Apple Tart Tatin
200 g caster sugar
6 Granny Smith apples
6 star anise
3 vanilla pods, halved
12 cardamom pods
3 cinnamon sticks
300 g puff pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
2. Line deep tart tins with greaseproof paper.
3. Put the sugar into a small saucepan and add just enough water so that the sugar starts to liquefy, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Bring to a simmer and boil for approximately 5 minutes, without stirring, or until you have a rich golden brown caramel.
5. Pour the caramel into the bases of the tart tins.
6. Put one star anise, half vanilla pod, half cinnamon stick and a couple of cardamom pods in the caramel
7. Peel the apples and place in the centre of the tin
8. Roll out the pastry and cut into discs large enough to totally cover the apple
9. Cover the apple, tucking the edges of the pastry down the sides, making sure it touches the caramel
10. Place the tarts to the oven and bake for 20/30 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden and the apples are soft when a knife is inserted into them.
11. Leave to cool slightly, then invert onto serving plates and serve with a scoop of vanilla or caramel ice cream.
Serves 4 – 6
1 soup spoon olive, vegetable, rapeseed or low fat oil
1 aubergine, roughly chopped
2 Courgettes, roughly chopped
3 Heads baby fennel, roughly chopped
3 Baby leeks, roughly chopped
1 Red, yellow and green pepper
1 Bunch Asparagus, roughly chopped
1 Stem cherry tomatoes
Squeeze of honey or maple syrup
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Hot vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoons Grandma Louise’s tomato sauce
20 mixed green and black olives
1 Bunch fresh basil, torn
1. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan, add aubergines, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Add courgettes, fennel, baby leeks, peppers, asparagus, cherry tomatoes. thyme, star anise, honey or maple syrup and salt and pepper.
3. Cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally.
4. After 5 – 6 minutes add two tablespoons of hot vegetable stock or water if needed, garlic and Grandma Louise’s tomato sauce.
5. Cook for a further 10 – 12 minutes uncovered, until reduced. Add a drizzle of oil to infuse the vegetables and the olives and basil.
6. Serve hot.
GRANDMA LOUISE’S TOMATO SAUCE
400g fresh seasonal tomatoes chopped
¼tsp Crushed pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¼tsp cumin seeds
¼tsp fennel seeds
1 star anise
2 cardamom pods
3 sprigs fresh Thyme
Small bunch of mixed herb: basil, parsley, tarragon
2 bay leaves
½ vanilla pod split in half
Pinch of chilli, smoked paprika, traditional madras curry (optional), saffron, ¼ vanilla pods,
Extra virgin olive oil
1. In a very hot pan add the chopped tomatoes, cumin, pepper, fennel, star anise, cardamom, bay leaf and thyme and reduce very slowly until no steam is coming out
2. Add squeeze of honey and the garlic; it is very important not to mix in any residue from the sides of the pan, stir.
3. If you wish you can add pinch chilli and traditional madras curry.
4. Add the vanilla and smoked paprika.
5. Add the herbs, and the extra virgin olive oil, mix and leave to infuse for at least ½ an hour
6. Drain and retain the vanilla/smoked paprika oil for further use. Pour the tomato sauce into glass bottles or jars. Store in the refrigerator or freeze when cool
Fillets of fish with Ratatouille
4 fillets of Trout pin-boned skin left on
½ ratatouille recipe
1. Place the fish fillet skin side up in a pirex dish
2. Cover the fish with the hot ratatouille and cover immediately with cling film.
3. Leave in the side for at least 20 minutes
4. After this time the fish will be cooked and ready to eat
1.400kg mixed mushrooms, cleaned (Mushrooms should be cleaned with a brush and not washed in water)
cracked black pepper
½ tsp sugar
4 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
Spices to taste: cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seed, chilli powder, star anise,
2 garlic cloves crushed
½ Small onion chopped (optional)
Small handful of fresh herbs (parsley, basil, coriander .. anything you like)
300ml double cream whipped but left very loose
4 egg beaten
100g blue cheese at room temperature (any Blue cheese can be used)
2 crushed garlic
100ml double cream
Small bunch of micro-herbs
Few mushrooms for garnish
1. Cut the larger mushrooms in chunks and rip the oyster mushrooms (if used) into strips sprinkle with the sugar, add the spices (seeds only), crushed garlic, half of the thyme and the bay leave. Cover with cling film and leave to sweat for ½ hour.
2. Place a heavy bottom saucepan on the heat and make hot.
3. Add all the mushrooms, cover the pan with a lid and shake it vigorously or stir them with a spoon. Keep over the high heat for a couple of minutes before adding some stock or water.
4. The mushroom will start to cook and release liquid. Cook for two minutes.
5. Place a colander over a bowl (we need to save the mushroom juice) and drain the mushrooms.
6. When the mushrooms have cooled down, remove the garlic, thyme, bay leave and all the big spices and discard. Place the mushrooms in a food processor with the chopped onion and pulse a few times to chop them up a little.
7. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the mushroom and add the liquid to the one reserved originally
8. This should leave you with 900g of cooked mushrooms.
9. Line 10 moulds with cling film and place a pancake on each one, living it overhanging over the side
10. Pour the mushrooms into a large bowl, add the smoked paprika, nutmeg the rest of the thyme finely chopped, herbs, mix in the egg and finally the double cream, adjust the seasoning.
11. Pour into the prepared moulds, fold the pancakes over to close the gateau and seal the clean film so that no water can access the timbale. Steam for 25 minutes.
12. Prepare the sauce by returning the mushroom liquor to the pan and reduce on a low heat until the liquor looks like a thick syrup and has the same consistency of the double cream,
13. Remove from the fire and add the cheese to the pan and cover to allow it to gently melt.
14. When the cheese has melted, add the cream and mix together.
15. To serve, remove the timbale from the mould and arrange on a plate
16. Steam the mushroom garnish and place over the timbale, warm the sauce (if too thick add a little water, pour over the timbale and decorate with micro herbs.
100g flour, sifted
250ml of semi skimmed milk
2tsp poppy seeds
1. Break the eggs into a bowl add the flour and poppy seeds and mix well with a whisk.
2. Slowly add the milk whilst still stirring.
3. Hopefully you will not have any “lumps”; if you do strain them off.
4. Warm up a 15cm pancake pan, grease with a little oil and pour in a little pancake mix,
(ideally the pancakes should be very thin, no more than 2mm thick).
5. Cook for 40-60 second on one side before turning and cooking it on the other side,
remove from pan and keep warm.
6. Carry on until all the pancake mix is finished. (you should have at least 8 pancakes)
Chicken leg stuffed with sweet potatoes “Chicken Gigolet”
This dish is simply a technique, it is not a recipe as such, but here is a little reminder:
Bone the chicken legs, stuff it with a sweet potato and some spices before either tie it up or
wrap it in cling film and cook it for 20 minutes.
Ingredients *must have vegetable
1 celeriac *
3 onions *
6 small potatoes *
3 carrots *
2 sweet potatoes
And/or any other vegetables you have
Spices and herbs to taste (any or all of: fennel, caraway, thyme, bay leaves, star anise,
coriander seeds, garlic cloves, cumin seeds, mustard seeds)
1. Place all the vegetables in a large pan and place over a high heat shaking the pan
2. Add all your spices/herbs and cook for a couple of minutes
3. Add the sugar and salt and immediately (otherwise the sugar will burn) add enough
water to cover the vegetables and bring to a fast boil; cook for a few minutes
4. Reduce the heat and skim any impurity from the top of the stock
5. Boil for 20-25 minutes.
6. Lift all the vegetable out of the pan and place in a large bowl. (Season the vegetables
with a sprinkle of sugar, your preferred herbs, a little sea salt and finally some olive
oil, mix well. The vegetables can be used immediately as an accompaniment for other
dishes or you can cool them down and use over the next few days by roasting them,
sautéing them etc.)
7. The stock is ready to use, or for a more concentred flavour reduce over a low heat
until the desired taste is reached