This is a reblog intro from: Chez moi
How to cook courgette flowers
One of the best things about shopping at farmers markets is the potential to be surprised by the fleeting appearance of unusual and special produce rarely seen in supermarkets. And so it was one morning at the Davies Park Market, when I spotted several trays of bright yellow courgette flowers at one of the stalls we frequent. I have eaten courgette flowers at restaurants a few times, but had never seen them for sale in their raw, unadulterated purity. It is unlikely that you would ever find them at supermarkets because the short life span of the delicate flowers makes them unsuited to withstanding supermarket conditions and customer expectations of reasonable shelf life. The flowers deteriorate quickly, and in an ideal world I would cook with flowers plucked minutes ago from own vegetable garden. However, finding a tray of 20 bright and still-waxy flowers at the market is surely a close second, especially when some random planetary alignment had earlier made me buy a container of fresh goat cheese from the stall around the corner.
The result was a plate of tender-crisp courgettes attached to stuffed, flavour-packed flowers that would make a special nibble to serve with pre-dinner drinks, or, in my case, a luxurious lunch for one.
Then follows step-by-step recipe and photographic instructions for:
Courgette Flowers stuffed with Goat Cheese and Herbs
Now, I wonder what wine you’d pair with that?
Do something with them!
Can be done with oranges and limes too.
Just a quick note.
I am adding a new feature on a Wednesday.
A glimpse at what I drink at home and other unsavoury places.
My general criteria for buying wine is the price; I don’t have stacks of money being an impoverished English teacher.
A bottle may take my fancy, it may be the colour of the bottle or the label, I’m a label buff. Being an artist, both in oils and graphic, I have a sense of design.
Wines will inevitably be dry, or demi-sec, but not restricted to, they may be either white or red; but one thing is certain, they won’t have a screw-on-top. A screw-on-top is a ticket straight back to the shelf without further consideration.
I live in Brazil, a country that, sadly can produce neither an acceptable beer nor a great wine. But Brazil is fortunate in that it has good neighbours like Argentina and Chile. Then there are also European and South African wines readily available.
So, come and check out Wednesday Whine with me… on Wednesday.
I am not one for vege/vegan foods, I was born a carnivore and shall remain one. But occasionally I see something interesting in my perambulations around the blogosphere that look interesting and fall in the realm of vege/vegan.
Cauliflower steaks are just that.
You can read about them on the image link. Simple instructions.
And if you google cauliflower steaks, there’s a heap of information out there.
Reblog from Patrons of the Pit
A Hint of Warm: Jalapeno Poppers
“The Sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the Universe to do.” – Galileo Galilei
Atomic Buffalo Turds. Yup, that’s a fact. That is what the under ground grilling community calls them anyways. Now I can’t quite figure out why they call it that, for I have on occasion made the acquaintanceship of a buffalo, and I can assure you that their back end tokens look nothing like what we’re about to cook! But who cares I guess. The name is catchy if not down right deplorable. And it is kind of fun to serve up a plate of declared buffalo turds and see how your guests thus roll their collective eyes. You might, I suppose, be better off calling them by their politically correct name, jalapeno poppers. In the end, it doesn’t matter I guess, because good is good, and these things are fabulous if you haven’t had the opportunity. Cream cheese stuffed jalapeno peppers wrapped in bacon and smoked on the pit. Glory! Lets get after it!
Read the rest of this great post on the link above.
Would you try the world’s hottest pepper?
A man in South Carolina has won the title of growing the world’s hottest pepper, according to Guinness World Records. His ‘Carolina Reaper’ peppers have a stem resembling the tail of a scorpion and a heat factor that’s about the same as pepper spray. Would you try one?
Throw it away? Recycle it? Cook it?
Yes, I said cook it!
No, I haven’t slipped a cog, I haven’t lost it.
How to cook chump of lamb roasted with Christmas tree – recipe
This is one of the dishes we put on after Christmas in the restaurant. It uses the Christmas tree both as aromatic and as a bed to cook the lamb on, giving a wonderful scent to the meat and keeping Christmas cheer alive in our minds. We serve this with potato mousseline and either red cabbage braised with cranberries, or buttered sprout tops with toasted brown breadcrumbs, grated chestnuts and lots of black pepper.
Chump of lamb roasted with Christmas tree
Four 250g lamb chumps, trimmed
Salt and pepper
50ml olive oil
60g unsalted butter, cubed
Four 4in/10cm branches of Christmas tree, plus a few extra Christmas tree needles, for flavour
200ml lamb jus (or good quality stock)
For the potato mousseline:
1kg Desiree potatoes, peeled [waxy pink-red skin]
125g double cream
100g unsalted butter
Salt and white pepper
For the lamb
Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Season the lamb chumps. In an oven-proof pan, heat the oil and half the butter and, when hot, sear the lamb on all sides. Remove from the pan, add the Christmas tree branches to release their scent, turn over and lay the lamb on top, fat side up. Roast for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and leave to rest for about 15 minutes.
Pour the lamb stock and a few Christmas tree needles into a saucepan, bring to a boil, to reduce, then whisk in the remaining butter little by little. Season to taste, pass through a fine sieve and set aside.
For the mousseline
Cut the potatoes into even-sized pieces of about 6cm square. Rinse them, then place in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and add a good pinch of salt.
Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until tender.
Drain, and place on a baking tray and pop them into the hot oven for two to three minutes, to dry out. Meanwhile, put the cream and butter in a saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer until reduced by half. Push the potatoes through a sieve (this is how restaurants get that super-smooth mash) into a bowl, then beat in the cream-and-butter mix, and season.
To serve, place a generous spoonful of mousseline on each plate, carve each lamb chump into five pieces and lay on top of the potato. Dress with your chosen vegetable (red cabbage or sprout tops) and spoon over the lamb jus.
So, you can have your Christmas tree… and cook it too!
Everybody has a hangover remedy.
At no other time of the year is this more important than New Year.
So, I bring you The Dr Henderson and other dangerous substances.
Make your own Fernet Branca hangover cure
Feeling green around the gills from overindulging? This medicinal shot from Italy – and its variations – will sort you out
In common with many people who work in the food world, I was introduced to Fernet Branca by Fergus Henderson, proprietor of the St John’s restaurant in London.
We were on a trip to Piedmont for the truffle season, organised by the chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks. Accepting any invitation from Mitch requires a certain amount of stamina: I’ve received many pathetic hungover texts reading simply, “I’ve been Tonksed”. This trip was no exception. One participant described it as a “marine-style endurance test” of eating and drinking.
On day three, I emerged for breakfast distinctly green around the gills. Fergus pulled a bottle of brown, bitter liqueur from his pocket and poured me a shot. Fergus tends to use words sparingly because of his Parkinson’s disease, but he is one of the clearest communicators I have ever met. “Try it!” he urged, and with one hand traced the imminent internal journey of the drink – warming the throat, soothing the belly, bouncing back up and splashing over the liver. And then a shake of the whole body and a large satisfied smile. I downed the shot, and that is exactly what happened.
I have previously suggested in this column that there is no cure for a hangover. That may have been too pessimistic. If you’re feeling “Tonksed” after the Christmas blow-out, try any one of these Fernet-based cocktails. They will sort you right out.
The juice of 1 lime
25ml ginger syrup (from a jar of stem ginger)
25ml Fernet Branca
Combine all the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and pour into a glass over ice.
Dr Henderson (pictured)
25ml creme de menthe
25ml Fernet Branca
Fernet con coca
Simply combine and pour over ice. As drunk in Argentina.
50ml Fernet Branca
200ml Coca Cola
Recipes by Henry Dimbleby and Jane Baxter.