24 September 09

Tatin

Classic Tart Tatin with Velvety Crème Anglaise

I’m known as the Queen of Tart Tatins….even if I have to say so myself!

I’m looking for perfection when it comes to this classic dish and these are the three things I’m looking for in a prefect tart tatin:

1. I’m looking for the perfect fruit with a firm texture but a sharp taste; a fruit that can stand the heat in the caramel without collapsing, disintegrating or losing it’s taste.

2. A deep rich and perfect caramel. A  light coloured caramel does not do it for me as it does not deliver on taste nor  looks.

3. Then last but not least the pastry has to be cooked! A crisp and flaky pastry is a absolute must.

This recipe is dedicated to a two friends Alex and Dominique as they encouraged me to do a tatin masterclass at work. It was three years ago….wow time flies! Dom now

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22 September 09

Wellington

Classic Beef Wellington

The classic Beef Wellington, what a stunner of a dish! It’s almost like a complete meal as you have the carbohydrate, protein, sauce and vegetable all in one, I think this makes a party pretty special.

I suppose that some people may beg to differ and argue that the classic Beef Wellington should be large and then ceremoniously carved in a spectacular manner at the dinner table.

I have chosen to make individual ones as I do not like the mess associated with carving the Wellington into portions. I also dislike cold food and believe once it’s served it should be enjoyed immediately.

It’s not completely clear exactly where the Beef Wellington originated from, some says it’s a borrowed and recreated dish from the French “filet de bœuf en croûte“. It does not really matter as it’s spectacular and is bound to be the talking point of any

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20 September 09

Livers

Pan-fried Chicken Livers and Cobnuts on Toast

This is what I call a typical wholesome autumn breakfast/brunch dish. Perfect on Sunday morning after nipping out to buy the paper, hopping over the frosty front lawn and in need of a bit of a boost to start the day.

Chicken livers are something I do not mind using in my cooking, for example making a pate or whisking into a delectable ragu to give it that creamy edge. However its not the kind of ingredient that I would have choosen to cook and eat until now….Wow something must have come over me!

Last week I received a bag of cobnuts and unusual English apples from a friend. I trotted off to our local “posh”supermarket with a kind of an idea of what I would like to cook. I knew I wanted to make a warm salad type dish using the cobnuts and apples and originally had pigeon in

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18 September 09

Gratin

Celeriac and Potato Gratin with Cobnut Gremolata

How good does cooked cream taste? My mouth is watering just writing about it, but the moment of weakness over the lips and the lifetime of regret over the hips is a shocking thought within itself!

I think that potato gratin cooked in cream is a classic dish but has a split personality, it,bizarrely, is incredibly sophisticated but comforting at the same time, almost bordering on rustic  home cooking.

I like a gratin which is moist and not too dry and for that reason I add a little bit of stock. The stock will prevent the cream from setting too much. For me a classic gratin has wafer thin slices of well seasoned potato embraced with a velvety and sumptuous cream, gently infused with garlic.

I did break the mould slightly and used a mixture of celeriac and potato for this recipe. I love the nutty earthy flavour of celeriac

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