Swine and Cheese

A passion for Pigs and Food

Archive for the ‘Recipes to try’ Category

White Yoghurt Soup

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This summer we had a wonderful family holiday in Turkey staying at the delightful boutique hotel, Dionysos. The hotel was the brainchild of the owner Ahmet who 8 years ago set about creating a cluster of pretty stone cottages, the main hotel and stunning infinity pool overlooking a dramatic canyon which sweeps down towards the Kulumbuk bay. This was in fact our second visit, and as we never repeat holidays as a rule just goes to show how much we enjoyed ourselves. The staff were the best we’ve encountered, welcoming, charming, informed, always there when needed but never in your face – perfect. We really wanted to take them home with us and it was quite a wrench to leave again. In fact the staff hadn’t changed from last year to this, they are like one big extended family looking out for each other and this shows which again is exceptional in a tough business like theirs.

The other reason to visit the Dionysos is the amazing cooking. Ahmet’s daughter, Didem Senol trained as a chef in New York and then Istanbul before becoming the chef at the Dionysos. Her cooking is creative, exciting and uniformly delicious. She and her fantastic team scour local markets and use produce from the Dionysos farm further up the mountain. From the start Ahmet created an organic farm growing a lot of the vegetables, olives, fruit and herbs used in the hotel. More recently he invested a considerable amount of money in building an olive pressing unit to extract their own oil. Their extra virgin olive oil is a very high quality oil which they use in all their cooking. The oil is called Amos organic olive oil and is the oil extracted from the early harvesting of their olives around the farm and Dionysos estate. Amazingly they won a coveted award at the annual olive oil “Oscars” in Italy the first time they entered last year! Amos olive oil is now ranked in the top 100 extra virgin olive oils in the world. Not bad for a fairly new venture. Sadly they don’t produce enough to satisfy both the Dionysos requirements and commercial outlets so you can’t buy it except at the Dionysos. Fortunately this year Didem has put together a wonderful book containing a lot of her recipes which I highly recommend. Called Aegean Flavours it is a great way to sample her take on the best of Turkish ingredients in ways I would never have tried. However one recipe which isn’t in the book is the following recipe for White Yoghurt Soup which my husband adored and so I got Unda to tell me the recipe on our last night. Here it is with a few tweaks as I was slightly worse for wear when he dictated it to me after several Margharita’s!

White Yoghurt Soup

This amount will serve 10:

2 litres water

100g  easy cook rice

Mix the above ingredients and cook for 15 mins until the rice is cooked.

500g natural yoghurt

1 free range egg

125g plain flour

1 litre water

half lemon juiced

small handful of oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

handful chopped mint

small handful chopped tarragon or 1 tsp dried tarragon

handful chopped parsley

1 tablespoon salt


1 x 400g tin drained chickpeas

50g butter

Mix all together except the chickpeas and herbs and bring to a gentle simmer. Use a whisk to stir in the flour as it tends to clump. Add the butter and herbs followed by the chickpeas, continue simmering for a few minutes and serve.


Written by Sarah

September 14th, 2010 at 9:03 am

Honey and pistachio drizzle cake

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This recipe is adapted from one featured in this months Olive magazine, an excellent foodie magazine which we subscribe to at Dukeshill. I noticed that the ingredients comprised three of my favourite things, honey, olive oil and pistachios. Having just launched our great friend, Susie’s olive oil this month at Dukeshill, been inundated at home with eggs and having twenty or so jars of our home produced honey left it seemed the perfect recipe to try. My capricious chickens being rare breed girls produce when they want to but by goodness they’re worth the wait! You can see how yellow all our eggs are from the colour of the sponge above but then we do have the most spoilt hens in the world. They are fed on ridiculously expensive organic layers pellets and corn and are allowed to roam round an acre of orchard. We go from feast to famine but at the moment it is very much feast on the egg front. I end up giving eggs away to anyone who pops round whether they want them or not! I also wanted to use up our delicious, runny honey Neale harvested from his bees last summer before he harvests the next batch shortly.

I have doubled the quantity of honey for the size of the cake as it was much more squidgy when drenched with the delicious honey/pistachio syrup. Our lunch guests seemed to really enjoy it. In fact the photo was of Bill’s plate who I had to restrain whilst taking the photo! Perfect with some fresh English strawberries and cream or Greek yoghurt.


5 properly free range, organic eggs

225ml Greek yoghurt

225g golden caster sugar

100g ground almonds

zest of 2 oranges

zest of 1 lemon

150g plain flour

200g semolina

2 teaspoons baking powder

200ml Fino olive oil

Syrup topping

150g shelled pistachios, toasted and crushed

300ml runny honey

juice of 2 oranges

juice of 1 lemon

This is really dead easy. Just mix together all the sponge ingredients in a bowl and put in a large cake tin greased with olive oil and dusted with flour. Bake at 180′C/350′F or the top of the baking oven of an Aga for 50 mins or until an inserted knife comes out cleanly. Leave to cool slightly for 15 minutes then cut the top of the cake all over.

Meanwhile place the toasted pistachios in a dry frying pan and heat then add the honey and orange and lemon juice and bubble for two minutes. Allow to cool for 10 mins then pour the nutty syrup over the cake, still in the cake tin and leave for 30 mins to allow the syrup to be soaked up by the cake. It’s easier to serve straight from the cake tin.

Serves 10-12


Written by Sarah

May 30th, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Chorizo with Butter-Bean and Tomato Gratin

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Chorizo, butter-bean & tomato (breadcrumb topping to be added!) gratin

This recipe is sort of a cross between a summery French Cassoulet and a Spanish chorizo dish. Really tasty and gutsy but served with a dressed green salad it also passes as a summery supper dish. Anyway it happened that I had some of our very own chorizo made at Dukeshill using our Berkshire pig, Tallulah to use up. Neale and I have been eating quite a lot of our chorizo in various recipes, but as always seems to happen I end up feeding quite a few family and friends and as a result I never get around to photographing the finished dish or writing about it. One of my favourite but oh so simple ways of eating up our chorizo is to fry it up in olive oil and serve with our home produced eggs for breakfast or we may have it with our version of Huevos Rancheros on corn tortillas if we’re feeling particularly hungry.

This recipe uses the chorizo we made at Dukeshill using unsmoked, rare breed pork, lots of sweet and hot paprika, loads of fresh garlic, cloves and salt and a few other spices – delicious!

300g chorizo, cut into chunks

2 x 420g tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed

olive oil (preferably our Andalucian Fino)

1 large onion, chopped

3 gloves garlic, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 sticks celery, diced

100g diced bacon (or pancetta)

several sprigs of thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

75g white breadcrumbs



Dry fry the chorizo and put in gratin dish. Put a good slug of olive oil into the frying pan and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrot and gently fry for 10 minutes.

Add the diced bacon, thyme and spices and stir in for about a minute.

Add the tomatoes, butter beans and 550 ml boiling water.

Add to the chorizo in the gratin dish and give it all a good stir.

Pop in a low oven 150′C/ fan 130′C/ simmering oven of an Aga without covering for 2 hours to allow the liquid to become reduced and the flavours to develop.

Add the breadcrumb topping and chopped parsley. Pop back in a hot oven at 190′C/fan 170′C/ bottom of the roasting oven of an Aga for about 15 minutes until the topping is crisp and golden.

Serve with a leafy salad and lots of Spanish wine!

Chorizo with Butter-Bean & Tomato Gratin


Written by Sarah

April 25th, 2010 at 11:06 am

Tartiflette Savoyarde

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Tartiflette Savoyarde

There are all sorts of slight variations on this simple Savoyarde speciality. I know it may seem slightly odd that I’m promoting this recipe now as it always reminds me of alpine ski fare, but it is just too delicious to confine to the winter months. However as I had some of our delicious, perfectly ripe organic Perl Wen brie (completely unlike those hideous, tasteless rock hard wedges of brie usually found in supermarkets) knocking about in our fridge as well as a huge hunk of our Tamworth bacon (c/o Lola), a little leftover cream and some sad, old King Edward potatoes it seemed to shout tartiflette to me at least. Served al fresco with some Petite Cherie little plum tomatoes, our Fino olive oil, sea salt and basil it made a divine lunch dish. As they say proof is in the pudding and I’ve just had to wrestle away the dish above from my greedy husband who was diving in for thirds!

Some variations on this dish include using white wine, chicory, celeriac, herbs, garlic, various other sorts of cheeses etc. but I like it as follows:

750g potatoes (such as King Edwards, Desiree, Maris Piper) peeled and thickly sliced

200g bacon chunks (or pancetta)

olive oil (preferably Fino)

2 onions sliced

400g Perl Wen brie (or Reblochon) derinded and sliced

284ml double cream

salt and pepper

Par boil the potato slices in boiling, salted water for about 5-10 mins, then drain in a colander and refresh with cold water.

Saute the bacon in a splash of olive oil until crisp and golden. Add the onions and cook for about 10 mins until the onions are soft.

Butter a gratin dish and arrange layers of potato, onion and bacon and cheese, seasoning as you go but don’t add too much salt.

Pour the cream over and bake for 40 mins at 190′C/ fan 170′C/ top of baking oven in Aga until the top is golden and bubbling.

NB. This also works really well using Ardrahan washed rind cows milk cheese, intermittently available from Dukeshill.


Written by Sarah

April 24th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Andalucia trip

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Susie & Rupert's finca

Susie & Rupert's finca

About 50% of the living/kitchen area!

About 50% of the living/kitchen area!

Luckily for us Neale and I were invited to stay last weekend with our great friends Rupert and Susie at their stunning Spanish finca set in olive groves near to the town of Casarabonela in Andalucia. Called El Pueblecillo the finca is the culmination of a three year adventure Susie, Rupert and their three children took back in 2003. The idea was to immerse themselves in Spanish life completely, learning to speak Spanish fluently and to navigate the unbelievably complicated local planning laws and the black and white markets(!) involved as well as making many friends along the way. To their credit Rupert and Susie threw themselves and Emily, Ben and Eliza into Spanish life. The kids were taken to the local school and left to fend for themselves and Rupert and Susie took Spanish lessons whilst at the same time searching for that elusive plot of land with a ruin (plus roof) to renovate. Apparently you can only renovate if there is a roof still attached! Finally after nearly a year of searching they found their dream location and plot. Two years of hard work later they have created what must be the most beautiful Spanish home I’ve ever seen. It is just that, a home, not a holiday home. Susie’s family are incredibly artistically talented, St Martins School of Art and Slade being the two art schools various family members have attended. As such Susie’s flare for not only interior design but the whole vision of what she wanted to create for her family has resulted in a home of generous proportions and amazing light, art, panoramic views of the surrounding olive groves and overall beauty.

The swimming pool

The swimming pool

Rupert & Susie with olive grove in background

Rupert & Susie with olive grove in background

Rupert and Susie returned to the UK to live three years ago so that their children could attend English schools for their senior education. Fortunately they were able to to keep their Spanish home with a view to spending winter months there in their retirement, many years off! The finca is available to rent from rsvillas and I would highly recommend it. Six large bedrooms, multiple bathrooms/wetrooms and a vast, stunning living/kitchen area with enormous fireplace and views. Also a wonderful swimming pool, boules pitch, trampoline and numerous shaded areas for sleeping or reading and an idyllic setting only 40 minutes from the coast, with day trips to Cordoba, Granada and Seville possible. Picking what must be the juiciest, tastiest oranges from their orange trees by the swimming pool for breakfast was simply wonderful. To be honest though when you’re there you’ll probably just want to sit outside in the sun (22′C daytime temp this Feb weekend!) cradling a very large glass of delicious local wine, dipping bread into the divine olive oil Susie has made from their own olives whilst soaking up the view and tranquility. Heaven!

Susie’s oil business Fino has now grown to the extent that not only does she use her own olives but also the locally grown olives from various friends’ groves surrounding Casarabonela, cold pressed at the local co-operative to produce a range of extra virgin olive oils which she imports, decants into beautiful bottles and sells both by mail order and at various fairs. At Dukeshill we used to stock an excellent extra virgin olive oil called Mani Olivenol Blauel made by Friedrich Blauel, an Austrian who set up his olive oil business in the Messinia region of Greece. His olive oils have won many awards and his oil was featured recently on the BBC Radio 4 food programme. Green with a herby smell and slightly peppery after taste it was delicious. Susie produces a single variety oil, a blended oil and several infused versions using the blended oil with fresh basil, garlic lemons or chilli.

I have to say although I love the Mani oil it is quite an intense taste and since we delisted it from our product range, due to poor sales, I have consumed vast quantities of Susie’s oils, slugging platefuls of food with her delicious blended oil. It is now the only olive oil I use. If ever I ended up on a desert island I would hope it would be with a never ending supply of this! I highly recommend it to you.


Written by Sarah

February 8th, 2010 at 7:00 pm