I have, unfortunately, got a back log of blogs, something I never thought I’d say. So during a period of self induced anti-social behaviour (by this I mean speaking as little as possible, no drinking, no noisy places etc in order to heal my vocal chords after years of singing on them sub-par) I am attempting to knock as many of these out as possible. Let’s start with my trip back home for the weekend, partly on the way back from an interview at Leiths cookery school (shameless name drop there) and partly to catch up with my grandma (and of course download the link to this site as part of her desktop so she never misses an article). I come home and suggest a nice dinner out, my parents enjoying my company, me exploiting free, nice food. My mother had other ideas. She had recently had a delivery from Sandy Lane Farm, the lovely oxfordshire farm that provided our Turkey for Christmas, of an assortment of random vegetables. In her own words, she was never going to get around to using them this week, as they were out almost every night, so could we maybe eat in? Well played mum, who’s exploiting who now…. On that note, Happy Mothers Day for yesterday So here is the vegetable inspired 3 course meal. (NB I think I may have found a way to convert even the most die-hard anti-sprouts veterans with this starter)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Wilted Cavolo Nero, Lemon-yoghurt dressing, Parmesan shavings, Poached Duck Eggs.
- For the brussels sprouts, wash, trim and cut brussels sprouts in half. Place in a dish and scatter with truffle oil, black pepper, salt and lemon juice. Roast for 20mins at 180°C.
Meanwhile combine lemon juice, pepper, greek yoghurt and a pinch of sea salt and mix well. Wash the cavolo nero then pour over boiling water to wilt slightly, toss in dressing.
Finally poach 4 duck eggs for 2-3mins so the centre is still soft. Top the cavolo nero with the brussel sprouts, parmesan shavings and finally the duck eggs.
Pan Fried Sea Bass, Swede and roasted garlic mash, walnut pesto, roasted lemons and maple roasted baby carrots.
1. Peel and chop swede, boil with salt, bay leaf, thyme and pepper until soft. Meanwhile roast the garlic (Whole) and slices of lemon for 20mins at 180°C.
2. For the pesto, blitz 200g walnuts, handful of parsley, 1tbsp walnut oil, 1tsp truffle oil, 2tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor.
3. For the carrots, scrub, top and tail the baby carrots. Roast for 15-20mins in a drizzle of oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper and white wine vinegar.
4. For the sea bass, put 4 sea bass fillets in a pan of cold water with a bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and cumin. Bring slowly to the boil, as soon as you reach the boil turn of the heat and leave for 10mins. Pan fry in a drizzle of oil skin side down for 2mins, until skin is crispy.
5. To serve, mash the swede with 2-3tbsp olive oil, a pinch of cumin and the roasted garlic. Serve topped with the fish, walnut pesto, lemon slices and carrots.
Maple and Sweetcorn Pannacotta, Maple Popcorn.
1. Bring 600ml milk and 200ml cream to the boil. Add 1tsp vanilla extract, 3tbsp maple syrup and 500g sweetcorn kernals, simmer for 2-3mins. Blend until smooth and pass through a sieve. Meanwhile soak 4 leaves of gelatine in cold water squeeze out and add to sweetcorn mix. Pour mix into ramekins.
2. For the popcorn, drizzle 1tsp oil in a pan. Add 2tbsp unpopped popping corn. Cook covered until the popcorn begins to pop, turn off heat and leave covered until the popping stops. Add 2tbsp maple syrup and shake well to coat, leave to one side.
3. Serve pannacotta topped with popcorn.