Simple Sumptuous Soup

Here is a recipe that i experimented with today, for a simple and luxurious soup which can be used as a starter or a meal in itself, served with a wedge of crusty bread.

Ingredients:
1 onion
1 leek
1 head of broccoli
100-150g Stilton (to taste)
2tbsp rapeseed oil
2tbsp porcini olive oil
Knob of butter
1 litre chicken or veg stock
Favourite bread cubed
Salt and Pepper
1 potato large
1 celery stick

Prep

1) Firstly chop the leek, onion, Celery, take the head away from the thick broccoli stalk and break apart then chop the potato into roughly 2cm cubes.

2) Heat up the rapeseed in a large saucepan add the onions on a medium heat and put on lid. Leave for five minutes allowing onions to steam and soften.

3) Add a small cup of water so the onions don’t burn on the pan then add in the celery leek and potato with a knob of butter. Leave on a low medium heat covered to sweat for five minutes.

4) Add the stock and leave to simmer on the same heat level for 15 minutes.

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5) After that time add the broccoli heads minus any chunky stalks and cook for five minutes.

Stilton

6) Blitz mixture with a blender until it’s as smooth as desired. Then crumble in Stilton and stir in it will melt and slightly thicken the soup. Taste and season until you are happy with the final flavour of the dish, remember the Stilton will provide a salty element to the dish.

For the croutons just heat cubed bread on a warm pan drizzled with your desired oil. I chose porcini infused mushroom olive oil for an earthy wild mushroom kick but you can use normal olive oil, garlic etc. Be careful not to have the heat to high they will burn easily.

Broccoli & Stilton Soup

Good luck!

Here is an investment that will save you loads of time and make following recipes simple and quicker.

At a starting price of around a tenner, digital weighing scales are a cheap and vital piece of kit for anyone who enjoys cooking.

Digital scales

Midnight food shop

It’s good to go shopping for ingredients late at night, you can really have an in depth look of the goodies they have on offer, minus the interruption of busy mums with their wailing demonic hell spawn of satan children or the nine to five guy who hates his life and his physique but just can’t find the Hellmans mayonnaise.

It’s no good shopping for a fresh sourdough bread at midnight but when it comes to pantry items and key ingredients, it is prime time to have a well thought out scan of what’s on offer.

My next post will consist of a broccoli, Stilton and potato soup.

Stay tuned.

Sublime Asian Style Lunch

Beef Ho Fun

Today lunch consisted of essentially an Asian style ‘surf and turf’. Beautifully seasoned a perfectly pink steak sliced thin and rather large prawns hidden underneath a large amount of flat rice noodles with crunchy vegetables in a black bean sauce. The restaurant is www.bamboodle.co.uk a hidden gem in Stratford Upon Avon. Any fan of Asian noodles fusion cooking should give it a go! Wagamamas has nothing on the fresh produce that comes out of this place. Full marks!

To eat in or take out! Bonus.

Cooking should be fun, get other people involved don’t pull your hair out not everything should finish at the same time thats the last thing you want. Meats are usually better rested. While the meat is resting keep vegetables in a warm oven and add finishing touches to the other parts eg. creating the sauce.

Enjoying yourself

Midnight Exotic Meats

Kangaroo & onion burger

Kangaroo & onion burger

A rather satisfying option and i hope burger enthusiasts get themselves some kangaroo burgers if they haven’t already.

Served with gherkins and a mild chilli ketchup this fulfilled my late night hunger pains thoroughly. A distinct lean meaty taste unlike one I’ve tasted before.

These meats are becoming much more readily available in local butchers. Try it for yourself!

Paella Perfection

Paella Perfection

A long day of sightseeing travelling around the city of Barcelona and starvation kicks in.

The next restaurant when we come out of this side street is being attacked we decide. We came out and there was a long row of restaurants all looking very similar and generic al fresco style two or three people sitting outside each nothing stood out in particular so we chose the closest.

I attempted to make the waiter sell me the place he basically told me to wait and see. We ordered a couple of two person mixed paella and waited patiently for 45 minutes, my mind set on it being a letdown.

The paella arrived at the table and we tucked in and with a squeeze of lemon it was the most flavourful dish i have ever experienced on my numerous Spanish visits. An explosion of fresh flavours came bursting out positioned opposite the harbour the shellfish tasted as though it was caught at 3pm and served at 4. A very memorable time for me that keeps Barcelona fresh in my memory to this very day.

Unfortunately i didn’t take the time to recognise the name of the eatery but if i were ever in Barcelona again which one day i pray i will make it back, it’s the first place I’m headed.

 

Paella itself elf is a great easy dish for feeding groups and entertaining. Anyone can throw together some rice stock meat shellfish but i think the key to an incredible paella is all in the fish stock. Great care should go into the stock using various shellfish shells, fish heads and generally the things that get thrown away as it’s where all the beautiful flavours hide away waiting to be uncovered. Don’t forget your fresh well sourced produce and you’ve given yourself a head start to a brilliant dish in the flavour department.

 

Barcelona Market

A quote by James

I love fish and the Barcelona market has great quality in abundance.

http://instagram.com/p/PHx2oEN7Z4/

The smells are overwhelming, the stalls are alive and full of colour. The Barcelona market is a beautiful place to be enjoyed by anyone but appreciated most by lovers of fresh food.

Tiny tapas bars are dotted around with only 6 stools per stand where people stop for ten minutes for a little bit of something they might fancy to eat and drink no fuss.

Amazing Ham & Cheese Omlette Truffled

Here is a recipe for a great omelette.

Ingredients:

Hand full of chopped ham

hand full of grated chedder

Some Parmesan to finish.

3eggs lightly beaten in a bowl so as they maintain marbling of yolk and white.

Salt and pepper.

Butter unsalted.

Method:

1) Heat butter in a medium sized frying pan then loosen eggs that have been seasoned well with salt and pepper in so as the pan is hot and begins bubbling immediately. Using a spatula fold eggs around so as they cook through quick after two minutes the egg should be set fairly well but not completely.

2) Sprinkle in cheddar and ham then fold omlette to carry on cooking off the plate where it will reach it’s final stage off the heat. It’s important to know the egg carries on cooking off the heat, this is how many people overcook their omlette

3) When dished up the omelette will remain cooking sprinkle with Parmesan serve and enjoy. The precooked ham should be hot and the cheddar cheese gooey.

Here is a short video clip to get an idea, I chose to truffle my omlette but that’s a lesson for another day and complete over indulgence on my part.

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