September 30, 2014

Slow-Roast Tomatoes - Toolbox


It’s time for a new article for the toolbox. As autumn is now starting to settle, it is perfect timing to still enjoy the last few remains of summer flavours and preserve produce. Tomatoes are still available, but can now lack the amazing sun-drenched taste they had in the summer. One of the best ways of enhancing their flavour it to slow-roast them. They shrivel during the roasting process and get packed with aromas, in what makes a supra-delicious staple, that you will always want to have available in your pantry.

A tray of slow-roasted tomatoes

So, to make the slow roast tomatoes, make sure you have plenty of time ahead of you at home, as the oven will stay on for a looong time, on a low temperature. Only a few ingredients are needed, and you might notice that the roasting time varies depending on the size of your tomatoes. Small tomatoes such as cherry toms will only need about 4 hours, while if you use large ones, they might need about 6-7 hours. As the oven will be on for a while, it can be a good idea to double the quantities and make a big batch in one go. The tomatoes will keep for a week or two in a glass container in the fridge, but if you’d like to keep them for longer, you can easily freeze them for later.

To eat the slow-roast tomatoes, you can include them in salads, sandwiches, tomato sauce or as a pizza garnish, amongst other things.

Let’s celebrate nature’s abundance and take time to slowly prepare, preserve and savour our food.



Slow-Roast Tomatoes
•1kg tomatoes
•2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
•1tbsp herbes de Provence
•2tbsp brown sugar

1.Preheat the oven to 110°C.
2.Cut the tomatoes in half and place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper cut side up.
3.Sprinkle them with the garlic, dry herbs and sugar and place in the oven.
4.Leave to cook in the oven for some time between 4 and 7 hours, depending on the size and water content of the tomatoes (cherry tomatoes will need the least time whilst big ones will need longer).
5.Leave to cool down then keep in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Tomates Confites
•1kg de tomates
•2 gousses d’ail, pelées et émincées
•1cs d’herbes de Provence
•2cs de sucre complet

1.Préchauffer le four sur 110°C.
2.Couper les tomates en deux et les mettre sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier sulfurisé, côté bombé en dessous.
3.Parsemer d’ail, d’herbes de Provence et de sucre et mettre au four.
4.Laisser confire au four pendant de 4 à 7 heures, en fonction de leur taille et de leur contenance en eau (des tomates cerises prendront le moins de temps et les grosses tomates le plus).
5.Laisser refroidir et garder au réfrigérateur pendant environ une semaine.

September 22, 2014

Spelt Flatbreads


Flatbreads are found in many forms in different cultures all over the world, and consist of a simple mix of flour, water and salt, flattened into thin dough. While preparing and cooking the flatbreads, I imagined myself working at a street food stall somewhere in the Middle East or Asia, with flour all over my kitchen, the steaming hot skillet on the hob and the breads piling up on the side. Back to the reality of my own kitchen, I found these fantastic as the base for a lunch or dinner. The flatbreads are versatile and can be used a bit like a pizza base, with toppings, or rolled into a wrap/sandwich. I opted for two different toppings. The first had a base of ricotta and top cherry tomatoes with olive oil and seasoning and rocket leaves. The second consisted of sautéed courgettes and pine nuts. Only a few examples of what you could have them with.

Happy cooking!


Spelt Flatbreads – makes 10
•300g spelt flour
•A pinch of salt
•200ml water

1.Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the water and mix until you form a ball of dough.
2.Knead the dough on a floured work surface for about 10min, then place in an oiled bowl for about 30min.
3.When ready to cook the flatbreads, divide the dough into 10 smaller balls. One by one, using a rolling pin, flatten them into a thin circle on a floured work surface, then pass them from one hand to the other to shake off the excess flour. Heat a skillet or griddle pan on a high heat. Place one flatbread in it. Cook for about 20-30sec, then flip it over with a spatula and cook for another 20-30sec. Set aside on a plate and repeat until all the flatbreads are cooked.

Pains Plats d’Epeautre – pour 10 pains
•300g de farine d’épeautre
•1 pincée de sel
•200ml d’eau

1.Mélanger la farine et le sel dans un saladier et y creuser un puits. Ajouter l’eau et mélanger jusqu’à l’obtention d’une boule de pâte.
2.Pétrir la pâte sur un plan de travail fariné pendant une dizaine de minutes, puis placer dans un bol huilé, couvrir et laisser reposer 30min.
3.Lorsque vous êtes prêts à cuire les pains, diviser la pâte en 10 petites boules. Une à une, à l’aide d’un rouleau à pâtisserie, les étaler en un cercle fin, puis prendre un cercle à plat dans la main, et le faire passer d’une main à l’autre pour enlever l’excès de farine. Faire chauffer une poêle en fonte à feu chaud. Mettre un pain plat dedans. Le faire cuire 20-30sec, puis le retourner avec une spatule et le faire cuire encore 20-30sec. Mettre de côté sur une assiette, et répéter jusqu'à ce que tous les pains soient cuits.

September 15, 2014

Early Autumn Frozen Cheesecake


We’ve been blessed by the most beautiful of Indian Summers. Days are still incredibly hot and sunny and the ocean is at its warmest. September is a bit of a magical month, the time of year when beaches have become empty again, but it all still retains the glory of summer days. At the market I’ve however noticed that the produce on the stalls are more and more tending towards autumnal flavours and colours. There is such abundance to choose from.


I don’t make cheesecakes very often, but I am totally fond of this one, which we had a couple of times already, varying the fruits used. The base layer is so good that I thought it could also be used for making energy bars, if you fancied trying that. The honey marries to perfection with the sheep yogurt, and the lot is vibrant, fruity and refreshing – a purple power cheesecake!

PS: one of my recipes is featured in the latest issue of Yummy Magazine. Click here to read the mag.


Early Autumn Frozen Cheesecake – serves 12
•6 red plums, pitted and chopped
•1tbsp vanilla sugar
•150g sunflower seeds
•150g almonds
•12 medjool dates, pitted
•2tbsp coconut oil
•A pinch of salt
•500g sheep’s milk yogurt (or yogurt of choice)
•100ml runny honey
•Plums, grapes, figs and blood peaches, to top up

1.Start by preparing a plum compote by stewing the plums with the vanilla sugar in a small saucepan on a gentle heat until soft and cooked. Set aside to cool down completely.
2.Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the sunflower seeds and almonds on a large baking tray and put in the oven for about 10min until fragrant and golden. Leave to cool down.
3.In a food processor, blend the seeds and almonds together with the dates, coconut oil and salt, until you obtain a sticky paste. Spread it across the bottom of an 18cm round loose-bottom cake dish, lined with baking paper. Press the mixture with your hands across the bottom of the dish.
4.Pour the compote over the base, in an even layer.
5.Mix the yogurt with the honey and pour over the compote. To create swirls, insert a skewer in the yogurt and swirl in some of the compote.
6.Place in the freezer overnight to set.
7.Take out of the freezer at least 1hour before serving. Unmold from the cake tin and spread over the fruits of your choice.
8.Place leftovers back in the freezer.

Cheesecake Glacé de Début d’Automne – pour 12 personnes
•6 prunes rouges, dénoyautées et émincées
•1cs de sucre vanillé
•150g de graines de tournesol
•150g d’amandes
•12 dattes Medjool, dénoyautées
•2cs d’huile de noix de coco
•1 pincée de sel
•500g de fromage blanc de brebis (ou yaourt au choix)
•100ml de miel liquide
•Prunes, raisin, figues et pêches de vigne pour décorer

1.Préparer une compote de prunes, en les faisant frémir sur feux doux dans une petite casserole avec le sucre vanillé, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient réduites en compote. Laisser refroidir complètement.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 170°C. Répartir les graines de tournesol et amandes sur une plaque à four et les enfourner pour environ 10min, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient dorées. Laisser refroidir.
3.Mettre dans un mixeur les graines et amandes avec les dattes, l’huile de coco et le sel, et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une pâte collante. Verser dans un moule rond de 18cm de diamètre à fond amovible, recouvert de papier sulfurisé. Presser le mélange dans le fond du moule avec les mains.
4.Verser la compote sur la base.
5.Mélanger le fromage blanc avec le miel et verser sur la compote. Pour créer des petits tourbillons, insérer une pique en bois dans le mélange liquide et tracer des spirales pour faire apparaitre la compote dans le fromage blanc.
6.Mettre à prendre au congélateur pendant une nuit.
7.Sortir du congélateur 1h avant de server. Démouler et parsemer de fruits, juste avant de servir.
8.Remettre les restes au congélateur.


September 08, 2014

Chia Blackberry Jam


When nature gives us blackberries, I am never short of ideas for how to eat them. You might remember from articles posted in previous years such as in tarts, parfaits, cooked and raw crumbles, smoothies, or fruit parcels that I particularly love this antioxidant-rich fruit. This year, I’d like to introduce you to one of the easiest way to prepare jam: it will take only a couple of minutes to prepare and is ideal to make a small pot whenever takes your fancy. The blackberries can also be substituted by other berries such as raspberries or strawberries.


We’ve made a little video to show you how easy it is (available at: http://youtu.be/Pf7zm8bo9VU). Enjoy x

video

Chia Blackberry Jam – makes 1 small pot
•1 large handful wild blackberries
•3tbsp chia seeds
•2tbsp liquid sweetener (such as maple syrup or agave syrup)

1.Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2.Transfer to a jar. Keeps in the fridge for about five days to a week.

Confiture de Mûres et Graines de Chia – pour 1 petit pot
•1 grosse poignée de mûres sauvages
•3cs de graines de chia
•2cs de sucrant liquide (sirop d’érable ou sirop d’agave par exemple)

1.Mettre tous les ingrédients dans le bol d’un mixeur plongeur et mixer de façon à réduire le mélange en purée.
2.Transférer dans un petit pot en verre. Se garde au réfrigérateur de 5 jours à 1 semaine.