River Cottage Good Comfort: Best-Loved Favourites Made Better for You
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The book begins with an Introduction. It's the usual cook's philosophy section, which in this case is HFW's mission to recreate comfort foods that are not heavy, cloying, too rich or too sweet. His key principle is 'Go Whole: The more whole, unrefined ingredients we can get on to our plates, the better. But he doesn't just mean the grains and pulses we typically associate with the term 'wholefoods'. He means foods that are whole, or very close to it, when we take them into our kitchens. (I heard these described the other day as 'foods your granny would recognise'.) Minimally processed is ok, so he includes dairy foods such as yoghurt and cheese, and some tinned vegetables (such as low-salt tomatoes canned with just water and a little salt.) He stresses that it's important to get the balance right: overdo the pulses and you're in the danger zone of 'padding'. Likewise, full-on wholemeal flour can take you a little far from textures you know and love, so 'half-wholemeal' is a better choice. Tip the spuds into the pan. If they aren't already mashed, crush them roughly with a fork or masher, but keep the texture quite chunky. Let the heat penetrate the potatoes for a minute or two then add all the other veg, and any herbs or flavour bombs, with a little more seasoning. Stir together then press the whole lot down into a rough cake.
There are people who actually prefer the taste of the healthier versions that are implicitly denigrated by entrepreneurial millennial vegans like Tegelaar and these café owners. The last time I made a cake with the full amount of suggested sugar, I found it pretty unpleasant, and sugar totally overwhelmed the other flavours. The introduction in Good Comfort, when mentioning reducing sugar in their café cakes, at least recognises people like us exist and are worth catering to: "the few guests who notice this change invariably comment positively: 'I really like that it isn't too sweet'".For him, the challenge was being able to 'healthify' classic comfort dishes - like spag bol, shepherd's pie or crumble - without compromising on the taste. Some dishes took a bit more testing than others.
Serve hot, topped with a fried egg if you like. Mustard or chilli sauce are also very good on the side. Whether you need to cut gluten out of your diet or you're cooking for friends & family with gluten intolerance, River Cottage Gluten Free will provide the tools you need to gain inspiration and navigate mealtimes. Good old bubble and squeak is a much-loved dish in my house. Rather than one ingredient being ‘bubble' and one ‘squeak', the name is thought to refer to the sounds emanating from the frying pan as the dish is cooking,” says Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Tip the rice into a saucepan, cover with plenty of boiling water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until almost al dente (still firm to the bite), then drain.
He continues to write as a journalist, including a weekly column in The Guardian and is Patron of the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association (FARMA). Maybe they are planning a River Cottage Vegan Baking handbook, like they have the Gluten Free one and other food-group specific handbooks like Mushrooms. There is more and more great technical advice out there from the likes of the aforementioned Vegan Baking Bible, and Philip Khoury's upcoming A New Way to Bake, on restaurant-grade patisserie, with restaurant-grade ingredients you can also see listed under his YT videos. But so far as I can tell, there still isn't a high-quality, trustworthy book focused on vegan baking with the sort of fruit and veg grown in the UK and on vegan versions of traditional British sweet recipes.
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The definitive River Cottage kitchen companion. River Cottage A to Z is a celebration of the amazing spectrum of produce that surrounds us. Combine the ground almonds and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture and fold in carefully, using the spatula. But the sweetness is adjusted, and other ingredients are added - such as parsnips or carrots into cakes, or a date syrup instead of a "knee-trembling amount of fudgy toffee".