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The Elephant News

Savoury granola (as featured in Delicious magazine)

This will keep for a few weeks if stored correctly. Add a few coco nibs or dried beetroot crisps to the mix for variations.

150g toasted chopped hazelnuts
200g toasted linseed
150g pumpkin seeds
90g jumbo oats
7g salt
25g sugar
6 sprigs of thyme , sticks removed leaving only the leaves
30g duck fat or beef dripping
50g kibbled onions

Warm the duck fat in a non stick pan and add all ingredients and gently toast, place onto a flat oven tray and bake on a low heat 120c for 15 minutes stirring every few to make sure colour stays light. Allow to cool and store in an air tight container

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Duck and Hogs pudding cassoulet (as featured in Delicious magazine)

A bit of prior preparation helps with this dish so start the day before by salting the duck legs and soaking the beans. As an alternative to the hogs pudding you could possibly used Ham Hock / white pudding / Cumberland sausages.

4 duck legs
100g sea salt
25g caster sugar
4 sprigs fresh time
600g haricot beans

Mix the salt and sugar and chop the thyme, mix altogether and pack onto the duck legs. Allow to brine for 12 hours then wash clean and dry.

Soak the haricot beans in cold water approx. 2 litres for 24 hours. Then drain and wash off.

Recipe for cassoulet 

600g dried haricot beans soaked overnight
8 cloves peeled and chopped garlic
6 large overripe plum tomatoes peeled and de seeded
1 carrot , diced
2 small onions diced 
200g thick cut streaky bacon smoked
300g hogs pudding or your alternative .
4 brined duck legs
100ml duck fat plus 500g for cooking the legs which can be re used. 
50g chopped flat leaf parsley
1 stick of celery peeled and diced

To cook the duck legs plaice in a deep pan and cover with duck fat /veg oil and allow to simmer for approx. 1 hour, the meat should be loose but not falling off the bone yet. Remove and drain from the fat. It is possible to buy confit legs in if this is preferable.

In a deep heavy bottomed pan, add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic to the duck fat and gently cook. In a separate pan cover the soaked beans in cold water and add the chopped streaky bacon, cook until beans are tender, 20 mins approx.

Drain off the water, add beans and the bacon to the vegetables. Add the chopped tomatoes and the parsley and cook all on a low heat.

Add approximately 1 pint of water and the sliced hogs pudding and place into a casserole pot and place in the oven for up to 90 minutes, the beans should become soft and fluffy and the water will have become starchy.

Add the duck legs now and cover with the beans and vegetables, allow to cook for another 20 minutes to allow the duck to reheat. If preferred , remove the meat form the bone of the duck it will reheat quicker that way.  Once hot take from oven and cover in the savoury granola and serve.

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Ramson and Bacon bread – perfect accompaniment to Cockle and Mussel chowder

Ramsons being wild garlic are usually in UK woodlands and parks from mid march through to april, Alternatively use wet garlic and baby spinach for colour, but if you do come across a patch of wild garlic, make sure you harvest and freeze some down as its well worth using.

8 large leaves of wild garlic / ramsons or 1tbsp dried garlic powder and 25g baby spinach and 15g flat leaf parsley
4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon or 2 tbsps crispy bacon bits
225ml warm water
415g strong bread flour
30g salted butter
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsps milk powder.

Cut the bacon into fine strips and fry in a non stick pan cook until crispy, drain off excess fat and then add the finely chopped wild garlic and just allow to wilt with the bacon,  allow to cool.

Add the flour, powdered milk sugar and salt into a bowl and combine, add the dried yeast . Melt the butter into the warm water and then gradually add to the dry mix to form a dough add the bacon and garlic and mix thoroughly to combine. Knead into a ball and allow to prove.   Knock back and place into bread tin or flower pot and again prove. Bake in a hot oven 210c for  15-20 minutes possibly longer depending on ovens.

Alternatively use a bread machine and follow instructions for basic cycle /light crust

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Cockle and Mussel chowder with spring onions and sweet potato (as featured in Delicious magazine)

For this recipe, I use a base soup of sweet potato but if you prefer, you could use a normal potato and leek recipe.

100g butter
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 small leek chopped but not using the darker green part
1kg sweet potato, orange fleshed, peeled and cut into small dice
1 litre of light chicken stock or vegetable stock.  (will be adding mussel / clam juice later )
Pinch of nutmeg/ cayenne
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch of spring onions chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
500g mussels, cleaned and soaked
300g cockles , cleaned and soaked
200ml white wine
20g chopped chives

In a heavy sauce pan add the butter and onions, garlic, thyme and spices, cook but do not colour, add the leeks and ¾ of the sweet potato. Pour over the stock and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally to check for contact on the bottom.

In a separate saucepan place on a high heat and add the mussels, pour over the wine and cover, allow the mussels to open and then immediately drain but retain the juices, repeat with the cockles. Once cooler remove half the meat from the mussels and cockles and retain the other ones still with in their shells.

In a saucepan blanch the remaining sweet potato, dice and set aside.

Once the sweet potato in the soup has become soft, blend the mixture until smooth and pass through a sieve. Soup may now be let down with the mussel/cockle juice to your desired consistency and strength in flavour.  To serve reheat the soup adding the dice of sweet potato and the shelled mussels and cockles, season to taste .

Add the remaining in shell mussels and clams to your serving bowl with the chopped spring onion and chives and pour the warm chowder over.  Serve with warmed bread.

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