Sunday, 22 July 2012
What an elegant little dessert this is, and it shows that the British Isles can give any country a run for their money in the food stakes, in my humble opinion. This recipe is all about the best ingredients - the best milk and Jersey cream, and intense little blackcurrants, whose fragrance, as they gently cooked, filled the flat today. Now, I'm not pretending the baked custards are low fat, but with 200ml of double cream and 400ml of milk between 4 people, they are not as rich as, say, panna cotta or creme brulee. However, gently baked and chilled, they deliver a silky smooth texture. We need to rescue the British baked custard, which has suffered from the popularity of these other two desserts (although, in fact, the English can lay claim to Creme Brulee as their own, Trinity Burn't Cream, from Cambridge). The blackcurrant has also suffered, I think, from the blueberry's sweeter (and, perhaps, slightly bland?) taste, and it is definitely an 'adult' tangy fruit. How sad that most of the country's crop goes towards making Ribena. Please use it in this compote and stir into yoghurt, over pancakes and ice cream and stirred into cream as a fool. Or as one of the components of Summer Pudding (to be made next week, I hope) Sweetened to taste, and perhaps with some Creme de Cassis, as in this recipe, you'll be rewarded with a burst of intense berry fruitiness, and all the vitamin C and antioxidants you could wish for. As for the recipe itself for this lovey pud - well, it is from the great Irish chef Richard Corrigan, via Riverford Organic's website - here it is, do try it, your guests and family will thank you profusely. I made the custards in individual silicone ramekins and baked them for 30 minutes or so, until just set. The silicone makes them very easy to turn out, but making them in one dish and spooning out would be good too.
Saturday, 21 July 2012
Delia's original recipe if you fancy giving it a go - we eschewed the creme fraiche as I thought it was rich enough. And I didn't have any!
Friday, 20 July 2012
recipe on The Grauniad. This is SO 'under a fiver'. If you have any leftovers, blitz in a processor with a spoonful of tahini and some lemon juice to taste for a quick carrot hummus. We served these with Quick Tomato and Red Pepper Soup with fresh basil oil swirled in (recipe earlier this year) for a healthy vegan supper, cheap as chips. But without the chips. One note on chickpea brands. I favour the East End brand, as the chickpeas are always soft and creamy, not like the chalky bullets you get with lesser brands - not expensive, either. Do look out for them.
Sunday, 15 July 2012
Here I am, with my close friends, drinking this lovely Campari cocktail. I have a great life. Yeah, note to self: stop reading 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Anyway, this was delicious, comprising of 1 measure each of vodka, Campari, sweet vermouth, 2 measures of Cointreau, and the juice of half a lime and 1 orange. Serve over lots of ice, and top up with a little soda water. Great with salmon and dill pâté on blinis. Warning: quite alcoholic - see delusional photo on the left.
Saturday, 14 July 2012
Friday, 13 July 2012
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
I was so knackered yesterday, after a strange headachy, virussy thing over the weekend. All I wanted, in the middle of this crazy wet and miserable July, was soup for my tea. And I didn't want to spend long making it. Thank heavens for for the frozen pea, surely the cook's best friend? Ridiculously simple: sweat an onion in a good knob of butter, then add a big bag of peas (450g / 1lb), just cover with Marigold stock, simmer for 10 minutes then blitz with a hand blender into a soup of verdant freshness. Season with loads of black pepper, some mint if you like, and stir through some chopped ham (I had some leftovers from a gammon joint at the weekend). Served with toasted cheese sandwiches, it was heavenly comfort food in 20 minutes. Rubbish photo, I know. Definitely an under a fiver job.