Monday, May 31, 2010

Meat Free Monday #22 - Tabbouleh with grilled vegetables, parnsip remoulade and garlic ciabatta

Can you see Broadway tower?(It's almost half way in the middle at the top of fish hill there). View from the kitchen I was cooking in earlier - beats industrial kitchens.
Bank Holiday Monday - you know what that means. Busy busy busy. No wait - that's every day. Half term is always busy for us though because families stay in the Cotswolds for the whole week rather than just the weekend so there are events going on each day of the week with 3 on Friday night with a client meeting before and then a wedding on Saturday.
While the guests were eating their main course at Masty House, I made the most of some left overs. Nice Booths china plates there to use - hadn't seen that Booths pattern before.
Tabbouleh

Bulgar wheat cooked in vegetable stock (c. 10 mins)
Dice tomato (seriously the Buckland tomatoes are unlike anything you can get in a shop)
Lemon juice
Olive oil or Cotswold Gold
Parsley
Mint

Simple but so good. I served this to the guests with the shoulder of lamb - tabbouleh and lamb, classic combination.


Parsnip remoulade

Parsnip julienned on mandolin
Mayo
Creme fraiche
Seasoning
Chives

So one day I'd ran out of celariac and tried parnsip instead. What a revelation. Sweet, creamy & crunchy all in one - where can you go wrong. Add carrot in there and you would have a variation on coleslaw. If you make it up to an hour in advance the parsnip softens a little and is much better. It went with the duck pate I had made for the guests I was cooking for, but there's always a little spare......
The story of my life [above]. Apart from the dusting (no time.... you can tell), mowing the lawn (ditto - my landlord gave up waiting and does it himself now) and walking the dog - a dog would be rather neglected with my hours, but the neighbour's cat comes calling every morning.

More info on Meat Free Monday here.

Related posts

Other Meat Free Monday dishes
Garlic bread
Gluten free garlic bread

Thursday, May 27, 2010

1001 Kitchen Tips #58 - How to make garlic puree... fast

I ordered some time from the vegtable supplier yesterday, but when they delivered they brought thyme instead. Shame - could really have done with the time. In fact the time had run out so badly this afternoon that I had to find a quick way to make garlic puree. When you're against the clock you often find some ingenious new methods - and you're so annoyed you didn't think of it before.Yes - that's right, in the mini proccessor with salt and a bit of olilve oil. Maybe 10 - 12 cloves and maybe a tablespoon of olive oil. Now I'll try making a bit more and keeping it on hand in the fridge - great time saver. Like pesto if you want to stop it oxidising you just need to cover the top with veg/ olive oil. If this has been in the fridge for a while the oil can set like crystals, and some people take this to mean it has gone off and throw it away. It is just the oil setting though, and if you take it back to room temperature the oil melts again - there, did that save waste?

Of course you can buy garlic ready made - but really, it just tastes so awful and artificial, so I always make my own. At least now there's a quick way.....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pepper and coriander quinoa salad

6 am on Saturday morning and preparation for the breakfast and barbecue delivery is in full swing. All the ingredients ready for the cous cous salad..... apart from the cous cous. With 9 events in 3 days there are 1000's of ingredients involved and this was the only one I had missed. Fear not though - with the shop not open yet it was time to bring the quinoa to the fore. With plenty of lemon juice and olive oil it makes a refreshing change to cous cous. I liked it so much I'm doing it for another barbecue this Saturday.

Peppers
Red onion
Garlic

Sweat on medium heat.

Add Chicken/ vegetable stock (c. 750 ml per 200g raw quinoa)
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
Quinoa

Boil c. 15 - 20 mins till quinoa is soft and liquid all absorbed.
Add:

Raisins/ sultanas
Fresh coriander
Lemon juice
Olive oil or Cotswold Gold

Monday, May 24, 2010

1001 Kitchen tips #57 - How do you make pinapple rings?

"Oh - so that's how you do it..." said Hannah who was helping me out again at the weekend.
This time we had cut the sides of the pineapple with the pastry knife and cut the middle core out with the cutter. The other way of doing it is to just slice through the pineapple skin on. Then you cut it out with a large cutter which removes the skin and a smaller one for the core.

This was cooked in caramel and put on the barbecue. Bit like this one from a few years ago.

Meat Free Monday #21 - Salad of chargrilled sweetcorn, peas & spelt

If 2009 was the year of bread making, 2010 is becoming the year of the grains. As in trying them all out. As I picked up the week's shopping I found this:
and these:

and it became this:
Recipe here.

Yes I know it was one of the hottest days of the year - but life goes on and so does the work in the kitchen. All night. So while everyone else in the country was barbecuing I put this together in between function sheets, lists, emails and reorganising the kitchen ready for the next few weeks.

More info on Meat Free Monday here.

Related posts

Other Meat Free Monday dishes

Gift voucher for a dinner party cooked in your home

"I think that would make a great birthday present!" That was nearly 3 years ago for a lady to give to her sister for a significant birthday. Last Friday was finally the day the recipient had picked. You couldn't have chosen a better day as it turned out - the warm weather meant the guests could have pre-dinner drinks and canapes out on the terrace and could leave the doors and windows open while they ate - just like you were in the med. The drive over going through Bibury was stunning - the Cotswolds bursting with summer life. Ity sure beats travelling though London on the packed tube. Lots of anglers in the river Coln in Bibury making the most of the warm Friday night.
Salmon in hoi sin with pea puree and basil. They had made a last minute request for canapes in addition to the meal and as I looked around I came up with this along with 2 other types. Rather like the gammon with pea puree I made the week before. The salmon cooked at the last minute in the aga was soft and delicious - great summer canape. I had a little help with the service of the canapes from the host's young daughters before they went to bed - they did a great job.
Ever popular aga roasted asparagus with sauteed tiger prawns and oyster sauce dressing.
Rack of lamb with aubergine and potato gratin, spinach, courgettes and a tomato and basil jus
Assiette of five desserts. This one was shotglass of tirimisu, Blueberry and white chocolate cheesecake, chocolate torte, glazed lemon tart and mini strawberry meringue roulade.
"Is there anything here for me?" The great thing about cooking dinner parties in people's homes is I get to meet so many dogs. Jack was a cutie.
Great aga. Electric oven and gas rings on the left - so you have the best of both worlds. I just used the traditional aga (right side) though - that was everything I needed.


Grab a gift voucher!

For gift vouchers see our website click here - also now offering gift vouchers for cookery lessons in your home.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Meat Free Monday #20 - Fennel nicoise with quinoa

Ok fennel I take it all back - this was just one of the best things I tasted all year.
Slow convert to fennel it has to be said. As I was in the transition between sleep and wakefulness early on Monday morning my eyes drifted over to the book shelf and....... Delia Smith's Summer Collection. Well you know - she is the nation's aunty. Couldn't help feeling this would be good. It was. Very. I want to make again straight away. With the electric grill so quick & easy too and no oil needed on the fennel either.

Nicoise was baby plum tomatoes, olives, mini capers, spring onion, basil, olive oil, salt.

Taste of the summer.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dinner party cooked in the home, Broadway, Worcestershire

I had been looking forward to this one since I met with the hosts a couple of months ago to discuss details. Always good to try out new things.I had seen their house being built years ago - the Cotswold Way up to Broadway tower runs accross the field behind the house that they look out on - and it is prime dog walking territory. As kitchens go this is one awesome view from the kitchen window - certainly not one you get in restaurant/ hotel kitchens.

Canapés


Roast beef with horseradish on parmesan shortbread

Asparagus on baked new potatoes with smoked trout mousse

Japanese spoon of pea puree and grilled ham

Palmiers

Menu


Homemade thyme bread rolls


XXX


Open ravioli of cod, asparagus and mozzarella gratinated with parmesan, wild nettle pesto fish course size

I sealed the cod on the grill pan before we left (smoke created sets off smoke alarms at venues otherwise). I topped this with mozzerlla and then could just finish it in the aga. Asparagus from Bangrove Farm between Tewkesbury and Broadway was roasted in the aga. Once cooked I then heated the lasagne sheets in the oven to melt the parmesan on top then finished with a blow torch. [they need to be on a baking mat to lift them off and if you put this under the grill it would catch fire]. The nettles I had picked between ironing tablecloths and picking up the van - busy day.






6 Hour cooked shoulder of Home Farm lamb with roasted lamb cutlet served with leek stuffed fondant potato, steamed kale, broad beans and balsamic jus


Someone's stolen the middle of my fondant potatoes!

Well it's something different with my ever popular fondant potatoes. I cut these, out, stuffed with cooked leek and replaced a small disc of the fondant potato on top. Once heated they seal up.

I had done the shoulder with roasted saddle for a wedding of 120 a couple of years ago, and thought it was time for a revival - it does make quite a special dish.

They had asked for broad beans in particular. Overall quite a very suitable spring dish.








Trio of shotglass desserts:


Lemon meringue pie

Rhubarb and rosewater jelly

Eton Mess


And then our discussion the couple of months before had turned to dessert. They had loved the look of the assiette of desserts and we discussed all the different variations before coming up with this idea together. "They won't be expecting that" the host had said.

Lemon meringue pie - Biscuit crumbs, lemon tart filling and italian meringue on top glazed with the blow torch. I had been meaning to get round to making Italian meringue for years. Couldn't believe how easy it was - will definitely be doing it again.

Rhubarb and roswater jelly - rhubarb poached with sugar. Drain poaching liquor through a jelly bag and set with gelatine. Some of the reserved rhubarb pulp went on top of the jelly.

Eton mess - Strawberries & raspberries with raspberry coulis with vanilla creme chatilly on top and crushed meringue on top of this.

Great fun to make.


Coffee, tea and homemade fudge (crumbly)


The host had asked for fudge to go with the coffee but requested a crumbly variety rather than soft version. I had always meant to get round to making tablet as well. I remember nana bringing some back from one of her WI sales and I was hooked. Used this recipe. It needs quite a bit of 'testing'. Well that was my excuse.


Well this saved sweeping and mopping the floor.......


Breakfast Delivery


Greek yogurt with apple and berry compote

Eggs Benedict - Homemade English muffins with Home Farm bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise


After a quick power nap it was back to the kitchen to bake muffins, poach Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs and make hollandaise for breakfast. There is no breakfast dish that says Sunday more than eggs benedict.