The team for The Gog give the low-down on seasonal produce to seek out this month
The expert team at The Gog are committed to bringing the best of local, seasonal produce to the tables of Cambridgeshire, and with spring just around the corner, there’s a whole host of delectable flavours ready to tantalise your taste buds!
April is an exciting time for foodies as it sees an abundance of new produce coming into season so we were hard pushed to pick a few products to focus on, but with The Gog greengrocers bringing the juiciest Portobello mushrooms direct from Norfolk we just had to use these as the centrepiece for this perfect spring recipe.
When choosing your mushrooms, loose ones are best so you can inspect the cap; good shrooms will have a smooth appearance and not be dried out or slimy. Avoid washing them as they can lose some of the delicious flavour; a gentle tap or wipe over with damp kitchen roll should suffice to deliver the tastiest meat alternative.
Team them with award-winning Stilton from Colston Bassett, the Nottinghamshire home of traditional Stilton. It’s at its most flavoursome at room temperature, and be sure not to cut off the rind as this variety has the most delicious nutty flavours – yum! You can buy mini versions or freeze larger amounts to preserve the flavour, which is at its height around 12 weeks old. A very versatile cheese and a hero on a cheeseboard, it’s equally great in a salad or partnering chocolate and ginger sweet treats.
Did you know that cheese laws state that a Stilton cheese must be pasteurised to be given the name? The unpasteurised version is called a Stichelton – the name derived from the old English ‘stichl’ meaning style and ‘tun’ meaning village or hamlet – and is equally as tasty.
Top these delights with the East Anglian Large Black succulent bacon, lovingly cared for by our in-house butchery team. These pigs are a slow-growing breed, which live an entirely natural life to deliver bacon with a tastier flavour through a better fat ratio and being served with the rind on. Reared in a traditional way but with a modern twist, these pigs produce bacon that is much drier than supermarket equivalents as it hasn’t been exposed to water – we think this combination makes for a flavoursome taste sensation. Don’t just take our word for it, try it for yourself – it’s a sure-fire winner for a quick and easy supper!
Our other top picks for April include celeriac, rhubarb, spinach, watercress and tasty new potatoes, all sourced from local suppliers. Join us next month when we’ll be focusing on British Asparagus and Sutton Hoo slow‑grown chicken.
Portobello Mushrooms with Stilton and bacon
2 Portobello mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
3tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
85g Colston Bassett Stilton
3 rashers of Large Black back bacon
6 walnuts, crushed
To serve: A few sprigs of fresh parsley
What to do
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
2. Place the mushrooms on a non-stick baking sheet, sprinkle over the garlic and parsley and drizzle with oil. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the mushrooms start to soften.
4. Fry the bacon until cooked and slightly crispy on the edges. Set to one side.
5. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and place equal amounts of Stilton, bacon and crushed walnuts onto each. Return to the oven for another 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
6. To serve, place the mushrooms on to serving plates and garnish with parsley.