Wild garlic butter

It’s that wild garlic time of year again. If you haven’t seen it, chances are you will have smelled its heady aroma if you’ve been anywhere remotely rural.

image

Today at the park, we happened upon a nice patch of it, its delicate white flowers in full bloom. DD couldn’t resist having a nibble on a few leaves, but I had plans for the remaining few we had picked.

image

You may remember last year I did a post called Four Ways with Wild Garlic, well this is my favourite wild garlic recipe. It also happens to be the quickest and simplest, yet undoubtedly the most versatile.

Very finely chopped 5 or 6 fresh wild garlic leaves and throw in a bowl with 150ml (or so, this definitely doesn’t have to be exact) of double cream and a large pinch of salt (we tend to use Pink Himalayan salt because of the mineral content).

image

image

Whisk and whisk and whisk until the buttermilk separates from the butter. This will splatter so it’s a good idea to cover the Kitchen Aid, or whatever you’re using to whisk, with the guard and a clean tea towel for extra protection.

image

image

image

Once the butter and buttermilk have separated, pour the mixture into a bowl lined with a tea towel or muslin and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You’ll end up with a delicious ball of green flecked garlic butter. 

image

image

You can use it as it is, or you can put it on some greaseproof paper, roll it out into a sausage shape for easy slicing, and pop into the freezer for as and when you need it.

image

It’s delicious on potatoes, for frying mushrooms, on bruschetta and kneaded into bread dough good rich, tasty garlic bread. The list is endless. Enjoy!

Thai Massaman Curry

image

My sister lived in Thailand a few years back and raved about this curry. On her return she cooked it for me and my love for this hot, yet creamy, crunchy taste sensation was born. I’ve tried a a few different shop bought pastes, but none of them compared to the one we got from from the only Thai restaurant in our town… Until now.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making pastes from scratch, but there’s a time and place for this, and Friday evening, with an over tired toddler, a stressed out husband who’s trying to prepare for Sunday’s service as well as write his final assignment for this year’s uni deadline in six days time, and a mummy, who for one reason or another, is feeling more frazzled than usual, is not the time to be lovingly grinding and chopping and whizzing to make a homemade paste. Cue the new tub I discovered at the supermarket.

image

I love the fact I can’t read half the info on the packaging. It’s more authentic,  and lures me into thinking it’s going to taste better than the British versions. In this case it was true.  I fried off the paste in the Thai and wild garlic infused coconut oil I made the other day, then added in a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce, some tamarind paste and a tablespoon of soft dark sugar (in liu of palm sugar), a can of coconut milk some chicken (although traditionally beef or lamb is used, I just didn’t have any to hand), and then some chunky chopped peppers and onions. I added them in half way through so they retained a bit of crunch.

Just before serving I threw in a handful of chopped coriander retaining a bit for a garnish. Serve with steamed basmati rice, a sprinkling of coriander and a small handful of peanuts.

image

It was delicious, and certainly rivaled the one our Thai restaurant makes.

Four ways with Wild Garlic

Over the Easter weekend some friends and I went to a nearby beauty spot for a picnic and a paddle in the river. As the kids were happily splashing about a couple of us snuck off to do a spot of foraging for wild garlic. We certainly weren’t disappointed…

image

It was there in abundance. We gathered some up and discussed potential recipes on the way back to the others.

Simple Garlic Butter
Once home I made some garlic butter to keep in the freezer simply by softening 500g salted butter in the Kitchen Aid, and adding in a large amount of finely chopped wild garlic. On greaseproof paper, I moulded it into a loose sausage shape, rolled it up in the paper and froze. That way I can slice off a knob as and when I need it (to make slicing easier dip the knife in boiling water to heat it up). So far I’ve used it in twice baked sweet potatoes, as a base for flatbread pizzas and simply on toast! Delicious!

image

Smokey Bacon and wilted Wild garlic
On Sunday, I used some of the remaining garlic as a side dish for our Sunday roast by dry frying some smoked Streaky bacon, then adding in a couple of large handfuls of roughly chopped garlic.  It wilts down the same way spinach does so use more than you think you need. Season with cracked black pepper, but go easy on the salt as the bacon is often seasoning enough. I didn’t manage to get a pic I’m afraid.  Needless to say, the guests loved it, as did I.

Wild Garlic Pesto

image

My friend Sam, has a superb recipe for pesto, which is simply delicious on pasta, in gnocchi, on bruschetta, drizzled on salads, pretty much on anything really. Be sure to have a gander at her new blog Me and My Second Self, you won’t be disappointed!

Wild Garlic and Asian Aromatics infused Coconut Oil
As you’ve probably gathered by now, I love Thai, Vietnamese and Asian style food in general and thought it’d be great to have a jar packed full of Asian flavours on my counter, ready to be dipped into any time without the hassle of having to chop everything from scratch.

I buy my coconut oil from Mother Nature’s Goodies on ebay

image

I very gently melted in a bain marie until it was pretty much all liquid.

image

image

While it was melting, I gathered the other ingredients: galangal, minced ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, chillis and of course fresh wild garlic.

image

Chop all the ingredients except the lime leaves, very finely and place in a sterilised jar.

image

image

Pour over the melted coconut oil, seal and leave to set.

image

image

The flavours will infuse and intensify and it makes a great base for any Asian style recipe.

Enjoy, let me know if you try any of these recipes and be sure to check out Sam’s blog.