Grilled mushrooms topped with Black Bomber cheese recipe

May Day was a turning point for Keith Jonson and his fianc� Alison. Together they opened The Fox at Finchingfield along with business partner Sarah Cassidy. Originally from Ludlow in Shropshire, Keith had often thought about running his own business in the hospitality sector, but it was a chance meeting with Sarah which set the wheels in motion.

‘I was working in Essex and I became a regular customer of Sarah who owns a deli in Dunmow. I was really impressed by her obvious love and passion for food and her business ethic and when last December the opportunity came for Alison and I to purchase The Fox, Sarah was the first person I turned to for advice.’

Since then the three have struck up a business partnership with both Keith and Sarah owning 50% of each other’s businesses. Sarah does all the food at The Fox and is ably assisted by chefs Robert and Helen. They initially closed The Fox on purchase for a total refurb and new kitchen. ‘It was a little down at heel, but now it’s been totally transformed and the business has been fantastic so far,’ adds Keith.

As a freehouse, the team decided to introduce Adnams as a popular local brewery to feature and with some tempting dishes from Sarah its certainly creating a stir in the surrounding area. Below Sarah gives us a simple summery supper which is currently on the menu at The Fox, using seasonal produce such as Black Bomber cheese and locally- sourced smoked bacon, both available from Cassidy’s Deli in Dunmow High Street.

Grilled mushrooms topped with Black Bomber cheese and Essex bacon served on a rocket and English new potato salad

IngredientsServes 48 large field mushrooms50g of salted butter12 rashers of smoked bacon120g of Black Bomber mature cheddar4 handfuls of rocket480g of English new potatoesSalt and pepperChopped fresh herbs of your choiceBalsamic vinegar reduction

Method• Boil the new potatoes in water until fully cooked. Wipe the mushrooms and remove their stalks. Melt 40g of butter and brush the mushrooms all over with the melted butter. Then microwave the mushrooms for 2.5 minutes.• Grill the rashers of bacon until golden and crispy, then grate the Black Bomber cheese.• Divide the rocket between 4 medium-sized plates and dress with the balsamic reduction.• Chop up the bacon and top each mushroom with the pieces, finishing off with the grated cheese.• Drain the potatoes, season with salt, pepper, the remaining butter and your choice of chopped fresh herbs. Scatter these over the rocket.• Grill the mushrooms until the cheese is bubbling and golden, approximately 4-5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.• Top your potato and rocket salad with 2 mushrooms per plate.

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