GUEST BLOGGER: THE FAMILY HOME COOK
GOODBYE WINTER, HELLO SPRING
We are delighted to introduce you to Richard Rodriguez; a passionate self-taught home cook and Master Chef Contestant 2017. We first came across Richard when we were scrolling through Instagram and spotted one of his pasta dishes. It was winter, it was cold and his image was comfort food goals! How could he make a simple pasta dish look so good? We instantly wanted to know more. After a few months of working together on social media, we just had to feature Richard on our blog. So here you go, our first guest blogger; The Family Home Cook. Here, Richard shares with us what he loves cooking this time of year…
The clocks have gone forward so we lose an hour in bed, but with this shift in time, we bid adieu to winter and its dark and miserable nights; and although we will miss all of the comfort food that comes with the winter months, we welcome spring with open arms and a big smile. The new season has arrived which means lighter and brighter nights are on the horizon, a burst of colours are all around us, and the promise of warmer weather is just around the corner.
With the arrival of spring, we start to see and hear lots of different things, the smell of freshly cut grass, bumblebees out in the masses on the hunt for nectar, and daffodils proudly line the roadside like a picket fence that almost seems to appear out of nowhere overnight. Everything just seems to look and smell nicer. Our senses are overwhelmed with the beautiful sights and sounds of this new season, almost as if we are experiencing it for the first time; or as a memory of a distant land, once forgotten. As if all of these different sights and sound are not enough, let us not forget that the new season also brings along with it some superb produce and fantastic recipes that you can’t help but get excited about.
One of the new season’s ingredients is asparagus, and you don’t really need to do much with it. Cook it simply, and serve it on top of some toasted sourdough with a poached egg and a good helping of hollandaise sauce. When a product is that good, and in season, simplicity is always the key.
We also enjoy rhubarb crumble with copious amounts of custard to look forward to as well as Jersey Royals, which make a perfect accompaniment to any dish; or can be the star in its own right in a potato salad.
Let’s not forget about the king of the season, new season spring lamb! Such a versatile piece of meat can be prepared in so many different ways. It’s perfect to satisfy a hungry family on a Sunday afternoon. Prepare a generous roasted leg of lamb with mint sauce and all the trimmings, and any leftover can be transformed into shepherd’s pie the following day.
Lamb cutlets beautifully grilled and served with a Jersey royals potato salad. Amazing lamb shanks slowly braised in red wine sat on top of creamy, cheesy polenta. Or if we are fortunate enough to have a hot sunny afternoon, dig out and dust off the BBQ from the dark corner of the garage, set up the garden furniture with your favourite tableware, and throw some lamb koftas onto the BBQ. Enjoy with flatbreads, salad, cold beers; and pretend you are sat in the sun, by a pool in a villa in Greece.
I think it’s safe to say that spring offers a variety of different things in nature and more importantly in the kitchen.