Sunday, November 25, 2007

Quick Apple Stuffing

Although 'The Shopping List' is an absolutely essential part of life, I often like to just visit the market and see what takes my fancy; then sort out a recipes when I get back to the kitchen.
I spotted a cute little rolled pork loin; just big enough for two of us - that went in the bag, so to speak. The apples at the moment are the best the've been all year, and as soon as I spied some crisp-looking Leeks, ideas were percolating...Here's a quick, fresh stuffing that makes a classic roast a little bit special.

Quick Apple Stuffing

1 Golden Delicious Apple, diced
1 Onion
1 medium sized Leek
1 baguette, blitzed to make breadcrumbs
Fresh Parsley & Rosemary, chopped
1 clove of Garlic, chopped
Salt, Pepper
1 beaten egg

1. Gently fry your finely chopped onion & leek in the knob of butter until translucent.
2. Meanwhile, blitz your bread to make the crumbs
3. When done, add your onions and leeks to a bowl with the breadcrumbs and seasonings.
4. Add your beaten egg and mix to create stuffing

...And thats it. The great thing about Stuffing is you can make whatever you want, and generally it will work.

We then roasted the pork, studded with salt and more Rosemary, and served it with the stuffing, gravy, and roast potatoes with buttered green beans. A perfect, fuss-free weekend roast. The sweetness of the apple stuffing was perfect with the slightly-pink Pork.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Fox & Newt, Leeds

It was with great interest that I found myself returning to The Fox & Newt, the place I would hang out when I was a student at Park Lane College over the road. Of course, I knew nothing of beer back then. I didn’t know that in the eighties, The Fox & Newt brewed its own beer. But I did know that after years in the wilderness, it was brewing again.
The Fox (as I like to call it) is a traditional pub with traditional tastes. An unpretentious Yorkshire pub, if you will; no airs and graces. The beer reflects that style – I sampled two over the leisurely lunch I enjoyed there this week. First up, the Brewhouse Bitter – a dark, but not at all heavy bitter with a lovely biscuity finish, perfect to get things going. I then moved onto the Cunning Stunt, which at 4.0% abv, I would imagine to be their session ale – and how perfect for that it is. Light, refreshing, with a hoppier body than the bitter and a creamier head, I could really sink a few of these. Also on offer was Dark Side stout, which I didn’t sample but seemed popular. All brews are full mash, and I understand that plans are being laid to produce seasonal beers.

The new proprietors, Gerry and Patricia, have really got things right here; you can tell from the beer that care and passion goes into each barrel, and I sincerely hope things go well enough to ensure The Fox and Newt’s future. After all, we now have a pub brewing its own quality beers within walking distance from the city centre. And that is something to be excited about.

Bar food and snacks are available between 12-2pm, and the jukebox is good. I enjoyed a perfect, lazy day-off lunch - simple, some sports pages to pore over and some of nicest beer I have tasted in ages. You can’t really get higher praise than that. My drinking map of Leeds has got one new stop on it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Short Newsflash...

This weekend sees The 7th Otley Beer Festival take place in The Civic Hall (16/17.11.07) - there's not much info on the web to be gleaned about who will be there but there is reportedly 56 real ales on offer plus a 'global' bottled beer bar...And staying on the subject of festivals, Ilkey hosts its first beer festival on 8/9.02.07 - two days of beery fun at The Winter Garden -loads of beers on offer and helping out charities at the same time. click on the link below for more info...The Millrace Organic Restaurant are offering 3 for 2 on tapas sunday to friday...Congratulations to The Balloon Tree Farm Shop in Gate-Helmsley for winning the DeliciouslyYorkshire Retailer Of The Year Award 2007...Well done!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Supply and Demand; Beeritz, Headingley

It’s important to have a supplier you know is doing the best to source the best beers they can get their hands on for you, close to you. But I know, even in Yorkshire, that brewing hotspot, that this does not always happen. Supermarkets take the share of the market; the current climate even means that most supermarkets have a fairly decent beer selection – at a push. But you'd rather go somewhere local, somewhere that puts hard work into maintaining your beer passion...

Mine is Beeritz, in upper Headingley. Open pretty much all the time, it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside lies a beer-lover’s paradise. Beers from all over the world, consistently priced, means that your favourites are almost always in stock. It has everything a good beer shop should have – Tasting notes, friendly, knowledgeable staff, glassware, a wide range of styles. I cannot recommend this outlet enough.
They have another excellent store in Kanresborough, and a mail-order service, too. My last visit yielded the following list: (one of each) – Palm Beer, Sam Smiths Imperial Stout, Maisels Weisse, Tripel Karmeliet, Paulaner, Kwak, Goose Island Summertime, Brewdog Physic Amber Beer, Mort Subite. All for about £15. That’s a good week’s worth of drinking around the world.

Wharfed Ale, 8-10 Bondgate, Otley, LS21 3AB
If you're travelling around Yorkshire, i can reccommend Wharfed Ale in Otley, also. Great store.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pork Chop Melts!

Sometimes i find that simply throwing together a few ideas with what's left in your cupboards or freezer seems to yield better results than when I actually plan something - this little concoction is a prime example of that. I just wanted something to complement my beer (see below), and this is what I came up with - Pork Chop Melts with Pan-Potatoes; slightly Germanic in feel, and perfect now that the weather is turning colder.

Pork Chop Melts with Pan-Potatoes
(Serves Two)

2 Pork Chops – bigger the better
Béchamel Sauce
Tsp of Wholegrain Mustard
Grated Gruyere cheese
2 medium size potatoes
4 Rashers of smoked streaky bacon
1 Red onion
Olive Oil
(I’m going to assume you know how to make béchamel sauce - if not - in short - melt a knob of butter in a saucepan, add flour and stir until a paste is formed, then slowly add milk, constantly stirring until thick. This is a very quick way - for more in-depth recipes, look on the web.)

1 . Cook your pork chops to your satisfaction – Grill, Fry or Roast (I prefer roasting in this case.)Whilst they are cooking...
2. Prepare potatoes – peel and dice both, then wash in cold water. Drop into salted, boiling water and boil for about ten minutes or when cooked but firm. Drain. Whilst they are boiling, chop your bacon and cook in pan in a little olive oil. Add chopped red onion to this, and then add your potatoes. Cook through on a moderate heat until the potatoes are browned – add more oil if needed, although not too much. Keep Warm.
3. When your chops are nearly done, make a basic béchamel sauce, but add your wholegrain mustard. Add as much as you like, really – depends how you hot you like it. Make the sauce as thick as you can, and when ready, smear over the tops of the chops. Add the gruyere cheese on top, and then either return to the oven to brown or place under a hot grill.
4. Once bubbling, you're done!

My choice of Goose Island Summertime was perfect for this - despite being light enough to refesh, this Kolsch-style brew really cut through and didn't overpower the smoky bacon and creamy, cheesy bechamel.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Little Valley Brewery

A recent trip to the lovely little village of Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire resulted in a first for The Good Stuff – a taste of what Little Valley Brewery have to offer.
Hebden Bridge has always had a lot to offer, Beer-wise. The White Lion, my personal choice of drinking hole whilst visiting, was actually home to my first taste of beer – many moons ago. The beer was Flowers IPA, and it gave an impressionable young teenager a glimpse into a world outside flat, tasteless lagers – so it’s fitting that I should find a new taste whilst here.

My pint of Little Valley Withens IPA went down very well. An easygoing, light style, with a refreshing hoppy finish, it accompanied my Sausage Sandwich very well indeed. This would make an excellent session beer, and another pint was ordered duly. I’ve not tried the bottle conditioned version, but the Withens IPA is a beer I can happily recommend. Little Valley are based just near Hebden Bridge, and their website lists all their brews.
In fact, there's a lot to recommend in Hebden Bridge; a specialist wine and cheese shop, a number of bars and restaurants and of course, a few good old pubs. Also, of foodie interest is Jules Pottery, whose wares i cannot resist buying whilst there. Handmade ceramics for every type of dish, and at amazing prices.