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Recipe from episode 4

Val’s smoked cream with seasonal greens

Smoked cream has become a new River Cottage classic and a brilliant way to show off hot smoking in a vegetarian context. The process is really easy – the only thing you need is a heavy lidded pot (cast iron is best but you can improvise) and some wood chip which you can easily source online.

Serves 4

400ml double cream
2 sprigs of rosemary
4 sprigs of thyme
400g seasonal greens, such as chard and beetroot greens
A trickle of rapeseed oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Special Equipment:

Heavy (cast iron) pot with a lid
Oak shavings

Pour the cream into a heat proof dish small enough to fit inside a cast iron pot. Stir the rosemary and thyme into the cream.

Place the pot over high heat. Once the wood chip starts smouldering, pour your cream into a small, heat-proof dish (don’t overfill) and set the dish inside the pot of smoking woodchip so it’s suspended over the wood chips. Secure with a lid and set over medium heat to smoke 5-10 minutes or until the cream has lapped up a desired amount of smoke.

Once done, take the lid off and the hot smoker off the heat, keep it aside and let it slowly cool down. It'll get a few more wisps of smoke as it goes.

Set a large frying pan or wok over medium heat for the greens and add a tiny splash of water, then pile your green leaves in. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and let them wilt down in the steam with the lid on, turning it over in between. Do not cook them down to mush, you want to wilt down but keep a little bit of that leafy texture.

Drain the leaves into colander, give it a little shake and little squeeze to get some of the excess water out. Put them back in the pan to keep warm.

Strain out the herbs from the smoked cream and gently reheat, not boil it, but just get it nice and hot and ready for dressing the dish.

To serve, arrange the greens in small individual bowls or a large serving dish. Then, add the smoked cream, trickling it generously over the veg.

To finish, add a little trickle of the rapeseed oil to bring a little sparkle to the dish. Finally, a pinch of flaky sea salt and a crack of pepper.

Looking for more smoking ideas?

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