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Food For Thought

If you have a tried and tested favourite please email them over and we'll put them on our page.

Plum, Almond and

Elderflower Tart

 

Ingredients

BASE

50g Amaretti biscuits. crushed

50g plain flour

50g wholemeal flour

50g light Muscavado sugar

50g unsalted butter

Extra butter for greasing

 

TOPPING

50g unsalted butter

50g caster sugar

1 medium egg

75g ground almonds

3 tbsp Elderflower Cordial

6 plums (approximately 400g)

 

GLAZE

1 rounded tbsp apricot jam or marmalade

1 tbsp Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower Tart Plum,Almond

Method

1. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Grease the inside of a 23cm loose-bottomed flan tin with soft butter.

2. For the base, mix together the crushed biscuits, the plain flour and sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter, add it to the dry ingredients, and mix well. Turn mixture into the flan tin, press evenly into the base and slightly up the sides.

3. For the almond cream, put the butter, sugar, egg, almonds and cordial into a food processor and blitz into a thick paste. Spread the paste over the biscuit base.

4. Halve and quarter the plums, discard the stones, and then arrange them over the paste. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

5. Meanwhile, warm the jam or marmalade and cordial in a small pan until melted. Press through a sieve and then once the tart is cooked, brush the glaze over the top. Serve warm or cold.

Elderflower &

Lemon Drizzle Cake

 

Ingredients

225g/8oz butter, softened

225g/8oz caster sugar

4 large eggs

225g/8oz self raising flour, sifted

zest and juice 1 lemon

2tbsp hot water

100ml elderflower cordial

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ Fan 160C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a (20cm) round, deep loose-based tin and line the base with baking parchment.

2. Place the butter, caster sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl and beat until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, whisking well between additions. When you whisk in the last egg, add 2 tbsp of the flour as well, this will prevent curdling.

3. Sift in the remaining flour, then gently fold it in with a metal spoon along with 2 tbsp hot water. Spoon into the prepared tin, level the surface and bake for 45-50mins or until it is shrinking away from the sides of the tin. A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 mins.

4. Squeeze the lemon juice, then sieve to remove the bits, stir in the cordial. Use the fine skewer to prick the cake all over, pour over the syrup then sprinkle over the sugar - it should sink in but leave a crunchy crust. Leave to cool completely (yeah right!), before removing the cake from the tin. Serve in wedges.

 

Elderflower and Lemon Drizzle Cake2

Susie's Red Onion &

Goats Cheese Tarts

 

This recipe serves 4 – 6 as a main course or 8 as a starter. You will need:

 

A non-stick flan tin 25cm (10”) or small individual pastry tins which works well for the starter

Packet of puff pastry

5 red onions

5 large eggs

100g soft goats cheese (I usually use a local Quercy cheese called Cabecou but any soft one will work)

 

Salt, fresh ground pepper and grated nutmeg

 

Cooking oil (I use a mixture of olive oil and sunflower oil)

Red Onion & Goats Cheese Tart

1. Slice the red onions into rings about 5mm thick and sauté with a tablespoon of cooking oil, adding a little salt and ground pepper. Cook the onions until they are soft trying to keep the rings intact, as much as possible – leave to cool.

2. Roll the puff pastry out to fit the lightly greased flan tin and trim to fit.

3. When the onions are cool arrange them in the pastry case.

4. Depending on the type of goat’s cheese you use either slice or break into small pieces (about the size of a 50p) and arrange on top of the onions.

5. Next whisk the 5 large eggs until light and fluffy, adding salt and pepper to taste, and then pour this mixture over the top of the onions and goats cheese in the flan case. Sprinkle fresh grated nutmeg over the top

6. Place into a preheated oven (190° C/Gas mark 5) for about 30/35 minutes until the mixture is cooked and the pastry is golden

7. Cut the tart into wedges and serve immediately with a green salad.

 

We hope that you enjoy it as much as our guests at Le Perchoir Des Paons do - even people who claim not to like goats cheese love it. Obviously if you come and stay with us or come along for one of my art courses during the summer you can taste it without having to cook it and learn to paint as well!! Click here for more details.

Melon, Tomato, Cucumber and Goat's Cheese Salad

 

This is a tried and tested Rick Stein recipe which tastes fantastic. You'll need:

 

½ ripe melon – such as Charentais or Canteloupe but to be honest I’ve tried this with most others and it’s still good.

½ cucumber

225g vine-ripened tomatoes  - skinned – remove the skin by scoring it and place in boiling water for 30 seconds

100g goat’s cheese such as Chevrissime Blanc

1 tablespoon finely shredded mint (optional)

 

For the Dressing:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Pinch of sugar, salt and black pepper

Melon salad 1

To make the dressing, whisk the oil, vinegar and sugar together with the salt and pepper to taste.

 

Slice the melon into wedges and scoop out the seeds and take off the skin. Cut into smaller bite size pieces. Peel the cucumber and cut into chunky slices. Slice the tomatoes and arrange together with the melon and cucumber. Crumble the goat’s cheese into small pieces over the salad and scatter the mint…then spoon over the dressing and enjoy…simply delicious!

The Best Savoury Shortcrust Pastry Quiche

 

 

Ingredients

For the pastry

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

salt

100g butter, plus extra for greasing

(alternatively use ready-made pastry)

Small sprig of fresh rosemary and a few fresh thyme leaves finely chopped

50g grated Cantal or Cheddar

2 large free-range eggs, beaten

A splash of milk

Preparation method

 

Put the flour, butter (or even better use lard), cheese and a generous pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse for 20-30 seconds.  Add the rosemary and thyme. Pour in the eggs and add a little milk. Pulse for a few more seconds until the mixture comes together…add the additional milk if necessary ( or the use the traditional method of rubbing in the butter until you have a soft breadcrumb texture and then follow the recipe)  then rest it in the fridge for at least  30 minutes.  

 

Roll out the pastry on a light floured surface and line a 22cm/8½inch well-buttered flan dish. Don't cut off the edges of the pastry yet. Chill again. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Remove the pastry case from the fridge and line the base of the pastry with baking parchment and then fill it with baking beans. Place on a baking tray and bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for another five minutes to cook the base

Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.

 

Sprinkle the cheese into the pastry base and add the sliced tomatoes if you are using them. Fry the bacon pieces until crisp and sprinkle over them over the top. Combine the eggs with the milk and cream in a bowl and season well. Pour over the bacon and cheese. Sprinkle the thyme over the top and trim the edges of the pastry. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set further.

 

Trim the pastry edges to get a perfect edge and then serve in wedges.

 

 

quichelorraine_71987_16x9

For the filling

250g/9oz English cheddar, grated

4 tomatoes, sliced (optional)

200g/7oz bacon, chopped

5 eggs, beaten

100ml/3½fl oz milk

200ml/7fl oz double cream

salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

 

This is a mixture of Jamie's pastry (which is amazing) and James Martin's quiche...give it a go and serve with a crisp green salad and a large glass of chilled rose.

Ingrediants

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped and crushed

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1 red chilli de-seeded and finely chopped

3 -4 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup mango chutney

1/2 cup tomato puree

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons of runny honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons ketchup

5 tablespoons port wine or muscatel wine

1/3 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons red wine

salt

black pepper

spare ribs1

Directions:

1. Fry the onions, garlic and ginger in the oil until the onions are translucent.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and let cook over fairly high heat for about 7 - 10 minutes, stirring often.

3. Taste for seasoning: you might want to add 1/2 teaspoon sugar, enough salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

 

Can be served hot or cold with any roasted or grilled beef.The sauce will last 2 weeks in the fridge and can be frozen.

 

To make into BBQ spare ribs:

Put 1.5kg of cut ribs into a large plastic bag and add your Monkey Gland sauce. Tie a knot and ideally leave in the fridge overnight, but a minimum of a couple of hours. Before you’re ready to cook take the bag out and let the ribs get to room temperature. Place everything into a roasting tin and cover tightly with foil and place in a pre-heated oven 200°C/gas mark 6 for 1 hour.

Take the foil off and squeeze some runny honey over the ribs and place the ribs back in for another 30 minutes – turning them halfway. Keep an eye on them though…don’t let them burn at this stage…take them out…rest for 5 minutes and eat with your fingers!

'Monkey Gland' Sauce for BBQ's

Don't worry...I know the French will eat almost anything, but this is a recipe from South Africa and doesn't actually use real Monkey Glands...!

Slow roasted tomatoes

I usually cook them in batches of about 1 kg at a time but if you have an abundance of them you can do as many as you can fit in the oven!! Turn the oven on to the lowest heat and prepare the tomatoes by cutting them in half and laying them in a cooking tray. Sprinkle them with salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar in roughly equal quantities. Place the tray in your warm oven and leave to slow roast for about 4 hours – they should still be moist and juicy but will have reduced in size quite considerably.

 

You can eat them warm or cold and they will keep in the fridge in plastic or glass containers for at least a week or so – you can also preserve them for longer by putting them in sterilised preserving jars covering them with olive oil and sealing them tightly. They don’t usually last long enough in our house to do that.

 

As these tomatoes have a wonderful intense sweet flavour they make a delicious accompaniment to either meat or fish.

tomatoes

Method

 

1. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Grease the inside of a 23cm loose-bottomed flan tin with soft butter.

 

2. For the base, mix together the crushed biscuits, the plain flour and sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter, add it to the dry ingredients, and mix well. Turn mixture into the flan tin, press evenly into the base and slightly up the sides.

 

3. For the almond cream, put the butter, sugar, egg, almonds and cordial into a food processor and blitz into a thick paste. Spread the paste over the biscuit base.

 

4. Halve and quarter the plums, discard the stones, and then arrange them over the paste. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

 

5. Meanwhile, warm the jam or marmalade and cordial in a small pan until melted. Press through a sieve and then once the tart is cooked, brush the glaze over the top. Serve warm or cold.

Mulligatawny soup

Ingrediants

Ingredients

25g/1oz butter

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 medium carrots, cut into 1.5cm/ ⅝in cubes

2 celery sticks, thinly sliced

1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1.5cm/⅝in cubes

1 eating apple, peeled, quartered, cut into 1.5cm/⅝in cubes

1 tbsp medium curry powder

1 vegetable or chicken stock cube (low-salt is best)

1litre/1¾ pints boiling water

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 tbsp mango chutney

100g/3½oz basmati rice

100g/3½oz natural yoghurt or soured cream, to serve

Fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan and stir in the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and sweet potato. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly until the vegetables are beginning to soften and brown lightly. Stir in the apple pieces and sprinkle over the curry powder. Cook for a further 2 minutes more, stirring as it cooks.

 

Crumble the stock cube into a measuring jug, and pour over the boiling water. Mix to combine. Pour into the pan, and stir in the tomato purée and mango chutney. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly and leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until the vegetables are tender.

 

While the soup is simmering, half-fill a medium pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the rice and return to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the rice is tender. Drain the rice in a sieve and rinse under running water until cold.

When the soup is ready, cool the soup for a few minutes and blend with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth before stirring in the cooled rice. If you want a more rustic texture to the soup, do not blend.

 

Add enough water to give a good consistency, (about 150-200ml/5½-7fl oz). Heat the soup for 3–4 minutes until piping hot and check the seasoning, add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Ladle the soup into deep bowls and top each with a spoonful of natural yoghurt or soured cream. Garnish with sprigs of coriander or flat-leaf parsley if you like.

mulligatawny_soup_68949_16x9