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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Miramar in Llanca

Tasting Menu 2011

Tequila, salt and lime
Crystalized nuts
Red clam, apple and celery
Quail's egg in tempura
Tomato and olive oil caviar
Mushrooms, truffle and foie gras tartlet
Carbonara " Frigo"
Vietnamese cappuccino
Fish and chips
Cherry with kirsch
Fresh almonds and summer truffle
Clam soup
King prawn with its juice and tangerine
Our small brain
Baby squid and fisherman' soup
Dim sum of Dublin Bay prawn and beef feet
Cream of corn, foie gras and duck sauce
Sticky rice of chanterelles and iberian secret
Grouper, its juice and croutons
Lemon and meringue cake
Pinecone, pine nuts, pine and chocolate

I don't think there is much to add... one of the best meals I have ever had....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Creamy Butternut Squash Fish Soup

I wanted to make a simple clean tasting fish soup. The motivation was my desire to have a fish soup and J's refusal to contemplate eating such. Basically the idea here is to make a vaguely oriental soup based on butternut squash and then add the fishy element afterwards.


  1. One cubed butternut squash;
  2. 1 large chopped shallot;
  3. 250 ml tin of coco nut milk;
  4. 3 stems of lemongrass;
  5. 1/2 tbls of fennel seeds
  6. 5 kefir lime leaves;
  7. 500 ml vegetable or fish stock (or just water);

For added fishiness:

  1. Thai fish sauce to taste;
  2. 250 gr prawn;
  3. 250 gr monkfish cut into large bite sized chunks.

Soften shallot in a little bit of vegetable oil in a soup pot at medium heat. Add spices and let them roast for about a minute. Add butternut squash and stock and let simmer until the squash is completely soft about 15 min. Remove the lemongrass and whizz the soup up in a food processor or using one of these very clever magic wand things.

Bring soup back up to simmer and slowly add the coco nut milk. Do not add the full tin as that may make the soup too rich (not all butternut squashes are the same size after all) add until you like the consistency and taste of the soup. Let the soup simmer until the milk is fully settled into the soup. At this point what you have is beautiful vegetable soup which I would have happily had as such after adding salt.

The point however was a fish soup. At this point start adding fish sauce one tablespoon at a time. It is important to give the soup a couple of minutes of simmering before adding more fish sauce as it is very potent and salty and you really won't know if you have added enough until it has had time to settle. Continue until the soup is slightly fishy but not salty to the taste.

Add fish, bring back to simmer until fish is ready. Serve with a few leaves of coriander and a line of best EVOO.

(a variation on this theme would be to replace the lime leaves with coriander root)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spanish Meat Balls

Spanish Meat balls (Albondigas)

  1. 250 g each minced beef and pork (Spanish would use lamb but I can't);
  2. 1 large shallot very finely chopped;
  3. 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped;
  4. Big handful very finely chopped flat leave parsley;
  5. 1 egg;
  6. 1 tbsp olive oil
  7. 200 ml red vine (a couple of tbsp dry sherry won't hurt);
  8. 250 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  9. 1 tbs pimento picante (Spanish spicy paprika)
  10. pinch of sugar
  11. salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the mince in a bowl with the shallot, garlic, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well then shape the mixture into 12 small, firm meatballs. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the meatballs for 5 minutes, turning frequently until evenly browned. Add the tomatoes, wine, pimento and sugar, with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil cover with a tight lid and transfer to 150 degrees owen for 45 - 60 min.