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15 June 2016

LEMON & POPPY SEEDS BISCUITS - SUGAR AND GLUTEN FREE

Gluten and sugar free ... so you can have twice as much! 



MAKES about 40:
250 GR GLUTEN FREE FLOUR
50 GR GROUND ALMOND 
180GR MELTED BUTTER
1 LARGE EGG
ZEST AND JUICE OF 2 LEMONS
2 TBSP OF POPPY SEEDS
50 GR STEVIA SUGAR (OR 140 GR OF REGULAR CASTER SUGAR) 

ICING SUGAR FOR DUSTING (OPTIONAL)

Lay parchment on 2 baking sheets. Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius.

Mix all ingredients and put in a pipping bag with a decorative nozzle of your choice. 
Shape little biscuit on the sheets of parchment, leaving about 2 cm between biscuits. 



Bake for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden on the top. Take the baking trays out of the oven and leave them to cool down.



Serve on a tray, dust with icing sugar (optional, especially if you want them totally SUGAR free).

*Note*
I have become a big fan of Stevia leave sugar lately and the fact that it resist the heat till 200 degrees Celsius makes it even more interesting now to bake with. 

*Tip*
For an extra almond flavour, add 1 tsp of ALMOND ESSENCE



8 May 2016

TANGY LEMON AND THYME TART



I use a 23cm pie tray...

FOR THE PASTRY BASE:
220 GR PLAIN FLOUR 
50 GR ICING SUGAR
110GR COLD DICED BUTTER
1 MEDIUM EGGS

FOR THE FILLING:
4 MEDIUM EGGS
100 GR CASTER SUGAR
75GR MELTED BUTTER
1 LIME
4 LEMONS
A SPRINKLE OF FRESH THYME (1/2 TSP)

Make a shortcrust with the "BASE" ingredients and store in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

Pre-heat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius, add a metal baking sheet on the grid of your oven.

Roll the dough flat between 2 sheets of cling film or on a floured surface. Lay in the pie tray, push the pastry in the corners and leave it to go over the dish. Spike with a folk the base of the tart. 

In a jar, mix FIRST sugar and eggs till homogeneous... add the zest and juice of all the lemons, melt butter and lime. Add the thyme, mix.

Place the tart on the hot baking sheet in the oven and pour the liquids gently in the middle of the pastry.

Bake for 40 minutes. Gently roll the pin on the edges to get rid of the excess pastry (while it's still warm, it's easier)

Leave it to cool down before eating.


*Note*
It's not your conventional custard-like filling, this one has more consistency and texture to it.

28 April 2016

MY ITALIAN TEA CAKE

Definitely feeling Italiano today!...

Super quick to make yet so delicious and delicate... Let the smell invade your kitchen while you bake it (with some Italian music in the background: "O Sole Mio"...)





I use a 23x32cm baking tray:
170GR BUTTER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
150GR CASTER SUGAR
GRATED ZESTS OF 2 LEMONS
1TBSP OF BITTER ALMOND EXTRACT  ( Called "French Almond" at Sainsbury's )
3 LARGE EGGS
170GR FLOUR
10GR BAKING POWDER
A HANDFUL OF FLAKED ALMONDS
ICING SUGAR FOR DUSTING

Pre heat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius. Line the baking tray with a large sheet of parchment, going up the sides.

In a food processor:
Mix sugar ,  butter and lemon zest for 3 minutes until really white and fluffy. Add 1 egg, 1 TBSP of flour, then one egg etc... the almond extract and finally the baking powder.



Transfer the mix onto the baking tray and even up the surface with a palette knife. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.




Bake for 20 minutes. Leave it to cool down.


Then... Using a BREAD knife, cut strips of 3cm lengthwise (I use my palette knife as a guide) and the same in the width, it forms little 3x3cm squares .
Dust with icing sugar.

Perfect companion with an expresso, or serve as a naughty after meal treat with a shot of this amazing CREMA DI MANDORLA (a Marsala flavoured with almond)







PASTA WITH FRESH TOMATO SAUCE

FEELING ITALIANO TODAY?...

The secret: the simplicity of the ingredients but with top quality.

You will NEVER buy "already made" tomato sauce ever again after trying this... Not that you did before anyway!!!




SERVES 2:
200 GR FRESH PASTA (OF YOUR CHOICE)
500GR PLUM CHERRY TOMATOES, nice and ripe
1 CLOVE OF GARLIC
A HANDFUL OF FRESH BASIL LEAVES
A HANDFUL OF FRESHLY CHOPPED PARSLEY
SALT
FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
OLIVE OIL

TOPPING:
PARMESAN
FEW SPARE BASIL LEAVES

Prepare the ingredients. Chop the herbs, cut the garlic in quarters, cut the tomatoes in halves. 


Put some water in a saucepan with salt to cook the pasta.
Put a frying pan on the hob (NO HEAT) , add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic... THEN switch on the hob to a medium heat. 
Put the pasta in the boiling water. 

When the garlic is bubbling, sizzling, add the tomatoes, the herbs and season with salt and fresh pepper. Bring the heat up. Toss the tomatoes for no longer than 5 minutes. Discard the garlic.


When "al dente", drain the pasta and add them to the sauce for another 2 minutes... they will absorb the juice and get a lovely flavour. 

Serve with parmesan shavings, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a basil leave. 


*TIP*
I keep few whole tomatoes because it looks nice
If you can, get tomatoes with different colours... once again, just aesthetic! 



9 February 2016

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


4 November 2015

LOLO's FRUIT CAKE

Because Xmas is coming... but do you really need an excuse to make and devour my fruit cake?!



I use a 20x10cm cake tin.

225GR SULTANAS
75ML AMARETTO LIQUOR
JUICE OF 1 ORANGE
1 TBP SUGAR

2 EGGS
130GR BUTTER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
70GR SUGAR
250 GR SELF RAISING FLOUR
ZEST OF 1 ORANGE
30ML AMARETTO (yes, more!!!)

COUPLE OF TABLE SPOONS OF DEMERARA SUGAR
ICING SUGAR FOR TOPPING
GROUND MIXED SPICES (SPRINKLE)

Preparation:
In a saucepan on a high heat, mix sultanas, sugar, Amaretto and the juice of an orange. Bring to a boil for 1 minute then transfer onto a large baking tray to cool down.

When the sultanas are cold:
Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
Use 20gr of the flour to sprinkle over the top of the sultana to lightly coat them. This will stop them from going at the bottom of the cake when baking.

Butter the cake tin and sprinkle the surfaces with demerara sugar.

Make the batter:
Mix the zest of the orange, eggs and sugar, then the 230gr of remaining flour, the amaretto, finish by adding the sultanas WITH THEIR REMAINING SYRUP. Mix it all. 

Pour into the tin... sprinkle more Demerara sugar on top. 

Bake:
10 minutes at 200 degrees
then 50 minutes at 160 degrees.

Check that it is cooked in the middle with the blade of a knife. It should come out dry.

Leave it to cool down before dusting with icing sugar and adding a pinch of ground Mixed Spices on top for that Xmassy note!

*note*
It's one of those cakes that actually taste better the next day... if you can way!


3 November 2015

LOLO's MADEIRA CAKE

So simple, yet SOOOOO good!



I use a 24cm round cake tin.

250GR BUTTER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
150GR SUGAR
200GR SELF RAISING FLOUR
50GR SEMOLINA + MORE FOR SPRINKLING ON TOP
GRATED ZEST OF 2 ORANGES + 1 LEMON

ICING SUGAR FOR DUSTING

Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius - Line the bottom of the tin with parchment.

In a food processor (or a large bowl): cream the butter and sugar till white and fluffy.
Then add all the ingredients in one go and mix till homogeneous.

Transfer to the tin, sprinkle semolina on top of the cake and bake for 35-40 minutes (or till a knife blade comes out of the cake dry).

Leave it to cool down before taking out of the tin.

Sprinkle a bit a icing sugar on top at the end.


11 October 2015

CLAM & CHORIZO PASTA

This is especially for my friend Neil to try ! 




Serves 4:
"1KG SOMETHING" OF CLAM, OR MORE IF YOU WANT
200G DICED CHORIZO
3 LARGE SCALLION SHALLOTS
1 TIN OF CHOPPED TOMATOES
150ML OF RED WINE
40ML OF WATER
A HANDFUL OF FRESH PARSLEY + SOME FOR SERVING
400-500G OF SQUID INK SPAGHETTI or NORMAL ONES(!)
A DRIZZLE OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Prepare the sauce:
In a large sauteed pan, on a medium heat, add the diced chorizo. NO FAT. Add the finely chopped shallots. Give it a stir and cook until the shallots have softened.
Add the chopped tomatoes then chopped parsley, the red wine and the water. Lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until it thickens and becomes luscious.
DO NOT season with salt.



In the meantime, bring some water with salt to a boil for the pasta.
Remember, the rule of thumb is 1-10-100
1liter if water
10gr of salt
for 100r of pasta

Add the pasta and cook till "al dente".

As you cook the pasta, rinse the clam in a colander.

Bring the heat up under the sauce, put the clams onto the sauce. Lid on. Stir gently from time to time until they are all fully open.

Add the drained pasta to the sauce when they are done. Shake to coat the pasta with the sauce.

Serve. Finish with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and freshly chopped parsley on each plate.

*tips*
- I prefer when there's plenty of clams and not too much pasta... but you can do your own version!
- You can make the tomato-chorizo base in advance and store it in the fridge.

26 September 2015

LEEK AND SAINT AGUR QUICHE

Ok, let's face it... making a quiche is NOT a quick job as my friend Sian D. would say if you want to make it properly! But it tastes so good!
Follow every single step for the perfect quiche->



I USE A 24cm PIE TRAY:

FOR THE DOUGH:
250 GR PLAIN FLOUR
120GR BUTTER
A GOOD PINCH OF SALT
SPRINKLE OF THYME (OPTIONAL)
1 MEDIUM EGG

1 EGG FOR BRUSHING

FOR THE FILLING:
300ML SINGLE CREAM
3 MEDIUM EGGS
2 to 3 LEEKS
A SMALL KNOB OF BUTTER
75GR "SAINT AGUR" BLUE CHEESE
50GR EMMENTAL CHEESE
A SPRINKLE OF PINE NUTS
FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
A PINCH OF SALT

Every step is essential!

Make the dough:
With the tip of your fingers (or in a food processor), mix flour, salt, thyme and butter until it ressembles to bread crumbs. Then add the egg and mix with one hand until it forms a dough. Wrap in cling film and store in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Butter and flour the pie tray.

Lay a large sheet of cling film on your working surface. Put the dough on it and cover with another large sheet of cling film on top.
Roll flat with a rolling pin. Make sure the size is big enough for the tray.

The cling film will DEFINITELY make the whole process easy and not messy.

Peel the top sheet off. Gently lift the dough (with the other side covered with cling film) onto the pie tray - CLING FILM ON TOP. Push the dough into the edges of the pie tray. Take off the cling film.






Cook the base:
Spike the surface with a folk. Cover with greaseproof paper, add beans on the base. THEN:

1- Cook for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

In the meantime, in a large pan, melt a small knob of butter and on a medium heat, add the sliced leeks. Let them soften for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool down.

2- Remove the greaseproof paper and beans - Cook another 10 minutes

3- Take out of the oven and brush the whole surface and sides -  GENTLY - with the beaten egg.
It will seal the base so it doesn't get a soggy bottom. Cook for another 10 minutes.



Whisk the 3 eggs and single cream with the freshly ground pepper. Scatter the leeks and diced Saint Agur blue cheese on the base, cover with the egg/cream mix. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper, Emmental cheese and pine nuts.

Cook for  another 40 minutes. When it comes out of the oven, roll a rolling pin around the edges of the quiche to get rid of the excess dough and make it neater.

Done! A labour of love and dedication... but it tastes amazing!

Serve warm or cold with a gorgeous salad.

*note*
From this you can make any QUICHE... with the filling of your choice. The technic should always be the same.
If you want to make QUICHE LORRAINE ( this is for my friend Lucilla ) - Pan fry the lardon first and add them to the quiche with 100gr Emmental cheese only.

I like vegetable quiches too... just give them a QUICK toss in olive oil first so they develop taste and soften.

I like roasted tomatoes quiche: I bake the tomatoes with olive oil and bake them on a tray in the oven for 20 minutes and let them cool down before adding the egg/cream mix and loads of Emmental.

Be creative!






14 August 2015

CHOCOLATE MUFFINS




MAKES 12:
170GR PLAIN CHOCOLATE
120GR BUTTER 
3 XL EGGS
PINCH OF SALT
120GR SUGAR
100GR PLAIN FLOUR 
2 TSP BAKING POWDER
ZEST OF 2 ORANGES (OPTIONAL)

DEMERARA SUGAR FOR TOPPING

Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Line the muffin tray with paper muffin cases. 

In a thick bottomed saucepan, on a very low heat, melt the butter and chocolate. Set aside when done to cool down.

Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt. Then in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with sugar and orange zest , then add flour, baking powder, the melted chocolate and give it a good mix.

Fold the chocolate mix with the egg whites and distribute into the cases. 

Sprinkle a generous amount of demerara sugar on top. 

Bake for 20 minutes. Easy yet delicious! 





30 July 2015

1.2.3. SHORTBREAD

Easiest recipe for perfect shortbread and easy to remember too!


MAKES 2 TRAYS:
100GR SUGAR
200GR DICED BUTTER
300GR PLAIN FLOUR

ZEST OF 1 ORANGE
ZEST OF 2 LEMONS


Mix sugar, the zests and flour, then rub in the butter to form a dough. 
Lay a sheet of cling film on your working surface. 
With the dough, form a sausage and wrap it in the cling film. Tighten the edges so the dough is firmly squeezed inside the film.

Store in the fridge for 2 hours. 

Pre-heat the oven at 190 degrees Celsius and prepare 2 trays, lined with parchment. 

Take the dough out of the fridge, unwrap it. Cut slices of 1cm thickness. Bake for about 18-20 minutes  or until golden.

Leave them to cool down before eating.

I like the "rustic look" of them , so I do not put any glazing, icing sugar or else on them... but you can!


*Tip*
Easy to remember: 1.2.3. or any multiple of that if you want a bigger batch and freeze it in its sausage shape!

21 July 2015

BLANCHETTE

Discovered it on Saturday while walking in the streets of Soho in London... I found the decor quite quirky and interesting and was really amazed and was immediately drawn to it.






It's a French Tapas Restaurant. Nothing French about "tapas" you're going to say ... but Wow they nailed it, or should I say "Houlala"...

It's not until you get your plates that you realise how beautiful the experience is: amazingly presented with an explosion of flavours in every plate... Some of them, to be honest, we ordered twice because it was so good!
Do get the lamb dish, it's one of their signature dish and you always find it on the menu.

On the top of that, the service was very attentive, nice and fast. Needless to say that some of the staff is French and extremely good looking, of course... Who doesn't like an eye candy?! Am I being chauvinistic? Hahaha , maybe.

Anyway, DO try it, it is a beautiful experience.

PS: check out by the wall paper in the mens toilets!








Check out their website:
http://www.blanchettesoho.co.uk

9 D'arblay Street 
London
W1F 8DR
0207439 8100





1 July 2015

SIMPLY CHOCOLATEY CAKEY



I use a 23cm round cake tin:
150GR PLAIN CHOCOLATE
150GR BUTTER
2 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
4 EGGS
A PINCH OF SALT
150GR BROWN MUSCADO SUGAR
100GR SELF RAISING FLOUR

COCOA POWDER  FOR DUSTING

Pre-heat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius - butter and flour the cake tin and cut out a disc of parchment  to put at the bottom of the tin.

In a thick bottomed saucepan, on a very low heat source, melt the butter and the chocolate with the vanilla extract. Take off the heat as soon as it starts to melt. 

In the meantime, whisk the eggs white with a pinch of salt, until firm. 

Separately, whisk sugar and egg yolks until creamy. 

Add the chocolate to the sugar/egg mix and mix in with the flour. Then fold in the egg whites.


Transfer to the baking tin and cook for 35 minutes. 

Leave it to cool on a cooling tray before dusting with a good layer of cocoa powder.

*tips*
You can have it plain and chocolatey as it is, but you can also flavour it with Rum, orange zest, lemon zest, almond extract and flaked almond inside... 

*Note*
I suggest you make it the day before as it tastes even better the next day... if you can wait !?

STRAWBERRY AND ORANGE SORBET


Made in minutes with a tangy orange taste... Perfect with some chocolate cake!




400-450 GR STRAWBERRIES
1 ORANGE
1 LEMON
70ML OF ORANGE LIQUOR OR COINTREAU
2 HEAP TBSP ICING SUGAR 

Previously... chop the strawberries in quarters and freeze them.

On the day: In a food processor, add the frozen strawberries, the sugar, liquor, juice of a lemon, zest and pulp of the orange (without the white skin). 


Process it all until smooth. 

Taste it in case you fancy more sugar. It should be quite sweet as the sweetness disappears with the coldness when the sorbet is frozen.

Transfer into a tub and return to the freezer.

Take out of the freezer 10 minutes before serving,  give it a stir for a smoother finish.



MANGO and PASSION FRUIT SORBET




Makes a generous tub of sorbet (16x12x5cm)... enough for 1 anyway! Hahaha

2 PERFECTLY RIPE MANGO
3 PASSION FRUITS
1 PIECE OF GINGER (the size of a thumb), PEELED AND GRATED
50ML OF DARK RUM
2-3 GENEROUS TBSP OF ICING SUGAR

The day before: (or at least 5 hours before): peel and dice the mangos. Store in a tub and put in the freezer.

On the day:
In the food processor, put the pieces of frozen mango (make sure they are not stuck as one block!)
Squeeze in the pulp from the passion fruits, add the Rum, the icing sugar and the grated ginger.

Blend for a good 3 minutes or until smooth. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. Return the sorbet to the freezer inside the tub for a good 2 hours.

Take the sorbet out of the freezer 10 minutes before serving.

*note*
LUSCIOUS meets CONSCIOUS (well, almost... but it's the weekend treat!)

15 June 2015

TARTE TATIN

"Un classic" ... and not difficult to make at all.



I use a 22cm round cake tin (bottom NOT removable):
A ROLL OF "ALL BUTTER" PUFF PASTRY
12 TO 14 GRANNY SMITH APPLES (for the best result)
200GR CASTER SUGAR
20GR BUTTER


AND THAT'S ALL! 

Step 1:
In a saucepan on a high heat, add 160 grammes of sugar with a tablespoon of water. Let the sugar dissolve. Make a caramel. DON'T let it burn, you need a nice toffee colour, not a dark brown. 
KEEP AN EYE on it, don't stir it with a spoon. 

In the meantime, de-core and peel the apples. Cut them in halves. 
With the puff pastry, cut a disk the size of the cake tin, using it as a guide. Spike the pastry evenly with a folk, make a whole in the centre (about 1cm diameter) and put it back in the fridge. 

Butter the cake tin. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. 

When the Caramel is done, pour it in the cake tin. Then put all the 1/2 apples, standing up in the tin. Put as much as you can squeeze in!!! 
Generously rub the soften butter on top and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. 

Put in the oven for 45 minutes. 

Step 2:
Take the apples out of the oven, cover with the disk of puff pastry, push the edges down on the sides. 
Return in the oven for another 30-35 minutes. 


Leave it to cool down.

Just before serving, put the tin directly on the hob on medium heat until you hear it bubbles. Run the blade of a knife around the edges. 
Fip the Tarte Tatin on a large plate and serve with ice cream or a spoon of crême fraiche. 



12 May 2015

WARM TOMATO SALAD

Still inspired by the flavours of the Amalfi coast and the beautiful tomatoes from my Vegetable shop in Crouch End ... I came up with this recipe.
Have it hot, warm or cold... as a side dish with everything that you like... or even in a sandwich on a fresh piece of warm bread with a slice of Brie!

Easy, full of flavours.





I use a large shallow LE CREUSET dish ( about 30cm) but any baking tray will do:
ABOUT 8 TOMATOES, DIFFERENT QUALITIES, SIZES and COLOURS
FRESH THYME -  6 STALKS
FRESH ROSEMARY - 4 STALKS
3 BAY LEAVES
4 GARLIC GLOVES - NOT PEELED
SEA SALT
COARSE BLACK PEPPER
OLIVE OIL
GOOD BALSAMIC VINEGAR
10 BASIL LEAVES

Pre-heat the oven at 210 degrees Celsius. 

Cut the tomatoes in halves and quarters, not necessarily in the same directions, according to their shapes: go side ways, length ways, width ways! 
Lay them on the baking tray or dish. 

Sprinkle with fresh thyme, rosemary, add the bay leaves and scatter the gloves of garlic unpeeled .

 


Generously drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes or until nicely roasted. 
Even if served as a side dish, let it cool down for a couple of minutes before serving. Discard the garlic if you want. 

Only at this stage, season with sea salt and coarse pepper. 
Add the roughly chopped fresh leaves of basil on top, a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. 

I suggest to serve them in the dish for a more authentic / vintage look! 







11 May 2015

PIZZA EAST




Since "LOLO GOES ITALIANO" this month, I want to recommend one of my favourite PIZZA place in London. Situated in the heart of trendy Shoreditch: PIZZA EAST. 

They have an unusual selection of pizza, changing regularly and they are cooked in a wood oven. The crust has a layer of semolina at the bottom, which makes it extra crunchy. 
One of my favourite is the AUBERGINE PIZZA because of the delicious smoked mozzarella they use on it. 

The place is big but trendy, so it gets full quite quickly... so I do recommend to book. 

If you don't get a table, please eat at the bar, it is actually my favourite spot as you oversee the whole room, sitting on high stools with style.


and don't be upset if you don't live "in the hood"  as they also have a restaurant on Portobello and Kentish town.








P IS FOR PIZZA! 



PIZZA EAST
56 SHOREDITCH HIGH STREET
LONDON E1 6JJ

020 7729 1888


1 May 2015

"MADONNA LASAGNA"

Inspired by the latest 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.