Tag Archives: honey

Butternut, goat cheese and honey filo tartlets

This is an old favourite with a sweet twist. The combination of butternut squash,  fresh goat cheese and honey works miracles on your taste buds and it is VERY difficult to be satisfied with only ONE of these tartlets… You have been warned! They make a lovely starter , pretty and dainty, for a dinner party – and because they are the opposite of fuss, they do belong to this blog…
Select a very soft, fresh goat cheese from a good cheesemonger for best results. I go to Beillevaire in Montpellier street for their gorgeous dairy products and the most delicious truffle oil, by the way…
IMG_7822
 Ingredients list:( per mini tartlet)
  • Filo sheets, 1 per mini pan
  • Butternut squash, diced (1 cupful)
  • Olive oil
  • Liquid honey, 1tsp
  • Pepper and salt
  • Soft goat cheese, 1 Tbsp
Rub the diced butternut with the olive oil and some sea salt flakes.
Roast for 15 min until soft, at 200°C. Reserve.
Fold you filo sheet in four like a hankerchief : Put several layers of filo brushed with a little oil into a a few large muffins holes or  individual tartlet pans . The tray in the photo has several dips for smallish tarts and is ideal!
Chuck in some roasted squash with torn bits of cheese. Fill it up nicely.
Sprinkle with mace and black pepper.
Put under a hot grill until the cheese has melted and the filo turns a nice golden colour. Watch out for it tends to burn quickly! Drop a little honey all over the cheese.
Serve straight away as filo sheets tends to soften as they cool down and I love a crispy light base for this.
PS: if you are in France and can’t find any COURGE MUSQUEE, try it with pumpkin: it’s just as delicious.
Nutrition notes: Filo is a great and tasty alternative to the usual pastry base for tartlets. I use it all the time for convenience and nutritional reasons. Half the  pastry and twice the taste! What’s not to like?
IMG_7820
Advertisements

Caramelised pork ribs, by Ferran Adria

I have made this recipe several times and apart from the fact that you have to start it the day before, it is actually quite time-saving because you can have it all ready on the table with very little to do to it on the day.

The recipe is taken from Ferran Adria’s book “The Family Meal” Phaidon, where he has collated recipes done for the staff after a hard day cooking for the restaurant. All the recipes are quick and quirky but nutritious and satisfying as well and this pork ribs dish is a success with children and adults alike. I made it recently because I had a bit of a crowd coming and because it is easy to make in big quantities. It’s a dish for sharing around and eating with your fingers!

I usually make too much of the barbecue sauce but it keeps well and can be used to marinate chicken fillets or even bits of fresh salmon, so this is never a problem…

Ingredients list: (for eight people)

  • 3 to 4 pork rib racks or 2kg
  • pinch of salt
  • water 100ml
  • 1 orange
  • Barbecue sauce as described in the 7 steps below:
  1. Chop 3 red onions, 4 garlic cloves and a chunk or ginger together.
  2. Squeeze one orange and reserve.
  3. Fry the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes
  4. Add 150ml of honey, one large spoonful of molasses or treacle. Add the orange juice and cook.
  5. Add the ginger and lemongrass
  6. Add two Tbsp of mustard of Dijon, a glug of Worcester sauce and a tin of chopped tomatoes. I also add some tomato paste  instead of the ketchup indicated by Adria. Add a dash of Sherry vinegar (15cl). Cook until much reduced..
  7. Put through a blender and then pass it through a sieve so you are left with a very fine sauce and no bits. I use a ‘press’purée’ and  a fine metal sieve to achieve that. Season with sea salt.

One and a half hour before the meal, put the ribs into a roasting dish and cover with the sauce.

Dilute with some water and put covered in foil in the oven for 1h30 hour minimum.

Baste it with sauce as it cooks and add some water or sauce if necessary. Towards the end, check the meat is falling off the bones. Uncover and put under the grill or raise the temperature if there is still a lot of sauce. Take out and grate the zest of the orange on the top before serving.

Perfect to share with friends on a cold evening with a good red and time to chat!

Tarte fine à l’ Abricot corse et Au Miel du maquis

 

Palombaggia beach in Corsica

A crispy, crusty tart, scented with honey infused in the Corsican “maquis”: colorful above all else. I love anything orange; the colour of the sun, the stones and the heat itself. An earthy and grounded colour: “la terre est bleue comme une orange”, says the poet.
Ingredients list:
  • All butter puff pastry
  • 6 to 8 apricots
  • Semolina 2tbsp
  • Honey 4 tbsp
  • Pine nuts, a handful
Preheat the oven to 180.
Roll the pastry to a thin crust. Lay the pastry onto a flat oven tray and make a square shape, taking time to just roll the edge and seal them with a fork.
Shake the semolina all over the surface. This will absorb the excess juices – sometime you won’t need any, sometime more; depending on the fruit!
Cut up the apricots in quarters and place them skin down onto the pastry.
Drizzle your honey on top of the fruit and decorate with pine nuts.
Put in the oven for a good 45 minutes until crispy and make sure the heat is stronger at the bottom of the oven so the pastry dries and gives a dry puff crunch under the bite.
This very simple tart, like all very simple dishes,  deserves the very best ingredients : tasty, supple apricots and the best honey.  Something a bit wild and resinous like a mountain honey… A bit of holiday magic then gets conjured up in your plate.
A beach fringed with water so clear you could keep your eyes open to observe the fish was the setting of a delicious cousins picnic. No photo of the tart as it was eaten too fast but here are more pine scented and sea sprayed photos…

A precious sand-lily still in bloom after the bake-off…

Breakfast pancakes

Berrirs or Baghrirs are thick but cloud like pancakes that are consumed in Morocco, with a honey and butter sauce, for breakfast – or for pudding during Ramadan. They have a chewy and supple bite and keep only for 24h, but they rarely last that long.

Al fresco breakfast

Ingredients list:

  • Warmed Water 1l
  • Sel
  • Fresh bakers yeast 2 tsp
  • Milk 2 tbsp
  • Eggs 2
  • Flour 100g
  • Semolina 250g

Heat the water in the Thermomix bowl until touch warm. About 3min at 80 degrees will do.

Put all the ingredients in the mixing bowl of the Thermomix.
Mix at speed 4 or 5 for 4 /5 minutes.
Leave to rise until the mixture thickens and tiny bubbles appear on the surface. 15 minutes to start with.
If the mix is too thin, whisk some more and leave for a few minutes. It should have the appearance of a light custard and create a ribbon when the spoon is dipped in.

Heat a pancake grid or a cast iron plate on the hob and drop ladle-fuls of the batter to form round pancakes, the size of a pudding plate. They cook on one side and lots of bubbles appear on the top side.

Serve warm with some butter melted in honey. I thank Chaibia and Noheed for their kind help in teaching me this family recipe with patience and generosity…

Butternut squash and goat cheese tartlets

I enjoy good looking vegetables! A butternut squash is this very handsomely shaped squash, looking like an oversized acorn and sporting a smooth, soft brown skin. It has a nutty taste and here is a recipe where it literally shines!

If you’ve never come across it, do look out for one; it is called “la courge musquée” in French, a delightful name for a delicious vegetable, I think.

Ingredients list:

  • Several sheets of filo pastry
  • One diced butternut squash
  • Creamy goat cheese, 1 big slice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, mace and pepper to season
  • Optional: a drizzle of acacia honey to finish off nicely

First roast the cubes of butternut squash in a tray with a bit of olive oil and pinch of salt: Best to rub it all in with your fingers. Roast for 30 min at 180°.

Then put two folded layers of filo into individual tartlets pans and crunch them up a bit with fingers dipped in oil – yes, there is a lot of fingers work here!

Lay the roasted butternut in the middle, put a slice or dollop of very fresh and very creamy goat cheese. Sprinkle with mace and a hint of pepper.

Put under the grill for about 10 min until the cheese has softened and the edges are crispy.

Drizzle with a tiny bit of acacia honey and serve hot!

Best wine match is a muscat de Rivesaltes or Beaume de Venise but any creamy white will do.

Stall in Borough Market