Cheese and Chive Mayonnaise (Courtesy of Nathan Outlaw)

Ingredients

3 free range egg yolks

50g finely grated Davidstow Cornish Crackler Cheddar

2 tsp English Mustard

1 tbsp Cider Vinegar

500 ml Sunflower Oil

A pinch of Cornish Sea Salt

Method

Place the egg yolks in a bowl along with the mustard and vinegar and whisk to blend.

Slowly add the oil a few drop at a time to start with and as it begins to emulsify add it in a steady stream whisking continuously as you do.

When your mayonnaise is the consistency you would like it to be (it will take all the oil but you may prefer to stop before then) whisk in the cheese and chives. Season to taste.

Alternatively this can be made in a food processor.

Place the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar, cheese and chives in the mixer.

Blend for one minute then add the oil in a slow, steady stream whilst the processor is still running. When the oil is incorporated add salt to taste.

Tip

If you add the oil too quickly or don’t whisk it well enough the mayonnaise may split. If it does simply break another egg yolk into a bowl and slowly add the split mayonnaise, whisking as you do so. This should pull it back together.

This mayonnaise will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

Classic Crab, Cheddar and Chive Spanish Omelette (courtesy of Nathan Outlaw)

Ingredients

4 tbsp Rapeseed Oil

1 Medium Onion, finely chopped

200g Waxy Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

6 Large Free Range Eggs

200g Picked White Crab Meat

50g Brown Crab Meat

100g Davidstow Classic Cheddar, grated

3 tbsp Chives, chopped

Salt and Black Pepper

Method

Use an 18-20 cm frying pan, non-stick or well seasoned.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan, add the onions and potatoes and stir gently until softened but not coloured. Remove to a bowl until cool.

Whisk the eggs lightly and add to the potatoes along with the crab, cheese, chives and seasoning.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the rest of the oil. Pour in the egg mixture and turn the heat down to the lowest setting.

Every now and then draw the edge in with a spatula to give a nice rounded edge. When there is almost no liquid left on the surface of the omelette turn it over for 2 minutes then turn the heat off and leave to rest for 5 minutes. It should be cooked through but still moist in the centre. Cut into wedges and serve it hot or cold with a summer leaf salad.

 

Perfect Poached Eggs

I have tried all the usual tips for making perfect poached eggs; swirling the water and adding vinegar etc. but always seem to end up with a slightly watery, stringy mess. The eggs always taste ok but could look significantly better. When friends come to stay, rather than stress over the outcome, breakfast is always accompanied by fail safe scrambled eggs.

So, even though Heston’s method looked a bit of a faff I decided to give it a go anyway and I was actually pleasantly surprised.

There are two important factors in this method: The egg and the temperature of the water.

The Egg

The egg has to be very fresh. Apparently, the older the egg; the more watery the egg white and watery whites separate into strands when you try to poach them. The way to test the freshness of your egg is to place it in a jug of cold water – fresh eggs sink and older eggs float. This is because a small pocket of air in the end of the egg expands over time causing it to rise up to the top of the water. Older eggs which are in date are still good to eat and can be scrambled or used in omelettes or for baking.

Heston also broke his egg into a draining spoon to ensure that any wateriness drained off before placing it in the water. I only have a slotted spoon and the whole of the egg white slid through so I didn’t bother with that bit.

The Temperature

The water should be heated to 80 ° c and an upturned plate placed in the pan to protect the egg from contact with the residual heat in the pan.

Now you are ready to cook. Place the egg gently in the water, remove the pan from the heat and set a timer for exactly 4 minutes. When the time is up, remove the egg and eat it.

If you have a thermometer and a timer it really is as simple as it sounds and the eggs produced by this method have wonderfully soft, just set whites and the most perfectly runny, rich, yellow yolks.

So next time we have friends to stay?  Well they’ll probably still get scrambled eggs because they are easier to scale up and I am essentially lazy at heart.  But scrambled eggs taste great too…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Losing my Pasta Making Virginity

It is very easy to get misled by the media but after many hours of TV watching and magazine reading I was beginning to think that I must be the last woman on earth who did not make her own pasta. However, thanks to my lovely husband, who was clearly paying attention to my multiple hints, on Christmas morning I opened my very own, shiny, chrome plated pasta machine.

Now, I didn’t use it straight away (we had other food plans for Christmas day…) so I had a little time to research pasta recipes and to begin to get concerned about the multiple “right” methods there are out there.

In the end I settled on a Jamie Oliver recipe on the basis that he seems like a nice bloke and his recipes have always worked for me in the past. Plus I guess that Gennaro Contaldo might have taught him a thing or two about Italian food. Jamie’s recipe called for 600g / 1lb 6oz Tipo 00 pasta flour and 6 large, free range eggs.

I would like to tell you a tale of instant perfection but the truth is that I made my first dough on the work surface in the traditional manner, found it very difficult to work in all the flour, kneaded the dough until I had completely eradicated all sign of my bingo wings and then put it in the bin. The dough simply would not form into one big smooth lump and deep valleys refused to be incorporated into the whole. I contemplated adding water or olive oil but, in a crisis of confidence, decided that I did not have the experience to start experimenting at this stage.

By now I had also run out of eggs but, after a quick trip to the local shop and with my enthusiasm intact, I started again. This time I made the dough in the food processor. I also halved the amount of flour and eggs as the previous dough ball looked huge to me. After a little more work on my upper arms I had a reasonably smooth, silky dough (which still had a few, forgivable valleys) and was ready to rest both it and myself for half an hour.

Soon it was time to play with the shiny pasta machine. Jamie advocates using a small piece of disposable dough to clean the rollers of dust which sounds immensely sensible to me, so I did. He also suggests working the dough repeatedly through the two widest settings in order to produce really silky dough – I found that this extra effort was definitely worthwhile. Then the magic began and after producing long, thin sheets of pasta I used the cutting attachment to turn it into tagliatelle.

Ten minutes later we sat down to big bowls of pasta and homemade pesto. Yum. The pasta was lighter in texture than any bought pasta I have tried (including fresh pasta) and none of us experienced that bloated feeling you sometimes get when eating refined flour products, so that was a plus too. Just in case you were wondering, the halved recipe also produced far too much pasta for 3 hungry adults.

Afterwards, when talking to my friends about this, I discovered that I don’t actually know anyone else who makes their own pasta although many of them have pasta machines gathering dust on top of a cupboard. All I can say is, if you have a couple of hours to spare on a wet Sunday afternoon – give it a go. How else can you combine a good workout with a home cooked dinner for your family? Now to experiment – where’ s that semolina?

Egg Pasta Recipe

Pesto Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egg Pasta Recipe

Egg Pasta Recipe

For the original visit Jamie’s website.

Ingredients

300g (10.5 oz) tipo “00” pasta flour

3 large, free range eggs (don’t be tempted to use medium without adjusting the quantity of flour – it does matter)

Method

Place the flour and eggs in the food processor and whizz together until the mixture looks like large breadcrumbs. Tip the “crumbs” onto the work surface and bring it together into a ball using your hands.

Knead the dough thoroughly, pushing and pulling it until it feels smooth and silky and there are no rough, floury bits left. Wrap it tightly in cling film and put it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Clamp the pasta machine to the edge of a long, clean work surface and dust the surface with flour. Take your pasta dough (depending on how much you are making you may find it easier to cut it into more manageable lumps – re-wrap any pasta you are not currently working with) and flatten it out into a rough rectangle.

Set the pasta machine at its widest setting and roll the dough through it. If it sticks dust the dough with flour.

Click the machine down one setting and roll the dough through again.

Click the pasta machine back up to the widest setting, fold the dough in half and roll it through. Click back down one setting and roll it through again.

Repeat this folding and rolling process five or six times to thoroughly work the dough.

When your dough is silky and smooth from this repeated rolling process take it through the machine once at every setting starting with the widest and finishing with the narrowest. Your dough will probably be nice and thin but a little mis-shapen.

Fold your dough once more, this time taking care to get a nice neat rectangle then roll it once through each of the settings again (widest to narrowest). This time you should have nice, neat, rectangular sheets of pasta.

You can either cut this into sheets for lasagne, hand cut it into shapes, use the cutting attachment to produce ribbons of tagliatelle or fettucine or use a mould to make ravioli etc. Each of these requires a different thickness of pasta so feel free to experiment.

Whatever you choose, don’t let your pasta dry out too much before dropping it into a big pan of boiling, salted water. Fresh pasta takes very little cooking – 3 to 4 minutes at most. Add your sauce, serve and enjoy.