PAUL COOKSON, head chef at the Three Crowns Restaurant and Inn at Scouthead, looks ahead to fresh Spring menu.
Find out more about the Three Crowns and their menus by visiting their website or by calling them on 0161 624 1766.
IT HAS been a very busy month at the Three Crowns and I think we’ve managed to please almost all of the people who have eaten in the restaurant, looking at the great feedback we have been receiving.
What’s new in the kitchen, and of course the menu? Well, the time of year is quite an exciting one when it comes to ingredients that are in season.
In a couple of weeks I will be moving away from the heavier wintery dishes which are braised and slow cooked and replacing them with the more fresh and vibrant ingredients associated with spring.
With the seasons changing, my favourite meat will be at its best – Salt Marsh Lamb. My favourite cut is the rump, which I cook nice and pink to maintain its flavour and really do it justice. I will accompany this with purple sprouting broccoli, which is also new to season, dauphinoise potatoes, lamb and fresh mint jus.
If desserts are your thing, we currently have some fantastic Yorkshire forced rhubarb which we stew down with apple, top with crumble and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Our next big calendar date is Mother’s Day which is a very busy day for all those who work in the catering industry, but is more importantly all about you hard working mothers. I have devised a menu which is currently on our website so check for further details.
As for the kitchen, I now have a full team with an excellent deputy, Steve Mitchell, to step up when I am not there. Steve and I have worked together in the past and he is very excited and enthusiastic about joining us and we are very pleased to have him on board.
People who know me know that I’m not interested in ‘cooking fads’ like sous vide cooking, chemical powders and foams. My philosophy hasn’t changed in my 24-year career in catering and, although I do keep up with the times with style, my cooking values are still old-fashioned cooking in a pan!
However, some time last year I did purchase a dehydrator which basically preserves foods by drying out which gives a really intense flavour and prolongs the life of the product. It sounds rather technical but it is quite an old fashioned method which people have been practising for years, particularly through times of rationing.
At the moment I am drying out canned fruit including peaches, strawberries and pears, although fresh fruit can also be used. With the canned fruit I simply drain the syrup, blitz in the food processor to a puree, spread on a silicone paper and place in the dehydrator.
After around a day at 60 degrees I am left with a fruit leather which the kids absolutely love. A great way to give them their five a day for less than half the cost of the brands that create similar products.
Hope all this has given you food for thought and will see you all very soon!