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Mon, 06 May 2013

Mille Feuilles of Boulgur and Quinoa

I purchased some cooking rings. They are really useful for making individual gratin portions ("rostis"), perfectly round fried eggs, and for making very pretty presentations on a plate. You can find them in most supermarkets now or buy them online at places like Tescos or even Amazon. They are very cheap. I am told you can also cut an opened tin can in half, but this sounds dangerous, beware of cutting yourself.
I have always like cooking with cereals, rice and couscous of course but also Bulgur, Quinoa, Barley and Millet. I made these little cereal and tomato moulds to accompany my chicken breasts stuffed with horn of plenty mushrooms with blueberry sauce
- Fry a chopped onion in a little oil.
- Add a mixture of quinoa and bulgur, salt, pepper and some stock to just cover
- Cook for about 10-15 minutes adding more stock if necessary. This method is identical to making a risotto. Different grains are available in different countries and require varying cooking times. You need to stop cooking when the cereals have absorbed all the liquid but are still a little "al dente".
- Allow the cereals to cool a little and add a lot of chopped parsley, or better, some chopped basil.
- Slice a large tomato, I used Coeur de Boeuf or "BeefHeart" tomatoes. Using your chef's cooking rings, cut out a circle from each tomato slice just the size to fit inside the rings.
- Grate some cheese, I used a mixture of freshly grated parmesan and goat's cheese but emmenthal or cheddar will also work.
- Add one or two eggs (depending on how many rings you are making) to the cooled quinoa/bulgur/parsley (or basil) mixture.
- Assemble your rings with a layer of cereals, a layer of grated cheese, a slice of tomato, a layer of cereals, a layer of grated cheese and topped with a tomato ring. Add any leftover grated cheese on top.
- Bake in a medium oven for 12-15 minutes.
- Place the rings on a plate and carefully lift them off. The eggs and melted cheese should have set the little "towers" which look just spectacular.

posted on: 06/05/2013 at 12:15 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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Salmon and Leek pie

My mother used to make fish pie regularly, this recipe brought back childhood memories similar to that wonderful scene with the food critic in the movie Ratatouille.
- Chop two leeks and gently fry in some olive oil with a chopped onion.
- Peel and boil some potatoes and carrots, you can also add a turnip, a swede, or a sweet potato.
- Add a little water to the leeks if they start to stick to the pan
- When the leeks are soft add a large knob of butter to the pan.
- Sprinkle with flour and mix well. When all the lumps of flour are dissolved, add some milk and keep stirring until the sauce starts to thicken. Add plenty of nutmeg.
- If the leek/béchamel sauce is too thick add some more milk or a little cream.
- De-bone some fillets of fresh salmon and remove the skin. Actually any other fish would also be good.
- Place the fish in a deep baking dish, add pepper and sprinkle a little white wine over it, for added flavour.
- Pour over your leek/béchamel mixture.
- Mash the potatoes (and other vegetables if used) with a little butter.
- Spread the mash over the top of the fish and leeks. Make pretty patterns on the top with a fork.
- Bake in the oven at 200° for 25-30 minutes by which time the mash topping should have started to brown.

For me the best condiment to go with this fish pie is a generous dose of hot tabasco.

posted on: 06/05/2013 at 10:49 in category: [/cooking] with permanent link

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