Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Rosemary Poached Pears.

Peel the pears and place in a saucepan cover with water add sugar to taste, a sprig or two of rosemary and a slice of lemon (best to keep it to one slice so as not to over power the rosemary).
Bring to a gentle boil and turn off the heat and place the lid on the saucepan and poach for 10mins (less if using soft pears or small ones).
The resulting pears have a very subtle hint of rosemary and can be served as a desert (you can reduce the poaching liquid after removing the rosemary and lemon and use as a syrup), or served cool with a salad - they are great with smoked salmon and chicory, or with cheese.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Blackberry Mousse

A little late for picking blackberries now as we are well past Michelmas, but if you have any saved or frozen then...
Wash about 1/2 kilo of Blackberries and place the best ones to one side for decoration later.
Put the rest into a pan with a dash of water and heat gently until they release their juices.
While that is cooking prepare some gelatine (either leave or powder).
Mash the blackberries in the pan and pass them through a fine sieve into a bowl pushing through as much juice and pulp as you can with a wooden spoon.
Pour the juice into a clean pan and add a some lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)- bring to a simmer them remove from the heat and stir in the gelatine. Set aside to cool.
Mix 3 eggs in a bowl with 100g of caster sugar until mousse like and while continuing to whisk slowly add the cooled juice and then 150ml of eith creme fresh double or soured cream or a comb of either.
Pour into glasses and put in the fridge to set.
Before serving decorate with the reserved blackberries.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Blue Cheese

A Mark Hix recipe this one, and makes a great starter.
Get a selection of different types of tomatoes - cutting the larger ones into half or quarters.
Place on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, scatter over some thyme and season with salt & pepper.

Place in an oven on 120 degrees - that's gas mark 1-2 for 2-3 hours until the toms are about half their original size.
I also used tiny cherry toms and added them half way through cooking.
Remove from the oven transfer to a plate - scatter with blue cheese - I used Stilton but Blue Vinny, Basque Blue or any good blue will do.
Scatter over some torn Basil and serve.
They also store well when cooled in kilner type jars - just cover with more olive oil.