Fennel and Berkswell Cake

I saw some really nice, fennel at the farmers market recently and it reminded me of a fennel cake I’d had in London, so I went to Cheese Plus and asked if they had “Beekswell” cheese (that’s what was in my notes). Ray, the owner, said they had Berkswell, a raw milk sheep cheese from England. I figured that must be it, and bought a wedge of nearly a half-pound.

Fennel and Berkswell Cake at St John Bread and Wine in London

Fennel and Berkswell Cake at St John Bread and Wine in London

St. John Bread and Wine is Fergus Henderson’s smaller restaurant in the Spitalfields area of London (northeast). We visited last October when we also toured France and Spain. I asked the server how it was made, it seemed so simple. She consulted the kitchen and advised that, “it is sliced fennel, layered with Beekswell goat cheese and baked. To finish, the top was spread with a mixture of milk and cheese and broiled for 2 or 3 minutes to brown.”

They served the cake with pickled walnuts.  (After making my cake, I learned that Cheese Plus sells Pickled Walnuts in a can.)

Continue reading

Cooking from the TV

Tomato and Sausage Bake


Tomato and Sausage Bake Adapted from Sweet Cherry Tomato and Sausage Bake, from the Food Network show JAMIE AT HOME by Jamie Oliver. The show is based on the book of the same name.When I got home from the Farmers Market on Saturday, Carol had Jamie Oliver’s show, Jamie at Home, on the kitchen TV. He was doing a show on tomatoes. What luck, I had tomatoes in my bag. Jamie’s recipes are always easy and usually good, especially the ones from this show.I stopped and took notes, even as C was saying, “You can get the recipe on the internet.” When the show was over, I went to the Food Network website, found the “Tomatoes” show and copied the recipes to a Word document. Then I checked my notes against the recipes. As usual, there were differences.Warning: When you see something interesting on a food TV show — take notes. You can always look up the recipe on the internet, but sometimes it’s a similar recipe, not what you saw. Also, on TV you can see techniques that aren’t noted in the recipe.In this case, for example:

Recipe — cherry tomatoes, TV — he did it with whole tomatoes of varying sizes and colors. Recipe — 375 ° oven, TV — he cooked in an outdoor, wood fired brick oven. Now he wouldn’t write a recipe for an outdoor, wood fired brick oven, but the temperature in that oven is way higher than 375. Recipe — No bacon or salt pork. TV — he started with bacon or salt pork in the pan and rendered the fat, then took out the bacon and flavored the fat with herbs. Recipe — Chopped garlic. TV — Unpeeled garlic cloves. Recipe — He put everything in the pan at once and popped it in the oven. TV — He put the tomatoes in first to blister the skin, took the pan out and pulled the skins off. Then added the sausages and back in the oven.On TV, he did some “extra dishes” with the leftover sauce. The recipe on the internet said, “Our agreement with the producers of “Jamie at Home” only permit us to make 2 recipes per episode available online. Food Network regrets the inconvenience to our viewers and foodnetwork.com users”

Anyway, you get the drift. Take notes.

Continue reading