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WEEKEND WEB: Cooking up some enterprising county recipes

Risotto recipe from A Taste of Lincolnshire cook book
Risotto recipe from A Taste of Lincolnshire cook book

TRISH TAKES FIVE: By Trish Burgess

I’ve always been a supporter of Young Enterprise schemes. My son Rory was part of a team at Spalding Grammar School that sourced reusable sports bottles, printed with the school logo.

Remembering the positive impact the process had on my son, I was keen to show my support for a group of business hopefuls from Lincoln Minster School. The budding entrepreneurs have produced a cookbook, A Little Taste of Lincolnshire.

But there’s a twist. Rather than a collection of favourite Lincolnshire recipes, the book showcases the best cuisine from cafes, pubs and restaurants in the region. Joint MD Henry Morris got in touch to see if I could help to publicise the book so I offered to try out a couple of recipes.

The book has just under 20 recipes from 12 eateries, the majority based in Lincoln itself. Beautifully photographed and with an eye-catching design, I was soon licking my lips over dishes such as Pimm’s Cake from Bunty’s Kitchen and Red Wine Braised Beef Cheek courtesy of Doddington Hall.

I plumped instead for Lincolnshire Sausage and Roast Butternut Squash Risotto. On the menu at the Eden Wine Bar in Grantham, this recipe does feature a Lincolnshire favourite. Plus it’s a risotto and I enjoy cooking these: there’s pleasure in stirring, as the stock is gradually added to the rice. And wine is required. My tip here is to double the amount: a glass for the pot and a glass for the chef.

Like many home cooks, I ended up tweaking the recipe. I bought my Lincolnshire sausages from George Adams butchers in Spalding then promptly forgot they were for this dish and ate them. Panic ensued until I remembered I had half a haggis in the freezer. This was a great alternative, adding plenty of texture and spice to the dish.

There was no indication of how many the risotto would serve but I soldiered on and the resulting meal was tasty and provided a huge dinner for two with a bit left over.

I then opted for Spanish Meatballs from Olé Olé restaurant in Lincoln. Based on a traditional family recipe, this too featured a glass of red wine, so yet another bottle had to be opened.

I’m fond of cooking meatballs but was particularly keen on this recipe as I didn’t need to create breadcrumbs. Rather than end up with grated knuckles, like I usually do, the bread was torn and soaked in milk.

Using beef and pork mince plus lots of garlic and smoked paprika, this recipe is one I’ll definitely cook again.

I’m sure the team from Lincoln Minster School will have found this experience a rewarding one, solving challenges and learning new skills involved in creating a business.

I’ve certainly learned something. Don’t eat the ingredients the day before you cook a dish and have plenty of wine in the house. I’m also keen to visit some of the places that have shared their recipes in this book. There’s a White Chocolate Semifreddo at The Old Bakery in Lincoln which has my name on it.

• You can read Trish’s blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk


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