Kitty – A New Life in Food

This month’s menu is by Kitty Grosse, a young lady I had the fortune to present with the Ivan March Trophy, awarded by the Craft Guild of Chefs to the winner of the Rotary Young Chef Competition, for pupils aged 11-17 from schools in Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire. Kitty, aged 14, from St Nicolas School in Fleet was the winner in 4 stages of the competition through to the Final at the “Weald” School in Billingshurst where she impressed the team of judges, lead by Master Chef Omero Gallucci, with her professionalism and enthusiasm. Kitty competed again on the 17th of March in the Regional Final and she hopes to represent the region in the National Grand Final.


For the pastry
100g plain flour
25g butter
25g lard

For the filling
3cm leek
10g butter
30g undyed smoked haddock
1tsp capers
1 tsp horseradish sauce
40ml crème fraîche
1 egg yolk

To garnish
2 quails eggs
watercress and samphire
50g beetroot
2tsp olive oil
1tsp lemon juice

1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C/GM6
2. Place the flour, butter and lard into the food processor. Process until it becomes breadcrumbs
3. Add 2 tbsp water to form pastry
4. Roll out and line 2 small tartlet tins. Place greaseproof paper with baking beans onto pastry and bake blind for 10 minutes
5. Finely chop leek. Melt butter in pan and sauté leek for 3 minutes, gently
6. Chop haddock into small pieces
7. Mix together the crème fraiche, egg yolk, horseradish, smoked haddock and capers. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the leeks
8. Place mixture into the tartlet case
9. Reduce oven to 180°C/GM4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until set
10. Hard boil the quails eggs for 2½ minutes. Plunge into cold water. Peel
11. Dice beetroot and mix with oil and lemon juice.


Bacon wrapped pork

½ pork fillet
½ tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp chopped parsley
1 clove garlic
Salt and black pepper
5 rashers streaky bacon
Little oil for frying

Vermouth sauce

15g butter
½ tbsp olive oil
½ shallot, finely chopped
1½ tsp plain flour
125ml chicken stock
50ml dry vermouth
60g mushrooms

100g baby carrots
Florets of Romanesco cauliflower

Gratin Dauphinoise
5g butter for greasing
200g potatoes
salt & Pepper
1 clove garlic
170ml single cream
Pinch of ground nutmeg
10g gruyere cheese


1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/GM4
2. Peel the potatoes and slice them wafer thin
3. Rinse under cold water and leave in a colander to drain. Dry on clean tea towel
4. Put cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg into a pan. Add the potatoes. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 minute
5. Tip potatoes and cream into greased and lined Yorkshire pudding tin. Smooth over the top and sprinkle with cheese
6. Bake for 50 minutes
7. Make a cut through the centre of the pork fillet and spread with the mustard, garlic and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Plait the bacon rashers around the fillet tightly.
8. Fry in a little oil to brown bacon lightly
9. Place the fillet in a roasting tin and cook in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25 minutes until the juices from the pork run clear and the bacon is crisp and golden
10. Meanwhile, make the sauce: melt the butter with oil in a small pan. When butter is foaming, add the shallot and cook gently until softened
11. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Gradually blend in the stock and vermouth. Bring to the boil, add the mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes
12. Remove pork from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve sauce with the pork
13. Steam the florets of cauliflower and baby


For the fruit
1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and sliced
1 dessert pear, peeled, cored and sliced
30g blackberries
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
50g caster sugar

28g butter
45g plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
25g brown sugar
10g oats
A little Demerara sugar, to decorate

For the blackberry cream
50g fresh blackberries
½ tsp Caster Sugar
1 tbsp. crème de cassis
½ tsp lemon juice
100ml whipping cream

6 blackberries
Pink rosebuds

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas 4. Put the prepared apples and pears, lemon zest and caster sugar into a pan, cover and cook over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes until just tender. Tip the fruit into a bowl and cool slightly.
2. Rub the butter into the flour and mixed spice until a coarse crumb is formed. Add the brown sugar. Place 2 lined pastry cutters onto a greased baking tray and spoon 1 heaped table spoon of the mixture into each. Press it down lightly with the back of a spoon to make a base, then spoon over the apple and pear mixture.
3. Stir the oats into the remaining crumble mixture. Spoon evenly over the top of the apple and pear mixture, then bake the crumbles in the oven for 20 minutes until golden.
4. Meanwhile, make the blackberry cream. Put the blackberries, the caster sugar, crème de cassis, if using, and lemon juice into a bowl and crush lightly with the back of a fork. In a bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold in the blackberry mixture.
5. Carefully lift the crumbles onto warmed plates and carefully lift off the pastry cutters. Sprinkle the tops with a little Demerara sugar and spoon some of the blackberry cream alongside.
6. Decorate with the blackberries and rose buds

BUON APPETITO – Giovanni Fontebasso

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