Mushroom & ‘Smokehouse’ Smoked Streaky Bacon Risotto

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As some of you may know, I wrote my first article for Taste Today last week, and it was based on the wonderful Cheshire Smokehouse, their history, their food and their amazing shop based just on the outskirts of Wilmslow, Cheshire.

As part of the article, I chose a product off their shelves and with the help of the Smokehouse’s owner Darren Ward, told the readers all about the full life cycle of their wonderful smoked streaky bacon. I then put it in this wonderfully indulgent, satisfying and creamy risotto.

You can read the full article on Taste Today’s website by clicking here, but for now, please enjoy the recipe from it! This scrumptious dish serves 4 people, and takes about 35 minutes.

What you need:

  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 6-8 rashers of The Cheshire Smokehouse Smoked Streaky Bacon, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1L good quality chicken stock
  • 300g risotto rice
  • Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 100ml dry white wine (plus extra, for sipping whilst stirring, if desired!)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated to serve

What to do:

  1. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or ceramic casserole dish and cook the onion and Cheshire Smokehouse Smoked Streaky Bacon for 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the mushrooms, garlic and bay leaf, and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes – until the mushrooms really start to release their juices.
  3. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the wine, and continue to cook (and stir) until all the liquid and juices from the mushrooms have been absorbed.
  5. Next, add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring well and waiting for most of the stock to be absorbed before adding the next ladleful. This process with take about 20 minutes – so I recommend you grab yourself a glass of wine as a reward for all this laborious activity!
  6. Continue until all the stock is added and the rice is cooked.
  7. Once the rice is cooked, removed the risotto from the heat and add the lemon zest, fresh parsley and season to taste with the black pepper.
  8. Serve with a little extra parsley and some grated Parmesan.

Hope you enjoy this one, love Sophie -x-

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Tabasco: #bestofthebrunch

Creamy Baked Eggs with Bacon, Buttered Toast & Tabasco

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When I was recently asked by Tabasco UK to take part in their #BestoftheBrunch challenge, I was really excited. How could I refuse?! Everyone who knows me KNOWS I love hot sauce, especially Tabasco Habanero, so I really couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

For the first of my #BestoftheBrunch recipes, I decided to go for something  a bit different. It’s not like me to choose a creamy eggs recipe (as I would usually have eggs with tomatoes for brunch), but I was keen to try this, and wanted to offset the creaminess with lashings of Tabasco Hot Sauce 🙂 who wouldn’t?!

The recipe is inspired by Rachel Khoo’s ‘Eggs in Pots’ from her show The Little Paris Kitchen, I have however pimped it up and used this as a great opportunity to try each of the 4 separate flavours; Tabasco Original Pepper Sauce (hot), Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce (mild), Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce (mild, with a slight kick – smokey BBQ flavour) and Tabasco Habanero Pepper Sauce (really hot!)

This recipe takes about 30 mins in total and serves 2 people.

What you need:

  • 4 rashers thick-cut smoked back bacon
  • 150g crème fraîche
  • chopped coriander
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 4 free-range eggs

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Grill the smoked bacon to your liking (I don’t need to tell you how to do this!)
  3. Season the crème fraîche with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
  4. Place a tablespoon of crème fraîche in the bottom of a ramekin, followed by some chopped coriander and a generous splash of Tabasco sauce of your choice (don’t be shy).
  5. Crack an egg on top, add another dollop of crème fraîche and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg and a final few drops of Tabasco.
  6. Repeat the above with three more ramekins (I swapped the Tabasco sauce used each time).
  7. Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour enough lukewarm water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the egg yolks are set to your liking.
  9. Serve with lashings of heavily buttered wholemeal toast (for dipping!) and the grilled bacon on the side…

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Of the four sauces, my personal favourite this time was the Chipotle (it’s so rich and smoky – it worked really well with the warming nutmeg and creamy crème fraîche.)

Which sauce do you prefer, and why? Do you have any #BestoftheBrunch recipes you want to share? Feel free to get in touch by commenting below, or send an email to: sophiesscran@gmail.com

Enjoy, Scranners -x-