Confit and Cepe Tarte Tatin

October 4, 2006

I’ve been promising you this for some time, and with all of you writing about the abundance of ceps globally (aside from here in my corner of London) I hope you’ll put them to good use. Full credit for this recipe belongs to Stephanie Alexander with some slight changes from us. Check out her (extremely good) cookbook, Cooking and Travelling in South-West France.

    Confit and Cepe Tarte Tatin

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Cep Success!

September 30, 2006

After a bit of hunting around at Borough Market on Friday afternoon, I finally managed to find some ceps! Well, to be fair, I only took half of one given that they were going for £50 a kilo. (Meanwhile, one of the tantes in the southwest of France has been out collecting twice in the past week and has managed to find 250 ceps.)

Together with some diced confit, the Frog (about whom you’ll learn more over time) made the famous tartelettes with ceps and confit covered in puff pastry. They’re then turned out to make a sort of savoury tarte tatin. A recipe to follow!

We had Lawyer Boy (LB) over for dinner, and opened up a magnum of Ch. Haut Batailley 1995. Drinking perfectly now for those of you who have it in the cellar. For those of you who don’t, I recommend talking to Goedhuis & Company, an excellent London based wine merchant that stores its wines with Octavian. They deliver 3 cases or more for free, and they always have the inside line on what is interesting.

After the tartes, I whipped up some veal chops, panfried and then deglazed the pan with some Sancerre in order to make a sauce with girolles and cream. The veal was accompanied by an aligot, the traditional French potato puree with garlic, creme fraiche, and cantal cheese. And to top off the mains, some julienned carrots and small onions, steamed and glazed. For dessert, mini sticky toffee puddings for everyone. Yum!

Today, we’re making some veal stock for future use. And, having found some beautiful English plums at Borough, I’ve made a quick half litre of plum jam.


Cookie Night

September 28, 2006

There are sometimes, when you’re watching the new series of Prison Break with your neighbours, that you feel the need for chocolate chip cookies. Well, it happens. And being away from the land of Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chips, has often made this a challenge. For many years, bags of chocolate morsels would arrive from the US in parcels or as checked baggage.

Thankfully, Waitrose now have passable chocolate chips in the aisles. But then they also have Waitrose dark chocolate bars. Together, these are the ingredients of sinful cookies.

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
    100 g unsalted butter
    150 g soft brown sugar
    1 large egg
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 3/4 c flour
    1/2 t baking powder
    1/2 t baking soda
    1/2 t salt
    1 c chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks cut from a bar of dark chocolate)

    Preheat the oven to 150 C.

    Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Next add the dry ingredients and finally add the chocolate chips. Fashion small balls out of the cookie dough (roughly 1 heaping tablespoon per cookie) and then flatten into circles of around 2 inches. Bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!