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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ye Olde English Sunday Roast




Cook's Spotlight with Shannon Campbell

I'm always so impressed by how many great cooks there are out there. I'm not only talking about the professionals, I'm also talking about regular people who just love to do their thing in the kitchen. I decided to open up my kitchen and let these people have a go at it.

Shannon Campbell was the first to visit and he just happens to be a fellow caterer here in Berlin. He's from New Zealand but has a real love and talent for cooking up some seriously amazing English food. Yeah, the menu was a bit daunting for a Non-Englishman: toad in the hole, mashed neeps, pig faggots, roly poly... but I tell you, it was outstanding.

When my mother's side of the family immigrated to the States from Italy, they settled in the hills off of the banks of the Ohio River on the West Virginia side. Coal mining country. It was there that my grandmother, Stella, got a taste of what I like to call: good hillbilly cooking. The love for "cracklins" has been passed down the line and so when Shannon pulled out his homemade "pork scratchings" I was really excited. They were addictive and delicious. All I could think of was how to send my mom a box of them for Mother's Day.

In his own words, this is how Shannon sums it up...

"In the long tradition of British pub food, serving lazy Sunday food, early and late, homemade with classic English ingredients, in a relaxed atmosphere where you can unwind after a long weekend, eat, drink and still make it home for the late movie before bedding down with a full belly and sleepy beer dreams."

Menu
spiced nuts and pork scratchings

Lil Bits
Cock a leekie soup
Lil pork pies with red onion chutney, apple chutney
Potted duck with bloomer bread
Mussels with cider and bacon
Toad in the hole with red onion jam

Mains - served with chicory, stilton and walnut salad
Pigs faggots braised in ale with bashed neeps
Beef cheeks with dumplings
Citrus spatchcocked baby cock with bubble
and squeak

Sweets
jam roly poly
perry poached pear crumble and custard

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