“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Friday, May 7, 2010

Nuts, Missus

Yes, once again I lurch from giving you ones that are too hard to ones that are too easy. My Mum (for it was she) correctly identified the Name This Food! food as Kentish Cob Nuts, a type of hazelnut (or, to be more correct, a type of filbert) native to this region. Whaddya make with Cob Nuts, I hear you cry? Well, pretty much anything you can make with hazelnuts, really. But for a true Kentish Cob Nut experience there are really only two recipes worth worrying about, and those are (a)

Ginger Cobnut Cake

225g self-raising flour
1 tsp ground ginger
110g butter (at room temperature)
110g brown sugar
50g cobnuts, roasted and chopped
1 large egg, beaten


Grease a loaf tin, then sift the flour into a bowl along with the ginger. Rub in the butter with your fingers (this always makes my thumbs ache, so if you have joint pain, use one of those pastry cutter thingies) until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs then add the sugar and nuts and mix well to combine. Stir-in the beaten egg (don't worry if the mixture remains dry and crumbly, this is fine). Transfer the mix to the prepared loaf tin and pat down gently with a fork.

Place in the centre of an oven pre-heated to 180°C and bake for about 25 to 35 minutes. Test with a skewer and if this emerges cleanly from the centre of the cake then it is done. Hurrah! Allow to cool completely and slice thickly.

and (b)

Cabbage And Kentish Cobnut Rolls
These are like potato croquettes with a twist.

450 g (1 lb) potatoes
salt and pepper
900 g (2 lb) green cabbage, roughly chopped
45 ml (3 tbsp) fresh milk, if necessary
50 g (2 oz) butter
50 g (2 oz) plain flour
50 g (2 oz) Kentish cobnuts, chopped and toasted
2 eggs, beaten
100 g (4 oz) dry breadcrumbs
vegetable oil for deep-frying
lemon twists, to garnish

1.   Boil the potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash without adding liquid.

2.  Cook the cabbage in boiling salted water for 5 - 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain well. Puree in a blender or food processor, .adding the milk if necessary - you should have 450 ml (3/4 pint) puree.

3. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook gently, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Gradually blend in the cabbage puree and milk, if necessary. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Stir the mashed potatoes and cobnuts into the sauce, season to taste and mix well. Transfer to a bowl, cool, cover and chill for at least 1 1/2 hours or until firm.

5.  With dampened hands, shape the mixture into 16 rolls. Place on a greased baking sheet and chill again for at least 20 minutes.

6.  Coat the croquettes in the beaten eggs, then the breadcrumbs. Heat the oil to 180°C (350°F) in a deep-fat fryer. You can also do this in a high-sided skillet or frying pan, but be careful not to splatter hot oil on yourself. If you have one of those splash screen thingybobs, that'll do the trick. Or make the rolls more like patties and fry them like you would potato pancakes. Deep-fry the rolls in batches for about 4 minutes, until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent kitchen paper while frying the remainder.

Serve hot, garnished with lemon twists. Accompany with a crisp salad.

Now then - onto the new Name This Food! food. What's it to be?

Yes, I know it looks like flowers. But does anyone know what it is, and more importantly, what you do with it?


  1. what we bought on thursday

  2. what we bought on thursday

  3. I like hazelnuts, but have never heard of cobnuts...hmmm.... Learned something new today!


Come on and chew the fat!


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