Author: Rupert Cooper

Being ordered to stay at home for a third time our own safety certainly doesn’t make it any easier, especially with this one being right in the depths of winter.   With many people doing their grocery shopping online or wanting to spend as little time in the supermarket as possible, planning a menu for the week has never been more important.  As with the one week meal plans that I shared in the spring and late autumn of 2020 (you can find them here and here), this one carries over leftovers or key ingredients to minimise wastage and make sure that you’re getting the best value for money from your weekly shop.

This menu features both meat and fish, but I’ll add a couple of notes with suggestions for how you could adapt or edit some of them to make them vegetarian or even vegan.

Please click each link to be taken through to the web page to find ingredients and instructions.

Sunday – Gary Rhodes’ Roast Beef Served With Gordon Ramsay’s Cauliflower Cheese

(Or just make a mega cauliflower cheese for a vegetarian Sunday dinner.)

BBC Good Food Gary Rhodes' Roast Beef
Gordon Ramsay's cauliflower cheese

Monday – Jamie’s Cauliflower Mac & Cheese 

Tuesday – Leftover Beef Tacos 

(Replace beef with sliced peppers and onions for a vegetarian version, and use a dairy alternative to sour cream to make this vegan)

Wednesday – Hake En Papilote

Thursday – Roasted Beetroot Tart 

(You could make this vegetarian dish vegan by using a vegan feta cheese, a vegan puff pastry, and replacing the egg-wash with oil or a non-dairy milk).

Friday – Indian Roast Chicken

Saturday – Leftover Chicken Soup With Winter Seasonal Veg

(Use vegetable stock and bulk out with more vegetables and lentils for a vegan version.)

After a week in Catalonia I’ve fallen head over heels for their regional wine and
cuisine. As the area has a long wine-making tradition, and cava also originates
from there, we had a lot of fantastic wines to choose from. Due to the Catalonian
geography and climate the cava and all of the wine is served chilled, even the red.
You can bring the flavours of Catalonia to your table (and fridge!) by
investing in some Monastrell reds, any of the Spanish rosés and any wines made
from the black tempranillo grape.  Have fun finding Spanish wines to accompany,
say, a plate of European charcuterie, or a variety of Cornish cheeses. It's always
worth pushing your budget with Spanish rosé too, because you get a lot more
taste for your money.

Food-wise, one thing that intrigued me was that the Catalonians use a rice
base as the foundation for many of their dishes, much as the English use
potatoes. One night it’s ‘Arròs negre’ (also written as arroz negro) where the rice
is turned black and rendered to a delicious creamy consistency by using
cuttlefish ink. The next night the same base with a few adjustments accompanies
sausages. The rice is grown in Spain and is popular in the Northern region.
Cuttlefish ink is now widely available. Give it a go.

If all this is making your mouth water you will be pleased to hear that I’m
promoting the Spanish approach to cooking (many different plates of
deliciousness that just keep coming and coming, rather than one big meal to
labour through) by putting together a both a tapas course and, separately, a
purely Spanish course for the New Year.

Back in Philleigh Way we are excited that local heroes Cornish Seaweed are
running a seaweed course here next month. Cornish Seaweed founders Caro
and Tim are not only world-tested experts in renewable energy, conservation
and bio-diversity, but they also know their way around the Cornish coast. They
give seaweed ‘haircuts’ rather than removing the entirety of the plant, in order to
ensure continued seaweed health and regeneration. The seaweeds harvested can
be used in smoothies, soups, stews, salads and even bread. The course will teach
you identification while foraging, and their recipes will enable you to boost
existing dishes’ nutritional value while also enhancing their taste.

Christmas Parties
Meanwhile, with Christmas on the horizon, if you want a company party with a
difference, or a team-building day to remember, then why not try a course at
Philleigh Way? Whether baking bread, filleting fish or hand-making Michelin
quality chocolates it can be a great way to spend a day with your team. You will
generally cook in pairs and with the day made merry by eating, drinking and
chatting with your colleagues, the Philleigh staff and me, it’s fun all round.
The Just for Men course and Sausage Making course make great gifts too for
those men who have everything except culinary know-how. Also if you want
a bespoke course do contact me to discuss the options because I may well have
all sorts of great ideas to suit you.

Slide easily into the Christmas spirit with a day of prep and a glass of fizz at
Philleigh Way with Christmas Baking (6th  and 13th  Dec), Christmas
Cooking (29th  Nov, and 8th  Dec) where I will show you how to be well prepared
ahead of the game with your Canapés and Cocktails, and of course the all
important Christmas Wreath-making class (7th  and 8th  December).

Happy cooking everyone!

Rupert’s All-Cornish Knock-It Back November Sparkler Cocktail:

Okay so the end of the summer holidays and autumn is in sight – but one of the things to really look forward to (sad to say!) is Autumn. Oysters and mussels will be featuring a lot in my menus (both professionally and at home) during September, October and November.  Some of the top notch spring lamb should be coming through now too. But I urge you, for the last few weeks of summer, to focus on the burst-in-your-mouth joy of a fresh cherry tomato.

With a few weeks more sunshine forecast we’re in for a plump and bursting-with-flavour tomato season and these little numbers can bring so many meals alive. I’ll be laying my hands on all sorts of tomato varieties to use them in soups, stews, salads, tagines, pasta dishes, aperitifs and curries.

My particular star-turn for the tomato at this time of year though? It’s the panzanella – that gorgeous Tuscan salad featuring tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, cucumbers, basil, red onions and capers which provides the perfect reason to soak up a hunk of leftover bread.

Rupert’s Quick Meal Tip: Roast your tomatoes in the oven (dare I say burn), sprinkle with cumin seeds and serve with full fat Greek yoghurt, and drizzle each of olive oil and red wine vinegar. This can accompany all sorts of dishes but even on its own makes for an outrageously good mouthful that you can serve with homemade flatbreads and salad for a simple but memorable lunch.

But for all you dedicated meat-eaters out there we’ve got those Last Bank Holiday Weekend of the year barbecues to get excited about. Here at Philleigh Way we’ve barbecued in all sorts of weather, including for a wedding on the cliff tops at Maenporth that same windy weekend that Boardmasters was cancelled. Yes it was blowy – but we were tucked in away a little bit – and it was a fantastic day in the end. The menu couldn’t have been more Cornish – smoked beef, roasted lamb shoulder, whole breams and then a variety of salads and potatoes – and all went hand in hand with the client’s beautiful, laidback rustic event. For pudding? A crowd-pleasing affogato with coffee, ice-cream and a little gingerbread crumble. One very happy couple, with very happy guests too.  Job done.

Get out and enjoy Cornwall…



Owner, Philleigh Way

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