Monday, 11 June 2012

Fillet steak!

I think it's time for a fresh start for a fresh summer.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

When will summer arrive!

Well I've actually got round to blogging again! It's been a busy time working full-time then doing outside jobs here and there so didn't really have the time. Can't believe last one was last June,
Anyway must tell you about lunch my wife and I had last month at Tom Kitchens down in a word...BRILLIANT!! The cost at £26 per head was a giveaway. I had a Pigs Ear terrine to start and it was delicious as well as beautifully presented and tasted great! The main course was a very tasty Boudin of Lamb Sweetbreads with a piperade stew and garlic confit then dessert was the ingredient that scares alot of people... Sea Buckthorn...which came as a mousse on top a chocolate pave,chocolate sorbet and citrus salad...wonderful texture,presentation and flavour.
This time of year mackerel is starting to arrive slow but sure. I managed to get some for the hotel the other day so decided to lightly tea smoke it and serve it with a red pepper and onion marmalade filo tart and a caper creme fraiche it was very tasty and presentable and of course inexpensive to produce.
For a quick tasty lunch or supper dish you can marinade it in some soy sauce and sesame oil and pan fry it for no longer than 2 mins both sides and serve it on some noodles with pak choi,mushroom and oyster sauce sprinkle over some coriander,chilli and spring onion and there you have it !
I certainly hope to be blogging a bit more and more consistent than I have been so look out for Emerald delivering till the end of the month at lunch time for £4.95....Foccacia Italian style sandwich..which is crispy parma ham,mozzarella,basil and tomato drizzled with balsamic vinegar...Coronation chicken wrap...Chilli Tortillas and guacomole...then a cake and biscuit platter and to finish healthy...a banana,lime and hazelnut smoothie ! So come on all you office workers that can't get out at lunch time phone Emerald Catering on 077743 937178.

We are also offering a throughout June a special £25.00 per head dinner menu cooked in your own home. The menu will be Tea Smoked Mackerel with red pepper and onion marmalade on a filo tart with pea shoot salad and caper creme fraiche....then for main course Slow Roast Pork Belly with cheddar and chive mash, confit of carrot topped of with a stornoway black pudding ravioli finished with  a honey and star anise jus...and for dessert a Deconstructed "Eton Mess". Call Raymond on above number for details, All we ask is both offers are for minimum of 6 persons.

Happy cooking !

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Cold summer

Is it really June out there or am I thinking its November! Thankfully we have some nice produce to help us forget that its not. Asparagus comes to mind. When I worked at Castleton Hotel at Glamis just along the road was an asparagus farm which was Eassie Farm run by Sandy Pattullo. Unbelievable thinking this kind of produce came from afar and there it was on my doorstep. Its a very short season for it usually around 6 weeks. The joy of that job was ordering it knowing it was picked that day and not been in storage or travelling halfway round the country before we got it. It was on the menu in one disguise or another...simply and classical with an hollandaise sauce as a starter any trimmings would do for a soup or making of a vegetable stock. It was paired on the main course with another product available at that time...Sea Trout again a short season just some crushed new potato, peas and asparagus spears and a butter sauce made by reducing some shallot,white wine vinegar,fish stock,cream and then whisk in some cold pieces of quality butter sprinkled with chives...tasty and all in season.
I had a birthday last week so we went to our favourite restaurant which is Ondine in Edinburgh. Lovely as usual except the duck liver pate which without doubt the first time I had it was the best ever! but unfortunately not as good this time not as silky smooth and rich as previous.

I am an advocate of cheaper products that we should really be using more as in Cockles very simple and cheap! Eat them raw and sprinkle them with vinegar and some sea salt. If you don't want to eat them raw then boil them for 2 mins. What about this one Ox Tongue..yuch I here you say no its easy to cook . Get yourself a reputable butcher who will order you one a salted one! Place the tongue in a pot with roughly chopped carrot.couple of roughly chopped leeks,2 onions 1 head of garlic 10 peppercorns stick of celery and some thyme cook for 3 to 31/2 hours when its cooked peel it when its still warm. The great thing about tongue it holds up to alot of flavours. Slice it then pair it with some roast beetroot and horseradish..delicious and cheap! It can also be eaten hot or cold.

At the start of the month I was on a wild plant walk around Kirkcaldy and we came across some edible plants that can be used in cooking i.e burdock , cleavers or you'll be familiar with its better known name..sticky willow something I only found out recently that was edible. Also chickweed, hawthorn berries, jack by the hedge and many more! I am now starting to incorporate these plants in my cooking.

Here is a nice dessert for summer to use up another summer favourite...Strawberries.

Its a Mango fool with Strawberries

Recipe: 2 very ripe mango
1 lime (use juice)
2 tbspn of soft light brown sugar
1/2 pint double cream
touch of vanilla essence
Grated zest of above lime
As many strawbs as u like

In a food processor puree the mangoes lime juice and soft brown sugar.
Whip the cream with caster and vanilla essence until slightly stiff then fold it into the mango puree put into glass decorate with lime zest and your hand picked(if poss) strawberries and anice thin crisp biscuit for texture! Easy one.

Until next time
Happy cooking

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Well its May and its cracking weather so no braised stews or casseroles... lighter, simpler quick and tasty so you don't want to be sweating in kitchen that outside! What is really refreshing to sit down with in the sunshine is the great Spanish classic...Gazpacho! Basically a salad soup. Heres a version that I use which is tasty refreshing and has a light kick to it. 12 ripe tomato's and they have to be as ripe as possible 7oz cucumber 2 red and 2 green peppers couple of garlic cloves 25oml of a soft wine vinegar 5-6oz of virgin olive oil 3oz of breadcrumbs(fresh)and to keep a reddish colour in it(optional) a tblsp of tomato puree then a dash if you wish of tabasco throw the lot in a blender and push thru a sieve. You can add quick fried prawns or crab if you wish for substance otherwise eat with some crusty bread.

If you are looking for some ideas for party food to sit down with friends and have it stress free watch the best cooking programme we have on british television in my mind...Great british menu and try some of the easier recipes that you would feel comfortable with if your not sure what I'm on about tune into BBC2 Mon-Fri at 6.30.

At the moment buffet wise at lunchtime we are offering all you office workers a value for money buffet which is... a coronation chicken pannini.. crispy bacon,avocado and jalapeno quesadilla...a pot of fresh fruit topped with lemon balm yoghurt and a piece of millioniare shortbread this will be going for £4.95 per head. Please contact me on 07743 937178. Please note 6 is the minimum order.

For dinner parties at £22.50 per head we will be offering..are you ready?

3 Canapes ...then to start...Sashimi of Salmon with noodle salad and king prawn tempura for Main course...a Boudin of Chicken,wild garlic,spinach and confit leg meat served with beetroot boulangere,stuffed courgette and pomme anna finished with a cider and thyme jus then for dessert a Rhubarb parfait,blood orange salad and pecan caramel. To book this give me a call please make sure you are in Fife area and once again note that it is for a min of 6 persons.

Enjoy your cooking.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Well summer is round the corner and we will have a plethora of quality ingredients at our disposal.
Crab is one of my favourite foods and is absolutely delicious and has many uses.The problem probably is the preperation and fiddling about that goes into it. To cook a crab weighing around 1lb-11/2lb cook it for 20 mins in boiling salted water then refresh.I actually enjoy picking all the meat out the legs and large claws that holds the white meat...very tasty indeed!! The brown meat is kept in the main shell which i then like to make a sauce with for other things i.e a nice piece of salmon. I will leave a few ideas at the end of this blog to look over and see what you would like to do with them. A note by the way on buying fresh!! Get down to harbour side here in Fife right up the coast and you will get one no problem probably cheaper than in the shop too.
Had a day in Edinburgh couple of weeks back and was wandering down the grasssmarket when I came acrosss this cracking wee shop with a hog roast..that was it just selling hog roast rolls with haggis and crackling if you wished!! Really tasty and moist well worth a visit. We then went to a Japanese restaurant on Rose Street and had a lovely lunch which of course included Sushi which i love as well as other dishes that will suit the non adventurous. Talking about Sushi I have a BBQ to do this Saturday so please hold up weather....I will be doing Sushi as one of the Canapes which will include some crab ones. It doesn't have to be raw fish which people turn ther nose up to.

Here are some ideas that you can do with the aforementioned crab.
I personally love it with fresh pasta which is easy to knock up...cook pasta then add chilli,garlic,basil and your picked white meat with a touch of olive oil to bring it altogether and a touch of seasoning squeezing over juice of half a lemon. You can also do some spring rolls which you mix crbmeat with some peppers,mange tout beansprouts,coriander and spring onion(buy the bag of stir fry veg you get in supermarket) seson with chilli,soy and oyster sauce then wrap in spring roll wrappers available at chinese supermarkets then deep fry for 4-5 mins an serve with a nice dipping sauce i.eplum,ginger and spring onion. The crabcake is another mixed with potato then flour eggwash and breadcrumb...pan fry or deep fry and serve with a nice salad and sesame dressing. Last blogs dinner party special is still available so if it has any interest to you give me a call on 07743 937178

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Well believe it or not I'm late again to be fair its been hectic again and the old tiredness creeps in.
Had our first use of this seasons wild garlic recently and it was lovely! Its very versatile and can be used in salads,stuffings,sauces etc. At the same time the wild garlic is emerging my foraging friend and I came across the last of the seasons velvet shank.....its a wild mushroom which is found around decaying elm and oak trees usually in clusters. its one of the very few fungi that can survive heavy frosts and boy did we have these this winter!! If you are using them remove the tough stem and the cap can be added to soups ,stews etc. I did a pan fried breast of chicken recently for family dinner making a simple white wine and shallot sauce reduced with a glass of white wine added 1/4 pint of double cream thru in the velvet shank caps seasoned sauce with salt pepper touch of lemon and at the finish just before serving added some shredded wild garlic was reallly nice!
I'm offering this month and next another dinner party menu which I hope you will take us up on as last months offer was reasonably busy. For £25.00 per head you can have Fresh Pea soup with a Smoked Ham Hock Sandwich and Mustard Creme Fraiche followed by Lime Crusted Pollock,buttered greens,new potato's and chorizo oil dressing then for dessert.....Strawberry Parfait,Brandy Snap and White Chocolate Sorbet.
For anybody within a tight budget at lunchtime and are looking for a value for money buffet with delivery how about Ploughmans style sandwich...Potato Scone topped with red onion jam, smoked cheddar and rocket...fruit skewers with white choc dipping sauce and for afters caramel shortbread!! this is priced at £4.50 including delivery within 10 mile radius.

Speak soon

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Hello and welcome to February....are you all set for Valentines? I am out at the Crusoe Hotel for weekend (working unfortunately!). Monday we are doing a dinner party for 6 which is a Valentines dinner party....nice!
Not a bad January business wise a good few buffets as well as half a dozen dinner parties as the monthly specials are doing well. We also did a Burns supper at Linktown church which we do every year and that went down well. Looking forward to next month as we have our bi-annual event at SECC in Glasgow....the Scottish Chef of the Year awards along with other competitions.

The special that we are offering for this month it is a late one but we have been busy other weekends so we couldn't offer it. Anyway for £25.00 per head you can have..............................
Warm wood pigeon salad with pickled cherries,crisp pancetta and hazelnut dressing
then for main course Monkfish collops with jerusalem artichoke,fine green been and crisp leek risotto cake finished with a basil and tomato creme fraiche and for desssert Pear and amoretti cheesecake with honeycomb ice cream. Just call Raymond on 07743 937178

We are also offering a lunch time buffet special Mon-Fri at your work place also for the remainder of February...that buffet will be Cajun and Honey Chicken Wrap , Finger roll with ass fillings , Cake and Biscuit and a bowl of fresh fruit all this including delivery for £4.50 per head.(Minimum 6 persons)

A nice quick dish to put together is Sainsbury fresh tagliatelle tossed with king prawn,basil,garlic and chilli just bind lightly together with a light fruity olive oil and a nice light green salad if you wish.

Happy cooking !! Remember to call me for your specials.