Baked figs with white chocolate and muscovado

I had some left over fresh figs and wanted to make an easy dessert with them, preferrably without having to leave the house to buy any ingredients. After a little google session I found a similar recipe to this on a Swedish dairy website. And lucky me, I had all the (few) ingredients at hand.

Baked figs with white chocolate and muscovado, serves 2

2 fresh figs

50 g white chocolate, roughly chopped

2 tbsp light muscovado sugar

Heat up the oven to 175C. Rinse the figs and cut in half. Almost cut the halves in two and place in a small tray skin side down. Sprinkle the sugar and the chocolate on top and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve with lightly whipped cream while still warm. 

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Cepe confit

I’m really into duck and goose fat at the moment, perhaps because it is the season for roast potatoes again.

If you want to make the most wonderful roast potatoes, you need this type of fat. Vegetable oil just doesn’t cut it, both the taste and the texture is different. I mean when my British boyfriend’s British mother compliments my roast potatoes, I know I have done it right. ūüėČ

But it can be even better than that, with goose fat flavoured with cepe mushrooms (also called porcini). You achieve this by making a confit and then saving the fat.

But the mushrooms are nice too, although I must admit I made this more for the idea of the roast potatoes. Served on toast with some parmesan, this is a real treat.

Cepe confit, serves 2 on toast

400 g cepe mushrooms, brushed and sliced

400 g goose fat

Place the mushroom slices in a glass dish and cover with the goose dat. Place in 85C oven for ,5 hours. Leave to cool. Drain away the fat and keep it and cherish it. Place the mushrooms on a plate and put in the fridge.

Later fry the mushrooms brown and crunchy in some olive oil. Place on buttered toast and add parmesan shavings and some parsley if you have. Enjoy!

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Bouvet bubbles

Just a quick recommendation for bubbly. We tried this sparkling wine from Loire the other day, and considering the price (£10) it is very good. The full name is Bouvet Ladubay Saumur NV and the grape is Chenin Blanc.

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Wonderful Friday!

Apples, Grönby, Sweden 2009

The past week has been quiet and I have spent every weeknight at home actually. The chores needed to be done, and I neede to prepare for tonight’s dinner party as well. Jess and Chris are coming over for dinner, and on a Friday night I prefer to be in the kitchen as little as possible, and at the dinner table with a glass of wine in hand as much as possible, hence the preparations. ūüôā

Then early tomorrow morning I’m off to Sweden for a quick visit at my parents. I want to go for a walk in the woods, catch up with the parents and enjoy my mother’s cooking.

Because I am away, the weekly menu will be a bit shorter this week, Christopher can eat whatever he wants when I’m away (I’m nice like that) but I have a feeling it will be a big steaks and sausages.

The rest of the week we will be eating this:

  • chicken breasts stuffed with smoked ham and mozzarella
  • Chilli and corn bread
  • potato and leek soup

Have a nice weekend!

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Poussins with rosemary and lemon, and the most wonderful jus

It is not the first time I have cooked poussins this way. I followed my usual recipe but simplified it and didn’t brown them before roasting them, and they turned out better than ever! However, it was the simple but lovely jus with rosemary and shallots that really improved the dish. Served with roast potatoes and chanteney carrots and a wonderful Rioja, this was a joyful meal.

We finished this meal off with Christopher’s signature dessert – tarte tatin. We usually serve it with vanilla icecream but had pouring cream with it this time, and it was almost as good.¬† Poussins with rosemary and lemon, serves 2

4 poussins

100 g softened butter

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 lemon, the zest and some of the juice

1 bunch rosmary

salt and white pepper

Rinse the chickens and place them in a roasting tray covered with tin foil. Mix butter, lemon peel and juice, garlig and some rosemary leaves in a bowl. Make  cut at the top of the breast and insert your finger underneath the skin to create a pocket. Fill this with the butter and repeat for all the chickens. Make 2 cuts on each thigh and smear butter over it. Use the rest of the butter to coat the birds on each side. Season with salt and pepper on all sides. Place two rosemary sprigs on each bird, but remove them before serving. Fry in 200C for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is clear from the thigh joint. Wrap in tin foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.

Jus with rosemary and shallots, serves 4

1 shallot, finely chopped

a little olive oil

the juice from the poussins (about 500 ml)

500 ml chicken stock

2 rosmary sprigs 

1 msk smör

Fry the onion until soft in the oil in a large frying pan. Pour into the meat juices and stock and turn the heat on high. Place the rosemary in the liquid and let it reduce to around half and thicken. It goes slowly in the beginning, but since it has started to thicken it won’t take long until it is done. Remove the rosemary and lower the mat. Add the butter and turn the heat off. pour the jus over the chickens and serve.¬†

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Jerusalem artichoke soup 2.0

Jerusalem artichoke is one of my favourite root vegetables and something I would love to grow if I had a garden. Since I don’t, I get mine in Waitrose or at Borough Market.

This soup was well liked on Saturday, which I am grateful for, since it was the best version I have made so far. Richard, Christopher’s brother, described the flavour similar to smoked bacon and I see what he means. I will try his suggestion of topping the soup with crispy bacon instead of girolles next time.

Jerusalem artichoke soup, serves 4 as a starter

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

600-700 g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled

water

2 tsp concentrated chicen stock (like Touch of Taste)

50 ml single cream

salt, white pepper

Topping: Girolles fried in butter, salt and white pepper and some fresh chopped shallots.

Fry the onions soft in a large saucepan on medium-low heat. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and fry for a minute or so. Cover with boiling water. Add salt. Bring to the boil and cook until the artichokes are soft. Drain away half of the cooking water, but save it for later. Puré the artichokes with the remaining water with a blender or stick blender. Add the cream and enough of the cooking water to get the thickness you require. Add the stock and season to taste. Bring to the boil again and serve. 

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Cliveden Manor

We spent the weekend in Buckinghamshire where my boyfriend is from. It was sunny, 30 C, no wind and wonderful to breathe fresh countryside air.

It was his mother, Elieen’s birthday on Saturday so we went to Clivenden Manor during the day to have a look around, then stopped at a pub for a drink on the way home, and in the evening we cooked a nice meal for her. We used recipes I have written about before, but it was sooo good this time, I have to post it again with the new and improved instructions.

Recipes will be posted the following days, but today I give you some more nice pictures of the Manor.

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Carrot and coriander soup

I made this British classic for the first time last week, and fell in love, if that is possible with a soup.

I love the smooth velvety texture and the combination och sweet carrots and flowery coriander really works. We will certainly eat this a lot this autumn and winter!

Carrot and coriander soup, serves 2

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

600 g carrots, peeled and cut into smaller pieces

water

vegetable or chicken stock

50 ml single cream

salt, white pepper

1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped

Fry the onion until soft but not brown in the oil on medium heat, in a large sauce pan. Add the carrots and fry for a minute or so. Pour boiling water to cover the carrots and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook until the carrots are soft (about 15 minutes). Drain  most of the cooking water, but set it aside. Pureethe carrots and add enough of the cooking water so you have a very thick soup. Bring to the boil and add cream and stock until you have the thickness you want. Season with salt and pepper. Add the coriander a minute or so before serving.

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Roast topside of beef with b√®arnaise sauce

My little autumn cooking project will be to master all kinds of roasts and casseroles, ans it is so much fun.

We had this for supper last Saturday and it was lovely. If we have steak I prefer mine blue, basically just turned in a hot pan, but I prefer a roast rare, as topside needs longer to cook. And this was cooked to perfection with my references. It was a little bloody, proper red meat and still tender and juicy.

I served it with b√®arnaise sauce, which I love and the recipe below is both easy and makes the perfectly balanced sauce. In restaurants you often get a terrible vinegary runny sauce, and this it is counterpart. The sauce is thick and velvety, has enough vinegar to not be buttery, but not so much that it takes over. I’m salivating just thinking about it…

Further, I served potato wedges and purple sprouting with the meal and red wine is almost compulsory.

Roast topside of beef, serves 4

600-800 g topside of beef

salt, black pepper

butter and oil for frying

Trim the meat and pat it with plenty of salt and pepper. Brown it in a hot frying pan in the butter and oil until nice and brown on all sides. Place in an oven dish or put the pan (no plastic handles) straight in the oven. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. Place it in a 150C oven for about 20 minutes or until the inner temperature is 43C. Remove the meat from the dish/frying pan and cover wuth tin foil. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving in slices.

Bèarnaise sauce 2.0, serves 2-4

2,5 tbsp white wine vinegar

1,75 tsp dried tarragon

2 tbsp water

3 egg yolks

150 g butter cold or at room temperature, cut into small cubes

Add the vinegar and tarragon to a nonstick saucepan. Reduce on high heat while stirring and the fan on full until most of the liquid has evaporated. Make sure not to burn the herbs. Remove from heat and add the water. Add the egg yolks and stir. Place the pan on low heat and stir until it starts to thicken slightly, add a butter cube and while stirring, watch it melt. Add another and repeat. Remember to stir/whisk all the time. After a few cubes you can a few at the time. Repeat until all the butter has melted. Let it thicken some more if needed, and remember that it will keep cooking even when you remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and white pepper if needed. Pour into a cold sauce bowl straight away and serve.

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Sweet chilli chicken with ginger and pineapple

I got this recipe in an email from my dear Mama (said like in Downton Abbey, my obsession at the moment) who in turn tasted the dish at a friend’s house. So I am afraid I don’t know the original source of the recipe. But that doesn’t matter, because it is really easy to make and very tasty.

Dear Mama only emailed me the ingredients, so below is my version of the dish. I know I usually recommend chicken thighs for more or less every chicken dish, but not this one actually, it works better with chicken breasts here, and they are anything but dry cooking in the cream.

Sweet chilli chicken with ginger and pineapple, serves 4

4 large chicken breasts/fillets

butter/oil for frying

3 tbsp tinned pineable chunks (in juice, not syrup)

1 cm grated fresh ginger

3-4 tbsp sweet chilli

300 ml single cream

a splash of dark soy sauce

salt, white pepper

Brown the fillets in butter/oil until golden brown. Add salt and pepper and place in an ovenproof dish. Mix the other ingredients in an saucepan and bring to the boil. Let it thicken for a few minutes and pour the saue over the chicken breasts. Place the dish in the oven, 200C for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Serve with steamed rice and vegetables (i.e. broccoli). 

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