Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Water chestnut pesto

I discovered this one reading old cookbooks and then subsequently googling it I found that water chestnut pesto is an old classic. So much for my culinary education.

I made the pesto to have with a cauliflower soup and subsequently with Jerusalem artichoke soup. In both cases the pesto turned what is a fairly uninteresting soup into something fantastic. The trick is to make a very thick, i.e. not oily, pesto that can be left in the soup as a quenelle without melting. People can then add a little bit to each spoonful of soup.
  1. 100g water chestnuts, cooked and peeled or just use tinned ones;
  2. 75g hard goat's cheese (some recipes use aged cheddar) crumbled;
  3. 1 small garlic clove, minced (be careful with the garlic I used a large garlic clove and it was too much);
  4. ½ tsp Maldon salt;
  5. 1 good pinch freshly-ground black pepper
  6. 50 gr flat-leaf parsley ideally leaves only;
  7. Juice of ½ lemon
  8. 150ml olive oil
  9. 50ml groundnut oil or extra-virgin rapeseed oil

Put the chestnuts, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to a fairly grainy mixture. Add the parsley and pulse again until well chopped. Add the lemon juice and slowly add the oil until you achieve the desired consistency. I like it a little granular and not too smooth and to use in a quenelle it should be quite thick. Adjust the seasoning, then spoon into a clean glass jar. Pour a little oil over the top of the pesto, seal and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
This pesto works really well on pasta or over salmon with a big of vegetables. In fact anything you would use regular pesto for will be improved by the addition of water chestnut pesto.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wasabi Mayo


  1. Make 2 egg mayo (i.e. same quantity of oil and mustard but 2 eggs);
  2. 2 tsp Light miso paste;
  3. 1 tsp Rice vinegar;
  4. 1 tsp lemon juice;
  5. 1 tsp wasabi paste;
  6. 1 tsp grated fresh horseradish;
Mix adding vinegar and lemon juice last.

Fish Curry

Ingredients for two people:
  1. 300 gr white fish (cod, haddock etc);
  2. 150 gr prawn;
  3. 1 finely chopped shallot;
  4. 2 cloves finely chopped garlic;
  5. 1 finely chopped chili;
  6. 1 finely chopped celery stalk;
  7. 1 ½ - 2 tbsp mild korma powder (or another mild curry powder);
  8. Thai fish sauce;
  9. 150 ml coconut milk;
  10. S&P.

Soften 3 – 6 in oil in a warm pan ideally a wok. When shallot is translucent add the curry powder and fry until it starts to darken. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and the fish. Season and let simmer until the fish is cooked.

The coconut milk can be replaced by liquid yogurt.

Buckwheat Blinis

Ingredients for 18 blinis:
  1. 40 gr buckwheat flour;
  2. 125 gr strong plain white flour;
  3. ¾ tsp salt;
  4. 5 gr easy blend yeast;
  5. 150 ml crème fraiche;
  6. 175 ml whole milk;
  7. 2 eggs separated;
  8. 25 gr butter;

  1. Sift together 1 – 4;
  2. Warm 5 & 6 until lukewarm then whisk in the egg yolks;
  3. Mix milk into flour and whisk until you a think batter. Cover with a clean dish cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour;
  4. Beat egg white to stiff peaks;
  5. Fold egg white into batter;
  6. Melt a pinch of butter in a blinie pan and fry about a table spoon of batter for 30 sec a side.

Added a tablespoon of honey (miel de Thyme).

Osso Bucco

Ingredients (for 4):
  1.  4 veal shanks;
  2. Seasoned flour to coat the veal;
  3. 100 gr diced pancetta;
  4. Chopped onion;
  5. Chopped carrot;
  6.  Chopped stalk celery;
  7. 2 large cloves garlic finely chopped;
  8. Zest of one large lemmon;
  9. 500 ml white wine;
  10. 500 ml chicken stock;
  11. 750 ml crushed tomatoes;
  12. 2 bay leaves;
  13. Large sprig rosemary;
  14. Handful Thyme;
  15. S&P.

For the Gremolata (make this at least 2 hrs beforehand):
  1. 100 gr finely chopped parsley;
  2. Zest of one large lemon;
  3. 2 finely chopped cloves garlic;
  4. Handful of toasted peanuts;
  5. EVOO to moisten;
  6. Mix and let stand to infuse.

  1. Dredge veal in seasoned flour (shake off any excess):
  2. Fry pancetta in a large heavy bottomed and oven proof pan, set aside when browned, keep the grease;
  3. Brown veal on medium heat, set aside;
  4. Add more oil and sauté onion, carrots, celery, garlic and zest on medium heat until tender;
  5. Add veal and pancetta back into the pan;
  6. Deglaze pan, add wine and boil off most of the alcohol;
  7.  Add stock and tomatoes, bring to simmer;
  8. Add herbs;
  9. Cover and transfer to 180 degrees C oven;
  10. Cook for 1 – 1.5 hrs or until veal is falling of the bone (may need to top up liquid).

Serve with  risotto alla milanese topped with the Gremolata;

Monday, October 14, 2013

Romesco Sauce

Made the Barrafina recipe romesco over the weekend. I played with the recipe by adding hotter cillis and by using fresh roasted Romano peppers instead of choricero peppers. Came out absolutely brilliantly. 

Makes enough for 6-8 generous portions (about 650g)
  1. 1 dried red chilli, soaked in warm water for 2 hours (any chilli will do but naturally the better the chilli you use the better the result. I used Guajillo (relatively mild but with a strong finish, Chipotle meco (a smoked jalapeno) and a habanero for the intense strength.)
  2. 4 dried choricero peppers, soaked in warm water for 2 hours (this is the pepper used to make paprika, you’ll get it in Brindisa or one of the speciality food stores. I could not find any in Chiswick so I used 4 fresh romano peppers that I roasted in the oven)
  3. 4 large ripe plum tomatoes
  4. 100ml olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
  5. salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1 whole head of garlic, halved horizontally
  7. 100 gr blanched almonds
  8. 20 gr roasted almonds
  9. 1 slice of good-quality white bread, about 2cm thick (actually used Japanese panco, works just as well)
  10. 50ml sherry vinegar
Heat the oven to 180°C. Drain the soaked chilli and choricero peppers, then remove the seeds and set aside. Put the tomatoes into a roasting dish. Drizzle them with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the two halves of garlic in foil and add to the roasting dish. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. When cool enough, pop the garlic cloves out of their skins and set aside. Meanwhile, in a separate smaller roasting dish, toast the almonds in the same oven for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned. Be careful – they burn fast! Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small frying pan and fry the bread on both sides until golden brown. Put the chillies, choriceros, roasted tomatoes, garlic, blanched almonds, bread and vinegar into a blender or food processor. Add 100ml of olive oil and blitz until smooth. Season with plenty of salt and pepper and keep in the fridge until needed.

When serving sprinkle some of the roasted almonds over the meat.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Posting this here so that I don't have to bother David every time I want to make Anticucho sauce:

Red Anticucho Sauce
  1. 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (crushed to powder)
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons grated garlic
  5. 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  6. 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon aji panca paste
  7. 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  8. 1 tablespoon sake
  9. 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

Combine in the order listed
Yellow Anticucho Sauce
  1. 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon aji amarilllo paste
  2. 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  3. 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  4. 1 teaspoons lemon juice
  5. 1 teaspoons yuzu juice
  6. 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

Combine in the order listed

Chilli Con Carne

My CCC never tastes the same twice in a row mainly because I never use a recipe. Rather every time I want to make an CCC I start reading recipes. The final result depends very much on where I get my inspiration. Sometimes I will read Heston’s CCC recipe from in search of perfection and be inspired to make something unbelievably complicated or I’ll go with Jamie Oliver’s very simple chili.

I made a particularly good CCC today so I’ve decided to post it here as a reminder and so that poor Jules can be confident that her food tastes as expected.

  1. 1 tsp crushed dried chili;
  2. 2 tsp crushed cumin seeds;
  3. 1 tsp oregano (ideally wild);
  4. 2 tsp smoked paprika;
  5. 2 star anise;
  6. 500 gr minced meat ideally not the low fat version;
  7. 1 large carrot chopped fine;
  8. 1 stalk celery chopped fine;
  9. 2 large onions chopped fine;
  10.  4 cloves garlic roughly chopped;
  11.  2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers;
  12.  2 red peppers cut into 1 cm thick strips;
  13. 1 liter beef stock;
  14.  A double espresso;
  15. 2 400 gr tins chopped tomatoes;
  16.  400 gr kidney beans;
  17.  S&P;

  1. Dry roast ingredients 1 -4;
  2. Brown the meat in a very hot pan;
  3. Soften the onion & celery in the same pan;
  4. Add carrot and red pepper and let soften a bit;
  5. Add all the spices, garlic and jalapeno let fry for a minute or so;
  6. Add the beef and tomato, blend thoroughly;
  7. Add the espresso and stir it in;
  8. Add the stock, season to taste;
  9.  Let simmer for up to 2 hours;
  10. Add beans and let simmer until beans are ready.
  11. Serve with Crème fraise and grated cheese.

Additional ideas:
  1.  Chives;
  2.  Couple of squares of bitter 70% chocolate;
  3. Add the red pepper when there is ½ hour left of the cooking time so that they retain some texture;
  4. Chilli Mix (replaces the dry chilli and Jalapeno above):
    1. Chipotle Morita - 3/5 hot, smoke-dried jalapeño; 
    2. Habaneros - 5/5 hot, this is the source of the spicy background heat; 
    3. Guajillo - 2/5 hot, slightly sweet out in front taste;
    4. Mulato - 1/5, chocolaty, licoricy taste;
    5. Ancho (poblano) Chilli - 1/5, Similar to Mulato not sure I really need both;
    6. Cascabel - 2/5, toasty, nutty flavour. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tapas Menu Saturday 14th of July 2012

  1. Smoked Salmon on Blinie (Thvera Salmon from 2011, best creme fraise, twist of black pepper, chives and lemmon rind on top of salmon)
  2. Beetroot and goats curd salad (thinly sliced salt baked beetroot, walnut dressing, crushed walnuts, rocket salad, crumbled goats curds)
  3. Teriyaki Squid (squid flash fried on very hot pan, finished with juice of 3 vermouth (did not have sake), 2 mirin, 1 sugar, 5 lemmon juice, lemon rind and 1.5 soy sauce. Left to boil until juice is syrupy served on a handful of Samphire and chopped grass onion on top.)
  4. Chorizo & Prawn on fondant potatoes (1 cm thick potatoes fried in paprika flavoured butter – fondant in chicken stock, flash fried chorizo and prawn on top, topped with chilly jam and homemade aioly and handful of watercress)
  5. Truffled pasta (Jules had to have something she fancied)
  6. Milk braised loin of pork with broad bean purre (loin of pork braised in full fat milk flavoured with cinnamon stick, bay leaves and thyme for 3 hrs at 140 C, lightly boiled broad beans in mixer with garlic, EVOO, rocket leaves, S&P until a fine paste, retained one grated baked beetroot to decorate the pork)
  7. Ari’s Eton Mess (mixed berries marinated in best balsamic, honey, and chopped mint, mixed with whipped cream and meringue)

  • Orballo – Albarino 2011
  • Txomin Texaniz – Txakoli 2011
  • Allende Rioja 2005
  • Arzuage – Rebera Del Duero 2004
  • Gran Feudo Gran Reserva – Navarra 2005 Tempranillo, Cap Sauv, Merlot (that may have been one wine to many!)

Monday, October 03, 2011

Ox tongue with lentils and green sauce

Recipe stolen from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and put here to remind me where it come from....

For the brine

  1. 500g demerara or light muscovado sugar
  2. 1.5kg coarse sea salt
  3. 1 tsp black peppercorns
  4. 1 tsp juniper berries
  5. 5 cloves
  6. 4 bay leaves
  7. 1 sprig thyme

For the tongue

  1. 1 whole ox tongue
  2. 1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 4 parsley stalks, 2 sprigs thyme)
  3. 1 carrot, chopped
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 1 celery stick, chopped
  6. 1 leek, chopped
  7. 1 clove garlic

For the green sauce

  1. 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
  2. 1 large bunch mint, marjoram or basil (or a combination thereof)
  3. 1 tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
  4. 8 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  5. 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  6. 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  7. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  8. 2 tbsp white-wine vinegar
  9. Extra-virgin olive oil

To finish

  1. 300g Puy lentils
  2. 1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 4 parsley stalks, 2 thyme sprigs)
  3. Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the brine ingredients in a large pan, add five litres of water and, over low heat, stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Bring to a boil, bubble for a few minutes, remove from the heat to cool, then refrigerate until cold.

Put the tongue in a non-metallic container. Cover with the brine, weighting it down, if necessary, to keep it submerged, and leave in a cool place or fridge for four to five days.

Remove the tongue from the brine and soak in fresh, cold water for 24 hours, changing the water at least once more. Put the tongue in a pan with the bouquet garni, vegetables and garlic, cover with fresh water and bring to a gentle simmer. Poach very gently for two and a half to three hours, until tender and yielding. Lift out the tongue, cool and peel off the coarse outer skin.

To make the sauce, finely chop the herbs and put in a bowl with the capers, anchovies and garlic. Add the mustard, seasoning and vinegar, toss, then add enough oil to loosen the mix to a spoonable consistency.

Cook the lentils as per the packet instructions (though adding a bouquet garni to the cooking water), then dress with oil and season. When the tongue is completely cold, cut into 1 cm slices and serve with the lentils and green sauce.