Monday, 27 April 2009
When Mandy Dunn asked us whether we could do a special weekend cooking course for her and her hen friends I initially hesitated. While I have never been out on a hen night , I have enough experiences of stag parties to know they can be very dangerous affairs, particularly so for the groom. Images of wild drinking parties come to mind, with comatosed and eyebrowless naked men left padlocked to trees in the environs of Cambridge in the middle of the night and other past incidents best left unpublished for fear of litigation!! However Poul our chef was keen to try out the kitchen with a safe group of students who would allow him the opportunity to experiment with a few new menus and give some constructive feedback. We therefore said yes! Little did we realise we would be opening a theatre in the kitchen and having one of the best weekends so far in Kerrouet House! So a big thank you Mandy Dunn (or perhaps I should call you Mavis?) for choosing Kerrouet House for your hen weekend and to all the other delightful hens in your clutch (Jenny, Hannah, Clare, Heidi, Lana and Georgina) who were such attentive and proactive students on the course. Thanks also to our wonderful neighbours - Wez who assisted with sound for the saturday night performance; Jeanette who ensured the rosé flowed all night long, Dorte who kept the kitchen operational and undertook ceremonial duties during the graduation ceremony; Pascal who played wonderful notes of traditional Breton music on his bombard on Sunday evening (and brought unusual samples of local wildlife including a green frog (sorry about that Lana!), a white salamander and a meat eating plant or was it a man eating fly Hannah?! However the star of the weekend was the erudite John Keogh from Melbourne who performed his show "Victoria Ponders Mavis" here on our kitchen stage! The unexpected performance was one of the most enjoyable drag shows ever seen (and we have seen a few in our time!). In one fowl swoop (well remember it was a hen gathering!) poor Mavis was cooped!! Never before did so much laughters fill our rafters! We wait for your next performance Mr Keogh!
Sunday, 26 April 2009
Roast Pork with Pesto & Vegetables.
Most people are surprised when they are served roast pork with pesto at Kerrouet House. Believe me it is simply wonderful and we have lots of converts!
2 kg of pork filet
10 medium potatoes unpeeled cut into boats
5 onions cut into small boats
18 dried apricots
1-2 oranges diced small
bunch of thyme
4 cooking apples cut into small boats
1 dl olive oil
salt & pepper
mug of white wine
Switch oven to 250 degrees.
Mix all ingredients well in an oven proof dish. Season the dish with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for up to 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 180 degrees and leave for 50 minutes.
Remove the roast from oven dish and place the mixed ingredients on hot plates. Garnish with the roast filet on top.
Can be served with a red or green pesto sauce or simply as it is above.
Salmon fishcakes with an apple,curry and caper dressing
1.5 kg. fresh salmon
2-3 whole eggs
1 clove of garlic
1/2 L of cream
1 Charlotte onion
salt and pepper
Clean the salmon filet and cut it into dices, and put it in a food processor blend the fish, add a bit of salt and the eggs one at the time, add the chopped onion, garlic and chives. Slowly add the cream, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
Fry the diced salmon in a pan in butter, serve them on a salad and a dressing to taste.
1/2- 0.8 L. Creme fraice, or cream
Chop up capers, apples, cornichons and onion into small dices. Mix with the
cream, flavour with salt,pepper and lemon juice. Serve it around the salad with the fish cakes
Saturday, 25 April 2009
Brittany is world famous for the quality of the seafood and so we are cooking mussels for lunch today!
Mussels in saffron with linguini
4 kg of fresh mussels
3 tbsp of oilive oil
bottle of dry white wine
4 sharlot onions
5 cloves garlic
2 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
20 black pepper corns
sprinkle of saffron
1.5 l of fresh cream
bunch of chives
juice of 1 lemon
Rinse the mussels in cold water removing all beards and algie. Discard any lifeless mussels which refuse to close. Place in a cold place
Chop up fine the onions, leeks and garlic.
In a large pot, heat olive oil and add all ingredients except wine and chives. Mix well and don't overheat. Add white wine and boil for 5 minutes or when the mussels have opened. Discard any which have not opened.
Remove the mussel shells from the stock and then remove mussels from their shells. Discard shells. Set aside. Reduce the stock, add the saffron and cream, bit of lemon juice (if necessary) and salt & pepper to taste.
Reintroduce the shellless mussels to the stock and keep warm.
Cook the linguini following the instructions on the packet.
Serve in a deep bowl the linguini and top up with the mussel soup and chives.
Sauce Beurre Blanc
If your cooking any decent fish or vegetable dish you really need to know your beurre from your beer and this sauce is a sound foundation for a whole host of delightful dishes so it is well worth getting to know the principles involved.
6 tbsp of whitewine vinaigre
10 crushed black pebercorns
1 large chopped charlotte onion
1.5 dl dry white wine
1 dl cream or creme fraiche
250g unsalted butter
salt & pepper
Boil up in a pan, the vinaigre, peppercorns and white wine and reduce to half. Add the cream and bring to the boil. Add the butter slowly and simmer (do not boil) slowly. Flavour with salt & pepper. Strain the sauce and serve when convenient.
Sauce Beurre Blanc is a basic sauce for a lot of vegetable and fish dishes. You can add chopped chives, parsley, garlic, tarragon, basil. In fact you are only limited by your imagination!
Friday, 24 April 2009
Friday, 17 April 2009
Fig Galette, Serves 4
- 200g all-butter puff pastry,
- 6 fresh figs
- 60g caster sugar
- 2tsp balsamic vingar
- 100g Camembert cheese, cut into eight slices
- Fresh chives or basil leaves, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
- Roll out the pastry to 2mm thick and cut out 4 discs using a 10cm wide pastry cutter. Prick well with a fork and place on a baking sheet of parchment paper. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper and weigh down with a second baking tray. Bake for 12 minutes, until crisp and golden.
- To make the fig jam, chop 3 of the figs into small pieces and place in a saucepan with the sugar and balsamic vinegar. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then stop stirring and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. The jam will thicken slightly once it is removed from the heat and as it cools.
- To assemble the galette, slice each of the remaining figs into 4-6 wedges. Smear a spoonful of jam over each galette and lay 2 slices of camembert in the centre, followed by some fig wedges. To serve, warm in the oven until the cheese just starts to melt. Garnish with fresh herbs.
- 45 g butter or oil
- 1.1 kg boneless pork, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3-1/4 cloves garlic, minced
- 185 g onion, chopped
- 1 lt chicken broth
- 5 g salt (gurande) sea salt
- 5 g black pepper corns
- 0.5 g rosemary, crushed
- 0.3 g rubbed sage
- 1 small chili
- 1-2/3 bay leaf
- 3-1/4 cooking apples, cored and cubed
- 3-1/4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 425 g carrots, peeled and diced
- 425 g parsnips, peeled and diced.
- Melt the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until lightly browned on all sides. Stir in the garlic, black peppercorns, chili and onion, and continue to cook until the onion has softened, and the pork is firm, and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Place the pork and onions into a large saucepan. Pour in the chicken broth, and season with sea salt, rosemary, sage, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the apples, potatoes,parsnips and carrots. Return to a simmer, then cook, uncovered until the parsnips and apples are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve with traditional home made local St Goueno cider!
Thursday, 16 April 2009
Ingredients (to serve 4)
360g turbot fillets
12g of leeks
12g of onion
12g of celery
12g of carrot
12g of courgette
12g of mushrooms
1 small chili
1 sprig thyne
2 sprigs of chive
1 bay leaf
500ml of dry white wine
1 tpsp of olive oil
Wash the langoustines, then simmer in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove shells and intestinal threads. Place the langoustine shells, fishbones, carrots, onion, leeeks, chili, peppercorns, bayleaf, thyne into a large sauspan and fry gently in olive oil for 1 minute.
Add the white wine, cook until evaporated, then cover with water and simmer for 20 minutes.
Strain the fish stock adding salt to taste as necessary. Keep the fumet hot.
Cut the courgette, carrot, chili and mushrooms (julienne style) and place into a sauspan with the fish sauce. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat and keep warm.
Cut the turbot into small pieces, season with sea salt and saute in a dry non stick pan for around 1-2 minutes. Arrange the langoustines in soup plates, add the turbot fillets and cover with the vegetables. Pour over the hot fumet, garnish with chopped fresh chives and serve immediately with home made bread rolls. A winner every time!!