22 February 2015

Panfried red mullet, fennel and crab mayo


I found these beautiful Gien plates this morning, asking for seafood. Sardines! Out of season, so I scoured the freezer (red mullet!) and the larder (a fennel bulb!) and remembered a recipe from ateliersdeschefs.co.uk and looked it up. Found the required tin of crab meat and started. Mixed the crab with some mayo and parsley and put it in the fridge. Then made the sauce with lemon juice and olive oil. A matter of tasting, not too oily, not to acid.  Still not satisfied I reduced some orange juice till sirupy, let it cool and added that. Perfect.
Then used the mandoline to slice a funnel bulb wafer thin. Marinated the fennel in some of the sauce.
Added chopped chives to the rest of the sauce and panfried the mullet in a slightly oiled pan.
Served as shown. Looking good and simple!

19 February 2015

Crunchy papardelle.



Only 12 ingredients, but yes, Ottolenghi again from the Guardian and it was delicious!
250g tender stem or sprouting broccoli,250g button mushrooms, halved
50ml olive oil, 100ml white wine, 1 bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs, chopped
½ tsp sugar, 150ml double cream, Grated zest of 1 lemon,1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp chopped parsley, 20g Panko* breadcrumbs, or another, 250g pappardelle
Clear any leaves from the broccoli and cut into 4cm-long pieces (stalks and florets). If the stalks are thick, cut along the centre. Blanch in boiling salted water for two minutes and drain.
In a large saucepan, sauté the mushrooms in the hot oil until they start taking on colour. Add the wine, bayleaf, thyme and sugar, reduce to a third, then add the cream. Season to taste and keep warm.
Mix together the lemon zest, garlic and parsley. In a hot pan, toast the breadcrumbs until golden, stirring occasionally.
Cook the pappardelle in salted water. When just ready, add the broccoli to the cream sauce to reheat. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce and half the parsley mix. To serve, mix the rest of the parsley with the breadcrumbs and garnish generously.
* Japanese Panko IS better!

18 February 2015

Yogurt flatbreads with mushroom ragout













Yes, vegetarian again. And Ottolenghi again, so many ingredients, sorry!
For the flatbread: 140g wholemeal flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 140g Greek yogurt, 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander,4 tbsp clarified butter (or a mixture of butter and vegetable oil)
For the ragout: 70g pearl barley, 20g dried porcini , 400g mixed shiitake and chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and halved, 2 tbsp olive oil, 60g butter, 1 garlic clove, crushed, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 125ml white wine, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, plus extra, 1/2 tbsp preserved lemon skin, chopped, plus 1 tbsp lemon juice, 6 tbsp thick Greek yogurt,Salt and black pepper.
But: enough for six (or freeze some).
Start with the flatbread. Put everything bar the butter in a bowl, and mix with your hands to form a dry dough (add flour if needed). Knead for a minute, until smooth, wrap in clingfilm and chill for an hour.
Simmer the barley in plenty of water for 50-70 minutes, until tender but with a bite. Drain and set aside.
Put the porcini in a bowl with 120ml of lukewarm water. Put the fresh mushrooms in a hot pan with the oil, half the butter, garlic and thyme, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for four minutes. Add the wine and let it bubble away for five minutes, then add the porcini and soaking liquid, season, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining butter, parsley, lemon and barley. Season to taste.
Divide the dough into six. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten with a rolling pin into round discs about 2mm thick. Melt clarified butter in a nonstick pan and fry the flatbreads, one at a time, on medium heat for two minutes a side, until golden brown. Add butter as required.
Fold each flatbread into two or four, and top with ragout, a spoonful of yogurt and a sprinkle of parsley.

PS We used a topping of very young goat's cheese, but have to admit yoghurt IS better after we tried that. Sorry Yotan.

17 February 2015

Caramellised fennel

Ottolenghi today! Vegetarian! Start by preparing the fennel bulbs. First, cut off the leafy fronds, keeping a bit aside for the garnish. Next, slice off the end of the root and remove the tough outer layers, making sure the base still holds everything together. Cut each bulb lengthwise into 1/2 in. thick slices.
Melt butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add a layer of sliced fennel. Do not overcrowd the pan and don’t turn the fennel over or stir it around in the pan until one side has become light golden, which will take a few minutes. Using tongs, turn the slices over and cook for another few minutes. Remove from the pan, add a bit more olive oil and butter if needed and repeat the process with the remaining raw fennel.
Once all the fennel is done and removed from the pan, reduce the heat, then add the sugar, fennel seeds, and plenty of salt and pepper to the pan. Fry for 30 seconds, adding a little more oil or butter if needed, until the sugar is dissolved, then return all the fennel to the pan and caramelize them gently. Once the fennel is caramelized, coated with sauce and tender (say 5 minutes?), turn off the heat and add the garlic. Stir again to incorporate it.
To serve, toss the fennel in a bowl with the dill and lemon zest. Taste and adjust seasoning. Arrange on a serving plate, or serve on toast as an appetizer (you may want to cut them into slightly smaller pieces). Dot with spoonfuls of goat’s cheese and garnish with fennel fronds.
About it being advertised as vegetarian. It is, but if you take a closer look at the picture you can see that we couldn't resist adding a nice juicy leg of chicken. Sorry

Vegetarian tempura


Difficult part: buy Japanese tempura flour. Follow instructions (lumpy is GOOD!) to make the batter.
Cut beetroot, celery stick, carrot, paprika into bite sizes. Use the leaves of the celery too. Soooo nice and crispy!
Dip veggies in the batter and deep fry. Eat with chopsticks and soy sauce.

Or a bit less vegetarian, with juicy shrimps:


8 February 2015

Escargots, mushrooms

The freezer still had half a packet of escargots in their shells, with garlic butter. But I still had some mushrooms I had to use before they would go off. So this was my idea for a nice starter. As the garlic butter in the shells would not be enough for dipping enough crunchy bread in it I started with cutting half a shallot very finely and did the same with 3 cloves of garlic, which I sweated in 50 gr of salted butter. In the meantime I started on the last of the parsley, cut it till I had about 4 tbsps. Mixed it with the garlic/shallot butter, off the heat. Then took out the defrosted snails from their shells with a toothpick, incl the garlic butter and added them to my mixture.
Cleaned the mushrooms and took out the stems and fried the hoods.
Then heated up the snails and hoisted them into the upturned mushrooms. Added a red pepper for colour and served with fresh crusty bread. The empty shells were just decoration.

7 February 2015

Pan seared sea trout,mash and pea/feta/mint pesto

Start with the 'pesto', boil a handful of frozen peas for 7 mins, drain. Use the stick blender to blitz them with olive oil, 2 tbsp of mint leaves  and 1 garlic clove till the right consistency.  Then crumble some feta cheese and mix that in as well.

Next: boil a few potatoes.

Then sear the fish (the recipe said sea bream, but I had sea trout) in a lightly oiled pan, skin side down. When the skin is nice and crisp, turn off the heat and turn the fish. It will be done in a minute.

In the meantime crush the potatoes with a fork and add some olive oil. The recipe also asked for some spring onions, but I didn't have any, so I finely cut half a shallot and sweated that for a minute and added to the mash. `For color I added some parsley as well.

Inspiration: atelierdeschefs.co.uk



PS Don't forget, like I did,  to serve with lemon wedges!

5 February 2015

Yakatori chicken

Start (preferably a day before) with the pickled cucumber. Cut a cucumber in half and remove the ends. Then slice both halves lengthwise very thinly till you reach the seeds. Then put  a good glug of white wine vinegar and a tbsp runny honey in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat. Wait a minute or so and put in the cucumber. Mix well. Cool and keep in the fridge overnight.

Normally chicken breast are used, but I found a nice fat coquelet ( 650 grams) which is enough for 2 people and meat from the bone is always more tasty. Warmed up the oven at 230C and oiled the coquette. Put it in the oven, turned down the heat to 180C and left the oven do the work for 45 mins ( but every 15 mins basked it with some oil).

In the meantime I had enough time to make the sauce (but you can buy it readymade if you want): mixing 1/2 a cup of mirin, 3 tblsp sake, 1/4 cup of superfine sugar, 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger and 4 tbsp soy sauce.

Then boiled the rice. To give it some color and bite I sliced a shallot finely, cut a celery stick and fried them softly. When the rice was done I mixed it with the vegetables and added some parsley.

When the chicken was done I took it apart: 2 legs and the 2 breasts, removed the skin and boiled the meat another 5 mins in the yakatori sauce.


1 February 2015

Fish'n chips


We found this recipe on the web, it was posted by a guy called Marc who only allows us a link to his website. Well here you go: http://norecipes.com/recipe/fish-and-chips-recipe
.
Our fries however were shop bought. The sauce: 2tbsp mayo, 2tbsp creme fraiche, 1 tbsp finely chopped small gherkins, 1 tbsp finely chopped pearl onions, pepper, salt.