Monday, 23 July 2012

Lemon verbena panna cotta with raspberries

Well summers finally here so a quick dessert recipe that just perfect for a hot day.

Lemon verbena is a very useful herb that grows anywhere in most soils and as a perennial comes up each year. It has no flowers but its leaves are full of citrus oil and when crushed they smell most wonderfully of lemon. Useful in both desserts and marinades for chicken and fish.

Lemon Verbena Panna Cotta with Raspberries

Recipe - makes 6 to 7 pannacottas

500ml of double cream
450 ml of full fat milk
3 1/2 sheets of full size gelatine leaves
200 grm of caster sugar.
Bunch of verbena leaves
250 gram Fresh raspberries
100 gram icing sugar


Mix cream, milk and sugar in large saucepan and bring to gentle simmer or until sugar has dissolved
Wash and add verbena leaves to mixture and let steep for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile place Gelatine leaves in cold water until soft, squeeze out excess water and then add to hot mixture. Leaves will dissolve.

Strain mixture int new jug and remove leaves, pour into metal ramekins or small pots, wait till cool and then put in fridge to set.

Make a simple raspberry coulis by cooking half the raspberries with 100grams of sugar and then strain into pot

To serve: Quickly dip ramekin into hot water for a few seconds and then turn out onto plate. Pour some coulis around and add some fresh raspberries. 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Rump of Lamb with new season Borlotti Beans & roasted cherry toms


2 x 200 gram Lamb Rumps from your butcher
1/2 kilo fresh Borlotti beans 
Olive oil, Fresh Thyme, garlic bulb
1 lemon
Fresh parsley finely chopped
1 banana shallot finely diced
1 large red pepper finely diced
pack of fresh pea shoots
1 litre of fresh chicken or vegetable stock
Small pack of cherry tomatoes on vine

Go to your butcher and ask for 2 rumps of lamb, 200 gram square cut. These may be called chumps but are almost pure lamb fillet and wonderfully tender, ask him to remove the outer membrane (butchers call this barking)

At home marinade the lamb in olive oil, fresh thyme and garlic. Leave for 4 hours or overnight.

Pre heat oven to 200c

Next, take your fresh borlotti beans and pod them (at worst you can use dried beans but you will need to soak these overnight. Bring a pan of chicken stock to a simmer, add the beans and some fresh thyme, DO NOT add salt at this stage.

Cook beans on a gentle simmer until soft but not mushy. Drain beans, reserve some stock and while still hot add olive oil, a clove of garlic smashed up,some fresh chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add some sea salt and set aside to develop flavours. At this stage this would make a lovely tapas style dish in own right.

Next add a slug of oil to a new pan, add one shallot finely chopped and cook gently till soft, then add tomatoes and red peppers. Cook until all veg are soft, season and then mix with beans.If mix looks a little dry then add some of the reserved stock.

Next sear lamb rumps in hot pan until fat is rendered a little and rump is coloured all over.

Place in pre heated oven for 16 minutes and then take out and rest in warm place for at least 5 minutes. Add Cherry toms to pan at this stage (Lamb will be rare to Medium rare) Cook longer if necessary but keep pink if possible.

Gently re heat bean, put large spoonful on warm plate, slice lamb thickly and place on top. Add roasted cherry toms, dress with olive oil and serve some pea shoots on top.

July ( I think, weather more like April)

Apologies for delay in updating blog, but since last post we have become grandparents! Considering the current deluge this summer my daughter has named it Noah.

So what's cooking this month?

We are now getting fresh Borlotti beans and these very pretty vegetables are perfect dressed in olive oil and fresh herbs or as we do it here served with nice pink Lamb.

Sadly the visual beauty of these fresh beans fades in the cooking but there creamy texture goes well with soft spring lamb.

Check out my simple recipe