CREPES OR PANCAKES

Breakfast

Crêpes or Pancakes? It depends where you are from (In France we say crêpes) but the final result is always the same. DELICIOUS!.

On a sunny but cold Sunday morning, I cooked a few of these thin pancakes to treat Jayne and I for breakfast.

To do it, I woke up early and I have been able to see the sunshine rising from our new kitchen.

A QUICK RECIPE

It took me less than 5 minutes to get ready with the batter. I watched Saturday’s Kitchen while the batter was resting.

An hour later, I was cooking the “crêpes” and enjoying a mug of coffee. So French, I know but what can I do?!!

To realize the batter, I mixed 4 eggs with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 280gr of plain flour.

Then, I added 400ml of milk. The batter should be smooth but not too runny.

Finally, heat the pan and add a small knob of butter. It will lift the flavour and it will help to get a nice golden colour to your crêpes! Cook the crêpes for 45 seconds on both sides. When cooked, keep the crêpes into a plate and cover them until you cook the last one. It shouldn’t take too long as the batter mix makes roughly 15 pancakes.

On the table, get ready with a pot of caster sugar, jam and lemon juice. Make yours and enjoy.

SMALL SUGAR PUMPKIN RECIPES

A few days ago, I was walking back from the post office to home when I stopped at my local flower shop trading on the side of the road. I like stopping there. He is not selling a large varieties of flowers and trees but everything he sells is seasonal!

CUCURBITA PEPO

My attention has been caught by small uniform round pumpkins with orange skin, small sugar pumpkin or from their Latin name Cucurbita pepo.

Pumpkin season has started a few days ago as Halloween’s day is approaching rapidly.

At this time of the year, expect to carve pumpkins to decorate the front of your house, some types of pumpkins are great to create delicacies.

So, it’s always tempting to get one of these good looking pumpkins. Not only their shape is great but their flesh too. Orange flesh, sugary sweet flavour and smooth texture. Flesh is said to be one of the best varieties for making pies, it is also good for baking, soups and casseroles.

THE SOUP

When I was working at Trinity Restaurant in Clapham Common, I used to make this soup through the Autumn season.

We used to receive a net of pumpkins every 3 days. Our jos was to take the top off the pumpkins, scoop their flesh out, to reserve the seeds for a later use and finally to make a soup.

It’s one of my favourite soups. It’s a rich soup including butter, cream, milk and a good vegetable stock.

When the seeds are being separated from the flesh, slice 1/2 an onion and sweat it with butter and salt.

Add the pumpkin flesh and cook it in a pan, lid on, rapidly to keep the max of flavour. Stir the soup quite often to make sure that it’s not going to catch on the bottom of the pan. The soup base should be cooked uniformly.

At this stage, add one part of vegetable stock for 1/4 part of cream and 1/4 part of milk. Bring to the boil and blend the soup straight away.

Adjust seasoning. Add a splash of lemon juice and pour the soup into the small pumpkin sugar shell. Top the soup with the pumpkin seeds washed and toasted.

Here we go, a fast and an easy soup to make to impress your guests at home. Something a bit more special than a simple soup and using all the pumpkin from shell to seeds.

SOME READING

Please take time to read the following articles. You will find some interesting information about the large varieties of pumpkins available. From curving to cooking, the list is endless.

30 different types of pumpkins-Facts and Pictures

Mr-Fothergills.co.uk

Cucurbit pepo

MY LATEST POST

Black pudding-Mash-Apple

CONTACT

As Christmas is just around the corner, you might certainly started to create your menu or even thinking to hire a private chef to look after your party. If so, please be in touch with me by clicking on the link below.

CONTACT ME

WHAT TO DO WITH FORAGED BLACKBERRY? A JAM, WHY NOT?

I am back with a new sustainable, homemade and healthy post.

Despite the fact that jam contains sugar, this jam on the flip side is made with foraged blackberries which are a great source of antioxidants and also very easy on the pocket!

After 30 minutes picking these beauties, I had 1 kilo in my bag ready for use.

REMEMBER – when picking wild berries, make sure you are choosing ripe berries from high up (waist height up upwards), avoid those near the ground and avoid those growing near busy roads.

REMEMBER – before using or consuming, wash the berries thoroughly, I use 3 parts water to 1 part white wine vinegar for 1 minute. Although it’s tempting to eat them straight off the plant, we need to be safe and make sure they are clean from dirt and bacteria.

The final glossy jam.

WHITE SAUCE

White sauce, also known as Béchamel sauce, is a sauce originated between France and Italy. Two ingredients, butter and flour, are used to make a white roux. To finish the white sauce, milk is added at the end. Since the seventeenth century, Béchamel sauce, has been considered as one of the mother sauces of French cuisine. It is used as the base for other sauces.

Béchamel is by far the easiest of the mother sauces to make.

Into a saucepan, over a low heat, infuse 1 onion halved, 1 bay leaf and 2 cloves into 500ml of milk.

In another saucepan, melt 50g of butter, then add 50g of flour. Stir until a paste forms, this is called a white roux. Cook the white roux for 2 minutes.

Pass the infused milk through a sieve and discard the onion, bay leave and cloves. Add the infused milk to the roux gently, stirring as you go, until you get a smooth sauce. Stir continuously and cook the sauce for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add salt, pepper and of course, grated nutmeg! Season to taste.

BUTTON MUSHROOMS SOUP

Mushrooms

This soup is always a winner. Simple but packed of flavour, a daytoday soup so easy to put together that it will take you 30mns to make a batch of 4 generous soup bowls.

Since I have started cooking, my previous Chefs always told me that the mushrooms’s best friends are salt and garlic! That’s why, you must season properly the mushrooms at the beginning.
In fact, mushrooms are 92% of water. It means 92g of water for 100g of mushrooms.
Closed mushrooms or button mushrooms are the same.
This soup goes well on its own or with a generous slice of sourdough toasted.
“Les bienfaits” of eating mushrooms are the following. Mushrooms contain B vitamins and selenium, a powerful antioxidant, which helps to support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues.

Ingredients: 1kg of button mushrooms; 8 banana shallots; 4 garlic cloves; 150g of butter; 1 sprig of thyme; 1 shot of Marsala wine; 330ml double cream; 1.2L of vegetable stock

Method: Wash the mushrooms and slice them. Grate the garlic and keep it on the side.
Start melting the butter in the pan and add first the garlic. Make sure that it doesn’t get any colour.
Then add the mushrooms and season them with a good pinch of salt. It’s at this stage that you will get all the flavour of the mushrooms. Deglaze with a shot of Marsala wine. Add the thyme.
Stir the mushrooms and cover with a lid.
When the mushrooms are cooked and soft add the double cream. Stir the mushrooms with the double cream and add the vegetable stock.
Bring it to the boil and cook the soup on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Taste the liquid. If you need to add any seasoning do it now.
Take the fresh thyme out of the pan.
Blend the soup for a couple of minutes to get a rich, creamy and smooth texture. I don’t use a sieve to pass the soup as having a few bits of mushrooms is always pleasant.
If available, add a splash of truffle oil.