Saturday, 24 September 2011

I have been flat out this week.

On Monday, I had a friend to stay, and this is what I gave her for supper.

Crab au gratin.
I large crab (not large enough in my opinion)
the same weight of breadcrumbs as the crabmeat
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
1 hard boiled egg
3 pickled onions,and 3 small pickled gherkins chopped small
for the topping,breadcrumbs ,grated cheese and  a litle butter to dot on the surface.
First soak the breadcrumbs in a little milk,,,,,,,,,I would say only use half the weight of crumbs rather than the same weight as the crabmeat, then squeeze the milk from the breadcrumbs
Chop the egg, mix together the egg, ketchup,  onions and gherkins and Mayonnise and breadcrumbs and then fold in the crab.Season with salt and pepper.Put in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs over ,then the cheese, and dot with the butter. Cook in a moderate oven for half an hour.
The result was quite pleasant, but could definitely have done with more crab!

Then the next day, 4 for supper.
First course was simple ,as I had made Raymond Blanc's Chicken Liver Parfait some time before ,and there was some in the freezer. We had that with sourdough bread toasted, and onion chutney,also made some time ago, and thus nothing more  to do, bar plate up and make the toast!
Next I had some really good fish bisque (frozen again)  to which I added some tomato and red pepper that I had pureed. Chopped and fried an onion, cut up a   a few potatoes FROM THE GARDEN  added a can of chopped tomatoes, some Pernod,and saffron threads.Fresh salmon, tuna and large prawns were waiting to flash fry and be amalgamated at the last minute. Flaked the fish, added a little chopped parsley, and as Gordon Ramsay would say.... job done.
 It was delicious.and there was enough for me to have the following day, but then disaster struck! I put the lefover fish into a bowl, but it was slippery and fell to the floor with a crash, I was covered, the floor ,walls too. had to clear it all up ,and no food for the next day! I really should not try and do things when it's late and I'm tired..

We had good cheeses and then caramelised oranges.
Drank Sauternes with the Pate, a Chardonnay with the fish , and some Beaujolais wit the cheeses.
Yesterday, 4 for lunch ,so I  made a ricotta tart,as oneof the 4 is Vegetarian

Ricotta  at forno.
500grms of Ricotta. 3 eggs ,3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan,about 6 chopped and stoned black olives and the same of green ones. some basil, chopped finely. salt and pepper.
Breadcrumbs enough to cover the loose bottomed  greased tin in which you are cooking the tart.
Mix together all the rest of ingredients, add a slug of olive oil,season,andpour into the tin.
Put in the  oven  at 180 degrees for about an hour, take out when the top is nicely browned and leave to cool before unmoulding it
This is good served either warm or cold. If served warm, just a drizzle of best Olive Oil, if cold some Balsamic vinegar
We had it with a salad of beans, peas and broad beans,dresed with some basil oil , a green salad and some Piedmontese Peppers, cut in half and filled with garlic, basil leaves ,small  tomatoes cut in half ,plus  a  chopped anchovy fillet, drizzled with oil, and then baked in the oven at the same time as the Ricotta tart.

I also managed a tea loaf, as I found some dried fruit that definitely needed to be used up.
Soaked the fruit in a cup of builder's tea overnight, Then added 125 grms of brown sugar, 250 grms of plain flour and an egg beaten in. Forgot to say, a teaspoon both of baking powder and Bicarbonate of soda should be added  with the flour, otherwise it would be very heavy and not rise at all. 
That was in the oven for the same time, Good use of heat!