Archive for June, 2007

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Beautiful brunch to rouse Mr Rice

June 28, 2007

Mr Rice is a delicate soul, and it can be a bit of a mission to bring him back to life after a hard night’s partying. Having exhausted all my usual methods, I decide to kill two birds with one stone, and make both of us a delicious brunch. As I put it together, the smells worked their way through to Mr Rice, and in the ten minutes it took me together, the brave little soldier and his duvet made it all the way from the bed to the sofa.

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Brunch chez Rice
2 brown organic muffins
smoked bacon
sausages
cherry tomatoes
2 poached eggs
cream cheese
maple syrup

First, slice the sausages open lengthways, leaving one side intact, then put under a medium grill with the bacon. While the meat’s cooking, boil the kettle and cook the muffins in the toaster. Fill a large, deep frying pan with the boiled water and bring back to the boil. Add a slug of vinegar and then swirl the water round in the pan until it’s moving pretty quickly by itself, then crack the eggs into it, one at a time. The swirling water and the vinegar help the egg to keep its shape. As the eggs are poaching, put the tomatoes under the grill with the meat, and smother the toasted muffins in generous helpings of the cream cheese. The egg should be done with a soft yolk after about 7 minutes.

Remove the eggs and place carefully on top of the muffin. Top this with the bacon, and add the tomatoes and the sausage on the side. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and drench in maple syrup if you feel like it.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Cocktails & Dreams, Figuertes beach, Ibiza

June 23, 2007

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Aptly named, playing an eighties soundtrack and serving show off knickerbocker glories, Cocktails & Dreams was the ideal place to cool down after poncing around in our bikinis on Figuertes beach all day.

I’d been seeing people eating extravagant ice cream concoctions all week, so I had to have one before we left Ibiza. What a sweet, childish treat: strawberry, pistachio and vanilla ice cream; fresh strawberries; fresh peaches; fresh oranges; whipped cream and strawberry sauce.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Cafe Mambo, San Antonio, Ibiza

June 21, 2007

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Beautiful view, beautiful ladies for company and beautiful cocktails.

Recipe for Pina Colada
2 parts white rum
1 teaspoon coconut cream
dash of cream
3 parts pineapple juice

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour over ice and garnish with a pineapple wedge, a cherry, and a cocktail umbrella and two straws.

Recipe for Strawberry Daiquiri
1 part White rum
1/2 part Crème de fraises
1/2 part Lemon juice
Ice (crushed)
4 Strawberries

Pour the rum, crème de fraises, lemon juice, strawberries and ice into a blender and process at slow speed for 5 seconds, then at high speed for 20 seconds. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a strawberry.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Bambuddha Grove, St Eulalia, Ibiza

June 18, 2007

Up in the hills, halfway between Ibiza Town and St Eulalia, Bambuddha Grove comes highly recommended by Mr Rice and his pals. Drinks in the bar led us to this charming bartender who prepared the perfect mojitos, known at Bambuddha Grove as Ganesha Green.

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He got the amounts of mint, sugar, lime juice and rum absolutely spot on. We could easily have filled ourselves up on these and skipped dinner.

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Bambuddha Grove calls itself a Mediterrasian® food village. The minute you walk through the entrance you are enveloped by the decadence. It’s generously furnished with tall, elegant bamboo, chandeliers and buddhist art on the walls, and softly lit to create the most chilled out, sumptuous arena in which to enjoy the Thai, Sushi, Sushimi or Bambuddha Buffet.

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What a delightful selection. Clockwise, from right: spare ribs; vegetable curry with tofu and sweet potato; pad thai; chicken with cashew nuts; lamb massaman; seafood curry. Every single dish was delicately and uniquely flavoured. This was one of my best restaurant experiences. The food was divine, the atmosphere elegant and the company superb.

Recipe for Mojito
2 parts white rum
1 part lime juice
top up soda water
10 mint sprigs
1 part ice cubes
1 lime slice
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Mash the mint and sugar together. Add the rum and lime juice and pour over the ice. Top up with soda water. Garnish with a slice of lime.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Pan fried duck breast with stir fried spring greens with egg and garlic

June 13, 2007

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Mr Rice is so resourceful sometimes. I love it when I get home from work and he has been diligently cooking away. He’s not a ‘beans on toast for tea’ kind of man, he’s more of the ‘how can I show off with these ingredients?’ sort. This definitely works for me. This was a well-presented and carefully constructed dinner. The duck was succulent on the inside, crispy on the inside and sitting on a bed of Mr Rice’s lastest culinary invention: Stir fried spring greens with egg and garlic.

Recipe for Stir fried spring greens with egg and garlic
500g spring greens
1 egg
olive oil
soy sauce
several crushed garlic cloves

Cook the garlic gently in the oil for a few minutes, but be careful it doesn’t burn or it will be too bitter. Then add the spring greens and cook for a few minutes, coating in the garlic and oil. Then beat the egg and stir into the mixture. Cook for a couple more minutes and serve.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Le Saint Pierre Restaurant, Golfe-Juan, France

June 12, 2007

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We really exerted ourselves the previous evening at a wedding, and blasted our hangovers away on the beach the following day. The only fitting end to a day like this was to treat ourselves to a slap up meal by the water’s edge, in the balmy Cannes air.

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Prawn cocktail appears to have become a holiday staple for me, or in this case, Emice d’avocat crevettes. It was a light and refreshing starter, in contrast to the general oiliness of most of my other meals so far. The fresh prawns had the meaty, chunky texture and sea flavour I love, and the avocado was perfectly ripe: creamy, soft, literally melting in the mouth. The portion size could easily have made this a main course, but the contents of the plate remained light enough to keep this as a starter.

My companions persuaded me that as we were in France, I really should opt for veal, and they reassurred me that the cruelties associated with veal production are old fashioned and out of date. Given the topics of our heated debates later on in the meal, and the controversial opinions that came out, I am dubious about their claims now, but when in Cannes etc etc. So, I went for the Escalope a la creme.

The champignons bit somehow got lost in translation, as did the pile of spaghetti sans sauce. I was left with a meal that I wouldn’t normally touch with a bargepole. The mushroom sauce was creamy-ish and had a sharpness that allowed me to swallow the mushrooms. The veal was uneventful, and really did nothing for me at all, and the spaghetti added nothing to the dish but extra carbs. My assessment of the meal possibly says more about the way I have brainwashed myself into a kind of ‘protein good, carbs bad’ philosophy, but generally I don’t think this is a bad thing.

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What made up for this was the charming waterside setting and entertaining company, all washed away with a crisp, sweet, chilly rosé.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Caramelised chicory with chargrilled aubergine and halloumi cheese

June 10, 2007

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Chicory has never really occurred to me before, but Abel & Cole kindly included some in our latest organic box. We also got a lovely aubergine and some sweet and juicy oranges. Halloumi cheese is always on standby in the fridge, so I concocted a chargrilled medley with caramelised chicory. The reduced hot orange and honey sauce has a sharpness that complements the more subtle flavour of the aubergine, and contrasts with the salty halloumi.

Recipe for caramelised chicory with chargrilled aubergine and halloumi cheese
6 heads of chicory
juice of 1/2 an orange
butter
1 tbsp clear honey
1 medium aubergine
250g halloumi cheese

Slice the chicory lengthways, trim the ends and place flat side down in a baking dish, generously greased with the butter. Mix the orange juice and honey together and drizzle over the top. Finally dot a few knobs of butter over the top.
Cook for 1 hour at 180C, basting every ten minutes. Towards the end of the cooking, the sauce will start to thicken. If it is not thick enough after an hour and the chicory is cooked, transfer the sauce to a pan to reduce it, and then drizzle back over the chicory.

Ten minutes before the chicory is ready, slice the aubergine and halloumi and cook in a griddle pan with a small amount of olive oil, until well browned on both sides. Arrange the slices on a plate, with the chicory in the middle, and drizzle the hot sauce over the chargrilled slices.

Caramelised chicory adapted from a recipe by Sophie Grigson.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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