Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Not Lancashire Hotpot

When we were in Bath last month, we followed TripAdvice and went to Bistro La Barrique. My review of it is here but I'd forgotten, until clearing out receipts just the other day, that on the wee card that came with the bill was a recipe. I made it tonight, and it was rather good.

Sweet Potato and Goat's Cheese Hotpot
Serves 2
Two medium-sized sweet potatoes
Five spring onions, chopped
250ml double cream
Four medium egg yolks
Three or four big slices of soft goat's cheese
Tarragon and chervil (or parsley)
Salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 180 and bake the potatoes on a baking sheet for twenty minutes - maybe thirty or forty, depending on the size - until softened through. Leave the oven on while you peel and mash the sweet potato well. Season with salt and pepper and mix in the spring onions, then spoon into a small casserole dish or two large ramekins (oven-proof soup bowls will do). Put a slice or two of goat's cheese on top. Chop a tablespoon of tarragon and chervil/parsley into the eggs, mix in the cream, season and pour on top of the hotpot. Bake for 15+ minutes until the custard is set. Eat immediately, with a green salad or buttered greens.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

A shed-building supper.

Knocked together after knocking together the new shed, because it was too late for what I'd planned to cook.

Ten raw king prawns
A cheek off a butternut squash
A red pepper
Half a red onion
Ten wee tomatoes
Two medium tomatoes, skinned and seeded, or a small tin (this is supposed to be painless)
Tomato puree
Two cloves of garlic
Olive oil and chilli-infused olive oil
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper

Set king prawns to defrost, if using frozen ones, and heat the oven to 200. Make a very large dice of red pepper, squash and red onion, put it in a small roasting tin, coat with a tablespoon of chilli oil and another of olive oil, season, stir and put it in the oven; roast these for twenty minutes or so, stirring occasionally and adding some baby plum or cherry tomatoes around halfway through. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add spaghetti. Heat a little olive oil and chilli oil in a saucepan, finely chop a little red onion and a clove or two of garlic and soften gently. Throw in a big teaspoon of tomato puree and cook down a little, then increase the heat add the raw prawns, frying for a couple of minutes. Tip in the roasted vegetables plus a couple of tablespoons of chopped tomatoes (fresh or tinned), season then cover and simmer for five minutes. Stir in some chopped basil and black pepper. Drain the pasta, toss in a little olive oil and salt, and serve on warmed plates topped with the sauce.

I think a little courgette or aubergine would add some balance to the sweetness - perhaps even just a squeeze of lemon. It was good enough to write up, anyway.
UPDATE: This time, I added some balsamic vinegar to the vegetables as they roasted, and a bay leaf to the sauce, which seemed to balance things a bit better.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

An odd curry

work in progress

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 or 3 curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
pinch asafoetida

coriander, grated ginger, minced garlic, chopped onion, tin of tomatoes, halved/quartered new potatoes, sliced carrots, broad beans, green beans, lettuce, mangetout/sugar snaps


heat ghee, soften onions, then garlic, add whole spices, fry, add ginger and ground spices, fry, add root veg, fry, add tomatoes, curry leaves, bring to boil, cover, simmer ~15 mins
boil broad beans for 4 mins, refresh, skin
top & tail mangetout/sugar snaps and green beans
add green beans, taste, seasons, cook ~5 mins
shred lettuce, chop coriander
add peas, lettuce, broad beans, cook ~5 mins
serve with rice or naan.

lacks depth - nice treble, no bass - saffron? fish stock? prawns?