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Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards 2015 | Highly Commended Curing and smoking your own food is a bit of a lost art in Britain these days. While our European neighbours have continued to use these methods on their meat, fish and cheese for centuries, we seem to have lost the habit. But with the right guidance, anyone can preserve fresh produce, whether living on a country farm or in an urban flat - it doesn't have to take up a huge amount of space. The River Cottage ethos is all about knowing the whole story behind what you put on the table; and as Steven Lamb explains in this thorough, accessible guide, it's easy to take good-quality ingredients and turn them into something sensational. Curing & Smoking begins with a detailed breakdown of any kit you might need (from sharp knives to sausage stuffers, for the gadget-loving cook) and an explanation of the preservation process - this includes a section showing which products and cuts are most suitable for different methods of curing and smoking. The second part of the book is organised by preservation method, with an introduction to each one, and comprehensive guidance on how to do it. And for each method, there are, of course, many delicious recipes! These include chorizo Scotch eggs, salt beef, hot smoked mackerel, home-made gravadlax ... and your own dry-cured streaky bacon sizzling in the breakfast frying-pan. With an introduction by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and full-colour photographs as well as illustrations, this book is the go-to guide for anyone who wants to smoke, brine or air-dry their way to a happier kitchen.
Nothing beats a really good cheese. These days you can buy great dairy products locally, made using high-quality ingredients and with a unique flavour of their own. The next step is to try your hand at making yoghurt, labneh, mozzarella and even deliciious matured cheeses yourself. The River Cottage ethos is all about knowing the whole story behind what you put on the table; and as Steven Lamb explains in this thorough, accessible guide, the key ingredient is milk. He shows you exactly what to do to take it from its liquid form to a wide range of dairy products, from clotted cream to a washed-rind cheese.
There are also plenty of gorgeous recipes that make the most of cheese and other dairy goods - as you'd hope, they involve such pleasures as dunking carbs into a pot of melty cheese; biting down on a delicate cheese wafer; or whipping up the best ever cheesecake.
With an introduction by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and plenty of helpful photographs, this book is the indispensable guide to crafting and enjoying cheese and other dairy products.
`Ingredients are at the heart of everything we do at River Cottage. By gathering our all-time favourites together, I hope to inspire you to look at them with fresh eyes and discover new ways of cooking them' Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall The definitive River Cottage kitchen companion. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his team of experts have between them an unprecedented breadth of culinary expertise on subjects that range from fishing and foraging to bread-making, preserving, cheese-making and much more. In this volume they profile their best-loved and most-used ingredients. With more than three hundred entries covering vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, meat, fish, fungi, foraged foods, pulses, grains, dairy, oils and vinegars, the River Cottage A to Z is a compendium of all the ingredients the resourceful modern cook might want to use in their kitchen. Each ingredient is accompanied by a delicious, simple recipe or two: there are new twists on old favourites, such as cockle and chard rarebit, North African shepherd's pie, pigeon breasts with sloe gin gravy, or damson ripple parfait, as well as inspiring ideas for less familiar ingredients, like dahl with crispy seaweed or rowan toffee. And there are recipes for all seasons: wild garlic fritters in spring; cherry, thyme and marzipan muffins for summer; an autumnal salad of venison, apple, celeriac and hazelnuts; a hearty winter warmer of ale-braised ox cheeks with parsnips. With more than 350 recipes, and brimming with advice on processes such as curing bacon and making yoghurt, the secret of perfect crackling and which apple varieties to choose for a stand-out crumble, as well as sourcing the most sustainable ingredients, this is an essential guide to cooking, eating and living well. More than anything, the River Cottage A to Z is a celebration of the amazing spectrum of produce that surrounds us - all brought to life by Simon Wheeler's atmospheric photography, and Michael Frith's evocative watercolour illustrations.
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