Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday Kitchen delights

I thought there was a couple of attention-grabbing recipes on Saturday Kitchen this morning. Daniel Galmiche's Beef, asparagus and mangetout stir fry sounded interesting though a little Asian in style for me and even though he said this was the first English asparagus I am really surprised and would love to know where you can get English asparagus in March? I think my rare beef salad looked even tastier, I think I prefer the taste when you cook the fillet steak whole and then slice it as it is juicier and can be rarer. I guess those who like their beef well done (M perhaps?) would prefer the stir fried version which I can often find a little dry.

Nick Nairn’s recipe for Chocolate orange cups sounds another great little chocolate treat to have on file. I was trying to decide why I object to the layer of double cream on top so much when I have no objection to the cream inside the dessert itself. And I can only think of some school milk related trauma which now means I can never drink just milk or cream without thinking of trying desperately to ingest the school milk that had been forced upon me that was always too warm and hence in my mind too creamy. I really hated it and just the smell always made me feel nauseous. Unfortunately this has stayed with me and when I get the double cream out of the fridge and sniff it to see if it’s still okay to use I always think it smells off even when it’s completely fresh. And my stomach turns and I’m right back in a plasticene smelling classroom wondering how to avoid the little bottle of milk that has been sitting in its crate for hours surrounded by sweaty schoolchildren. Yuck!

When I had milk at home the top of the milk was always quickly grabbed by someone who liked it way better than me and actually considered it a treat. But at other houses I’d watch someone shake the milk bottle up to mix the milk with the gold top and feel very queasy.

There used to be an advert to encourage milk drinking way before the milk moustaches became popular, I think it was for Unigate and the strapline was “watch out, watch out there’s a Humphrey about!”.

Humphrey was a red and white striped straw that would drink your milk if you weren’t quick enough and you could get various Humphrey merchandise including these stickers shown above. But that was back when I could drink milk, though only fridge cold and of course with the creamy gold top vanished before it got to me.

So here is Nick’s recipe, I guess all you cream lovers out there will enjoy the Drambruie cream topping, I’ll have to think of an alternative or have mine au natural.

Chocolate orange cups with Drambuie cream
by Nick Nairn from Saturday Kitchen
Serves 4-6
Preparation time less than 30 mins - Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

For the chocolate cups
125ml/4½fl oz whole milk
125ml/4½fl oz double cream
175g/6oz orange-flavoured dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 free-range egg

For the cream
125ml/4½fl oz double cream
3 tbsp Drambuie (or liqueur of your choice)
50g/2oz chocolate, sliced into shards

1. For the chocolate cups, place the milk and cream into a large pan over a medium heat and very slowly bring it to the boil.

2. Place the chocolate into a liquidiser. Once the milk and cream has just come to the boil, add it to the chocolate and leave to stand and cool slightly for a minute.

3. Place the lid onto the blender, remove the centre plug on the lid and cover the hole with a clean tea towel. (This will stop the steam forcing the lid off.)

4. Blend the chocolate and the hot milk and cream together (the heat of the milk mixture should melt the chocolate in about 30 seconds).

5. Crack the egg into the blender and blend again for 45 seconds.

6. Divide the chocolate mixture between 4-6 espresso cups or small glass ramekins. Transfer to a tray and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours to set.

7. For the cream, place the cream and whisky liqueur into a bowl and gently whisk until very soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.

8. To serve, spoon the cream over the top of each chocolate cup and top with a few shards of chocolate.

At the end of this week's show James made the following very tasty looking dish for his guest’s “heaven” recipe and I thought yes, I should make that sometime and at exactly the same moment M had the thought that I could whip this up on my next visit. I thoroughly agree, this looks like another classic risotto recipe despite Nick Nairn and Daniel Galmiche thinking that James was cheating by adding the mascarpone. They said that if you stir your risotto for long enough you don't need it but it all looked good to me.

Smoked haddock and leek risotto with roasted smoked haddock and parsley oil
by James Martin from Saturday Kitchen
Serves 4
Preparation time less than 30 mins Cooking time 30
mins to 1 hour

For the risotto
1 litre/1¾ pints fish stock
25g/1oz butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 leeks, thickly sliced
250g/9oz Arborio rice
50ml/2fl oz dry white wine
225g/8oz undyed smoked haddock, cooked, skin removed, flaked
75g/3oz mascarpone
110g/4oz parmesan, grated
4 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the roasted haddock
50g/2oz butter
4 x 110g/4oz undyed smoked haddock f
illets, skin removed

For the parsley oil
1 small bunch flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
110ml/4fl oz extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

2. For the risotto, place the fish stock into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer.

3. Meanwhile, melt half of the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat, then add the shallot, garlic and leek and cook for a few minutes until softened but not coloured.

4. Add the rice and cook for a minute, stirring well to coat the rice in the butter.

5. Add the wine, bring to the boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.

6. Gradually add the warm fish stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring until the liquid is completely absorbed by the rice, before adding the next ladleful. Repeat this process until nearly all of the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked but still al dente.

7. Add the flaked cooked haddock and stir to combine.

8. Add the remaining butter, the mascarpone, parmesan and parsley and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

9. For the roasted haddock, melt the butter in a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat. Add the haddock fillets and fry for one minute on each side, then transfer to the oven to roast for 6-8 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

10. For the parsley oil, place the parsley and olive oil into a food processor and blend until smooth. Place a sieve over a bowl and pour the parsley oil into the sieve. Press through the sieve to collect the bright green parsley oil.

11. To serve, place a spoonful of risotto into the centre of each plate and top with a piece of the roasted haddock. Spoon the parsley oil around the plate and serve.

No comments: