Saturday, 28 May 2011
Another flower recipe - what the hell, the summer months are quite a lean time for the forager, we might as well enjoy these fragile festoons along the hedgerows while we still can. Serves 4.
4 egg whites
200g Light muscovado sugar
1tsp Rosehip vinegar
A few tablespoons of granulated sugar
A large handful of wild rose petals
A large pot of double cream, whipped
1 Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks; slowly whisk in the sugar, then the cornflour and vinegar. Spoon 4 meringues onto parchment covered baking sheets, bake for 1 hour and turn the oven off. Leave to cool.
2 Roughly chop 250g of the strawberries. Place in a pan with the granulated sugar, a splash of water and simmer for 10 minutes. When the strawberries have broken down, add the petals and rosewater. Keep on the heat for a further 5 minutes, then pass through a seive into a bowl.
3 Whisk the cream until thick. Take a few tablespoons of the strawberry syrup and fold into the cream, only briefly so that the syrup streaks the cream. Spoon the cream onto the meringue nests, then arrange chopped strawberries on top. Finish with and extra drizzle of syrup.
Sunday, 22 May 2011
Saturday, 21 May 2011
You could serve this salsa with salmon, mackerel - any white fish; it would also be great spooned over a piece of chicken snatched straight off the barbie. I hear the weather forecast for tomorrow is a bit grim, so we're seizing the opportunity to have something light and summery while the going's good.
2 Line-caught Sea Bass fillets
A small punnet of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 Shallot, finely chopped
1 Red chilli, finely chopped
The juice of 1 lime
2tsp Fish sauce
A pinch of salt
Fresh coriander leaves
1 Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Mix the the tomatoes, shallot and chilli together in a bowl, stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and coriander then put to one side.
2 Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan. Place the fillets skin side down in the pan and fry for 4-5 minutes, after which the skin should be nice and crispy. Flip over with a spatula and cook on the white side for about a minute. Plate up, then serve with a generous spoonful of salsa.
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
sausage around these parts. However, upon mentioning to friends that I was
"Gonna buy some good snorkers at the weekend", i think it was assumed
that I was referring to either a) some kind of bizarre sub-aquatic
enterprise, or b) an acquisition altogether more saucy, perhaps
warranting a Sid James-esque cackle as I left the shop. As it happened
I was just going to the butchers to get some bits for lunch, but such
is the way. Serves 2.
4 Hampshire breed sausages
200g Cooked puy lentils
1 Red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Fresh thyme, stalks removed
2tsp Dijon mustard
4tbsp Olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
A small bunch of spring onions
1 Pop your sausages under the grill. Gently soften the garlic, chilli,
onions and thyme in a pan, stir in the lentils and turn the heat off.
2 When the sausages are just about ready, spoon the mustard into a jam
jar, then add the olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Season, shake well and stir
into the lentils, along with the spring onions. Serve
with the cooked snorkers.
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Monday, 16 May 2011
It’s the first port of call for many when the elderflowers emerge each year, and for good reason. I’m working on some unusual ways of using elderflower with meat at the moment (stick with me here), but for the moment here’s a recipe for the classic cordial.
For a quick and refreshing cocktail, mix 1 shot of vodka, a splash of elderflower cordial, mint leaves, sliced cucumber and ice in the bottom of high ball glass, then top up with soda water. It's a quencher.
25 Elderflower heads
2kg Granulated sugar
3 Pints boiling water
1 Unwaxed lemon
1 Unwaxed orange
50g Citric acid
Add the sugar to large bowl/pan and pour over the boiling water. Stir to dissolve, then add the zest and juice of the lemon and orange. Give the elderflowers a little shake outside to get rid of any bugs, then stir into the sugary syrup. Cover with a cloth and leave for 24 hours. Strain through muslin and decant into sterilised bottles*.
* Make them strong bottles. One of mine exploded once; it was not in the slightest bit amusing.
Monday, 9 May 2011
I couldn’t resist adding a few red clover flowers to this dish, in a (my sister would suggest sick) nod to Thumper’s favourite nibble in Bambi. His enthusiasm was well founded, they have a gentle pea-like flavour. Making your own orecciette is rewarding and theraputic in equal measure; it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. Serves 2.
For the Orecciette
100g Plain flour
1 Rabbit, jointed
2 Bay leaves
A Few sprigs of thyme
A Few black peppercorns
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Large red onion, finely chopped
1tsp Wild fennel seeds
Salt and pepper
A small bunch of flatleaf parsey leaves, roughly chopped
Wild fennel fronds
A few red clover flowers
Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
1 Mix the semolina and flour together in a large bowl. Add the water slowly, bringing everything together until you have a firm dough. Knead on a floured work surface for 10-15 minutes, at which point the dough should be nice and elastic.
To shape, flour your hands and roll out a small, marble-sized ball of dough. Place in the centre of your palm and gently flatten with your thumb, pulling away slightly at the end to create a curled ‘ear’ shape. Pop your orecciette onto a floured tray.
2 Heat the stock in a shallow pan with bay, peppercorns and thyme. Add the rabbit, topping up with a little water if necessary to just about cover the meat. Braise for about an hour, taking care that the water doesn’t boil. When the rabbit is tender, remove from the stock and set aside to cool. Strain the stock through a sieve, then pour back into the pan. Top up with a little more water, bring to the boil and add the orecciette.
3 Remove the rabbit meat from the bones, then heat a slosh of good olive oil in a sauté pan. Soften the garlic, onion and fennel seeds, before adding the rabbit to warm through. When the pasta is soft and to your liking, kill the heat on the stock and remove the ears with a slotted spoon.
4 Stir the pasta into the softened onions and rabbit, along with a couple of ladels of stock and some roughly chopped parsley. Season, then serve with parmesan, wild fennel fronds and red clover flowers (chive flowers are good too if you’re sans clover).
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
2 Cups of Water
1 Cup of Violet sugar
Zest and juice of 4 Limes
Heat the water in a pan, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Squeeze in the lime juice, then allow to cool. Strain, pour into a container and freeze overnight. To serve, scratch at the frozen surface with a fork and scoop into chilled glasses.