#NoelByHJ – Mains – Lobster in Crème fraiche

For the main on this Christmas menu I chose to stay away for THE GIANT BIRD (Turkey)… The love of the fowl in this country (UK) is fascinating… People eat chicken throughout the year and at Christmas they want to eat an even bigger variety of the bird… WHY?!It is beyond me! So, of you are tempted to stay away from the fowl too, try the Lobster. Make it a treat… It is annoying to de-shell, but it is worth the bother. I feel the same for potato! So my main is …

Happy Christmas! Lobster & Mash!

Happy Christmas! Lobster & Mash!

Lobster in Crème fraiche Served with Parsnips & Swede mash

Ingredients to serve 2:

  • 2 lobsters from Lidl – £9.98

    Ingredients for the dish

    Ingredients for the dish

  • 50g red onion
  • A handful of parsley – 30p
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 150g crème fraiche – 52p
  • 300ml stock – made out of the lobster carcasses
  • 25g butter
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil

For the mash:

  • 500g swede – 30p
  • 300g parsnips – 30p
  • Chopped parsley
  • 25 Butter
  • Salt

Total spend: £11.40p

I think this might be the most expensive dish I have cooked for this blog, but it is Christmas and you are trying to eat something different and having a treat for this one day in the year is very much recommended! Enjoy it!

Method: 

Progression of the lobsters preparation below

HJ's Lobsters The day before cooking.

Defrost the lobsters and deshell them without damaging the shapes too much or you might end up with flakes instead of well-shaped pieces of lobster meat. Be especially careful with the laws as they are the hardest to break without crushing.

Start by separating the tails from the heads, then detach the claws from the heads. Carefully remove the shell from the tail then rinse and score the back of the tail to empty the belly of the lobster.

Once that is done, rinse the lobster tail and feel it all over to make sure that there is no shell debris left. Set aside. Now deshell the laws and carefully remove the meat. Rinse and feel all sides to make sure there is no broken shell left on the meat and set aside.

Repeat all the above with the second lobster. And do not throw away the shells debris

Seasoning the lobster

Seasoning the lobster

nor the heads. Instead, rinse and reserve in bowl with a lid or in a freezer bag.

Returning to the lobster meat: We are going to marinade it overnight.

Place the lobster meat in a bowl with 3 chopped garlic cloves and 25g chopped onion. Add a pinch of paprika, salt and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Mix well and leave in the fridge overnight.

The Next day:

When you are ready to make the sauce, heat a pan with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oilDSC06163 fin, toss fry the lobster shells for 2 minutes, then add the parsley, chopped or whole with the remaining 25g of chopped onion. Toss fry for another 2 minutes before adding 500ml water. Cover the pan and leave to simmer for 10 minutes at high heat then drain using the finest sieve you can find.

Making the stock

Making the stock

The sieve will hold back even the smallest pieces of shell so you won’t find them in the sauce later. Discard the shell and set the stock aside. The stock will be about 300ml.

In a new pan, heat 25g butter and add the lobster and everything that was in the

marinade. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes allowing the onion of the marinade to soften. NowMaking the stock add the 300ml stock prepared previously as well as 150g of crème fraiche, salt & pepper. Stir and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes. This will give time to the liquid to evaporate and the sauce will become creamier and creamier… as you stir, look out for the sauce sticking to the sides of the pan as an indication that the sauce is getting creamier… as it begins to stick, taste and adjust the seasoning. Before removing from heat.

For the mash:

Peel and cut the swede and parsnips in small pieces.
Place them in a pan with enough salted water to cover the content of the pan. Bring to boil for 10-20 minutes depending on the size of the pieces of vegetables. Both vegetables feel a bit like potato once they are cooked so, keep a closer eye on them after 10 minutes of boiling as you do not want a soggy mash. The vegetables should be cooked, but still firm and mashable.

Once they are cooked, drain and mash either with a potato ricer or simply a potato masher. Add the remaining 25g butter, a pinch of salt, combine and finish with chopped parsley.

Serve hot as suggest with the lobster.

DSC06195 fin Serving suggestionTuck in and enjoy.

PS: Lidl’s Lobsters are pretty well rated by the Daily mail… check out what they said about it here.

Click to see the nibbles & stater from this menu or simply type in #NoelByHJ in the search box.

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Coming up – Noel By HJ

Sorry faceStill to come this week, my Christmas menu, but you can use it for your New Year’s celebration instead why not?

Sorry it is a bit late, but it has been a very busy events month as I am an events’ coordinator and have just finished a 10 days stretch nonstop at work!

Here is the menu you will be having recipes for

My menu starts bouchees including salmon and prunes wrapped in bacon

Noel by HJ Bouchees

Noel by HJ Bouchees

Starter is a verrine with Surimi

Noel by HJ verinnes

Noel by HJ verinnes

Mains is lobster with swede & Parsnips mash

Noel by HJ lobster

Noel by HJ lobster

Dessert is a 2 buches de Noel with ground roasted hazelnuts & coffee.

Noel by HJ les deux buches

Noel by HJ les deux buches

I hope to post all the recipes this week.

The menu looks expensive, but it amazing what you can do with a bit of creativity.

To listen to the related Croydon Radio show, click on this link.

Thank you for checking in!

x

Buche or Yule log is the French Christmas cake

Buche or Yule log is the French Christmas cake

#ChristmasScraps – The cheese board 3

HJ's Filo quiche

HJ’s Filo quiche

Filo quiche

(Also using left overs roast vegetables & bacon)

Ingredients:

Serves 6

  • 250g roast vegetables – Leftover
  • 3 slices of bacon – Leftover
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 100ml double cream – leftover
  • 150g mix cheeses – leftover
  • 100g cucumber
  • 100g leek
  • Garlic granules
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 sheets of filo pastry – (£1.39 for 12 sheets)
  • 25cm tart dish
  • 10g butter
  • Green salad to serve with.

Total spend: £1.39p

Method:

 Preheat the oven at 180°C

Cut the leek in half and separate the leaves. If the leaves are too large, cut them in half, length ways so they look like strips. Cut the cucumber in strips using a mandolin or potato peeler. Cut the bacon in strips too, grate the cheeses, chop the tomatoes and slice the onion as in the picture above.

In a bowl, add the grated cheese, the cream and 100ml water. Also add salt and black

Quiche filling 1

Quiche filling 1

pepper, garlic, mix, taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.

Butter the bottom and sides of the tart dish and layer in the filo sheet crossing each leaf: the sheet are rectangular so if you lay a sheet one way, lay the next one across it as if creating a star or the British flag.

Once that is done, stretch out at the bottom of the dish, the

Quiche filling 2

Quiche filling 2

leek and cucumber strips, spread the roast vegetables, the

bacon and then the tomato. Pour over it the cheese and cream mix, then the onion slices. Give it a slight shake then fold inward to the ends of the filo sheets. Brush butter over the filo ends before placing the quiche in the middle tray of the oven.

Bake for 50 minutes at 180°C.

Quiche filling 3

Quiche filling 3

Quiche filling 4

Quiche filling 4

Cooked quiche 1

Cooked quiche 1

Cooked quiche 2

Cooked quiche 2

Quiche serving suggestion

Quiche serving suggestion

Leave to cool down a bit before serving. I served mine with a spinach and cherry tomato salad.

To see the whole leftover series, type #XmasScraps #ChristmasScraps in the search box. You will also find ides for using leftover Christmas pudding, Turkey etc… Don’t forget to post your comments!

Happy Christmas.

#ChristmasScraps – Leftover Sprouts

Leftover Sprouts

Leftover Sprouts

Spouts frittata

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 150g sprouts – Leftover

    Leftover Sprouts 2

    Leftover Sprouts 2

  • 1 slice bread
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Chili flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 20ml whole milk
  • 50g onion

Total spend: £0

Method:

Halve the sprout buttons, chop the onion and press the garlic. Cut the bread in small chunks.

Leftover Sprouts 3

Leftover Sprouts 4

Leftover Sprouts 4

Leftover Sprouts 3

In a bowl, crack both eggs, add salt pepper, chili, milk and black pepper. Whisk and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Heat the frying pan and add 3 table spoons of vegetable oil. Let the oil heat up and fry the onion and the sprouts for 2 minutes, then bread and the beaten eggs.

Stir to mix egg, sprouts and onions, then level the content of the pan so the whole surface of the pan is covered. Leave to fry for 3 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time so the egg won’t stick to the bottom.

After 3 minutes, flip the frittata and leave to cook through for 3 minutes.

Et Voila! A Brussels Sprouts Frittata for 2

Et Voila! A Brussels Sprouts Frittata for 2

I just added bread for consistency, but if you’ve got leftovers roast potatoes, Swede or parsnips, use them instead of bread.

It is ready to serve and enjoy!

#TurkishByHJ – Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Mains for 5 people

This Turkish main that consist of meat & either beans (Fasulye) or spinach (Ispanak). It is ideally served with rice cooked in butter, but I am service mine with wheat which is much firmer.

 Ingredients:

  • 300g flat beans (50p)

    Kıymalı ingredients

    Kıymalı ingredients

  • 300g spinach (40p)
  • 1 tinned of chopped tomato (50p)
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 800g lamb chops (£4.00)
  • Oregano
  • Fresh Mint (50p)
  • Fresh coriander (50p)
  • 3 Turkish peppers (25p)

    Raw wheat grains

    Raw wheat grains

  • Paprika
  • Chilli flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Ground Cumin
  • Vegetable oil.
  • Pomegranate (50p)
  • Natural yogurt (45p)

£7.60

Accompaniment:

  • 500g wheat (99p)
  • 50g butter
  • 25g onion

Total cost for the main £8.59 or £1.71 per person.

All the above ingredients were necessary as I tried to make this dish as authentic as possible. The most costly item on the list was the lamb chops, found in Iceland. For even lower budget, revert to chicken which can be bought from £2.00. The yogurt and pomegranates are also extra and often found in Turkish mains. Both are not really necessary. Instead of wheat, I could have stuck to rice or barley which are half the price of wheat. Excluding the yogurt and Pomegranate well as using chicken wings instead of lamb and rice instead of wheat would have bought the main’s cost down to around £5.15

Method:

Rinse and cut the lamb chops in smaller pieces big enough to be a mouth full. Place in a bowl. Peel & press the garlic over the lamb then add black pepper and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Lamb cuts

Lamb cuts

Rinse the flat beans, cut off the extremities and cut them in pieces of about 3cm in length. Do the same for the Turkish peppers and set aside. The Turkish pepper are much more flavourful than your regular green sweet peppers and they are not hot.

Cut off the spinach leaves from their stalks, rinse the leaves individually before roughly cutting them. Set aside. I used the large spinach leaves.

Peel and chop the onion, set aside. Pick off about 15 leaves of mint and a hand full of fresh coriander, rinse and chop finely. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, heat 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, add the meat and fry for 5 minutes turning the pieces of meat until all sides are browned. Now add ¾ of the chopped onion, mix and cover the pan. Allow the meat to sweat for 10 minutes.

Flat bean and Turkish pepper cut

Flat bean and Turkish pepper cut

Now, add tomato, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, oregano, mint, coriander and 100ml water. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning before covering to simmer for 20 minutes.

Halfway through the 20 minutes, add the flat beans & Turkish peppers, stirs and cover again. At the end of the 20 minutes, add the spinach stir well and cover to simmer for another 5 minutes.

By the time the spinach are softened, the meat would have been cooking for 45 minutes in total, so it should be really tender and almost falling off the bone.

Steaming Kıymalı

Steaming Kıymalı

Now on to the Wheat. The Turkish would have served the meat above with a Sade Pilavi, which means rice fried in butter, then cooked with stock… Please read the Wiki page about Turkish food, such an interesting mix of flavours and techniques. I am not using rice obviously, but I am cooking my wheat in the “Sade” way.

Rinse off the starch from the wheat, set aside. In a big enough pan with a lid, heat 50g butter and add the chopped onion. Until it starts to caramelise. Now add the wheat with a pinch of salt and stir fry for about 5 minutes to obtain a very slightly toasty smell (or burn if you will) coming from the pan.

Close up cooked wheat

Close up cooked wheat

Now pour over it 500ml of stock and cover to simmer for 30 minutes.  You will need to open the pan very often to check the water levels and add more water until the wheat softens.

Now. Wheat does not soften to the level of rice and can be very chewy, if you have never used it, after cooking it for 20-25 minutes you should be able to eat it without too much efforts.

Wheat is a great alternative to rice.

I server mine hot, topped with the Lamb Kıymalı with yogurt and fresh pomegranates jewels.

I chose to use the pomegranates instead of dry fruits because they are less sweet and bring much colour to the plate.

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak serve with sade wheat , natural yogurt and pomegranate

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak serve with sade wheat , natural yogurt and pomegranate

Enjoy!

To read how I came up with the menu read here… Other elements from this Turkish menu include a meze with Babaganoush, beans hummus, flat bread, cabbage dolma & tomato/almond dip

The yogurt knitters set… AKA Vegan 3 course

Borrowed logo!

Borrowed logo!

Hear the radio show here on Croydon Radio.

Hello!

This month I’d like to treat you to 3 course vegan meal… My favourite. See, I am not always a fan of meat and having had health concerns in the past I often eat meat and dairy free meals. I am very much against battery farming and especially the over-production/consumption for some meats in particular in this country.

Cooking meat & dairy free does require a bit of creativity at times and frankly what tends to be presented in some mags or vegan restaurants aren’t often appealing. To see some of my musings, go see my vegan blog http://www.all-vegan.blogspot.co.uk… scroll down to see some of my most exciting combos.

One myth I’d like to dispel also is that, Quinoa is not that outlandish! That barley is a great alternative to rice and that NOT ALL vegans are “sandal wearing nuts eating yogurt knitters”… So, stop hating and explore before earning the right to put vegan advocates down.

PS: not all of them are militant nutters either.

Hope you will tune in to discover what I’ll be cooking.

It is all about encouraging you to eat what you like, but removing or replacing the animal related elements. By reducing the meat and dairy consumption, you will reduce some health risks, reduce the over-production of some meat related products and also discover that there is a lot more out there to explore in terms of food. You don’t have time? Put down the box set…

You will also get to discover the health values in some of the ingredients used.

See you on Saturday 5th from 4pm on Croydon Radio.

x.

Hortense

PS: I am only a part-time vegan and full time lazy chewer. Oh, did I mention God botherer?

Have a great week!

Update: Hope you manage to tune in to the show. This is what the food looks like… Find the recipe for the starter, main and dessert here. Do post a comment!

Vegetable cakes with beetroot dip, creamy Barsotto & vegan brownie with Banana & Peach ice cream

Vegetable cakes with beetroot dip, creamy Barsotto & vegan brownie with Banana & Peach ice cream

Stuffed Tamales with Sundried tomato

 

Stuffed Tamales

Stuffed Tamales

Recipe for 10 – 12 to serve 4 people

Allow 3 tamales per person. These were made as part of the Cuban menu.

Ingredients:

  • 250g coarse corn flour (40p)

    Tamales ingredients

    Tamales ingredients

  • 10 sundried tomato pieces (99p)
  • 12 fresh coriander leaves to decorate (10p)
  • Dry oregano
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Flavour oil (from sundried tomato jar)
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 2 table spoons self-rising flour
  • 1 fresh corn (37p)

Total spent: £1.86 or 46p per person. The only thing used on the fresh corn on this recipe are the leaves. The corn kernels will be used in another recipe.

Method:

Start by rinsing the coriander leaves and set aside. Carefully remove

Tamales ingredients

The corn and its outer leaves

one by one the outer leaves of the corn cob. Remove any extra “corn hair” rinse the leaves and flick out the water. The number of leaves on the corn cob can vary from 8-12…

Slice the pieces of sundried tomato in 2 – 3 to make them thinner. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, pour the corn flour, the self-rising flour, a pinch of salt and oregano. Mix all the dry elements together then, add the boiling water, the flavoured oil and knead the dough using a spatula until you obtain the consistency of a cookie dough.

packing the Tamales

packing the Tamales

Now lay flat all the corn leaves on a flat surface. On each leave, place 1 coriander leave, then top with the equivalent of 2 tablespoons full of corn dough. Flatten the dough on the corn leave and place on it 2-3 pieces of sundried tomato. Now bring together all the edges of the corn leave as if making a rolled cigarette. Fold the edge together and finish folding by over flapping both ends of the corn leaves.

You can either hold the parcel together with a tooth pick or simply put the parcel aside face down.

Repeat until all the parcels are done.

packing the Tamales

packing the Tamales

If you’ve got a steamer, use it to cook the tamales. If not, Place all the tamale parcels in an oven proof dish and place the dish in a big enough pan with a lid. Without a steamer, it is best to cook the tamales in a Bain Marie.

The idea here is that you will pour some water in the pan, making sure that none of it enters the heat proof dish containing the tamales. The water in the pan should be at about half the height of the dish within the pan. As water boils, it will produce enough heat to cook the tamales. For the size of the tamales made in the recipe, you should allow 20 minutes for them to be cooked through.

All packed

All packed

To check that the tamales are ready, they should be harder and if pricked with the tip of the knife, just like the test for a cake, the knife should come out dry. The secret is to keep the steam to the max in the pan. Make sure to top up the water as it dries out.

Tamales are great replacement for rice or potatoes. Feel free to deep fry the left-overs to give them a crispier outer layer…

They are to be eaten without the corn leaves obviously.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

Note: Using corn leaves add to the taste of the Tamales. In the absence of corn leaves, use banana leaves (found in the local ethnic or Chinese supermarket) or simply kitchen foil.

See how I serve mine her with a Cuban Ropa Vieja.

Enjoy!