Obelixx


Latest posts by Obelixx

HELLO FORKERS! November Edition

Posted: 08/11/2016 at 10:04

Will you celebrate Hosta?


PDoc - Dove's right.  Humanity has been going to hell in a hand cart for millennia yet we survive.   Some of us even learn and progress and help others do the same so celebrate that rather than focus on the negs.


Sunny start but gone cloudy now and feels cold.   Need to walk the dogs with OH and think about where to plant a golden rain tree to liberate a large pot for more bulbs but am otherwise pottering indoors today.

Christmas cooking

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 20:31

Thanks SV.  Noted for posterity.

Christmas cooking

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 19:09

They do say that the smell of bacon cooking puts an end to many vegetarians as they get their fangs into a bacon butty.   I love veggies and have a good repertoire of vegetarian dishes but the idea of never having another pork chop or roast lamb would do my head in.

Christmas cooking

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 17:51

I ask in advance if there are any special needs when I cook for new friends or a large group as there's always someone who needs to be different and occasionally a real problem such as coeliac disease or faith restrictions.  That gives me time to prepare and is fine.  


I have no patience with people who turn up and then announce restrictions, or tell me they're on a diet and refuse carbs or pud or starters and people who claim to be vegetarian and then eat chicken breast or salmon.   That's just being fussy and ignorant. 


SV - I think I'm OK for this year but would you share your fat free mincemeat recipe just on case please?

HELLO FORKERS! November Edition

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 17:29

Walking is good Pdoc.  Maybe do more of it?   I have taken to accompanying OH out with the dogs most days and feel better for it and you get to see nature at its own pace instead of just driving by in a blur.


We're just back from the SM which has a wet fish counter selling plaice for 7.95€ and grey mullet for 4.95€.   Plaice won.   For some reason, can't find any Gruyère cheese.  Loads of Emmenthal which I find hopelessly bland and tasteless.   Lots of tomme and Reblohon and stuff but no Gruyère of any description.   Did find Marmite which I get a yen for about 3 or 4 times a year.


Clear skies tonight again so maybe a frost early on but a clear moon already and lots of stars later.  No street lights so we get a good view.


Liri - definitely a taxi or a lift.   No sense catching a chill or risking getting flattened.

Christmas cooking

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 14:43

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes at gas mark 7, 425F or 220C.   Cover with oiled foil for the first 15 minutes to keep the pastry from burning.


Meanwhile, cook shallots in the wine in a covered pan till soft.   Reduce the wine to a trickle then, off the heat, add the herbs, cream and the Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper.  Cook gently for 10 minutes to develop the flavours.  Do not boil.


Check seasoning and sharpen to taste with a little lemon juice.


Serve with boiled new potatoes and a fresh green vegetable such as broccoli.


Dove - when it was just us two we liked lobster for Xmas too but since Possum arrived and was weaned, we have duck breast with red wine and juniper berry sauce.   Divine and no leftovers.

Last edited: 07 November 2016 14:43:55

Christmas cooking

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 14:41

Oops.  Recipe got truncated.


Salmon in Pastry with herb sauce -  serves 6 to 8


This old English recipe dates from the mediaeval period, around the time of Henry VIII, when new spices were starting to come from the East.   Many such recipes were developed to exploit these new ingredients but also to show off one's wealth as only the very rich could afford them.  


It was adapted for modern use by Joyce Molyneux when she was at the Hole in the Wall restaurant in Bath.  I have further adapted it to make the sauce lighter - honest.   You can use an economical tailpiece or the top end of the salmon according to your preference.    It is very impressive done as a whole salmon for a buffet and can be served hot or warm.   The butter melts to keep the flesh moist and the ginger and raisins cut the richness while the almonds add a bit of crunch.


1 kilo                       tailpiece of salmon, scaled, filleted and skinned
120g                        butter
4 to 6 knobs              preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
1 heaped tbs             raisins, chopped
1 rounded tbs            blanched almonds, chopped
500g ish                   shortcrust pastry or puff pastry - sufficient to encase the fish                                                or 1 packet of ready rolled puff or shortcrust
1                             egg, beaten


Sauce


1 glass                     white wine
2                             shallots, finely chopped
1 heaped tbs             parsley or chervil, chopped
1 tsp                       tarragon, chopped
½ pint                      single (20%) or double (40%) cream according to preference.
1 tsp                       Dijon mustard
                              lemon juice


Lay the two pieces of fish skinned side down.  Use tweezers to remove any hidden bones.  Mix the butter, ginger, raisins and almonds together and spread evenly on one piece of the fish then place the other one on top, to reform the tailpiece.  Season with salt and pepper. 


Wrap in the pastry and decorate with pastry cuttings if desired.  Brush with beaten egg to glaze. Slash the pastry two or three times to allow steam to escape.


Bake for 30 - 35 minutes at gas mark 7, 425F or 220C.   Cover with oiled foil for th

Christmas cooking

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 13:29

I get fed up with the whole business of "feeding" an Xmas cake so now I make Delia's recipe for Creol cake which involves soaking all the dried fruit in several sorts of alcohol for their flavours and then baking just a week ahead.  We never end up eating it before Mardi Gras anyway and this year didn't get to it till June/July when it made a lovely energy pm snack for heavy gardening days.


OH is the only one who likes Xmas pudding so I took to buying him a small organic one that lasted him 2 or 3 meals.    He and I both like mince pies tho and I either make my own mincemeat or else buy some good commercial stuff and stir in some extra rum or brandy.


I have a Joyce Molyneux recipe for mediaeval inspired salmon which would be very good for a pescatorian Xmas but you'd need to find gluten free pastry if that's the same person.  It's for a tail piece but could be done with a single portion fillet.  It's always a success with Brits and Belgiand and no doubt the French in future and leftovers can be eaten at room temperature the next day   See end of this post.


The BBC Good Food website has lots of ideas for vegetarian Xmas dishes which you can enter in the search box or else just google "Vegetarian+Christmas" and see what comes up.


I usually have some bought, frozen gratin dauphinoise in individual portions as a standby.


Salmon in Pastry with herb sauce -  serves 6 to 8


 This old English recipe dates from the mediaeval period, around the time of Henry VIII, when new spices were starting to come from the East.   Many such recipes were developed to exploit these new ingredients but also to show off one's wealth as only the very rich could afford them.  


I have further adapted it to make the sauce lighter.   You can use an economical tailpiece or the top end of the salmon according to your preference.    It is very impressive done as a whole salmon for a buffet and can be served hot or warm.   The butter melts to keep the flesh moist and the ginger and raisins cut the richness while the almonds add a bit of crunch.


 1 kilo                       tailpiece of salmon, scaled, filleted and skinned


120g                        butter


4 to 6 knobs              preserved stem ginger, finely chopped


1 heaped tbs             raisins, chopped


1 rounded tbs            blanched almonds, chopped


                              shortcrust or puff pastry - sufficient to encase the fish - about 500gms                                                or 1 packet of ready rolled puff or shortcrust


1                             egg, beaten


Sauce


1 glass                     white wine


2    

Need help identifying please

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 13:10

One of the dahlias.   Not frost hardy but can be grown from seed sown in spring or from tubers brought out of dormancy in spring if you want a particular named variety.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 11:48

I think Claudia's problem is definitely her "look at me" partner.  I feel she also needed someone shorter to suit her height and more generous about showing off his partner and fitting the choreographies and music to her stature.


Agree also about Giovanni being too egotistical with his steps and attitude.   Nathalie is popular but Greg is really trying and improving.  Better in ballroom than the Latin tho so maybe the next Latin will see him out.


I have never rated Ed Balls as a politician or an economist but he is at least improving, unlike Sergeant.  His quickset was watchable rather than cringe worthy but I do hope he doesn't last much longer.  There are more attractive dancers still left in.

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