ANTHONY BYROM, new executive head chef at the Three Crowns Restaurant and Inn at Scouthead, has put pen to paper to share his seasonal recommendations.
Buying British seasonal foods when they are at their best is so important to how I develop my menus and recipes; the flavour is unsurpassed when the raw product is selected at its optimum, it’s so true that great food starts with great ingredients.
So spring is here eh? I look out of the window at yet another grey day optimistic that the warmer weather is upon us sooner rather than later.
This for me is the most exciting season – after the colder winter months I’ve indulged on all the heavy braised dishes, casseroles and warming stews etc.
So I’m well and truly ready for the light fresh delicate flavours that April brings: fresh peas, broad beans, wild garlic, purple sprouting broccoli & radishes, Jersey royals are about. The first of the season are small and tender with the natural saltiness that comes with being fertilised by the local seaweed, look to buy the unwashed variety as they travel better with a jacket of dirt.
Leave the skins on – most of the flavour and goodness lies just beneath the surface – and give them a wash. Steam or boil until tender (15 – 20 minutes) and add proper butter or good olive oil, a touch of sea salt & a twist of black pepper, and fresh herbs such as mint, chives or parsley as desired.
Tuesday, April 23 was the official first day of my favourite vegetable – the mighty English Asparagus and I cannot wait to receive these deliveries into the kitchen.
Look for firm but tender stalks with good colour and closed tips. Smaller, thinner stalks are not necessarily more tender; in fact thicker specimens are often better due to the smaller ratio of skin to volume.
Wash in cold water and remove the bottom ends of the stalks (with fresh asparagus they will snap off cleanly). Boil or steam quickly until just tender, around four to seven minutes depending on thickness, or drizzle with olive oil season and griddle or barbeque.
Personally I just finish with a tad of rapeseed oil, sea salt and black pepper topped with a gooey soft poached egg……mmm enjoy!
Visit The Three Crowns Restaurant and Inn, run by Ray and Sue Hicks, at 955-959 Huddersfield Rd, Scouthead, or call them on: 0161 624 1766 or visit their website: http://www.thethreecrownsinn-scouthead.co.uk. Open for Food every day 12noon to 9pm, and parties also catered for.