Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Head full of Bs

Now that’s made me think of honey. No it’s not a front runner, I can live without honey. I like bees though but maybe that’s for another post!

My, what a lot of Bs I have on my list.

- I can happily have bacon wrapped around most things but small new potatoes works for me every time
- Bacon sandwich – on white bread with butter, not margarine, with some HP sauce but not enough to dribble down my clothes. I may have to add an egg to this!
- Salmon and bacon are a perfect marriage so a lightly smoked thick cut fillet of salmon from Waitrose seared in pan alongside snipped pieces of bacon and served drizzled with the fabulous Extrapesto olive oil.

- I adore pesto so maybe I start with that. And if I can’t be bothered getting out the mortar and pestle Harvey Nix do a very fine job!
- I think I have the finest olive oil in the world – Extrapesto, and will quite happily drizzle it on most things, so I probably have some salady thing.
- I need to experiment with basil desserts, may an ice cream or with a lemon posset

- Wellington, of course! My preference is for individual but the family sized ‘Moo’ was a triumph!
- A gorgeous pepper steak maybe with Béarnaise sauce also. Either served with skinny chips or mash or gratin daupinoise, no don’t get me started.
- The breadless burger that Henry Harris advocates – two large field mushrooms wrapped a fine steak burger topped with Cheddar, melted slightly and as he was advocating this in an Atkin’s style, I guess I’d forgo the potatoes and have nice green salad with a very fine French vinaigrette.

- Toast! No I can’t just do toast but maybe I could resurrect the Welsh Rarebit. I recall a Gary Rhodes recipe where you make a veritable vat of the cheesy sauce and use it to top bread, fish and a myriad of other delights
- A soft crust still warm from the oven cheese, bacon and onion bread – mmmmm, bread!
- I like the old James Martin recipe where you make the bread dough and not bothering to prove it, roll it through the pasta machine and then top with rock salt or pepper or herbs and then bake it. When baked, you can snap it into pleasing shards to accompany pâté.

- When I thought of Brie, I thought of baking it in a box. If this doesn’t work I’ll have to change it to Brie and Camembert as I need this recipe in my book! But I think Brie would work very well sloshed with wine and the box placed in foil and cooked. Maybe I could get some of the ‘special’ Chez Gerard French bread to dip into it
- I have a very yummy recipe for Brie melting in risotto – another fine marriage!
- And even though I‘d be perfectly happy with a fine Brie de Meaux with bread (again!), I have also had a lovely filo tart with bacon, brie, leeks and mussels.

Brussels sprouts
I used to make it my yearly challenge to convert some sprout non-believers at my Christmas meal and I was generally very successful!
- A much applauded dish was sprouts boiled and halved and sautéed with orange juice, a fine accompaniment to the goose many years ago
- Brussels and bacon and sploshed with Balsamic. Oh no Balsamic, how could I leave that off my list? No, there’s no room for any more Bs. Bzzzzzzzzz
- I haven’t put cabbage on the list even though it’s one of my favourites and as cabbage is really just a big sprout so my favourite cabbage steamed in a tiny bit of water and glazed with butter which have to make ‘the book’

- Beurre Blanc – made WITHOUT white wine and definitely WITH white wine vinegar – I’m sorry, insist.
- A fabulous crumby little sable biscuit would be in order. I normally like to make my sables in interesting shapes and I am gathering a goodly set of cutters now so there’s much chance for experimentation. I have my eye on a crab cutter and as soon as I think of a reason that I’d need to turn out a pile of perfectly formed crab-ettes, I will add it to the collection.
- Merrilees Parker has a very interesting recipe to make butter from double cream which would definitely be worth an investigation

Butternut Squash
- Butternut squash has such a pleasing colour and texture for soup so a favourite will always be roasted butternut squash soup with bits of crunchy bacon crumbled on top
- Butternut squash goes so well in ravioli with sage and butter sauce
- I’ve got an interesting recipe for squash and risotto formed into cakes around a ball of mozzarella and pan fried. As yet untried but obviously if I went ahead with ‘my book’ I would thoroughly and assiduously eat my way through all the recipes – in the name of research of course!

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