Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentines Day

As usual Nigel cooked a special meal for our Valentine's day, main and a pudding.  Steak is not something we have very often. So today he did Sirloin marinated in soy and garlic accompanied with a potato fritter/croquette, grilled tomato and mushrooms in a creamy garlic sauce.  All very yum, but the pudding was to die for a chocolate and coconut tart served with whipped cream Hmmmmmmm.

For those who may wish to try this you will need:

1 x 230g pate brisee (ready rolled short crust pastry) or ready cooked  8 - 9" flan case
300ml creme fraiche
200ml coconut milk/cream
400g plain chocolate
2 whole eggs plus 1 yolk
8 tbls dessicated coconut
pinch of salt (about 1/4 tsp)

whipped cream to serve.

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C

2. Line a 8 - 9" flan case with the pastry, prick the bottom, cover with grease proof paper, fill with cooking beans and cook for 20 -25 minutes.  Remove the beans and return to the oven for another 5 - 10 mins.  The pastry case should be a light golden colour but cooked as there is no more real cooking.

3. Place a bowl over a pan of simmering water, make sure the bowl does not touch the water, break the chocolate into the bowl and melt.  Once melted stir in 4 - 6 tbls of dessicateed coconut.  Leave the bowl over the pan of water but remove from the heat.

4.  While the chocolate is melting mix the creme fraiche, coconut milk and salt in a second pan.  heat gently but do not boil.

5.  Beat the eggs and whisk gently in to the warmed milk/cream mixture.   When the chocolate has melted add the milk egg mix through a strainer and mix gently.  Try not to incorporate too much air, the mix needs to be firm not light and airey.

6.  Pour the chocolate mix into the flan case.  Place the flan in the pre-heated oven and cook for just 5 mins.  Turn the oven off, leaving the flan in the oven for 40 mins.  Remove the flan allow to cool then place in the fridge to chill.

7.  Sprinkle the remaining dessicated coconut over the flan and serve with whipped cream.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Another recipe


This year we have decided to try and eat more fish, so in our last shop we bought some lovely smoked haddock.  Normally he would have used a little salmon and prawns with the haddock to make a fish pie but this time Nigel went for a smoked haddock risotto.

For two:

2 fillets of smoked haddock
1 medium onion finely diced
250g frozen garden peas (defrosted)
180g risotto rice
200ml milk
1 fish or vegetable stock cube
Boiling water (approx 300ml)
125ml dry white wine
1 - 2 tbls olive oil
25g butter

In a large shallow pan heat the milk and poach the smoked haddock for 5 - 6 minutes, when cooked lift out the fish, reserving the liquid.  When cooled slighty skin, flake and remove any bones from the fish.  Dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water, add the reserved poaching liquid and make up to 500ml, pour it into a sauce pan and leave it on a low heat to keep hot.  In a second large pan, over a medium heat, heat the oil and gently fry the onion until it is soft, about 5 mins.  Add the butter and when melted add the rice, stir and cook for 5 mins, until the grains are opaque, then add the wine.  Allow the rice to absorb the wine then start adding the hot stock a ladle full at a time allowing the rice to absob the stock between each addition.  When 3/4 of the stock has been absorbed add the flaked haddock and the peas, continue to add the remainder of the stock.  Once all of the stock has been added remove from the heat and season to taste.  Serve with a green side salad and some crusty bread.

The quantity of rice and stock was taken from a recipe on the packet of risotto rice that Nigel uses