The Lake House Cookbook

The Lake House Cookbook

by Trudie Styler, Joseph Sponzo
"Moving to Lake House brought back to me my childhood dream of living on a farm. Although Sting and I are both from urban working-class backgrounds, it is with some sense of returning to our roots that we have come to Lake and are trying to live off the land . . . [as] my father and Sting's father were both keen vegetable growers."

Since it was built in the


"Moving to Lake House brought back to me my childhood dream of living on a farm. Although Sting and I are both from urban working-class backgrounds, it is with some sense of returning to our roots that we have come to Lake and are trying to live off the land . . . [as] my father and Sting's father were both keen vegetable growers."

Since it was built in the English countryside in the sixteenth century, spectacular Lake House had been lived in by only five families before Sting, Trudie Styler, and their children settled in. It was this sense of history that encouraged Trudie and her family to move there—that and the opportunity to grow their own food, given an active interest in the ecology of the land and concern for their family's health. Beginning by cultivating leafy greens and potatoes, along with basic fruits like apples and pears, she and her husband have lovingly transformed the property into a working organic farm, with more than sixty acres of fruits and vegetables, four types of livestock, and honey- and cheese-making facilities. The Lake House Cookbook, written with family chef Joseph Sponzo, offers a mouthwatering array of dishes based on the farm's yield.

Arranged seasonally, the more than 150 recipes include soups and starters, salads and vegetable dishes, main courses, desserts and baked goods, and drinks and preserves for every occasion and for the whole family. Dishes range from Roast Chicken with Corn and Broad Beans to Rolled Lamb with Chile Sauce and Mole, Swiss Chard and Pearl Barley Soup to Sea Bass with Mushrooms and Carrots, and Rustic Open Peach Pie to Herb-Brushed Polenta Bread. And while the emphasis is on organic, the ingredientsthemselves are very accessible and can easily be found in some variety at local stores. Lavishly illustrated with more than 300 photographs and wonderfully spirited, The Lake House Cookbook is a celebration of good food and good living.

Nestled in the English countryside, Lake House is both a stunningly beautiful English manor house and a working organic farm that is home to Sting, Trudie Styler, and their family. Illustrated with more than 300 photographs, The Lake House Cookbook celebrates a year in the life of this incredible property, offering more than 150 recipes based on the farm's yield.

Product Details

Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.83(d)

Read an Excerpt

At Lake House we grow the things we enjoy eating, and between what we all like and what grows well we have achieved a good variety of foods without abandoning our organic principles. Everyone working a Lake House is totally committed to this way of farming and it is a matter of great pride to us that we hold the Soil Association certificate of organic status. It takes a minimum of two years' conversion to be awarded this status, and the standards are extremely strict.

We do produce a lot of vegetables at Lake but, apart from the occasional surplus which is given away to visitors and neighbors, it really does all get eaten. From the day we moved in, Lake House has been host to a constant stream of visitors, to the point where it often feels as if we are running a small hotel. First there were builders, then Sting's band and crew (two albums have been conceived and recorded here), plus video crews, family, friends -- people from all walks of life. Lake House has also hosted two family weddings, our children's christenings and several birthday celebrations. When we have parties here, we really make the most of it. The house comes into its own on these occasions and we always try to include some extra element of entertainment.

Lake House is a special place and Sting and I feel very lucky to have found our own little corner of England. During summer evenings we can often be found sitting outside the front step, just as we did as children. The doorstep might be a bit more grand but basically we are the same. It is as if we have finally found our real home.

Basmati Rice with Shrimp and Exotic Fruit
2 1/2 cups Light Chicken Stock or water
1 tablespoonunsalted butter
1 small onion, cut into 1/4 -inch pieces
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 1/2 tablespoons currants
4 teaspoons sliced almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaped tablespoon finely diced peeled Granny Smith apple
1 heaped tablespoon finely diced pineapple
1 heaped tablespoon finely diced mango
1 heaped tablespoon finely diced banana
1 ounce (1/4 cup) cooked baby shrimp
10 cilantro leaves, torn

Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a small saucepan, heat the stock to a low simmer. In a flameproof casserole over a moderate heat, combine the butter and onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 minutes, until soft but not colored. Add the rice, currants, almonds, curry powder, saffron and salt and stir until the rice is toasted and well coated with the other ingredients.

Add the hot stock, stir, cover, and transfer the casserole to the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes without lifting the lid.

Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Gently fold in the pineapple, apple, mango, banana, shrimp, and cilantro leaves and serve.

Stilton Bread
1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
5 1/2 to 6 cups white bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup milk powder
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound (4 cups) Stilton cheese, grated
Freshly ground black pepper

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with dough hook, combine the honey, butter and yeast with 2 cups of room-temperature water and stir until well combined. Meanwhile, combine the flour, milk powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Slowly add the flower mixture to the mixer. Beat together on medium speed until a ball of dough forms around the hook. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the dough from the mixer and transfer to a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth, silky dough is formed. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rise at room temperature until doubled in size.

On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 3 equal balls, approximately 1 pound each. Roll each ball into a 10-inch circle about 1/2 inch thick. Lightly brush the dough with some of the beaten egg then, leaving a 1-inch border, cover the surface of each circle with 1 cup of the grated Stilton and grind some pepper over.

Bring the edges of each circle up into the shape of a ball, being sure to completely enclose the cheese. Place the 3 loaves on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375°F.

Brush the risen loaves with the remaining egg. Divide the rest of the Stilton among the tops of each loaf, placing it in the center. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack.

Meet the Author

Trudie Styler is married to Sting. They have four children and, in addition to Lake House, homes in London, New York, and Tuscany. Trudie is an actress and the cofounder of the Rainforest Foundation, and runs her own film production company.

Joseph Sponzo was trained as a chef in the United States. After working in France and Italy, he moved to New York, where he helped open Coco Pazzo and Della Femina before working for Martha Stewart Living magazine. He first cooked for a party of twenty at Lake House in 1993 and has been with the family ever since.

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