October 2010 Archives

Preserving workshops, 22nd, 23rd & 24th Oct 2010

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smquincejelly0001.JPGIn association with Riverford, the lovely organic veg box people, I offer seasonal preserving workshops.  I cover all the basics of preserving fruits and vegetables and together we make four or five you can take home.

You will learn about sterilising jars, using sugar, salt and vinegar correctly as preservatives, reaching ‘setting point’ for jams and jellies, safe bottling and more. Class sizes are kept small (max 8 people) and very hands-on.  As well as your filled jars, there are recipes and guidance notes to take home.  

smpreservingclassesjune0009t.jpgThe October workshops will include (subject to produce availability):

Herbed apple jelly
Squash & date chutney
Lemon curd
Bottled pears in red wine
Quince cheese (membrillo)

Dates:  Friday 22nd, repeated Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th October 2010

Time:  10am - 3pm on Friday and Saturday; 11am - 4pm on Sunday

Location:  London N5

Price:  £60 (includes light lunch)

To book:  email Anna

Secret Kitchen menu, 16th Oct 2010

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thinking of Sicily and Puglia

Mulberry and elderberry cocktails
Crostini with goat’s cheese, smoked chicken & pesto
Parsley & black pepper panelle

Ciceri e tria

Sicilian orange & olive salad

Wood-fired oven roast chicken with rosemary roast potatoes

Baked pears with Marsala & raisin ice cream

Coffee, amaretti and bay leaf liqueur

Cooking Club, Weds 13th Oct 2010

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smquinces0003.JPGThe Cooking Club is a series of classes that you can dip in and out of as you please.  Classes are held on the second Wednesday of the month, 6-10pm.  At each class we cook a seasonal supper, the stars of which are Riverford's beautiful organic vegetables and fruits. 

Each class focuses on different produce and culinary techniques, so if you attend several they form a course.  You will develop knife skills and learn easy but delicious dishes you can repeat at home.

Classes end with an informal meal together around the table with some good wine, and recipes to take home. 

SmMoroccanClass0805100010.JPG“I adored the food we made - it looked and tasted amazing.  It was all really good quality and a step up from the basics, and I would make it at home.”

“Thank you so much - learning  some different techniques and being inspired to try new dishes rather than 'same-old' was such a fillip.”

“Wonderful as always!”

Example menu for autumn 2010:
(exact menus depend on ingredient availability and guests’ preferences)
Twice-baked mushroom soufflés with tarragon sauce
Jerusalem artichoke tart with beetroot remoulade
Slow-roast quinces with clotted cream

Date:  Wednesday 13th October 2010

Time:  6 - 10pm

Location:  London N5 (Arsenal tube 2 mins walk)

Price:  £40 per person per class.  Or £35 if you book 3 Cooking Club class places, which could be 3 for you, or you plus 2 friends, or as gifts, or any combination of those options.

To book:  Email Anna

Prune and Armagnac ice cream

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smarmagnacgrapes0001.JPGIf possible, make this with those famous Agen prunes, and some really good Armagnac, both of course from southwest France.  This recipe uses American cups, and is one of the few examples of when I think it is marginally easier to do so.  1 cup = 240ml.

Duck confit

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Of course you can buy this in tins (especially easy in southwest France), but the home-made version tends to be less salty and more delicious.  While it does take some time, it is far from difficult.  And it will keep in the fridge for several weeks. 

smcookedduckconfit0002.JPGI was prompted to make a batch of duck confit again this year after a trip through Les Landes in France, where, it seemed, no day passed without a plate of duck confit being placed in front of us.  On one particularly successful day we had it twice.  Duck confit is also popular in nearby northern Spain, as we found on our trip through Catalonia a couple of years back.

Serve with crispy fried potatoes or braised flageolet beans.  I like to garnish with a drizzle of zingy green sauce made from lovage leaves whizzed up in olive oil and mixed with minced parsley, fried rosemary, crushed garlic, diced shallots macerated in cider vinegar, and chopped olives.  Yum.

Secret Kitchen menu, 25th Sept 2010

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tourtiere.jpga birthday dinner for Ros

Monsieur Darzacq’s Floc de Gascogne
and Madame Darzacq’s foie gras with quince

Jambon sec du Pays Basque with melon and figs

Duck confit with flageolet beans and rainbow vegetables

Tourtière with prune & Armagnac ice cream

Liqueur 44 with cobnut cookies


Culinary Anthropologist