • Pour the bottle of ale into the pan and swirl it around. Scrape and pour it onto the ribs.
  • Cover tightly with foil if oven baking and cook at about 160 degrees for a minimum of 3 hours or let them gently cook in a slow cooker for up to 6 hours.
  • When they are nice and soft, lift out the ribs into a bowl and get them cool as quickly as possible and store in the fridge till the next day.
  • When the cooking liquid has cooled a little (or the next day) skim off some fat and then boil it up in a small pan. Reduce by half and add a squirt of ketchup, a spoon full of honey, a few dashes of Worcester and a good spoonful of mustard. This is the sauce you can baste the ribs with when you barbeque them. Taste the sauce to make sure it is flavoursome.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

Bubble Mixture and Wands

Yesterday the Centre was represented at the Craven Arms Play Day and we came with homemade bubble mixture and wands. As a quick start you can simply dilute washing up liquid. But if you want to make large bubbles and bubble films, here are two recipes.

Mixture 1. Put 200 ml of warm water into a measuring jug. Stir in a tablespoon of sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add 50 ml of standard washing up liquid or 30 ml of more concentrated washing up liquid to the water. Stir in a tablespoon of glycerin. Finally, add 300ml of water into the mixture and stir well.

Mixture 2. Put 500ml water into a container. Add 50 ml of standard washing up liquid or 30 ml of more concentrated washing up liquid to the water to the container. Stir in a tablespoon of baking powder. If you keep this solution undisturbed for 24 hours, you will find it performs better.

Homemade Wands.

  • Take a small drinks/water bottle and unscrew the top and cut off the bottom. Dip the cut end in the bubble solution.
    • To get small bubbles stretch fruit/vegetable netting over the cut end before dipping and blowing.
  • Take a straw and cut it in half. Thread the two halves onto a piece of wool or string 50 cm long and tie the ends together. Dip it in your bubble solution, holding it by the straws, pull it through the air and form a big bubble; blow through to make smaller bubbles; have someone else blow a bubble and catch it and bounce it on the film of your string and straw wand.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

A tasty way to use up any that are still in your freezer since last July or perhaps you are lucky enough to have another bumper crop this summer. I’ve written the recipe in ‘Old Money’ as it looks better and makes more sense.

Gooseberry Chutney
Makes about 4lbs

3lbs gooseberries, topped and tailed
1 pint white vinegar
12oz mixed raisins and chopped dates
8oz onions chopped
8oz light brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger (or fresh)
1 tsp mixed spices
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)

Place gooseberries and onions into a heavy bottomed saucepan with just enough water to stop it burning.
Bring slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally and boil for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the boil and add all the other ingredients. Stir the sugar until it has dissolved before returning to the heat.
Once it has returned to the boil, simmer until it has become thick, stirring as necessary. Pot it up and store for 3 weeks before using.

Click here to download this recipe.
 

There is lots of chard on my allotment - it is almost a weed there, so this recipe of Milly's is becoming one of my 'go to' recipes.

Spinach and walnut pasties

250g flour - plain or wholewheat.
175g butter or a mix of butter and veg lard, chilled and cut into cubes
Pinch of salt 1 beaten egg to glaze

Filling
700g spinach or chard or a mix of the two.
6 spring onions
75g walnuts
175g cottage cheese
50g grated parmesan
1 clove garlic, crushed
A little butter
Grated nutmeg
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper

Make the pastry by rubbing the fat into the flour. Add the salt and then sprinkle on enough cold water to make a dough. Chill while you make the filling.
Turn the oven to 200 degrees.
Wash the spinach if necessary. Chop the onions and walnuts.
Wilt the spinach in a saucepan with no added water, turning the leaves occasionally. Drain in a colander and when cool enough squeeze out any excess water.
Chop and put in a bowl.
Melt the butter and gently fry the onion, garlic and walnuts. Put into the bowl with the spinach and stir in the cheeses. Add the nutmeg, lemon juice and seasoning.
Roll out the pastry and cut into 8 15cm rounds. Divide the filling between the rounds. Moisten the edges and fold into semi circles and firmly seal with your fingers or with the
     prongs of a fork.
Brush with the beaten egg and bake on greaseproof lines baking sheets for 20-25 minutes.

Click here to download this recipe.

Apricot and pistachio tart

This is a recipe taken from a wonderful entitled ‘Salt’ by Shaun Hill (of local fame) and he chose to
keep the imperial measurements so I have followed his example. No need for blind baking here but
keep the pastry thin and bake on the middle oven shelves.

1 x 11 inch tart tin lined with sweet shortcrust pastry
5 oz shelled pistachios – plus a few for scattering
3 oz blanched almonds
1 ½ ounces flour
8 oz butter (room temp)
8 oz caster sugar
4 eggs
About 10 ripe apricots

Blend the pistachios, almonds and flour in a food processor until like breadcrumbs.
Cream together the butter and sugar before beating in the eggs one at a time.
Add the nut mixture and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the unbaked pastry shell and chill for 2
hours.
Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees and arrange the apricot halves, cut side down on top of the mixture.
Scatter the remaining chopped nuts and bake for 40 minutes. Rest the tart for 20 minutes before
serving.

Click here to download this recipe

 

A great cold meal for the next time the temperatures peak.

Chilled Summer Kedgeree
This recipe works very well with left over scraps of salmon, trout or even smoked salmon if you happen to find yourself with some.
Serves 4


500g undyed smoked haddock (originally it would have been bright yellow!)
300g salmon (this is my addition as salmon was food for Kings back then)
Milk
175g long-grain rice or basmati (the old recipe used ‘patna’ rice)
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
A couple of handfuls of prawns
Juice and rind of a lemon
200ml single cream
A bunch of parsley, chopped
A small bunch of chives, snipped small
Tin of anchovies (you may not want to use all)
Salt and pepper


Cook the fish by pouring a enough boiling water over it to cover and throw in a few parsley stalks and some pepper-corns. Simmer very gently for ten minutes and save the water for cooking the rice. Flake the fish into a bowl and leave to get cold. If your prawns are raw rather than pre-cooked you can cook them for five minutes along with the fish then remove the shells when cool enough to handle. Reserve the milk in case you want to moisten the dish at the end.

Cook the rice using 600ml water, adding more if necessary. Cool it quickly so as not to let it overcook. Mix together with all the other ingredients and chill. You can lay the anchovy fillets on top to get the retro 1970s feel or chop and mix in.

Click here to download the recipe.

 

Here is a summer recipe for a really juicy cut of lamb.

Rump of lamb

1 rump is usually a bit big for one (my husband disagrees!) so I would say that one rump would feed two as part of two or three course meal. Or you could say two rumps easily feeds a family of 2 adults and 2 children. You could dispense with the marinade stage but I like to give it at least a couple of hours sitting in a bath of flavour.

2 rumps of lamb
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced into slivers
Anchovy paste or 4 anchovy fillets from a tin cut into pieces  (you can freeze what you don’t use)
2 glasses of white wine
Salt and pepper
Rosemary
2 teaspoons of mild mustard
Redcurrant jelly

Plunge the point of a knife into the rumps a few times and force in some slivers of garlic and the anchovy. Put the rumps into a bowl or plastic bag with the wine and sprigs of rosemary. Leave in the fridge preferably overnight.

1 ½  hour before you want to eat take the rumps out to de-chill.

45 to an hour before you want to eat, turn on oven to 200 degrees.  Wipe the rumps with kitchen paper, (reserve the marinade) season with salt and pepper and sear in a hot frying pan, fat side first. You don’t need oil if you sear the fat side first. The searing will take about 15 minutes.

Put them in a roasting tin and roast for ½ an hour.  They might need a few minutes longer if they are particularly big. Cut a slice to check.  Wrap in foil and let them rest while you make a gravy in the frying pan you used. Use  the marinade and a little more liquid. Stir in the mustard and maybe some redcurrant jelly.

Slice the rumps thickly.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

In the Onny meadows and along most of the roads you can see elderflowers, here is a recipe for Elderflower cordial so that you can bottle some of the springtime.

Elderflower cordial

Collect your flowers on a fine day. Use scissors to snip the flower heads into a bag or basket and be careful not to knock off the pollen – It’s the pollen that has the fragrance.

Ingredients

  • 20 elderflower heads
  • 1.7litres/3 pints boiling water
  • 900g/2lb  sugar
  • 30g tartaric acid (available from our local Tuffins)
  • 2 unwaxed oranges, sliced
  • 3 unwaxed lemons, sliced

Method

  1. Pour the boiling water over the sugar in a very large mixing    bowl. Stir well.
  2. Add the tartaric acid, the orange and lemon slices, and then snip  the flowers from the heads into the bowl. Stir then cover with  a tea towel.
  3. Leave in a cool place for 24 hours.
  4. Strain through some muslin and transfer to containers. I use plastic and freeze them, keeping one on the go in the fridge. Dilute to taste.  The cordial makes a lovely sorbet and is a delicious flavouring for cakes and puddings etc.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

Freaky Brownies

This recipe uses milled Freekeh instead of flour.  “Why?”  You might ask. Well, I had some left over from making a polenta style dish and thought it was worth experimenting.  The result is a batch of soft, brownie-ish squares which went down very well this weekend with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. So feel free to muck about with this recipe as it still a work in progress.

Freekeh is a wholewheat grain which due to its process, is high in protein and other good things. It has a comforting, malty taste.

250g ground freekeh grains                                                      100g white chocolate, chopped
600ml water                                                                             200g light brown sugar
½ tsp salt                                                                                1/2tsp cinnamon
1tbsp cocoa                                                                             ½ tsp baking powder
100g rolled oats or oat bran                                                       2 eggs, beaten
100g butter or coconut oil


Cook  the freekeh in a saucepan with the water and salt for 2 minutes until it feels soft and looks like porridge. Allow it to cool a little.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a brownie or Swiss Roll tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter with the brown sugar. Stir in the cocoa. Tip this into the freekeh pan with the cinnamon, eggs, oats, white chocolate and lastly the baking powder. The mixture should be sloppy.

Tip it into the tin and spread it around and bake for about 30 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into squares. (That said, we cut it when it was still warm and ate the whole lot between the 6 of us)


Click here to download this recipe.

 

Bagels

Makes 15

1Kg strong white flour

2tsp salt

7g dry yeast

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

500ml warm water

2 tbsp malt or sugar for poaching the bagels

Method

1 Combine flour, salt. Mix yeast into water and whisk in the oil and sugar then add to flour and make a dough.

2 Knead the dough for up to 10 minutes. The stiffer it is the better. Put into an oiled warm bowl and cover with cling film.

3 After an hour punch it down and knead for a couple of minutes. Divide into three and roll into ropes. Cut each rope into 5 and roll each piece into a ball. Roll each ball into another rope and curl to form a ring. Pinch the overlapping ends.

4 Leave under a cloth for 20 mins.  Heat water in a frying pan and add the malt or sugar. Bring to the boil. Drop in 2 bagels and boil for 1 minute, turning once. Place back on an oiled baking sheet, well spaced and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Click here to down load recipe.

 

Roast Pepper Dip

This is a delicious way of using sweet peppers and you can make it as fiery or mild as you like. You could make it more substantial by adding chick peas or white beans but remember that this will dilute the flavours. Enjoy as a starter with plenty of pitta or think of it as a glorious relish to spice up pretty much anything. Goes very well with fried eggs!

4 large red peppers or a bag of mixed small peppers.
250ml olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
75g walnuts, toasted or dry fried for a few minutes
75g breadcrumbs or crumbled bread without the crusts
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp honey
1 tsp finely chopped red chilli (or less)
Salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Cut large peppers in half and remove the ribs and seed or leave smaller ones whole. Coat with a little of the oil. Bake until blackened and remove as much skin as possible.

Put everything in a food processor while the peppers are still warm and blitz until smooth. Taste and season.

Serve straight away or store in the fridge but it’s much better if you can take it out of the fridge to un-chill before eating.

Click here to download the recipe.

 

This tasty recipe is based on one of Nigella’ s and it knocks spots off bought brands.  If you want to increase the heat, use small red chillies or extra chilli powder instead if the long, mild red chillies. If you haven’t got red wine vinegar then just use whatever you have.

Rhubarb Ketchup

1 kg Rhubard                                                    1 tblsp ground ginger
5 small red onion, peeled and                             1 tblsp paprika
        quartered
2 long red chillies, de-seeded                             200g sultanas
2 garlic cloves                                                  50ml red wine viegar
2 garlic cloves                                                  1 tblsp salt
2 apples, peeled and chopped                            1 kg brown sugar
1 thumb sized piece of ginger,
     peeled and chopped


Trim and roughly chop the rhubarb. Tip it into a large pan. Put the onions, apple and spices into a food processor and blend until finely chopped and mixed. Tip this along with everything else into the pan with the rhubarb. Simmer for at least 45 minutes to an hour until the pulp has stopped looking watery.

Let it cool for a while then blend with a stick blender or use your processor again.

Pour into warmed, sterilised jars or wide necked bottles. Best after a couple of weeks. Store in a cool place for months.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

An unusual recipe for this page but one that was in demand from our weekend at the Ludlow Food Festival. Hope you will enjoy trying this at home.

Playdough

4 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of salt
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon and a bit of oil
2.5 oz of water
drop or two of food dye (optional)
teaspoon of an aromatic spice (optional)

Heat on stove, stirring constantly, until looking like playdough, only takes a few minutes

Cool and kneed

Click here to download the recipe.

 

Why wait till the summer holidays to get a taste of the seaside? 

Mussels in minutes

Serves 2

1 bag of mussels
1 shallot or small red onion, finely chopped
2 glasses of white wine
Small bunch of chopped parsley
Black pepper
Butter
Mayonnaise
1 small clove garlic, crushed

 

Firstly, run a cold tap over the bag of mussels to blast them with water. Discard any that are broken or not closed after this.

Take a large pan and add the mussels, shallot, most of the parsley and put on the lid. Steam them over a high heat for 4 or 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, crush the garlic and mix with the mayonnaise.

When the mussels have opened, tip everything into a sieve over a bowl to catch the liquid. Ladle all but the last little bit (to avoid grit) back into the pan. Bubble for a minute and then stir in some small lumps of butter. Add a few twists of pepper and the rest of the parsley.

Share out the shell fish between two bowls, tip over the cooking liquid and serve with a spoonful of garlic mayonnaise and plenty of crusty bread.

NB To spice things up use coriander instead of parley and stir in a little curry paste with the mussels before they steam. Maybe crème fraiche or natural yogurt in place of the mayonnaise....

Click here to download this recipe.

 

A pesto which will have you out in nature. Taken from the Woodland Trust.

Wild Garlic Pesto

Always follow our sustainable foraging guidelines
Carefully pick the leaves from close to the ground being careful to leave the bulbs inthe soil for next year
Pick healthy leaves that are long and bright in colour!
he best way to check that what you’ve picked is wild garlic is to crush the leaves in your palm and take a good sniff. If it smells like garlic, then you’ve picked the right plant

Ingredients

100g wild garlic leaves
50g parmesan cheese
50g toasted pine nuts
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
lemon juice
salt and Pepper

Method

Wash wild garlic leaves thoroughly.

Place the leaves, parmesan, olive oil and nuts into a food processor and blitz. You could also do this with a pestle and mortar if you want to be more traditional.

Add further oil if you wish to have a thinner texture and mix.

Add in your salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Wild garlic pesto is fantastic mixed with fresh pasta for a simple dish but its great on its own for dipping your favourite nibbles into.

Click here to download this recipe.

Here is a fresh and healthy meal for Spring.

Turkey and lemongrass meatballs

Serves 4

500g turkey mince
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 lemon grass stems, outer leaves removed and central section finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce plus extra for serving.
½ tbsp runny honey
3 tbsp semolina
1 egg

Oil for frying

Juice of an orange plus a little water

Method

If you have a food  processor then just blitz everything a couple of time. Otherwise, just make sure everything is finely chopped and thoroughly mixed.

Heat oven to 160 degrees and put a dish in to warm.

With wet hands form the turkey mixture into walnut size balls and chill for half an hour or until needed.

Shallow fry in small batches and keep warm in the oven until all the turkey balls are ready. 

Deglaze the pan with the orange juice and water and a good dash of soy sauce and tip this over the meatballs. Serve with rice or noodles and wilted greens.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

Shropshire asparagus is just breaking through now so here is a refreshing, post-chocolate salad for after Easter.

Asparagus salad with hazelnut and orange

Serves 6 

Can be a side salad or starter

2 handfuls of fine asparagus spears, 2 handfuls of mange tout, 2 handfuls of samphire or fine beans, a small bunch of tarragon
2 handfuls of baby new potatoes (optional)
70g unskinned hazelnuts
1 orange
Small handful of chives
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp nut oil
1tsp French mustard
Salt and pepper

Method

Toast the hazelnuts and rub off the skins.

Boil the baby new potatoes with mint if using. Drain and cool.

Blanch the vegetables. Nb the mange tout only takes a minute. Refresh and drain.

Chop the nuts and zest the orange. Mix the dressing in a large bowl with the orange juice and mix in with the veg, potatoes and tarragon. Taste and season.  Quickly fry the croutons in a little olive oil and sprinkle on and serve.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

Another delicious recipe from Milly's Better Baking course.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins

Makes about 6 large muffins

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
140g caster sugar
75ml sunflower oil
1 tbsp Greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1tbl poppy seeds
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the glaze
Juice from 2 lemons
100g icing sugar

Heat the oven to 180 degrees and place 6 paper cases into a muffin tray.

Using a whisk, beat the zest with the sugar, oil, yogurt and eggs until pale and thickish. Stir in the juice and poppy seeds. Sift in the flour and raising agents fold sparingly until barely combined.

Spoon into the cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Mix together the glaze and spoon over the muffins while still hot.

Let the muffins cool completely before eating.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

A rich creamy treat with which to impress.

Creme Brulee

The pots are made on day one and topped on the second day.

300ml double cream
60ml whole milk
1 heaped tblsp caster sugar
1 vanilla pod or 1 capful of essence
4 large egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. You will need 4 or 5 ramekins and some extra caster sugar for the topping.

Warm the cream with the split vanilla pod until scalded but not boiling.

Meanwhile, whisk the sugar with yolks until pale and frothy.

Tip the hot cream on to the yolks and mix well.

Put the bowl in a pan of simmering water and stir continuously with a rubber spatula until the custard mixture begins to thicken. Scoop out the pod.  If you are using essence, add it now.

Pour into ramekins and put these into a dish. Surround with enough near-boiling water to come half way up the pots and put into the middle of  oven for 10 minutes. The mixture will still wobble but will have formed a skin.

Leave to cool and put in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the grill to top setting. Sieve a thin layer of caster sugar over the top and put under the grill to caramelise. Keep a close eye on things and turn the pots if necessary.

Click here to download this recipe.

 

Now here's a creative challenge for you - rough puff pastry which has so many delicious uses eg sausage rolls, tops for pies, apple turnovers etc.

Rough Puff Pastry

250g plain flour
250g butter or a mix of butter and vegetable shortening (chilled)
Good pinch of salt
Cold water and juice of half a lemon

Put the flour in a large bowl.

Put aside a generous1/3 of the fat then using a cheese grater, grate the rest of the fat onto the flour. Use a blunt knife to cut the fat in but don’t overdo it. You need to see lumps!

Add the lemon juice and enough water to bind it.

Roll out and use grater to grate ½ the remaining fat onto the top 2/3 of the rectangle then fold the dough to capture layers of fat.

Turn and roll out and grate on the rest of the fat. Turn and roll again. Wrap and put in fridge. When you want to use it roll out, fold and turn once more.

Click here to download the recipe. 

 

Hot Cross Buns

Makes 12

450g strong white flour                                               270ml milk
7 g sachet of fast action yeast                                   60g brown sugar
175g mixed dried fruit and peel                                   60g butter (softened)
1/2 tsp salt                                                               2tsp mixed spice
2 eggs

Use 2tbsp milk and 2 tbsp sugar for the glaze. A paste can be made for crosses by mixing 3 tblsp flour with a little butter and water.

Method

1 Warm the milk to about body temperature.

2 Mix the flour in a bowl with the salt, yeast, sugar and spices.

3 Add the softened butter, eggs and milk and mix to a soft dough.

4 Add the fruit and mix well before covering with a cloth and leaving to settle for 10 minutes. Then scoop it out of the bowl and knead on a floury surface for 5 minutes. Clean and lightly oil the bowl. Form the dough into a ball. Return to the bowl and leave covered in a warm place for an hour.

5 Knock back the dough and form into balls. Place on a greased tray so that they are nearly touching. Leave for 40 minutes. Turn on the oven after half an hour. Mix the paste for the crosses.

6 When risen, use a skewer or knife to indent the shape of a cross and lay the paste into the indents.

7 Bake at 200 degrees for 15-20minutes. Just before the buns are cooked, boil up the glaze to make a syrup and brush over the buns twice.

Click here to download this recipe.


Olive Oil and Potato Focaccia

Don’t be alarmed to read that this very soft bread dough stays in the bowl, is stretched more than kneaded and has a grated potato in it. The result is moist and chewy with an open texture. Timings are a rough guide as you can make them fit around what you are doing at home

350g strong flour                                             275 ml warm water
1 tsp fine sea salt                                           Coarse sea sale
1 tsp easy blend yeast                                    Olive Oil
1 medium potato, peeled                                 Fresh rosemary or thyme

Method
Scald a large bowl with boiling water and add flour, salt and yeast.

Grate in the potato and mix. Pour in the water until you have a very soft dough. Cover and leave for 10 mins.

Pour some olive oil over the dough and some on your hands.  Now while rotating the bowl lift the dough up 8 times to stretch it with your oily hand. Leave for half an hour or so (longer doesn’t matter, just make it fit in with your day) and repeat the stretching again. Do twice more over the next hour then leave covered for 30 mins.

Turn out on to an oiled surface and stretch it into a rough rectangle and fold it over like a business letter, then stretch it to form a rough rectangle again.

Place it in a well oiled rectangular baking tray and squash it down with your fingers and push little bits of rosemary into the dough. Leave for thirty mins in a warm place or for hours in the fridge.

 When ready to bake top with more oil, push the dimples where the rosemary (or thyme) has been place and sprinkle with salt crystals .

Bake for 20 mins at 220 degrees then turn down heat to 200 degrees for a further 10 mins

Click here to download this recipe.

 

One of the things that come with the spring is lovely pink rhubard.

Rhubarb, cardamom and ginger parfait

You will only need 500g rhubarb for the parfait but do make extra and put it on your pancakes or yogurt.

For the rhubarb compote

800g trimmed rhubarb
1 inch ginger, peeled and finely chopped
250g caster sugar

Put everything in an oven proof dish and cover loosely with foil. Bake at 180 degrees for about half an hour or until just nicely soft and juicy. Allow to cool completely and chill ready to use in the parfait.

To make the parfait

110ml milk
200ml double cream
4 cardamom pods
6 egg yolks

120g sugar
3 egg whites
½ tsp vinegar or lemon juice

Heat the milk, cream and cardamom pods together until scalded but not boiling. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Beat the yolks with 60g of the sugar until creamy. Add the creamy milk to the eggs and stir well. Return to the pan and gently reheat until it begins to thicken. Be very careful not to let it get too hot. It should not be allowed to boil or you will find you have scrambled the eggs.

Strain through a sieve and let the custard cool in a bowl.  Transfer to the fridge as soon as possible to chill it well.

When the custard is really cold, whisk the egg whites with the vinegar until stiff. Add the rest of the sugar and whisk again.

Click here to download the recipe. 

 

Something tangy for a 'Cooking Tuesday'.

Pickled lemons

This is a favourite ingredient of many North African and Middle Eastern dishes. I like to make a batch at this time of year while lemons are cheap and the pickle will be ready to kick start Spring dishes and salads.  After it has been stored for a month, rinse the lemon wedges as needed and scrape off the pulp so that only the rind is used. A little goes a long way as the flavour is good and punchy.

Sterilise a bottling jar and tip a little salt into the base. Partly quarter as many lemons as you think you can fit into the jar but don’t cut them all the way through. They should look a little like tulips. Cram salt into the middle of each lemon (about 1 ½ tsp each) and squash into the jar, packing them down.

Cut two batons from wooden skewers or orange sticks and make a cross that just fits under the neck of the jar. This is a bit of a fiddle but it keeps the fruit submerged. Fill the jar with lemon juice or cold brine, made by dissolving 30g of salt in 300ml of boiling water then left to cool.

Fill the jar and close the lid. Once opened, store in the fridge. Seems to keep for months.

Click here to download this recipe.
 

Do somethi


Share With Friends On:

Meet The Mammoth

Get up close & personal

Meet our larger than life Shropshire mammoth

Find out about the chilling Ice Age and meet our mammoth – a full size replica of the skeleton found at Condover, near Shrewsbury.

Read More

Café

Frothy coffees & Shropshire cream teas

Perfect when the sun is shining

Our delicious home-cooked meals are prepared using local produce to bring you a true taste of the Shropshire Landscape, with Sunday lunches a speciality.

Read More

Events

Family friendly events and activities

From slime making to fairy cakes, we have a party to suit everyone!

Have you ever been up close to a Barn Owl, seen a water-nymph, made a willow nest or prepared to hunt for a Mammoth? If not, now is your chance!

Read More

Onny Meadow

30 acres beside the River Onny

Well signposted for gentle strolls

FREE ENTRANCE to 30 acres of riverside paths, wild flowers and woodland all in the shadow of an Iron Age hillfort.

Read More

Upcoming Events...

23 Oct - 27 Oct

Star Wars Jedi Academy

Have you got what it takes to become a Jedi Knight? 

28 Oct

Bonfire and Firework Event

Bonfire and Fireworks

28 Oct

Discovery Club - Autumn Leaves

Craft fun with Autumn leaves

31 Oct

Star Wars Jedi Academy

1pm-2.30pm £4 per accompanied 4-11 year old.

More Events

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre is operated by Grow Cook Learn, a registered charity, connecting people to the food, history and landscape of the Shropshire Hills, providing opportunities to local people and visitors to learn and discover.
Registered Charity in England Number 1158795