Saturday, March 18, 2006

Floating Islands


Creme anglaise, meringue poached in vanilla with raspberry coulis.
This was made by personal request by a friend. Indulgence at its best.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Honeycomb

Picked this up in a deli in Malvern. It comes from a local cottage producer. Real honeycomb. Far more intense than the runny version, plus you get the texture - grainy honey and the honeycomb wall. A different world completely from your supermarket honey. It ended up in honeycomb and rum ice-cream.

Queen of puddings



Queen of puddings is one of those old school comfort puddings that keep you warm in the winter. An old english classic that you see in most english cooking books. Maybe times move on though, and old things get forgotten. Well they shouldn't - beause they're really quite nice. And very moreish. Especially when you make it with homemade elderberry and sloe jam as the middle layer, and free range eggs from the farm up the road - the ones with deep orange yolks for the base and viscous white for the meringue. Don't forget the peaks in the meringue either. It's a very important part, like making the peaks on the Christmas cake.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pheasant for dinner


The new addition to the garden. You always hear them when you're out walking in the Broadway hills. But now there's one that comes visiting the garden every day.

Seeing pheasants hanging outside the butchers is quite the most amazing sight. It made for the most amazing Christmas Day lunch a few years ago. Starting early, I pulled the carrots out of the ground and put the pheasant in the oven on timer while we went out wakling up to Broadway tower - a Christmas Day tradition. It was cooked and resting by the time I got back. In went the roasties with some thyme and rosemary fresh from the herb garden. Next I cut the breasts off the bone, hacked up the bones and caramelised it all in the roasting tray, deglazed it with the night before's left over mulled wine and let that simmer down. Then glazed carrots and crushed parsnip finished it off.
So what does all this tell you? Pheasants make memorable meals. But not this one - this pheasant (in the photo above, taken through the window) is like the new garden mascot.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Braised oxtail and pear and almond tart


Here oxtail sears in the pan, smoking the kitchen out. It's hard to match the toughness you feel on the outside as it sears with the flakiness you get when it's cooked. It takes at least 5 hours. By 6 or 7 hours it is a melting indulgence and tastes like something that shouldn't really be allowed....






Dessert in three stages:





1 - pears poached in syrup with fresh bay leaf and vanilla
2 - In the tart case with frangipane, before more frangipane goes on top
3 - finished tart with creme anglaise