Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

French cuisine

December 24, 2012
French cuisine

French cuisine

Velouté d’oseille fait maison à déguster avec soit une pointe d’asperge, une feuille d’estragon, une pointe d’échalotte fraîche, une feuille de basilic ou une pointe de fois gras. Agneau sauce crème fraîche, oseille, sarriette, thym du jardin… Toast terrine de ceps.

Cream of sorrel, homemade taste with an asparagus tip, a leaf of tarragon, a touch of fresh shallot, a basil leaf or a slice of foie gras. Lamb cream sauce, sorrel, savory, thyme from the garden.

Of memory rate reduction sorrel is a big number math, remove the tail of course you do not throw fresh leaf without putting your butter before, fresh cream liquid is very good, no lemon is acidic enough, no eggs, nothing else, it alters the taste. Cook potatoes in water, mix, blend, finely. Flower of salt, pepper, cloud of nutmeg. And you let melt in the choice, fresh goat cheese, a dollop of foie gras, a raw salmon marinated in lemon juice, drain, etc, and it depends if you want to serve cold or hot, depending. Asparagus, basil, tarragon leaf, fresh shallot tip or bouquet of fresh finely cut grass, or other idea is just a hint that you place on your cream to take a trip in circle with your lips, natural.

Courtesy Laetitia Kava who prepared these delicious dishes last night.

Almond soup

October 4, 2012

Ingredients

200 g of almonds
1.5 l of milk
0.5 l of water
3 pieces of fresh onion
chicken stock
salt and pepper
butter

Method

Boil all the ingredients together until the almonds are boiled.

Put into a mixer.

Add salt and pepper and cold butter to taste.

Serves around eight people.

Many thanks to Adreae Iliadie sous chef at Sunrise Pearl for the recipe.

Sunrise Pearl is a 5* hotel overlooking the sea at Protaras in Cyprus.

Peanut butter cup cakes

August 2, 2012

Peanut butter cup cakes, would I like to try one?

I have to admit, they did not look very appetising, and peanut butter did not sound right, but, yes, I will try one.

Cup cakes are fairly easy to make. At least they seemed so when demonstrated two years running at the the Alton Food Festival. Although why the same chef would wish to demonstrate the same thing two years running I do not know. Maybe that was all she knew.

Climate Rush have a penchant for serving cup cakes.

The peanut butter cup cakes were very very good, surprisingly good.

A lady who also tried, had a long discussion on cup cakes and what went into them. Unlike me, clearly an aficionado of cup cakes.

No recipe, but I will have ….

Leek and Potato Soup

February 3, 2011

Ingredients

1lb leaks (two medium size) washed and trimmed
1oz butter
8oz diced potatoes
1 1/2 pint white stock
salt and pepper

Method

Cut up leeks and cook in butter until soft.

Add the white stock and bring to the boil.

Add the potatoes and bring to the boil.

Simmer for around 15 minutes until potatoes and leeks are cooked.

Purée and season.

Should serve around four people.

This is the best leek and potato soup I have ever tasted.

Many thanks to Bob at the County Restaurant for sharing his recipe.

The County Restaurant, in the ancient Roman city and county town of Lincolnshire, is one of the best kept secrets in Lincoln. Open for lunch Mondays to Fridays (except Bank Holidays).

Jamie Oliver has a variation of leak and potato soup using chicken or vegetable stock and olive oil instead of butter, to which he adds carrots, onions, garlic and celery, seasoned with sea salt and black pepper, which will serve around six to eight people.

Note: Stock is the basis or foundation of all good soups. Stock can be white or brown. White stock is usually made with chicken or veal bones.

Jamie’s stuffed baked potatoes

100 Best Health Foods

January 7, 2011
100 best health foods

100 best health foods

It is a truism that we are are what we eat. Why therefore do we stuff ourselves with rubbish? We now face an eating disorder epidemic. Obesity is getting worse. The UK now tops the US for obese children. Type 2 diabetes, once the disease of middle age and older, now effects the young.

We know to avoid saturated fats, the ready-mix of saturated fats, sugar, modified corn starch, salt, palm oil laced with additives, preservatives and colourings that constitute cheap ready meals, to not eat junk foods. We know what to avoid, what not to eat. The question therefore is can we not only avoid what is bad for us, but actually eat foods that are good for us, that have a positive health benefit beyond that of keeping to a healthy diet.

The simple answer to this is yes, we add to our diet so-called super-foods.

We know vitamins, essential minerals, are an essential part of our diet, without which we fall all. Sailors used to suffer from scurvy into limes were introduced into their diet. They were suffering from vitamin C deficiency.

There is now a whole class of micro-nutrients that are known to have beneficial health effects. Antioxidants for example which help soak up free radicals. Foods that are high in these micro-nutrients are commonly known as super foods.

We do not eat foods because they are good for us, we eat for pleasure. Fortunately many if not most of these super foods are also enjoyable to to eat, either on their own or as part of a dish.

Fresh wild salmon (high in omega-3 fatty acids), walnuts (antioxidants and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid), broccoli, raspberries, blueberries (flavonoids and polyphenols), pumpkins, water melons (antioxidant Lycopene and vitamin A, vitamin C and Vitamin B6), tomatoes (antioxidant lycopene), tea (antioxidant called catechins), oranges (high in vitamin C), grapefruit (high in vitamin C), almonds, Brazil nuts (selenium ).

There is nothing like a fresh watermelon picked straight from the field. The red flesh is not only thirst quenching, it is delicious with a glass of red wine.

Try juicing an entire watermelon, seeds, red flesh and rind. We throw away a lot of the nutritional benefits when we only eat the red flesh, and the resultant juice is lower in sugar content than if we only juiced the red flesh. For that extra zing, try adding celery and ginger. [see Watermelon juice]

Whilst we may enjoy eating a handful of walnuts, and far healthier than eating a bag of crisps, in the main we eat our foods as part of a dish for which we need a few recipes.

This is where 100 Best Health Foods comes in. One hundred recipes using super foods, though I would question whether some are super foods. Though all organic fresh fruit and vegetables are healthy choices.

An ideal companion to SuperFoods by Steven Pratt and Kathy Matthews

Also see

The top 10 super foods

Walnuts ‘combat unhealthy fats’

Watermelon as good as a statin for lowering blood pressure

Watercress latest super food to fight cancer

You may not like it, but broccoli can beat cancer

Super foods: oranges

Why an orange is better than popping vitamin pills

Blueberries ‘reverse memory loss’

Super foods: blueberries

London Particular

January 6, 2011

In Bleak House, Charles Dickens referred to the fog as the ‘London Particular’ His reference was that it was as thick as peas soup, and it was often refered to as a pea-souper. These thick fogs, to which London was prone were so thick you could barely see your hand in front of your face.

There are many variants of pea and ham hock soup. This one is by the chef Brian Turner.

Ingredients

85g (3 oz) unsalted butter
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
900g (2 lb) fresh garden peas
1 small bunch fresh mint, tied together
85g (3 oz) plain flour
300ml (10 fl oz) double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ham stock

1 ham hock, about 900g (2 lb) in weight
3.4 litres (6 pints) water
2 carrots, trimmed
2 onions, peeled
1 head celery, washed
12 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Method

To start the stock, soak the hock for 12 hours in cold water to cover. Drain off the soaking water, and cover the ham hock with the measured cold water. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum, then add the carrots, onions and celery, all whole. Leave gently to simmer for about 20 minutes, then add the peppercorns and bay leaf. Gently simmer on for one and a half to two hours until the ham is cooked through. Watch it carefully, you don’t want the liquid to reduce too much. Strain off the stock for the soup – you will need 1.7 litres (3 pints). Put the ham to one side and discard the vegetables and flavourings.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the finely diced onion and half the fresh peas. Add the mint, and put the lid on the pan. Leave to gently stew for 3-5 minutes. At this point add the flour, and stir in carefully, possibly taking the pan off the heat to stop it sticking. Return the pan to the heat, and cook the pea roux for 2 minutes. Do not let it colour.

Slowly add the measured hot ham stock to the roux, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition to get rid of any lumps of flour. When the stock is all added, make sure that the bottom of the pan is clear of everything. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, blanch the remaining peas in boiling water for just 2 minutes. Plunge into a bowl of iced water, which will retain the bright green colour.

At this same time it is a good idea to take the skin from the ham hock, to take the meat from the bone and to carefully cut the latter into fine dice. Mix this ham with half of the blanched peas and keep to one side.

The soup is now cooked so take out the bunch of mint and put the remaining blanched peas (not those with the ham) into the soup. Liquidise the soup, and then I like to push it through a fine sieve or chinois (conical strainer). When all is through, re-boil the soup gently, adding the double cream, and checking for seasoning. Season as necessary. Put the reserved peas and ham into the soup, and serve immediately.

Many supermarkets now have fesh cooked ham hocks served hot, but for this soup you will need to go to a good butcher to obtain a ham hock.

Traditionally the soup is not served with the ham, but you may wish to slice some off the hock and serve it with the soup.

I have changed the ingredients to use fresh peas, fresh peas from the garden. You can also uses dried or spilt peas, but these will need to be soaked first and the cooking times are much longer.

Boiling a ham hock and making pea soup
Pea and ham soup
scrumptious spanish chickpea and chorizo soup

Watercress, potato and ginger soup

January 5, 2011

Watercress soup with a kick!

Watercress has experienced a sharp increase in sales due to its recent elevation to a superfood.

Ingredients

2tbsp extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
200g new potatoes
100g watercress, stalks and leaves separated
1½ tsp ground ginger
600ml milk
Sea salt and pepper, to season
1½ tbsp flat leaf parsley

Method

Heat 1tbsp of the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and gently fry until softened, but do not colour. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute.

Par boil the potatoes for 15 mins until soft. Chop them roughly and add to the pan with the watercress stalks, ginger and milk and boil for 3-4 mins.

Season with salt and pepper, add the watercress leaves and half of the parsley, then stir. Pour into a blender and blend until smooth, then divide between 4 bowls.

Mix the remaining olive oil with the rest of the parsley and drizzle over the soup to serve.

Watercress latest super food to fight cancer

Carrot, grapefruit and ginger juice

January 5, 2011

A morning fruit juice with a kick! Though whether you would wish to go to the trouble of making it in the morning?

Rich in vitamin C, guaranteed to give you a boost in the morning.

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene (which the body converts to vitamin A).

Ingredients

250g carrots
2 white grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments
15g fresh ginger, unpeeled and left whole

Method

Using a juicer, feed the carrots, grapefruit and ginger into the machine.

Mix well and pour into two glasses. Serve immediately, over ice if desired.

Watermelon juice

January 5, 2011
water melon

water melon

There is nothing like a fresh watermelon picked straight from the field. The red flesh is not only thirst quenching, it is delicious with a glass of red wine.

Try juicing an entire watermelon, seeds, red flesh and rind. We throw away a lot of the nutritional benefits when we only eat the red flesh, and the resultant juice is lower in sugar content than if we only juiced the red flesh. For that extra zing, try adding celery and ginger. As the whole watermelon is used, it is important to use an organic watermelon to avoid pesticide contamination of the skin.

Watermelon is a rich source of vitamin B and C, beta-carotene and lycopene. In addition, watermelon is a good source of thiamin, potassium and magnesium.

Top story in What’s For Dinner Daily (Thursday 6 January 2011).

SuperFoods
100 Best Health Foods
Watermelon May Have Viagra-Effect
Watermelon as good as a statin for lowering blood pressure

New Covent Garden Soup Company’s Book of Soups

December 23, 2010
New Covent Garden Soup Company's Book of Soups

New Covent Garden Soup Company's Book of Soups

Open up any cook book and turn to soups. it will invariably tell you to use stock, but without telling you what stock is let alone how to make it. It is a given, an implied assumption, that you have stock to hand ready to make your soup.

The New Covent Garden Soup Company’s Book of Soups, after the briefest of introductions, tells you how to make stock. Not one stock but several stocks: vegetable stock, chicken stock, fish stock, beef stock and game stock.

For those that do not know, the New Covent Garden Soup Company produces quality fresh soups, or as fresh as can be without making yourself, from quality ingredients. Not cheap, but vastly superior to the horrible stuff that comes out of a can. If you want better, then you will have to make it yourself.

And that is where the New Covent Garden Soup Company’s Book of Soups comes in. One hundred recipes to help you make your own soups, from the company whose passion is soup.