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Tangerine Powder

January 5, 2011

This is just a quick & easy little recipe for tangerine powder. It’s great with chocolate, as a dessert topping and also in Asian cooking. It couldn’t be simpler, although you can make it more complicated by adding various spices or using candied skins instead. You can use pretty much any citrus fruit for this whose zest is light but flavoursome.

Just peel some tangerines, making sure to remove all the pith as it becomes very bitter. Heat the oven to about 110 °C and place the peel on a baking tray for a couple of hours or until they are dry and crisp. Allow them to cool then, using a pestle and mortar, grind the skins into a fine powder. It’s at this point you could add spices such as cinnamon, aniseed or cloves for example.

Experimental Wednesday #2

October 29, 2010

“At last!” I hear you say. Well, yes; it is finally here! As some of you already know, I had to take some time off since April, so haven’t really had a chance to keep up with writing. Don’t worry, before you ask, I had to take time off for good reasons!

So, with Jim McJim and our lovely ladies, we set about our newest theme: Cheap Catches. Considering our first Experimental Wednesday, it was a sensible choice. It is the world of cheap cuts and catches that creates some of the most inventive – and these days trendy – dishes around. All you need to do is look at somewhere like St John and you can see what amazing things you can do with offal and so-called off cuts. I have yet to eat there, but it is high on my list of must-visits!

Read more…

BBQ Langoustines with a Mango Salsa

October 22, 2010

courtesy of http://www.prawnco.comSo for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, this is going to seem like a *ridiculous* recipe to publish now… but I’m hoping there are some Southies around! Otherwise you have two options: first, pretend it’s not freezing cold outside, whack on some summer shorts and a Hawaiian shirt and crank up the barbie. Alternatively, wait until next week when I publish my fondue recipe.

Langoustines, Dublin Bay prawns, Scampi, Norway Lobster – whatever you call them they are both delicious and massively under appreciated in the UK. As some of you may have seen on Jay Rayner’s piece on “Food: What Goes in your Basket”, most of the langoustine you would eat in Europe will have been caught in Scotland (and you can read more on his blog). So, why does the little that stays in the UK turn into breaded scampi & chips? Well, it doesn’t: I saved ten and threw them on my barbecue and they are delicious. Mr Rayner, this modest little blog entry was inspired by your push to keep Britain’s langoustines in Britain and out of the deep fat fryer! Read more…

Whisky and Marmalade Pork Chops

October 15, 2010

It’s BBQ season! It was BBQ season though you might not have guessed it from the barely double-digit temperature, but it really did happen – you could smell it in the air. Technically, my BBQ season usually starts in March (no joke!) when the odd day of sunshine brings out that weird British gene that reckons “The sun is out! Wouldn’t it be lovely to [put on the thermal underwear, hat and gloves and…] get the barbecue fired up!”. I believe Canadians have a similar thing with sun and shorts.

Barbecues in this household are a big thing. I don’t just mean that we love having them, but the sheer size of the BBQ is something to be marvelled at. My standing record is about 15KG of meat on at a single moment. Two butterflied legs of lamb, a hunk of pork belly and a bunch of sausages. It was amazing; pretty much every man was swooning over the grill. Sometimes, however, it’s just not practical to barbecue a gigantic lump of meat, so this recipe was designed for my mini-barbecue. It’s pretty, pink and petite, and serves two to four people comfortably. Read more…

Five Spice Mix

October 15, 2010

A quick 5 spice mix adapted from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage: Meat book which is frankly awesome. A great introduction to all things meat and myriad ways to prepare, cook and preserve the said article.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Black Pepper Corn
  • 2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 2 Star Anis
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Get Cooking

Grind all the ingredients together in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder until you have a powder.

Roast Duck with Orange and Herb Butter

May 15, 2010

Some of you may recall that I had a ridiculous amount of herbs left over after an Experimental Wednesday session and decided to turn it into a bunch of flavoured butters. You’ll remember the Café de Paris butter, this is the second and there are 2 more to go – when I find the time to write about them!

I love butter; it is the nature of richness itself. Be it mounting a sauce, basting a fried egg (slash chunk of meat!), or lending itself to bakery – it’s most versatile and one of the most useful ingredients I know. And, frankly, there is nothing better to do with it than add a bunch of herbs to it and let it melt over some fried or grilled meat. Read more…

Vanilla and Whisky Sabayon

April 27, 2010

This is my first effort courtesy of my new book, Sauces: Savoury & Sweet, by the venerable Michel Roux – and I should add at this point that it is a brilliant book for anyone wanting to get a little more serious about cooking.

I was enjoying one of those holidays that just sort of happen. They don’t ‘seem all that’ but are always the most relaxing and rewarding. Some of our friends had organised a stunning little cottage in Wales, brought some lovely wine and coordinated great company. The days were spent walking, drinking and eating. Not a bad two out of three as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway… This creation arose on the last night; lots of left overs and we’d just run out of wine. Tinkerbell, the lovely lady responsible for the crumble, had been thumbing through my book and the sabayon caught her eye. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any Saunternes or other sweet white wine. Now, it may have been the fact that I’d just tucked into the Auchentoshan, or that it really was all that was left in the house with an alcohol content – but an idea struck me. I would imagine you’ve also worked it out so let’s not dilly dally. Incidentally, the addition of the vanilla really lifts the whisky, so consider that when selecting an appropriate tipple.

I’ve never really had a go at desserts, and you’ll notice I mention neither the strawberries or the delicious apple & rhubarb crumble that feature in the photos (that are courtesy of Koenig – you didn’t think I improved that quickly!).  In fact, I am also hoping to have some guest writers to put forward some of the lovely desserts I’ve been fed over the years. Read more…