Archive for February, 2008

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Parsnip and leek soup

February 26, 2008

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One of the things I love most about Abel & Cole is the way their weekly selection of vegetables encourages me to be more creative with my cooking. One of my winter back-up recipes is potato and leek soup, because it is hearty, tasty and filling.

So, it was a cold, miserable sunday afternoon. Amongst my vegetable selection were some chunky leeks, but no potatoes. Plenty of parsnips though, so the idea for parsnip and leek soup was born.

Parsnips can be a little sweet, but the leeks and vegetable stock help to keep this at bay, and adding creme fraiche at the end smoothes it all over perfectly!

Recipe for Parsnip and leek soup
3 parsnips
2 large leeks
Knob of butter
Olive oil
500ml vegetable stock
Bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic
250ml milk
4 tbsps crème fraiche

Heat a dash of olive oil and the knob of butter in a large, lidded, heavy-bottomed pan. Wash the leeks and slice thinly then add to the pan when the fat starts to bubble. Stir thoroughly until the leeks are covered and then cook on a medium heat until the leeks are soft and translucent, then crush and add the garlic and cook for five more minutes.

 Meanwhile, peel and slice the parsnips, then add to the leeks and garlic, stir to combine well, then cover and sweat for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan.

After 10 minutes the parsnips should be soft. Turn the heat up a little and add the stock and bay leaf, plus salt and pepper, then cover and leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes, until it has a soft and mushy consistency. Remove the bay leaf, then add the milk, stir to combine then remove from the heat. Then blend the soup with a hand blender until smooth, return to the heat, and finally, add the creme fraiche for a special creamy finish.

Serve immediately with crusty bread and a bit of grated cheddar. The soup can also be frozen in separate portions. It can be reheated in the microwave, but it’s  best heated up in a pan with a little milk.

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Find restaurant reviews on She likes her food

February 21, 2008

I’ve had a spring clean and rearranged the categories on She likes her food, so wherever you will be eating in the world you can check my recommendations.

The Eating out categories so far are: Barbados, Brighton, Cannes, Ibiza, London, St Kitts and Thailand. I’ll be adding a New York section very soon too.

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Mikki’s Apple Creme Caramel

February 17, 2008

This is a bit of a departure for me – blogging about someone else’s cooking, but when my sister Mikki sent me the picture and recipe for Apple Creme Caramel I thought I had to share it.

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Mikki wrote, “I made this yesterday for Valentines, and I’m pretty sure its the best pudding I’ve ever made! Really! It’s so light and fresh, and only 200 calories! The apple gives it a lovely zing that is offset by the custard. The recipe sounds a bit odd, and I was sceptical to start with, but I made it anyway and it really works.”

Recipe for Apple Creme Caramel – serves 6

Caramel:
750ml clear apple juice
pinch of ground cinnamon
3tsp sugar

Custard:
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
2oz sugar
500ml clear apple juice

Garnish:
10oz blackberries

Preheat the oven to 160C

To make the caramel put the apple juice in a large, heavy pan with the cinnamon. Bring to the boil, then cook over a high heat for about 20mins or until reduced by half. Lower the heat to moderate, add the sugar and continue boiling down for a further 10mins or until thickened to a bubbling darkish syrup. Take care, as it burns very easily at this stage. The syrup will thicken as it cools, so don’t reduce it too much.
Remove from the heat and pour in to 6 ramekins (150ml / 5floz capacity). Swirl the apple caramel round the sides, or use a spoon and spread it around a bit. Make sure to keep some of the caramel to serve.

For the custard beat the eggs and egg yolks with the sugar until smooth. Heat the apple juice in a pan until it comes to the boil, then slowly stir in to the egg mixture, mixing well (this works honestly – it looks like it’s curdled, but it turns out fine). Pour the custard in to the caramel lined ramekins.

Set the ramekins in a roasting tin. Pour hot water in to the tin to come about halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 35-40 mins or until the custard has just set (mine took 45 to go golden on top). Remove the ramekins from the tin, leave to cool then chill for at least 2 hours.

To serve loosen each custard with a knife run round the edge, then turn out on to a plate (hold the plate on top of the ramekin then flip it over) where it will be surrounded by it’s own pool of apple caramel sauce. Serve with a drizzle of the thicker caramel and blackberries.

© Katheryn Rice 2008

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She likes her food is 1 today!

February 12, 2008

It’s exactly one year since the first post on Shelikesherfood.com. It’s been a fantastic year developing the blog and seeing the visitor numbers rising every month. Getting comments and emails from readers is one of the most rewarding things for me, so please keep them coming.

Thank you to everyone who reads, enjoys  and returns to She likes her food. Keep coming back for more recipes and restaurant reviews, and watch this space for a new section dedicated to restaurants – coming soon!

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French toast

February 6, 2008

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Not strictly Thai food, but French toast Thai-style is delicious, cooked in the traditional way, and all the better for being served in a restaurant right on the beach, with hot sun shining down from a blue sky, and the waves of the Andaman Sea lapping gently on the shore. This was one of my favourite breakfasts while we stayed on Koh Lanta.

Served with honey on the side, these slices of bread are dipped in beaten egg and then fried until golden, so the inside is soft and the outside is crunchy. Try it with tomato ketchup or marmite for a savoury version.

© Katheryn Rice 2008

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