12 February 09

vinegar_air_salty_crisps

Vinegar Air and Salty Crispy Potatoes

The inspiration for this recipe came from Daniel Clifford the chef at  the Midsummer House restaurant in Cambridge. We went there  for  lunch and were served a delicious canape of vinegar air with salty crisps. I loved the idea as it brought back my childhood memories.

I used to love vinegar as a child and my mother found me on more than one occasion secretly gulping vinegar directly from the bottle. Strangely I used to choose the malt vinegar, I suppose it was not as harsh as the white. When I grew up we only found red, white and malt vinegar in the supermarkets. Unlike today ,where we have a much wider and a much more sophisticated range to choose from.

midsummer_houseThe recipe for vinegar air and salted crispy potatoes is a bit of fun and will make people smile. I use the cream whipper to aerate the vinegar and

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12 February 09

quince_curd1

Quince Curd

Quinces are one of those rather romantic fruits, it’s speculated that these fruits were used as an aphrodisiac in the early days and with its appearance one could see why. What I love about them is the fragrance and the texture. Quinces have a subtle but distinctive perfume and the grainy gritty texture make them unique. Furthermore it does not matter how long you cook them for, the grittiness will remain.

For me the romance  is the fact that it’s so versatile and could be used in almost every course. In cooking terms it quite easily becomes the ‘ mistress ‘, as it does not belong to one eating occasion  but lends itself to a few. Wow is that some food for thought?

The most common use for quinces is Membrillio, made by the Spanish and served with cheese. However there are so many more uses for the humble quince.

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11 February 09

chocolate_and_hazelnut_cookies

Chocolate and Hazelnut Crackle Cookies

These Chocolate and Hazelnut crackle cookies are also known as our holiday cookies. Last Easter we went on another driving holiday to France. We rented a gite for a week in the gorgeous Dordogne region. As it was still cold and snow had been reported on the lower slopes we were not sure if it meant that we would have to be housebound for most of our stay. I thought that these Chocolate and Hazelnut Crackle Cookies might just be what we needed to help us through the cold evenings. And so they did, there were so many of them that Ross described them as the never ending tin of cookies that multiply every time you put the lid back on.

Well I must admit that I did make a few other recipes as well. They lasted the whole holiday and were much appreciated. The Gite was lovely, I took

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10 February 09

cinnamon_toast

Cinnamon Toast

My mother had this bizarre belief that if there is no fresh bread around it means there is no food in the house. For that reason we always had lots of  bits of bread in the bread bin going stale and sometimes mouldy. Mum used to make a special Sunday treat with the stale bread she called it eggy bread smothered with cinnamon sugar.

I also have a great love for bread but instead of letting it go stale and mouldy I would slice the bread  and freeze it on the same day that it was baked. One of my favourite breads is brioche which is ideal for making this delicious Cinnamon Toast, very indulging.

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