29.8.13

Mackerel Pate





Are you from Stuttgard? Did you come here via Tumblr? Could you please leave the link in the comments, I'm terribly curious.





This mackerel pate is a must have at any gathering with my family. Easy, quick, delicious and a generous hit of sustainable Omega 3. Serve on toast, crudites or on artisinal wholemeal bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole smoked and steamed mackerel (or just the fillets)
  • 1 tub of cream cheese (185 grams)
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 1 tblsp grated horseradish

Clean the mackerel



The skin is quite easy to peel off. Same with the flesh, use your hands so you can easily spot and remove pin-bones. 

Smush together



Now mix together the fish and the cream cheese. You could use a fork but if you are afraid you missed some bones just use your hands so you can feel them out. Also add the horseradish (grated not creamed). 



Add your spring onions



Chop finely and add to the pate. You might need to add a little salt, but if you think you need some pepper; just add some more horseradish.





Done!








27.8.13

Cheese And Chives Soufflé




The thing with souffle isn't that it is hard to prepare. It is a when you get down to it a (delicious) fluffy omelet. If you can make a roux and whip up some egg whites then you can also make a souffle. What it hard though is to photograph the damn things. When you take them out of the oven you have about 90 seconds before the inevitable deflation. This is usually enough time to get it on the table and wow your guests, but it isn't quite enough time to tidy up the cup and do your lighting before taking the beauty shot.

(Spoiler alert: the GIF of the souffle rising is a monster coming alive, if you are having trouble getting the GIFs to play open them in a separate window)

But enough whining about the hardship of getting a good souffle shot. Here are the ingredients:


  • 40 grams of butter
  • 40 grams of flour
  • 300 ml of full fat milk
  • 100 grams of Old Amsterdam (any good hard cheese will do)
  • 50 grams of Parmesan
  • Bunch of chives
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites


Prepare your ramekins
Or coffee cups, by rubbing them with butter and dusting them with grated Parmesan.


Make a roux
Melt your butter in a pan and add the flour. This will soon form a shiny dough, keep  give it about 5 minutes to cook down the flour but make sure you don't get any colour on your roux. Add a little bit of the milk, it will be absorbed immediately. Keep adding the milk, don't worry if it gets lumpy you can whisk the lumps straight out. Add your Old Amsterdam and keep whisking until it is a nice smooth mass. Pour this in a bowl to cool down slightly while you take care of the egg whites.  

Your roux should look something like this.


Whip the egg whites

Separating eggs by hand is by far the easiest.

Stiff peeks are ideal but make sure you don't overwork them.





Add yolks, chives and cheese
Incorporate these into the slightly cooled roux until smooth. You can add some pepper but it shouldn't need any extra salt.



Gently fold in the egg whites
Fear not and go to town with the first scoop of egg whites, this prepares the mixture for the rest. Do be gentle folding in the rest, you want as much air in them as humanly possible. 



Into the oven
Fill your cups for about two thirds and put into a preheated oven at 200 centigrade. It should take about 20 minutes.



It's alive! It's alive!



Eat (almost) immediately






26.8.13

GT&T




I dare not call this an actual recipe, but it sure is delicious. A simple gin and tonic enhanced by a squeeze of fresh minneola juice. Minneola is a variety of tangelo, a cross between  Duncan grapefruit and a Dancy tangerine. The grapefruit part of its heritage makes it an extremely pleasant addition to a G&T. It emphasizes the right kind of bitterness from both the tonic and the gin.

If you are feeling fancy, add a sugar and zest edge to your glass.


Put in a couple ice cubes, a generous slug of gin and just squeeze half a minneola. Top of with tonic and you are ready to go.





25.8.13

Sweet Potato Tart





This sweet potato tart with fresh feta cheese and a drizzle of honey is a perfect combination of sweet and savoury. They make a great late afternoon snack and are perfect for al fresco parties. Flavoured with fresh thyme and a generous amount of garlic with sesame seeds sprinkled on the pastry for extra crunch.


Ingredients


  • 5 squares of puff pastry
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • Fresh Feta
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Honey


        Prep Your Potato

Slice your sweet potato into thin slices. Getting them thin enough by hand is a bit tricky so if you have it use a mandoline. 



Start Cooking
Cook the slices in a generous amount of olive oil with the garlic and thyme. You want to make sure your sweet potato is cooked through but it shouldn't caramelize yet. Halve way through you can add a splash of water to hurry it along. 



Assemble The Tarts

Put 3 or 4 slices of potato in the middle of the puff pastry square. Make sure you leave about a fingers width of the dough clear. Now fold in all four sides and tuck in your slices. Now crumple some feta or goats cheese on top and some sesame seeds on the edges. 



Into The Oven

Now all it needs is 15 minutes in a hot oven (200c). Drizzle some honey over the tarts and enjoy.





23.8.13

Spaghetti aglio e olio

For garlic lovers there is no dish so simple and satisfying as the humble spaghetti aglio e olio. Cheap, simple and the ingredients are almost always in your kitchen. On top of that this recipe is infinitely adaptable. Since I'm a big fan of garlic I double the amount most recipes use. The truffle oil is a tip I got at my local Italian restaurant, just a hint of the good stuff complements the garlic without overpowering the whole dish.



  • Good quality spaghetti 250 grams
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • One glug of mild olive oil
  • One glug of good extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 drops of truffle oil

Mince your garlic
Mincing garlic, instead of chopping it gives you the maximum amount of flavour.




Add oil, garlic and chilli to the pan
Put the pan on a very low heat. Use half mild and half extra virgin olive oil for good flavour without being overwhelmingly grassy.




Gently fry garlic and chilli
The oil mustn't get too hot, or else it will ruin both the garlic and the extra virgin olive oil. You want only the barest hint of colour on your garlic. Once it turns a pale gold, remove the pan from the heat.


Add al dente spaghetti and toss
Boil your spaghetti in properly salted water. Seriously, taste it. It should taste like the tears of your nemesis. Add some of the boiling water to the pasta along with your truffle oil.



Serve with a sprinkling of Parmezan
Enjoy!




22.8.13

Courgette Spice Cake

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Great for getting rid of a glut, Courgette Spice Cake makes for a moist almost fudgy cake fragrant with warm spice. You will need:


  • 250 grams of courgette
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 grams of sugar
  • 125 ml neutral oil
  • Half a tsp of salt
  • Half a tsp of Baking powder
  • extra pinch of Baking soda
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of cardamon


Break eggs and mix




Grate your courgette



Add all your ingredients together



Fold without over-mixing

Add anything you might have forgotten ;)



About an hour in oven at 175





Ps, just a small disclaimer. This blog is going to be heavy in GIFs, big GIFs, long GIFs. Watching this with sluggish internet is just not going to be a pleasant experience. Bring on the hyperspeed!




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