Tartine of cream cheese, strawberries, fresh mint and… Pedro!

For me today, there is life BEFORE and AFTER Pedro…

Here is a fresh idea for a sophisticated breakfast or a light lunch:

Take a slice of Pain Poilâne – or chunky wholemeal- , spread it with cream cheese, slice fresh strawberries, chop some mint on top, give it a shake of black pepper and a swirl of Pedro Jimenez reduction and savour with a cup of Earl Grey, a jug of Pims or a glass of Prosecco! I am talking PROPER breakfast here : the kind you want just before you are off to Ascot or Henley or Wimbledon…  And the touch of Pedro here is just the thing to make you swoon. If no Pedro, then try just a dash of thick balsamic vinegar or even some dark honey… Though Pedro IS irreplacable, you can make substitutes – much like you do in a football match when things don’t quite work out!!! What on earth is happening to Brazil right now???!!! Come on Guys…

IMG_7254This is light snack food at its best! On top of that, it is super healthy and delicious so why not indulge…

Shop version from Le Pain Quotidien in Marylebone

Shop version from Le Pain Quotidien in Marylebone

More of a tip than a recipe but here is another photo to show you how it all gets together – in case you thought the above was complex. This is tomato, basil, artichoke in brine and PEDRO…

A more mediterranean version

A more mediterranean version

 

I feature in a new cooking and travel guide by GlobeKid

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I have the pleasure of featuring in the new “Globekid” guide: “Je cuisine à Londres”: Go there to find 4 of my British recipes, alongside with more from the famed “Ateliers des Chefs”. GlobeKid is a new publishing start-up, specialising in travel guides for children: You can download their guides for free in PDF or ebook, customise and personalise them or order them in book form for a few euros.

Vive la cuisine Britannique! Long live British cooking!IMG_2160

Beetroot and apple juice for healthy joints

This post I dedicate to my brother who has recently run his fifth half-marathon. Very proud of his time too…

Aged 5 and 3 at a fancy dress party - sisterly love!

Aged 5 and 3 at a fancy dress party – sisterly love!

This healthy juice is great for preparing to a long distance event because beetroot is extremely good at keeping your joints healthy and free from inflammation. Beet juice is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying. So when the lactic acid builds up during a race, the protective benefits of a few glasses of this potion can also make a great difference to how you will feel after the finish line. You know the feeling when you are actually scared to stop because you know it will really ache in those muscles…

With the addition of apples and mint, beetroot actually tastes quite delicious – you get to even enjoy the little “earthy and grounded” after-taste because it is exactly what you need.

Vibrant and good for the energies!

Vibrant and good for the energies!

Ingredients list:

  • Beetroot, one raw
  • Carrots,2
  • Apples, 2
  • Handful of spinach
  • Celery stick, one
  • ginger and mint, to taste

Wash but do not peel and put all the ingredients into a juicer.

Add the raw ginger root and the bunch of mint at the end, taste and adjust.

Serve in tumblers with lots of ice and a festive straw. Non alcoholic does not mean boring or tasteless. This has plenty of flavour and as I said it is extremely good for you – especially the day before a race or a long training session.

Recommended by Marathon runners! To try it is to adopt it!

 

Strawberry, mint and cucumber picnic salad

A great looking, great tasting salad for your next picnic. This would be the ideal menu to bring to a Bank Holiday lunch “al fresco” and in the sun…

Here dishes without "Pedro" and with "Pedro"! See the difference?

Salad and tortilla for a summer lunch outside

Ingredients list:

  • Bunch of mint (fresh pepper mint is best)
  • 1 cucumber, seeded
  • Strawberry, 1 punnet
  • Feta cheese, 1 cubed slab
  • Pedro Jimenez reduction or Balsamic vinegar

This came to me in flash as I was trying to use a punnet of strawberries but in a savoury way. I thought that strawberries are great with cracked pepper but also with mint and  from then on I imagined to pair them with the amazing “chocolate peppermint” I have been growing in my front garden. It is a spicy tasting plant with a real smell of “After eight” and the taste of strong Hollywood chewing gum! It is wonderful in that salad but sweet moroccan mint would be nice too.

Chop the strawberries and cucumber a similar size cubes and same with the cheese – although the cheese is pleasant in adding a bit of salt in there, it is by no means essential. It might even distract a bit from the wholesome simplicity of flavours so I have sometimes omitted it.

Dress with a simple drizzle of balsamic vinegar or my favourite Pedro Jimenez reduction. It hardly needs anything else and if it did it would be a hint of black pepper, if your fruit are a little bland. Toss and serve.

A healthy, skinny and super tasty salad.

Love the colours...

Love the colours…

Our first picnic of the year was in Hyde park and this is what we carried:

(The gorgeous metal plate are Heritage designs printed for the Wallace collection by Elite Gift `boxes)IMG_6623 IMG_6624Many happy memories are created around picnics so choose your spot, your day, your company and make it a picnic to remember…

Put a spring in your plate – with a Tortilla Sacramento…

A week end in Granada got me a whiff and a taste of spring, ahead of it really arriving here. Granada is a baking hot Andalusian town laying at the foot of a snow capped Sierra, the fire and the ice ; a cool arab paradise in gypsy flamenco dress, an oxymoron of a place that is hard to define and delicious to loose yourselves in…

In April, the gardens of the Generalife are bursting with roses and carnations, a riot of spring flowers everywhere and the lingering scent of orange blossom and heady climbing roses following you around like a music… I came back wanting more : Especially more colour, more taste, more fragrance! So I recreated one of the local dishes that encapsulated all of my longings: Tortilla Sacramento.

Sacramento is the gipsy quarter from which you have an incredible view over the red walls of the Alhambra palaces and gardens. A view immortalised by numerous painters and engravers over the centuries but still magic when you “recognise” it under the moonlight. Imagine a warm April night with a cool breeze and the towers of the palace of the last Moors of Spain in front of you… A palace full of legends, songs and poems…

Tortilla Sacramento for 4

Ingredients list:

  • Eggs, two per persons: 8 here
  • Steamed asparagus, 6/8
  • Shallot, 1 sliced finely
  • yellow pepper, sliced, 1
  • Petit pois or garden peas, 1 small handful
  • Olive oil to fry
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley and chives, a few sprigs
  • Optional: shreds of spanish ham to top it and Pedro Jimenez reduction to decorate!

NOTE TO SELF: There is not one dish that can’t be improved with a swish of Pedro Jimenez wine reduction – Take my word for it… This is a delicacy I just brought back from Spain: a sticky, spicy and sweet wine reduction that goes with ab-so-lu-tely everything from fresh fruit to foie gras and beyond…

Here dishes without "Pedro" and with "Pedro"! See the difference?

Here dishes without “Pedro” and with “Pedro”!
See the difference? Salad in next post…

 

Steam and prepare the chosen vegetables. The idea is to go for seasonal, fresh and colourful! Fry the shallots in olive oil, fry the sweet peppers and quickly cook the peas (fresh or frozen). Break the eggs and proceed to make your omelette in the usual way but pile it high with vegetables and herbs and only cook it on one side. Serve warm IN THE PAN with a swish of Pedro Jimenez reduction – if you have any.

Rioting colours in my pan

Rioting colours in my pan

My address book in Granada:

The Alhambra Palace Hotel for its incredible balcony over the Sierra Nevada and its HUGE gin and tonic served in a large wine glass. Salud!

Los Italianos, for the best ice-cream ever – particularly the chestnut  and the orange flavours. An institution very near the cathedral. Expect long queues that nobody respects.

Try the tapas and also the wonderful “churros con chocolate” served in the many restaurants around the cathedral – Look out for “Churrerias” for a treat at any time of the day and night!

Enjoying breakfast at 3pm...

Enjoying breakfast at 3pm…

Restaurante Chikito  for the unique “Tortilla Sacramento de la case” that inspired this post and its cool outdoor space.