Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Oooooh fresh peas in a pod - I just love these, reminds me of visiting my granny as a kid in the peak district in England. We go to a 'Pick Your Own' where we would pick our own raspberries, gooseberries, strawberries and peas. Mum used to joke that they should weigh us on the way out, and charge us for all we'd eaten while there....
I digress, because I'm in France not England
Here's a recipe
2 pieces of salmon
2 sprigs of tarragon
A good dash of cream
Salt & Pepper
Peas in a pod - 20 pods or so
Make a square of tinfoil, make it pretty large. Place on your salmon, tarragon - and season. Sprinkle over your peas - fresh from the pod, add a dash of cream. Fold up the tinfoil to allow some air to circulate in and around the top of the fish. Barbeque for 10 mins. Carefully open the parcels.
This would also work wonderfully in a nice hot oven. Eat with spuds, or bread and preferably sun, and some nice white wine or Brittany speciality - cider, think less Bulmers and more sparkling apple wine
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Get a square of tinfoil, pop a little spud in there. Drizzle with olive oil, a grind of black pepper, and a dash of salt. Don't forget to prick the potatoes first. Wrap in tinfoil, and pop on the barbeque for 15-20 mins, till soft and delicious, serve with a little nob of butter.... so very, very good!
Ingredients Potatoes Salt Pepper Olive Oil Tinfoil
see the clever colour connection between the two pictures there.....?
We bought tripe sausage from the most well concealed shop in the Loire Valley.
It's very hard to find anywhere open to buy food on Sundays in France, I'd venture to say nearly impossible, so it was getting late on the Saturday and we were getting very worried that we may starve the following day. When we spotted a shop in a small town, given away only by a small crate of melons outside the door, and alone cat mewing....... I tried to make a kind of stew I did not work out well The End Enjoy the pictures!
Hopeful Doubtful Yuck-ful
Get Scallops - throw in some brandy and some Dijon mustard onto the square of tinfoil, as well as some salt and pepper. Seal up your parcel and barbeque for ten mins on an medium heat. Dust in a little flour towards the end and mix around to make a super delicious gravy to dip your bread in. I have no idea how to cook scallops but this tasted pretty damn good These photos are terrible but I'll throw in one of sunflowers from the trip too to make up for it!
We bought and artichoke and looked at it in confusion for several days, being in a field with no internet - how would we ever know what to do with it.
So I went for an easy option of wrapping it in tinfoil, throwing in some butter and garlic and throwing it on the barbeque. After cutting away the stalk and the tops of the leaves, we cooked it for about 15-20 minutes. Then peeled ff the outside leaves, and nibbled the ends covered in butter, then took away the flowery parts in the centre to reveal a nicely cooked heart
Good guess work, now to find out how you're really supposed to cook them....
This is a quick and delicious way to prepare fish, the tarragon lightly infuses the meat as it cooks gently over a medium heat barbecue. The slices of lemon lend a subtle flavour, whilst preventing the fish from sticking to your grill or 'fish box'.
Gut your whiting, fill the cavity with some fresh tarragon and some slices of lemon - salt and pepper gently. Then place some other slices of lemon on either side and place into your 'fish box' This makes it so much easier to turn the fish and prevents fall apart.
Cooks in 10 -12 minutes.
I didn't make this so maybe I shouldn't blog it, but it was a wonderful start to the day, delivered to me on a plate - I love holidays, thanks Delo.We ate a number of crepes and galettes while we were away, crepes are sweet, while galettes are savory and made with buckwheat flour. We bought these pre-made ones from the supermarket to play with back at the van. Often a galette comes with an egg on, the white quickly finds it way through the holes in the pancake and cooks while the yoke stay all gooey. Inside hidden away from sight are some nice little lardons (batons of bacon - see detail photo!) and some melty emmental. A grind of black pepper and a coffee and you're done.Also specialities in Brittany are creme de caramel au beurre salle, which is creme caramel made with salted butter, served on crepes with cooked apples or bananas and chantilly. There's always the classic lemon and sugar.
The best galletes we ate were in Roscoff and were just too delicious to photograph! Bacon with leeks fondue, the other had scallops with gratin vegetables, both were bursting with flavour and showed what a wide range of tastes and ingredients these little galletes can handle.... now I regret not taking a photo ah well, sometimes the moment is just too good to spoil
Friday, July 24, 2009
Anyway - curry and potatoes are a match made in heaven and I was keen to use some of the fenugreek and asa foetida I had bought recently and not had a chance to experiment with yet.
1/2 head of cauliflower - cut into florets
4 potatoes medium cubed
4 cloves of garlic sliced thinly
Fresh chilli finely sliced to taste
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 table spoon of ghee (or use oil)
1 teaspoon of fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon of asa Foetida
1 teaspoon of medium masala curry powder
Heat your ghee in a pan along with the mustard seeds when they start to pop add in your ground spices and stir for a minute, before adding in the onion and garlic and chilli. Cook until they are soft and translucent. Then add in your potato cubes and florets of cauliflower, add a dash of water to the pan, and then cover. Cook for 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick, until the potatoes are cooked and the cauliflower is cooked with still some bite left.
Serve with your favourite naan, spiced rice or dahl. Like this yummy tomato dahl. Sprig of rosemary was for photo purposes only!
Monday, July 13, 2009
This is also slightly French due to the amount of wine we added! Make lots of this as it tastes even better the next day.
Enough stewing beef for 4 people
Toss the beef pieces in the flour and brown off in a large, deep pan, stiring vigourously to prevent the flour from sticking. Remove the browned meat from the pan, and add the onions and garlic. Cover and allow to sweat for 5 mins. While this is happening, chop the vegetables into similar sized pieces. Add all the veg and the meat back into the pan with the onions and garlic. Pour in the botte of red wine and the stock. If it looks like it needs more liquid, add some water. The liquid should almost cover all the other ingredients. Add a few grinds of pepper, the worcester sauce, vinegar and a few pinched of whatever dried herbs you have handy. Or you could add a bouquet garni of fresh herbs, left on the sprigs and tied together with string. This can then be removed once the stew is cooked. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Then cover and place in a hot oven for about 3 hours, or a cooler oven for 4 hours. More than enough time to go out for a nice walk/pint.
When you come back the house will smell amazing.
I know, more French food! Actually I didn't realise until just now that most of what I have been cooking has had a distinctly Gallic theme, ever since Lucy went to France. I must be subconsciously living vicariously through her through the medium of cookery. We definitely have some kind of psychic thing going on... how strange...
anyway, I went through a phase of making this recipe loads, and had kind of forgotten about it. Why, I don't know as its amazing and very easy. This particular combination is inspired by one of Delia Smith's recipes, but modified somewhat by me. Vege
table gratins take much less time to cook than potato gratins, and you can leave out the cream if you want to be good and replace it with a little olive oil. You can also use any combinations of vegetables you have lying around, I have used mushrooms, parsnips, peppers, broccoli, carrots, all with great success. Courgette and aubergines only work if you fry them first, as I have done below. Otherwise they go a bit slimy.
1 clove garlic
dried basil or oregano
100 ml cream or 2 tbsps olive oil
Parmesan or white cheddar cheese to grate over
salt & pepper
Cut the garlic clove in half and rub all over the inside of a shallow oven proof dish. Grease the dish with olive oil. Slice the courgette and fry the slices in hot olive oil until browned both sides. Slice the tomatoes. Layer the cooked courgettes and raw tomatoes in overlapping rows, like roof tiles. You can also add some butter in amongst the veg slices for extra decadence but I try not to. Crush the garlic and flick it evenly over the vegetables. Pour the cream or olive oil over everything and top with a couple of hand fulls of grated cheese and salt and pepper. Bake in a medium over (about 250c) for half an hour or until golden brown and bubbly.
This is great served with a green salad and french bread, or as we did, as a side dish to a meat main course such as a casserole, stew, steak or chicken dish.
I came home early on saturday night from a rained out Oxegen (large and very wet music festival in Co.Kildare), feeling very tired, a little disgruntled, and slightly regretful that I didn’t persevere to see some of the great acts that were playing later on Saturday and on Sunday. Sarah was more hardcore and stayed until the bitter end of saturday night, and got even more soaked than I did.
Anyway, by the time Sunday came around we decided that we needed some serious comfort food. Clare Louise came round to help us eat three courses of wintery, stodgy goodness.French Onion Soup
Peel the onions and chop them in half from root to stem. Then slice them thinly into semi-circles. Finely chop the garlic. Melt some butter and olive oil in a large pot and fry the onions and garlic with the sugar until everything has started to caramelise and turn a nice brown colour.
Add the wine and stock and simmer for about 40 mins on a low heat. Add Worcester sauce, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. When done, cut the baguette into slices, 2 or 3 per person and flash them quickly under the grill to toast on both sides. Grate the cheese. Ladel the hot soup into flameproof bowls and float the toast on top of the soup. Top the toast with the grated cheese and place under the hot grill until the cheese is melter and a bit bubbly. Serve with plenty of black pepper.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Right so long story short - a bad man got into our house, Delo saw him off. He didn't get anything. Then he came back again. Then Delo saw him off again.
So while the girls and Delo beefed up the security and I beefed us up a pie to calm our poor nerves. When our neighbours heard they brought us over a bottle of wine, so it all ended well.
Thanks Delo and thanks Shelia.
I added in some extras like leeks, carrots and a tin of broad beans, as pie for 2 became pie for 4 and then 5, and there was enough to go around. The beans really added an extra dimension, complemented well by the beef and the cheesy potato topping.
1 pound of beef (from Madina on Parnell St - where they minced it freshly before your eyes, nice to see it's fresh, not nice to hear the sound of it going through the mincer - eugh)
2 medium onions
3 cloves of garlic - crushed
2 tablespoons flour
2 carrots - cubed
1 leek - sliced 1 cm rings
1 tin of beans - whichever kind you think would work - I used broadbeans (red ones not green)
5 large potatoes - boiled
Some grated cheese (I used cheddar)
Salt & Pepper
Boil your carrots along with the skins until tender - remove carrots, discard skins and keep water for later.
Fry up the onion with the garlic for a few minutes until it starts to go tender. Then add in the leeks cook until the onions are translucent and the leeks are getting soft. Then add in the beef and cook until it all goes brown. Then add in the flour mix well, then sprinkle over your stock/stock cube, and add a dash of Lea & Perrins. Combine the carrots and beans with the meat.
Use the water from the carrots to make the sauce - add a little at a time until you achieve your desired consistency. then simmer for a few minutes, making sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of your pan. Mash your potatoes with some milk, salt & pepper and half the cheese.
In a oven proof dish - layer the meat mixture on the bottom - top with the potato and then sprinkle with cheese. Bake at Gas Mark 7 for about 30-45 mins until it looks golden and crispy and wonderful. Serve with some green veg - to balance out the colours of your plate. Your break in worries will be a thing of the past...... ahhhh
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
1 serving spoon of tahini
3 cloves garlic
Score the skins of the aubergine and bake in a a hot oven for 30 mins. When cooked, cut in half, scoop out the insides and discard the skins. Pop mixture into a bowl along with the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, ad a small drop of olive oil, mix well and season. Allow to cool before serving.
We served this with some freshly baked bread for dipping, some various cheese, meats and salad. We also served it alongside some hummous. As I said it was like hummous, not a replacement!!
And with this I bid you farewell for a few weeks, I'm off on my holidays to France in the van with the Mr Delo. Lola will keep you updated in Ireland. I promise to write some recipes up while I'm over there, and hopefully have some beautiful sun-drenched pictures to go with them. They'll be coming from this little kitchen in this little van....
I love it when a good plan comes together easily, and also my friend James was coming over, hurray
1 pound courgette (about 2 large) grated
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 talbespoons of cream (feel free to omit this for a healthier option - it will work perfectly fine)
Preheat the oven to gas mark 7. Grate the courgette. Toss in a colander, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the salt on top. Let it drain for about 30 minutes. Run the courgette under the tap for a few seconds, to rinse off the salt. Dry it on a towel.
Whisk together the eggs in a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, cheese, curry powder, and the rest of the salt. Dump in the courgette. Stir well.
Pour the mixture into a 10 1/2 inch baking dish rubbed with oil. Pat the mixture down , until it is flat and smooth. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove, let cool for a few minutes, and then slice and serve.
The recipe suggested serving with tomato sauce, which would have been yum! We served it with salad, bread, hummous, baba ganoush, raclette cheese and some French saucisson, just cause that's what was knocking around.....
We haven’t thrown a party in a while now, so we combined it with our love of cheese and our love of the 80’s. Perfect.
Matthew's Cheese Cellar on Baggot Street is an amazing place for any cheese fan, highly recommended as the palace of cheese, with silver finishing, red carpet and the largest range of cheeses this side of the Brittany
½ block of Edam Cheese (about 500g)
500g of Raclette Cheese
1 box of white wine
1 clove of garlic - skinned cut in half
Juice of 1/2 a lemon Grate all the cheese. Rub the cut side of the garlic all over the inside of the pan and discard - or use for salad dressing. Fill with about two glasses of wine - and heat the wine. Try not to let it boil.
When it's close to boiling, add in a handful of cheese. Stir well until it's smooth and lump free. Repeat a handful at a time, until you've Incorporated all the cheeese. Mine grew a bit thick so I added in more wine as I went, small amounts so that they combine easily. Add the lemon juice to cut through all that richness. Allow to reach a simmer and leave for two minutes.Then serve, it's just that easy and far more decadent that I had expected. As dipping material we used small bite size pieces of ciabatta, cooked sausages, mortadella, other cooked sausages, steamed cauliflower and broccoli florets and then more French bread. I was expecting this to be wonderful as I am a huge fan of cheese, but it surpassed even my cheesiest dreams - oooooh baby! Just after we took this photo - another few people arrived and the whole pot was gone in less then 10 minutes, next time I'll make seconds I promise. We invited all our friends to bring some 80's food with them, Pam made some great little vol-o-vents, filled with creamy chicken, bacon & mushroom. Thanks Pam Also produced were in no particular order, Angel Delight, After 8's, Refreshers, Galtee Cheese, Ritz crackers, Ritz the 'perry', West Coast Cooler (mmmmm) Black Forest Gateaux, Cheese & Pineapple Hedgehogs, Tayto crisps, the richest chocolate cake ever - Thanks Guys
Then it just turned into a party-job done!