Monday, 25 August 2014

and you are back in the room :)

It has been a long(ish) hot (for the UK) summer of tapas and salad but true to form, the Summer Bank Holiday turns up with a veil of rain following a weekend of frost threats. So much for global warming. I've been lax on the cooking front of late but that is mostly down to a lack of appetite when the sun shines. Now the Autumn has started to creep in ....

Following a very quick BBQ last night  on the Lotus Grill , the bear in me declared autumn was on the way and demanded I hit the kitchen again. What to cook?

A visit to the supermarket, a visit to the garden and a dip into the fridge left me with some large potatoes, eat me carrots, fresh (huge) blackberries and a guinea fowl. Oven on at 180C and in goes the guinea fowl with a dusting of herb salt for 1.5 hours. Hot salty water and quartered peeled potatoes meet as the boil begins. 10 minutes later the potatoes are quenched in cold water and left to dry for a while.

40 minutes from the end, in go the potatoes, coated in a herb oil for a good roast. Turned every 10 minutes to get a good all over colour unlike the poor saps who ventured to the coast today.

30 minutes later I warmed a tablespoon of good honey (from my sister in law's bees) with a teaspoon and a half of cinnamon powder and a tablespoon of butter and kept this warm for the rest of the cook. I basted the guinea fowl with this to create a golden, sticky skin by the end of the cook.

End of the roast, the guinea fowl was covered and rested along with the golden potatoes. The juices were added to a pan with 125ml of wine (red by preference) and a good handful of fresh blackberries. This was brought to the boil and blitzed with the Bamix before being left to reduce

Meantime, I shredded some carrots into a pan with orange juice, a knob of butter and a star anise. This was then simmered until the carrots were coated, softened but still a little crunchy.

Peas to add a variety of colour ( runner beans would have been nice but this year's crop was a little poor) and it was time to plate up and welcome in the autumn. I think it was a fitting tribute to a summer of ample sun and rain that has created blackberries of some significant size (destined for a little ice cream later ). See what you think....

Saturday, 2 August 2014

These are great. A BBq you can use indoors or out doors. Pick up an carry while it is still at cooking temperature. Place it on a wooden table with no heat damage and control the heat (to some extent ). 250g of charcoal gives you enough heat to cook for about 40 minutes (depending on the air flow). BBq 4 minutes after lighting. Add charcoal when you need to. Best of all. Take the fire bowl (not the charcoal burner) and the grill and put it in the dish washer at the end of the day. If you are outside then add some wood chip to get smoke. If indoors, smokeless. Superbe.