Thursday, June 23, 2005

Picnic in Roundhay Park

Posted by Hello
Summer is all about eating al fresco. Leeds weather rarely gets above lukewarm, but today was an absolute perfection, I even got sunburnt shoulders...Not something you'd associate with West Yorkshire and the 'grim' North. We went down to Kirkgate Market and picked up a rotisserie chicken and thick roast ribs with fabulous crackling, mustard, a £1 mixed bag of salad from Kirkgate Market (I was expecting a packet of pre-washed green stuff, but the boy handed me a bulging plastic carrier of a whole lettuce, 4 sun-ripened toms, a bag of radishes, a huge, mild whole red onion and half a cucumber), 1/2 lb of cherries all eaten with abandon in Roundhay Park by the lake.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bodeans BBQ - An American Werewolf in Clapham

Bodeans Posted by Hello

Bodeans BBQ is a place I always wanted to check out, but I'd heard that the Soho branch had suffered in terms of quality and authentic American portion sizes on which it prides itself. I had tickets to see Ornette Coleman perform on his 75th birthday at the Barbican and decided to try it. It didn't dissapoint - will post more about this later. Just wanted to get this photo up for the meat porn watchers..

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Summer Berry Trifle with flourless Orange Almond sponge and Creme Anglaise

Posted by Hello
Summer weather calls for something cold, creamy, tart and sweet all at the same time. This is my first ever trifle and made up with whatever I had lying around as I'm due to be moving house soon. The layers are made up of a citrussy almond sponge cake with a coarser crumb, which is perfect for soaking up summer berry juices. The creme anglaise made with grated nutmeg (that's custard to me and you) made with some skimmed milk (so I had to add some gelatine to ensure a slighlty more solid set in the bowl) topped off with some fromage frais for the clear, fresh taste, finally dusted with cinnamon instead of the traditional whipped cream. This is best made one day ahead.

Orange Almond sponge:
190C oven celcius
3 eggs seperated
5 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Orange zest plus 1 tbsp orange juice
150 grams Ground almonds
Pinch of salt

1. Whisk egg yolks with sugar until it ribbons, add orange juice and zest with the salt. Mix with ground almonds.
2. In a clean metal bowl, handwhisk or machine whisk egg white until stiff and fold in almond yolk mixture. Pour into a 8 or 9 inch pan. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes. Leave to cool and turn out.

Summer berry compote
100 grams mixed berries, e.g. strawberries, blue/redcurrants, blackberries etc or subsitute with cherries.
2 tsps sugar depending on how tart your fruit is
1 tsps cornstarch/cornflour

1. Heat berries in a pan over medium heat until it starts to bleed and mash with a fork. Add the sugar.
2. Mix cornstarch with 1 tbsp cold water and pour into bubbling berry mixture stirring all the time. The mixture should amalgamate and become thicker. Take it off the heat.

Creme Anglaise
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
150 milk or cream
2 tbsp sugar
grated nutmeg

1. Heat the milk/cream in a pan until almost boiling point with nutmeg
2. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and sugar. Pour milk into egg mixture whisking all the time to prevent curdling. It should thicken up, if not return to pan and continue whisking over low heat. If you're making this with skimmed milk, add a tablespoon of gelatine crystals to the hot mixture. Leave to cool.

Assemble by breaking up sponge into rough chunks and line the bottom of the bowl.Drizzle fruit compote over sponge, at this point you can add some sherry or sweet wine for a more boozy affair. spoon the custard over the compote and repeat. Top with whipped fromage frais or cremem fraiche and sprinkle some toasted almonds or some roasted, chopped nuts and perhaps for an excessive and indulgent touch, a maraschino cherry. I think its far more charming to do as little as possible and crush a ripe raspberry over the top so its crimson seeds run through the white cream.