Florence Cornish Cooks                      

Florence Cornish Cooks

       
 
             

Beer can chicken is a real staple dish of Southern barbecue cooking. You find thousands of recipes for it, all following the same steps of opening a can of beer, drinking half (or pouring half away if you are feeling boring), shoving that open can up the jaxie of the bird (I KNOW it’s technically the neck cavity, but it’s so much more fun this way), and barbecuing it for an hour and a half.

That’s all good stuff but why not give it a little shake up – and add in some molasses, spices and general filth?! So, this recipe follows the same basic steps but using a can of cider akin to those you would find in any homeless person’s clutches. Once the bird is standing upright and proud, drizzle all over him (I like to think of my dinner as male or female, defo a man in this case) an ebony, glistening, speckled laquer that can only be described as black-gold… WELL it’s paprika, Cajun spices, garlic, cayenne, cumin, coriander, fennel seeds and treacle but you get the idea. If you can get hold of molasses, these work even better but I was feeling lazy – as is the case almost every day – so treacle works just as well.

If you are going to do this on a barbecue, there are 2 main ways of doing it. Number 1: This is the old-school way. Pile up  the coals only on one side of the bbq and heat till they are glowing red, which will take about 40 minutes to get ready. Place the bird, standing up on the can on the side without the coals, plonk the lid on and leave for about 2 hours – stab it to see if you are salmonella-free and if the juices are looking a bit dodge, just keep on cooking.

Number 2: The fail safe way. Place the bird on the can in a roasting tray and cook in a 180 celsius oven for 1 ½ hours. Then, shimmy the chicken off the can and finish on the bbq, charring the outside to a gorgeous, crispy, almost tar colour.

Normally, I hate salad. And I hate people who LOVE salad. But there are some salads I will go for. Normally, only if they have a shit tonne of cheese and / or bacon in them. Croutons help too, but don’t tease me now. This salad is pretty fine though. Blitz the blue of your dreams with a little buttermilk, salt, pepper and sugar and pour all over some leaves. Now for the dirrrrty pecans. I feel like Xtina would like these. Toast nuts, melt butter, mix with Cajun spice, wild rosemary, salt, pepper and some brown sugar, mix nuts with butter, leave to cool. BOOM. The dirtiest of snacks, the tastiest of side dishes. 

   
    Aug 27    
Cider Can Chicken. Blue Cheese Salad with Dirty Pecans
         
 
 
   
Cider Can Chicken. Blue Cheese Salad with Dirty Pecans. 
Cider Can Chicken. Blue Cheese Salad with Dirty Pecans. 
             
    Aug 27  

Cider Can Chicken. Blue Cheese Salad with Dirty Pecans. 

           
 
 
             

Ahhh sausages…The most euphemistic treat of the pork product world. Pork swords, links, meat sabres, piggy sticks…call them what you will, I love em. They also freak me out somewhat, especially since that whole thing about cheap meat and legal content came out and someone described them as being chock full of ‘eyelids and bumholes’. Nah-ha-sty. But, as with so many things in life, the solution is simply to throw money at the problem, and buy good quality bangers instead. THANK FUCK FOR THAT!

So, home smoking. This is one type of smoking I DO like (chortle chortle). It’s actually ridiculously easy to home-hot smoke stuff so y’all should do it. All you need is a big pan, a steam insert, some foil and wood chips. Make sure the pan is one you / your housemates / your family aren’t particularly attached to because chances are you’re going to leave some smoke stains on it. Make it a big-un and cover the bottom in a layer of tin foil. Sprinkle on some woodchips (I like a mix of Hickory for street cred and Apple for sweetness. Just like me, really), cover with another layer of foil, then the steamer, then place the meat on that steamer, lid on, heat up and off you go for about 10-15 minutes till the flesh is unfathomable delectable.

Here we are then, with our lovely smoked Cumberland sausies, buttered brioche buns and nothing to top them with. These fellas need a relishy friend but condiments are more often than not, the invention of a sick, twisted heathen so I went with a fruity alternative. Get peaches, about 2, and make sure they are ripe by just nudging the sides ever so gently. If they sink in and almost sigh, perfect, if not, LEAVE THEM. Dice, bowl, mix with a green chilli, coriander and lime juice as well as salt and pepper. Flipping DE-LISH. Enjoy. 

   
    Aug 20    
Home Smoked Hot Links with Peach Chilli Salsa
         
 
 
   
Home Smoked Hot Links with Peach Chilli Salsa.
Home Smoked Hot Links with Peach Chilli Salsa.
             
    Aug 20  

Home Smoked Hot Links with Peach Chilli Salsa.

           
 
 
             

Having lived, worked and travelled in the US a bunch of times, there aren’t many language mix ups that still manage to confuse me. I know that ‘arugula’ isn’t a small Roman harp. And I’ve got it that ‘scallions’ are not a cousin of bunions found on the soles of your feet. And don’t worry, I’m not taking my ‘pants’ off anymore. That was one time – it’s an easy mistake!

But ‘biscuits’ is something that still leaves us Americophiles unstuck. If you were to tell a thoroughbred Londoner that you had biscuits and gravy for breakfast, they would look at you with a mix of disgust and confusion, as images of Digestives and Bisto popped into their heads. Not to sound too much like a husband who’s been caught with his pants (in both sense of the word here) down with the floosy from next door, IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK! Biscuits in the US sense are kinda like a light scone. Little rounds of un-proved dough that are firm to touch on the outside and fluffy and cakey in the middle. Delicious, warming, comforting and ridiculously moreish.

So, in a roundabout way this brings me to talking about my cobbler. There are two main types of this pudding (again, Brits, you will not find a man with a moustache and hammer living inside this pie dish of fruity goodness. Language barriers dismantled). The first is where the fruit is laid in the bottom of a dish, and a loose batter is scooped all around it, puffing up during baking to make a kind of upside down cake/soufflé/pie thing. The second (and the one I like most) is to dump the fruit in the bottom of the dish, and dot the top with little balls of biscuity doughy joy. They go all crispy on top and make for some hella good eating.

Cobbler is traditionally peach, especially in places like Georgia or Northern Florida where peaches are a way of life. But, as always, why not spice it up with some Floridian orange zest and dash of gleaming honey. Dessert is here, but not as you know it.  

   
    Aug 18    
Peach, Orange and Honey Cobbler
         
 
 
   
Peach, Orange and Honey Cobbler.
Peach, Orange and Honey Cobbler.
Peach, Orange and Honey Cobbler.
             
    Aug 18  

Peach, Orange and Honey Cobbler.

           
 
 
             

Who doesn’t love something wrapped in pastry?! It’s like edible wrapping paper, hiding a meaty, or fishy, or veggie gift of deliciousness. Pies – winning. Pasties – saved miners’ lives (and many a journey home after school for me). Off cuts of the puff stuff when your Mum’s making something from the recipe suggestions off the back of the Jus Roll packet. These are irreplaceable memories, people!

Beef wellington has to be the don of pastry wrapped shit. Fillet steak, wrapped in parma ham, wrapped in mushrooms, wrapped in puff pastry – it’s decadent just READING it’s description. You really can’t get better than that.

A lot of people think beef wellies are really difficult to make and they aren’t wrong, although I do think that there are several fool proof ways to avoid making a freaking expensive mistake. Fillet steak isn’t exactly offal.

ONE. Take your time. You can’t rush a wellie. The meat needs to be seared, brushed with mustard and then left to cool – otherwise it will melt any oil or butter in the mushroom mix, and seep out the edges of the pastry. Similarly, when you are making the mushroom duxelle (which always sounds like a Royal Duck to me), leave it a really long time cooking to make sure ALL the moisture has left our funghi friends. Otherwise, you guessed it – water, seepage, soggy, nightmare.

TWO. Use a timer to the minute. When you are cooking the meaty parcels of joy, a minute either side can make a HUGE difference. So time light you’re launching a space craft for NASA. At a 200 degree oven, I work at 8 minutes for rare, 10 minutes for medium and anything more, I don’t discuss.

THREE. Individual ones make ALL the difference. If you are making a massive wellington, the problem comes with maintaining consistency of the meat’s cooking level (one end raw, the other end cremated) as well as facing a right mare when it comes to slicing. You’re knife has to basically be a samurai sword which in most conventional kitchens is really freaking hard to achieve. Smaller is better, in this case.

I served these bad boys with buttermilk mashed potatoes (because why not?) and a bourbon sauce. It’s made in a very similar way to a red wine reduction, but just add whisky and Southern flair instead.

 Enjoy!

   
    Aug 12    
Individual Beef Wellingtons with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Bourbon Sauce
         
 
 
   
Individual Beef Wellingtons with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Bourbon Sauce.
Individual Beef Wellingtons with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Bourbon Sauce.
Individual Beef Wellingtons with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Bourbon Sauce.
Individual Beef Wellingtons with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Bourbon Sauce.
Individual Beef Wellingtons with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Bourbon Sauce.
             
    Aug 12  

Individual Beef Wellingtons with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Bourbon Sauce.

           
 
 
             

My Mum has a tumultuous relationship with seafood. She thinks she loves it, makes us go to the fish restaurant, orders the lobster, roasted in it’s shell. Then freaks out and gets the roast beef. Always the same, every time she’s convinved she’s part of the SEAFOOD LOVERS UNION.

Well, I love meat. Like LOVEEEE it. Can’t get enough of the flesh and fowl. But, every now and again (extremely rarely, about once ever 9-12 years) I feel like I should balance out the cholesterol charging through my arteries and turn to the seas for my tea. Enter stage right, king prawns and a shit ton of butter.

If you are looking for seafood, good, cheap, honest to God good seafood, then make sure you head to a local market and buy from the fish stall. I go to Brixton market because it’s dirt cheap and 10 minutes from my house. Plus, I bought 20 king prawns, fresh as a daisy, for under a fiver, so winning all round.

This recipe is pretty typical of Creole / Cajun food. Fish, spice, bit of French thrown in there for good measure and A LOT OF BUTTER. The butter is just glorious here so don’t worry about it too much. If you do, you’ll never get to sleep. Mix in a heap of Cajun spice, hot sauce, spring onions, brown sugar and Worcester sauce. Smoosh all together and then plonk all over the prawns in a baking tray and bake till the fish is pretty in pink and the butter melted and bubbling.

The only thing I will stress is that you have to, HAVE TO de-vein the prawns because if you don’t, you are eating prawn shit and who wants to do that?! Rank. So slit down the back, pull out the black strip and get ready to chow down. Don’t forget the bread though to mop up the sauce. D-i-v-ine. 

   
    Aug 4    
Butter Baked Cajun Prawns with Green Chilli Slaw
         
 
 
   
Cajun Baked Prawns with Green Chilli Slaw.
Cajun Baked Prawns with Green Chilli Slaw.
Cajun Baked Prawns with Green Chilli Slaw.
             
    Aug 4  

Cajun Baked Prawns with Green Chilli Slaw.