Valentine Warner's guide to seasonal cooking. Valentine focuses on quick and tasty summer suppers, tracking down the tastiest tomatoes to create his favourite pizza topping.
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'Summer, the most exciting time for the seasonal cook, is here.
'Mother Nature's summer goodies are all around us,
'and the choice of ingredients leaves me dizzy with ideas.'
'I'm Valentine Warner, chef by trade, greedy by nature.
'From barbecues to picnics, lunches and teas, no seasonal ingredient
'will escape my clutches, as I show you What To Eat Now.'
I won, I won!
I don't believe it!
'On tonight's show, it's all about suppers.
'I'll be rustling up meals that are both speedy and ultra-tasty,
'leaving you more time to savour the evening sunshine.'
'I'll be tickling trout in Scotland...'
Now, I didn't expect that!
'..livening up your leftovers...'
It tastes like heaven.
'..and going on a quest to find the tastiest tomatoes of all.'
I'm going to finish this one.
Who am I to prevent you?!
'Summer evenings are there to be enjoyed, and slaving over a hot stove
'for hours on end just isn't part of the plan.
'Supper is my favourite meal, especially in the summer season,
'because food this fresh doesn't need to be messed around.
'I'm going to show you summer recipes that are light on time but full of flavour.'
Courgettes for me are really summery, but don't forget the flowers - they're edible,
and I'm going to stuff them...
'..and make crispy, deep-fried courgette flowers.
'Slice up creamy buffalo mozzarella, give it a twist of black pepper
'and lay an anchovy fillet on top.'
This is crispy, melty, salty. It's all good stuff.
These are terribly fragile, so you've just got to find the opening
with the sensitivity of a doctor investigating earache.
Trying desperately not to tear it.
The little passenger popped in.
'And then simply seal the flower with a twist.'
Those are done, and these are going to be dipped in batter and deep fried
so you have this crunchy batter, soft courgette,
and break it open and hot mozzarella comes out and burns your chin and stretches all over the place.
Kind of amazing.
'Now for the batter that will coat the courgettes.
'Sift flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.
'Whisk an egg and add a couple of spoonfuls to the mix.
'Then pour in some chilled lager.'
Lots of bubbles to make a light, crispy batter.
'Roll the courgettes in seasoned flour to help the batter bind them.'
Look at these little sceptres of joy.
'Give them a good coating of the light batter and deep fry for a couple of minutes.'
They're all frizzling away. They need a lot of love and attention.
When you're turning them, be very careful not to jab a hole in them,
or they'll swamp with oil and you'll end up with a disaster.
Armoured and crispy, there they go.
What an amazing thing to eat, courgette flowers with mozzarella.
These are so good primarily because they're deep-fried!
Melty, tangy anchovy, really fantastic.
'I've been mad about fishing ever since I was little, and can't think
'of anything I'd like more for supper than a tasty, fishy feast.'
During the summer months, I have a love affair with trout,
watching them, fishing for them, cooking them.
But there's one bit of mythical river lore I've never seen,
the stuff of children's stories - trout tickling.
'So I've come to East Lothian to meet former gamekeeper Jimmy McLaughlin,
'who's been tickling trout in these rivers all his life.'
Are you Jimmy, half heron, half otter?
That's the man, nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you too. I feel like I'm eight, I'm so excited.
Good, I'm quite excited myself.
-Show me the secret.
-We'll just have to go for it.
-Let's do it.
'It's only legal to catch trout in England and Wales with a fishing rod.
'But in Scotland, if you have a Government licence
'and the go ahead of the person who owns the fishing rights, then tickling is allowed.'
From this minute, I'm now getting a lesson from the master.
Just feel along under the ledge. "Oh, what's that? Something slimy."
Try and work out what end you're at,
cup your hands round it gently,
a wee bit of pressure at the back of the head with your forefinger and thumb, and gently lift it out.
Just take a slow walk up here, very calm, and watch in the river and see what we can see.
'The trick to tickling is to scare the fish into seeking shelter under rocks,
'then using your hands to trap and catch them.'
I can't wait.
If I see this today, I'll be amazed.
'On first sight, it's looking good.'
Yeah, yeah, there's lots of trout everywhere.
'If we don't manage to catch a trout in here, there's something wrong.'
There's the classic example.
-Can you see all the silt coming out from underneath that rock?
-What does that tell you?
-There's a fish in there.
-There's a fish in there, so...
There's one under here, and I'm following it up.
'Seems the first chance of supper has escaped our clutches.'
Anywhere you think there could be a trout, that's where you have to look.
'I don't think this is going to be as easy as I first thought.'
-Jimmy, this is addictive.
-Yes, I know.
-I haven't even had my hands on a trout yet!
-That's what happens,
on a beautiful day like this, you can come walking up the river...
All the time I've wasted bicycling and kite-flying, I could have been trout tickling!
Let's have a look under here.
Do you occasionally find horrors under the bank?
I've had mink, eels, rats... You soon learn quickly enough when you're tickling away what's not a trout.
-Something hairy, get out?
-Yes, anything like that, just get out.
We have to get one. I feel very predatory, Jimmy.
I didn't expect that!
That was hilarious! I found a very big trout.
-Oh, my God, that was a really decent fish.
Get back under, he's maybe still there.
We may have been lucky and he's come down to see me.
I just got the shock of a lifetime.
I thought I would approach this, "I've got a trout, get one out..."
It just moved and I just behaved like a huge, big girl.
That is amazingly embarrassing.
I was expecting to see a big water rat!
You know what they say about southerners being big girly blouses?
We'll just have to big-girl's-blouse it up into this next pool.
'I don't think Jimmy's that impressed with my tickling skills, and frankly, neither am I.'
We have to get one.
Whoa! Again, again, I panicked again!
I can't believe it!
Oh, my God!
Come on, Warner, you big pussy!
There we go.
Got one, I think.
I've got a small one, a wee baby brown trout.
Not what were looking for, but nonetheless, a trout.
-You got one.
You have been tickled.
That is fantastic.
It's not a myth, it's a reality.
There we go.
'Jimmy's wee trout is too small for us to eat,
'and as he knows how difficult it is to catch trout by tickling,
'he's brought along a whopper that he caught by rod in this river earlier today.'
Jimmy, I'm going to make trout with samphire, then beurre blanc, a little butter sauce.
-Pretty simple, but a kind of classy dinner.
-Can I leave you with the filleting?
-Certainly, I will do that for you.
'Whilst Jimmy fillets the beautiful trout, I prepare my beurre blanc,
'a classic French butter sauce which is perfect for fish.
'Chop up a handful of shallots, a clove of garlic,
'and add to a pan.'
Just going to put a bit of thyme in.
Going to put a bay leaf in, peppercorns in.
'Add white wine and a splash of white-wine vinegar.'
This is a very smooth, velvety, luxurious sauce.
It kind of slides over the trout.
'Allow the sauce to reduce and then add chopped-up, unsalted butter, which makes it very creamy.'
It has to be cold, the butter.
If the butter is room temperature and all soft, it won't do its job.
'When the sauce is thick and glossy,
'pass through a sieve and season with salt and a squeeze of lemon.'
Beautiful, creamy, wine and butter.
'Now for the filleted trout.
'Lay the fish skin side down on seasoned flour.'
-I think you should put this in the frying pan.
-I'll do that for you.
-There you go.
-Trout and butter!
I must say, good.
Yeah, try and beat that.
'Crunchy, salty samphire is another seasonal treat
'that goes brilliantly with fish. Simply boil.'
That should be just about ready.
'When the trout's nice and crispy,
'flip and give it a final 20 seconds in the pan.'
'Spoon on the beurre blanc sauce and get stuck in to a delicious supper.'
Jimmy, thanks for a really great day.
Oh, my goodness me.
That's really good trout.
'So, my first attempt at trout tickling has been enormous fun,
'but as I'm not a man who likes to go hungry,
'I think I'll bring my rod next time.'
'Trout is amazing value for money in the supermarkets and fishmongers
'right now, and one of my favourite fishy suppers is trout croquettes.
'For these fancy fishcakes, take a baked trout, peel off the skin
'and flake the flesh into a bowl.
'Melt a big chunk of butter in a saucepan.
'And add a finely-chopped onion.
'Stir in a handful of flour,
'gradually mix in milk and simmer for five minutes.
'Next, squeeze in tomato puree,
'a dollop of mustard, fresh double cream and chopped tarragon.
'Mix the flaked fish with the sauce, and chill.
'When cold, form into fat sausage shapes.
'Flour, dip in egg and cover in breadcrumbs.
'Deep fry in sunflower oil until golden brown.
'Delicious deep-fried trout croquettes.'
Mmm-mmm-mmm. That's very good.
'With an abundance of tasty seasonal ingredients available right now,
'there's no reason not to make the most of them,
'and what better than to use them to transform last night's leftovers into scrumptious suppers?
'Sunday's leftover roast can be transformed in minutes
'into a beautiful Oriental salad.
'Add thinly-sliced leftover beef to a bowl,
'along with seasonal salad favourites - cucumber,
'red onion and little gem lettuce.
'Make a spicy dressing by combining chilli...'
I like a bit of chilli violence.
'..garlic and ginger with fish sauce,
'sesame oil and a squeeze of lime.'
Get everything else you need ready - DVD in the player, the rest of the papers, a glass of wine.
'Throw in the toasted sesame seeds,
'and to finish, add torn mint and the dressing.'
It's zingy, it has heat,
it's incredibly refreshing and it's really, really easy to make.
'I always cook too many new potatoes,
'but this leftover take on egg and chips is a real winner for dinner.
'Fry sliced new potatoes in olive oil until golden brown.
'Toss in salt, rosemary and garlic.'
Rosemary, rosemary, rosemary.
'Pop a perfectly-fried egg on top and add my secret ingredient.'
Smoked paprika. It's kind of meaty and smoky,
it's absolutely fantastic stuff, and that is it.
That's a cracker.
'My mum's risotto recipe makes the most of last night's
'leftover chicken, and with fresh peas thrown in, it's a seasonal delight!
'Fry diced onion and garlic in a little olive oil,
'add risotto rice and fry for a minute or so more.
'Gradually add chicken stock,
'preferably made from the leftover carcass.
'Cook until the rice is plump, add peas and the diced chicken.'
Chicken with rice and peas has been a big part of Warner family life,
something that Mum used to make a lot.
'Finish with tarragon, chives and lemon juice.'
It's a really good kind of scrimpers and savers meal.
And it tastes like heaven.
'For me, tomatoes are the biggest summer sensation,
'and they're ripening on the vine right now,
'ready to liven up your supper.
'And they're never better than on top of a pizza,
'so I'm on a quest to find the tastiest tom of all.'
I just love tomatoes, and they come in all shapes and sizes.
'So, I've come to Somerset to meet an unlikely tomato farmer,
'ex-fashion guru Ann McGrath,
'who's growing an astounding 59 different varieties.'
Ann, tomato fanatic of the west!
-How could you have gone from being a fashion buyer
to being a militant tomato fanatic?!
When I first tasted tomatoes somebody had grown, I thought they'd be really brilliant, and they weren't.
And having always thought I could do better as a fashion buyer,
I was convinced I could do better with these things as well!
'When it comes to tomatoes, Ann has high expectations,
'and if a variety fails to wow her, it won't be grown again next year.'
I'm already worrying that there are not enough hours in the day
-to eat the sheer volume of tomatoes that you've got on offer.
Can we start with this one?
Try one of these, sun sugar.
-That is amazing. Next?
It's completely different.
-Not as sweet. This is kind of like a wine tasting.
'I'm in heaven! We're sampling the finest tomatoes known to man.'
-My goodness me.
Explodes in your mouth, doesn't it?
'For a tomato connoisseur like me, this is gonna take some tasting.
'First, we're looking for both clarity and colour.'
They glow, your tomatoes.
There's light coming out of them.
That is amazing.
'And on the nose?'
Fresh tomatoes, just on the vine, smell so exceptional.
I can't define the smell of a tomato.
'But it is very important to be discerning.'
-This is called Sweet Lilian.
Unexceptional, I agree with. I think it's going to go on the reject list.
It's actually called berry.
To be honest, that one's quite bland.
-For me, for me.
There's a tomato for everyone.
"V. poor" - that's what they used to write on my homework.
What is your perfect tomato? I hate people who ask me that!
OK, I'm going!
'We're looking for good depth of flavour on the palette.'
Now, this is Cuban black. It's superb.
-Isn't that beautiful?
This is my idea of what a tomato ought to taste like.
So, in answer to my earlier question, you could have been a bit nicer to me!
I could perhaps have been a bit nicer.
Isn't that lovely?
'Wow! Deep fruity flavours with an elegant finish!'
-That's got serious depth to it, my goodness me.
-I'm going to finish this one.
Oh, right! Who am I to prevent you?!
'Seems Ann's also got style when it comes to tomatoes, and this tasting's been hungry work.
'Time for supper.'
Do you ever get bored of tomatoes?
-How could I get bored?
-I have to ask.
'Me neither! Bring on the pizza.
'Bind together water, yeast, sugar, salt and flour to make a simple pizza dough.'
If you put your ear close enough, you might be able to hear the rise from the yeast.
I think yeast is a bit more civilised than that!
'Leave to rise for an hour.'
It needs to go somewhere warm.
The airing cupboard.
-Hand it over. Do you trust me with it?
-I do trust you.
The dough is in the cupboard.
'Now for the topping, and we're each making our own pizza.
'I'm making a simple tomato sauce with a kick, whilst Ann's going creative.'
You think that sauce-making is a fabulous waste of time?
Not in the least. I'm sure your sauce will be worth every minute!
I just think a pizza really is better with the fresh tomato baked.
'That sounds like a challenge to me!
I'm hoping to win over the queen of all tomatoes
'with an international blend of Cuban, Kosovan and British varieties.'
I want a good garlic-y blast.
There's a lot of mud here.
I can't work like this!
Go to a different kitchen!
'Fry finely-chopped chilli and garlic in plenty of olive oil, along with the tasty tomatoes.'
Look how ripe that is. In they go.
'A little salt, then reduce until thick and luscious.'
Nice little bite at the bottom.
It should have that little...grrrr.
'Now for the pizza bases.'
I can't spin it like an Italian pizza maker, I'm afraid.
I'm really disappointed to hear that.
I think if you've never done it before, this is not the moment.
Now you've practised, mine can be a perfect circle.
Mine is more circular than yours.
I'm cooking a square pizza anyway, so I don't care.
'I finish my pizza with the punchy tomato sauce.'
Want a little bit more than a scraping, I want you to be able to bite into it.
'A few anchovy fillets, a sprinkling of dried oregano,
'black pepper and a final glug of olive oil.
'In a bid to keep hold of her crown, Ann's not holding back with her topping -
'basil in olive oil and two types of pepper.'
It's looking very pretty already with the purple and green.
That's why I like the mixed colours, you know?
'Once a fashion guru, always a fashion guru.'
Quite a stunning tomato.
It looks like the centre of the Earth.
'Let's just hope it's not style over content.
'Top with a soft Italian cheese.'
I will be the Italian waiter for you.
'12 minutes in the oven, and our pizzas are done.'
What a magnificent creation.
They both look amazing.
-They do both look quite tasty.
-OK, you first.
# You like tomato, I like tomato
# Potato, potato, tomato, tomato
# Let's call the whole thing off... #
'So, whose tomato temptation will steal the crown?'
-I can't believe...
-You had flaring nostrils.
-I hate pizza wheels.
-I like pizza wheels.
Give me a sharp knife any day.
-Do you want me to?
-This is a very complicated way of doing it!
It is, and if you insist on using a pizza wheel, this is how life is going to end up!
-There you go.
-I must say, that looks rather nice.
'First, we're trying each other's.'
-That is good.
-So sweet and fruity.
'And now to our own creations.'
That is not bad at all.
Your tomatoes make a mean sauce.
I don't think no one tomato could make a sauce like that.
No, I've got to say, the sauce is lovely,
-but I still actually like doing mine with the slices...
-With the big slices on it?
You and I are both stubborn in our ways, because I have to say that I like mine more!
-But they're both good, though.
# Tomato, tomato, let's call the whole thing off. #
'So whatever your style, be daring with your choice of tomatoes -
'there's tons to be tasted right now.'
'Summer means a glut of tomatoes, so we should all be making
'the most of them, and my Moroccan-inspired Prawn Tangiers is the ultimate simple supper.
'Score fat tomatoes, remove the stalks and blanche in boiling water for 30 seconds.
'Peel off the skins and roughly chop.
'Toast cumin seeds in a pan and add olive oil and spinach leaves.
'Add the tomatoes and a finely-chopped clove of garlic.
'Give it a squeeze of lemon, season with salt and pepper and cook until the liquid is reduced.
'In a separate pan, fry fresh prawns until coloured.
'Scoop in the tomato-and-spinach mixture and cook until bubbling.
'Finally, tuck in with a big hunk of bread.'
So delicious. These very simple ingredients go incredibly well together.
'If tomatoes aren't your favourite thing, now's the time to scour
'the shops and markets, as the summer bounty is there to tempt you.
'The edible thistle artichoke is a real summer treat, delicious when boiled and eaten with vinaigrette.
'Lemons and limes make for perfect supper sipping.
'Simply slice, add to a glass with elderflower and top up with soda water.
'Summer means a glut of the quintessentially British runner bean,
'and if you make them into a chutney, can be enjoyed all year long.
'Gooseberries are a scrumptious, seasonal delight and form the basis for my gooseberry-snow dessert.'
The hairy little gooseberry is a peculiar fruit, but one I love.
Intriguing in taste, it's very tangy.
They're in abundance by July, and this is a fantastic pudding to put them in.
'Top and tail the gooseberries and place in a saucepan.'
Gooseberries are one of those real quintessential British fruits.
A real taste of the English summer.
'Add plenty of butter and sugar.'
They can be so tart, gooseberries, I like that quite ferocious,
twisty tang, but if you don't, you can always put more sugar in.
I don't want to cook these until they are complete pap.
You want them to slightly hold their form and have a little
bit of bite, so really this will only cook for six to eight minutes.
'Remove from the heat, leave to cool for five minutes, then stir in two egg yolks.'
This will thicken up and also make it very rich - as if it wasn't rich enough already!
But you can't have too much of a good thing.
'Leave to one side. Now, on to the meringue topping.
'Whisk two egg whites in a bowl until stiff.'
You should be able to empty it upside down without it falling on the floor.
'Then gradually add 100 grams of sugar and a teaspoonful of vanilla extract.'
You've now got lovely, stiff, glossy meringue, like good-quality shaving foam.
'Spoon the gooseberries into ovenproof bowls and generously top with meringue.
'Finally, bake in a medium oven for 15 minutes.'
Look at that for drama.
Right, which one?
I can't wait to get at that meringue lurking below.
Peculiar, hairy little things, but...
'So after a long day at work, don't stress over supper.
'Round up your family and friends and enjoy summer evenings in the sunshine.'
# What a day for a daydream
# Custom-made for a daydreaming boy
# Now I'm lost in a daydream... #
'Coming up next time, it's all about sumptuous summer fruits.'
That's about as British as you can get.
'I'll be hoping for divine intervention when it comes to blackcurrants.'
-I think a bit more praying over those.
-I think they do!
-Can't you do any miracles?
-Afraid not, no!
'And going head-to-head in a battle of the berries.'
Strawberries versus raspberries.
Delicious raspberries! You've got to have raspberries! Yes!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Valentine Warner continues his guide to seasonal cooking and eating, this time focusing on quick and tasty summer suppers.
Valentine tracks down the tastiest tomatoes to create his favourite pizza topping, and wades into a Scottish river to learn the art of tickling trout. He also brings the gooseberry back into fashion with a recipe for heavenly gooseberry snow, and gives us his top tips on making a delicious meal out of yesterday's leftovers.
Packed full of delicious recipes that sing of summer, Valentine shows us how easy and rewarding it is to eat food that is in season and make the best of ingredients that are plentiful, cheap and packed full of flavour.