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Sat, 31 Dec 2011

New Years Dinner

Very successful New Year's Dinner, here's the menu:

Pims number one cocktail
with cucumber and strawberries

Oysters with lemon and grilled with garlic, a drop of white wine, breadcrumbs and parsley

Home-made foie gras mi-cuit with pain d'épices and fresh pear chutney

Pork fillet stuffed with apples and black horn of plenty mushrooms served with a sweet potato and broccoli flan, roast potatoes and cranberry/madeira sauce

Trilogy of Desserts: chocolate mousse, lime sorbet and meringue nests with raspberries and cream

posted on: 31/12/2011 at 23:25 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Wed, 28 Dec 2011

Left-over Turkey gratin



I'm surprised I haven't already posted this recipe, it's one of my favorite left over Christmas turkey dishes.

- Fry some chopped almonds in some butter and oil until they start to brown
- Add some flour and cook for a few minutes stirring all the time
- Add some milk and water and cook until the sauce starts to thicken
- Add some grated cheese and keep stirring until it has melted
- Pour the almond cheese sauce over the turkey and cook in the oven until brown

posted on: 28/12/2011 at 19:34 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Tue, 27 Dec 2011

Brussel Sprouts

I've been cooking brussel sprouts like this for years and I was shocked to see Jamie Oliver cooking them in a similar way, as shown on his recent Christmas Special on British television. I wonder now where this recipe actually came from.

To be fair to Jamie, our recipes do differ slightly - he adds an enormous amount of Worcestershire sauce at the end, where I added Chili and Mango hot sauce from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (or cream for a milder dish - see 3rd November 2011 post). Otherwise the recipes are identical and it is an ideal way to cook sprouts without going to the bother of trimming them and making a cross in the stem so they cook through properly when boiled or steamed in the traditional way.

- Clean the sprouts and take off the dirty outer leaves
- Shred in a kitchen robot machine or slice very finely
- Fry some chopped smoky bacon in a little olive oil and butter until crispy
- Add chopped sprouts and a little water and cover for 5 minutes
- Add some hot sauce (or in Jamie's version a lot of Worcestershire sauce and some chopped herbs, especially sage if available). No need for salt as the seasoning comes from the bacon.

posted on: 27/12/2011 at 18:33 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sun, 25 Dec 2011

Christmas Starters

This worked out as a very light starter for our Christmas lunch

From left to right clockwise:

- Pea soup
you can see the recipe here on 27th November post. Add a few cooked peas for decoration
- Prawns in satay sauce
make a "quick" satay sauce in the blender with crunchy peanut butter, soy sauce, a crushed chilli pepper (or two), lemon juice and honey, pour over some cooked prawns and heat in hot oven for a few minutes until bubbling
- Smoked salmon verrine
Grate some cucumber, add salt and dry with kitchen roll to extract as much of their water as possible. Grate some radishes. Mix smoked salmon, fromage blanc and a little horseradish in the blender. Put a layer of each in a small glass, decorate with a ribbon of salmon.
- Foie Gras
- Pear chutney
Cook some chopped pear with sugar, vinegar and spices (star aniseed, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg). Boil on a high heat until thick and syrupy like jam. Allow to cool. Serve with Foie Gras
- Tomato and mozzarella sticks
There are endless combinations of little cocktail stick brochettes like this. I used cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and a dried apricots. Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

posted on: 25/12/2011 at 11:55 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Thu, 22 Dec 2011

Pizzas, Orto di Venezia and Pézenas pies



A marriage made in heaven, these delicious little sweet and savory pies from Pézenas and Orto di Venezia. Look here on the Orto Facebook page to see why there is a connection.

Meanwhile Bruno, the local pizza guy, has invented a special Christmas pizza. Leeks, asparagus, scallops, shrimps, foie gras with fresh mozzarella and oyster leaves (a little leaf like sage except when you eat it there is the most incredible flavor of oysters). Simply amazing.

posted on: 22/12/2011 at 19:26 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Thu, 15 Dec 2011

Fish rolls

This is a variation on my 11th November recipe

You can use almost any fish fillets for this recipe. Make sure there are no fishbones. If the fillets are too thick, you can cover them with with cling film and bash them with a rolling pin to make them thin.

- steam some carrots, cut lengthwise
- chop together some dates and a preserved lemon (citron confit)
- place two or three cooked carrots onto the fish fillets and a spoonful of date/lemon mixture
- roll up fillets and fix in place with a cocktail stick
- place the fish rolls on a bed of cooked carrots, sprinkle with olive oil and cumin seeds and bake in the oven for 25 mins.

posted on: 15/12/2011 at 21:15 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sat, 10 Dec 2011

The perfect fried egg

There is a plan to build 5 chicken factory farms within 15kms around where I live.
There are 24 chickens per square metre, they only live for 37 days and are mostly fed on genetically modified soya imported from Brazil. They don't even get a chance to walk!
A multinational chicken company, selling mainly to fast food chains and the like, forces farmers to take out loans to pay for these concentration chicken camps and in return they promise to purchase a huge amount of chickens every month.
If ever there is a problem and minimum delivery amount (720,000 chickens per year!) are not respected, the farmer gets dumped and loses everything.
As the multinational food company transforms the genetically modified fed chickens into bits, they actually sell the meat from these poor animals for more per chicken than quality tasty free-range chickens that the farmers could be rearing, thereby making huge profits for zero risk.
Furthermore, 350 trucks per year are required PER FACTORY to come and pick up these poor chickens and drive them across the country (and Europe in some cases) to the factory where they are processed.
Go here for more details: www.bienvivredanslegers.org/

posted on: 10/12/2011 at 15:55 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sun, 04 Dec 2011

Birthday cake


As regular readers of this blog will know, I don't really do desserts so in actual fact I have practically no idea how this was done, but it was bloody wonderful.
It's something like this, I think, if you try it out and it's no good I hold no responsibility.
- Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks
- Sprinkle icing sugar on greaseproof paper, spread egg whites in a layer about 2cms thick and cook in cool oven. Don't overcook the meringue, it needs to be soft.
- Whisk together cream, sugar and fromage blanc until stiff. Add some raspberries and crushed white chocolate.
- Spread this mixture onto the meringue and roll it together like what we used to call a roly-poly cake.
- Leave to set in the fridge for a while.
- Pour over melted chocolate sauce to serve

posted on: 04/12/2011 at 13:45 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sat, 03 Dec 2011

Marinated beef


- Mix two garlic cloves, a handful of fresh rosemary, some good Balsamic vinegar and olive oil in the blender
- Marinate some good quality steaks in the mixture for at least one hour, longer is better
- Dry the steaks with kitchen roll, sprinkle on a pinch of rock salt and fry in a little olive oil for two minutes each side (longer if they are very thick)

- Leave the steaks to rest for five minutes, keep warm
- Cut each steak into thin slices and serve of a bed of roquette salad with a little balsamic/olive oil dressing and parmesan cheese slices or with broccoli baked in cheese sauce (see photo).

posted on: 03/12/2011 at 09:51 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sun, 27 Nov 2011

Spinach and pea soup

Two variations on the same basic soup recipe:
- fry a chopped onion until soft, add a large bunch of fresh spinach leaves and wilt
- add a similar quantity of frozen peas, a chopped chilli pepper (espelette is best) and some vegetable stock, cover until cooked
- mix the soup in a blender and serve with a dollop of soft goats cheese mixed with fromage blanc

As an alternative:
- follow recipe above but do not add a chilli pepper
- add more peas so as to make a slightly thicker soup
- chop and add two or three slices of chorizo
- heat some parmesan cheese on a greaseproof paper in a hot oven until bubbling and brown, allow to cool
- serve soup with parmesan "wafers"

posted on: 27/11/2011 at 10:31 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Mon, 21 Nov 2011

North Indian Duck Curry

A very mild and delicate curry
- Make a paste in the blender with two tomatoes, a few garlic cloves and a lump of fresh ginger.
- Chop a sweet potato into bite sized chunks and boil for 5 minutes until just tender.
- Fry an onion in some ghee (clarified butter, if you can't get some use cooking oil) until soft and add some crushed cardamom pods, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon. Add a few curry leaves (or bay leaves), some ground coriander and cumin.
- Add the tomato mixture and some whole duck thighs (remove the skin first).
- Add a little water, cover and simmer for 50 minutes until the duck is well cooked.
- Remove the lid and boil on a high heat to reduce and thicken the sauce if necessary.
- Add a large handful of chopped dried fruit, prunes are best but dried apricots are also good.
- Heat through and add a little cream. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Usually you would serve this with rice but, to make a change, I accompanied this dish with spicy roast potatoes and carrots:
- Boil some potatoes and carrots, cut into large bite sized pieces.
- Drain the vegetables and toss them in a mixture of ground spices (I use chilli, coriander and turmeric) and polenta grains (this makes them nice and crispy on the outside).
- Heat some oil in an oven pan, lay the vegetables in the pan, make sure they are coated with oil.
- Cook in a hot oven for 45-50 minutes until golden brown.

posted on: 21/11/2011 at 14:25 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sat, 19 Nov 2011

Verrine

I don't normally do desserts, but my faithful and talented assistant invents things like this in two minutes.

- Whip some sugar, thick cream and fromage blanc together. The fromage blanc (or fromage frais) makes the whole thing much lighter.
- Cook some raspberries, a chopped pear and blueberries together with a little sugar for 5 minutes.
- Crush some biscuits in a plastic bag, use a rolling pin. The very best biscuits for this are Speculos, cinnamon biscuits from Belgium, but ginger nuts or any spicy biscuits will do.
- In individual verrines or glasses assemble layers of crushed biscuits, the stewed fruit and the cream mixture.
- Decorate with fresh fruit and anything else you can lay your hands on (see photo with "chocolate cigars").

posted on: 19/11/2011 at 18:38 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Thu, 17 Nov 2011

Vegetarian Pastilla

This is a fantastic vegetarian dish with a Middle-Eastern flavour.
- If using dried green lentils wash them and put them to soak for a while (see instructions on packet) and cook in boiling water until tender, put aside to cool. If using ready prepared lentils out of a tin, this is not necessary.
- Chop a sweet potato into bite sized chunks and boil for 5 minutes until just tender.
- Fry some chopped mushrooms in a little oil or butter until they have released their water and it has evaporated. Pour in some dark beer and reduce until nearly all the liquid has gone.
- Mix together the sweet potato, lentils and cooled mushrooms in a large bowl. Add breadcrumbs, an egg, some mustard, some grated cheese, some pistachio nuts and plenty of seasoning.
- Spread melted butter on several sheets of filo pastry or "brick" leaves and place buttered side down in an deep oven proof dish.
- Place the lentil and mushroom mixture.
- Fold the overlapping filo pastry sheets over the mixture and place another sheet on top to close the "pastilla".
- Spread more melted butter on the top and cook in a hot oven (190°) for 35 minutes until golden.

posted on: 17/11/2011 at 17:31 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Wed, 16 Nov 2011

Funny signs and French Cheese in England

In England this week. I'd forgotten about English breakfast, it's been so long...black pudding and baked beans.

I did enjoy a Brie and crispy bacon sandwich with cranberry.

I also found some incredible cheeses including cheddar with hot Jalepeno chilli pepper, Stinking Bishop Cheese and a "Pom'Calva" cheese from Normandy laced with Calvados! (see picture right)

posted on: 16/11/2011 at 08:40 in category: [/travel] with permanent link

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Mon, 14 Nov 2011

Cooking methods

I got an e-mail from one of my fans (would you believe that 15,000 people visit this blog every month??).
The question was "why don't you give quantities in your recipes?"
The answer is simple: I just don't know!
Use your imagination, trial and error.
My recipes aim to give basic cooking methods and ingredients, each cook in his or her own kitchen can adapt my recipes to make something that suits their own personal taste.
Go with the flow, be inspired!

posted on: 14/11/2011 at 14:25 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Thu, 10 Nov 2011

Stuffed fish

I forgot to take a photo of this delicious Moroccan recipe.
- Ask your fishmonger to extract the central bones of a bream or sea bass. Keep the fish whole.
- Chop some dates and a lemon preserved in salt (citron confit, can be found in most North African grocery shops).
- Fry an onion until soft, add the date and lemon mixture.
- Stuff the fish with the mixture and tie it back together with some butchers string.
- Wrap in aluminum foil and cook in a hot oven (180°) for 25 minutes.
- Serve with a pepper-saffron sauce made from a little melted butter, ground mixed peppercorns and saffron.

posted on: 10/11/2011 at 12:41 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Tue, 08 Nov 2011

Caramelised Veal Knuckle

This is a good one for Sunday lunch, it does need a lot of cooking but it's well worth the wait.
- Using a deep oven proof dish, brown a whole veal knuckle on all sides in a little olive oil
- Add 50cl (about 3/4 pint) of stock and one slice of orange zest (make sure you use an untreated orange).
- Cover and cook in a cool oven at 150°C for two hours, turning the meat regularly.
- Squeeze out the orange juice and mix it together with a glass of white wine and three large spoons of honey.
- Pour the honey liquid over the meat and add some chopped carrots and spring onions (trimmed but whole, leaving a little of the green stalk).
- Season with plenty of salt and pepper and add some cumin seeds.
- Cook in the oven at 150°C for another 90 minutes basting the meat with the cooking liquid frequently.
- Place the cooked vegetables in a serving dish and carve the veal meat off the knuckle bone and place on top of the carrots.
- Reduce the cooking liquid over a hot stove and add a little cream or butter to thicken the sauce before pouring it over the meat and vegetables.

posted on: 08/11/2011 at 12:23 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Thu, 03 Nov 2011

Marinated turkey breast with stir fried Brussel sprouts

I just invented this one, it turned out rather well.
- Marinate turkey escalopes in a mixture of lemon juice, tomato paste, chopped basil and honey.
- Stir fry some chopped bacon or smoked ham, add some shredded Brussel sprouts, lower heat and cover.
- Now cook the turkey breasts on the griddle. Just for a few minutes each side until they are cooked through. Rotate once on the griddle if you want to obtain the pretty criss-cross pattern as seen in the photo.
- Add just a little cream to the Brussel sprouts
- Serve the escalopes on a bed of the vegetable and ham mixture.

I did a vegetarian variation of the Brussel sprouts recipe using very thinly sliced carrots instead of the ham/bacon bits, add salt.

posted on: 03/11/2011 at 10:20 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sun, 16 Oct 2011

Veal Cutlets

This is a variation on the famous Gundel Hungarian dish. Gundel was the cook at the Gellert Hotel in Budapest where I have stayed so many times and his recipe books are still considered, today, as the very foundation of Magyar cuisine. Gundels recipe is very similar except he adds smoked ham and cheese on top of the cutlets and grills them before serving. My version is a little lighter.
- fry an onion and some chopped mushrooms until all the liquid has evaporated.
- turn off the heat and add a little lemon juice, worcester sauce, paprika, salt and a beaten egg, stir continuously until the "mushroom paste" thickens
- finely shred some peeled potatoes and dry them as much as possible with paper towels so as to extract as much moisture as possible
- fry the veal cutlets in a little butter and oil for five minutes on one side, a little longer if they are very thick, turn them over
- spoon the "paprika/mushroom paste" on top of each veal cutlets, lower the heat, add some veal stock, a little white wine and cover for 5 minutes
- deep fry the dried, grated potatoes for a few minutes to make "angel hair", drain off the fat (place on kitchen roll), add salt and pepper
- place the cooked veal cutlets on top of a bed of the angel hair potatoes and put the juice of half a lemon and fresh cream into the pan to make the sauce, pour over the cutlets.

posted on: 16/10/2011 at 15:36 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Wed, 07 Sep 2011

Atlantic coast

Vincent is the most amazing fishmonger in Léon, a small town on the Atlantic coast between Archachon and Biarritz.
But in addition to his shop, he has a restaurant in nearby Lit-et-Mixe.
The seafood buffet (fish soup plus as much seafood as you can eat) is real value for money, all his seafood and fish delicious (all cooked to order on the plancha), but the best is mussels in roquefort sauce with chips.
They don't have a website that I have found but your can go here for the phone number and location. The google map photo on this webpage is unfortunately pointing in the wrong direction so you need to do a 180° turn to see the restaurant which looks closed (I think the photo must have been taken in wintertime on a day when the place was closed).
I've been to this place several times now, it was always packed, so I recommend advance booking.

posted on: 07/09/2011 at 19:33 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Wed, 13 Jul 2011

Beef Satay Salad

This is a variation on the Indonesian Beef salad that has already appeared here somewhere in the past.
- cook a nice tender piece of thick steak on the griddle. Let it cool.
- Slice into very thin strips.
- make a marinade with honey, peanut butter, ground chilli peppers, lime juice, thai fish sauce or soy sauce and a little oil.
- leave in the fridge for an hour or two, decorate with onions and tomatoes.

Meanwhile, had a car crash, car basically demolished. Airbags and seatbelts are most definitely good inventions. Driver coming in the other direction just lost control on a slippery road. It could happen to any of us.

posted on: 13/07/2011 at 14:24 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Thu, 30 Jun 2011

Home made pizza

Inspired by Bruno our local pizza chef, and vice-champion of France, I made my own pizzas this week. This one worked out exceedingly well.
- make a pizza base. I use épautre or spelt wheat flour and a little regular flour, a little yeast, oil, salt, sugar and tepid water. Leave the dough to rest for a while, it becomes more elastic.
- roll out the pizza base very thinly, spread on crushed tomatoes and cover with mozzarella cheese. Cook in a very hot oven (wood stove or pizza oven is even better).
- place cherry tomatoes, and fresh melon balls on the cooked pizza.
- decorate with rockette salad and a little vinaigrette salad dressing.
Thinly sliced parma ham and buffalo milk mozzarella can also be added at the end to make a more "substantial" pizza. But the lightness of this simple "summer" pizza recipe is what makes it interesting.

posted on: 30/06/2011 at 19:11 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sat, 18 Jun 2011

How to make a cat levitate

I'm sure this one has been around for a long time but I only heard it for the first time this week on the radio.
- Tie a piece of buttered toast onto a cat's back, buttered side upwards
- Throw the cat out of the window

Think about it

posted on: 18/06/2011 at 08:27 in category: [/humour] with permanent link

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Mon, 13 Jun 2011

Confit de Souris d'Agneau

I do this one in the wood stove but, of course, you can do it in any hot oven. The "souris" is the bottom part of a leg of lamb, allow one per person. I already posted this recipe here a few years ago (see here) but this variation includes potatoes.

- place several souris (not mice, the souris is the little juicy bit around the bone at the bottom of a leg of lamb) in an earthenware dish (that can stand high heat)
- place some peeled whole garlic cloves in the dish, add some juniper berries, a chopped onion, some rosemary, some peeled potatoes and lots of salt and pepper
- pour beer (any kind) all over the lamb and fill to at least halfway up the dish, a little more as most of the liquid evaporates in the oven.
- place in a very hot oven for one hour, turning the meat halfway through cooking.

posted on: 13/06/2011 at 11:30 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Tue, 07 Jun 2011

Coronation Chicken

I must write here, one day when I have the time, about the ritual of picnics. We take picnics very seriously but the three essential items are pink champagne (very decadent), potato salad with tuna, and coronation chicken.

For those of you that don't know what Coronation Chicken is, then you can go to the wikipedia page here. This lunchtime I came up with a variation which turned out to be a delight:
- boil some chicken pieces in a broth made with chicken stock and curry powder (look here or here for curry powder recipes). Drain and allow to cool a little
- make a "quick" satay sauce in the blender with crunchy peanut butter, soy sauce, a crushed chilli pepper (or two), lemon juice and honey
- chop an apple and a red onion, mix in a serving dish with a little mayonnaise, lemon juice, cream, a large dollop of apricot jam and the satay sauce
- serve with shredded lettuce

This dish can be served as part of a picnic, a starter or a summer main dish and even as a sandwich filler (in this case chop the chicken bits quite small).

posted on: 07/06/2011 at 12:32 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Thu, 19 May 2011

El Portalet

We went to El Portalet in Bossòst again.

Beef with cèpe mushrooms, quinoa, roquette, roast potato and caramel mustard

Veal cheek with broccoli, black beer, horn of plenty mushrooms, pinapple, fennel and thyme

Gambas and codfish tartar with baby beans, black olives and tomato bread

Turbot with pigs trotter, sea snails and mango

Marinated Presa with asparagus, pistachios, apple and parmesan ice cream

Goose rillettes, black garlic, smoked eel, fennel salad, pineapple and rhubarb


Duck roll with mushrooms, foie-gras, crispy nuts and maple syrup

Raspberries and pistachios with hibiscus, vanilla and yoghurt cream

Soft and crispy chocolate with coconut and cereals, salty praline and apricot sorbet

Peach fritter with almonds, passion fruit, and maize-curry ice cream

posted on: 19/05/2011 at 13:25 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sat, 07 May 2011

Hungarian food

Ever since my 3 years in Budapest, I have been regularly cooking Pörkölt with the delicious sweet, but hot, peppers from Hungary. We now grow these peppers or "paprikas" in the garden here in France.

In fact "goulash" in Hungarian is more often used as the version of this dish as a soup. This is how I make it:

- Fry two or three large onions, sliced
- Add your meat (beef, veal or chicken) diced into bite sized pieces
- When the meat is browned, add both sweet and hot Hungarian paprika powder (the amounts depend on how spicy hot you want it to be)
- Add some ground caraway seeds also
- When the spices have impregnated the meat, add some diced tomatoes (or tomato pulp from a can) and red wine (or white wine if you are using chicken)
- Sometimes I add chopped carrots as well
- Season with salt, cover and cook in a low oven (150C) for 2 hours
- Serve with rice or steamed potatoes and decorate with chopped marjoram and sour cream
- As a variation, and to replace the rice, I sometimes add cooked sauerkraut cabbage for a few minutes at the end.
- You can also make this dish with fish but, in this case, cook the sauce first for about 45-60 minutes until it starts thickening and tasting good, then add the fish at the end.

posted on: 07/05/2011 at 17:33 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Thu, 05 May 2011

Funny signs

Been clearing out the house and came across this hilarious sign stolen from a Cairo hotel room, no doubt by one of my ancestors.

Click here or on the photo to zoom



posted on: 05/05/2011 at 10:54 in category: [/travel] with permanent link

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Tue, 03 May 2011

Lomo and grilled vegetables

This is incredibly easy to do on the plancha.

For those of you that don't know, a "plancha" is a thick cast iron plate that you heat up on the stove. You can grill practically anything on it. Mosts planchas have a flat side and a ribbed side, for this recipe I used the ribbed side which give the meat that criss-cross design you see in the picture.

Slice your vegetables into ribbons, I used green asparagus and courgettes but you could also use aubergines or peppers. Toss the vegetables in some olive oil and grill on the plancha turning frequently. Actually this way of "searing" the vegetables really gives them flavor.

When the vegetables are nearly ready grill the thin slices of pork on both sides.

Toss the warm vegetables in a vinaigrette made with honey, mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Serve with the grilled meat and decorate with thyme, rocksalt and some crumbled goats cheese or gorgonzola.

posted on: 03/05/2011 at 19:22 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sun, 24 Apr 2011

Easter Fajitas

My friend Lionel Heath owned a Tex-Mex restaurant in Cannes and is the inspiration for this Mexican spread which I always include in my Around the World cookery weeks and my Introduction to Cooking with Spices Courses.

There are probably many variations on this recipe, the most important thing is to have a cast iron plancha or griddle:
- make some soft totillas with white flour (or a mix of white flour and maize flour), sugar, a little yeast, warm water, a little cooking oil, and salt. Let the dough stand in a warm place.
- marinate chicken (or beef) pieces in lemon juice, honey, olive oil, ground chilli and ground coriander seeds
- roll out tortilla dough (about 30g per tortilla) on a floured surface. Cook for just a minute or so on each side on a very hot griddle (flat side upwards). Put aside and keep warm.
- wipe off any excess flour and heat a little olive oil on the plancha/griddle. Cook some chopped onions and peppers with the marinated chicken pieces, keep turning so the meat is seared on all sides, it just take a couple of minutes so long as the plancha is hot enough
- decorate with chopped coriander and serve with shredded lettuce, tomato salsa, greeted cheese and sour cream (made from french cream, fromage blanc and lime juice) all rolled up together in a tortilla.

This recipe is great fun, children especially enjoy it.

posted on: 24/04/2011 at 15:22 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sat, 09 Apr 2011

Travels in the West Indies

We have had cable TV and internet for several years but now, at long last, the big screen has arrived in Bequia. See here for Keegan's Resort More people are killed every year by falling coconuts than by sharks Beautiful Union Island. You are not allowed to die there but there is a fast catermeran ferry boat now. See here for the Amerindi Hotel Union Island was known for something reflected in local architecture

posted on: 09/04/2011 at 13:14 in category: [/travel] with permanent link

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Thu, 31 Mar 2011

West Indian cuisine



Research for the cookbook is coming along just great. I thought maybe some of you would like a fore taste
First the coleslaw:
- Shred white cabbage, onions, lettuce and carrots
- Make the salad sauce with lime juice, honey, mustard, olive oil and mayonnaise (out of a jar)
- decorate with slices of mango

Dolphin fish is not dolphin, it's a big fish with a green/yellow underbelly and a flat head
- bone the fish and cut into thick chunks
- fry the chunks
- when browned add some West Indian curry powder, some chili sauce and some tomato sauce, cover to cook through
- pour rum into the pan and set fire to the whole thing
- serve with mashed potato mixed with mashed edoe (if you can find some) shaped into the form of a volcano, pour a little of the tomato sauce into the cone like lava.

posted on: 31/03/2011 at 22:31 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Wed, 23 Feb 2011

The International Festival of One-Liner jokes (continues)

A Friend Is Like A Good Bra...
Hard to Find , Supportive
Comfortable, Always Lifts You Up
Never Lets You Down or Leaves You Hanging
And Is Always Close To Your Heart!

posted on: 23/02/2011 at 17:16 in category: [/humour] with permanent link

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Sun, 20 Feb 2011

Beast in the garden



What is this strange lizard we found in the garden?

Apparently they bite and you have to burn them off if their jaws clamp down on your finger. Some kind of salamander?

Ugly, but rather beautiful animal.

Note the guitarist's finger.

posted on: 20/02/2011 at 17:27 in category: [/travel] with permanent link

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Fri, 04 Feb 2011

Welsh Rarebit

I went to Bordeaux this week, nice town? We ended up in a pub who served "Welshes" as a speciality. These were nothing like the Welsh rarebit my mum used to make when I was a boy but I found this snack concept quite interesting - I had a "welsh" with Basque espelette chillies, it was really wonderful.
So returning home I improvised the following recipe - you can improvise on this concept depending upon what you have in the fridge.
Put a slice of bread in the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Slice some chorizo. Place the chorizo (or ham coated with mustard) on top of your slice of bread Cover with grated cheese, cheddar, swiss, or any cheese. Add a little beer or white wine. Place in a hot oven or under the grill for 6-7 minutes, break an egg over the dish after 2-3 mins.

posted on: 04/02/2011 at 12:25 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Sun, 23 Jan 2011

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Please visit this petition website and sign and/or donate Defense Fund for Nick Abson. Fuel cell pioneer Nick is facing jail so it's urgent.

posted on: 23/01/2011 at 12:15 in category: [/magick] with permanent link

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Sat, 22 Jan 2011

Jean Gabin quote

I came across this quote from the great French actor Jean Gabin:
I will drink milk when I see cows eating grapes

Meanwhile I got a ukelele as a present, I'm starting to play it quite well and I begin to understand why this was George Harrison's favorite instrument.

posted on: 22/01/2011 at 09:56 in category: [/music] with permanent link

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Sat, 15 Jan 2011

The American Civil War

Man has mounted science, and is now run away with. I firmly believe that before many centuries more, science will be the master of men. The engines he will have invented will be beyond his strength to control. Someday science may have the existence of mankind in its power, and the human race commit suicide, by blowing up the world. Not only shall we be able to cruise in space, but I'll be hanged if I see any reason why some future generation shouldn't walk off like a beetle with the world on its back, or give it another rotary motion so that every zone should receive in turn its due portion of heat and light.
Henry Brooks Adams
Letter to Charles Francis Adams Jr., London, 11 April 1862.

posted on: 15/01/2011 at 16:38 in category: [/magick] with permanent link

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