Spring Recipes

With Angela Gray

The fifth in a series of Angela Gray’s Cookery School books, Spring Recipes celebrates the time of year with fresh, zesty flavours, vibrant colours and lots of inspiring ways to enhance your day-to-day cooking at home. The book is full of fabulous photos by Huw Jones that capture the vibrancy of the ingredients.

Angela Gray’s Cookery School at Llanerch Vineyard was chosen to join an elite selection of 50 top schools in The National Cookery School Guide and voted into the top 10 in the UK by both The Independent and The Telegraph.

Mini Cheese Muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 25g butter
  • 4 spring onions trimmed and finely chopped
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 50g mature Cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 125ml whole milk

MAKES 24

What you do

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and line a 24-hole mini muffin tin with paper cases. Heat a fry-ing pan over a low heat, melt the butter and fry the spring onion until just soft. Drain on some kitchen paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, three-quarters of the cheese, the mustard powder, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, milk and cooked onion. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not over-mix, or the muffins will be tough).
  4. Divide the mixture among the cases and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch. Serve warm or at room temperature.

These can be made in advance and gently warmed before serving. You can also freeze them. Reheat the muffins in foil at 180C/Fan 160C/ Gas 4 for 15 minutes, 20 minutes if cooking from frozen. Open the foil and cook for a further 5 minutes to crisp up.


Little Cheese and Spring Herb Soufflés with Wild Garlic Velouté

INGREDIENTS

Base Sauce

  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
  • 275ml whole milk
  • 2 peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 40g unsalted butter – plus extra for buttering ramekins
  • 40g plain flour

The rest of the ingredients

  • 100g good mature Cheddar cheese
  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 25g breadcrumbs
  • 50g soft goats’ cheese e.g. Pantysgawn, or a soft Blue e.g. Perl Las
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 level teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 free-range eggs, separated, plus 1 extra egg white
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of chopped spring herbs e.g. parsley, chervil, chives

For the second baking

  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • 100g wild garlic leaves, rinsed and drained
  • Sea salt and pepper to season
  • 1 tablespoon wild garlic pesto
  • MAKES 6

What you do

1 To make the sauce base – put the onion into a saucepan with the milk, peppercorns, celery salt and bay leaf. Bring to a gentle simmer over a low heat and cook for 5 minutes to infuse the flavours. Remove from the heat and set aside for a couple of minutes.

2 Melt the butter in a medium non-stick saucepan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Once combined, return to a low heat and cook for a minute, stirring as it begins to bubble, then remove from the heat.

3 Strain the milk through a sieve into a jug to remove the flavourings. You will need around 250ml of infused milk, so discard any excess or top up as needed with fresh milk.

4 Gradually stir the milk into the flour and butter paste, then return to the heat and cook for 2 minutes, bringing to the boil and stirring constantly. The sauce will become smooth and thick. Add the Cheddar cheese, mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper and cayenne and continue to cook for a further 1-2 minutes more until the cheese melts. Stir in the herbs.

5 Transfer the cheese sauce to a bowl and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Once the mixture has cooled, beat in the egg yolks one at a time until thoroughly mixed.

6 Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks are formed when the whisk is removed. Fold in one heaped tablespoon of the egg whites into the cheese mixture and mix well. (This makes folding the remaining egg whites in easier). Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites to preserve the volume you have created.

7 To cook the soufflés – preheat the oven to 150C/120C Fan/Gas 3.

8 Generously butter 6 x 150ml ovenproof ramekins and line the bases with a disc of baking parchment. Mix half of the Parmesan with the breadcrumbs and use this to coat the inside of the ramekins, using any remaining mixture to sprinkle over the tops of the soufflés.

9 Place in a roasting tin lined with parchment. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the ramekins until it almost reaches the top. Divide the goats’ or blue cheese into 6 portions and gently insert into each soufflé. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting tin to come one-third of the way up the ramekins. Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs and Parmesan over the top.

10 Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes until they have set, risen slightly and are pale in colour. Remove the ramekins carefully from the roasting tin and cool.

11 To make the wild garlic velouté – heat the wine and crème fraîche together in a small pan. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the wild garlic and cook for 4 minutes until the leaves are soft. Blitz to a smooth sauce using a stick blender, season with sea salt and black pepper. Cover and cool. Pop in the fridge until needed.

12 When the soufflés are cold, line a baking tray with baking parchment and slide a knife around the edge of each ramekin. Carefully turn the soufflés out onto your hand. Remove the baking paper disc from the base.

13 Place on the tray upside down. The soufflés can now be covered with cling film and chilled for up to 24 hours before being baked again.

14 For the second baking – preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Fifteen minutes before serving, remove the cling film from the soufflés. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the soufflés are puffed and golden. Whilst they are cooking, gently re-heat the wild garlic velouté. Plate the soufflés, spoon the velouté over the top and finish with a teaspoon of pesto.

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