Showing posts from December, 2021

Lemon Montecaos & A Lemon Drop Cocktail Afterthought

These biscuits are my modest (token, you might say) contribution to Christmas food this year. It may be a modest effort but it's a wonderfully simple recipe to put together and that's got to be a good thing. They're really pleasing with coffee and they're not just for Christmas. Confusingly, this montecaos recipe is based on a French interpretation of an Algerian original that I came across a few years ago and they're sort of remote cousins of the mantecados that are made around Christmas time in Spain. The traditional Spanish mantecado recipe uses pig fat (manteca de cerdo means pork fat or lard, or so I'm told) but North African biscuits, not surprisingly, replace the pig fat with oil. It's best to use a fairly neutral oil in this recipe to avoid more powerful oils dominating the taste. Cinnamon is often used as the primary flavouring but there are many variations such as orange, almond or coconut. I've used lemon because I love it and it makes me thin

Black Pudding, Smoked Garlic, Apple Reduction, Crushed Peas, Hazelnut Tuile

The recipes on this blog can be eclectic and random but they're definitely not cheffy. Just this once, as we come towards the end of another year, then I think I'm allowed one dish that might seem a little more elaborate. Actually, it really isn't difficult to put together but it might possibly impress your friends. Admittedly, I'm assuming that you have friends who like black pudding. I put this together after I stumbled across some lovely smoked garlic and some even more lovely black pudding in a local market. There are four elements to this little treat: First, a base of peas flavoured with smoked garlic. The smoked garlic might seem a little intense when raw but, when it's roasted, it becomes mellow and intensely savoury. Second, the black pudding, which is cooked very simply. Choose whichever black pudding you like but I prefer to use a softer style. My favourite types are usually either from Stornoway or Normandy. Third, an apple reduction. This sounds a bit