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Eat the Seasons - April 2015

In season this month


Fruits & Nuts
Forced Rhubarb
Vegetables & Herbs
Cabbages, Cauliflower, Morel Mushrooms, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Spring Greens, Lettuce, Radishes, Sea Kale, Sorrel, Watercress
Meat & Game
Lamb, wood Pigeon
Fish & Shellfish
Crab, Sardine
Going out of season
Cockles, Oysters, Venison, Wild Garlic, Winkles

If you don’t already eat seasonally this time of year is a really, really good time to start.  If you need any convincing, here are some reasons why it is so important;

Seasonal food is fresher, tastier and more nutritious than out-of season food.  Plants are naturally stronger and more resistant to disease resulting in better quality fruit & vegetables.  In season fruit and veg is left to ripen on the plant, which means it contains more nutrients and has a better flavour than food that is harvested early and ripened artificially.

Buying local, seasonal food guarantees a shorter time from field-to-kitchen helping you to maximise the nutritional benefit of your "five-a-day' for you and your family.  All fruit & vegetables begin to loose taste and nutritional value the moment they are picked and out-of-season products may have been picked six or more weeks before you buy them from a supermarket!!

My receipe this month is very easy and contains crab meat, which is something of a superfood!  Ask for Brown Crabs at the fishmongers - they are at their best from now until November (and best avoided during their breeding season which is January to March).  Crab meat is rich in vitamins and minerals, and low in fat.  It contains Omega 3 polyunsaturated acids which help prevent heart disease and aid brain development.  The stomach-filling protein in crab will sate your appetite and is used to build and repair body tissues and minerals such as copper, zinc and selenium all help to support the immune system.

 

English Crabcakes with Tarragon Mayonnaise

 

Serves 6

Preparation 15 minutes, Cooking 30 minutes

 

Ingredients

 


For the Crabcakes:

  • 200g Maris piper potatoes
  • knob of butter
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp of capers
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp English mustard
  • 200g freshly prepared English white crabmeat


For the mayonnaise:

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 190g fresh mayonnaise
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • plain flour for dusting
  • 1 beaten egg
  • fine breadcrumbs

 Method:

  • Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, drain well and allow to steam dry, then put through a ricer into a bowl (or mash very well).  Add a knob of butter then leave to cool completely.
  • Stir in the lemon zest, capers, chopped tarragon and parsley, mustard and crabmeat.  Season the mixture and shape into 12-1 bite-size cakes. 
  • Chill for at least half an hour.
  • For the mayonnaise stir 2 tablespoons of tarragon into a 190g tub of fresh mayonnaise with a squeeze of lemon juice, then chill.
  • Heat 0.5cm vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan until shimmering.  Then dust each crabcake in plain flour, beaten egg and then fine breadcrumbs.  Shallow fry in batches for 2-3 minutes, turning once until golden and crisp.  Serve warm with the tarragon mayonnaise.

 

You can ring the changes by adding sauteed leek to the mix, or why not make up a saffron mayonnaise for a change by combining ½ cup white wine with a 4 teaspoons of saffron.  Warm in a small saucepan, then leave to cool before mixing with the mayonnaise.  Chill until ready to use.