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Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with boulangere potatoes

3 Oct

Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with boulangere potatoes

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Last weekend i had some guests over for dinner, it was a busy day, most of it spent away from home! So what to cook for them? Well I need something with not too much hassle that can impress!
Well I saw a great very simple recipe that was on a new cooking show from the BBC “Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food.” Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with boulangere potatoes, which was just perfect because I didn’t have much time to prepare anything, and wasn’t really in the mood to cook.
Omg I have to report this was delicious, the lamb just fell from the bone and melted in the mouth, the first layer of potatoes crispy and underneath unctuous and full of flavour from the thyme and onions.

Ingredients
Less than 30 mins preparation time
5 hours cooking time
Serves 6

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3 medium onions, thinly sliced
6 large waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced using a mandolin
1 bunch thyme, leaves picked
salt and black pepper
1 whole lamb shoulder
1 garlic bulb, peeled and separated into cloves
600ml good quality lamb or chicken stock
75ml olive oil
50g butter in blocks
cooked French beans (or other green vegetables), to serve

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<img src="https://simonssauces.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/20131003-202827.jpg" alt="20131003-202827.jpg" class="

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Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 130C/275F/Gas 1.
1. In a roasting tin or dish layer the potatoes then the onions and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, repeat until everything is used up, the top layer should be potato, now scatter with the butter

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2, Cut small incisions all over the lamb using a small knife and stick the whole garlic cloves in the holes, pushing them deep into the meat to prevent them burning while the meat cooks.
3, season with salt and pepper and rub the olive oil all over he meat, now place on top of the potatoes

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4, Pour the chicken stock over and place in the oven for 4-5 hours, or until the potatoes are crisp on top and soft inside.

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Maybe it’s time to open some wine!!! I’ve got some St Emelion from 2011 🍷👍😉cheers

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5, When cooked, remove the lamb from the oven, cover with aluminium foil and set aside to rest for 20 minutes. If the potatoes rant quite crispy enough you can place back into the oven under the grill to crisp up whilst resting the meat, keep a close eye not to burn them.
Serve with French beans (or any vegetable of your choice).
Bon appetite😋

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For more info , or if you wish I could cook it for you mail or call:
simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107,

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    Crab. And my spicy crab spaghetti

    30 Sep

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    There are around 4,500 different kinds of crab around the world, but brown crab is the most commonly available around the coasts of northern Europe and can weigh up to 3kg.
    Crab is cheaper and just as tasty as lobster, it’s also full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help build muscle, protect against heart disease and support the immune system

    BROWN CRABS, have a delectable sweet flesh, and are prized by food lovers. Scottish ones, perhaps the most sought after, score top marks for their flavour, which owes much to them feeding in cold, unpolluted waters.

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    BLUE CRAB – although recently introduced to the Mediterranean, it is actually native to the Eastern side of North America, especially around the coast of Maryland.

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    SOFT-SHELL CRAB is blue crab in its moulted state – a much sought after delicacy. Blue crab sheds and re-grows its shell in just over 24-hours.

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    SPIDER CRAB – a northern European species, particularly popular in France.

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    SNOW CRAB – inhabits the deep cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s usually canned and processed rather than sold fresh.

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    White Meat
    White crab meat comes from the claws and legs of the crab and while predominantly white in colour it does have a naturally occurring red/brown tinge throughout. White crab is very low in fat and particularly high in protein, it has a delicate, sweet flavour, a sweet aroma and a naturally flaky texture. White crab meat is versatile and while it is consumed largely in sandwiches, it can be used in pastas, risottos, and salads as well as a canape topping.

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    Brown Meat
    Brown Meat is from the body of the crab. It has a higher natural fat content, but is also extremely high in Omega-3. 100g of Brown Crab contains 2/3 of the 3g weekly recommended intake of Omega 3. Brown crab meat has an even pate like texture and a rich full flavour. The colour and texture of the brown meat vary throughout the year as the crabs physiology changes.

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    Cooking fresh crab .
    Ingredients .
    1 bulb of fennel chopped
    1 tsp pepper corns
    2 bay leaves
    Salt, enough so the water tastes like the ocean

    1,Pour 5 litres of water into a large saucepan and add around 5 tablespoons of sea salt, the fennel, bay leaves and peppercorns, bring to the boil

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    Grasp the live crab by the back legs and drop it into the water headfirst. For a more humane method, as you grasp the crab by the legs, stroke the top of its head until it falls asleep and then slowly drop it into the boiling water.
    Bring the water back to the boil and only then start timing.
    You should cook large crabs (about 1kg) for around 15 – 20 minutes, whilst smaller crabs will only need around 8 – 10 minutes.
    Once the water has started to boil again, reduce the heat and simmer for the required time. The crab’s shell should turn a bright orange when done.
    When the crabs are done, immerse them for a few seconds in cold water so that cooking stops and they do not overcook.

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    Picking for the crabmeat or undressing the crab .

    Place the crab on its back onto a large chopping board and snap off the tail flap, legs and claws. With a fresh crab this should be very easy.

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    Pull the head shell away from the body of the crab
    On the body part you will see the ‘dead man’s fingers’ a dozen or so (off-white spongy gills) which must be removed and thrown away.
    With a crab pick or a teaspoon handle ( a crochet needle is also a fantastic tool for this ) pick out all the white meat from all the nooks and crannies from within the crabs body trying not to break off any bone as you go , this is time consuming but you’ll be rewarded with the sweetest tasting meat

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    Inside the shell remove the stomach sac, hard membranes, mouth parts and throwaway.
    Using a teaspoon scoop out the brown meat, place in a small bowl and mash gently with a fork. This is fantastic in sauces and has such a rich flavour.

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    My spicy crab and squid ink spaghetti

    If you have the crab ready to use this only takes 15 mins start to finish!
    Ingredients
    Serves 4

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    Olive oil
    2 cloves garlic
    1 red chilli (de seed for less heat) chopped, chilli and crab a match made in heaven!!!
    700g of your undressed crab, white and brown meat kept separate
    100ml white wine
    zest and juice of lemon
    500g squid ink spaghetti ( regular spaghetti can also be used if you can’t find the squid ink variety)
    handful parsley copped
    handful basil chopped
    Salt and pepper to season

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    Method

    1.Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta.
    2.Pass the brown crabmeat through a sieve so it’s nice and creamy

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    3.In a large pestle and mortar pulverise the peeled garlic cloves with the salt, so that it makes a smooth paste. Then add the chopped and seeded chilli and crush again.

    3.Tip in the crab brown. Zest the lemon into the mortar and then add the juice. Using a fork, beat well to mix, you are ready to cook your pasta, cook according to packet instructions.

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    4. 5 mins before the pasta is ready heat some oil in a pan or wok on a medium temperature, add the sauce once it starts to cook simmer add the wine and simmer for a further 2 mins (don’t let it boil)

    5.Drain the pasta and tip into the wok or pan with the sauce, Immediately add white crab meat, chopped parsley, torn basil and toss to mix all together, season to taste and toss again .

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    6.serve direct in hot dishes , or if you want that 70s retro look serve in the shells ( thoroughly cleaned out of course) a cold glass of Pinot Grigio will go perfect to wash everything down!😉

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    For more info don’t hesitate to mail or call
    : simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107

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    Spiced Fig and Plum Tarte Tatin

    16 Sep

    Spiced Fig and Plum Tarte Tatin

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    It’s autumn again and this gives us more wonderful fruit, apples, pears, plums and delicious ripe plump figs. So what to with all that extra fruit? Well I’ve a really tasty desert for every one with a sweet tooth ” my spiced fig tarte Tatin ”

    Now what is a ” Tarte Tatin ” ?
    Tarte Tatin is a famous French upside-down apple tart (actually a sweet upside-down cake , apples are the traditional filling but other fruits can be used) made by covering the bottom of a shallow baking dish with butter and sugar, then apples and finally a pastry crust. While baking, the sugar and butter create a delicious caramel that becomes the topping when the tart is inverted onto a serving plate.

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    There is one rule for eating Tarte Tatin, which is scrupulously observed. It must be served warm, so the cream melts on contact. To the French, a room temperature Tarte Tatin isn’t worth the pan it was baked in.

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    My Tarte Tatin is made with figs, plums, nuts and spices which is a delicious twist on the original!
    Here are a few fun facts and trivia about figs .

    Although dried figs are available throughout the year, there is nothing like the unique taste and texture of fresh figs. They are lusciously sweet with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds. Figsare available from June through September

    Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches. The blossom is inside of the fruit! Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little edible seeds that give figs their unique texture.

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    Figs are harvested according to nature’s clock, fully ripened and partially dried on the tree.

    Many believe it was figs that were actually the fruit in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, not apples.

    The early Olympic athletes used figs as a training food. Figs were also presented as laurels to the winners, becoming the first Olympic “medal.

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    In Roman times figs were considered to be restorative. They were believed to increase the strength of young people, to maintain the elderly in better health and to make them look younger with fewer wrinkles

    The fig tree is a symbol of abundance, fertility and sweetness.

    Eating one half cup of figs has as much calcium as drinking one-half cup of milk.

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    Ingredients

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    500g block puff pastry
    plain flour, for dusting
    200g golden caster sugar
    100 g unsalted mixed chopped nuts
    2 tsp ground allspice
    80g butter
    4 star anise
    10 figs, halved
    3 plums pitted and halved

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    Method

    1, Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to about a 3mm thickness.

    2, Place the pan that you’ll use – about 24cm – on top and cut round it with a sharp knife to make a pastry circle, Sprinkle the circle with a little of the sugar and put it into the fridge.

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    3, Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Put the remaining sugar and butter in a pan. Bring to the boil slowly, but do not stir it. When it begins to go a dark amber colour, add the star anise, allspice and cook for 1 minute more, then take from the heat

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    4, Put the figs and plums in with the stem pointing towards the centre to make a wheel pattern sprinkle over half of the nuts and cook over a low heat for 5 mins

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    5, Put the pastry lid on the top and tuck the pastry in as though you were tucking in some sheets. Put on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden, puffed and cooked through.

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    6′ Take out of the oven and leave the tart to stand for 10 mins, then invert it carefully onto a serving dish, sprinkle over the remaining nuts and serve with crème fraîche or ice cream😋.

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    If you’re still nervous about trying this dish I can cook it for you !🍴🔪
    For mor info don’t hesitate to mail or call:
    simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107

    Sea bass with sautéed porcini, wild mushrooms, sage, crispy Serrano ham and Truffle

    15 Sep

    Sea bass with sautéed porcini, wild mushrooms, sage, crispy Serrano ham and Truffle

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    I’ve not been posting for a while due to me stupidly breaking my hand and wrist, god what a pillock !
    Whilst being handicapped it gave me time to study my cookbooks and devise new recipes .
    For a while now I’ve been posting fish dishes and today’s recipe is another delicious sea bass dish using autumn flavours, with freshly picked wild mushrooms, porcini mushrooms and because I’m decadent fresh black autumn truffle!!!
    I love mushrooms 🍄 and at this time of year there’s an abundance of varieties and my definite favourite is the porcini , full of earthy meaty flavour, an italian delicacy .

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    Porcini (Boletus edulis) are considered by some to be one of the most delicious mushrooms, so it’s no surprise its scientific name means “Superior Mushroom.”
    The name porcini means “piglets” in Italian. They’re also known as the king bolete, cèpe (in French), Steinpilz (the “stone mushroom” in German), and a host of other fun names from all over the world. The Latin name is Boletus Edulis

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    You can find porcini mushrooms on the ground in hardwood forests near pine, chestnut, hemlock, and spruce. They fruit in the summer to fall. But be careful , I wouldn’t advise anyone to go out foraging unless you know what your looking for!!!

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    Ingredients
    Serves 4

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    H6 tbsp olive oil
    1 banana shallot, finely chopped
    1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    200g/7oz mixed wild mushrooms, chopped
    200g fresh porcini
    12 fresh sage leaves

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    300ml/11fl oz fish stock
    75g Serrano ham, chopped (reserve 4 whole slices)
    4 x 175g sea bass fillets( wild line caught is my preference) , skin on and scored to prevent curling.

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    1x 10/20g autumn truffle (0ptional)

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    Preparation method

    1, Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a wok, add the shallot and garlic, and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
    2, Add the chopped mushrooms and four of the sage leaves and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring well. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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    3, Add the fish stock and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until most of the stock has evaporated. Stir in the chopped Serrano ham.

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    4, Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and fry the remaining sage leaves and slices of ham for 1-2 minutes, or until just crisp. Remove the sage leaves and ham from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

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    5, Add the sea bass fillets, skin-side down to the same frying pan and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown. Carefully turn the fillets over and fry for a further 1-2 minutes, or until the sea bass is cooked through.

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    6, To serve, spoon the mushroom mixture onto serving plates, sit a sea bass fillet on top of each pile of mushrooms. Top with the crispy sage, one slice of Serrano ham and if your decadent like me shaved truffle slices😜

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    If you’re still nervous about trying this dish I can come and cook it for you !🍴🔪
    For mor info don’t hesitate to mail or call:
    simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107

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    Strawberry & Rosewater Sorbet

    29 Jul

    Strawberry & Rosewater Sorbet

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    23 Strawberry Fun Facts

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    Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.

    The average strawberry has 200 seeds.

    The ancient Romans believed that strawberries alleviated symptoms of melancholy, fainting, all inflammations, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, bad breath, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen.

    To symbolize perfection and righteousness, medieval stone masons carved strawberry designs on altars and around the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals.

    In parts of Bavaria, country folk still practice the annual rite each spring of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to elves. They believe that the elves, are passionately fond of strawberries, will help to produce healthy calves and an abundance of milk in return.

    Madame Tallien, a prominent figure at the court of the Emperor Napoleon, was famous for bathing in the juice of fresh strawberries. She used 22 pounds per basin. Needless to say, she did not bathe daily.

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    Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the

    Strawberries are a member of the rose family.

    Strawberries, as part of a 5 a day fruit & vegetable program, can help reduce the risk of cancer & heart attacks.

    In medieval times, strawberries were served at important functions to bring peace & prosperity.

    Folk lore states that if you split a double strawberry in half and share it with the opposite sex, you’ll soon fall in love.

    In France, Strawberries were thought to be an aphrodisiac. A soup made of strawberries, thinned sour cream, borage, & powered sugar was served to newlyweds.

    Eating strawberries, which are rich in nitrate, can increase the flow of blood & oxygen to the muscles by 7%. This prevents muscle fatigue, making exercise easier.

    In a test, subjects who ate nitrate rich foods like strawberries, before exercising burned 100 more calories than those who did not.

    Roughly 27,000 kilos of strawberries are eaten during the Wimbledon Championships, together with 7,000 litres of cream.

    A 100g serving of strawberries will serve you for just 50 calories – that’s a whooping 0g of fat

    strawberries can help whiten your teeth? The acids in the fruit help to remove stains.

    Strawberries are full of a special substance called ellagic acid which can help fight cancers.

    They are also full of flavonoids, which form part of the strawberry’s red colour. They are known to help reduce cholesterol from clogging up the heart’s arteries.

    Eight strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange, that’s 140% of our daily recommended amount.

    The word strawberry comes from the Old English words “streowberie” or “streawbelige”. There are a few theories about how they got their name. The “straw” bit could come from the straw that was used to keep the strawberries fresh, or it could come from “strewed”, which means to spread wide.

    Strawberries can also be white or yellow and some can even taste like pineapples.
    The strawberry plant, the raspberry plant, are members of the rose family.
    The Romans loved their wild strawberries – and not only for their taste. They believed strawberries could cure a number of illnesses.

    If you’re watching your waistline, why not sprinkle a little black pepper over your strawberries instead of the usual calorific cream? It doesn’t sound that appetising, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised…

    Ingredients
    For 750/900 ml

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    300g caster sugar
    900g ripe strawberries, hulled

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    juice 1 lemon
    2 tbsp rosewater
    handful pink rose petals, to serve (optional)

    Method.

    1. In a medium pan, combine the sugar with 300ml water. Let the sugar dissolve, then bring to the boil for 1 min.

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    2. Put the strawberries in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Trickle in the sugar syrup, blend again, then add the lemon juice and rose water.

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    3. Pour the strawberry mixture into a large freezer-proof container (an old ice cream tub is perfect), then freeze until almost solid, mashing in the ice crystals every 1-2 hrs until the sorbet is thick and smooth.
    4. Wrap well and freeze until solid.

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    5. Allow to soften for 15 mins before scooping. Best eaten within a month.

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    For more info call or mail : simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031(0)642297107

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    Salt Baked Sea-bass with a summer fennel and bean salad

    20 Jul

    Salt Baked Sea-bass with a summer fennel and bean salad

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    Although the most abundant ingredient in this recipe is salt, this dish is not salty. The purpose of the salt is to encrust the whole fish, cook it evenly and not let it dry out. The result is a very moist fish with clean and pure flavor. My favorite fish to cook using the salt crust method is the SeaBass, but you can use almost any whole fish. Serve this dish with a yummy salad for a simple summer meal. Oh and all the salad ingredients have been organically grown in mr garden😊

    Ingredients
    Serves 2

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    For the sea bass

    1kg Line-caught sea bass, gutted and scaled
    1kg fine sea salt
    2 free range egg whites
    1Fennel bulb Finley sliced tops an fonds saved apart

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    3 bay leaves
    1 onion Finley sliced
    1 lemon
    1 bunch of dill , 1/2 Finley chopped

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    1 handful cherry tomatoes halved
    200g freshly podded board beans and peas , blanched and de skinned if you have the time😁

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    Method

    Preheat an oven to 220C

    1. Mix together the 1kg of salt, dill and egg whites until you have a paste of damp salt.

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    2. Line a large roasting tray with salt, at least 1.5cm deep

    3. place the sliced fennel, onion, lemon and bay leaves on top of the salt base and place the sea bass on top of the salt.fill the cavity of the sea bass with the remaining dill

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    4. Cover the sea bass with the remaining salt, patting it down so that it tightly and thickly covers the entire fish. Moisten the salt a little more if necessary to make it stick.

    5. Place the salt covered sea bass into the preheated oven and bake for 30 /40minutes

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    6. Meanwhile, make the salad Very finely chop the fennel fronds and place into a mixing bowl. Add the tomatoes, peas, broad beans and chickpeas. Stir in the lemon juice,and olive oil. Add the salad leaves and toss together Taste and season with pepper as necessary.

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    7. To serve, crack the salt crust open and discard the salt. Peel away the skin of the fish, fillet the flesh, discarding any bones and serve immediately with the salad.

    Bon appetite 😊🍴

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    For more info don’t hesitate to mail or call :
    simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107

    Squid and Choritzo salad

    19 Jul

    Squid and Choritzo salad

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    Squid a delicious, healthy and inexpensive ingredient used all around the world . Many people are afraid of how to cook and prepare but if you follow my simple guide I’m sure you’ll cook it over and over again .
    Squid Is best cooked in two ways , long and slow at a low temperature, or fast on a high heat like in the recipe that follows .
    You can of course ask your fishmonger to prepare everything for you, but there’s nothing better or satisfying than doing it your self🍴🔪

    Preparing Squid
    Cleaning and preparing a squid is easier than you might think.
    1. Pull the tentacles away from the body of the squid.

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    2. -Feel inside the body for the quill (it resembles a shard of plastic). Pull it out of the squid and discard.
    -Rinse inside the body of the squid in cold water.

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    3. Pull the ears (wing-like flaps) from the body. Pull the purplish skin from the ears and body to leave only the white meat.

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    4. Cut the tentacles away from the guts by slicing just below the eyes. Check the centre of the tentacles for the hard beak, which can be discarded. (Discard the guts of the squid or, if desired, retain the ink sack to use in seafood pasta or risotto.)
    5. Either slice the body of the squid into rings, or cut down one side of it, open it out, scrape away any traces of guts left inside the body, then score the inside lightly in a cross-hatch pattern.
    -Dry off the squid before cooking.

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    Squid and Choritzo salad Recipe
    Ingredients
    Serves 4

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    400g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight , or a tin of ready soaked
    600g prepared medium-sized squid

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    2 big handfuls of cherry tomatoes halved

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    I lemon
    6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 medium-hot red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced across
    3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

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    A small handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
    200g chorizo picante , cut across into thin slices
    100g rocket leaves or watercress
    1/2 teaspoon pimenton ( spanish smoked hot paprika powder )
    Salt and coarsely ground black pepper

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    Method
    1. Drain the soaked chickpeas, put them into a pan and cover with fresh cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the skins begin to crack and they are tender – about 40 minutes – adding 1 teaspoon salt to the pan 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Drain and leave to cool.
    2. prepare the squid as above
    3. Stir the tomatoes into the chickpeas with the lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of the olive and some salt and pepper to taste.

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    4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat.

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    5. Once at a high temperature ( the oil should start to smoke ) add the squid pieces, scored side facing upwards first (this will make them curl attractively), the chilli, garlic and the tentacles and sear for 30 seconds, then turn them over and sear for another 30 seconds until golden brown and caramelized. Season with salt and pepper

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    6. Throw in the chorizo and toss together over a high heat for a further minute. add parsley and pimenton toss all together.

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    7.Briefly toss the rocket leaves through the chickpea salad and spoon onto 1 large or 4 individual plates. Top with the sautéed squid and chorizo and serve.
    Bon appetite !!!

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    For more info don’t hesitate to mail or call
    : simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107

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    Sea Bream with 
a Sauce Vierge , fennel and asparagus

    25 Jun

    Sea Bream with 
a Sauce Vierge , fennel and asparagus

    This dish I adapted from one of Rick Stein’s recipes , stunning and delicious , great for any occasion , and packed full of Mediterranean flavours.

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    Serves 4
    Ingredients

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    olive oil
    1 x 750g sea bream or dorado scaled gutted and cleaned
    200g cooked unpeeled prawns

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    8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    4 baby fennel bulbs finely sliced lengthways
    4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
    2 thin spring onions, trimmed, thinly sliced
    2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    250g asparagus carefully sliced in half lengthways

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    150g fresh garden peas
    ½ medium-hot red chilli, deseeded, thinly sliced
    6 mint leaves, finely shredded
    Hand full basil finely sliced

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    Method
    1, Lightly grease a baking tray with olive oil . Preheat grill to high. . Cook in a pan of boiling, lightly salted water the slices of fennel, asparagus and peas for 1½ minutes or until al dente. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain well on kitchen paper.
    2, Brush fish on both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.Place on prepared tray. Cook under grill for 10 minutes, turning halfway during cooking
    3, Meanwhile, place oil, lemon juice, tomatoes, spring onions, garlic, peas,chilli, ½ tsp salt and 10 turns of the black pepper mill into a small saucepan, warm up on a low temperature but don’t cook!!
    4, now for the tricky bit !! Transfer fish to a chopping board. Using a small, sharp knife, cut through the skin all around the outside edge of the fish, across the base of the tail and behind the gills, and pull away.
    Run knife down the length of the fish between the two top fillets, and ease them apart and away from the underlying bones.
    Slide a palette knife under each of the fillets in turn and carefully lift them away. Set fillets aside on a warmed plate.
    Lift up the backbone of the fish by the tail and carefully ease it away from the bottom fillets, taking the head with it. Discard.
    Slice down the centre of the bottom fillets and clean away any bones and skin from the outside edges.
    Lift the bottom fillets away from the skin and add them to the plate.

    5, To plate up .Add fennel and prawns to sauce vierge and cook further over low heat for 1 minute. Remove fennel and overlap 2 pieces in the centre of each serving plate, then scatter asparagus randomly over fennel. Place one fish fillet on top. Stir mint and basil into remaining sauce. Spoon sauce with the prawns over the fish and fennel , serve direct

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    If you’re still nervous about trying this dish I can come and cook it for you !🍴🔪
    For mor info don’t hesitate to mail or call:
    simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107

    Spaghetti alle Vongole

    24 Jun

    Spaghetti alle Vongole

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    This is my version of the wonderful dish Spaghetti alle Vongole , this Venetian seafood classic is loved throughout Italy, and is one of my favourites , simple an quick to make.

    Serves 4
    Ingredients

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    1 kg small clams, from sustainable sources, I’m using Venus clams, scrubbed clean

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    1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
    4 cloves garlic
    10 cherry tomatoes
    250 ml white wine
    250g prawns

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    400 g dried spaghetti, for a more dramatic dish I’m using squid ink spaghetti
    sea salt
    freshly ground black pepper
    extra virgin olive oil
    1-2 dried chillies
    1-2 fresh chillies sliced

    Oh and before we start cooking a glass of wine might be needed 😉

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    Method

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    1,Place a large pan of water on to boil.
    2, check through your cleaned clams and if there are any that aren’t tightly closed, give them a sharp tap. If they don’t close, throw them away.
    3, Place a large pan with a lid on a high heat and let it heat up.
    4,Finely slice the parsley stalks, then put them to one side and roughly chop the leaves. Peel and chop the garlic, quarter the tomatoes and get your wine ready.
    5,Add the pasta to the boiling water with a good amount of salt and cook according to packet instructions until al dente.
    6,Aprox 5 minutes before your pasta is ready, Put 4 generous lugs of extra virgin olive oil into the hot pan and add the garlic, parsley stalks and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Crumble in the dried chilli and add the chopped tomatoes. Stir everything around constantly and just as the garlic starts to colour, tip in the clams, prawns and pour in the wine. put the lid on the pan , give a good shake After aprox 3 or 4 minutes the clams will start to open, so keep shuffling the pan around until all of them have opened.
    7, Take the pan off the heat. Get rid of any clams that haven’t opened.
    8, now the pasta should be just about perfect. Drain and add to the pan of clams along with the parsley leaves and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Stir or toss for a further minute or two to let juices from the clams be absorbed into the pasta.
    9,Serve right away in hot dishes

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    Still don’t fancy making it yourself ! I could come and cook it for you
    For more info don’t hesitate to mail or call :
    simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031 (0)642297107

    The Truffle & my Tagliatelle with Steak and Porcini in a Truffle & cream sauce and Truffle shavings

    4 Jun

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    What is a Truffle?
    Often called the diamond of the culinary world, a truffle is a rare, edible mushroom that is considered to be a delicacy due to its intense aroma and characteristic flavor. They have a firm texture and are most often shaven on top of food before serving, although they can also be used to infuse flavor into dishes. Though there are hundreds of different species, only some — mostly those found in the genus Tuber — are considered delicacies. Truffles grow underground in symbiotic relationships with trees and are difficult to find; as a result, they are usually harvested in the wild by trained pigs and dogs.

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    Types of Truffle

    The black winter truffle

    Also known as, “Périgord Truffle” or “The Black Diamond of Provence,” it is harvested mainly in Italy, Spain, and France, where it grows under the shade of oaks, hazelnut, chestnut elm and poplar trees, typically from November to March, peaking in January and February. Contrary to popular misconceptions, no country’s truffle is superior to the other. Fresh black truffles are by far the most highly sought-after variety of this mushroom, although they fetch extraordinarily high prices. The winter black truffle is actually more of grayish-brownish black on the outside, with white spidery veins on the inside that indicate maturity (the summer variety will be of a more brownish color, but are the same size). It weights typically between 2 and 3oz. The Winter Black Truffle is highly sought after for its earthy, subtle aroma, and a taste once described as mixture of “chocolate and earth”.

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    White winter truffle

    The winter white truffle goes by a number of different names, including Italian white truffles and Piedmont truffles. The winter white truffle is known for its unique flavor, with a strong infusion of garlic. These winter white truffles are also distinguished by their intense musky aroma, and shoppers should look for this strong scent as they are selecting their truffles.

    Keep in mind that white truffles are not truly white – in fact they will be more of a yellowish color. The best winter white truffles will also have a smooth exterior, so it is important to examine each one carefully. And although fresh white truffles do have a strong aroma, that aroma tends to fade more quickly than with black truffles, so it is important to use those fresh truffles as quickly as possible after they have been selected.

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    Black summer truffle

    Although not held in such high regards as the winter variety, summer black truffles are still a delicious and versatile ingredient. Depending on weather variations, the season for this truffle goes from May to the end of August. They grow among oak, hazelnut, chestnut, elm and poplar trees, like the winter variety. From the outside, it looks pretty much like the Winter Black truffle, with a knobby, roundish shape and dark brown skin. The flesh or interior of the truffle is yellowish-grey, with spidery white veins webbing around. Towards the end of the summer, the flesh turns a darker brown. The summer black truffle is not as spectacularly fragrant and aromatic as the white truffle, but it does have a very nice aroma – much more subtle, but still quite appealing. They are better utilized by being cooked, to bring out the most of that subtly earthy chocolaty flavor.

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    White summer truffle

    Also known as the Marzuili truffle, this would probably be your best bet when going for summer truffles. Although not as highly aromatic as the Winter White truffle, the Summer White still has most of that pungency characteristic of white truffles. It is found in the same regions of Italy as the winter variety, primarily Piedmont, Tuscany and Marches in Italy, and is the exactly same variety of mushroom, only harvested during the summer instead of the winter (black truffles, on the other hand, are a different species altogether in the winter and in the summer). They are much more affordable than the winter variety, so it allows for more experimentation and more quantity. The flavor is sweet and with hints of garlic, with a musky fragrance. It tends to look the same as Winter White truffles, with the interior going from a smooth yellow color to a dark brown with white veins as the season progresses. As with other white truffles, they are best used sliced or shaved over already cooked dishes, to maximize the aroma of the truffles.

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    10 truffle facts

    1.Truffles grow in harmony with a host tree, enabling the tree to take in phosphorus while in return the truffle receives sugars enabling it to grow.
    2. The ancient Greeks thought truffles were made when lightning hit damp soil
    3. Truffles are mushrooms which are believed to have started growing underground to beat forest fires, drought and severe cold
    4. Italians consider the white truffle (tuber magnatum) to be superior in taste to the black truffle (tuber melonosporum)
    5. Pigs, trained dogs and goats are used to sniff out truffles which produce a chemical almost identical to a sex pheromone found in male pig’s saliva. Men secrete the same chemical in their underarm sweat

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    6. The truffle has been described variously as a diamond of cookery, fairy apple, black queen, gem of poor lands, fragrant nugget and the black pearl.
    7. The Collins family of Wiltshire held the only Royal warrant to hunt for truffles in the UK until 1930 since when anyone has been allowed to seek them out
    8. A rare Italian white truffle sold for £28,000 at a charity auction in 2004
    9. France is the largest producer of truffles, harvesting up to 30 tonnes a year. At the end of the nineteenth century production was over 1,000 tonnes
    10. A fabled aphrodisiac, the black truffle’s penetrating aroma led the Epicureans to liken the scent to that of the tousled sheets of a brothel bed. In the Middle Ages, monks were prohibited from eating truffles for fear they would forget their calling.

    Tagliatelle with strips of Steak and Porcini in a Truffle cream sauce and truffle shavings

    Ingredients
    Serves 2 preparation & cooking +/- 30 mins

    250g good quality tagliatelle
    250g filet steak sliced into 1cm thick strips
    200g fresh porcini mushrooms sliced , if not available shiitake can be used as an alternative
    1 clove garlic crushed
    200ml double cream
    20g fresh truffle
    Olive oil
    Knob of butter
    A large sprig of thyme
    Handful fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
    Handful grated parmesan cheese
    Salt & pepper to season

    Method

    1. For the truffle cream place 10 grams of the truffle into a blender of magimix pulse for a few seconds to break up , now add the cream , pulse to combine .

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    break up , now add the cream , pulse to combine .
    2. Bring a pan os salted walter to the boil and cook the tagliatelle according to packet instructions until all dente .

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    3. In a sauté pan or wok heat oil on a medium to high heat add crushed garlic ( don’t let it burn!) add strips of beef and the sprig of thyme , cook for 2/4 mins .
    4. Add the porcini mushrooms and the knob of butter cook for a further 2/4 mins until perfectly tender.
    5. Add a tablespoon of the pasta cooking water to the steak & porcini ( the starch in the water will help bind the sauce together )

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    6. Drain the tagliatelle and add to the to the steak , now add the truffle cream and chopped parsley , toss or stir to heat up , ready to serve.

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    7. To serve divide between hot dishes , top with grated parmesan cheese, thinly slice rest of the truffle and skater all over .

    Boun appetito 😊🍴

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    Boun appetito 😊🍴

    For mor info , questions or query s mail or call:
    simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com. 0031 (0) 642297107

    And of course I can come and cook it for you🔪🍴

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