Tag Archives: asparagus

Wild garlic and My Butter poached Cod with wild garlic miso and grilled asparagus recipe

1 Apr
p

Wild garlic

Spring is in the air and wild garlic is a truly idyllic culinary treat – a wild ingredient that, when in season, grows in abundance, nestled among bluebells, attracted by the moist soil and shady woodland environment. Wild garlic has enjoyed a culinary boom in recent times, taking its place alongside rhubarb and asparagus as a pillar of spring’s bounty. It has a short season, usually first appearing in mid-March and lasting until early May.

Wild garlic can be identified by its distinctive smell, long pointed leaves and white flowers, which bloom at the end of the season. Don’t pick wild garlic that has large amounts of white flowers, as this indicates older leaves which are likely to be slightly woody and bitter in flavour.

Although the pungent smell of garlic makes it easy to identify, always take care when foraging your own ingredients – there have been cases of people mistaking poisonous plants (such as Lily of the Valley) for wild garlic. That said, it is certainly one of the easiest things to forage for, as wild garlic smells particularly strong.

Wild garlic doesn’t have to be foraged. It’s a frequent staple of food markets at the peak of the season. As with all vegetables, choose wild garlic with bright, fresh leaves and avoid specimens that have wilted.

A member of the Allium the plant has the same pleasing combination of sweetness and astringency that make leeks, onions, spring onions, chives and bulb garlic so useful in the kitchen.Although edible, the bulbs of the wild garlic plant are usually too small to be of much use and if you ever buy a bunch you’re unlikely to see any bulb at all (digging the bulbs out means no foliage for next year). The characteristic white flowers however, are perfectly edible – and pretty too – although the plant is at its best before too many flowers appear, signalling tougher leaves and a more bitter flavour. In April, when wild garlic is at its peak, you are more likely to find delicious tight buds than open flowers, but clever cooks call upon many different preserving techniques such as pickling, fermenting and freezing in a flavoured butter

Served with jersey royals and asparagus alongside roast chicken or spring lamb they’re a seasonal dream.Eggs are also a natural bedfellow – in an omelette or frittata or woven into a plate of buttery scrambled eggs. Soothing spring risottos tame the wild leaf and it makes an excellent pesto. And in a soup adding a delicate flavour.

Wild garlic flowers will give any dish a touch of cheffy presentation and their delicate floral garlic flavour is not to be missed. If you manage to catch the flowers in their buds just before they have bloomed, try pickling them. This is also a good way of reducing the amount of seeding the plant will do if your wild garlic patch is getting out of control!

Once the flowers are starting to go, you will be left with the three-cornered nobbly little seed pods. These can be picked, salted and pickled to create zingy little garlic capers. A lovely way to preserve wild garlic long after the season ends

Butter poached Cod with wild garlic miso and grilled asparagus

Ingredients

serves 4

COD

• 500g of cod fillet, skinned

• 100g of rock salt

• 200g of unsalted butter, cubed

lemon juice, to taste

WILD GARLIC MISO

• 60g of miso paste, brown rice miso if available

• 30g of wild garlic, leaves picked and washed, reserve the flowers for garnish

• 20ml of water

• 160ml of grapeseed oil

lemon juice, to taste

salt, to taste

ASPARAGUS

• 18 asparagus spears

salt, to taste

lemon juice, to taste

TO SERVE

• 50g of bonito flakes , grated

Method

1 Place the cod fillet in a dish or baking tray and sprinkle over the rock salt to cover. Leave to salt for 7 minutes

2Meanwhile, place the miso, wild garlic leaves and water in a blender and blitz together until smooth. Gradually add the oil while continuing to blend and allow the mixture to emulsify (as if making a mayonnaise). When fully combined, season to taste with a little lemon juice and salt

3 After 7 minutes rinse the salt from the cod under cold water and pat the fish dry with kitchen paper. Cut into 4 equal portions and set aside

4 Preheat to high a griddle pan.

5 To cook the cod, place the butter in a pan and cook over a high heat to create a brown butter (beurre noisette). As soon as the butter starts to foam and is lightly golden with a nutty aroma, remove from the heat and cool quickly to stop it from burning

6 Pour the butter into a wide pan (large enough to fit all 4 pieces of cod) and warm through gently to 60°C. Add the cod and gently poach for 5 minutes on each side, being careful to keep the temperature low

7 While poaching, griddle the asparagus spears for 2 minutes until tender, turning regularly. Thinly slice the cooked spears into 2mm thick rounds and season with a little lemon juice, salt and some of the butter from cooking the cod

8 To serve, spoon a generous amount of the wild garlic miso into each serving dish. Drain the cod from the butter and pull apart into large flakes. Dress these with a little more salt, lemon juice and butter and add to the dishes

9 Scatter over the asparagus slices and garnish with the reserved wild garlic flowers and a pinch of bonito flakes.

Tortellini of asparagus with fonduta and black winter truffle /Tortellini di asparagi con fonduta e tartufo nero d’inverno

11 Mar

Tortellini of asparagus with fonduta and black winter truffle /Tortellini di asparagi con fonduta e tartufo nero d’invernoimage
With my love of Italian food and truffles I have to share this recipe with you, it comes from Jamie magazine that I’ve just adapted a little .
Fresh asparagus, pasta, parmesan and truffle this is just heaven!
If you can’t get fresh truffles truffle oil can be used, but use sparingly, just a few drops as it can over power and ruin this wonderful dish.image

Ingredients
Serves 4

For the rich pasta dough
•300g Tipo 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
•10 egg yolks

Filling
•A bunch of fresh asparagusimage
•100g crumbly ricotta
•A few sprigs of basil, leaves picked
.A pinch of ground nutmeg
•1 lemon

Sauce
•200ml crème fraiche
•2 egg yolks
•1 garlic clove, crushed
•100g parmesan, gratedimage
•Fresh black truffle, to serve

Preparation method
To make the rich pasta doughimage

1.Place the flour in a food processor and pulse it. Add the whole egg and egg yolk and keep whizzing until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (it shouldn’t be dusty, nor should it be a big, gooey ball). This takes 2-3 minutes.

2.Tip out the dough and knead to form into a ball shape. Knead it briskly for 1 minute, it should be quite stiff and hard to knead. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in a cool place for 1 hour before

3.Now cut the dough into 2 pieces. For each piece, flatten with a rolling pin to about 5mm/¼ in) thickness. Fold over the dough and pass it through the pasta machine at its widest setting, refolding and rolling 7 times (not changing the setting) until you have a rectangular shape 7.5x18cm/3×7 in. It is important to work the dough until it is nice and shiny, as this gives it the “al dente” texture. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

4.Now you are ready to roll out. Start with the pasta machine at its widest setting, pass the dough through the rollers. Do not fold but repeat this process, decreasing the roller setting down grade by grade with each pass. For most uses, I take the pasta down to the penultimate setting – especially for tortellini Cut into 7cm squares (this should make about 30). Set aside under a damp cloth or cling film until ready to use.

For the tortellini and sauce

1.Place a steamer basket on top of a pan of hot water and bring to the boil. Snap the woody stalks off the bottom of the asparagus spears and discard. Place the spears in the basket and cook for 5 minutes.

2.Remove and leave to cool, then chop roughly and place in the food processor with the ricotta and basil. Blitz until finely chopped and scoop into a mixing bowl. Season well with salt, pepper, ground nutmeg and a squeeze of lemon juice.

3. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle (or use a sandwich bag and snip 1cm off one corner). Pipe a teaspoon-sized blob onto each square of pasta, then brush the edge with a little water. Fold each parcel in half – corner to opposite corner – so you end up with a triangle of pasta with filling in the middle. Squeeze the air out, and press the sides to seal.

4.Place each pasta triangle in front of you, with the flat edge towards you and the tip of the triangle pointing away. Roll the bottom of the triangle up onto the top, almost like you are folding it in half, then bring the sides up and weave together. Sit the tortellini right way up and lightly press with your thumb to flatten out slightly. Repeat with all the tortellini, then set aside on a well-floured tray.

5.Whisk the crème fraîche, egg yolks, garlic clove and parmesan together in a small mixing bowl and sit it over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the base of the pan isn’t touching the water. Whisk the mixture and cook gently for 5–10 minutes until the egg yolks just cook and thicken the mixture. Take off the heat then grate in some of the truffle and fold into the mix.

6.Cook the tortellini for a couple of minutes in plenty of boiling salted water. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to 4 plates. Spoon over the fonduta, then top with a grating of parmesan and shavings of black truffle.image
For more info please mail or call: simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com 0031(0)642297107image

Asparagus and my Roasted Crispy Chicken with Braised Spring Vegetables Recipe

20 May

Asparagus.

Spring, From asparagus and artichokes to peas and broad beans, spring brings a fresh crop of sweet, versatile vegetables that brighten any meal.

Asparagus

20130520-184202.jpg
The short-lived season, spanning just six to eight weeks, makes it the most eagerly awaited springtime food.
The arrival of asparagus heralds the beginning of summer’s succulent salads, and the end of the wintry brassica’s reign. Long considered a delicacy, in the past asparagus has been prized as highly as oysters or truffles.

20130520-184308.jpg
Here are ten facts about this sweet-stemmed springtime vegetable:
1. Asparagus is a member of the lily family.
2. Asparagus first came to Britain with the Romans. It thrives as a wild plant, and with its high tolerance of sandy, salty soil it will grow along riverbanks, shores of lakes, and coastlines, leading to much argument as to where it actually originated.
3. Asparagus also comes in shades of purple and red, which turn green only when cooked.
4. Sizes range from slender, young ‘sprue’ asparagus to thicker-stemmed, jumbo-sized ‘kitchen’ grades.
5. It takes about three years for asparagus plants to become established, and even longer to reach a fully productive state.
6. In the UK, asparagus is traditionally grown in the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire, and East Anglia.
7. Asparagus is considered a difficult food to pair with wine – it contains methyl mercaptan, a sulphur compound, which tends to give wine a vegetal or metallic taste. Try pairing asparagus with cool-climate wines that have pronounced herbal flavours to counteract this.
8. Top accompaniments for asparagus are butter, parmesan, hollandaise and vinaigrette, eggs, bacon or pancetta.
9. White asparagus is grown by creating mounds of soil around the growing spears, hiding them from the light and resulting in their blanched, pale look. It is particularly labour-intensive to harvest, as experienced eyes are needed to spot the spear tips in the soil.
10. In Thailand and Vietnam asparagus is known as măng tây, which means ‘European bamboo shoots’.
Prepping asparagus .
Because asparagus is grown in sandy soil, rinse the spears — especially the tips — with cold water. Snap off the woody base of each spear by bending the spear a few times to find a place where it breaks easily. This is usually around the bottom third of the spear and where the woody part starts to turn tender. If desired, scrape off the scales on the spears with a vegetable peeler. This gives the spears a smooth, clean look and is especially beneficial for tough or fat spears.

Roasted Crispy Chicken with Braised Spring Vegetables

Ingredients : serves 4

For the chicken:
4 Pieces of Skin-on Bone-in Chicken Thighs
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
2 Large Shallots, peeled and halved
4 garlic cloves peel on no need to remove : smashed
4 sprigs rosemary
8 sprigs thyme
Salt & Pepper to season

For the spring vegetables:
1 knob of butter
olive oil
150 ml white wine
150 ml organic chicken or vegetable stock
I clove garlic pealed and smashed
2 large shallots diced
500g asparagus
400 g fresh peas and broad beans removed from shells (frozen can be used too)
2 little gem lettuces, sliced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
good-quality extra virgin olive oil

Method

1: Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2: in an oven proof dish make a bed out of the rosemary,thyme, halved shallot and garlic , pat dry the chicken pieces , season and place on top of its herby bed and dress with olive oil, cook in oven for aprox 20/25 mins until skin is crispy and cooked through.

20130520-184701.jpg
3: prepare your peas, broad beans and asparagus (tip for asparagus see above ) for blanching

20130520-184831.jpg
4: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt so it tastes as salty as the ocean.
5: Prepare a large bowl of ice water
6: Put veggies in the boiling water for max 2 mins !!! Not any longer
7: Drain vegetables and transfer them to the ice water. Swish them around in the water until cool. Drain and pat dry .( blanching like this intensifies the the colour and flavour)

20130520-184939.jpg

<img src="https://simonssauces.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/20130520-184954.jpg" alt="20130520-
8: Slowly heat the butter and a good lug of olive oil in a pan add the diced shallot and garlic , cook until translucent NOT COLOURED !
9: slowly pour in the wine & stock. Turn up the heat and add the blanched vegetables with a pinch of salt and pepper. simmer for 5 minutes or until tender

20130520-185559.jpg
10: now add the little gem lettuce just to wilt ,Taste, correct the seasoning . Ready to serve

20130520-185649.jpg
11: to serve . Divide the braised vegetables on to hot dishes with all its juices then carefully place the roasted chicken thighs on top , dress with good extra virgin olive oil 😋

20130520-185818.jpg

20130520-185830.jpg
This dish can be made for a quick midweek meal or for a wonderfully delicious dinner party , still flummoxed or nervous and want to try this I can come and cook it for you ! 😃🔪🍴

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

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: