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Simply Delicious

Emma (chef) and John (Sommelier) Gilchrist bring us an outdoor feast to savour.

With summer just around the corner, the days are longer, the evenings are heaven and cooking outside on the BBQ is the way to go.  These flavourful recipes and ideal wine pairings are great for the family, or for a party when we can all be together again.


short crust pastry

Emma and John Gilchrist

Simply Delicious Marinated Spatchcock Chicken

(Serves 4 or 2 hungry people.)

1 Large whole chicken, backbone removed and flattened out.

200ml Plain yoghurt

Juice of one lemon

2 tbs Chopped mint

2 tbs Chopped parsley

1 tsp Chilli powder

2 Cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbs Cumin

1 tbs Ground coriander

1 tbs Sea salt

1 tbs Black pepper

1 tbs Olive oil

Mix the ingredients in a bowl, rub the mix over the chicken and refrigerate for an hour or more.  Slowly cook over a medium BBQ, turning every 10 mins for an hour, or roast on a tray in the oven for 45 mins at 180°C.

Salsa Verde

2 Cloves garlic, peeled

1 Big bunch flat leaf parsley

1 Bunch basil

1 Bunch mint

1 tbs Capers

1 tbs Gherkins

1 tbs Wholegrain mustard

6 Anchovy fillets (optional)

3 tbs Red wine vinegar (or white or cider)

8 tbs Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

Pick the leaves off the herbs.  Place in a food processor with the garlic, capers, anchovies, mustard and gherkins.  Process on a slow setting and, as it’s running, add the vinegar.  Slowly add olive oil until it’s a sauce-like consistency.  Season, taste and add more seasoning if necessary.

Charred Green Beans, Pine Nuts, Shallot and Brebis

Extra-virgin olive oil (3 tbs total)

500g Haricots verts (French green beans), trimmed

½ Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 Orange, juiced and ½ zested

150g Brebis cheese, crumbed

1 Shallot, chopped

50g Pine nuts

2 Garlic cloves

Salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C.  Combine 1.5 tsp oil and beans on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake five mins or until beans are lightly charred and tender, stirring occasionally.  In a frying pan sauté the onions and garlic and lightly toast the pine nuts.

Combine 1.5 tbs oil, parsley, zest and juice in a bowl. Add beans, onions and nuts, place on a platter, top with Brebis, pepper and salt.

Roasted Tomato and Chilli Salsa – Simply Delicious

500g Ripe tomatoes (any variety), quartered

2 White onions, peeled and wedged

2 Red chilles, deseeded

6 Cloves garlic, peeled

3 tbs Vegetable oil

2 tsp Ground cumin

2 tsp Sea salt

2 tsp Ground black pepper

Small bunch coriander, chopped

1 Lime, zested and juiced

Line a baking tray with tinfoil and add the tomatoes, onions, garlic, chilli and oil.  Mix together and place on the BBQ until softened and charred (or cook in an oven at 200°C for 15 mins).  Add the cumin, salt and pepper and mash with a potato masher.  Add the coriander, lime zest and juice.

Serve with chicken, grilled meat or stir into pasta.

and a Simply Delicious dessert:

Easy Baked Lime Cheescake, Gin and Minted Strawberries

(Serves 8)

225g Digestive biscuits

100g Butter, melted

250g Tub mascarpone

600g Soft cheese

2 Eggs, plus 2 yolks

2 Limes, juiced and 1 zested

4 tbs Plain flour

175g Caster sugar

Sub head: Strawberries

Handful strawberries

50ml Gin

1 tsp Icing Sugar

10 Mint leaves, chopped

Heat oven to 180°C. Line a 23cm spring form tin base with greaseproof paper. Blitz the melted butter and biscuits in a food processor to fine crumbs. Press into the tin and chill for an hour.

Whisk all the other ingredients in a large bowl until combined, pour into the tin.  Bake for 35-40 mins until it has a uniform wobble.  Turn the oven off and leave the cake inside until cool. Remove from tin and refrigerate for an hour or more.  Combine strawberries, gin, icing sugar and mint in a bowl, stir and leave for 10-15 mins.  Place the strawberries on the cheesecake and serve.

Simply Delicious Wines with your Strawberries

We are well into our strawberry season and how lucky we are living in a region with a climate that produces such a wealth and variety of this summery fruit.  Although strawberries can be lusciously sweet they also have plenty of acidity which makes wine pairing tricky.  Champagne tends to be the go to drink but easy drinking and slightly fruity rosé wines offer a great marriage.

A good place to start is Château Pierron near Nèrac in South Lot-et-Garonne.  The 2018 Fleur d’Albret Rosé is sweet and heady with alcohol and a punch of citrus, giving way to mellow, slightly sweet red fruit flavours and lip-smacking acidity.

If you crave an ultra-elegant rosé then Château Mangot in Saint Emilion, Gironde, is for you. The 100% Merlot M de Mangot rosé is a light, bright, serious rosé.  A subtle, red fruit fragrance with a silky-soft mouth that elevates the sweetness and mellows the acidity of a vibrant sweet strawberry.

In North Lot-et Garonne is Domaine les Bertins.  The 2018 La Récré de Julian rosé is a properly coloured rosé.  Sweet strawberry and rosehip scents and, on the palate, silky fruit pastels with a little smack of lime. Is this summer in a bottle?

simply delicious
simply delicious


Emma (chef) and John (sommelier) Gilchrist have been running their gîte and cookery school, Les Caulins, in Lot-et-Garonne since March 2016.  Emma has worked with great chefs in some of the best restaurants around the world and John, a former UK Sommelier of the Year and winner of the Mondavi award for the best wine list in the world, is an enthusiast for the smaller wine producers.

First published in the May/June 2020 issue of The Local Buzz 

Images: Les Caulins