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Kentish Cooking And Food Made Simple - Oysters, Ale, Lamb, Sole, Shrimp And Much More
Little known facts about Kent food - No. 121: Kentish broad beans are judged by Buster to be the best in the world!
Our Kentish recipes; about half the recipes we've published are very traditional typically English dishes. Bread and butter pudding, ham and lentil soup, skate wings, fisherman's pie, potted shrimp and many more. The rest are an eclectic mix originating from all parts but now being made in Kent's kitchens. Some are the work of well known local chef's and cooks but most come from family cook books. We welcome your feedback, and your recipes, even variations on those we already have. We'll credit the details and link to your website if you wish.
Kent has a world wide reputation as the 'Garden of England', based largely on the fruit and hops for which the county is famed. But if you look a little beneath the surface and you will find the county is home to a very wide range of edible produce, some of it of the highest quality. The dishes we feature here reflect the tastes of our audience and so by their nature are diverse.
In Kent you can find local ingredients like: Whitstable natives (Oysters), cobnuts, Dover sole, Kentish apples, Romney lamb, skate wings, real ale and much, much more. Some of these ingredients have been used in the county for over 1,500 years.Starters
Angels on Horseback - Kentish oysters have been eaten locally for hundreds (if not thousands) of years so it's natural for Kentish food and recipe directories to include them.
Braised Fennel - A little like Marmite, people tend to love or hate fennel, I thinks it's delicious roasted although you can use it many different ways.
Crab Cakes - Crab fish cakes are very popular in the US, a little less common in the UK where dressed crab is still a popular item on the menu of seafood restaurants.
Dumplings - If you like stew or casserole take a look at our dumpling recipe. It'll add some variety to these dishes and provide an delicious innovation to anyone who's never had suet dumplings before.
Grilled Sardines - In the UK this is a delightful summer fish, it can be eaten with a simple dressed salad. The secret to good results is quality fresh fish and allowing enough time for a marinade.
Home Baked Bread - The sky is really the limit with bread; the ingredients, ways of cooking and preparation methodology are all are flexible and will lead to different results.
Ham & Lentil Soup - This is one from a family cookbook, a traditional and warming soup, rarely seen on restaurant menus anymore, one of my favorites for a winter evening.
Kentish Pumpkin Soup - Quite simple to make, it does have a peppery pumpkin flavour, it tends only to be made around Halloween when the pumpkins come into season.
Mackerel and Potato Salad - When in season this is an abundant and delicious fish, traditionally eaten in late spring and early summer. In Kent you'll find locally caught fish in wet fish shops; be careful of the bones.
Minestrone Soup - We publish a traditional Italian recipe but there are so many authentic variations that you shouldn't feel too tied to a set formula. Use simple fresh ingredients that are in season (time for a trip to your local farmers' market?).
Mussels In White Wine - This is now a staple in many Kent Restaurants and Bistros. As long as you know how to clean and prepare shellfish there's no reason not to try this at home.
Patatas Bravas - Tapas inspired, always delicious, easy to make even for a beginner, it can be kept overnight and reheated if necessary.
Potted Shrimp - One for the teenagers! This was apparently a favorite dish of long time St Margaret's Bay resident Ian Fleming. I'm told that people are still shrimping in Kent but I haven't seen anyone myself for a few years now. If you know better let us have some feedback.
Quiche - Don't underestimate the quiche, this savoury egg flan is incredibly versatile. It can be eaten hot or cold and can accommodate a wide range of ingredients in the same way that a pizza might. We link to several quiche resources.
Spanish Omelette - The omelette or its Iberian relative tortilla, is a regular on tapas menus because of its; popularity, ease of preparation and the relative cost of the ingredients. It works hot or cold, can be kept for a day or two and doesn't suffer too much from a sympathetic reheating.
Salmon en Croute - This is an accessible recipe for a beginner, particularly if you use ready made pastry (available at all the supermarkets). It is essentially salmon in a puff pastry. Salmon has a unique enough flavour so can be complimented by many different herbs and spices.
Scotch Eggs - Still very popular and sold by local butchers, supermarkets, and even petrol stations. They are quite easy to prepare and cook, although they require you to work with hot fat.
Smoked Mackerel Pate' - This is a winner, impress yourself, friends and family with this delicious yet inexpensive dish. Presented well and served on some artisan bread or luxury crackers it won't fail to impress. Only ten minutes to prepare.
Spaghetti Carbonara - A relatively modern pasta innovation, unashamedly Italian with a contemporary feel, a complete departure from tomato and basil sauces. Some Italian friends refer to this as the 'Bacon and Egg' sauce.
Spicy Chili Prawns - Make this dish with as much or as little garlic and chili as suits your taste. When you order this dish in a Spanish restaurant you can expect a significant amount of garlic compared to the usual British taste.
Spinach Soup - Fresh spinach is a must, baby or young leaves gives a more delicate flavour. if you're using mature leaves strip the stems for a richer taste. There's not so much freedom with this recipe so stick to the formulae and introduce changes to your cooking gradually.
Watercress Soup - A simple recipe, great taste and very healthy, the watercress will reduce down so don't underestimate how much you'll need.Main Course
Beef & Ale Pie - One of our most popular recipes, good quality beef and ale are indispensable. A typically British dish with many variations. Can be made with a fine puff or short crust pastry.
Beef Curry In A Thai Sauce - In terms of dishes served in Kent's restaurants Curry is amongst the most popular. Now it's migrating from the restaurant into the kitchens of local houses. This is a simply brilliant recipe suitable for inexperienced cooks to try. The more times you make this dish the better it will be, stick with the recipe to start with.
Cauliflower Cheese - A real British supper staple and also a talking point in our small office. Did cauliflower come from Cyprus, and if so why and how, what conditions on Cyprus led to the evolution of this vegetable. Cyprus wasn't so remote so why wasn't it exported by man or any other natural mechanism. Have we been sold a pup? Any feedback to the usual address.
Chicken Casserole - Not to be confused with a pot roast, this dish uses chicken pieces and a range of complementary ingredients. Most cooks will have their own version of casserole, we offer a traditional family recipe.
Chicken Stew - Here's a cook in the pot chicken dish (Chicken Juba) offered from some of our friends in France.
Cod & Butter - When we talk about cod we have to be mindful of sustainable fishing. Cod is a fantastic resource, if it's overfished it could be lost for ever. So use a responsible supplier or an appropriate alternative where possible.
Coq Au Vin - A very traditional French coq in wine recipe. The coq was normally used for a slow braising to release as much of the flavour as possible and to tenderize the meat. A young hen by comparison requires less cooking time but the flavour will not be as full. There are many regional variations of this recipe.
Couscous With Merguez Sausages - The Merguez is a well known North African sausage usually served with couscous. Its popularity in Europe has risen through the North African connection with France. If you visit a French Supermarket you will notice a wide range African delicacies.
Duck Breast & Garlic - One of our flagship recipes, it consistently attracts great feedback, it takes a bit of effort but delivers a rich, delicious meal. The same idea can be used with different meats but it's the browning of the duck skin that produces that fat for which the dish is renown.
Faggots - Another dish for the teenagers, faggots are rarely made at home any more but at one time you could expect to find them being prepared in many kitchens. I don't think they have any strong connection with Kent but perhaps their local popularity is connected to the Welsh miners who came to settle in the county from the 1930s onwards (any feedback on this issue welcome). Served in gravy, you could make a few dumplings to go with them if you wishes to break with all traditional norms.
Fisherman's Pie - In British cooking there are few pies that have a potato top, this is one of those exceptions. This dish is so flexible that you use whatever fish is sustainable in season and still get a fantastic result. It's really worth persisting with Fish Pie, once you get it right you'll never forget how to make it.
Kentish Halloween Hotpot - This is another of our recipes from a family cook book, strongly associated with Halloween it is a great autumn vegetarian dish.
Lovely Fish Pie - Small distinctions between our Fisherman's Pie and a Fish Pie, this is another of our top ten recipes, it's been viewed tens of thousands of times, follow the recipe for a great result.
Lamb, Potatoes & Lentils - Anyone for puy lentils? If you've never cooked with dry lentils or have only experienced those that require overnight soaking Puy lentils might come as a useful addition to your ingredient cupboard. They're very easy to use, just require a a quick rinse and have a delicious, slightly sweet taste.
Lamb Stew - It seems that lamb stew is one of those traditional British dishes that is gradually falling from grace. I think it's still popular in some Mediterranean cooking but it's getting harder to find on our own restaurant menus. This recipes makes a delicious and warming stew, the ingredients are quite flexible and it always seems to be well received by my diners.
Lancashire Hot Pot - An old established recipe, particularly familiar to long standing patrons of the Rovers' Return. Ingredients include; neck of lamb, potatoes and offal. It is possible to swap the offal with black pudding.
Lasagna - An authentic Italian recipe for Pasta al Forno, this is a Lombardy variation that doesn't require bechamel sauce. It takes a bit of work but with pasta dishes practise really does make perfect.
Meatloaf - This recipe uses mince and mixed herbs, meatloaf affords the cook a lot of flexibility with the ingredients. There are now a number of meat free alternatives to mince which may be suitable for this recipe. If you have any feedback concerned with 'meat free' meatloaf let us know.
Pan Fried Dover Sole - Dover sole or little slips are flatfish, it has a delicate flavour and good results can be achieved with basic cooking skills. Lemon sole and Pacific Dover sole can be used as alternative according to the availability and sustainability of fish in your area.
Pork With Apple & Cheese - Pork and apple is a pretty regular combination but what about the cheese? This is an old established recipe which allows you to use pears and perry instead of apples.
Perfect Roast Turkey - Perhaps the most important dish of the year; but it's really not so hard to get great results. The first consideration is to make sure you cook the bird properly. So follow the instructions on the packaging as closely as you can.
Sausage Casserole - Another recipe that has received a lot of plaudits from our regular users. This sausage casserole recipe is a variation on a long standing dish from a family cook book. It's taken several years of experimentation and this is the conclusion, if you can improve on it please let us know.
Skate With Juniper & Capers - When they are in season and sustainable why not try skate wings, there's usually plenty in the local wet fish shops and the markets. When there's a surplus you can usually get them at a good price, we like junipers and capers with skate but I think this is unique, you might like to experiment with your own spices.
Stir Fried Rice & Pork - This is a simple and basic recipe for someone wanting some ideas about stir frying pork for the first time.
Stuffed Marrow - If you've never tried to stuff a marrow, jump in with this recipe. In the UK home grown marrows are available from the late summer onwards,eat them as fresh as possible. Stuffing requires a bit of work but a fresh marrow with a tasty stuffing is a real treat. Washing away the bitterness with salt is a good tip.
Toad In The Hole - Another recipe from all our yesterdays. If you're of a certain age you may have had this dish at school or home. It's hard to find nowadays. It's something like sausages cooked in a Yorkshire pudding. Use great sausages and batter for a delicious meal that also provides a walk down memory lane.
Bread and Butter Pudding - This comes from the same school lunch menu as the Toad in the Hole above. This is so simple to make and can taste so nice that it's hard to understand why it's fallen out of fashion. The origins of this pudding go back centuries to a dish called Whitepot.
Chocolate Cake - We pick a traditional yet easy to follow recipe, suitable for an inexperienced cake baker. It's popular because it gives consistently good results. It is the best cake recipe we have in terms of the finished product, enjoy.
Christmas Cake - The Yourcounty Christmas Cake a traditional, tried and tested recipe this is very rich and the end product will blow your socks off!
Christmas Pudding - Once custom dictated that the pudding had to be made in the home and that every member of the household should have to stir the mix. Times have changed but you can still make your own pudding if you so desire. Take a look at the recipe, it holds some information about the origins of the pudding.
Cookies - This is a starter menu suitable for new cooks or children who are being supervised by an adult.
Cup Cakes - Everyone likes cup cakes (or fairy cakes as we used to call them), the cake mix is spooned into individual throw away paper cups and baked in the oven.
Fresh Lemon Curd - If you have a sweet tooth and like lemons this recipe may be for you, it can be used in baking cakes and sweet, once upon a time children were given lemon curd sandwiches as a treat for tea!
Hot Cross Buns - The preparation of these Easter treats is a little bit fussy but probably within the scope of most cooks with a little experience.
Mince Pies - Or as some historians maintain, Saturnalia pies! See the recipe page for the full details about a possible connection between these Christmas sweets and the Romans..
Rice Pudding - Rice pudding cooked in the over with caramelized demerara sugar used to be a fairly common winter dessert in my childhood. Warming delicious and great if you have a sweet tooth.
Spotted Dick - A sponge pudding with currants in it, beloved by generations of school children, still being made and served, quite easy for a cook with a little experience.
Sorbets - Once upon a time.... any self respecting banquet would have a palate cleansing course between the entrée and the main course. This was a niche frequently occupied by the sorbet. Something of an acquired taste, we usually get a mixed reception when we serve them. Outside of the context of a formal dinner.
Sponge Cake - This is our entry level sponge recipe, a traditional sponge, details from a family cook book. we link to other resources and a video guide.Side Dish Recipes
Apple Sauce - This is a great way to use up and preserve apples when there is a surplus. Applesauce is frequently seen as an accompaniment to pork, but this is just one use for the stewed apples. This is a simple recipe suitable for an inexperienced cook.
Chestnut Stuffing - The greatest shame about chestnut stuffing is that even when you manage to perfect this dish you'll probably only make it once a year, no matter how delicious it is. This is a real shame, think outside the box and serve chestnut stuffing at other times, it can actually work well with game and can enhance even other poultry dishes.
Mint Sauce - Really quick and simple, you can grow the mint in a pot on the kitchen window sill and make some sauce in minutes. We usually use mint sauce with roast lamb but it can be a delightful addition to other lamb dishes, riata and a host of other interesting recipes.
New Potatoes And Broad Beans - This is a versatile, delicious and excellent value dish. We use is at the base for a starter, main and side dish. Add some home made mayonnaise and crispy bacon or duck and it is a brilliant starter.
Red Cabbage - Red Cabbage comes into the same category as chestnut stuffing, a fantastic recipe that could be used often but tends to be restricted to special occasions.
Roast Potatoes - If you struggle with good results it probably means you haven't establish a winning routine. Great roasties is a matter of doing the same things right every time. Once established you will be able to produce great re4sults with little effort.
Sauteed Potatoes - A nice change to the daily routine of roast, boiled or mashed potatoes, once you get the knack you may want to cook them because they are so nice. My own favorite sauteed potato recipe finishes the potatoes off in the oven.
Tapas Potato Cubes - Another recipe passed to us from a family cook book, they work as a snack, starter or a side dish. They tend to be a little more spicy that most of the potato dishes we eat so you'll need strong flavours to accompany them.
Yorkshire Pudding - The usual accompaniment to roast beef, can be eaten in a number of other ways. Given the quality of frozen and instant Yorkshires this is something of a dying art. It's always easy but very satisfying when successful.Drinks Recipes
Cosmopolitan Cocktail - Do you want to know how to make this popular cocktail? Launched into super stardom by it's prominence in the 'Sex & The City' television series.
Long Island Iced Tea - A all time favourite party drink, simple to make, delicious to drink.
How To Make A Mojito Cocktail - There seem to be a large number of variations to this cocktail, I'm not even sure there is an authoritative version, if you know different I'd be happy to get your feedback.
Mulled Wine - Am I the only person left who doesn't like mulled wine? Everyone else I knows seems to love it as a Christmas treat. And don't get me started on mulled beer!
Disclaimer And Feedback
We take care over our content and this page is checked regularly, but if you find an error or omission please let us know. We offer our recipes in good faith. Many, perhaps a half have been contributed by users, friends and family. The quality and styles varies but if you find any fundamental errors let us know and we'll look into into.
If you have your own favorite dish not included in in our collection why not tell our users about it?
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