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Showing posts from November, 2011

Black Pepper, Cumin and Fennel Jelly with a Chilli Jelly Option

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Savoury jellies are great things to have in the store cupboard. They’re perfect with cheeses and cold or roast meats, but they’re also excellent as cooking ingredients in casseroles, marinades and stir-fries. The basic method for making jellies based on apples  is venerable and traditional but it does allow plenty of scope for variations in flavour.

This is my approach to the traditional method and I’ve given options for my two favourite jellies: black pepper, cumin and fennel jelly and chilli jelly. There are plenty of other options that are worth trying, though; for instance, ginger is really useful and herb jellies such as rosemary and thyme can be used in many different ways.

Bramleys are probably the most common apple to use when making jellies, although any cooker will be fine. (For these jellies, I used Endsleigh Beauty, which is a lovely old variety from Devon). You can also use crab apples rather than cooking apples, but, obviously, you don’t need to chop them up as much. T…

Feta Almond and Fennel Soup – A Random Recipe

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This month Dom of Belleau Kitchen and Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes have joined forces or rather challenges and come up with the Random Recipe No Croutons Required challenge. What that adds up to is that I wanted to choose a vegetarian soup recipe at random from my book collection. The first cookbook I randomly selected had no soups at all but the second was ‘Classic Bull’ by Stephen Bull, which has a small section on soups, and the randomly chosen number nine gave me this little gem.

There are some excellent recipes in this book, so I was confident that this soup would be good and I promise it is. I have to confess that I made a variation to the original in that Mr Bull uses chicken stock and I just had to be vegetarian. The amount given here would serve 4 as a light and refined starter but, in this case, fed 2 as a very pleasing lunch dish. I served it hot, but it will also work perfectly well when served cold.


25 g butter
100 g onion, chopped
50 g feta cheese
50 g flaked almonds

Millefeuille of Chocolate Tuiles and Apple Snow

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Chele of Chocolate Teapot has chosen apples as the ingredient to combine with chocolate for this month’s We Should Cocoa Challenge. I made a torte containing chocolate and apples for the challenge in September so I wanted to do something a little different this time. After a bit of personal food excess in October, I also wanted to make something fairly light. The idea of this dessert is to create something that looks quite substantial but is actually so light that looking at it in the wrong way will make it float away.

It’s  not really a millefeuille, you need puff pastry for that, but I can invent fancy names with the best of them.  Nor is it a particularly difficult dish to make but it does require a delicate touch and, to be honest,  I’m not sure that’s really my strong point. The amount given should serve 4 although I made big millefeuilles for sharing between two people.

I freely admit that I stole borrowed the idea of the wavy chocolate tuiles from the chef Geoffrey Haxaire of …

Gâteau de Riz and Grape Syrup Verrine

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We were  meandering along the beautiful coast of the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy last month in search of Port Racine, the smallest and just possibly the most charming port in France.  Port Racine, we discovered, is very close to the village of Omonville-La-Petite, the home and last resting place of Jacques Prévert. Since I love his poetry (even if I struggle with French), I felt it was only right that I go and pay my respects.

Visiting any last resting place is obviously something of a solemn occasion, but, possibly because it was near to lunchtime, I couldn’t shake off a vague memory of the following line from the poem ‘Lanterne Magique de Picasso’ (from the book ‘Paroles’):
‘L’étourdissante apparition d’un raisin de Malaga sur un gâteau de riz’ Or in my own shaky but free translation:
‘The dazzling appearance of a Malaga grape on a rice pudding’
A gâteau de riz isn’t exactly a rice pudding in the British sense – it’s more solid and usually has a layer of caramel around it. (In the C…

Lamb Shrewsbury

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This is a simple and traditional recipe that I hadn’t made or even thought about for many years until the other day when I saw it mentioned in a restaurant menu dating from the early eighties. I think Lamb Shrewsbury is most often found as a sauce accompanying roast lamb and that’s probably the most authentic version. The recipe here, though, is for pieces of lamb cooked in the sauce and is a recreation of the way I first came across the dish sometime in the early or mid seventies. It’s a little retro but then so am I, probably.

I seem to remember that this dish was often served with buttery mashed potato to soak up the sauce, but for this remake I served it with some roasted new potatoes and steamed green beans. This will feed 2 but probably with some sauce left over. You might need to play a seventies album while eating in order to get the full impact – maybe ‘Fleetwood Mac’ or ‘The Year Of The Cat’.


4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon and the zest …