By annieassheton, 13-Nov-2011 23:55:00
Being surrounded by great chefs and wonderful ingredients is always inspiring. Today I came home from MasterChef Live with a fabulous stash of game birds left over from my "hints and tips" demonstration in which I showed how easy it is to joint anything from a chicken to a quail, via duck, pheasant, guinea fowl and partridge.
Most of the birds have gone straight into the freezer but I came home buzzing from the experience and longing to cook so the children had a huge treat for their supper; quail with roast new potatoes and carrots. Johnny and I also indulged in an unusual Sunday evening feast (it tends to be scrambled eggs with extra bacon if we're feeling decadent) by tucking into Partridge with roast new potatoes, roasted cubes of celeriac, jerusalem artichoke puree and cabbage with pancetta.
What a great way to end a great weekend. I really enjoyed my day at MasterChef Live and had lots of fun giving my 2 demos. During the first I jointed a chicken to try and show how much more sense it makes to buy a whole free range bird (complete with giblets) rather than mean little portions from the supermarket.
Then, on the Sainsbury's Demonstration Stage with the charming James Nathan, I showed a scarily big crowd how to make a pudding version of the classic British cream tea. I had been very worried that there was far too much to do in 20 minutes but with a bit of judicious advance preparation we just about got through it all and it seemed to go down pretty well. I certainly enjoyed myself but I must remember next time to turn off the blow torch before I catch my hand in it!
Here is the recipe for my pudding; there are a few steps to go through but it's wonderfully straightforward, can all be made in advance and, most importantly, tastes gorgeous. Let me know what you think.
Cream Tea: Earl Grey infused panna cotta served with scone, clotted cream (ice cream) and jam
240g double cream
2 leaves gelatine
1 tbsp earl grey tea leaves
Combine the cream, milk and sugar in a pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the tea, heat until the mixture just reaches boiling point, then take off the heat and leave to infuse. Put the gelatine leaves in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Leave for 5 minutes, then remove the leaves from the water and squeeze out gently. Just before the gelatine soaking time is up, strain the cream mixture to remove the tea and bring back up to boiling point. Add the gelatine and stir until it has completely dissolved. Leave the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time to stop a skin forming on the top. When it is almost completely cool, strain into either pretty little tea cups, ramekins or small cooking rings which have been very tightly covered on one open side with a double layer of cling film. Chill for 4 hours to set.
Clotted Cream Ice Cream
300ml clotted cream
5 egg yolks
115g caster sugar
Put the cream and milk in a saucepan and heat until boiling point. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the hot milk/cream mixture, whisking all the time. Put the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring, until it coats the back of the spoon. Sieve the custard mix into a suitable container and freeze. Take out of the freezer 5 minutes before you want to serve to soften a little.
This recipe will make about 12 scones which is far more than you need, but if you’re going to go to the effort of making them you might as well have some to enjoy for tea!
500g plain flour plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp Cream of Tartar
75fg soft butter
1oz light soft brown sugar
Lightly rub together the dry ingredients and the butter until it’s like breadcrumbs. Pour in the milk and mix with a palette knife until the mixture starts to come together. Finish it off with your hands but work it as little as possible. Gently roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is about 1 inch high and cut it out with a 5cm fluted biscuit cutter. Place on a lined or greased baking tray and bake at 220˚C for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
When completely cool, blitz one of the scones in the food processor until it is in crumbs. Stir through the sugar and spread the mixture out on a baking sheet. Put in the oven at 180˚c for 3 minutes, give it all a stir and then put it back for another 3 minutes or until it’s golden and crisp. They can burn so keep an eye on it!
Keep in an airtight container until ready to serve.
This could be made with any berry, or combination of berries, according to the season.
65g golden caster sugar
Combine in a pan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar, stirring now and then. Once the sugar has dissolved completely and the blackberry juices have started to run, bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until becoming syrupy. Allow to cool.
Put the panna cotta on a plate (nb: if you have set it in chefs rings use a blow torch to loosen the edges before turning them out). Spoon some scone crumbs in an oval shape next to the panna cotta and place a quenelle of ice cream on top. Finally, add a small spoonful of compote to the plate.
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