Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

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.

Advertisements

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

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.

Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape

December 20, 2010
Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape

Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape

For Jamie Oliver it was Italy, Gordon Ramsay has gone one step further, India.

Over 3.5 million curries are dished up in the UK every year.

Much as we may think there is such a thing as an Indian meal there is not. What we think of as an Indian meal is what we get in an Indian restaurant. There are exceptions, the little Indian restaurants down a little side street down the side of Euston Station in London, but these little restaurants and what they serve is the exception not the norm.

Indians as a general rule do not eat out, at least not eat out in restaurants, they do eat at little roadside snack bars. Food is eaten and cooked at home.

There is no such thing as Indian food. What there is is regional food and to discover these regional dishes Gordon Ramsay travelled across India. He very quickly learnt that the real food of India is not to be found in restaurants, it is found on the street and in the home, he also found it bears no resemblance to what he had been served in Indian restaurants in England.

Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape had a tie-in series on Channel 4, Gordon’s Great Escape.

An ideal compliment to The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook.

For my lovely friend Sian. Merry Christmas.

The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook

October 24, 2010
The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook

The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook

The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook was an event at the Electric Theatre in Guildford, one of the last events of the Guildford Book Festival. It clashed with the Anarchist Bookfair in London, to which I would have liked to have gone, especially as John Pilger was speaking, but I had seen The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook, liked the look, and thought signed copies would make excellent Christmas presents. The previous evening I had been at an Amnesty International event with John Kampfner talking about his book Freedom for Sale.

On my way to Guildford I learnt from Mike Dawes and Amy Turk they were at Guildford Oxjam. I would have liked to have seen them but that is another story.

I arrived at the Electric Theatre around midday which was quite handy as I met Jenny Lord, author of Purls of Wisdom, a knitting book. She signed a copy for me. Whether it is any good, I am in no position to judge, but some of the ladies present assured me it was. They also made the point that no men were present at her talk!

The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook was very poorly attended, maybe three rows in the theatre, which was a pity as the three sisters were very good. The format I do not like, TV chat show host style interviews author. If an author knows their stuff, and if not why are they there, they are more than capable of talking about their book, but it worked this time.

The three sisters were born in Kashmir. Their father left to study for a PhD in England when they were very young, then their mother left to join their father, leaving them in the care of their grandmother. Eventually the girls were sent for and went to join their parents in England. For them it was a culture shock. The last time they had seen their mother she was in a sari, now she was in heels and a miniskirt! Their father they did not recognise at all and had to be reassured that it was indeed their father!

From a very early age, the three sisters cooked, learning from their mother and grandmother. When they arrived in England, their mother expected the girls to prepare the meals. They were also encouraged to cook, their parents often arranging cooking competitions between the three sisters.

The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook came out of a wish to record their mother’s recipes. A little of this and that was not good enough, they needed precise measurements. It was a collaborative effort, the three girls, mother and father. The intended readership was themselves, family and friends. It was a self-published book, sold to those who were interested, hawked around food fairs.

It was at one of these food fairs, that Simon and Schuster took an interest. They liked the concept and wished to publish the book. Thus out of what was intended as a project to record family dishes has evolved The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook (Simon and Schuster, 2010).

Now scattered across three continents, the project has also given the sisters an excuse to meet up. Now even more important as tragically the nineteen-year-old son of one of the sisters was murdered.

We do not refer to European cooking, thus it is meaningless to refer to Indian cooking. The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook is Kashmir cooking. Apart from the big cities that cater for foreigners, Indians do not eat in restaurants, they eat at home or at the roadside. The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook is a book of Kashmir home cooking, the cooking Priya, Sereena and Alexa Kaul grew up with. They are hoping this will be the first of series and they are going to look at the food of other parts of India.

Essential to any Indian cook is her spice box, masala dabba. So important is the spice box that the three sisters have created a spice box to accompany their book with thirteen essential spices. Expensive, but if you are serious about Indian cooking then you need it.

Indian food you should be able to taste the food. Spices are there to enhance the food, not to mask it.

Spices keep for about 18 months. The spice box should be kept in a cool dark place. If they still have a pleasant aroma, then they are usable. If the aroma has gone, then throw them away.

A very enjoyable event. My only regret that my lovely friend Sian was not there as she would have loved it too.

Top story in Gourmet Chef’s Daily (Monday 7 February 2011).

Beetroot Curry

October 6, 2010

I am no great fan of beetroot. There is also a golden beetroot which I sometimes see on the farmers market in Guildford (first Tuesday of the month).