Thursday 26 May 2011

Mini Macaron break

A couple of weeks ago I was working in New Bond St when I thought I would pop out for a midday breather. I walked up Conduit Street and thought I would take my chances at popping in to see my friend Emily who works in the Sketch head office. She was out running some errands but made me hand over my mobile to David, the restaurant manager who declared I must come in and stay for tea. I told him I only had five minutes so I would probably head back and pop by another time. He told me this was nonsense and that I must take a box of Pierre Gagnaire's new line of Macarons. Well, I wasn't going to turn down that, and in  seconds he was back at my table with a glass of champagne, a box of macarons and a paper to have a read over whilst I sat there indulging myself. What a treat. Thank you Emily, truly some of the best I have ever tasted. 
And by the way, for those who are confused.. a Macaroon refers to the English coconut cake your nan made, a Macaron is the the French confection below. Best break EVER> 

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Little Crab cakes with coriander salsa

I normally make these for canapé parties but sometimes I just want have something for dinner that I can squeeze a lime over, so I made these little crab cakes for dinner, for me and the boy. 

Saturday 21 May 2011

Salt Cod Fritters

I am sorry. I am sorry I have posted one thing in about 3 weeks but I have been so busy, and then I was ill and then, dun dun durrrrr... I dropped my camera lens and it broke. This is the saddest news as I have not been able to photograph everything I have done in the past few weeks. I borrowed my friend Willy's camera for these shots but may have to dig into the archives for the next few posts. You really hate yourself when you have only yourself to blame for ruining something you care so much about. Enough of my self pity and onto something yummy. In Spanish markets you can get Bacalao everywhere and in the supermarkets you can buy it already skinned, boned and flaked. At home, you'll need to find a specialist food supplier, the salt cod from R Garcia and Sons on Portobello Road, London is beautiful, if a tad pricey.
I didn't follow a recipe but these are the measurements I used. (Bear in mind I made 80 canape sized fritters, so do scale down!)
700g of salt cod
1 pint of milk
1 kilo of potatoes
small bunch of spring onions
6 tarragon leaves
1/2 pack of chives
bunch of parsley
half bunch of basil
2 large lemons
olive oil
2 eggs
 You need to soak your salt cod in cold water for 24 hours in 3 changes of water to get all the salt out.
 Then pop it into a saucepan and cover with milk to poach for 5-8 minutes until the fish begins to flake and then you need to drain and cool a little before pulling the flesh from the bones and skin (with your hands) being careful to let any tiny bones slip in there.
 Some people mash their potatoes but if you roast them then you don't get any waterlogging (prob not the technical term) and you also get a more yellow colour and better taste.
 Let cool slightly and then scoop out the potato and pop into a bowl. I think I ate approximately half of these skins with slivers of cold salted butter for my brekkie.
Now fry the spring onions in butter until sweet and shred all your herbs. Zest and juice the lemons and then break up the potatoes lightly with a fork. Literally whack all the ingredients in a bowl with a glug of olive oil and seasoning and then chill for 30 mins.
 Shape into quenelles with two spoons, or mould into little cakes and then pop into a hot frying pan of olive oil 1/2cm deep and turn every couple of minutes until hot all the way through. (6 mins or so) You can also, especially if you are doing a lot, just brown them and then finish in the oven.

Eat hot, with a bit of salad and aioli or just as they are with a wedge of lemon.