‘The New West Country Cook Book’ Launched

On Monday 2nd December, a ‘culinary collective’ of the South West’s top chefs gathered at Watergate Bay for the launch of photographer David Griffen’s The New West Country Cook Book.

The book aims “to showcase the region’s culinary talent and high quality produce through beautiful photography and home-cooked recipes.”

wccb-mick-smith-01David has been documenting the burgeoning food scene in the South West for over 10 years, becoming an influential figure in the industry himself along the way. “Working with David is always exciting and reassuring in equal measure,” said Porthminster Executive Chef Michael Smith. “He is knowledgeable and passionate about food. David’s work shows off each chef’s creativity and individuality, which is what makes this collection of images and recipes so exciting.”

David explained how he first dreamed up the idea of bringing the culinary talent of the South West together. “The idea for the book came from watching the chefs working together at festivals and demonstrations; in quiet moments backstage they were talking as a group and to each other and sharing ideas and experiences – there was a real sense of mutual support.”

The book features recipes from 17 chefs including Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth, Michael Caines, Mitch Tonks, Mark Hix, Tom Kerridge, Chris Eden and Porthminster’s Michael Smith.

Focusing on key ingredients that can be found or foraged locally, the recipes emphasise the flavours of food in a uniquely West Country style, all of which is captured through stunning photography.

wccb-mick-smith-02Nathan Outlaw, who has won two Michelin stars for his restaurant in Rock, Cornwall, said: “Over the last ten years the camaraderie amongst the chefs of the South West has increased. I enjoy being in the kitchen and cooking with other chefs, and I think it is good for the chefs who work with me to see other styles. It’s great to have these extra influences in the kitchen.”

David added: “The brief given to each chef was the same – no fancy techniques, just honest home cooking, with a focus on the region’s produce.”

Tom Kerridge, who grew up in Gloustershire and runs the two Michelin starred Hand Flowers in Marlow said: “The standard of cooking in the South West over the last few years has risen dramatically, with the increase of a number of home grown South Western chefs opening their own places or becoming head chefs in their own right in some fantastic venues.”

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 The New West Country Cookbook is now available to buy at Porthminster Beach Cafe, alongside our very own cookbook.

Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is coming and at Porthminster we’re looking forward to the busy festive season. Our Christmas and New Year opening times can be found here (please book early to avoid disappointment!).

If you can’t visit us to make merry, why not order a copy of Porthminster Beach Café – The Cook Book?

More than just a recipe book, you will find inspiring images and ideas to help you recreate the fresh flavours of Porthminster at home.

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We wanted the book to capture the joy of cooking and living in such a remarkable location.

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Look out for foraging tips and a tour of our much-loved garden, which sits just next to the Café.

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We parted with some recipes for iconic dishes, including our famous Monkfish Curry, Tempura Courgette Flowers and Sticky Asian Pork.

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Porthminster Beach Café – The Cook Book has fast become an emblem of Cornwall’s rich and diverse food culture. To buy online click here.

The book is also available to purchase at the restaurant.

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Autumn Cocktail – ‘The Ginger Tonka’

A recipe finely-tuned through the collaborative efforts of our own cocktail maestro Rowan (pictured below) and Exec Chef Michael Smith. The following is a great tipple to warm you from head to toe as the dark nights draw in.

*Tonka beans are an exotic seed. They are firm but a little wrinkley, and have a flavour similar to vanilla with subtle hints of spice and fruit. They are used sparingly to add unique undertones of flavour to dishes and drinks. You can buy the beans online or in good health food stores.

1. You’ll need to start by making an easy, flavoured sugar syrup. Add chopped ginger, a chopped chilli and a sprinkling of tonka beans to a warm solution of sugar and water. Leave this to infuse for 24 hours and then drain. Keep in the fridge.

2. When you’re ready to make the cocktail, pour 50ml of your syrup into a tall glass with lots of ice. Add 50ml whiskey, a dash of Cornish Orchards Cider and garnish with a slice of apple.

And that’s it – a brilliant seasonal cocktail with a unique flavour.

Do you have a winter cocktail for us to try? If you’ve created your own (and it tastes good) let us know and we’ll ask Rowan to road test it for the blog!

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Autumn Recipe – Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks

This is a fantastic recipe for when the nights start to draw in, with its warming earthy flavours of cider, Jerusalem artichoke and truffle. The following serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course.

Ingredients

400g Pork Cheeks – fat removed (you can ask you butcher to do this)

200ml local cider

Good quality apple juice, to cover

1/2 apple

1/4 fennel bulb

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp toasted pine nuts

 

(Jerusalem Artichoke Puree)

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

25g butter

150ml cider sauce (see above)

10 small Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and diced

25ml double cream

A splash of truffle oil

1 tsp toasted pine nuts

Fresh oregano

Method

Add all the ingredients for the pork cheeks to a sauce pan, making sure the meat is well covered. Cover with a lid. Place on a very low heat and simmer for approximately one hour or until the meat is tender, keeping the lid slightly ajar.

Remove the cheeks from the pan and set aside for later. Strain the liquid through a sieve, return to the pan and reduce until it lightly coats the back of a spoon.

For the puree, melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat the shallot and garlic until soft. Add the Jerusalem artichokes, coat in the butter, and add 150ml of the cider sauce. Cook out the liquid until the artichokes are soft and then blitz them to a fine consistency. Add a splash of truffle oil and the cream, stirring well. Season to taste.

Place a small portion of the puree on each plate, top with the pork cheeks (slice if you prefer) and garnish with the toasted pine nuts and oregano leaves.

Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks

Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks

Porthminster Cook Book – The Launch!

Our brand new cook book was finally unveiled at a party at the restaurant on Friday 17th May. Regular diners celebrated alongside journalists and leading figures from the Cornish hospitality industry, hosted by Executive Chef Michael Smith and the team.

As well as a Foreword written by Nathan Outlaw, whose restaurant in Rock holds two Michelin Stars, the book has been further endorsed by Heston Blumenthal. Heston, whose restaurant The Fat Duck consistently receives the highest accolades in the whole of the UK, was pleased to recommend Porthminster as a “favourite holiday eating spot of mine,” going on to praise “inventive cooking and a gorgeous location.”

Preparing for a thirsty crowd

Preparing for a thirsty crowd

We would like to thank Champagne Louis Roederer, Polgoon and Matthew Stevens & Son Fish for their sponsorship on the night.

A first look at the recipe book of the summer!

A first look at the recipe book of the summer!

The book is now available to buy from the restaurant and online.

Parmesan Brulee with Asparagus & Parma Ham

Parmesan Brulee with Asparagus & Parma Ham

Guests were served a taste of various recipes from the book, as well as freshly shucked oysters.

The launch brought together all those involved with the restaurant's success

The launch brought together many of those involved with the restaurant’s success

It was a fantastic evening, thank you to all who came to help us celebrate. We hope you enjoy recreating these recipes at home!

Images courtesy of St Ives TV

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Cornish Crab & Mussel Linguine

A recipe from ‘Porthminster Beach Cafe – The Cookbook’ to tantalise your taste buds this weekend.

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This is one of Michael’s favourite recipes and a really popular dish on the menu at the restaurant; it goes down a storm at lunch on a sunny day, accompanied by a glass of Rosé! Michael says “this classic combination of simple ingredients – chilli, lemon, garlic and parsley – works so well with the crab and mussels here.”

Cooking technique is very important in getting this dish right. Using fish stock can be a bit strong and make the crab overpowering so we use chicken stock instead, which gives a rounded flavour to the dish.

Serves four

Ingredients

120g picked white crabmeat

350g dried linguine

100ml mild olive oil

40 mussels

2 red chillies, deseeded and finely diced

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped garlic

300ml light chicken stock

Juice of 2 lemons

Half a bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

First pick through crabmeat to make sure it’s free from any bits of shell. Scrub the mussels under running water and remove any grit and pull off the little ‘beards’.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the linguine, cook as per instructions until al-dente.

Meanwhile, in a pan large enough to take all the mussels comfortably, heat the olive oil, add the mussels and stir until they begin to open. Next add the chilli and garlic and cook till softened, stirring regularly, do not let them brown. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice to the pan and bring it to the boil.

Drain the pasta and reserve a little of the cooking water. Add the drained pasta to the mussels with the parley and crabmeat and toss together until everything is evenly mixed – loosen with a little of the cooking water if the pasta looks too dry. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

The book will be available to buy from the 18th May, from the restaurant and online (and at the St Ives Food and Drink Festival, taking place over the weekend 18th and 19th May).

 

Fifteen Farmers Market, Autumn 2012

Porthminster’s Executive Chef Michael Smith teamed up with friend Ryan Venning of The Herring for an inspiring demo at this year’s Fifteen Farmer’s Market.

The pair served up a treat for an audience of food lovers, creating a traditional Japanese Dashi Broth entirely from Cornish ingredients. “We’re having a bit of fun and going for a ‘rock pool’ effect as the end result,” explained Ryan, who prepared wonton’s coloured with squid ink to create a pebble-dash effect. These were stuffed with corriander, lime, chilli and ginger.

Ryan lets Michael do the talking!

Michael explained that many ingredients similar to those used to create a Dashi Broth in Japan could be found within the immediate surroundings of the beach café. For example sugar kelp from the shore line is now picked, boiled and dried and replaces Japanese kombu in the dish. Mackerel from St Ives bay is dried and used instead of bonito flakes.

Adapting local ingredients saves thousands of airmiles

Michael and Ryan added native oysters from Porthilly, local Lobster, mussels and clams, as well as some sea lettuce and foraged samphire to the broth. For a similar recipe and more details on how this Cornish Dashi was created, see our earlier recipe post.

Finishing touches

The audience were keen to have a try!

Thanks to Matthew Stevens and Son, who provided the local seafood for this dish. Ryan Venning is head chef at The Herring, located at Bedruthan Steps Hotel, Mawgan Porth.