alldishes.co.uk

Search This Blog

9 February 2017

PANCAKES.... Mmmmm

Let 's make  "crêpes" in French... I am giving you my secret recipe! 

Enjoy and make it fun...




THIS WILL MAKE ABOUT 12 CREPES, depending on the size of your pan
250G OF FLOUR
1TSP OF BAKING POWDER
3 LARGE EGGS
1 TBSP OF OIL (sunflower or vegetable)
PINCH OF SALT
600ML OF SEMI-SKIMMED MILK
BUTTER FOR COOKING

In the food processor or with a handheld blender, mix all the ingredients for 1 minute until homogeneous.



Transfer the pancake mix into a jar (easier for later) and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Warm up a large frying pan on a medium/high heat.

For each crêpe:
Rub the pan with a knob of butter (the size of a small hazelnut) on a kitchen paper.
Pour about a ladle of the mix in the pan, enough to cover its surface... BUT no more! Swirl the liquid mix around while you pour it to have an even pancake.

Cook the pancake until it starts coming off the pan - it should take 1min15sec max!


Flip it and cook for another 30 seconds the other side.



Serve and eat them as you make them! Mmmm

Selfishly, it's better to make pancakes for 2 people as they taste SO good made on the spot... but if you decide to have a pancake party with friends, make sure that you take turns in the kitchen as you don't want to be the one stuck by the hob! Hahaha...

You can of course make a batch in advance.



*tips*
1- There isn’t any sugar in my recipe so you can have them
        * savoury: grated Emmental cheese / ham & cheese / crumbled creamy St-Agur, fresh pepper and crème fraîche...
        ** or sweet: Dark brown sugar / Sugar and a squeeze of lemon / Jam / Sliced banana + chocolate sauce + flaked almonds / sugar, cinnamon, Rum… or simply Nutella!

2- You can be adventurous with the mix and flavour it too: in the blender, add
the zest of 1 lemon or
the seeds of 2 vanilla pods or
the zest of an orange & orange blossom water
zest or lemon and fresh thyme
1 tsp almond essence
freshly ground pepper ...
or simply swap the plain flour for buckwheat flour, delicious


GLUTEN & DAIRY FREE PANCAKE

A delicious alternative option!







THIS WILL MAKE ABOUT 12 CREPES, depending on the size of your pan
250G OF BUCKWHEAT FLOUR
1TSP OF BAKING POWDER
3 LARGE EGGS
1 TBSP OF SESAME OIL
PINCH OF SALT
700ML OF ALMOND MILK
BUTTER or VEGETABLE OIL FOR COOKING

In the food processor or with a handheld blender, mix all the ingredients for 1 minute until homogeneous.



Transfer the pancake mix into a jar (easier for later) and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes. Add more almond milk if it is too thick afterwards (depending on your flour).

Warm up a large frying pan on a medium/high heat.... START COOKING!

For each crêpe:
Do as described on my basic pancake recipe, using vegetable oil instead of butter... But I am French, so I still prefer butter!

ENJOY

8 February 2017

MORNING PANCAKES

A 2 minutes recipe when you want something a bit different for breakfast... and no measuring!



Makes 10-15 small pancakes:
1 RIPE BANANA
1 EGG
1/2 MUG OF SELF RAISING FLOUR
1/2 MUG OF MILK
A PINCH OF SALT
FLAKED ALMONDS
1/3 to 1/2 TABLET OF PLAIN CHOCOLATE
BUTTER FOR COOKING

Put a large pan on a medium heat.

In a bowl, whisk the banana until it's reduced to purée. Add the egg, the flour, a pinch of salt and the milk. Whisk until you get a smooth consistency.
Add a small handful of flaked almonds, the chocolate (roughly chopped with a knife). Mix, it's ready! It should be like custard ... not too liquid.


Add a small knob of butter in the pan and rub it with a paper kitchen towel. Pour a tablespoon of the mix in the pan for each pancake.


Slowly cook until it bubbles up, then flip them over with the help of 2 folks. Note that the top may still be runny, it's fine... then cook the other side until golden.
Repeat until you have made them all. Make sure you wipe the pan with butter and paper kitchen towel each time , as it will get rid of the excess chocolate melting in the pan.

Et Voila... it's ready to be eaten with a nice cup of "café au lait"


*tips*
You can be creative and add whatever you fancy (within limits!!!!), for example:
- the zest of 1/2 orange
- currants
- pine nuts
- white chocolate, milk chocolate, hazelnut chocolate...

You can add 1 tbsp of sugar if you have an even sweeter tooth!

5 February 2017

SOUPS

It's that time of the year where we need a bit of comfort food with a healthy twist... Get your organic vegetables and start cooking... I have listed below some great healthy (& naughty ones too) SOUPS for the cold winter.

Enjoy

4 February 2017

PUY LENTIL SOUP


Serves 2 to 4:
1 ONION
1 COURGETTE
1 CARROT
175G PUY LENTILS
1/2 PORC/BEEF OR CHICKEN STOCK CUBE
1/2 TSP HERB DE PROVENCE
3 CRUSHED CLOVES
A LIGHT DRIZZLE OF OLIVE OIL
1L. WATER
SALT/PEPPER

For the topping
4 SLICES OF STREAKY BACON

Chop the vegetables.

In a saucepan on a medium heat, pour a light drizzle of olive oil and add the vegetables to it. Cook gently for 2 minutes and add the Puy lentils, herb de Provence, the crushed cloves and the stock cube. Add the water and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, lay the bacon on a sheet of foil and put under the grill... but not too closed to it as you want the bacon to become crispy without burning. When it looks crispy on both sides, put the strips in kitchen paper to absorb any extra fat.

Blend the soup and serve it with a strip of bacon on the side.

*tips*
You can also chop finely the bacon (once grilled) and sprinkle it on the top of the soup before serving.

FRESH TOMATO SOUP



Serves 2 to 4:
6 LARGE VINE TOMATOES
1 LEEK
2/3 LARGE SHALLOTS
1 CELERY STICK
1 TSP HERB DE PROVENCE
1 TBSP TOMATO PUREE
1 PINCH OF CHILLI FLAKES (OPTIONAL)
SALT
OLIVE OIL
1 CHICKEN STOCK CUBE or VEGETABLE STOCK CUBE

For the topping:
1 TBSP TAPENADE (BLACK OLIVE PASTE)
2 TBSP VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
15-20 FRESH BASIL LEAVES

Bring some water to a boil in a large saucepan. Cut a cross on the skin of the tomatoes with a knife and put them in the boiling water for 1 minute. Take off the heat and pour some cold water on the tomatoes. Peel off the skin. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, on a medium heat, drizzle some olive oil, add the roughly chopped leek, shallots and celery stick. Stir for a couple of minutes without getting any colour. Add the tomato puree, stir again and finish by adding the fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped, the herb de Provence, a pinch of chilli flakes for an extra kick, the chicken stock cube and pour some hot water on the top until you NEARLY cover the vegetables. You don't want it too liquid, and it is always easier to add water afterwards.
Cook for 10-15 minutes on a medium heat. Blend it and season to taste with salt.

On the side, mix the tapenade with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the finely chopped basil leaves. Drizzle this mixture on the top of the soup before serving for an explosion of flavours!

2 February 2017

MY "MULTITASKING" CHICKEN BROTH

Why "multitasking"? Because it is not just a soup, you can do so much with it!




Serves... quite a few!
1 WHOLE ORGANIC CHICKEN
1 CARROT CUT IN 1/2
1 FINELY CHOPPED ONION
1 FINELY CHOPPED LEEK
3 CELERY STICKS
3 BAY LEAVES
1/2 TBSP HERB DE PROVENCE
3 CLOVES (SPIKED IN THE CARROT)
SALT/PEPPER
OLIVE OIL

In a large pot, drizzle a bit of olive oil and sweat the leek and onion, without getting any colour. Add the rest of the ingredients, the whole chicken and cover with cold water.

Generously season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Simmer for 1hr30 to 2 hrs without boiling as you want the broth to be clear.

Take the chicken out, discard the skin, the bones, and keep the flesh on the side. Discard the carrot, bay leaves and celery from the broth.
It is ready to be used!

1- CHICKEN BROTH:
Serve the clear broth with some pieces of chicken in it as a "soup"

2- VIETNAMESE NOODLE SOUP:
Add some rice noodles to the soup, a good splash of Soy sauce, chop basil/mint/coriander together and add a HANDFUL per serving portion for an explosion of flavours.

3- CHICKEN RICE - Serves 2:

130G OF LONG GRAIN RICE
10G BUTTER
1/2L BROTH WITH CHICKEN FLESH
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the rice, stir then pour the broth on top and cook with a lid on, on a very low heat, until all the juices have gone (20-30 minutes)

4- CHICKEN STIR FRY:

Use the rice from above... Stir fry it in a hot wok with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and break an egg on top. Stir until the egg has cooked and coated the rice. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped coriander, a drizzle of sesame oil and a splash of Soy sauce

31 January 2017

LOVING... SALSA TRUFFINA



I'm loving SALSA TRUFFINA from L'Aquila. You can find it in supermarkets, it's a mix of mushrooms and black summer truffles. Its flavour is just delicious. Don't overuse it, a teaspoon is all that it takes sometimes.

It will go really well in soups, omelette or simply add a teaspoon of the paste in buttered pasta.

30 January 2017

THAI SPICED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

A bit of a winter warmer for the heart!


SERVES FEW!
1 BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PEELED AND DICED
1 LARGE ONION
1 LEEK
3 CELERY BRANCHES
1 SMALL RED CHILLI
1 1/2 TIN OF LIGHT COCONUT MILK
SALT
A SPRINKLE OF CORIANDER
1/2 LIME
OLIVE OIL

In a large saucepan, toss in olive oil, the diced celery, leek and onion. After a couple of minutes, add the butternut squash, season with salt, add a quarter of the chilli, the coconut milk and cover with water.

Simmer for 20 minutes. Blend. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime, stir... 

Serve with a sprinkle of fresh chopped coriander

*note*
I only add a bit of chilli, so you get a subtle kick... you can add more to taste!



28 January 2017

BUTTER BEANS BROTH


SERVES 2:
1 TBSP COCONUT OIL
1 LARGE ONION
1 SMALL RED PEPPER
1 PEELED MEDIUM TOMATO
600ML WATER
1 TIN OF BUTTER BEANS
1 VEGETABLE STOCK CUBE
1 TSP SMOKED PAPRIKA
1 PINCH OF SAFFRON
SALT/PEPPER
A HANDFUL OF FRESHLY CHOPPED PARSLEY

Dice finely the pepper and the onion - when I say finely, I mean little cubes of 3mm or so... not big chunks!
Boil the water - Drain and rinse the butter beans. 

In a large saucepan on a medium to high heat, add the coconut oil and then the onions and peppers. Toss them until they get a bit of colour. 
Dice the tomato (chunkier and bigger than the peppers) and add to the saucepan, sprinkle with the smoked paprika, saffron and pour the boiling water on top. Add the vegetable stock cube and the butter beans. Stir and season to taste. 
Cook for 10-15 minutes. 

When cooked, add 2/3 of the freshly chopped parsley, stir and serve straight away.

Add the remaining parsley on top and serve with fresh bread (optional).

*Tip* 
You can chop finely a mini section of red chili to give it a kick.


FOR THE 'NAUGHTY' TOPPING:
60GR OF DICED CHORIZO

When the soup is ready, toss the chorizo for 45seconds in a hot frying pan. Transfer onto a sheet of kitchen towel to absorb the excess fat and sprinkle the chorizo on the top of the soup when you add the final touch of parsley.





21 January 2017

MUSHROOM SOUP




Serves 4:
300G OF CHESTNUT MUSHROOMS
1 LEEK
1 CELERY BRANCHES
10G OF BUTTER
BOILING WATER
50ML OF SINGLE CREAM
1 CHICKEN STOCK CUBE( OR VEGETABLE )
SALT/GROUND PEPPER
1 LARGE TBSP OF CREME FRAICHE
A BIT OF FRESH PARSLEY
2 TSP TRUFFLE PASTE (optional)

Put a saucepan on a medium heat. Add the butter and the roughly chopped leek and celery sticks. Soften the vegetables for a couple of minutes.
Then add the sliced mushrooms , stir, then cover with boiling water. Add the stock cube, and season with a bit of salt and ground pepper.
Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the creme fraiche, the truffle paste and blend the soup, adjust seasoning. Re-heat and serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

*tips*
- I use CHESTNUT MUSHROOMS for their nutty taste (!) but you can be more creative and use all sorts of mushrooms : forest mushroom / cèpes mixed with chestnut mushrooms...
- For a luxurious MUSHROOM SOUP, I add a good teaspoon or 2 of truffle paste (salsa Truffina, see post 16th May 2010), but it also taste delicious without it.

20 January 2017

QUICK LUSCIOUS FISH SOUP

Don't be scared to make it, it is really easy and I cut down all the difficult process of a normal fish soup.



Serves 4:
OLIVE OIL
1 LEEK
1 STICK OF CELERY
1 LARGE SHALLOT (or 3 SMALL ONES)
½ TIN CHOPPED TOMATOES
1 CRUSHED CLOVE OF GARLIC
3 STALKS OF THYME
2 BAY LEAVES
A GOOD PINCH OF SAFFRON
1 L. FISH STOCK
40 ML. WHITE WINE
2 SLICED POTATOES
300G DICED MONKFISH
4 FILETS OF RED MULLET
1 HANDFUL OF MUSSELS
1 HANDFUL OF CLAMS
4 LARGE PRAWNS
A SPRINKLE OF FRESHLY CHOPPED PARSLEY
SALT/PEPPER

SLICED TOASTED BAGUETTE FOR SERVING

In a casserole on a medium heat, drizzle some olive oil. Add the finely chopped leek, celery and shallots. Let the vegetables sweat and soften.
Add the crushed garlic, the tinned chopped tomatoes, the thyme, the 2 bay leaves and stir in the fish stock. Finish with a good pinch of saffron to get a rich colour.

Simmer this broth for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, peel the potatoes, cut in very thin slices. Add them to the broth and cook for about 5 minutes or until the potatoes are nearly done (depending on how thin they are sliced).

Then add the diced monkfish, cook for 3 minutes and finish with the Red Mullet filets, the clams, mussels and prawns. Cook another 3-4 minutes until all the shells open and the filets cooK. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve in plates and finish with a light sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley. Add a couple of toasted slices of baguette on the side, drizzled with a bit of olive oil.


*tips*
- I use MONKFISH for its meaty flesh, but you can use any fish you like too!
- Serve it with "aioli" (Make a mayo with 1 egg, 1/2 crushed clove of garlic, 1 tsp mustard, saffron and olive oil) for an extra kick!

16 January 2017

SOUP OF RADISH GREENS

It is not common to use the green leaves of a bunch of radishes, but this is simply one of the finest and most surprising soup! It has this very unusual taste and flavour.



Serves about 4:
2 BUNCHES OF RADISH WITH THEIR LEAVES
2 SMALL/MEDIUM MARIS PIPPER POTATOES
1 LARGE BANANA SHALLOT OR 3 SMALL NORMAL SHALLOTS
1 RED ONION
1 CHICKEN OR VEGETABLE STOCK CUBE
SALT/PEPPER
CREME FRAICHE
10G BUTTER




Peel onion, shallot(s) and potatoes. Dice them all finely.
Cut the green leaves from the red radish. Keep the radish for something else.

In a saucepan on a medium heat, melt the butter, add the onion and shallot(s). Cook slowly until they soften. Add the potatoes, diced, and cover with cold water. Add the stock cube (chicken or veg.).
Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft (depending on how small they have been diced). Then add the radish greens to the saucepan, stir and bring to a simmer. Finally add 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche and BLEND the soup. At this point, add a bit of boiling water if the consistency is too thick.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serve. Enjoy!

*NOte*
I am not a fan of potatoes in soup, but it works very well in this recipes!

13 January 2017

BROCCOLI and SPINACH SOUP WITH PEPPERED MOZZARELLA


SERVES 2:
1TBSP COCONUT OIL (or OLIVE OIL)
1 SMALL LEEK
1 CELERY BRANCH
220GR BROCCOLI (OR BROCCOLI SPEARS)
80GR FRESH SPINACH
800ML WATER
SALT / FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER


FOR THE TOPPING:
1/2 MOZZARELLA BALL
LOADS OF FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
SEA SALT

In a saucepan on a medium heat, add the coconut oil, the chopped leek and celery branch. Let them soften gently while you chop the broccoli into small pieces.
Boil the water in the kettle.

Add the broccoli, stir and pour the water on top. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.

Cook for 6 minutes. In the meantime, drain the mozzarella, cut it in small regular cubes, sprinkle with LOADS of freshly ground pepper and add a sprinkle of sea salt. Set aside.

When the soup is cooked, take OFF THE HEAT, add all the raw spinach and blend it till smooth.

Serve with a topping of peppered mozzarella cubes.


*Note*
No extra drizzle, no extra fat, no Stilton!... Let the simplicity do the job!

12 January 2017

CHESTNUT SOUP

A very unusual soup with a secret smokey taste, you must try...


Serves 2 to 4:
1 TBSP FAT (GOOSE FAT, COCONUT OIL or SUNFLOWER OIL)
1 TIN OF WHOLE CHESTNUTS
1 LARGE SHALLOT
1 ONION
1 CARROT
SALT
PINCH OF CHILLI FLAKES
2 LAPSANG SOUCHONG TEA BAGS ***that's the secret!***

For the Garnish (optional):
1 SHALLOT
3 MEDIUM CHESTNUT MUSHROOMS
2 GENEROUS TBSP SOY SAUCE
10 GR BUTTER

Boil some water and infuse the tea bags in about 400ml of water.

In a saucepan, on a medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil (whichever you choose) and the peeled and chopped vegetables. Slowly cook them for a couple of minutes.

Add the whole chestnuts and cover with the Lapsang Souchoug tea (without the bags obviously)... enough to cover everything. Add a bit more water if needed. Season with a bit of salt and a pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

Reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, in a frying pan on a medium heat, add the butter, a shallot FINELY DICED and the 3 mushrooms FINELY diced too. Gently cook for a minute and then add the soy sauce... Reduce the heat and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. It is quite salted on purpose, you will only use a small amount.

When the soup is cooked, blend it.

Serve with a teaspoon of the mushroom garnish on top.




CARROT and SMOKED PAPRIKA SOUP

My decorator favourite soup  ;D


SERVES 4:
1 TBSP COCONUT OIL or SUNFLOWER OIL
500-600GR CARROTS
1 CELERY BRANCH
1 LARGE ONION
1 BANANA SHALLOTS
2 HEAP TSP SMOKED PAPRIKA
A PINCH OF CHILLIE FLAKES (optional)
SALT
800ML WATER

FOR THE TOPPING:
1/2 A HANDFULL OF CHOPPED FRESH CORIANDER
2 TBSP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
A PINCH OF SALT

In a large saucepan, add the coconut oil with the peeled/chopped onion, shallot and celery branch. Leave it to slowly soften on a medium heat while you peel and chop the carrots. 

Add the carrots, the paprika, a pinch of chili flakes, give it a good stir and cover with the water..Season with a bit of salt, not too much,

Cook for 30 minutes on a medium heat. 

In the meantime, with a mini blender, pulse the fresh coriander and the olive oil, add a pinch of salt.

Blend the soup when the carrots are cooked. Serve with drops of the coriander oil.

*Tip*
If you have some, you can add also a tea spoon of RAZ EL HANOUT (Moroccan spice)


7 January 2017

PEA SOUP

Full of colours... with an unusual tangy twist... NO MINT! 


SERVES 2:
2 BANANA SHALLOTS (the large ones)
1 COURGETTE
1 SMALL CARROT
1 TBSP OLIVE OIL OR COCONUT OIL
750ML VEGETABLE STOCK (use a cube)
SALT
FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
250GR FROZEN PEAS
+ 50GR EXTRA FROZEN PEAS (AT THE END)
1/2 LIME

EXTRA 'NAUGHTY' TOPPING (Optional):
75GR SMOKED DICED PANCETTA

In a saucepan on a medium heat, sweat for a couple of minutes the chopped shallots, courgette, carrot in coconut or olive oil.
Add the vegetable stock and simmer for 15 minutes.

Bring to a boil and add the 250GR of peas, cook for only 3 minutes.

In the meantime, toss the pancetta in a dry frying pan. When golden, pour on the top of a kitchen towel to absorb the excess fat... set aside.

After the 3 minutes, blend the soup. Add an extra 50gr of peas at the last minutes and blend again till smooth. It allows the colour to be nice and vibrant. Season to taste.

Serve with pancetta on the top (optional), finish with a squeeze of lime.

*Note*
For my vegan/vegetarian friends, I would add few toasted coconut shavings on top instead of the pancetta




5 January 2017

ASPARAGUS CREAM




Serves 4 small, delicate portions:
500G OF FRESH ASPARAGUS
1/2L OF CHICKEN STOCK (or 1/2L WATER + 1 CHICKEN STOCK CUBE)
50ML OF DOUBLE CREAM
SALT/PEPPER
DROPS OF VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

In a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. In the meantime, trim the cut end of the asparagus and chop each stalk in 4. Add them to the boiling stock. Cook for 6 minutes.
Off the heat, blend the soup and add the cream. Bring back to the boil in the pan for another 30 seconds.

Serve with a drizzle of cream, some ground pepper and a couple of drops of virgin olive oil.

*tip*
- you can keep some of the cooked asparagus heads to use as a decoration on the top of the cream.
- Because asparagus is such a delicate vegetable, I think it is better to serve smaller portions than a massive bowl.

CELERIAC SOUP

It's that time of the year when a soup is quite nice!... So make it different too, using for once CELERIAC.



Serves 3-4:
10 GR BUTTER
1/2 CELERIAC
1 LEEK
1 CELERY BRANCH
1 BAY LEAVE
1 LARGE ONION
MILK
SALT (that's it!)

ALMOND BUTTER (optional)

In a saucepan on a medium heat, melt the butter and add the peeled and chopped vegetables. Stir and cook until the leeks and onions have softened.
Pour 1/2 water +1/2 milk, enough JUST TO COVER the vegetables. Add a good pinch of salt and the bay leave.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes depending on how big the pieces are. Discard the bay leave.

Blend. Adjust the thickness by adding more milk. You don't want it too thick, it's not a "liquid mash", it's a soup!

Serve hot with a tiny sprinkle of almond butter (optional)

*tip*
I intend to use the whitest celery branch I have and most of the leek except the dark green bit, as I want the soup to have a nice white creamy colour.


11 December 2016

"MON CHERRY" CAKE

A twist on the Black Forest gateau... without the cream , the fuss and a punchier cherry taste! And it's GLUTEN FREE
Mmmm



I use a 34x24cm baking tray

CHERRY SYRUP:
450 GR OF FROZEN CHERRIES
4 TBSP CASTER SUGAR
JUICE OF 2 LEMONS
60ML OF AMARETTO

CAKE:
160 GR PLAIN CHOCOLATE
160 GR BUTTER
2 TSP ORANGE ESSENCE
4 EGGS
100GR CASTER SUGAR
150 GR GLUTEN FREE FLOUR
10 GR BAKING POWDER

DECORATION:
COCOA POWDER
ICING SUGAR
FREEZE DRIED RASPBERRIES (OPTIONAL)

In a large saucepan, add the cherries with the sugar, Amaretto liquor, lemon juice and bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes. The juice should  get thinker without looking like a jam. 
Cool down.

Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Cover the baking tray with parchment.

Melt chocolate and butter with the orange essence (in a saucepan on really low heat)
Whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt. 
Mix egg yolks, sugar, flour and baking powder. Mix in the melted chocolate when it's cooled down.

Fold in the egg whites, pour on the baking tray. Even it out.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Out of the oven and cooled down, trim the edges and cut two identical rectangles. 

Flip one of them "Up side down" and cover with the cherries & their syrup. Put the other cake piece over. 


1- Generously sprinkle cocoa powder on top, using a fine sieve.
2- Do the same with icing sugar ( You can use a stencil too)
3- Finish by crushing and pushing through the sieve some freeze dried raspberry. It will also add a bit of sharpness.



Et voilà! 




27 November 2016

WARM WINTERY CHICKEN CASSEROLE

A casserole with a warm twist, "à la Lolo"...


2 to 4 people:
4 ORGANIC CHICKEN THIGHS 
60 GR OF CHOPPED CHORIZO
1 LARGE ONION
185ML OF RED WINE
3 BAY LEAVES
1/2 TSP HERB DE PROVENCE
500GR MUSHROOMS (I like chestnut + Shiitake mushrooms together)
1 HANDFULL OF FRESHLY CHOPPED PARSLEY
500GR CHANTERELLE CARROTS 
SALT/PEPPER
20GR BUTTER
1/2 TBSP COCONUT OIL (OR NORMAL OIL OF YOUR CHOICE)

Put a casserole dish on a medium heat. Add the coconut oil and the chicken, skin at the bottom
Leave it until the skin is nicely roasted and brown.
Warm up the wine in a separate saucepan.

Chop the onion and add it to the chicken with the chorizo. Stir and cook it for a couple of minutes before adding the red wine. Lit it to get rid of the access alcohol. 
Add the bay leaves, the Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. 

Add the Chanterelle carrots (I leave the skin on), and cook until the carrots have softened. 

Before the end, in a large frying pan, on a high heat, melt the butter and cook the mushroom, roughly sliced, until brown. Season and add the chopped parsley. 



Add 2/3 of the mushrooms to the dish and cook another 10 minutes. 

When serving, add some of the remaining mushrooms on top. 

*Note*
I do not thicken the sauce with flour for this recipe as I like it as it is, and there is not too much sauce anyway. 

*Tip*
If you like a bit of an additional "kick" to it, add a pinch of Cayenne pepper to it. 








17 September 2016

"MADONNA LASAGNA"

Inspired by the luscious D&G campaign and my trip to Italy, I have decided to dedicate my next recipe to MADONNA... with my surprising lasagna, with a light delicate filling.

A bit of shopping


then back in the kitchen...


SERVES 4-6:

For the tomato sauce
3 TBSP OLIVE OIL
1 LEEK
1 LARGE PEELED ONION
1 PEELED CARROT
2 GARLIC CLOVES
20 BASIL LEAVES, CHOPPED
3 BAY LEAVES
150ML OF RED WINE
2 TINS OF CHOPPED TOMATOES (±400G EACH)
1 BEEF STOCK CUBE DILUTED IN 100ML of HOT WATER
SALT/PEPPER
1 TBSP SUGAR

For the béchamel sauce:
60G BUTTER
30G PLAIN FLOUR
300ML MILK
SALT/PEPPER

For the vegetable bed:
1 CARROT
1 RED PEPPER
1 COURGETTE

For the meat layer:
450G OF LEAN MINCE BEEF

+ VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
9 LASAGNA SHEETS
150G GRATED EMMENTAL CHEESE.

I use a 30x20 cm oven dish.

Prepare the tomato sauce as per my POSH TOMATO SAUCE:
Pulse the leek, onion, carrot and celery in the food processor - Put in an oven proof casserole with a splash of olive oil, let it soften on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the herbs, seasoning and the tomatoes. Finish with the liquids. Stir and cook in the oven for 1hr15 at 180degrees Celsius or on the hob on a medium/slow heat. Stir once or twice in between.


While it is cooking, prepare the BECHAMEL : DO USE A WHISK, it's the secret!
On a medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour, whisk. Then add the COLD milk in one go and with the use of a WHISK , give it a good stir until it thicken. Season to taste. Set aside


For the vegetables: 
Peel the carrot and cut all the vegetables in little sticks.


In a non-stick hot wok(or pan) on a high heat, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the vegetables until slightly coloured and softened. Season with salt and set aside on a plate. (Do not wash the wok, we will use it for the meat with all the flavours from the veg left in it)

For the meat:
When the tomato sauce is cooked , bring the wok back to a high heat and quickly toss the mince beef in it (no fat added). Give it a bit of colour, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Warm up the oven at 220 degrees Celsius.

Layer the lasagna:
In the oven dish, drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil and pour a small quantity of tomato sauce at the bottom first (to avoid the pasta from sticking to the base), then...
    - Layer the sheets of pasta
    - Pour all the mince meat and its juice
    - Spread 1/3 of tomato sauce, then 1/3 of the béchamel sauce on top.
    - Sprinkle 50g of grated Emmental
    - Cover with 3 other sheets of lasagna.
    - Layer the vegetables,
    - Spread another 1/3 of tomato sauce, then 1/3 of the béchamel sauce on top.
    - Add a final layer of pasta sheets
    - Press the sheets down gently with your fingers
    - Spread the remaining tomato sauce and finish with béchamel on top.
    - Sprinkle the rest of the cheese.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve with a simple side salad.


I did the cooking, so she does the dishes, this is how it works at Lolo's!...



*tips*
You can make the tomato sauce the day before and use it at the last minute.

VEGGIE LASAGNA

This is for my Veggie friends too...
OK, let's be honest... it is a labour of love but not that difficult to make if you follow exactly all my steps... an the result is so DELICIOUS you'll forget it's "veggie"


SERVES 4 (generously):
12 LASAGNA SHEETS (more or less) -I prefer to use the fresh ones if you find them

For the BECHAMEL SAUCE:
500ML COLD MILK
50GR BUTTER
50GR FLOUR
SALT/GROUND PEPPER/ FRESH THYME
100GR RED LEICESTER OR CHEDDAR OR CONTE CHEESE

For the LASAGNA:
1 LARGE AUBERGINE
2 PEPPERS 
1 LARGE RED ONION
70GR BABY SPINACH LEAVES
1 MOZZARELLA BALL
1 POT OF PESTO (I like the INTENSE PESTO from WAITROSE)
A HANDFULL OF PINE NUTS 
17 CHERRY TOMATOES
50GR RED LEICESTER OR CHEDDAR OR CONTE CHEESE
SALT/PEPPER/FRESH THYME
OLIVE OIL
A KNOB OF BUTTER

1- Make the BECHAMEL sauce: 



In a saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter, then add the flour in one go, mix and add the cold milk in one go and keep mixing vigorously with A WHISK until it thickens ! 
It will be perfect if you do it that way, no lumps. Season with salt, fresh pepper and a sprinkle of fresh thyme. Stir in the grated cheese. 
Set aside

2- Prep the vegetables: do it in the order described
Put a very large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Add the pine nuts to it and let them colour slightly. When done, set aside. Bring the frying pan back to the heat.

Slice the aubergines ( about 0.5cm thickness ) and brush each slice on both sides with olive oil.
Put the slice in the frying pan (NO extra fat added) and let then get some colour. Set aside. You may have to do two batches. 



In the meantime, slice the red onion and the peppers. 

Pan back on the heat, add 2 TBSP of olive oil and toss in the peppers and onion till slightly coloured. Set aside when done. 



All the difficult preparation is done - finished !!!

3- The layering:

Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. 

- Butter your baking tray. 
- Spread 2 table spoons of béchamel at the bottom (it will stop the lasagna from sticking)
- Put a layer of lasagna sheets.
- Layer the aubergines 

- Add all the baby leaves of spinach  

- Slice the mozzarella and layer it, with generous tea spoons of pesto sauce in between and 1/3 of the béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with the pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper. 

- Add a layer of lasagna sheets and PRESS DOWN a bit.
- Add the layer of peppers/onion - season with salt and pepper.

- Add an extra 1/3 of the béchamel sauce and layer of pasta sheets. Press down gently again.
- Finish with the remaining béchamel sauce and spread it evenly. Sprinkle 50r of grated cheese on top.

- Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and display on top. Sprinkle  salt, pepper and thyme and finish with a light drizzle of olive oil. 
Bake at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes. 


Well worth the effort!

*Note*
There is NO tomato sauce on purpose so you get a very distinctive taste for each layer.