It’s been a very busy time in the bartlett mitchell kitchens with lots of presentations, large events and our AGM so I know that the team and I are really looking forward to the Easter break for a bit of a rest and some family time.
Spring has finally sprung in the kitchen and as always the abundance of ingredients is beginning to come in through the kitchen doors, with one of my all-time favourites making an early appearance, English asparagus. Usually this is not hitting the tables for at least another month but the mild weather has seen these beautiful green stems hitting us early. I don’t like to do much to my asparagus, some chefs like to prep it to within an inch of its life. Personally I like to trim the woody ends and remove some of the lower ears with a sharp knife, then simply boil in salted water and serve with a brush of salted butter and maybe a squeeze of lemon.
Easter of course is always associated with Easter eggs. Now I do love these chocolate creations and I think my physique gives that away! But I would like to write about eggs of another kind.
Eggs, I love them, chicken, duck, goose, quail, pheasant, gull, ostrich and many more. They are one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen and something we could just not do without. At bartlett mitchell we only use free range eggs and I personally always try to buy the best quality eggs that I can afford. It really does make a difference, not only in flavour but in the end product. My personal favourite are eggs from Cackleberry farm in Stow on the Wold, they are laid by a chicken called an Arlington White and they produce the most wonderful eggs with a lovely firm white and a beautiful yellow yolk.
Over the long Easter weekend I try to have a bit longer in bed but one thing I love to do is a big breakfast and one of my favourite dishes is Eggs Benedict, a lovely freshly toasted English muffin, homemade of course, crispy smoked streaky bacon, softly poached Cacklebean egg and delicious hollandaise sauce. I know ham is classic for a benedict but I just love bacon, of course you can have whatever you choose on yours. Maybe some lovely London cured Foreman’s smoked salmon or some wilted spinach. If you are feeling slightly more adventurous how about some fresh handpicked Cromer crabmeat, try adding a bit of Sriracha hot sauce to your hollandaise to spice it up a bit.
Whatever you choose I hope you have a great Easter and a lovely break with the family.