Supper 7th Aug 2018

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Anthony J Sargeant prepared fried Hake fillet on a bed of baby spinach served with Provencale sauce and black olives.

Hake fillet on a bed of baby spinach and provencale sauce with black olives

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The beach at Bamburgh – late afternoon 2nd August 2018

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Anthony J Sargeant took this photograph on a visit to Bamburgh, Northumbria, on the North-East coast of England. Taken from the beach in front of Bamburgh Castle at about 19.00hr  it is just possible to see Holy Island on the far right horizon of the picture.

English Asparagus – do not throw the trimmings away!

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Tony Sargeant says that when you have trimmed of the scales along the bottom two thirds of the stalk and then snapped off the base to remove any ‘woodiness’ in the base. Keep and use the trimmings to make soup.

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Sweat-off some finely chopped onion in butter. Then with a sharp knife thinly slice the trimmed end (from which the scales have already been removed when preparing the whole stalk) until you start to feel any ‘woody’ resistance then discard. Add the thin cross-sections to the butter and onions and cook down until tender. Add a splash of white wine, reduce, add some stock (chicken or vegetable), season and then liquidise. The result is delicious garnished with a few cooked asparagus tips.

English Asparagus, Ham and a Poached Egg

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Tony Sargeant thinks that good fresh ingredients carefully but simply cooked make for the best meals.

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Here wonderfully fresh English asparagus has been cooked spread with a little butter, sea salt, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Served with locally cooked ham and a poached egg. Oh yes and by the by people often ask what is the secret of cooking a good poached egg – Well the answer is simple they need to be absolutely fresh – the egg shown here came out of the chicken a few hours earlier and dropped into a pan of simmering water the white is glutinous and sticks together to give a perfect poached egg – no need for all the nonsense of swirling the water around, adding vinegar to the water, or buying egg poaching devices. Bizarrely most supermarket eggs are left on uncooled shelves sometimes for 2 or 3 weeks so of course they do not poach very well (but if you have to buy eggs from a supermarket check the sell-by dates and pick the ones from the back of the shelf which are normally the freshest.

 

Asparagus Season in England – April 2018

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Anthony J Sargeant says that you should not waste the trimmings when you snap off the base of the asparagus.

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First trim the scales off the asparagus (they are very fibrous and it is best to remove them from the whole of the stalk up to about an inch or two of the top of the stalk). Do this before snapping off the bottom section of the stalk. But retain this trimming and using a sharp knife chop thin cress sections down towards the base. If you feel any woody resistance discard that very last section (often there is none). Sweat off some onion in butter (but do not brown) then add the thinly sliced asparagus sections and cook until tender. Add some chicken stock cook-off then liquidise, with seasoning added as required, until smooth. The result is a smooth asparagus soup which can be garnished with chives and perhaps a swirl of double cream. It is delicious and sweet.

Asparagus Season in England – Enjoy

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Fresh Asparagus is in season in England. This was supper prepared a few evenings ago by Anthony J Sargeant. There is so little to do but the result is delicious. Served with melted butter, sea salt and grated parmesan topped with a poached egg. It was not necessary but served with a slice of quiche and a spoonful of Hollandaise.