Let's talk about table manners
I'd like to think my table manners are generally pretty good.
I wait until I'm told to eat, hold my knife and fork properly, keep my elbows off the table and ALWAYS remember by P's and Q's.
But there's just one thing...
After a delicious meal, I just can't resist using my finger to mop up any remaining sauce on the plate.
In my eyes, the chef should see that as a compliment, right?!
Your support - please!
This Week's Recommendation: Clarence Court Eggs
The guys and girls at Clarence Court really know how to nurture their birds and are truly passionate about all things poultry. Burford Brown, Old Cotswold Legbar, Ostrich, Duck, Guinea Fowl, Pheasant or Quail - they've got it all!
Rumour has it that their Ostrich eggs can make scrambled eggs for 15 people. This is right up our street!
Weekend plans = working out how to crack one...
Chef Tip: Cleaning a Skillet Pan
By Banquist Head Chef, Hope
This is a tip that my dad taught me and it's a REAL GAME CHANGER
- Simply pour a cup of coarse salt into the still-warm skillet/ griddle pan. Use a folded kitchen towel to scour. Discard the salt and rinse with hot water. Dry immediately with a kitchen towel, or heat skillet over a medium-low flame to evaporate the moisture.
- To season the pan, rub a light coat (1 tbsp.) of oil on the cast iron (helps the pan develop that glossy patina, ward off rust, and retain its nonstick properties). Gently heat the pan to help the oil soak in.
Your Questions Answered: Fish in the Fridge
By Josh Niland, Chef Owner of Saint Peter, Author of Take One Fish
"Do you have any advice on drying and then storing fish in the fridge? I have some sea bass that has some blood/liquid in the plastic package and I'm not sure what to do before cooking??" Dan, East Midlands
I recommend patting dry with kitchen paper to remove any excess liquid or blood. Then leave the fish on a tray or plate on a clean j-cloth/ kitchen towel, covered with cling film in the fridge until needed.
When removing from the fridge, just make sure you check for any remains of kitchen towel on the fish before cooking.
Storing your meat or fish like this is a good technique as it will improve the cooking of the fish and ensure crispy skin/ fat!
This week's recipe: Salted Caramel, Poached Pear and Chocolate Drizzle Traybake
Wow! Now does this not just scream: "it's autumn, it's bloody cold, let's just settle in and live off dessert till January"?
Yes? Good, because that's what we were going for with this EPIC pud.
A great cheat is to use Clarence Court Simply Egg Whites to cut out all that egg-separating faff and not have sad-looking yolks in the fridge for the next 3 weeks.
Recipe by The Meringue Girls
Ingredients (serves 8)
For the meringue:
For the topping:
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 firm but ripe pears (you can use tinned- but not as nice! )
1 small tine dulce de leche
- A large pinch of Maldon sea salt
- 500g tub mascapone
- 100g walnuts, toasted
- 100g 70% dark chocolate
For the pear poaching liquid:
- 1L water
- 5 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Preheat your oven to 100°C/gas 1/4, and line a small baking sheet with baking paper. Stick the paper down with blobs of meringue. Fold the dark cocoa powder through the meringue mixture, taking care not to lose any volume.
- Spoon the mixture over the baking sheet, spreading it out evenly into a rough A4 shape. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the base of the meringue disc comes off the baking tray with ease. Leave to cool.
- While the meringue base is baking, prepare the poaching liquid. Bring the water to boil in a small heavy-bottomed pan, then add the sugar and cinnamon stick and bring to the boil.
- Peel the pears, core and slice into quarters, leaving the stalks on.
- Place the pears into the sugar syrup and poach gently for 15 minutes or until tender. Lift out of the liquid and set aside.
- Place the meringue disc on a rustic wooden board. Add a large pinch of sea salt to your dulce de leche.
- Get your creative juices flowing and dollop with mascarpone, swirl with the salted caramel, layer the pears and toasted walnuts over the meringue, then drizzle with the melted dark chocolate.