Winter Recipes

Baked Potatoes Stuffed with Leeks & Goats Cheese

This makes a satisfying  supper served with a cooked green vegetable (kale or spring cabbage are very good with it) and some chutney or pickle on the side.


For four people

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 large leek
  • 125 g goats cheese (fresh, semi soft or hard)
  • 4 tablespoons plain live yoghurt
  • 50g butter
  • Few sprigs parsley
  • salt and pepper if liked
  • Small amount of grated hard goats cheese


Heat oven to 200oC/gas mark 6

Wash and prick potatoes and put in oven to bake for an hour until soft but not collapsing. Take out but leave oven on.

Meanwhile wash leek and cut up finely,cut into four lengthwise then cut across the stem to give quite small pieces. Fry gently in butter for about 10 minutes until softened

Cut potatoes in half carefully and scoop out flesh into a large bowl. Hold with a teatowel to avoid burns!

Put skin halves back into baking dish and return to oven to crisp for 5-10 mins. Keep an eye on them they can easily burn.

Add cooked leek,yoghurt and finely chopped parsley and stir well.

Then add the cheese:

  • Soft cheese simply stir in
  • Semi soft cheese needs to be either grated if hard enough or chopped into small pieces if too soft to grate
  • Hard cheese grate and stir in

Add salt and pepper if liked at this stage and give a final stir. Add more yoghurt to soften the mix if it seems a little dry.

Pile the mixture into the crisped potato shells scatter a little grated cheese on top each potato half and put back into the oven for 10-15 mins to heat through


Blue Cheese Crumble

This is a very versatile dish with many variations. The mix of vegetables can be changed to suit what is available in your garden, veg box or larder although the base of shredded cabbage is a good starting point whatever else you choose to include - mushrooms, leeks, squash, root vegetables etc.  It is also good to use up any leftover blue cheese from Christmas but if you don't like blue cheese try goats cheese or a tasty Cheddar.

Can be served as a vegetarian main course or as an accompaniment to sausages, left over roasted meat - whatever you fancy.  



  • 250g / 8oz  peeled and sliced onions
  • 4 sticks celery - sliced
  • 200g / 6oz carrot - peeled if needed and sliced
  • 500g  / 11b shredded white cabbage
  • 40g / 1.5 oz butter
  • 40g/1.5 oz plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons yeast extract (Marmite, Vegemite etc)
  • 250g / 8oz sliced tomatoes (or a tin of whole plum tomatoes)
  • Half Pint Stock
  • Salt and Pepper to season


  • 125g / 5oz plain flour
  • 50g / 2oz butter
  • 75g / 3oz Blue Cheese (Danish Blue, Stilton etc) - grated or crumbled


Melt butter for base and cook onions, celery and carrots for around 10 minutes slowly.  Dissolve yeast extract in the hot stock.  Add flour and gradually add stock stirring as you do to make sure it doesn't get lumpy.  (If you are using tinned tomatoes you may need slightly less stock).  Cook for a couple of minutes and then add cabbage, tomatoes and any other vegetables you are using together with some salt and pepper to season.  Cook for about 5 more minutes.

Make the crumble by rubbing the butter into the flour and then adding the cheese and season.

Put the base in an ovenproof dish and then top with the crumble and cook at 350F or Gas Mark 4 for around 1 hour. 


A Devonshire Omelette

Source: Devon WI Cookery Book (1958), sent in by Miss Burnham of Seaton


  • 3 lge cooking apples
  • 1/2 oz fresh butter
  • 2 tbsp castor sugar
  • 2 tbsp powdered macaroons
  • 2 eggs
  • Powdered cinnamon


  1. Peel, core and cook the apples in a pan with 3 tbsp of water and the sugar, until it is a soft pulp.
  2. Add the butter and mix thoroughly, also the powdered cinnamon, macaroons and the beaten yolks.
  3. Whisk the whites to a stiff froth and stir lightly to the other ingredients.
  4. Thickly butter a fireproof dish and pour in the mixture.
  5. Dredge the surface with castor sugar. 
  6. Place the dish in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes until it is puffed up and brown.
Miss Burnham  

Tasty Greens!

Cabbage, kale, and spring greens are in season and cheap in winter. Here's a simple way to make them more appealing or just for a change.


  • Greens
  • A medium sized onion
  • Chopped rasher or two of bacon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • A little butter/oil to fry


Fry onion in a large saucepan.

Add the chopped bacon pieces [quite alright if it's a bit fatty as the cooking will melt the fat and then can be strained off at the end for a healthier option].

Add a pinch of nutmeg.

Add the shredded green vegetables, put lid on the saucepan and gently cook for 15-20 mins depending on the vegetable, stirring occasionally to mix the bacon and onion in.


Cream of Parsnip, Apple & Sweetcorn Soup


  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 4 large parsnips peeled and chopped
  • 2 med sized Cooking Apples peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 heads of fresh sweetcorn - cut off the cob
  • 2oz butter
  • 1oz plain flour
  • Bouquet garni
  • 2pt vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Milk/cream


  1. Sweat the onions in butter in pan (no colour)
  2. Add flour and stir.  Gradually add stock
  3. Add parsnip, apple and bouquet garni
  4. Bring to boil and cook for 15 mins
  5. Add sweetcorn, cook for 5 mins
  6. Liquidise slightly (leaving a bit of texture in the soup)
  7. Add sufficient milk/cream to get consistency you prefer
  8. Bring back up to boiling point to blend
  9. Season to taste 

Pasta with Chilli & Greens

Serves: 4 adults


  • 500gm pasta of your choice (wholemeal spaghetti works well)
  • 4 generous handfuls of 'Greens' (this can be kale, spinach, rocket, early sprouts of broccoli or even lettuce- whatever is seasonally available in the shops or in your garden)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
  • 1 medium heat dry red chilli or 2 fresh, finely sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Cook the greens in a large saucepan with 5cm boiling water in the bottom on a high heat for 2-3 minutes until just cooked
  2. Put to drain in a colander
  3. Cook pasta according to instructions on the packet
  4. At the same time heat oil on a low heat and add chilli and garlic
  5. Fry until you can smell the garlic then take off the heat
  6. Chop your greens and add to the chilli/garlic oil and stir so thoroughly coated
  7. Drain pasta and mix with the greens
  8. Serve immediately with a bowl of grated cheese with a good strong flavour

Pea Soup

Serves: at least  4


  • 250gm dried split green peas
  • 1 onion, 1 carrot
  • 1.5 litres water
  • 1 or 2 stock cubes
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Pour boiling water over peas and soak for an hour or so. Rinse after soaking and drain.
Chop onion and carrot into small pieces. Heat oil in a large saucepan and fry until softened.
Dissolve stock cubes in about 1.5 L hot water. Add peas and stock to carrots and onions. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.

Mash or liquidize soup until smooth. Add more water if too thick.

Chopped ham can also be added


Vegetable Soup


  • Any root vegetables, but should include onion, carrot and potato - one of each, average size.
  • Leftover cabbage, stalk of broccoli or some cauliflower - not too much and optional.
  • 1 or 2 stock cubes
  • A cup full of split red lentils
  • Water, a little oil, salt and pepper.


  1. Chop all the veg up small
  2. Heat a little oil in a large pan and fry the veg for 5 -10 mins. Add a little salt and pepper while frying
  3. Cover well with water, add stock cube and lentils
  4. Bring to boil and simmer until everything is soft
  5. Mash, taste and add a little more salt if necessary and more water if too thick.

You can vary this as you want - perhaps add some garlic or some pot barley. Quantities don't have to be exact.


Roasted squash soup


2 lb squash or pumpkin

12 oz onions

1 clove garlic

Pumpkin, walnut or sunflower oil

2 oz butter

Milk or double cream

2 pints vegetable stock

Seasoning, toasted pumpkin seeds to serve


Cut the squash or pumpkin into large chunks the size of a grapefruit, splash with two tablespoons of oil and roast in a hot oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until they begin to soften.

Peel and slice the onions and cook gently in the butter with the garlic until soft.

When the roasted squash/pumpkin is cool, scoop away from the tough skin and add to the onions and garlic. Add enough stock to barely cover the vegetables, bring to the boil, and then simmer gently until the mixture is soft.

Allow to cool slightly, then blend or process until smooth. Season to taste, with salt and pepper. Finish the heated soup with milk or double cream and serve with a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds and tasty bread.    

Paul Cleave  

Seville Orange Rice Pudding

1 pint Devon whole milk

50g Devon clotted cream or 150ml Devon single cream

40g round grain pudding rice

50g brown sugar

25 g Devon butter

Zest of ½ a Seville orange


Bring the milk and cream to the boil and add the rice, sugar, orange zest and butter. Pour into a buttered pie dish and cook in a moderate oven stirring occasionally until the pudding is soft, and has a rich brown skin.


Paul Cleave  

A Devon Waldorf Salad Recipe

Devonshire russet apples (currently available from Four Seasons on the High Street,) with celery and walnuts are good in this famous salad. Don't peel the apples! Wash, quarter, and core the apples and cut into small chunks, add an equal amount of chopped celery, and coarsely chopped walnuts - to taste. Season with freshly ground black pepper and a few drops of cider vinegar, then mix with mayonnaise and a crème fraiche. Place into a serving dish and sprinkle with a little smoked paprika.

Paul Cleave  

Winter comfort food recipe: Crusted Cheddar Crust


Devonshire potatoes, cheese and butter make a delicious Cheddar crush. Boil or steam peeled potatoes until tender, drain well then crush gently with a potato masher. Season with butter, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and wholegrain mustard. Place into a buttered serving dish and top with a generous layer of grated Cheddar; sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake in a hot oven until golden brown and crisp.

Paul Cleave  

Winter warmer: Cranberry and Almond Crumble

This crumble mixture works well when baked on top of apples or plums. For 4 - 6 helpings you will need 1½ lbs (750g) of fruit, and for the crumble; 6 oz (150g) wholemeal flour, 3 oz (75g) butter, 2 oz (50g) ground almonds, 2 oz (50g) brown sugar, 2 oz (50g) dried cranberries, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.

To make the crumble, place the flour, almonds, sugar and cinnamon into a basin, add the butter, cut into small chunks and rub into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, then add the cranberries.

Sweeten the fruit to taste and place in a pie dish, spoon the crumble on top, and bake in a moderately hot oven until golden brown. This is good with vanilla ice-cream.

Paul Cleave  

This month's recipe: Steamed Orange Sponge Pudding!


For 4 - 6 generous servings you will need:

4 oz (100g) Devonshire butter

4 oz (100g) golden caster sugar

2 local free range eggs

the grated zest, and juice of a medium sized orange

6 oz (150g) wholemeal self-raising flour


Thoroughly butter a 2lb (1 kg) pudding basin, or 6 individual moulds. Cream the butter, sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, and then gently add the flour and orange juice. Place the mixture into the basin or moulds and cover with buttered paper and then tin foil. Steam the pudding for 1 ½ hours, until well risen and springy. Turn out and serve with pouring cream or custard.


Paul Cleave  

Recipe of the month: Better Brussels Sprouts

A seasonal must for many, Brussels sprouts are good when served with cranberries.

Choose smaller sprouts and trim off the outer leaves, score the base and cook in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and then cut in half - top to bottom.

Melt 25g (1 oz ) Devon butter - enough for 450g (1 lb) sprouts, in a frying pan until golden in colour, add the halved sprouts and shake them in the butter with 50g (2 oz) dried cranberries. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Paul Cleave


Recipe: braised red cabbage


1 lb (500g) red cabbage, washed and finely shredded

3 oz (75g) red onions thinly sliced

4 oz (100g) grated cooking apples

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 oz (50g) raisins

salt and freshly ground pepper, and a bay leaf studded with a clove.


Mix everything together, place in a buttered casserole, cover with buttered greaseproof paper and a tight fitting lid. Cook in a moderate oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours, stirring occasionally until the cabbage is tender. A slice or two of smoked streaky bacon can be added if liked. This can be prepared in advance and frozen then thawed and reheated.

 Paul Cleave


This month's recipe: baked bananas!


Allow 1 ripe banana for each serving, peel, cut in half and place in a buttered ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over a little grated orange zest, and moisten with a squeeze of orange juice. Sweeten with honey, demerara sugar or mincemeat to taste, and bake in a hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes. These are good with ice cream or crème fraiche.

 Paul Cleave


Stilton, celery and walnut risotto

A tasty way of using cheese and celery for lunch or supper. For four portions you'll need:

8 oz (250g) Arborio risotto rice

1 oz (25g) butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 finely chopped shallot

1 ½ pints (800 ml) vegetable or chicken stock

4 oz (100g) finely chopped celery

3 oz (75g) stilton cheese

2 oz (50g) walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted


Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the oil, chopped celery and shallot and cook gently for a few minutes. Stir in the rice and make sure it is coated with the butter and oil mixture. Gradually add the stock, a cup at a time, and simmer gently until the rice is soft, and the risotto creamy. Stir in the crumbled cheese, season with a little salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with the warm, toasted walnuts and garnish with celery leaves.

 Paul Cleave