Spring

Well that didn’t exactly go to plan: Disaster to Delicious! Herb Cured Smoked Haddock Brandad

Puree of Herb Cured Smoked Haddock

Brandade of cured smoked haddock, Quails egg mayonnaise and sourdough croutons

Cookery bloggers don’t usually tell you about the dishes and the ideas that don’t work out, we have a horrible habit of writing up the successful recipes, giving readers the impression that we never make mistakes, that those delicious ideas we have in our heads always work out as planned. But as any cook will know disasters, and things that don’t quite go to plan happen, perhaps especially for those creatives amongst us who have a tendency to get carried away, inspired by ingredients, flavours and aromas; those of us who dream about how to deconstruct recipes and add our own twist to a dish.

Preparing for the Easter weekend I had one such (luckily not ‘binworthy’) moment with a new recipe idea. It didn’t work out as planed and as I was pondering how to remedy the situation it occurred to me that the thinking process that this time turned a near disaster into something delicious might be worth sharing with you – it might come in handy next time you get caught out with a dish that hasn’t gone quite as expected, encourage you to ask questions about the flavour and texture in order to work out if you could create something that might work, rather bin your efforts too quickly in a fit of pique. Continue reading

A Very Versatile Sauce – Saffron Orange Sauce

Seared scallops, orange sauce and steamed samphire.

Seared scallops served with an orange sauce and steamed samphire.

 

This simple reduction sauce is naturally bursting with flavour and with colour. It is easy to make and is extremely effective and versatile.  The recipes below outline how to serve this delicious sauce with  seared Scallops and with Asparagus. I also outline further ideas for its use at the bottom of the page.

The sauce is best made at least a few hours  before it is needed to allow the saffron to impart its full flavour and colour. It could also be made the day before and stored in the fridge. Reheating instructions are provided. Continue reading

English Strawberries and Cream three ways

English Strawberries

English Strawberries and cream three ways

Strawberries, the symbol of summer, of sunshine and a carefree spirit.  The quintessential English summer conjures images of elegant ladies in cool attire while men ‘pink’ in blazers; of champagne and laughter,  riverside picnics, and race going . And the mere idea of a bowl of fresh strawberries and cream is enough to evoke an auditory response, ‘bop, bop…..out!..’, of the ball being lobbed over the nets at Wimbledon. 

Strawberries these days are with us virtually all year, flown in from around the world. Some are fragrant and delicious but others disappoint. They need sun to fulfil their promise and personally I am happy to wait until June 1st before buying my first strawberries of the year. Continue reading