In case you are really in a hurry, then make a sandwich. I am not joking, just make one. I will not write about a simple sandwich though, as this is not the purpose of my blog. I will write about something I discovered in London (I had to go there to discover the world cuisine) though the recipe is very French. You know, it is easy to laugh about Mr. Sandwich but we all put something between 2 slices of bread and eat, when travel or we are too tired to cook. Even the French. ‘Good House Keeping Cookery Book’, 1985 provided me with:
16 thin slices bread, crusts removed (I don’t understand why do I have to remove it, as it is one of the best parts in bread for me, but let’s go with the flow, for ones)
5-10 ml (1-2 level tsp) mustard
225 g (8 oz) Gruyère cheese, sliced (or Cheddar if you like or anything else, de gustibus…)
225 g (8 oz) cooked ham, thinly sliced
75 g (3 oz) butter, melted (remember, 80-82 % fat)
Spread half of the slices of bread on one side with the mustard; trim the cheese slices to fit and put them on top.
Trim the ham slices to fit and arrange them on top of the cheese. Top with the remaining bread.
Brush the sandwiches lightly with melted butter and fry for 3-5 minutes, until they are lightly browned. You can use 90 ml (6 tbsp) vegetable oil instead of butter, but for a bland taste, imho.
Turn the sandwiches over and fry for a further 3-5 minutes.
Cut the sandwiches in half and serve hot, with a salad if prefered.
When you feel like to much is too much, of food I mean, then take a break and try something exquisite and light. They say that good things come in small packages and this is true about this recipe. It is not for those who live to eat but mostly for the gourmand or gourmet . I cooked and ate this in 2005. Why do I know the year? Simple: I have the print of the article with the recipe. It is from the Sunday’s edition of The Times, on the 28th of May 2005, where Gordon Ramsay presented some recipes about asparagus. It was a total hit, to be honest, and I would like to share with you this delicate and light recipe, that can be eaten as it is or as a side dish with meat to your liking.
Green Asparagus with Pink Grapefruit Hollandaise
6 coriander seeds, finely crushed
3 free-range egg yolks
125 ml light olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of cayenne
100 ml fresh pink grapefruit juice
grated zest of 1 pink grapefruit
24 asparagus spears
Place the coriander seeds, egg yolks and 1 tablespoon warm water in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Whisk the egg yolks until they are pale and creamy and form ribbons when the whisk is lifted from the bowl.
Remove the pan from the heat and continue to whisk for a further 3 minutes. Gently warm the olive oil and add in a very slow, steady drizzle to the eggs, whisking continuously, until the sauce is thick and glossy (you may not need all the oil.) Add the lemon juice, salt and cayenne. Keep warm to the side of the cooker.
Cook the grapefruit juice and zest in a pan over a moderate heat until reduced to 3 tablespoons. Whisk into the hollandaise.
Bring a pan of slightly salted water to a gentle boil, add the trimmed asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Serve on warm plates with the hollandaise.
Please, please, say yes. Do you like vegetables? Please, please, say yes. Are you a vegetarian or a vegan? Please, please, say yes. Otherwise I see no sense in writing this recipe. Who would like it, make it, taste it? 😦 Me? Yeah, I forgot about myself. I like vegetables, I am sometimes a vegetarian, I like to cook, to eat and to write recipes. And I like to do that for you, who take the time to read my blog. For this I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Today I invite you to try a French recipe, from Carolyn Humphries, ‘Simply Stylish Meals in 15 Minutes’, 1999. So, have you got 15 minutes? If so, here we go:
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 small aubergine (eggplant), sliced
3 courgettes, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 green (bell) peppers, sliced
4 tomatoes, chopped
45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried oregano
15 ml (1 tbsp) tomato purée (paste)
30 ml (2 tbsp) red wine or water
Put the prepared vegetables in a large pan with the olive oil. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until they begin to soften.
Add the oregano, seasoning and the tomato purée blended with the wine or water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender.
Serve with buttered pasta and grated Parmesan cheese.
I love Creme Brulee. Who doesn’t? Here is a recipe from the already-known book: “Good Housekeeping Cookery Book” , 1985. I remember the first time I made this, several years ago. The compliments given made my heart happy and encouraged me to continue cooking so here I am today, sharing my little experience for good food and fine recipes.
Today my recipe is for a special occasion, it is for a birthday dear and special to me, so this is for you, my love. ❤
600 ml (20 fl oz) double cream
1 vanilla pod
4 egg yolks
100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
Pour the cream into the top of a double saucepan or into a mixing bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Add the vanilla pod and warm gently until almost boiling, the remove from the heat. Remove the vanilla pod.
Beat together the egg yolks and 50 g (2 oz) of the caster sugar until light in colour. Gradually pour on the cream, stirring until evenly mixed.
Stand 6 individual ramekin in dishes in a roasting tin, then pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Pour the custard mixture slowly into the ramekins, dividing it equally between them.
Bake in the oven at 150°C, 300°F, mark 2 for about 1 hour until set. Do not allow the skin to colour. Remove from the tin and leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight.
Sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the top of each Creme Brulee and put under a preheated hot grill for 2-3 minutes until the sugar turns to a caramel. Leave to cool, then chill before serving. This is delicious served with a selection of fruit, such as freshly sliced strawberries and peaches and stoned cherries.
Do you know that when I say Quiche Lorraine, I always think of how similar it is to pizza? Well, it has eggs, bacon, cheese so don’t you feel the same? Ok, ok, I know that a quiche is a quiche but I can’t stop thinking. Beware of my thinking.
I love quiche and I have made it many times. What I like about it is that one can make it with a lot of different ingredients and it still remains delicious. I put more ingredients so you can choose and make it according to your own taste. My recipe is taken from a book I keep mentioning here: “Good Housekeeping Cookery Book” 1985, a book I think I would love to have in my kitchen. I dream of having a corner with my favorite cookbooks and recipes, but until then I keep them in my room.
Let’s go to France again, eat something quite traditional with a dry white wine, I think, and enjoy ourselves. First in the kitchen and with dear ones around.
75-100 g (3-4 oz) Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced (from my experience, cheese is never enough so I put more like 150 g of cheese; if you don’t have Gruyère, try cheddar or any other cheese )
2 eggs, beaten
150 ml (5 fl oz) single cream or milk
coriander, dill, parsley, basil and other, as you like it (optional)
tomatoes, sliced (optional)
broccoli, mushrooms (optional)
sweet pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
For the pastry, please check out the recipe in Pastries section. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20.5 cm (8 inch) plain flan ring placed on a baking sheet. Bake blind in the oven at 200°C, 400°F, mark 6 for 10-15 minutes, until set.
Scatter the bacon over the pastry base and top with the cheese.
Beat together the eggs, cream and seasoning and pour into the pastry case.
Bake in the oven at 200°C, 400°F, mark 6 for about 30 minutes, until well risen and golden. Serve hot or cold.
I remember that I have made this recipe for the first and only time in London, when we were waiting for a guest. This chicken Veronique seemed tasty, exquisite and elegant for a party. And it proved it was. I found it in “Good Housekeeping All Colour Party Cookbook” 1992. I really love this recipe. It is fit for a king and I would eat it often. If you really want to make an impression on somebody, try this out for a romantic dinner or not. And prepare your nose and your tongue for an indulgence. Because you’re worth it!
300 ml (1/2 pint) chicken stock (or water, but it won’t taste the same)
150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream
175 g (6 oz) green grapes, halved and seeded
freshly ground pepper
Soften the butter in a bowl with the tarragon, lemon rind, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Put half the mixture in the cavity of the bird.
Truss the chicken with the thread or fine string. Spread the remainder of the mixture over the outside of the bird (especially the legs), then stand on a rack in a roasting tin. Pour the chicken stock under the rack.
Roast the chicken in the oven at 200°C/ 400°F, Gas Mark 6 for about 1 1/4 hours or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Turn the bird and baste every 15 minutes or so during roasting.
Carve the chicken into neat portions, then arrange on a warmed serving platter, cover and keep warm.
Make the sauce. Blot off any excess fat from the roasting tin with absorbent kitchen paper, then place the tin on top of the cooker. Pour the wine, then boil to reduce to about half the original volume, stirring and scraping the tin to dislodge sediment.
Stir in the cream and continue simmering and stirring until thick, smooth and glossy. Add the grapes and heat through, then taste and adjust seasoning.
Pour a little of the sauce over the chicken, arranging the grapes as attractively as possible on each portion. Serve immediately, with the remaining sauce and grapes handed separately in a sauceboat, accompanied by crisply cooked mange-touts or French beans and a simple dish of plain boiled rice. Don’t forget about a chilled dry white wine. 🙂
Are you a chocolate addicted? Then you will love this. Petit pot au chocolat. I remember that this recipe was among the few that I had tried at home, in Romania. I had found it in “The Sunday Times” at the end of my staying in London and I had decided to make it at home. It was worth waiting that long. And last Wednesday I thought of making it again. For Thursday. Why? Because Thursday was my birthday. Wow, I made a rhyme!
When I think of birthdays, I always think of doing something special, as long as is not that traditional. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite old-fashion in some ways but not in other ways. So, these delicious pots seem just perfect to indulge on somebody’s birthdays. You have a perfect smooth chocolate cream and you will ask for more until you die. Of pleasure, of course. I am sorry to ruin your daydreaming but let’s get to work.
Petit Pot au Chocolat
350 ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways or 2 tbsp of vanilla sugar
250 g plain chocolate, broken into pieces (remember, remember: at leat 70 % cocoa)
150 ml milk (full fat please, please, if you make it for your birthday, spoil yourself)
4 small egg yolks
2 heaped tbsp icing sugar (or simply sugar, if you don’t have icing sugar)
This is my favourite part. 😉
Preheat the oven to 140 °C, 275 °F, Gas Mark 1.
In a saucepan, warm the cream with a vanilla pod, whisk to disperse the vanilla seeds, the cover and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. With vanilla sugar just make sure it melts in the cream and leave to cool.
In another pan, melt the chocolate in the milk. (I know you will taste a bit. )
In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar, add the chocolate milk and vanilla cream, then blend thoroughly. (I bet that you will taste again, and I win. What I win? I won’t wash the dishes.) Pass through a fine sieve and pour into a little pots or ramekins. (I adore ramekins, there are never enough for me, that is why I have decided to buy some more the moment I am in London.)
Bake in a bain-marie in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until slightly puffed-up and spongy. Don’t worry about the crust forming top. It may look as it is overcooked but it is not. Plus, this crust when cold, covers an intense chocolate cream. Cool in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving.