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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.225 – Spinach with Indian cheese

    Posted on May 2nd, 2014 Janet No comments

    This is from Quick Vegetarian Curries by Mridula Baljekar.  It is a favourite of mine when we have friends round for a curry.  If you can’t get hold of Indian paneer it is just as good made with halloumi cheese.

    Serves 4

    Photo: Heath Bass

    Preparation time: 25-30 minutes
    Cooking time: 20 minutes

    2 tbs sunflower oil
    6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    2.5cm cube root ginger, peeled and finely grated
    1 tbs ground coriander
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
    1/2 tsp ground turmeric
    1 tsp paprika
    1/4-1/2 tsp chilli powder
    150g spinach, finely chopped
    300ml water
    250g paneer, cut into 1cm cubes
    175g cooked potatoes cut into 2.5cm cubes (optional)
    1/2 tsp garam masala

    Heat the oil in a pan over a low heat, add the garlic and stir fry for 1 minute, then add the onion and fry for 5-6 minutes until softened.  Add the ginger, ground coriander and cumin, cook for 1 minute then add the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the turmeric, paprika and chilli powder and cook for 30 seconds before adding the spinach and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.  Add half the water and cook for 3 minutes or until the water dries up, tossing and turning the ingredients constantly.  Add the paneer, potatoes if using and remaining water, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered.  Add a little more water if necessary.  Sprinkle on the garam masala and serve.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.218 – Homity bake

    Posted on February 28th, 2014 Janet No comments

    This is a favourite winter warmer in our house and originates from the Cranks recipe book.  It started out as a pie but as I’m lazy and don’t particularly like making pastry I missed it out and just baked the filling!

    onions-camel csaServes 4

    Preparation time: 30 mins
    Cooking time: 25-30 mins

    500g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
    450g onions, thinly sliced
    3 tbs olive oil
    25g butter
    15g parsley, chopped
    125g cheese, grated
    2 cloves garlic crushed
    1 tbs milk
    salt and pepper to taste

    Boil or steam the potatoes until tender.  At the same time saute the onions in the oil until really soft.  Combine the potatoes and onions, add the butter, parsley, half the cheese, garlic, milk and season well.  Place the mixture in a greased ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake at gas mark 6/200°C for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top.  This is delicious served with baked beans.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.197 – Masala omelette

    Posted on August 4th, 2013 charlotte No comments

    Enjoy this delicious, spicy Indian omelette at the start or the end of the day. This version (there are many) comes from the Edible Garden. Kerala-born food blogger Nags (Nagalakshmi V ) says: “Needless to say, the omelette has many forms in India and every household makes it differently. Even I have a few variations… depending on what I have in the pantry and vegetable tray.”

    As I didn’t have any sweet pepper to hand, I used some freshly-cooked French beans along with the tomatoes and coriander in Camel CSA’ s veg boxes this week.

    Serves: 2

    Preparation time: 5 minutes
    Cooking time: 10 minutes

    4 eggs
    3 tbsp of shallots or minced onions
    3 tbsp of finely chopped tomatoes
    3 tbsp of finely chopped capsicum (bell pepper)
    1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (see notes)
    3 tbsp of finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
    1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper
    1/2 tsp of curry powder or garam masala
    1/2 tsp of salt (adjust to taste)
    2 tsp of oil

    Break the eggs into a large bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add all other ingredients (except oil) and beat again.

    Heat the oil in a small pan and swirl around so it coats it completely. Pour half the egg mixture in the pan and cook until the edges curl over and the centre bubbles up. Gently flip the omelette over and cook for another minute (the centre may be jiggly but the edges would have cooked). The omelette will rise a bit and then fall, making it fluffy and soft.

    Add more pepper powder on top if you prefer. Serve hot with toast / ketchup or eat on its own.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No 81: Onions stewed in wine

    Posted on February 4th, 2011 Trish No comments

    This is a classic recipe from Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking. It’s a dish to make, she says, ‘when you have a glass of wine, red, white, rosé, sweet, dry or aromatic (ie some sort of vermouth) to spare’.

    Serves 4-6

    Preparation: 10 minutes
    Cooking: 1½ hours

    6-8 onions, all the same size
    1 tbsp olive oil
    small glass of wine
    salt and pepper

    Peel the onions and put them with the olive oil in a thick pan in which they just fit comfortably. Start them off over a moderate flame and, when the oil is beginning to sizzle, pour in a small glass of wine. Let it boil fiercely for a few seconds. Add water to come half-way up the onions. Transfer to a low oven and cook uncovered for about 1½ hours. Put back on top of the stove over a fast flame for 2 or 3 minutes, until the wine sauce is thick and syrupy. Season. Serve as a separate vegetable, or round a roast.

  • We’ve passed another milestone

    Posted on February 13th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    Our picking and packing team prepared a total of 30 seasonal veg boxes for our members this week – an all-time record.  Plus the box we’re offering in a prize draw at the St Mabyn Pre-School Valentine Brunch.

    A further milestone was reached.  For the first time, all the contents of the boxes were bought in from other growers.

    The fact that we’re buying in such a high proportion of the weekly vegetable box contents at this time of year may seem like an admission of defeat.  But this is far from the case.

    In the UK, community supported agriculture comes in many different shapes and sizes.  There’s no “right” or “wrong” way of doing it.

    As a not-for-profit organisation we rely totally at present on the goodwill of our members, who make up our volunteer workforce.  This will change as we expand and if we are successful in our funding bids to the Lottery and the Local Action Group.

    As we’re working on less than two acres, we’re not in a position to grow large-scale main crops which need constant rotation like potatoes and winter brassicas.  Instead we are concentrating on “high-value” seasonal crops which would be either too expensive to buy in or do not travel well.


    As a CSA, we’re committed to building up partnerships between farmers and the local community, enabling farmers to sell direct to the public, and providing other mutual benefits.  So that’s why we’re happy to include varying proportions of vegetables in our boxes from small-scale, local growers.

    The Camel CSA approach is very much community-led.  It’s organised democratically. Every member has a say in how our project is run.

    The core management group is responsible for all the main decisions.  Under the guidance of our three volunteer expert growers, it works out what to grow, how we grow it, what goes in the boxes, what we charge our members and who should supply us. 

    All our own onions and shallots – in store since last summer – have been used up at long last.  The remaining parsnips, artichokes and carrots are again well and truly frozen into the ground.

    So the carrots, curly kale, onions, purple sprouting broccoli, swede and Brussels sprouts (complete with sprout top!) in this week’s boxes come from Richard Hore at Rest Harrow Farm, Trebetherick.  

    Richard and his family, who cultivate 30 acres close to the relatively mild climes of the Camel estuary, have done us proud this winter.

    The winter salad bag was supplied by Jeremy Brown, one of Camel CSA’s expert growers.  It contains a selection of baby leaves such as pak choi, watercress, mustard, rocket and spinach from his polytunnels behind St Kew Harvest Farm Shop at St Kew Highway.

    The potatoes were grown by Colin and James Mutton of Burlerrow Farm, St Mabyn.

  • First signs of spring in North Cornwall

    Posted on January 24th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    snowdrops-Dinham's-Bridge-camel-csa 24-01-10What a relief to see snowdrops emerging in the woods between St Mabyn and St Kew Highway.

    The ground is far too cold and saturated with melted ice and snow for us to start work yet on Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s vegetable plot.

    Once the earth warms up in late February / early March our volunteer growing team can begin preparing the ground, spreading compost and planting seed into cells to go in the polytunnel. 

    In the meantime we’re continuing to harvest our own parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and carrots as well as the remaining onions and shallots in store.  The rest of the weekly veg box contents are being sourced locally from growers in the immediate area.

  • It’s (s)no(w) problem!

    Posted on January 8th, 2010 charlotte 2 comments

    Congratulations to our intrepid picking and packing team who braved the wintry conditions to prepare Camel CSA’s first vegetable boxes of 2010.Picking-packing-team-camel-csa 08-01-10

    Only the onions in the boxes came from Camel CSA’s own share of the harvest.  Our dwindling crops of parsnips, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes and last of the beetroot are well and truly frozen into the ground.

    We’re grateful to local supplier Richard Hore of Rest Harrow Farm, Trebetherick for providing such a variety of green vegetables – leeks, curly kale and savoy cabbage as well as carrots.  And to our expert grower Jeremy Brown who collected the potatoes from Burlerrow Farm in icebound St Mabyn.

    We put together a total of 23 boxes for our members to pick up. Fortunately our site is next to the A39 “Atlantic Highway” which has been kept relatively clear from ice and snow.

    Picking-packing-camel-csa 08-01-10Local food

    The fact that we could provide fresh vegetables this week goes to show how important it is to be able to source food locally. 

    Supply chains across the country may be interrupted by the big freeze, but we’ve been able to keep our veg box scheme going – with just a little help from our friends in north Cornwall.

    As Making Local Food Work said this week in its response to the Government’s widely-reported new national food strategy: “Communities must be engaged in the future of food.”

    Many thanks to picking & packing supremo Trish, who fetched the veg from Trebetherick, and to the team – Cathy, Charlotte, Mike H, Mike S, Penny and Robert.

    And enjoy our heartwarming seasonal soup! Recipe No 26 – Leek soup with parmesan

  • We’ve outsmarted them!

    Posted on November 10th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    It’s doing the trick.  The new protective mesh is keeping the voracious rabbits off our spring greens.

    Garlic planting 08-10-09 MMc - croppedThey’ve been hopping all over it and have left droppings everywhere, but they haven’t been able to find a way underneath.

    This expensive mesh is proving to be a worthwhile investment. The rabbits can’t chew holes in it, it doesn’t disintegrate and it lasts for years – unlike fleece.

    The growing team has managed at long last to plant several rows of garlic sets and sow some broad beans for overwintering. We’re hoping these will give us an early crop next year.

    All being well, the rabbits won’t touch the garlic (although earlier in the year they did have a gnaw at some of the onions).

    Thanks to expert growers Jane, Jeremy and Mark plus regular Sunday team members Kitty, Mark, Mike H and Mike S.

  • Seasonal recipe No 18 – Braised red cabbage with apples

    Posted on October 30th, 2009 Trish No comments

    A classic recipe for slow-cooked red cabbage and apple from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course.

    Serves: 4red cabbage-camel csa 30-10-09

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 2½-3 hours

    900g red cabbage
    450g onions, chopped small
    450g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped small
    3 tbsp wine vinegar
    3 tbsp brown sugar
    1 clove garlic, chopped very small
    ¼ whole nutmeg, freshly grated
    ¼ level tsp ground cinnamon
    ¼ level tsp ground cloves
    10g butter
    salt, black pepper

    Preheat oven to 150C/gas mark 2.

    Discard any tough outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it into quarters and remove the hard stalk, then shred it finely.

    In a fairly large casserole, arrange a layer of shredded cabbage seasoned with salt and pepper, then a layer of chopped onions and apples with a sprinkling of garlic, spices and sugar. Continue with these alternate layers until everything is in.

    Now pour in the wine vinegar, add the butter, put a lid on the casserole and let it cook very slowly in the oven for about 2½-3 hours, stirring everything around once or twice during the cooking.

    Once cooked, it will keep warm without coming to any harm. It will also reheat very successfully so it can be made in advance.

  • Seasonal recipe No 17 – Stilton, onion and potato pie

    Posted on October 23rd, 2009 Trish No comments

    Nigel Slater calls it ‘a cheesy pie to warm the soul’. It’s from his Kitchen Diaries book. And it doesn’t have to be Stilton – Cornish blue, Sue’s Trelawney – any fairly strong cheese will work just as well.

    Serves: 6stilton, onion and potato pie

    Preparation time: 30 minutes
    Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

    1.5kg floury potatoes
    4 medium onions
    80g butter
    150ml milk
    225g Stilton or other cheese
    25g grated Parmesan

    Peel the potatoes, cut into halves or quarters and cook in boiling salted water until tender – about 15 minutes.

    While the potatoes cook, peel the onions and cut them in half, then cut each into five or six segments. Put them in a heavy-based frying pan with 40g of the butter and let them cook over a moderate to low heat, stirring from time to time. They will need 20-25 minutes to become thoroughly soft and sticky.

    Bring the milk to the boil and turn off the heat. Drain the potatoes, then tip them into the bowl of a food mixer, or mash them in the pan with a hand-held beater. Slowly add the milk and the remaining butter. Beat to a smooth mash.

    Set the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Butter the base and sides of a 28cm baking dish. Spoon in half the potato, smooth it a little, then add the onions and a grinding of black pepper. Crumble the cheese over the onions. Pile the rest of the mash over the top and smooth lightly with the back of a spoon.

    Dust over the grated Parmesan, then bake for 25-30 minutes, by which time the top will be pale gold and the filling will be bubbling up around the edges.

    Enough for 6 as a main dish with greens or a salad.