24 October 2014

Turkish aubergine, lamb, tzatziki

  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Halve the aubergine lengthways and score the flesh side deeply, brush with a good layer of olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 mins or until the flesh is soft enough to scoop out.
  2. Fry a finely chopped onion in a little oil until soft, add 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1 tsp cinnamon and fry for 1 min. Once the aubergines are cool enough to handle, scoop out the centres. Roughly chop the flesh and add it to the onions. Halve 3 tomatoes, scoop the seeds and juice into a sieve set over a bowl, then chop the flesh. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook everything for 10 mins until nice and soft. Add a little more oil if you need to. Stir in some chopped parsley, leaving a little for scattering at the end.
  3. Lay the aubergine halves in a baking dish and divide the tomato mixture between them. Pour over the juice from the tomatoes, drizzle with more olive oil and bake for 30 mins until the aubergines have collapsed.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the tzatziki ingredients together. One should use fresh mint, but I had used the last from our garden earlier this week. So I used Greek yoghurt, a tsp mint sauce from a pot. Then took 6 cm of a cucumber, scooped the seeds out and grated the rest to add to the mix. Put in 2 small serving bowls.
  5. Season the lamb with salt, black pepper and a pinch of paprika. Griddle, grill or barbecue for 3 mins on each side or until the fat is nicely browned, then put in a serving dish and squeeze over the lemon halves. Scatter the aubergines with parsley, then serve with the lamb and tzatziki.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, August 2010

PS Served with pittah bread. Next time I'll add some other Middle Eastern spices to add more flavour 

22 October 2014

Vichysoise, crayfish

Cut 5 leeks (the white and very light green only) in rings, sweat in some butter with 2 crushed cloves of garlic and 2 chopped celery sticks. Add 2 potatoes (in small parts) and 750 cl chicken stock . Simmer for 20 mins. Use the blender. Serve with some nice crayfish.

15 October 2014

Squid on a stick (with fennel)

For 2 persons you need:
Squid: 3 bigger ones
Fennelbulb: 1
Star anise: 2
Coriander seeds: a tablespoon
Mint: 2 sprigs
Lemon: 1
Olive oil

Start with cleaning the squid: look here for a video:

Then cut  trough the 'sac' as shown

Next step is preparing the fennel:Remove the green top of the fennel bulb(s), cut in halves, remove the tough heart and finally cut both halves in 4 wedges: Then heat some oil in a griddle pan, add 2 star anise and  a tsp coriander seeds and finally the fennel:

When nicely browned transfer them to a plate and add some more oil, lemon juice and shredded mint, to marinate for 1 hour:

Finally grill the squid in the same griddle pan, till nicely brown and soft, this will take about 5 minutes. 

Cut the squid in pieces, take the fennel apart and alternate them on a stick.
Warm them up and serve with lemon or lines

Today I had this leftover pepper shaped paprika, for some colour 

14 October 2014

Grilled... watermelon. Really?

Yes, really! Lightly oil both sides. Then in a smoking hot grill pan, 1 min per side. Serve with Spanish ham and some blue cheese.

13 October 2014

Leeks, chicken liver, Brie

Whenever we are in a French supermarket we buy a package of chicken liver confit, meaning they have been slow-cooked in duck fat. We only have to heat them up. At the same time we soften, in butter,  the white of 4 big leeks, cut into rings. A round baking tin is covered with store-bought puff pastry to be pre-baked for 10 mins in a 180 C oven. The result is filled with the softened leeks, chicken livers are put on top and last but not least slices of good Brie are covering it. Then beat 3 eegs with 20 cl creme fraiche and some black pepper. Pour the mixture in the quiche. Bake for another 30, 35 mins till golden brown:

12 October 2014

Red mullet, safran mash, sauce vierge

Start with the mash: boil 1 potato with some safran and a garlic clove in about 18 mins.
In the meantime brown a tsp of fennel seeds in a dry pan. Set apart.
For the sauce vierge: cut another garlic clove finely and brown in some olive oil. Add more oil, 2 tbsp soy sauce and a tbsp  Ricard. Add fennel seeds. Keep warm.
De-skin a tomato, remove the seeds and cut into small cubes.
Fry the fillets of mullet, skin side down till crisp. Turn the heat off and then turn the fish for another 2 mins.
In the meantime finish the mash with some olive oil and cream.
Serve as shown, the green is tarragon.