Sunday, 21 October 2012

Warm me up "Ratatouille"

Autumn colours- down to our plates and palate to warm us up, even when eaten cold.
Recipes for 2 and a bit left for the week:
3 courgettes (Peeled along the length to make zebra stripes and sliced (1cm)
1 aubergine sliced and cut in cubes
5 tomatoes peeled and cut in pieces
1 red pepper sliced
1 green pepper sliced
5 garlic cloves peeled
2 onions peeled and sliced
Olive oil
4 hand full of fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of Herbe de Provence
1 pinch of sugar
Follow this order properly (the secret of this recipe).
With a knife make a cross on the bottom of the tomatoes and plunge them in boiling water for few seconds until you can see the skin lifting up and peel.
In a deep pan or Creuset dish, set on a medium heat, pour 4 tablespoons of olive oil, add the peppers and onions, salt and pepper and pinch of herbe de Provence, fry for 10 minutes or until "al dente" and set a side.
In the same dish, pour 4 more tablespoons of olive oil and fry the aubergine and courgettes with salt, pepper and pinch of herbe de provence. Fry until brown. (I did mine in 2 lots). Set a side.
In the same pan, pour more olive oil and fry the tomatoes with garlic cloves, salt, pepper, sugar, 1 pinch of herbe de Provence and the basil. Cook for 5 minutes.
Transfer everything back in the pan and cook for 1h30 (or longer) on the lowest heat with no lid and avoid stirring to much to prevent crushing.
Eat hot, warm or cold with ham, cold meat or fish.
Bon Appetit!

Monday, 24 September 2012

"Petits Farcis"

Lovely small squashes are everywhere at the moment, it feels a shame to cut them up! To make Petits Farcis, seems ideal. I found 2 green and 1 yellow (unfortunately or stupidly I binned the hat of the yellow one...). My week's been like that, at my Zumba class on Monday, I realised that if I my feet were hurting it was because I was wearing two different shoes!
3 baby red peppers
3 tomatoes
3 small marrows
12 Lincolnshire sausages
A tablespoon of water
Heat your oven to 170 degrees.
Wash all the vegetables, cut the hats off and keep them! Empty the inside carefully with a teaspoon but not to the skin, you want to leave some "vegetable chair", as we say in French ( roughly translated as vegetable meat.)
Remove the skin from the sausages and fill the vegetable a little bit higher than the top.
Put all your farcis in a ceramic dish with a tablespoon of water on the bottom to avoid sticking (not too much, as the vegetable will release some water). Cook for 45 minutes and add the hats for another 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door, letting them rest for 10 minutes.
Bon Appetit!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

"Chicken Spinach Ricotta And Hazelnut Balls."

I have chicken in my fridge, lots of chicken breast! as I found a super deal in my favourite little farm shop in Somerset "Beckington Farm".
Hazelnuts are in season, so let's mix!

2 chicken breasts
700g of fresh spinach (large leaf)
2 tea spoon of honey
2 tablespoon of Ricotta
20 hazelnuts crushed
4 stems of tarragon
1 tablespoon of sesame seed
Salt and pepper.

Steam the chicken breast for 30 minutes.
Remove the middle stem of the spinach, wash and drain.
Reserve 20 nice looking spinach leaves ( or more if you have small leaves, better than having to go back to the shop like me!) Cook them 30 seconds, 3 or 4 at the time (to avoid them getting damaged) and dress them flat on a plate.
Cook the rest of spinach in a little water with a lid for 4/5 minutes or until cooked
Drain the spinach and chop with a knife.
Separate the chicken with your hands as much as you can and finish by cutting with a knife.
Crush the hazelnut in a pestle and mortar.
Tear the tarragon leaves in pieces.
Mix all the ingredients above with the ricotta and form balls in any size you like! Small for snacks or starter or bigger for a meal.
Envelop each ball delicately in a spinach leaf.
This dish can be prepared in advance as you just need to steam the chicken balls for 3 minutes. Finish with a few sesame seeds on the top.
I serve this dish with rice.
The possibilities are endless, you can even use blue cheese mixed with a little ricotta, if you like.
Bon Appetit!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

"September salad" Figs and Parma Ham.

Fruits are such a nice combination with salad and figs are in season now.
Serve with good quality olive oil and enjoy.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

"Let's eat oysters in Dorset."

It's September: The beginning of the oyster season :)
I Googled "oysters in Dorset" and found "a pearl":
"The crab house café", a shack opposite the sea with their own oyster farm.
Eat at "the beach shack" or buy oysters takeaway.
Oysters to start followed by grilled sardines infused with rosemary and a bottle of chilled Muscadet.
Finished by a nice walk following the mysterious sign "pirate lane..."

Friday, 7 September 2012


Why do we always cut cauliflower in pieces? It is so beautiful when presented whole.
Tonight we are eating steamed cod with cauliflower and capers:
You need lots of butter! (unsalted Président butter is still the best for me) One jar of capers in vinegar and one cauliflower.
Boil the cauliflower in water until the knife goes in easily, maybe 20mins depending on the size of your cauliflower.
Melt in a saucepan 150g of butter with
4 tablespoons of capers and 4 tablespoons of the caper vinegar.
Present the cauliflower on a dish and pour the melted butter and capers on the top.
Bon appetit!

Saturday, 1 September 2012


I am normally the first one to criticise Sainsbury's.. I don't know about you, but I am always freezing in that shop! And I really don't like the way they treat the fruit and veg..without mentioning the price!...enough criticising?:)
I will be back for this beautiful Albariño, the palate is full and I can taste champagne in it..
Great as an aperitif!