February is a time to hunker down in front of the fire, keep warm and make plans for Spring, sustaining ourselves with plenty of comfort food. That doesn’t have to mean baked potatoes and soup – there are all sorts of exciting foods in season in February from goose and venison to cockles and kale. Try our recipes below – happy cooking!
Wild Mushroom and Goat’s Cheese Focaccia
400g strong white flour
2 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil (normal, not extra virgin) plus extra for kneading, oiling the bowl, and drizzling
30g dried mushrooms
60ml boiling water
150g goats cheese
Flaked salt and cracked black pepper. Measure out the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl and mix with a spoon.
- Measure out the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl and mix with a spoon.
- Add 3 tbsp of olive oil and all the water and combine with a spoon until a wet dough is formed.
- Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil onto the work surface and tip the dough out onto it.
- Knead for at least 10-15 minutes – the dough will be pretty sloppy but don’t be tempted to add plenty of flour during the kneading as this will tighten the dough. This is much easier if you have a stand mixer, in which case you can set a dough hook and relax for 10 minutes while it does all the work.
- Oil a large bowl and plop the dough in (or add a little more oil to the stand mixing bowl).
- Cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temp for 1 to 1½ hours until it has at least doubled in size.
- Soak the dried mushrooms in 60ml boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.
- Cut the goat’s cheese into 15-20 rough chunks.
- Liberally oil a medium sized baking tray and gently tip the risen dough into it. Carefully stretch the dough so that it covers the base of the baking tray.
- Poke the mushrooms and the cheese deeply into the surface of the dough, cover with cling film and leave to rise for an hour.
- Select 200°C fan and pour 100ml of water into the oven reservoir of the SteamBake oven five minutes before you are ready to bake.
- Uncover the risen dough, season with flaked salt and cracked black pepper and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Take out from the oven, release from the tray, set to cool on a cooling rack and drizzle with more olive oil.
- Cut into chunks and eat.
12 Chorizo sausages
1 large red onion
2 tbsp vegetable oil
150g plain flour
2 large eggs
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp hot chilli powder
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
- Select 220°C fan and pour 100ml of water into the oven reservoir of the SteamBake oven five minutes before you are ready to bake.
- Set a large baking tray onto the hob, add the vegetable oil and fry off the sausages on a medium heat for 10 minutes to brown them off.
- Make the batter by mixing the flour, salt, paprika and chilli powder together in a bowl. Beat in the eggs using an electric hand mixer. Gradually add in the milk, water and crushed garlic and continue to mix until smooth.
- Peel the onion and chop into 8 pieces. Arrange the onion and sausages in the baking tray and pour in the batter while the oil is still hot (this will help the batter rise in the oven).
- Put the baking tray in the oven and cook for 15 minutes at 220°C then turn down to 170°C and cook for a further 20-25 minutes until the batter has risen and has turned a rich brown.
- Take out, chop, enjoy and argue over the best bits.
Noodle-free Phad Thai
2 tbs rapeseed oil
Bunch spring onions
Handful bean shoots or 6 green beans
Light soy sauce
3 cloves garlic sliced
1 Birds eye chilli or ½ Tsp ground dried chilli pepper
White or black pepper
Handful of Spiralized mooli
2 tsp sugar
2 tbs tamarind paste
6 tsp fish sauce
2 tbs peanuts (optional)
Water in a jug, to add as necessary
- Heat 1 tbs of oil in the wok.
- Add spring onions.
- Add the bean shoots.
- Sprinkle a little light soy sauce and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from the wok and keep warm.
- Heat 1 tbs of oil in the wok.
- Add the garlic, ginger and chilli.
- Break in the egg and lightly scramble.
- Add a handful mooli noodles.
- Add a splash of water to keep the noodles soft.
- Move from bottom up, do not allow to stick and burn.
- Combine the vegetables with the noodles.
- Add the tamarind, pepper, sugar and fish sauce stir through.
- Sprinkle with toasted peanuts and serve.
Double Chocolate Brownie
200 g quality dark chocolate (70%)
250 g unsalted butter
80g quality cocoa powder
65g corn flour
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
360 g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 24cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
- Snap the chocolate into a large bowl, add the butter and place over a pan of simmering water, until melted, stirring regularly.
- Sift the cocoa powder and corn flour into a separate bowl, add the baking powder and sugar, then mix together.
- Beat the eggs, then mix in until you have a silky consistency.
- Add 100ml water to the steam bake.
- Pour the brownie mix into the baking tin, and place in the oven for around 25 minutes. You don’t want to overcook them so, unlike cakes, you don’t want a skewer to come out clean – the brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle.
- Allow to cool in the tray, then carefully transfer to a large chopping board and cut into chunky squares.