Bring me my spear

Bring me my spear

Not quite burning gold but purple sprouting broccoli is edible treasure for Jonny Nicholson, Chef – Proprietor of The Sail Loft in Southwold

Early spring is far from a purple patch for chefs and gardeners; the brassicas are mostly over, the root vegetables might store well but quite frankly we’re getting bored; the game season long since finished, mussels are off the menu but lobster and crab really aren’t about much yet and asparagus is still a good few weeks away; but all is not lost, there is one glorious vegetable to savour.

Read more

Margarita time

Margarita time

Precious downtime from the stove in his busy kitchen means easy comfort food for Jonny Nicholson, Chef – Proprietor of The Sail Loft in Southwold

This month I thought I would take it easy or rather you might with a favourite pizza recipe. It is perfect for nights on the sofa in front of a good film, for the kids on a sleepover, for a light lunch al fresco with salad, and for whenever you feel like taking it easy in the kitchen. Pizzas are the easiest dish to do in a hurry as there are so many cooks’ cheats you can use or you can make the tomato sauce and bake the bases ahead. Below is my idea of a perfect pizza but if you don’t have the time to make the ragù or the dough, there are lots of ready-made alternatives. For the sauce, you can use simple tomato and garlic purée and/or basil pesto (green or red both work well) and for the bases, thinly-cut baguette horizontally is delicious as are naan or pitta breads. You’ll see I make the basic margarita recipe and then top it with raw ingredients, this keeps the flavour and texture in the lovely ham and olives but if you prefer it all baked together, be my guest.

Read more

Man-size happiness!

Man-size happiness!

Spoil your Dads and Grandads this Fathers’ Day with a proper burger, says Jonny Nicholson, chef-owner of The Sail Loft in Southwold

Fast food joints might be obviously quick and easy and the kids love them of course. But whilst their pretty adverts try to convince us how authentic their take-aways taste and other than being convenient on a long journey, I do try and avoid them.

Read more

The Food of Love

The Food of Love

 

All it’s all about shared indulgence come February 14 for Jonny Nicholson of The Bell At Sax’, Saxmundham

Perhaps every day should be Valentine’s Day, not just one day when we celebrate Cupid and his proverbial arrow, but I guess the heartfelt expressions and good intentions on the big day make us appreciate our loved ones even more all year round.

Read more

This little piggy

Nothing beats great local Blythburgh free range pork for Jonathan Nicholson, chef-owner of The Sail Loft in Southwold If you venture up the A12 near us in Southwold and explore the lovely coastal landscape, you can’t help but come across fields of very happy pigs, rooting around, wallowing and sunbathing.

These are the great-tasting, well-fed, well-bred herds of the dedicated farming family, the Butlers of Blythburgh Free Range Pork, up there with Adnams, Aspall and other great foodie icons in the county with a claim on being Suffolk’s best export. As a chef, I firmly believe you can’t beat it, the succulence, flavour, texture of Blythburgh pork once cooked, it’s nothing like cheap supermarket meat. Just get down to your local independent butcher and look out for their name, proudly stamped on the joints. And if you find any on display, ask them to get it in for you. You’re guaranteed to find their pork at Creaseys of Peasenhall, Emmerdale Farm Shop at Yoxford or Clarke’s of Bramfield, owned by another good friend, Jeremy Thickitt, our butcher for the Sail Loft and The Bell At Sax’.

Here is a lovely easy-to-serve weekday supper pork dish, perfect for piggy appetites, big and small. It takes all day to cook but is worth the effort, great for a hog-roast style bap or on top of granary toast – in the picture, it’s on a char-grilled bruschetta with buttered kale, chunky ratatouille and a soft poached egg. There will be lots of leftovers, they reheat well in a microwave or readily transformed into a hearty stew or pie filling.

PULLED PORK

1.5 – 2kg pork shoulder on bone

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tbsp salt

1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika

Pre-heat the oven to 220c. Line a baking tin with enough foil to cover over pork. Lay pork in but do not cover. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn down oven to 130c. Remove pork and fold foil into a sealed loose tent around pork. Cook for another 6 – 8 hours until soft enough to yield to the back of a fork. Remove and open foil out. Carefully drain off juices into a container and reserve. Turn oven up to 220c and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until well-browned. Cover again with foil and leave for an hour to rest. Remove pork and shred well, pulling apart with two forks whilst warm. Return juices to shredded meat and fold in. Refrigerate overnight.

Enjoy! Jonny

 

The Sail Loft, Ferry Road, Southwold IP18 6HQ Our beachside café-bar-restaurant, proudly using local, seasonal, Suffolk ingredients – find us near the campsite and lifeboat station. W: www.sailloftsouthwold.uk T: 01502 725713