Archive for salt

Angela Hartnett: Watercress and goat’s cheese tart

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by Robin Gosnall

(Source: Grauniad)

Celebrate the fact that spring has sprung with some fresh watercress, which is just coming into season. If goat’s cheese is not your thing, a good cheddar or blue will work just as well. The most important thing to get right with a tart is the pastry – too often it’s soggy and the ruin of any good filling.

300g ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
2 bunches watercress minus the large stalks, torn roughly
125g goat’s cheese, rind removed
3 free-range eggs
200ml double cream
salt and pepper

You will need a tart ring of around 8in in diameter – use one with a loose bottom, or put it on a baking tray.

Roll the pastry out to overlap the edges of the tin. Blind bake the pastry – prick the base with a fork, add some baking beans (or dried pulses or rice) to preserve the shape. Bake for 15 minutes at 180ºC.

Remove the baking beans and cook the pastry for a further five minutes, until golden brown, then allow to cool.

Beat the eggs and cream together and season.

Steam the watercress to wilt it, dice the cheese roughly, then scatter both around the tart base and pour over enough of the egg mix to cover (we’re binding the filling, not aiming for an eggy tart).

Bake in the oven at 180ºC for 15-20 minutes until set. Allow to cool, trim the excess pastry and serve with a green salad.

• Angela Hartnett is chef patron at Murano restaurant and consults at the Whitechapel Gallery and Dining Room, London.

Angela Hartnett’s midweek suppers

Nigel Slater’s Classic Porridge

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by Robin Gosnall

(Source: Observer)

I was brought up on sweet, milky porridge made with rolled oats, but that all changed when I was shown how to make it by champion porridge maker Ian Bishop from Carrbridge in Scotland. My method is now his.

The recipe

Pour three cups of water into a small saucepan and place over a moderate heat. Tip in one cup of medium oatmeal and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. As soon as the porridge starts to blip, add half a teaspoon of salt. Continue stirring until the porridge has been cooking for a total time of 5 minutes. Tip into warm bowls. Have a bowl of cold milk or cream ready. Lift a spoonful of hot porridge and dip it into the cold milk or cream and eat.

The trick

Only stir your porridge clockwise or you risk summoning the devil. A wooden spurtle will get right into the corners and prevent your porridge from sticking. Eat immediately it is ready. The porridge will thicken as it cools. Use medium oatmeal rather than rolled oats. Add salt to all porridge, even if you are going to sweeten it afterwards.

The twist

Each to his own, but porridge is correctly made with water rather than milk. The usual embellishments are red-berry jams, golden syrup or honey, but other ideas include a compote of stewed dried figs, maple syrup or a mixture of fresh berries, sugar and ground cinnamon. You could also leave it to set into cakes and fry it in butter. Oatmeal ice cream, made with toasted oatmeal and cream, while not quite porridge, is certainly worth a visit, too.

Chicken and lobster pie

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Shellfish like lobster and prawns really do go well with the delicate flavour of chicken. For slow-cooked chicken dishes it’s better to use thighs rather than breast meat as they stay more moist and succulent.

2 cooked lobsters, about 500g each
500g boned and skinned free-range chicken thighs
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves
350-400g ready-made all-butter puff pastry
plain flour for dusting
1 free-range egg, beaten

For the lobster sauce:

1 tbsp vegetable oil
reserved lobster shells
4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
60g butter
60g plain flour
a good pinch of saffron strands
a few sprigs of tarragon
1 tbsp tomato purée
60ml white wine
500ml hot fish stock
500ml hot chicken stock
400ml double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tsp cornflour (if needed)

Remove the meat from the lobster tails and claws and cut roughly into 1cm pieces. Reserve one lobster head (if making a large pie). Break the rest of the shells up a bit, using a heavy knife. Cut the chicken thighs in half, or into thirds if large. Cover and refrigerate the lobster and chicken meat.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and fry the lobster shells, garlic and shallots over a medium heat for 5 minutes until they begin to colour lightly. Add the butter and, once melted, stir in the flour. Add the saffron, tarragon and tomato purée, then gradually stir in the white wine and the hot fish and chicken stocks.

Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half, then add the cream. Season lightly with salt and pepper, bring back to the boil and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half again. (A simmer plate or heat-diffuser mat is useful here.)

Strain the sauce through a colander into a clean pan, moving the shells with a spoon to ensure all the sauce goes through.

Tip about one-tenth of the shells into a blender and add about a cupful of the strained sauce. Blend until smooth, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve into the sauce in the pan.

Bring the sauce back to the boil, add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. The sauce should be a thick coating consistency by now; if not, simmer a little longer (or dilute a little cornflour in water and stir into the sauce). Leave to cool.

Stir the lobster and chopped parsley and tarragon into the cooled sauce. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Fill a large pie dish or 4 individual ones with the mixture.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 5mm thickness. Trim to about 2cm larger all round than the pie dish (or cut discs large enough to cover individual dishes). Brush the edges of the pastry with a little of the beaten egg. Lay the pastry over the filling, pressing the egg-washed sides on to the rim of the dish(es).

If making a large pie, cut a cross in the centre and insert the lobster head, so it sits proud. Cut a small slit in the top of individual pies to allow steam to escape. Leave to rest in a cool place for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Brush the pastry lid with beaten egg and bake the pie for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown (allow 10-15 minutes less for individual pies). Let the pie stand for a few minutes before serving.

Baked breakfast tomatoes with duck eggs

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

I had this dish near Tarragona in Spain years ago as a starter for a monumental dinner that went on from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., but I thought it would make a great breakfast dish. You can use fresh, over-ripe tomatoes or a can of chopped tomatoes for this.

2 tbsp olive oil plus a little more for drizzling
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 x 400g cans of good-quality chopped tomatoes, or 1kg skinned ripe tomatoes
a couple of sprigs of thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 English muffins, halved
4 duck eggs

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan and gently cook the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes and thyme, season and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring every so often.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly toast the muffins on both sides and lay in an oven-proof dish. Pour over the tomatoes, then crack an egg on to each muffin. Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the eggs are just cooked.

Serve immediately, drizzled with some olive oil.

Toad in the hole with apple and rosemary

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 red skinned apples, washed and cored
8 pork and leek sausages
a few springs of fresh rosemary
100g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
150ml half-fat milk
150ml water

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the oil in a large roasting tin and place in the oven to heat up.

Cut each apple into about 8 wedges.

Remove the hot roasting tin from the oven and add the sausages, apple wedges and rosemary and roast for 10 mins or until beginning to brown.
Whilst the sausages cook, place the flour in a bowl with the salt. Make a well in the centre and break in the eggs. Gradually whisk in the milk and water until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Remove the roasting tin from the oven and shake well, pour over the batter then return to the oven and bake for 30-35 mins or until golden and risen. Serve with vegetables and gravy.

Poached chicken with asparagus

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

The crucial thing with this dish is to use a good strong chicken stock.

4 free-range chicken breasts
500g asparagus with the woody ends trimmed
500ml good strong chicken stock
2-3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the asparagus about 3-4 cm from the tips and roughly chop the ends, reserving the tips. Cook the chopped ends in some of the chicken stock for 5-6 minutes until soft, then remove with a slotted spoon and blend to a smooth purée in a blender.

Place the chicken breasts in a wide saucepan and pour in the liquid that the asparagus has cooked in, and cover with the rest of the stock. Season, cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 6-7 minutes, then leave in the liquid.

Cook the asparagus tips in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until tender and drain.

To serve, re-heat the purée and spoon on to warmed serving plates and place the chicken on top. Toss the asparagus tips in a pan with some of the olive oil and season; then scatter over the chicken. Drizzle some more oil over.

Tuna tortilla

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

A can of tuna can often save the day when it’s transformed into a tasty snack or a brunch-type dish such as this. It’s pretty good value for money and it will go quite a long way when you add in a few cooked potatoes.

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
a couple of knobs of butter
8 medium eggs, beaten
a couple of medium-sized potatoes (250-300g), peeled, cooked and cut into rough 1cm dice
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 x 200g can of tuna, drained
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a non-stick frying pan and gently cook the onions in the butter for 3-4 minutes without colouring until soft.

Meanwhile, mix the eggs, potatoes, parsley and tuna and season to taste.

Add the egg mixture to the pan with the onions and stir over a medium heat until the mixture begins to set, then stop stirring and allow the tortilla to set on the bottom without colouring.

Remove from the heat and turn out the tortilla on to a plate. Serve hot or cold.

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