Rachel Khoo

Week 78: Navarin D’Agneau Printanier (Spring Lamb Stew)

My lover told me to make something special for Easter.  I wanted to make rabbit in honour of the Easter bunny, but that was banned.  The kill joy.

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Week 71: Canard a l’Orangina

As the title suggests, its Duck l’Orange, but with fizzy orange juice.  As the title should also suggest, this weeks meal came from Rachel Khoo again!  Hurrah! (more…)

Week 67: Poulet aux champignons avec une sauce au vin blanc

Which as we all know means Chicken and Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce. Yep, I reached for Rachel Khoo again!

Apparently this is a French classic. I dont think I’ve had it, whenever we went to France as kids The Poisoner insisted in going self catered so the only proper homemade French food I’ve had has had terrible things done to it. (more…)

Week 50: Potato and Pear Galette with Roquefort

Or as they say in France: Galette aux pommes de terre et poires avec Roquefort. Oo la la.

So right up until the moment I came to serve this I thought the worst thing to happen was that I completely forgot to buy any form of salad. How wrong could I be? This months Cheese, Please! is recipes for cheese and fruit; and after a fruitless search through the books for a hearty warming Stilton-y Pear thing I found this recipe in the Rachel Khoo book.

I didn’t read too closely at the start so didn’t notice that the Galettes are meant to be starters. To make these for four you will need 4 waxy potatoes (like Charlottes or Maris Peer), a firm pear, and 100g of Roquefort.

I’ve not been able to find normal potato sized waxy potatoes round here, they all seem to be salad sized, so for this you might need 8 -10 smaller ones, which will be a pain to peel. They were definitely a pain to peel.

Pre-heat the oven to 180c, peel the potatoes and cut into 2mm thick slices and peel the pear and cut it into small cubes. Lay the slices out onto a paper-lined tray to make rectangles with the layers overlapping… If that makes sense? Sprinkle the pear cubes over the rectangles and then crumble the Roquefort over the top.  Bake for 20 minutes.

galette2

I’m not entirely sure where I went wrong. I am pretty bad at getting grease proof paper the right way up (like every single time) and I might have also turned the oven down a bit too far (stupid fan oven, who’s bright idea was that?), but the end result was that I served them stuck to the paper… Just like in all the best houses in France.

galette3

So to sum up; ignore the paper, imagine some salad, and I’m not sure what the foam is. Et Voila!

Bear in mind when I started making this my lover was very philosophical and said ‘oh well rubbish crisps are the worst that could happen’ which changed to ‘hurry up I could eat a scabby horse’ when he saw it… I’m not entirely sure I’d make it again – it’d probably be much nicer if I’d got it a bit crispier. The flavours were good though.

galette4

I thought this would be much more hearty and autumnal, but it was tasty, and it’s quite easy to make on a work night – if you remember to buy salad!

Septembers Cheese, Please!  http://thegardendeli.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/cheese-please-a-challenge-for-september/  http://fromagehomage.co.uk/2014/09/03/cheese-please-a-challenge-for-september/

<div align=”center”><a href=”http://fromagehomage.wordpress.com/&#8221; title=”Fromage Homage”><img src=”http://i1284.photobucket.com/albums/a562/fromagehomage/Cheesey2_zps85113bab.jpg&#8221; alt=”Fromage Homage” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>

 

The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (Penguin Books 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15811-8)

Little Paris Kitchen

Periodic Pudding Number 5 – Clafoutis

So my interest was peaked.  I had a bash at a savoury clafoutis the other week and my lover wasn’t impressed, it left me wondering whether a sweet one would pass muster.  I didn’t have to wait too long – a walk down Chiswick High Road revealed it to be cherry season! They might have been Iranian Cherries, but they were fresh and red and juicy, and £2.50 for a pound.  Bonus.

After pigging a pound of them I waddled over to the cookery book shelf and pulled out Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen book to try the sweet version of Week 33s extravaganza ( https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/week-33-savoury-clafoutis/ )

To make a clafoutis to serve 6 you will need: 4 eggs, 150g sugar, 50g ground almonds, 2 tbs plain flour, 100g creme fresh, 100ml milk, 350g pitted cherries (you can use any soft fruit)

Basically you make it exactly the same way as the savoury clafoutis, but with added sugar:

Whisk the eggs with the sugar and a pinch of salt until pale and thick, sift in the almonds and flour and then stir it all together with the creme fresh and milk.  Spread the cherries out in your buttered & floured clafoutis tin and pour the batter over them.  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180c (160 fan) until golden brown and set.

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Easy as pie.  It was delicious.  I served it with a dollop of left over creme fresh and it was delicious.  Far nicer than the savoury version, and the cherries floated around the mixture rather than staying on the bottom.

clafoutis3

I’m glad I only made it for the two of us – it lasted three days.  I shall try everything else in a clafoutis this summer.  Yum!

 

The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (Penguin Books 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15811-8)

Little Paris Kitchen

Week 33: Savoury Clafoutis

I always said that if you hung on in there, I’d show you my Clafoutis.

Actually, it’s not mine, it’s Rachel Khoo’s from her Little Paris Kitchen book.  A Clafoutis is traditionally a French Dessert, but recent the French have started to cut out the sugar and swap the fruit for savoury treats like cheese.

And that’s just what I’ve done (like the recipe told me to)  To make a 2 man Clafoutis you will need: 2 eggs, salt, 25g ground almonds, 1 tbs plain flour, 50g creme fraiche, 50ml milk, 50h mature cheese (I used Comte, but you can use Gruyere, Cheddar or Goat’s Cheese), 50g cherry tomatoes and 25g of black olives.

To start, butter and flour your Clafoutis-ing tin, and turn the oven up to 180c.  Whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt until they are pale and thick.  Sift in the flour and almonds and then fold them in with the creme fraiche and the milk.

Scatter the cheese, tomatoes and olives in the prepared Clafoutis-ing tin and pour the batter over it and sling it in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Now here’s where I got slightly confused, I genuinely thought that a Clafoutis would be more like a toad-in-the-hole than a fritatta… and it wasn’t even that much like a fritatta:

Behold!  My Clafoutis! (As the actress said to the bishop) it was kinda like an omlette-y foccacia.  My lover told me that it was pretty bland and I shouldn’t make it again, but I liked it.  Clafoutis for one I think!

The Clafoutis recipe is in the summer picnics section of the book, and it can be eaten hot or cold.  I was tempted to go and eat it on the front step for the Lazy London Picnic experience but chose plates around the coffee table instead.  Unlike the quiche I didn’t get to try it cold.

I’ve got the recipe for a sweet version, so I might inflict that on him over the summer.  As punishment.

 

The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (Penguin Books 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15811-8)

Little Paris Kitchen

Week 31: Quiche Lorraine

A familiar cry that goes out around the kitchens of Britain on an unusually sunny day:  “Oo it’s nice out, lets just have a salad”.  The weather needs to perk up before I start plonking a bit of iceberg on a plate and calling it dinner,  so I went for the next best thing – quiche.

It is actually illegal to eat quiche in winter, so I’ve been holding back on the ‘picnic foods’ until the weather perked up.  I have a love-hate relationship with quiche.  I like it, but one bad quiche can put me off for a whole ‘quiche season’, so I thought it was quite a gamble making my first ever quiche at the start of May.  Daring huh?

For quiche number one I chose a classic Quiche Lorraine, which is basically an egg and bacon tart.  The recipe I chose marked my second go at a recipe from Rachel Khoo’s ‘The Little Paris Kitchen’ – I’d been itching to have a crack at French style pastry!

To make the pastry for a quiche that will serve 4 – 6 you will need 90g soft butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, pinch of salt, 180g plain flour, 2 egg yolks and some ice-cold water.

For the filling, Rachel Khoo recommends 150g lardons or cubed of smoked bacon, 4 eggs, 2 extra egg yolks, 300g creme fraiche or double cream, salt and pepper.

With a wooden spoon beat together the butter, sugar and salt until soft and creamy.  Mix in the flour then the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of ice-cold water.  Keep mixing until it comes together into a smooth ball.  The recipe says that if its a bit too crumbly you should add a bit more water, but I didn’t need to do that.  Wrap it in cling-film and pop it in the fridge overnight (but an hour or two is fine).

Thirty minutes before you want need to use it, take the pastry out of the fridge.  Roll it out between two sheets of greaseproof paper until it is 5mm thick and big enough to line your quiche dish.  I’ve never rolled out pastry in this way, it was surprisingly hard work but worked well.  Line the tin in one go, brush with some of the egg whites you saved earlier (I should have mentioned that earlier) and put the pastry case back in the fridge.

Turn the oven on to 180 and make a start on the filling.  Fry the bacon until golden brown then leave to cool on some paper towel to soak up the extra grease.  My lover likes his bacon burned to a crisp, so I really should have bought bigger lardons…

Lightly beat the eggs and egg yolks, add the creme fraiche (I used double cream) and season.  Take the pastry out of the fridge, spread the bacon on the bottom, then pour in the egg mix and put in the oven to 35 – 40 minutes.

This is where I started to panic.  The quiche swelled up like a massive eggy-bouffant.  I had no idea what to do.  I thought about poking it but decided against in case it exploded.

lorraine7

Luckily it deflated when it cooled down.  I had no idea that quiches did this while cooking, but it does at least explain why some shop bought ones look a bit like cats arses.

It was getting a bit late by the time I served it up so I had to eat it hot – I have a genuine dislike for warm quiche, but this was alright.  If I could make it again I would get taller bacon so it was more than just a massive scrambled egg on top of a thin layer of carbonised lardons, but it tasted really good.  The bacon wasn’t as good cold the next day, but I shouldn’t have bought ready-cut lardons from Tesco’s.

lorraine5

I’ve not forgotten about quiche-ing that risotto.  I declare quiche season open!

 

The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (Penguin Books 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15811-8)

Little Paris Kitchen

Week 16: Steak et Frites de Legumes Racines

That is your actual French for ‘Steak and root-vegetable fries’, which is exactly what it was.

Little Paris Kitchen

My lover bought Rachel Khoo’s “The Little Paris Kitchen” about 18 months ago, and this is the first time we’ve made anything from it.  The objective for this week’s new recipe was to christen the griddle pan he bought to match the new skillet (see Periodic Pudding number 2: Tarte Tatin http://wp.me/p42Dr4-2a for a tour of my lovely new skillet).  I ended up using the skillet again.  Griddle fail.

I’ve done steak before, watery supermarket clingfilm steak, never good steak from the butchers.  If I’d done a bit of meaty research before I started I could have avoided a heart attack at the butchers.

The recipe calls for a 500g rib-eye steak, which cost me £12.00 and first refusal on my left kidney.  I didn’t realise that I could have used fillet, skirt, rump or sirloin instead – but I don’t like changing ingredients the first time I make a recipe.

The recipe also calls for ground almonds, sunflower oil, salt, pepper, a sweet potato, a parsnip and a carrot to make the root-vegetable fries.

I think it was this that attracted me to this recipe – I don’t like steak with fat chips, and I don’t have space in my tiny freezer for frozen french fries.  Also, I’ve neither owned or cooked a sweet potato before, so it was all good.

Looking back, I think I was a little too eager with my first sweet potato purchase, it took forever to cut up and then made a few too many fries – which didn’t fit onto my too-small tray.  I didn’t think this would be a problem, but it did ultimately affect the way they cooked so some were a bit soggy.

I was all ready to season and sear the steak when my lover viciously thrashed it was the rolling pin.  I was quite shocked, especially as he beat it to be bigger than the skillet… which was silly.  Apparently it was necessary, but I did wince at the thought of him knocking seven bells out of an expensive piece of meat.  But it fit in the pan (after a bit of squashing back)

I gave it about 4 minutes on each side and then put it in the oven with the fries.

steak frites 6

Without wanting to sound too conceited; it was absolutely delicious.  Who knew sweet potato fries would be so nice?  I served it with a healthy blob of my special mustard from the Scandi Kitchen, which is milder than normal Coleman’s or Dijon, so it didn’t overpower the taste of the meat.

I’ll try it again with the griddle, a less expensive cut of meat, and a smaller sweet potato.  The Little Paris Kitchen is a very good book – Rachel Khoo writes informatively about the food and cooking techniques, and makes the giant meals of French cuisine look achievable.  I already have my eye on her Clafoutis.  Oo la la la.

The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (Penguin Books 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15811-8)