Top Welsh chef Bryn Williams, who shot to fame after winning the public’s vote to cook for the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations on the television programme Great British Menu, is delighted to be able to play his part in WWF’s Earth Hour.
“Food plays such an important part in all our lives and for me it’s really important that how we eat is not just good for our bodies; but also for the planet. WWF’s Earth Hour reminds us how brilliant our world is and why it’s so crucial we all play our part in protecting it.”
Rich, ruby-red and sweet, thanks to the roasted baby beets, this is one of my absolute favourite soups. It captures everything I love about this vegetable.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 8 large beetroot, peeled and diced
- 1 litre Vegetable Stock
- 12 baby beetroot, unpeeled
- salt and pepper
- sprig of thyme
- 150ml crème fraîche
Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/gas mark 3.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the diced beetroot to the onion and cook for 2–3 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, place the baby beetroot in a roasting tin and season well with salt, pepper and the sprig of thyme. Roast in the oven for 10–15 minutes, until soft. When the beets are done, peel off the outer skin – it should simply slip off – and set aside.
When the soup is ready, pour into a blender or food-processor and whizz until smooth. Remember it will be very hot, so be careful. Pass the soup through a fine sieve, pour it back into a clean saucepan and keep hot over a low heat.
To serve, divide the roasted baby beetroot into four bowls. Pour over the soup and finish with a spoonful of the crème fraîche.
Grilled Mackerel with Broad Beans and Chorizo
I love this combination. The spicy chorizo cuts against the oily fish, and the broad beans provide a lovely cushion to their big flavours.
- 4 fillets of mackerel, cut in half
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 50g cooking chorizo, diced
- 1 shallot, peeled and very finely chopped
- 60g broad beans (if your using frozen, make sure they’re thawed out first)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- olive oil
- 200ml chicken stock
Remember when you’re preparing your candlelit meal this Earth Hour there are several certification schemes out there that help the consumer to know the food they buy is making a positive difference. For fish such as the mackerel in Bryn’s recipe, make sure you look for the MSC label.
Oil a baking try and season it generously with salt and pepper. Place the mackerel fillets on it flesh side down and pop it under a hot grill until cooked. Try and keep the mackerel still pink. You should be able to see this happening under the grill.
If you haven’t got an overhead grill, you can pan-fry the fish instead. Heat the pan over a medium flame and then add the oil.
When it’s hot, add the mackerel fillets, skin side down, and season the flesh with salt and pepper. Cook for 3–4 minutes, then turn over for another minute to finish.
Now place the diced chorizo into a frying pan over a medium heat. Cook for 4–5 minutes, or until the lovely reddish oils have been released from the chorizo. Add the shallot and cook until soft.
Pour on the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer for another 3–4 minutes. Add the broad beans and bring back to the boil. Add the chopped parsley and finally season to taste adding salt and pepper.
Pour the chorizo and broad beans into a bowl and place the crisp mackerel fillets on top.
Serve with plenty of potatoes or crusty bread.
Spiced Apple and Chestnut Crumble
Who doesn’t love a crumble? It just screams of home, comfort and Sunday lunch. I’ve rung the changes here by adding some lovely spices and the gentle nuttiness of chestnuts. I’ve also given you a restaurant tip on how we keep the crumble crunchy!
- 12 apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
- 1 vanilla pod
- 125g caster sugar
- 200g cooked chestnuts
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 25g butter
For the Crumble
- 250g plain flour
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g butter, straight from the fridge
- 150g flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3.
Cut 3 of the apples into small dice, then place into a heavy-based saucepan with the vanilla pod and the sugar. Just cover the apples with water, and cook until soft.
Depending on your apples, this should take about 5 minutes or so. Just keep checking. Then break down the cubes with a fork until you have a rough mash, and set aside.
Cut the remaining apples and the chestnuts into bite-size pieces, getting them as uniform as possible. Then season the apples and chestnuts generously with the spice mix.
Heat the butter in a heavy-based frying pan, and fry the apple and chestnut mixture until you can really smell the lovely apple-y spiciness.
Add to the diced apples in the saucepan. Turn the heat back on under the saucepan and cook the whole lot for another 10 minutes, or until all the apples and chestnuts are cooked and soft.
To make the crumble, mix the flour and sugar together in a large bowl. Then add the butter in small pieces, rubbing it together with the flour and sugar using the tips of your fingers until it has a crumbly texture, a bit like rough breadcrumbs. Add the flaked almonds and mix them through. Place the crumble mix on a baking tray and cook in the oven until the mixture is golden brown, about 10 minutes. This will ensure a good crispy crumble topping.
Spoon the cooked apple into individual oven-proof bowls or ramekins and cover evenly with the crumble mix. Cook in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Serve immediately with custard or cream.