Tuesday, 12 March 2013

custard or creme brulee, and how much cream in creme?

Kitty decided to make her signature dish tonight, as the chickens have been laying well, and the eggs are stacking up. As usual nothing is straightforward, she mysteriously decided to try out Nigella's version, sending her dad out for more cream, then panicking because she didn't know if the mixture was thickening. It was. Now it is chilling in lots of pots in the fridge, because it is a stove top pan type custard, rather than a baked custard cooked in a bain marie.

It is quite a neat idea letting the custard set rather than worrying about the wobble factor as your mixture sits and steams. However, Kit's tried and tested recipe - which she forgot was carefully written out here, uses cream and milk. More economic, no need to send dad out for cream.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

fish dish and green sauce

When picky teen daughter is out we've been sneaking in a bit of fish. My preference is for fried fish with steamed spuds, but when the floury pleasuregivers are not available I will make do with rice.

Any filleted fish will do, but we've tried sea bass (covered in seasoned flour), pollock (rolled in seasoned flour, then in egg followed by fresh breadcrumbs) and salmon (just pepper). I fry them for a minute a side, apart from the salmon, since it is thicker it gets about two minutes a side. After cooking I let the fish sit for a moment, during which it goes on cooking.

The green sauce is a grab it sauce in terms of ingredients. I often have parsley, coriander and dill hanging around, and I throw a good handful of each into the blender with a clove of garlic, pepper and salt and blitz the lot. Adding a bit of oil and lemon juice or vinegar gives a lovely dense sauce. Adding assorted pickles (capers, gherkins, jalapenos) adds a vinegary tinge.You can also add maionnaise, and/or yoghurt or creme fraiche. Anchovies may also put in an appearance, to be blitzed. I like to have a smooth base and then add some texture by chopping an onion very finely by hand, sometimes a hard boiled egg might be added. Green sauce is a lovely accompaniment to fish and pots.