Ballantrae Rural 6th January 2014

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Another little bit of  Taste Ayrshire always served at Cosses Country House

Ballantrae Rural ladies love their food and on Monday invited me to demonstrate some of Cosses Country House favourite recipes.

Winter Salads to refresh and revitalise…….Susan Crosthwaite

Apple, Jerusalem Artichoke, Rocket, Walnut and Barwheys Cheddar Cheese Salad (now is the time to dig up those crunchy Jerusalem Artichokes and use stored apple)

Scrub and thinly slice 2 artichokes and 2 apples and toss in lemon juice and then walnut oil. Season with Salt and pepper.

Add cubes of a local cheddar and walnuts then toss well with the rocket

Garnish with pomegranate seeds


Caesar Salad with Smoked Marrbury Smoked Chicken

Lightly boiled free range eggs, anchovies, parmesan cheese, garlic, spring onions, smoked chicken, croutons and crisp Cos lettuce

Finely chop a tin of anchovies leaving 2 for garnish and place in a large bowl with 1 peeled chopped egg. Finely chop 2 cloves of garlic and spring onions and place in the bowl. Add 6tblspns finely grated parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon juice, 1tblspn white wine vinegar and 8tblspns olive oil and 12 grinds of black pepper. Mix well.

Toss in shredded Cos lettuce when ready to serve

Garnish with thin slices of smoked chicken, thin slices of parmesan, 1 quartered egg, anchovies and croutons


Tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, balsamic vinegar, basil and couscous – Gentle flavours for when you are feeling out of sorts -from Nigel Slater’s ‘eat’

Tip 200g couscous into a bowl, pour over enough boiling water to cover, then leave for 20 minutes until the grain has soaked up the water

Marinate a 250g piece of feta in 2tblspn olive oil and 2tblspn balsamic vinegar for 20 minutes then crumble into the couscous with 300g of chopped cherry tomatoes, 50g of sun-dried tomatoes and 3 heaped tblspn chopped basil.


Beetroot and Fennel Slaw with Air-Dried Ham (from Peelham Farm) – a sweet crunch and taste of winter- from Nigel Slater’s ‘eat’

Beetroot, fennel, air-dried ham, soured cream, onion, red wine vinegar

Peel a large onion and slice thinly into rings, then put in a bowl with 3tblspns red wine vinegar and set aside for 20 minutes. This will remove the harshness

Peel 300g raw beetroot and slice as thinly as possible. Remove the fronds from a fennel bulb and also slice as thinly as possible.

Put 150ml sour cream in a bowl and beat in 4tblspns olive oil – season with salt and black pepper. Drain the onion and add to sour cream with the fennel.

Arrange the beetroot in the base of a serving dish and pile on the onion and fennel mixture. Top with air-dried ham and reserved fennel fronds.

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