Monday, 25 July 2011

Tamara's Delicious Peaches, Sauternes and Lavender - Perfect for Summer!

Tamara is a brilliant pastry chef and I was lucky enough to be in France with her this Summer where she shared her delicious Peaches recipe. The Syrup she created was so good that we ended up mixing it with soda water and creating a cocktail!

Sauternes is a French sweet wine from the Sauternais region of the Graves section in Bordeaux. It is coppery in colouring with common flavor notes including apricots, honey and peaches. With a brilliant balance of sweetness and acidity, this is a must try.

6-8 Big Juicy Peaches, peeled and sliced
500ml Sauternes (or enough to cover them)
2-3 stems of Lavender
Soda and Ice for the Cocktail

Simply marinate the peach slices in 500ml of Sauternes and 2-3 stems of lavender. Cover with Cling film and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Perfect on its own or with cream. With the left over syrup simply add ice and soda water, for the perfect summer cocktail!

'A sort of ' King Prawn curry with Puy Lentils and Rice

The best dishes as those that are thrown together when you are feeling content and happy, and this dish is one of those.

King Prawn Curry with Lentils and Rice

Put the rice in a large pan of boiling water and cook for as long as the packet tells you. Then rinse the lentils in cold running water and place in boiling water with a vegetable stock cube, and cook for about 15 minutes

For the Curry bit:

500g of prawns (this is a lot of prawns but im greedy and love prawns so just put in as much as you want)
1 x onion
1 x tbsp grated ginger
1 x garlic clove, finely chopped
1 x tsp ground ginger
1 x tsp cumin powder
1 x tsp ground coriander seeds
1 x chilli (we just bought a chili plant! Get one!) 
1 x bunch of roughly chopped coriander
1 x juice of a lime

Fry the onion on a medium heat for a 3 minutes, add the ginger and garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the ground ginger, cumin, ground coriander and chilli and cook for 3 minutes. Then turn the heat to low, add half the fresh coriander and cook for a further 5 mins. Turn the heat back to medium and add the prawns, cook until they pink all over.

Then, drain the lentils and add them to the prawn curry. Serve with the rice, a sprinkling of fresh corander and a squeeze of lime.

How it all started...

People often ask me why and how I started my catering company and as much as I would like to say 'one day when the sun was shining through the soft grey London clouds, I realised that...etc etc,' sadly it was not a romantic moment of truth but rather a stoke of luck!  I had been doing little events here and there since university but it was always for a bit of extra cash on the side. I worked for an Architects company for a year, which was kind of fun but being stuck behind a desk felt uncomfortable to say the least. Then I worked at a concierge company doing international property, jetting around the world to find stuffy, boring and often pervy business men talking about property developments that would probably never see the light of day (too harsh words I know, but true nonetheless, this was 2008 after all!).

So after two years i moved to my next job, the perfect property development company who were working on what can only be described as 'the most beautiful building in London', 78 stunning apartments overlooking Hyde Park, and this is where, unbeknown to me, my luck began. I was training to be a development manager, and started my job during the completion of the first show apartment. I went to one of the launch events and was less than impressed with the bland, sad looking canapes so I turned to my boss and said, admittedly a few champagnes down, 'this food is terrible, I can do it better, can I do the next launch event?' he replied, 'of course, its for 250 guests, are you okay with that?' 'Of course, (said almost choking on my beige canape) no problem.'

And that was that, I did the event, loved every minute of it, managed to pass myself of as a professional caterer and I suppose the rest is history. I continue to do all of the catering for the development and here are some of my latest event photos!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Cod, Samphire and a Tomato Cooli

Love this easy, delicious dish - and if you havent tried samphire before a)do it now and b)do it again and again - its my favorite vegetable in the whole world apart from chips.

Literally Boil the new potatoes and slice into 6ths. Throw a tub of cherry toms in a pan with some thyme, lemon zest, a tsp of sugar and season and fry on a medium heat for 10 mins, then pop in a blender, blitz and sieve. Pan fry the cod skin side down for 5 mins, then flip over, pop in a knob of butter, cook for 1 more min and turn the heat off. Steam the samphire for 2-3 mins. Serve and Eat. Simple, attractive and perfect for a summer.

Strawberry and Cream Canape

Im not a particularly 'puddingey' person - I would take a starter and a main over a main and pudding any day. However, being in the catering industry, I have to create puddings, usually in the miniature form, and this one im going to share with you is my favorite by a long long long way. In fact, normally when im cooking at events, I try always try one of each canape before it goes out but i ate at least three of these little gems. Fresh, indulgent, pretty and moorish - perfect canapĂ© traits! 

Almond Thins with Lemon Cream and Strawberries