Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry

When I took the Partridge breasts from the freezer yesterday I thought I could smell ripe meat. Today , they were completely high, and having cooked a very small piece,to taste, I threw them into the bin. that is something I hardly ever do being a frugal cook.
Thank goodness for the Microwave, as I have quickly defrosted a ribeye steak which is quite enough for two.
The sauce I made earlier with chestnut mushrooms and spring onions had Prosecco in it, so I have added some red wine to it as well.
Carrots and French beans will add some colour plus the ratatouille.
Haven't poached the peaches, we can eat them raw and have some good Stilton, Cheddar and Goat's cheese to finish the meal.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Weekend cooking.

One friend tonight, and another for lunch tomorrow.
So what is on the menu ...
Melon and Parma Ham, with crushed basil sea salt and oil, green and thick.
Then a pot roast of beef as it is still unseasonably cold. With that I shall serve sliced potatoes cooked in the oven with olive oil,garlic,and rosemary. Either some spinach or some ratatouille which I made a couple of days ago.
I have some focaccia in the freezer, so we can have that too.
For pudding a slice of lemon drizzle cake with mango and blueberries plus Greek yoghurt. Should do the trick.
Not sure about the wine as I have a feeling she prefers a white.

Tomorrow I have found some Partridge breasts in the freezer, which I shall gently fry , and make a white wine sauce with mushrooms, and spring onions they will not be not too strong to overpower the Partridge.Maybe a little rice with this, and some French beans.
Then I have been watching some peaches in the fruit bowl which even after 8 days have not ripened properly,so I shall poach them in spices cinnamon stick, cloves and lemon peel plus wine is left over(hopefully) from tonight and that will be enough.
No doubt a glass of two of red wine, probably my favourite of the moment St. Jaques D'Albas 2004 from the Minervois, which is drinking beautifully right now.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

A message for Melody.Hi there, I am not very good with working things out,on this ipad,I.e. how to send you a message!Thanks for your kind words,very heartening.There is so much that I want to tell people, I am hoping to get to do some demonstrating soon at a Charity in Bristol.If you send me another message with a contact either email or phone,then we could get going!Best wishes to both you and your mother.Jill I have just looked on the site you suggest,that seems like one interesting item,and could be useful, but I am not so sure that I would be able to work the different components one handed .

Very little done over the past week.

Because I was clumsy enough to spill a mug of boiling tea all down my front, resulting , as one can surely imagine, in some scalding.
I am a great believer in the healing power of Lavender oil so that was much in use. I'mpleased to say that it is no longer painful,but the marks will take a bit of time to disappear.
Such are the things I have to put up with .

Risotto. Comfort food extraordinaire

Just back from being a guinea pig for a group of Physios and other health care professionals. Was so pleased to be told by two of them that they have patients who read this blog. That is really heartening, as I never know who reads it or if they find it interesting
I have just made this Risotto,using chestnut mushrooms and spinach. I had some Pernod in the cupboard and used that instead of wine before I added the vegetables. The spinach went in at the end as it cooks so quickly. I also had a bit of smoked Applewood Cheddar that I put in instead of Parmesan and gave the finished dish a depth of flavour.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Feeling like bread making

So I have made a brioche loaf this evening.
500gm of strong plain flour
1 Teaspoon of dried yeast
1Teaspoon of honey
The same of salt
3fl oz of warm water.
4 eggs beaten
175 gm softened butter
Sift the flour and salt together
Mix the yeast, honey and warm water together
Make a well in the flour and add ALL THE REST TOGETHER
Knead the messy dough for 5 minutes, and leave to rise in a covered bowl for 30- 40 minutes, I warn you here and now, it's a messy buisness but by putting the eggs and butter in the mix together makes it a bit easier to work.
Knock the dough back and then put into a loaf tin and leave for a further half and hour glaze the top with either milk or egg yolk
Set the oven to 180o .
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes , when the top should be brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base,turn out of the tin and leave to cool.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Another day, and other meals .

Today some of my family returned from
London on their way home , and stopped for a quick lunch. I gave them salads. A spinach , bacon and blue cheese and a Waldorf salad of apple, celery and walnuts. Also some cold ham and chicken . Fresh fruits after, pineapple,mango, some blueberries and strawberries. They made a good mix, especially with ice cream or thick jersey cream.
This evening I have friends, and I am giving them Piedmontese peppers and griddled courgettes, with home made Foccacia then Coronation chicken. I first browned an onion , added curry powder and some Aubergine chutney , cooked the chicken with wine , water and herbs and when all was cool, cut up the chicken and added two big tablespoons of homemade Mayonnaise plus the same of Greek Yoghurt .
Left it to marinate for the afternoon , then finally I shall add some browned flaked almonds and some chopped coriander. With this some rice and wild rice perfectly plain, and a green salad.
For pudding I have done peaches in red wine and spices with Cinnamon, cloves and a bay leaf in the liquid.
No cheese , but there is some if they should want it.
Wines. Prosecco and a German Reisling Should be enough.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Exhausted by it all

Everything was eaten up, as you can imagine, but I was so tired that I went and had a lie down which is unheard of for me. Then I never took a picture of the fantastic cake stall which appeared at 4.30 of course it was pouring with rain, as it had been on and off all the afternoon, but we carried on under umbrellas and getting fairly soaked .

Meringue roulade
5 egg whites at room temperature
275 grammes caster sugar
A teaspoon of corn flour
A dash if white wine vinegar

Beat the whites till firm and then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time , beating until it becomes glossy with the last spoonful of sugar, fold in the corn flour and vinegar. Put into a greased and lined flat tin and ob the oven at 180 degrees for 17 minutes, when it will have a crisp crust but still be soft underneath . Take out of the oven and leave to cool, then turn out onto a piece of greats proof paper , cut a little off the long edges and then fill with whipped cream and fruit of your choice. As it was jubilee, it was filled with strawberries and blueberries , the cream sweetened with a spoon of lemon curd.

I used 9 eggs for this . Two courgettes thinly sliced, some leek similarly sliced and precooked. Then over a very low heat mix the beaten seasoned eggs with the vegetables and cook until the mixture is done on the underside , but still a little runny on the top. Put this under the grill to cook the top, but watch that it doesn't get too brown.
Serve cut into slices, I managed to get 16 slices from the one I did.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Today's work

Here is a meringue Roulade, a frittata, some tabbouleh and three crab tartlets.
Now I have made a mistake and deleted the second photo.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jubilee cooking.

Am I exhausted, This morning I have made
Two savoury cakes, one had chopped artichoke,mushroom and black olives with blue cheese, the other is with sundried tomato, goat's cheese and basil
I will post the recipes after the weekend. Then I have made two fairly large focaccia breads one with just rosemary and sea salt, the other with leek and black olives.
Next I did a batch of cheese biscuits,made with whatever is left of the bits of cheese that seem to need using up.
Finally I have done some mayonnaise
I thought I had cracked the separating of an egg by dropping it whole into a shallow bowl, and then fishing the yolk out with a slotted spoon. All went marvellously till I came to the fourth egg, when of course the yolk broke in the bowl of whites.So scooped as much out as possible as tomorrow I have to make meringues for the jubilee party on the road, actually this is for a picnic for three of us, as apparently there will be 150 people attending.
The last thing I will make is a frittata of courgettes and leeks that I will take to share with the aforesaid 150 guests If it rains, we can't be in the road ,and will decamp to the local church hall , but No alcohol allowed, so it will be cozy under a gazebo that will be in the road.
Needless to say I am now going to sit down and read the paper .
How could I forget, I have done an enormous tabbouleh to take to share as well.
I have made mayonnaise by using the stick blender, and using up some of the yolks left from separating the eggs for tomorrow's meringue roulade , which will be filled with cream and strawberries and blueberries, very celebratory.
That's enough for anybody.