Barbora’s Blog 04.2012

Greetings in April!

The Easter holidays will soon be behind us and most of us have probably over-indulged a little bit. Many of my students seem to give up chocolate or even sugar for Lent, and once it’s over the natural impulse is to stuff ourselves with the ‘forbidden fruit’, so to speak.

However, with spring in full swing, we have more fantastic seasonal ingredients to lift us out of any indulgent stupor.

  • Rocket and radishes aid the digestive system and are delicious in salads.
  • Purple sprouting broccoli pan-fried in a little olive oil and butter, with a pinch of salt and then served sprinkled with toasted flaked almonds is a real treat.
  • Passion fruit is a versatile foodstuff – you can add its seeds to a dark chocolate mousse – a true revelation. A passion fruit vinaigrette made out of the seeds, a touch of Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, olive oil and seasoning poured over endive, toasted macadamias and goats cheese is surprising. Just get yourself to your local farm shop and try something different!

Here are some more recipes to get you into the spring mood.

Vegetable Tempura Dips

  • 1 yolk
  • One whole egg
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 150ml/1/4 pint of olive oil
  • 150ml/1/4 pint of vegetable oil
  • Flavourings
  1. Prep your vegetables
  2. Make the mayonnaise- place egg and egg yolk in a bowl of a blender
  3. Add the salt and vinegar to eggs
  4. Whilst the motor is running, pour oils in gradually
  5. Adjust seasoning and add flavourings

Troubleshooting

  • If mayonnaise starts looking greasy, add a teaspoon of hot water
  • If mayonnaise splits, start with a fresh egg and a yolk in the blender and pour split mixture gradually in

Tempura

  • Vegetables of your choice (preferably ones that do not require cooking)
  • Equal amount of corn flour and plain flour
  • Ice cold sparkling mineral water
  1. Mix the flours together
  2. Add water in gradually until desired consistency has been reached, test this by frying a piece of vegetable, until nice and crispy (not thick and doughy)
  3. Fry the rest and serve immediately with dips

Lemon Sole, Broccoli puree, new potatoes with dill Beurre Blanc
Served with scallops and potato crisps

(serves 2)

  • 2 Lemon sole fillets
  • 6 medium sized scallops
  • Know of butter
  • 500g broccoli florets
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 500g new potatoes
  • 3tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 220g unsalted butter, cubed, fridge cold
  • Bunch of dill, chopped
  • Squeeze of lemon
  1. Place your potatoes into a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season and bake on 200C until crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside
  2. To make the potato crisps, slice the potato very finely and deep fry on 190C (you can deep fry in a pot filled with oil – the right temperature is when a piece of bread browns in 15 seconds)
  3. To make the puree, place the broccoli in a pan with stock, season and cover
  4. Bring to boil and simmer until the broccoli is tender, but has not lost all it’s colour
  5. Blend until smooth and season to taste, keep warm
  6. For the Beurre blanc, pop the vinegar and pepper into a pan, bring up to boil and reduce until you have about 1 tbl left
  7. Pour the vinegar reduction into a small pan with a pinch of salt
  8. Keep on a very low heat, you want to be able to touch the bottom of the pan at any given time
  9. Add the first cube of butter of the heat and stir it into the vinegar until combined
  10. 10. Put on the heat and stir a cube at a time until emulsified, do not rush this
  11. 11. When all the butter has been added, season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice and add to one side, keep warm
  12. 12. Put a large pan on high heat and pour oil until, until lightly covered
  13. 13. When the oil is very hot (starting to smoke) place the scallops in followed by the sole fillets
  14. 14. Fry the fish for about three minutes on each side
  15. 15. Flip the scallops when they are beautifully caramelised (golden brown)
  16. 16. When nearly done pop the butter into the pan and finish off
  17. 17. Take the pan of the heat and squeeze lemon juice in
  18. 18. Arrange on the plate, stir the dill into your sauce and pour over
  19. 19. Enjoy!

Cocoa Sorbet

(serves 2)

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g good quality cocoa
  • 250g water
  1. Thoroughly combine the sugar and cocoa
  2. Bring the water to boil and pour over the dry ingredients, whilst stirring
  3. Leave it to cool
  4. Place into a plastic container and freeze
  5. Stir with a fork every couple of hours until frozen solid
  6. Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes before eating

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