Tuesday, 28 July 2009

This weeks du jour........

Secretts farm beetroot salad with pickled coleslaw and bourban spiced almonds

River trout "muit cuit", poached red onion, baby sorrel leaves and a broad bean veloute

Loin of Hampshire Down lamb with roasted garlic panisse,
braised chickpea beignet and ras el hanout

Nanny Williams blue goats cheese with apricot chutney and black pepper croquant

Sunday, 26 July 2009

For those who love to bake

I got sent this e mail the other day........interesting reading......apparent true story

A little background:

Neiman-Marcus, if you don't know already, is a very expensive boutique
shop (they sell a typical $8.00 T-shirt for $50.00)

My daughter and I had just finished lunch at a Neiman-Marcus Cafe in
Dallas , USA . Because both of us are such biscuit lovers, we decided to
try the 'Neiman-Marcus cookie'. It was so excellent that I asked if they
would give me the recipe. The waitress said with a small frown, 'I'm
afraid not, but you can buy the recipe.'

I asked how much, and she responded; 'Only two fifty - it's a great

I agreed to that, and told her to add it to my bill.

Thirty days later, I got my Visa statement, and the Neiman-Marcus charge
was $285. I looked at it again, and I remembered I had only spent $9.95
for two sandwiches and about $20 for a scarf. At the bottom of the
statement, it said, 'Cookie Recipe - $250.00'. That was outrageous!

I called Neiman's Accounting Department and told them the waitress had
said it was 'two fifty', which clearly does not mean 'two hundred and
fifty dollars' by any reasonable interpretation of the phrase.
Neiman-Marcus refused to budge. They would not refund my money because
according to them; 'What the waitress told you is not our problem. You
have already seen the recipe. We absolutely will not refund your money.

I explained to the Accounting Department lady the criminal statutes
which govern fraud in the state of Texas . I threatened to report them to
the Better Business Bureau and The Texas Attorney General's office. I
was basically told: Do what you want. Don't bother thinking of how you
can get even, and don't bother trying to get any of your money back'

I said, OK, you've got my $250, and now I'm going to have $250 worth of
fun. I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover in
the world with an e-mail account gets a $250 cookie recipe from
Neiman-Marcus for free. She replied, 'I wish you wouldn't do that.' I
said, 'Well, perhaps you should have thought of that before you RIPPED
ME OFF!' and slammed down the phone.

So here it is! Please pass it on to everyone you can possibly think of.
I paid $250 for this, and I don't want Neiman-Marcus to EVER make
another penny from this recipe!

NEIMAN-MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may be halved as this makes heaps)

2 (500 ml) cups butter
680 g chocolate chips
4 (1000 ml) cups flour
2 (500 ml) cups brown sugar
2 tsp. (10 ml) Bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
2 (500 ml) cups sugar
500 g Grated Cadbury chocolate
5 (1250 ml) cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp. (10 ml) baking powder
2 tsp. (10 ml) vanilla
3 cups (375 ml) chopped nuts (optional)

Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the
butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour,
oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda. Add chocolate
chips, grated Chocolate and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches
apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees (180 C).

The above quantities make 112 cookies. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Taste of Hampshire menu

This is a poached Haines farm duck egg wrapped in potato sitting on duck leg confit, cauliflower puree and shavings of fresh truffle.
Pan seared Lymington seabream with braised bulgar wheat, caramelised carrot
and a cumin and coriander yoghurt sauce
Organic fillet of Laverstoke Park beef, summer bean canneloni, roasted onion knodel and a fresh pea froth
Warm Tornegus cheese cake with poached grapes and candied walnut

Pork trio

This is a trio of pork that i had on the menu last week. There is a roasted and glazed belly sitting on puy lentils, sous vide poached loin topped with a grated red beetroot ball, braised shoulder with pan roasted apricot, candy beet and crackling.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Feeling cheesey

Here are a couple of cheese courses ive tried recently. Both dishes worked well in their own right with the garnishes given.

This is a light goats cheese which is creamed and dipped in a fresh sweetened peach puree with the addition of kappa. It is sitting on a hazlenut sponge cake. The cheese is studded with lemon thyme blossoms. There is a peach jelly dice, fresh peach and a chamomile fluid gel as a garnish and it is finished with some drizzles of Acacia honey.

This is a more robust offering with a strong blue cheese rolled in cherry granola and served with spiced cherry juice.

Here is the recipe for the hazlenut sponge:

Hazlenut sponge

375g Eggs

200g Sugar

250g Milk

325g Cake flour

150g Ground hazlenuts

40g Baking powder

150g Olive oil

150g Hazlenut oil

200g Warm vegetable stock

1) Pre- heat an oven to 325F(160C).

2) Cream together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.

3) Add the oils and mix well.

4) Add half of the milk and then half of the cake flour, almond flour and baking powder mix, then the rest of the milk, then the rest of the flour mix and lightly whisk out any lumps.

5) Grease the bottom of a half hotel pan and line it with parchment paper.

6) Add the cake mix and bake in the oven for 30 mins.

7) After the 30 mins is up turn the heat down to 300F and bake for a further 5 mins.

8) Remove the cake from the oven and prick the cake with holes, and slowly pour on the chicken stock covering the cake.

10) Leave out for 45 mins to allow the cake to absorb the chicken stock.

11) Wrap the cake and chill until needed.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Bacon, egg and chips

This is the starter on my du jour menu this week. The duck egg is cooked in a small shot glass and gently steamed until the egg white has set and the yolk is still runny. The flavours here work well together with the salty bacon, sweet syrup, rich duck egg, bitter micro celery and earthy asparagus compote. Received good comments from the restaurasnt so far. It is playful and suprising when the egg is cut into.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Croustillant of Golden Cross goats cheese with candied tomato, fennel and pickled watermelon rind

Here is a dish i have had my du jour menu this week. The cheese is an unpasteuriesd goats cheese from Sussex, which is rolled in oak ash and then matured. It is whipped with a little creme fraiche. The tube is made with rice papper which is deep fried to make it crisp. The cheese itself has hints of macadamia nut and burnt caramel on the palette. It eats nicely with the sweetness of the tomato being tempered by the tartness of the watermelon rind, leaving an aroma from the fennel to round it off. Garnish is some small fennel fronds.