Comfort food for Autumn

Posted October 12th, 2012

Well, that Indian summer didn’t materialise did it? But, now the nights are drawing in and the days are getting colder I have a good excuse to daydream about soups, stews, robust flavours and warming dishes by the fire at home.

Halloween is only weeks away and we’ll be holding the obligatory staff pumpkin-carving competition in the kitchen. Helena, my wife is convinced she’s going to win, but I suspect Jake, our waiter could be a dark horse. We’ll post pictures of them on our Facebook and Twitter feeds so you can be the judge.

When it comes to cooking with pumpkins, however, I would always use a green-skinned squash (like Crown Prince or Sunshine) with dense, hard, deep-orange flesh. The traditional orange-skinned ones are great for carving but the flesh can be watery and lacking in flavour. If you’re shopping for a green-skinned squash, look for one that feels heavy for its size and it will be packed with flavour.

As well as washing out the end of Summer the recent heavy rain has also led to British fishermen and farmers struggling with their catches and produce. The weather was just too rough for the day boat fishermen to get out so the price of fish has consequently gone up (don’t worry we’ve not put our prices up!). Despite the rain we should, however, see the main crop coming through from Carroll’s Heritage Potatoes soon so look out for them on the menu.

Carroll's heritage potatoes

One of this week’s starters is a stunning Heritage Potato salad with Gloucerstershire goat’s cheese, Autumn truffle and red mustard frills

Elsewhere on the menu, three of the cheeses we serve have won at the British Cheese Awards. Daylesford Organic’s Baywell picked up Best Organic Cheese, while the Ragstone goat’s cheese from Neal’s Yard Creamery won a silver in the Best Soft White category. Cerney Goat’s cheese was also awarded a gold in the Fresh Cheese section. Make sure you find out how good they are when you next come to dine with us.

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