You are what you eat & drink

Posts tagged “recipes

St Germain Liqueur

St._Germain_Elderflower_liqueurSt Germain liqueur is made in France from the elderberry flower.

It is an unusual liqueur in that it has a myriad of citrus flavours, aromas and undertones.

Usually served straight, but can be mixed with champagne and dry or sparkling white wine but mixes well with most spirits and club soda.

It can be successfully used with fruit desserts.

For a range of cocktails see

For cooking ideas, check The Nibble also many cocktail ideas, including the Mojito Pariisen.




Be Cointreauversial

cointreau2Originally “Curaçao Blanco Triple Sec” it was produced by Adolphe Cointreau and his brother Edouard-Jean Cointreau. The distillery began in 1849 and the first Cointreau was sold in 1875.

Made by blending sweet and bitter orange peels and pure alcohol from sugar beets it has become one of the most famous liqueurs in the world.

But what can you do with it?

Obviously, drink it. Straight or over ice, or in many famous and not so famous recipes. Check out more than a dozen cocktails on The Fervent Shaker.

Can you cook with it?

Cointreau is most frequently used in desserts and matches well with chocolate, vanilla, orange (obviously) and cranberries. It is a good addition to chocolate mousse, pot de crème, or crème anglaise. – Fine Cooking

For a dazzling 141 recipes with Cointreau ranging from carrots to shrimps check:


Chocolate Roulade with Spiced Berry Compote and Cointreau Cream. A perfect winter dessert.

Chocolate Roulade with Spiced Berry Compote and Cointreau Cream. A perfect winter dessert. Image – GoodFood


Scallops With Tangy Cointreau Sauce - image: iFood,TV with video

Scallops With Tangy Cointreau Sauce – image: iFood,TV with video

Or you can experiment with Cointreau Noir in the kitchen and the bar.

A blend of traditional Cointreau and Remy Cognac…


Cocktail Dilemma

This is a cocktail called Justice 4 All…

…but I can’t find a recipe for it.

Any helpers?

The great recipe swindle

The idea that you can follow a recipe to the letter and produce impeccable results is a recent one; the problem is, it’s nonsense. Have you busted any kitchen myths?

When these books were published, no-one believed recipes were infallible. Photograph: Andreas von Einsiedel/Alamy

Just as a novel tells a story (“Oh dear yes”, EM Forster complained), so a cookbook has recipes. And just as some novelists, such as Forster, have felt that a story is a regrettable element of fiction, so some cookery authors feel that recipes are regrettable elements of food writing.

In most cookbooks up to Elizabeth David’s, recipes were somewhat perfunctory. You sometimes hear complaints that recipes of David’s haven’t worked; but that is because she assumed, I think, that readers would bring their own techniques to bear on them. I believe that she would have been surprised if readers took her words as precise, infallible instructions. Only since then have we taken on the idea that a recipe, should, if precisely followed, offer a route to culinary perfection.

Cooks know that such a wish is an illusion. Take a simple tomato sauce, for example. You chop or crush some garlic. You cook it for a while in some oil, before tipping in a tin of tomatoes, with some salt and perhaps a little sugar. You simmer it. What could be simpler? However, the recipe told you to cook the garlic over a medium heat, which caused it to sizzle furiously and brown. The sauce has simmered for 10 minutes, as the recipe specified, but is still very liquid – and your pasta is ready and drained.

At every stage in this process, the experienced cook makes decisions, and will probably have raised and lowered the heat under the pan several times. A recipe that attempted to describe precisely what influenced these decisions would be long and boring. It can give hints, such as “Fry the garlic gently, until it releases its aroma”, or, “Simmer the sauce until thick”, but that is about it.

People who try to follow recipes to the letter – and there are many of them – get very frustrated when dishes do not work as the recipes promise. Unfortunately, every kitchen is different: oven and hob temperatures vary (my gas mark 6 may differ from yours by 30 degrees or more), equipment varies, humidity varies, the quality of water varies. A set of instructions to accommodate all these inconsistencies cannot be devised. This may be one reason why surveys have suggested that most people cook only one or two recipes from each cookbook they own.

My first idea was to write a book called Cooking without Recipes – a title that has appeared on two books since the first edition of mine came out. I tried writing it, giving general, explanatory accounts of how dishes worked rather than lists of ingredients and instructions. It was, for the reason I gave above, stupefyingly pedantic and dull.

Like Forster, I bit the bullet: I gave recipes, but all the while pointed out that these were templates rather than the last words on any dish; and, for those who wanted to read them, I followed the instructions with “why you do it” sections, offering some simple kitchen science. It seemed to me that for most home cooks, an understanding of how dishes work is more important than a set of instructions. You don’t need recipes for most of what you put on the table from day to day.

I know: when you bake a cake, it’s helpful to have a list of ingredients and precise guidelines. But here particularly, you need to know what is happening as you mix the ingredients and cook them. I’m not a skilled baker, I admit; but at least I know what has gone wrong when the centre of my cake caves in.

Along the way, I hope I’ve dispelled a few myths – though I must admit that they’re not ones that careful readers of Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking will entertain. Do you need to soak and fast-boil dried beans – and can you put salt in their cooking water? Do you rinse rice to wash away the starch? Or that old favourite, do you “seal” meat? And of course, do you salt aubergines?

Source: The Guardian

Big, Ugly and so Yummy


Or in New Zealand it is known also by the Maori name Hapuka and is well known in our fish shops.

This fish is common in the waters around New Zealand and Australia. Fillets from the Hapuka are firm, white, large flaked, very flavorful, and somewhat similar to a bass.

Good in soups, as fillets and steaks. You you can roast it, braised it, boil it and bake it. Or simply chuck a whole one on the BBQ and even make fish cakes with it.

The Rolls Royce of New Zealand fish.

Try these recipes:

Big 'n Chunky

Hapuka with Pan Fried Parsnips OceanNZ Seafood

Hapuka Steaks Bach 22 Recipes

Great baked Hapuka recipe  MarkGardner Blog

Roast Hapuka Fillet Nobilo

Lemon ginger hapuka and vegetables in parchment Radio Live

Oven Baked Hapuka La Cigale

Pan Fried Hapuka with Garlicky Soy Sauce Three Hungry Tummies

Poached Hapuka and Couscous OceanNZ Seafood

Barbecued Hapuka with Galic Butter and Herbs ECook

Recipes – KISS

How often do you see recipes that go into so much detail that it’s confusing. Yesterday I saw a recipe for a salad; now really a salad doesn’t need a recipe. What you really need for a salad is a list of ingredients if you don’t have enough imagination.

Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

20ml red-wine vinegar
½ tsp dijon mustard
100ml olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cauliflower
3 large oranges
1 pomegranate
50g raisins
1 tbsp chopped mint
Salt and pepper

This was the list for a Pomegranate, orange and cauliflower salad in The Guardian. Now if the list had been divided like so…


20ml red-wine vinegar
½ tsp dijon mustard
100ml olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 cauliflower
3 large oranges
1 pomegranate
50g raisins
1 tbsp chopped mint
Salt and pepper

That should be sufficient, omitting the onion needs to be ‘peeled’ everybody knows that you peel an onion. Quite frankly, if you don’t then perhaps you shouldn’t be let near a kitchen.

What followed then was this….

Mix the red-wine vinegar, mustard and olive oil in a large bowl, season and mix well and leave to one side. Add the red onion to the vinaigrette – this will allow the vinegar to slightly “cook” the red onion.

Put a pan of salted water on to boil, and prepare the cauliflower by removing the stalk and root, and cutting into florets. Add the florets to the boiling water and simmer until just cooked. When ready, drain well and immediately, while still warm, add it to the vinaigrette. Mix well.

Using a sharp knife, cut away the peel of the orange and slice into segments (or if easier, peel and segment by hand). If the oranges are lovely and ripe, don’t worry too much about removing any of the pith. Prepare the pomegranate (it’s not the easiest but it’s well worth the hassle). Cut the fruit in half, then carefully scoop out the seeds. Add the orange and pomegranate to the cauliflower, mix well, and add the raisins and mint. Check the seasoning and serve.

Wow, so many words!

Mix the vinaigrette ingredients and add sliced onion.

Cook off cauliflower florets until tender. Cool and mix well into vinaigrette.

Add peeled orange segments and pomegranate pulp to cauliflower, mix well and add raisins and mint, season and serve.

That’s all that is needed. Recipes should be simple instructions, you’re not writing a novel. Even if you are writing for the average housewife, she’s not an idiot, she’ll understand. To me the original instructions were so pretentious and patronising; and they don’t make the salad taste any better.

A principle to be adhered to is one that I learned in the military – KISS = Keep it simple stupid.

I am not criticising the salad itself, the combination sounds just great.