I am very proud of these, everyone says they are tricky but I had no problems, apart from the fact I saw what was going in to them (WOW) I would definitely recommend making these.

You need;
350ml semi skimmed milk
150ml whipping cream
1 bay leaf
75g unsalted butter
75g plain flour
250g mature cheddar, grated
6 large eggs, separated

1. Preheat the oven to 190c, heat the milk and cream gently with the bay leaf until the mixture simmers then take off the heat
Melt the butter in a large pan then stir in the flour, cook for about a minute. Remove the bay leaf from the milk and cream then add the liquid to the flour, slowly, whisking all the time.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes on a low heat stirring. The sauce should be very thick at this stage.
Season with salt and pepper and take off the heat.
Beat the cheese into the sauce until it melts.
Leave to cool for a bit.

2. Beat the egg yolks into the cooled sauce. In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold them into the sauce in three batches. Divide the mixture between 6 x 200ml ramekins and put them in a roasting tin. Pour boiling water into the tin to about 1cm deep. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the water.

3. To serve put a baking sheet into the oven to heat up, run a knife around the edges of the soufflés in the ramekins and reheat on the baking sheet for 20 minutes until they rise again (they wont rise as much as the first time)

carefully turn out to serve.

I served with the salad posted on Friday, some braised cabbage (recipe below) and some mushrooms, I will post that how to tomorrow.

Such a great lunch and mostly very easy.

Marmalade Braised Cabbage

Get this in before you start on the soufflés as it doesn’t need messing with and needs a long time.

1 red cabbage, shredded (800g)
1 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
25g unsalted butter cut into cubes
5 tbsp fine cut marmalade

1. preheat the oven to 180c.
In a large casserole dish with a tight fitting lid, scatter a layer of cabbage, sprinkle on some sugar and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper add some knobs of butter and dot some marmalade over. Repeat this until all ingredients are used and cover.

Again I can’t tell you exactly where this recipe is from, as it’s from my scrap-book of recipes but I think it’s from Sainsburys magazine.

Another great fruity salad combo I just know you’ll love.

You need:
1 bowl of your favourite lettuce leaves
2 red skinned apples
hazelnuts (as many as you like)
olive oil (100ml)
cider vinegar (2-3 tbsp)
pinch caster sugar
sea salt
black pepper

All you need to do for this is mix the vinegar, sugar and olive oil, season to taste and chop the apples, toast the hazelnuts and chuck it all together.

I served this with something all together more complicated which I will share with you next week.

Have a great weekend, I promise to try to cook something nice to share with you next week.

This recipe is from my cut-out scrap-book but I think was from Sainsburys magazine.

 A little recommendation for you today, I discovered these chocolates at my local farmers market recently.

I bought two, took them back to our table and ate them.

Then I bought two more to take home (including the most amazing salted caramel chocolate, the last one no less) and cursed myself for not buying more.

You should not make the same mistake, go buy some!

Amazing salted caramel… *drool*

I also tried a black cherry creme and my friend Sarah had a lime flavour chocolate

and a raspberry and white chocolate truffle

So so so good, so fresh, I have never tasted chocolates as good as this!

http://www.maisonloulouchocolates.co.uk/

Springtime Pasta

May 24, 2011

 So once again I disappeared from full as an egg, and this time I have an even better excuse than last time, if you know me or follow me on twitter this will not be news to you but I got engaged last week (yay!) see here and here for stories.

We have decided to get married before we go travelling so we had a very busy week of organising, but the majority is done now (yep, really!) and I am going to try harder!

I did manage to cook something though, a quick dinner of pasta with lots of green. This is for two, it’s a simple dish that you can adapt for more people or play about with the ingredients. I have called it Springtime Pasta purely because it has asparagus in it!

You need; per person
3 balls tagliatelle 
couple spoonfuls half fat creme fraiche
a good handful of rocket
sprinkle of toasted pine nuts
1-2 slices prosciutto
4-5 spears asparagus

Like I said so so simple, I also added some lemon zest and juice and lots of black pepper, you don’t need to cook anything expect the pasta and asparagus and then just chuck it all together.

It takes minutes and is good for you (even better if you use wholemeal pasta) and tasty because of the naughties!

Springtime Casserole

May 13, 2011

 I made this mid-week, and was very apprehensive to how it would turn out as I didn’t have some ingredients so improvised.

It was so much better than I thought it would be… give it a go it’s basically a massive pile of vegetables… and although casseroles are quite wintery this one is chock full of spring veggies so doesn’t feel wrong.

I used;
for the mini dumplings:
100g self-raising flour
50g butter at room temperature, cut in pieces
50g mature cheddar , finely grated
3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
for the casserole
3 tbsp light olive oil
4 smallish red onions, peeled and cut in half lengthways
250g maris piper potatoes , cut into large chunks
3 peeled garlic cloves , cut in half lengthways
200g chantaney carrots
1 fennel bulb cut wedges
600ml boiling vegetable stock (I used chicken as I had run out and it was great)
300g fruity white wine pinch of muscovado sugar (I used caster!)
½ tsp light soy sauce
200g green beans cut in half
1 small pack purple asparagus
250g chestnut mushrooms, cut in half
2 courgettes chopped into sticks
2 tsp cornflour
½ fresh green chilli , seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp each snipped chives and chopped parsley

1. For the dumplings, rub the flour and butter together until it becomes like breadcrumbs.Then add the cheese, parsley and salt and pepper to season, leave to one side.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan over a high heat, and add the onions. Fry for a few minutes till beginning to soften and turn brown and gold in places.
Now still working on quite a high heat, add the potatoes and watch for the same effect for about 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon and generally moving the pan about a bit.
Then add the garlic, carrots and fennel, allowing a couple of minutes between each so they get a chance to release their flavours.
Pour in the stock along with most of the wine, then stir in the sugar and soy sauce and return to the boil.
Simmer covered for 10 minutes.

3. Stir about 2 tbsp of water into the dumpling mixture to form a soft dough.
Break off small pieces and shape into balls about the size of a cherry tomato.
Add the green beans and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms, courgettes and asparagus.
Stir the cornflour into the remaining wine until it has dissolved, then stir into the casserole until it thickens.
Bring to the boil, stir well then gently place the dumplings on top.
Cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently for about 15 minutes till the dumplings have risen, and the stew is rich and thick and the vegetables deliciously tender.
Check the seasoning.

4. Mix the chilli and herbs together in a small bowl and scatter on top of the casserole.

It was actually even better the next day when I had some for lunch.

Recipe from BBC Good Food

 The Boy made these early this week for a quick dinner… they are easy and so good. I have the leftovers for my lunch today.

You need;
300g cold mashed potatoes
6 spring onions , thinly sliced
1 tbsp horseradish sauce
250g peppered mackerel fillets, skinned and flaked
2 tbsp plain flour
1 egg , beaten
85g dried breadcrumbs

1. In a mixing bowl, mix the potato, spring onions, horseradish and mackerel, then shape into 8 even-size cakes.
Roll the fish cakes in the flour and dip into the egg, then the breadcrumbs.

2. Bake the fishcakes for 10-20 minutes until cooked through. You could also grill/fry but we were being good.

We served with steamed broccoli and froze half to have another day.

Bistro la Barrique

May 11, 2011

 A little recommendation today… My Mum and I visited the Bath branch of Bistro la Barrique a couple of weeks ago. I apologise for the quality of the photos, they are from my phone.

I was debating whether to post this or not as the meal didn’t blow me away, but it was very nice and I do remember enjoying it a lot at the time so here we are…

The Bath restaurant is not in the prettiest building but once you are inside you can pretend you are in some rustic French restaurant in Provence! There is also a garden but it was too cold for us to sit there on this day.

The main reason I want to share is because the concept (a very popular one right now) is all about small plates -petit plats… so French tapas.

We had a vegetarian bean cassolet, which was very good… just the kind of thing you would eat in rural France.

Some roasted beetroot…

A goats cheese tatin, this could have been better but it was still one of my favourites of the meal

 

I had to order scallops as they are my fave, they came with black pudding (a classic combo) and a bean mash. My only criticism was that there was far too much mash for two scallops, it just looks like they were over compensating. The scallops were fresh and lovely though so I didn’t mind.

This strange looking dish was a mushroom flan, and my Mums favourite.

For pudding there was an almond cake with drunken prunes…

And a chocolate torte.

Like I say not a blow-me-away meal but tasty and quick and good value. I think we spent about £40 including a glass of wine.

Bistro la Barrique