For the next few days I am alone at home with my faithful Yogi dog and the weather outside is wet and bonechilling so when I got home from work tonight I thought a comforting pea soup would be the best way to go.
This pea soup is my own albeit a touch of inspiration from who knows where a while back to add the lettuce. This is an old English thing to change the stodgy texture of the traditional pea soup and also to add a delicate sweetness to the soup.
Here's the basics:
...325 gms baby/fresh frozen peas
...3/4s head of iceberg lettuce
...10 tablespoons of salted butter
...2 large shallots
...1 medium leek
...4 cups of vegetable stock
...fresh Sage and Dill to your liking...these I like lots but be careful because this soup is very delicate and you don't want to overwhelm the subtle sweetness of the lettuce and fresh peas.
...salt and white indonesian style pepper to taste
The prep and the basic cooking should take you a max of 1/2 hour. Then you will be ready to relax with a beer or two and eat at your leisure with in this case some Pumpernickle bread toasted with a restraint of butter since otherwise you may be a fat batchelor forever in this World of youth and beauty and slimness........and wrinkle freeness........and doomed to cook this yummy soup alone for eternity. Unless a wandering bear comes along to rescue you that is.
So start by glazing the chopped shallots, carrots, leek in the butter with a twist of crushed salt and your liking of white pepper.
Add the shredded lettuce and cook till very wilted.
Add the Sage and Dill and mix around for a while.
Then the peas and the 4 cups of vegetable stock.
Just because I had them I added the mature sprouts from the sprouter and simmered the whole lot for a few minutes and then turned off the heat and left the mix to sit for as a while to cool off and let the flavours develop individually.
Time to sit down and relax with a beer........25 minutes in the making so far.
Now blend the soup and it's done and ready for the sipping or whatever with the restrained buttered pumpernickle toast.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Well this is his recipe (from his neighbour madame Pellas) with my own added twist of the Extreme Espresso Bear Chocolate made by friend Colleen Bowen the owner of the Salish Sea Chocolate Company. A percentage of the sale of each chocolate bar goes to the Raincoast Conservancy in British Columbia to protect the Spirit Bear habitat in the Pacific Northwest Rainforests and since I love bears this addition is very apt.
Madame Pellas likes to store this cake in her kitchen cabinet with her Brie for two days before eating it and even carries a bit around with her to nibble during the day when the moment necessitates.
so here's the basics:
Always use the best quality ingredients you can afford. If you are on a limited budget just eat less.
9 ozs (250g) dark chocolate ( in this case I used half the Extreme 70% Espresso Bear Bar and half a regular dark chocolate chocolate)
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/3rd cup of sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons flour
pinch of salt
preheat the oven to 350C and butter a loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper in the base to line.
I went to the market and bought a piece of deep gold pumpkin, some shallots and some chanterelles and shitake mushrooms. Also a big celeriac root. David Wood's truffle and pepper goat's cheese and some of his Montana sheep's cheese.
|this is very relaxing I am told|
|the basic chopped up|
|mixing it all together|
|basic pasta hardware|
|rolling the circles|
|spooning the mix|
|trimming the edges|
|Ravioli ready for cooking and freezing. Also the sprouts from the new sprouter after 3 days.|
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
|Water the source of all life.|
As a start I bought some Alfalfa, Red Clover and Broccoli seeds. Of course these are all very organic and sourced from the most impeccable of all sources and bla bla bla. However the bioSnacky box did supply some Mung beans which I decided to put at the bottom of the sprouter stack.......these are Swiss sourced so I expect totally excellent results with absolutely no reject seeds.
|a nesting sprouting tray stack|
Keep the trays clean by washing well between batches with warm soapy water and rinse very very well........cleanliness is a virtue in this game.
To keep a constant supply of sprouts going the trays can be staggered 4 days apart and then you can have fresh sprouts forever and ever...............I'll show the final results when and if they happen in three or four days.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
260g of 2/3rds sliced natural almonds and 1/3rd hemp hearts
whites of 2 eggs
100g icing sugar
zest of 2 oranges
Saturday, October 9, 2010
|Here we have Lentinula edodes (Shitake), Boletus edulis (Porcini from Italy) and some small Portabella common brown mushrooms.|
I was going to use a long terrine container but when I popped into the kitchen shop I found a four loaf setup that just suited my needs........easy to load and unload and just enough to make a few loaves so that there's no wastage at a few sittings.
The idea is to have slices of this wild mushroom loaf with freshly baked Ciabatta rolls and lashings of butter.
|1: Shave some carrots|
|blanch the carrots till they are soft and malleable|
|line the little loaf pans with the soft carrot shavings|
|2: Chop the mushrooms, the shallots and herbs.|
|3: Saute the shallots in a bunch of butter, add salt and pepper and then add the grated celeriac root.|
|4: Add the mushrooms, herbs and the Porcini liquid and saute till the whole lot is wrinkled and tasty.|
|4: Toast some walnuts and then blend them into small bits and also add at least a cup of dry white sherry to the mushrooms and reduce further.|
|5: Let the mushroom mix cool slightly then add the ground toasted Walnuts, finely grated hard sheep cheese and the truffle soft goat's cheese........mix up well to a uniform mix and spoon into the prepared, carrot lined tins.|
|6: Spoon it in and boil up some peas.|