Mushroom Soup (with room for the Vegan too)

We eat soup so often in this house. I love it’s standby nature. There is something that makes my heart glad when I make some really good soup, all fresh natural ingredients and I pop it into the fridge for anyone to help themselves to a bowl when they need it.

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And it just could not be easier, honestly it is quicker than driving to a take away and you will not have to suffer those ‘just ate yucky stuff’ feelings afterwards either.

See how I’m taking care of you

😀

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Mushroom Soup

2 large onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
60 ml /2 fl oz olive oil
500g / 1 lb mushrooms
2 -3 teaspoons dried tarragon
1.5 liters / 3 pints Vegetable stock
500 ml / 1 pt soya cream or double cream
2 tablespoons of cornflour

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Use a cloth to clean the mushrooms of any dirt, if possible don’t wash them in water as they will go soggy.
Heat the oil over a high heat in a nice capacious pan.

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Add the mushrooms, you want to hear a wild sizzling coming from them as they start to brown up very quickly.
Add in the onions and turn the heat down to medium high and allow them to start to brown too.
Add the garlic, stir and allow to cook for another minute.
Add the tarragon and add the hot vegetable stock.
Bring it to the boil and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
While that happens, mix the cream and the cornflour together.
As the soup boils add the cream mix in and stir well.
Bring back up to the boil then turn off.

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You now need to blend the soup. I like to use a stick / immersion blender but you can use a liquidizer or a food processor.

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Eat!

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Told you it was quick.

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

email me scarletrositafood@btinternet.com
phone or text 0792 310 9170
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ScarletRosita
or follow me on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ScarletRosita
Follow Me on Pinterest

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Creamy Potatoes

This is another one of my one pan, ‘Potatoes Are Always A Good Meal’ recipes – I love potatoes, yes I do.

I do like these with a waxy potato as they need to keep their shape as they cook. This dish is so much more than the sum of it’s parts.

I like to make it with Soya cream, but it is absolutely delicious made with dairy cream too, it’s up to you.

You can of course have these as an addition to a larger meal, but it is so tasty, every time I make it everyone remarks on how good it is, and to put anything else with it would confuse the diner as to what is the star of the show and these are definitely the star.

And it’s cheap, have some for lunch tomorrow, everyone loves it … can’t be wrong!

Enjoy

😀

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Creamy Potatoes

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4 tbsp olive oil (just a mild one) or vegetable oil even
3 Spanish onions
2 kg/4lb potatoes, here I used Lady Balfour (a medium waxy variety, or Estima or Desiree even Charlotte)
500ml/20 fl oz soya cream/double dairy cream
390ml/15 fl oz vegetable stock
salt and fresh black pepper
a nice handful of fresh chopped parsley or a large tablespoon of dried

Preheat the oven to 150˚C/300˚F/Gas 2.

Get a nice sturdy roasting tin that you can heat on the stove top. Add the oil and start to heat it over a low flame.

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Peel the onions and cut in two from top to bottom. Slice them fairly thinly.

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As you have them ready and the oil smells warm, then turn the heat right up and add in the onions to the pan. Give it a stir so they are coated in oil and spread over the pan to let them cook. Turn the heat to medium as they will now be sizzling away.

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Wash the potatoes but there is no need to peel them (if they have a lot of slug damage them you may want to peel them), and cut them into a medium dice say 1 cm square (ish – don’t stress about this for one second!).

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Stir the onions, but keep them going until they start to brown.

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When they are browning well then add in half of the potatoes. Give it a good mix and then add in the other half and mix again.

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Keep the pan on the heat and let the potatoes start to sizzle too.

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Season the potatoes with salt and black pepper and add that parsley in now.

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Pour in the hot stock (or water if you have no stock) and the cream. It should just be visible under the very top layer of potatoes.

Let the whole lot come to the boil on the stove top. Cover loosely with a sheet of foil.

Pop in the oven for 2 hours. This is a nice slow cook and the potatoes will absorb most of the cream, if the cream splits don’t worry it will still taste fab, just add a few spoons of water to allow the cream to reform

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We just eat these like this – on their own. Really great .. and you know exactly what went into it too

🙂

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

email me scarletrositafood@btinternet.com
phone or text 0792 310 9170
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ScarletRosita
or follow me on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ScarletRosita
Follow Me on Pinterest

Almond Praline

This is simple, just needs a little care and focus, but the praline can be used in lots of ways.

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Pop it into the food processor to make a caramel rubble to top cakes with, I do that for the Apple Chunk Cake

https://scarletrosita.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/apple-chunk-cake-this-cake-will-change-your-life/

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Or huge slabs to decorate the top of a cake like

https://scarletrosita.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/mexican-chocolate-coffee-cake/

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Almond Praline

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2 cups caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 cup whipping (light) cream
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups whole almonds

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Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

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In a large saucepan (I use my jam pan), mix together sugar and baking soda.

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Add cream and place over low heat.
Keep stirring as it warms so as to dissolve the sugar crystals.

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You may need to use a wet brush to dissolve any sugar as it crystallises.
Now turn the heat up high.

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Allow to boil until golden brown and mixture reaches 235˚F or 125˚C on a sugar thermometer.
Add in the butter and almonds.

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Mix well until the butter has melted and its all well combined.

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Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets.

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Allow to cool completely.

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Use how you like best

🙂

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

email me scarletrositafood@btinternet.com
phone or text 0792 310 9170
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ScarletRosita
or follow me on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ScarletRosita
Follow Me on Pinterest

Winter Semifreddo or Christmas Pudding Ice-cream

This is such a great standby pudding 🙂  I always call it Christmas Pudding ice-cream, but it does not contain any of said pudding and not too many similar ingredients, but it has served so well on many Christmas’ as the pudding, and on loads of other days too. It is actually a ‘Semifreddo’ as it contains whipped cream, but even that definition is  corrupted as it does not contain a custard or an ice-cream, but the texture of fabulously light, meltingly soft, super chilled mousse makes it a Semifreddo.

I love Christmas pudding, but lots of people really do not, so this recipe came about because I wanted to make something that would tick all the Christmas pudding boxes that everyone loves but none of those that people really don’t like about the pudding. So it is fruity and spiced and pleasantly fragrant with alcohol, without making your teeth stick together with sweetness or leave you feeling like any sort of post meal walk is an utter impossibility and what you want is a lie down with a nurse that knows how to use a stomach pump.

And again it has been a pudding that my very small children were very happy to eat so they had a chance of developing a palette that can appreciate more than just sugar and chocolate.

The cake that I use in this is the Banana Cake (Like you’ve never had before), it gives the best texture and a stable consistency to the pudding in a way that no other cake does, but I used to use Gingerbread, which also works well and adds an extra spice to the final pudding 😉

It does contain raw eggs. And, yes, I know some of you will be worried about eating raw eggs and I will not go down the old argument of ‘we’ve eaten raw eggs for generations. v’s. we didn’t live so long back then’ but instead would just like to make another relevant point – the most vulnerable point of contamination (try to be discreet here) is the chickens ‘exit’ point when the egg is laid. Once laid producers will remove any extra ‘hen matter’ so the shell is clean. When we break the egg we need to be careful to not get shell into the food and wash our hands afterwards. I do not want to labour the point so if you have any concerns about consuming raw eggs (although the fear and panic that was initiated in the 1980’s has all but been debunked) then can I refer you to this website to coax you back to confidence about the whole issue. http://www.lioneggs.co.uk/page/eggsafety

(I still separate my eggs by tipping the yolk from shell to shell but you can capture the yolk in your clean hand and let the white fall into a clean bowl or use a small cup to hold the yolk back as the white is drained away. I shall put all this into the Chef-y Tip’s section).

I suppose this is part of the encouraging us back to not relying on someone else to do the work for us, reclaiming our ability to feed and care for ourselves so we don’t pay through the nose for stale food that is old before we even get it home and is made in a kitchen by someone you don’t know as opposed to taking pride and pleasure in cooking for ourselves, friends and family, from ingredients we have chosen or grown or been given, in your own kitchen so you know how old it was and whether you had a cold or were tired and didn’t pay the best attention to what you were doing …. lalalalalalala …. it’s Okay! I’ve stopped now … come back …. rant over 😀

This is so much nicer than anything you will have eaten from a shop, it will not take you back to Mediterranean holidays as the flavours are from a different season, but it is an incredible delicious pudding that anyone can make (some sort of whisk definitely helps though).

Get those bowls out, this is going to be fun 😉

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Winter Semifreddo or Christmas Pudding Ice-cream

120 g/ 4 oz Banana Cake

1 tsp Mixed Spice

1 tsp Ground Nutmeg

100g / 3 oz Raisins

100g / 3 oz Sultanas

60 ml Brandy

60 ml Water

60 g Coco Mango/ Dried Apricots/Dried Prunes

60 g Glace Cherries

2 Eggs

1 dssp Vanilla extract

120g / 4 oz Muscavado Sugar

500ml / 1 pt Double cream

60 ml Marsala

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Pop the Raisins and sultanas into a saucepan with the water and the brandy. Bring to the boil, stir and turn the heat off. Stir well. Set to one side and allow to cool.

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Break the cake into hunks then put the cake pieces with the spices into a food processor and blitz to a medium crumb. Or you can just chop it with a knife if you don’t have one. It will be perfectly delicious still.

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Chop the cherries and which ever other dried fruit you have chosen, I have used the Coco Mango but you may choose the apricots or prunes, not too small, each fruit cut into 4 or 6 is small enough.

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Put the cake and dried fruit into a nice roomy mixing bowl.

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Put the eggs with the sugar and vanilla into a bowl and beat for about 5-10 minutes until you have a lovely thick mousse-y texture. (this is the ribbon stage, it needs to be thick enough so that when you lift the whisk and make an ‘S’ or an ‘8’ the trail stay clear enough for it to be readable).

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As that is beating you can get another bowl and start to whisk the cream to a nice firm-ish texture, as you do this add the Marsala.

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Pout the egg onto the fruit and cake in the bowl – you can see the texture of the egg mix here.

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Add the soaked dried fruit and any excess liquid in the pan and the cream.

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Now mix this mixture, you can fold, stir, turn it mmm you can taste it now. Does it want more Marsala? Or sugar? Or spice? Add it now and stir well.

Turn this into a nice clean plastic box and pop it into the freezer. Leave it for about 6 hours.

When you want to serve it take it from the freezer and leave it in the fridge for about 30 -40 minutes, this will get it to that perfect super chilled mousse state.

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Scoop and eat 🙂

How good am I to you?

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

email me scarletrositafood@btinternet.com
phone or text 0792 310 9170
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ScarletRosita
or follow me on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ScarletRosita
Follow Me on Pinterest

Peas In The French Style/ Petit Pois A La Francaise

Gotta say … I love this dish 🙂 Okay, so, I made a pan of this for my self, to do for my dinner and as a stand by for the next day’s lunch. For the real evening meal for everyone I made a fantastic old Medieval Stew recipe (I shall get it sorted on here in a few weeks) and it turned out great, all the things you want on a chilly evening, really tasty, with a quirky fruity tone that is very typical of those Medieval cooks. Dished it up, no problems, everyone loved it, had second helpings, just a little left over that looked perfect for Geoff to take in as his packed lunch. But no! Foolish me! Little did I know that whilst he was washing the pots he had a cheeky taste of my pea stew. Next morning, not a word to me, he took the massive pot load in for his lunch. Geoff is a meat pie/sausage/steak man, that proves how big on flavour this little dish of vegetables is.

The stew ready for eating

Anyway, at the market yesterday, so many people asked if I would have something after the holiday that would help with their excess eating and I was thinking it would be an idea to add a recipe here so you would have something in mind that is lighter on the digestive tract and, although still really delicious, is perhaps *not so over indulgent (* not so is the caveat).

Honestly, try it, it’ll change your world (well, maybe just one of your Christmas time meals 🙂 )

This is based on the classic recipe, but it has a few additions that I think are a lovely improvement.

Okay, danger of waffling here, so ….

Peas In The French Style/ Petit Pois A La Francaise

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Enough for 4 as a main course with some bread

60 g/2 ozcocnut oil/vegetable fat 1floz oil

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large white onion, diced (pieces about the size of the peas, so not too small)

4 spring onions/scallions, medium slices

2 cloves of garlic, in thin slices is fine

4 Little Gem lettuce, shredded (just repeatedly run a knife through the intact head and you’ll have it cut just right)

75ml/ 3 floz White Vermouth (or wine/cider whatever you like, I think the Vermouth is perfect)

500g/1lb Frozen Petit Pois (or peas if that’s what you have)

1 tsp dried Parsley (2 of fresh chopped if you have it)-optional

1 tsp dried Dill (2 of fresh snipped) -optional

2-4 tsp nutritional yeast

500ml/ 1 pt Hot Vegetable stock – from a cube is great

250ml/ 1/2pt Soya Cream  mixed with a heaped teaspoon of cornflour

Have everything ready on the side, this won’t take long.

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Heat the fats in a nice large pan (minimum of 2Lt/4pt, the one you use to cook the pasta in) over a medium heat.

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Add in the onions, stir and cook for a couple of minutes until they start to look translucent. Add in the scallions and cook for another minute until soft.

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Add the garlic and stir until they are sizzling.

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Tip in the lettuce and turn the heat up to full. Pour in the vermouth (or whatever it is you like the taste of).

 

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Cheese rinds in the stew

In goes the petit pois (or peas, doesn’t matter if they are frozen), the herbs  and the hot stock. I put the lid on now so as to get it back to the boil as quickly as possible.

Pouring in the cream

Once it is boiling take the lid off and allow it to cook for 5 minutes.

Reducing the liquor

Get the serving dish (or if you’re like me – the Pyrex mixing bowl) and use a draining spoon to fish out all the peas and lettuce until you just have the herby liquid in the pan.

The thickened liquor

This you now fast boil to reduce the liquid, it needs to be reduced to about 250ml/1/2 pt.

Now add your soya cream with the cornflour mix, it should be a nice creamy consistency, if it’s too thick add a little more water.

Delicious Peas a la Francaise

Add the pea mixture back to the pan and stir while keeping the pan on the heat until everything has a good coat of the sauce and the liquid has come back to a simmer just at the edges.

Perfect amount of sauce to peas ratio :)

I like it served in a bowl with a nice crispy roll to mop up the tasty sauce .. spoons an absolute necessity.

The stew ready for eating

This is also a very nice side dish with all just about anything –  even Pizza 😀

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

email me scarletrositafood@btinternet.com
phone or text 0792 310 9170
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ScarletRosita
or follow me on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ScarletRosita
Follow Me on Pinterest