My culinary trip to Sicily, with Style travel  was a wonderful combination of History and Food.

It was on my bucket list. Ellen my travelling friend of many years saw an advertisement from Style travel in the newspaper , for a kook reis naar Sicily and knowing my dream of Sicily we enrolled

The course  was run by Nicoletta Tavella from Cucina del Sol in Amsterdam, assisted by a friend Claudio Varone



the view from our hotel

It was an interesting trip and gave us a great taste of Sicily, two expeditions to interesting places Siracuse, Noto and Modica

In Siracusa Ellen and I found a super place for lunch while the group walked around the city.

My favourite Vongole with a divine sauce with Bottargo

It was too much for me, the rest I managed to join in and very much enjoyed a fantastic wine tasting in a boutique hotel Hotel Zash in a village near our hotel

A beautiful sword fish dish with a sweet onion sauce

here follows a recipe from my files to give you an idea

but here the fish was cut very thinly and very tender

Grilled swordfish steaks with aubergine butter and bean & caper salad

Serves 4



4 swordfish steaks, 150-200g each

Olive oil




  • Brush the swordfish steaks with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the grill and cook on both sides for only a couple of minutes until nicely marked in a criss-cross fashion.
  • Remove on to an oven tray and finish cooking in a pre-heated oven to 180ºC for 6-10 minutes.


Egg plant butter

2 medium egg plants cut into 1cm cubes

2 courgettes, cut into 1cm cubes

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Put the egg plant and courgette cubes in a large roasting tin. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with black pepper. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes until tender.
  • Put the vegetables and remaining oil into a food processor, pulse to a coarse paste. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice.


Bean and caper salad

250g French beans (haricot verts)

30ml chopped garlic

30ml capers

6 boiled quails eggs, sliced in half

60ml olive oil

30ml lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Blanch the beans in boiling salted water, then refresh under cold running water and pat dry. In a large bowl, place the beans, garlic, capers, quail eggs, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss and serve with the swordfish.


Place the fish on a serving plate, put a spoonful of egg plant butter on the steaks place the bean salad on the side.



A tuna tartare Sicilian style with oranges – against my principles fruit with fish but delicious

much better than Sole Picasso from the Oesterbar

again recipe from my files

try using some oranges instead of tomatoes

Tuna tartare, Tomato tartare and bottarga


300 gr tuna fillet – sashimi quality

4 large tomatoes

olive oil

salt and pepper



Finely chop the tuna and adjust the seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Divide into four portions and form into circles.

Skin the tomatoes, deseed, and dice the flesh finely. Adjust the seasoning and divide into four portions and form into circles.

Slice the bottarga thinly. Place a tomato tartare and a tuna tartare on a plate and place a few slices of the bottarga on the top of the two tartares. Drizle with extra-vergine olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper.



We had 3 cooking workshops in Hotel Etnas’ professional kitchen, a lot of chopping and cooking and fun together . I opted for the cannoli on the last day, but now know why I had avoided them in my own lessons. Very difficult to get the pastry perfect.

an old recipe I had in my files

good luck


Cannoli alla Siciliana – Cannoli filled with ricotta and fruit

For 50 cannoli


Ingredients dough:

250g flour

½ tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp sugar

1 cup marsala

1 tbsp salted butter

1 egg white


Ingredients filling:

600g ricotta

135g castor sugar

100g glace fruit

2 tbsp orange juice



40g chocolate, roughly chopped

50g roasted pistachio nuts, roughly chopped



  1. Mix all the batter ingredients together to form a dough, roll out with a rolling pin or pasta machine
  2. Cut into squares of about 12cm. Shape these around a metal pipe and seal the edges together with egg white. Deep fry until golden-brown
  3. Mix all the filling ingredients together and fill the cannoli using a piping bag just before serving. Dip the ends of the cannoli through the chocolate/nut mixture.

A dish  we made in our course delicious

Nicoletta developed this for the Vis Bureau so you may be able to find the recipe

a Christmas recipe- we made this many times with our students at Christmas

Last week I went to Lindenhoff in Baambrugge
They had just started their Christmas Fare, I bought some venison steaks for Christmas
here follows an old favourite.

Venison assiette (fillet and burgers) with red wine sauce, stir fried sprouts and parsnip puree
1 kilo deer filet or 1 leg of venison


2 glasses of red wine
2 dl olive oil
10 juniper berries
1 teaspoon finely ground bay leaves
salt and black pepper
50 g clarified butter
Prepare the meat, remove the best pieces from the leg and keep the rest for the meatballs
Cook the red wine to a glaze.
Mix the olive oil the juniper berries, the bay leaf and salt and pepper into the wine
Pour this over the deer and marinade for several hours.
Remove the meat from the marinade and dry well.
Quickly sear the meat on all sides in clarified butter and a little olive oil.
Place the meat in a roasting dish and roast in the oven for 10 –15 minutes depending on the thickness of the cut of the meat  (180°C)
Allow the meat to rest before cutting into thick slices.

Add any cooking juices to the sauce.

50 g butter
100gr bacon cut into pieces
250g mushrooms eg mousserons
1 dl red wine
1 glass port
3 dl game stock

Fry the bacon in the butter until the juices run , add the mushrooms to the pan and fry until golden brown. Remove from the pan , deglaze the pan with the red wine and port and simmer until the red wine and port is reduced to a third., pour in the stock and leave to simmer slowly on a low heat.
Before serving add the mushrooms and bacon to the sauce.

Italian venison meatballs

675g  venison meat
250 ml milk
2½ cm slice of Italian bread or breadcrumbs
3 g flat parsley
1 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
30 g freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 large egg yolks
½ tsp salt
freshly grind pepper
a little flour
4 tbsp olive oil.


Soak the bread in the milk and leave to soak for 5 minutes, squeeze out and keep the milk
Mix the bread parsley, rosemary, parmesan egg yolk in the food processor.
Place the meat in a bowl and add the egg yolk mixture kneed it well together, season with salt and pepper and if necessary add the milk to make a soft mixture.
Make the hands wet and roll into meatballs the size of a large walnut.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan toss the meatballs in the flour at the last moment and fry quickly on all sides until golden brown  (ca. 5 tot 10 min.).
Pour of the extra fat and add the bouillon to the pan and allow to simmer over a low heat until cooked.

Parsnip puree

2 onions
1 kilo parsnip
100g butter
2 –3 dl cream

Cut the parsnips into pieces.
Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onions and the parsnips until they just begin to color, add the cream  and cook on a very low heat until the parsnips are cooked.
Smash with a fork to a fine puree.
Keep warm ay bain marie

Vegetable garnish

500 g sprouts
50 g butter
2 shallots

Clean the sprouts and cut into 4 . Chop the shallots .
Melt the butter in a pan, fry the shallots and sprouts stirring well, add a little water or stock season with salt and pepper .
A small present for you all
A few English Xmas things Jean and I made in a lesson for Christmas years ago

Beddington and Bake’s  Christmas specials
Kumquat and cranberry relish

2 tablspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 medium-sized red onions halved and sliced
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
½ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seeds
100 gr kumquats halved, and pips removed
100 gr cranberries
2 tablspoons balsamic vinegar
juice and finely shredded zest of 1 orange
4 teaspoons brown sugar
alt and pepper

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions. Cover the pan and cook the onions on a low heat for 15-20 minutes. Add the spices and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the kumquats, cranberries, vinegar, orange juice and zest, 2 teaspoons sugar and 3 tablespoons water. Season well and cook coverd for a further 15 minutes. remove the lid and cook until the liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Adjust the seasoning with the sugar and/or vinegar.

Welsh Rarebit(Rabbit)

25 gr butter
1 teaspoon Colman’s mustard
Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons beer

Place all the above ingredients in a pan over a low heat and stir until amalgamated.

75 gr grated Cheddar cheese
2 egg yolks
Add the cheese to the pan and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cool beat in the two egg yolks.

4 slices of fresh white bread
Toast the bread on one-side only. Spread the cheese mixture on the untoasted side and place under a hot grill until golden brown.

Potted Shrimps

350 gr peeled shrimps
175 gr butter salted
1 blade of mace
Cayenne Pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
lemon juice
75 gr clarified butter

Melt the butter in a small pan and add the spices, the lemon juice and the shrimps. Gently heat through for two minutes and  divide among 6 ramekins. Press the shrimps down in the ramekins and place in the refrigerator to set. When set cover with a thin layer of clarified butter.

Potted Stilton with walnuts

500 gr grated Stilton
125 gr butter
75 gr walnuts broken into small pieces
1 tablespoon port
50 gr clarified butter

Mash the Stilton with the butter and the port till creamy and stir in the walnuts.
Press into a small terrine and smooth the surface with a warm knife. Cover with a thin layer of clarified butter.

Pickled quail’s eggs

18 quali’s eggs, hard boiled and peeled

1 litre white vinegar
15 gr bruised ginger root
2 crushed cloves of garlic
15 gr mustard seeds
15 gr white peppercorns
2 dried chilies

Bring the vinegar with all the spices etc. to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Remove the ginger and garlic. Pack the eggs in a clean jar and cover with the spiced vinegar.

Honeycomb Brittle

625 gr sugar
¼ cup glucose syrup
8 teaspoons honey
6 tablespoons water
Place the above ingredients in pan and on a low heat warm until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat and cook until 148°C.
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
Stir in the bicarbonate of soda with a whisk and pour out into an oiled baking tin.

Grapefruit Curd

2 large red grapefruits
175 gr butter
500 gr sugar
4 eggs

Squeeze the juice from the grapefruits. Mix with the sugar in a bowl and place above a pan of gently boiling water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the butter and keep stirring until the butter has melted. Lightly beat the eggs and stir into the bowl. Stir continuously until the mixture begins to thicken – do not heat higher than 90°C otherwise the eggs will curdle.
Pour into sterilised jars and cover.

Brandy Snaps

Oven temp. 200°C
60 gr Golden Syrup
60 gr butter
60 gr sugar
60 flour
1 teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon brandy
Melt the Golden Syrup, sugar and butter in a pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Place teaspoons of the mixtur on a greased baking sheet (or non-stick) allowing for spreading – to be sure bake one first to see how large the brndy snap is. Place in the hot oven and when they begin to turn golden brown, remove and allow to cool slightly. With a palette knife remove from the sheet and wrap around the handle of a wooden spoon and leave to cool. Do not cook to many biscuits at the same time as once they cool they become brittle.

Gingerbread Men

Oven temp. 180°C
75 gr brown sugar
2 tablespoons Golden Syrup
1 tablespoon dark syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger powder
pinch of ground cloves
zest of ½ orange
1 teaspoon water
Place the above ingredients in a pan and gently heat until the sugar is dissolved.
75 gr butter
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
225 gr plain flour
Stir the butter into the syrup mixture until melted, then stir in the bicarbonate of soda and the flour. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for a few hours. When about to use remove from the refrigerator and roll out to ¼ cm thickness. Using a cookie cutter  cut out the biscuits and place on a greased or non-stick baking sheet. Bake in the oven until puffed and golden brown Remove on to racks to cool. Decorate with melted chocolate or icing sugar


500 gr plain chocolate
Melt the chocolate in a bowl on top of a pan of gently boiling water.
60 cc water
40 gr glucose syrup
125 gr praline
7.5 ml liqueur – Amaretto etc.
Stir in the remaining ingredients into the melted chocolate and spread out on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Allow to cool in the refrigerator. Cut into lengths and roll in icing sugar. Cover in a thin layer of chocolate and roll again in icing sugar or cocoa powder.

Chocolate coated prunes filled with almond paste

Dried prunes stones removed
Almond paste flavoured with orange flower water, brandy, Armagnac etc.
Melted plain chocolate

Make small balls of the almond paste and stuff them in the opening of the prune. Squeeze shut and dip in the melted chocolate. Place on greaseproof paper to set.

Spiced Orange Slices

6 oranges wipe cleaned and cut into 1 cm thick slices
450 ml white vinegar
350 gr sugar
2 teaspoons cloves
a 7cm length of cinnamon

Place the orange slices in a pan and cove with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove the slices and drain. Discard the water. Place the remaining ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and add orange slices a few at a time and cook gently until the skin becomes transparent. Remove and place in a clean jar and continue with the rest of the slices. Boil the liquid for five minutes until it starts to thicken and pour over the fruit.

Curry comfort food

Alice Waters winner of the Johannes van Dam Prize


for those of you who shop at Marqt, as I do they have a new range of chopped vegetables and lentils or chick peas and many more variations , which make a curry or whatever easy to produce, no chopping
My chopping speed is 90% less these days !

Moong dal ke saag

250 g green lentils
8 dl water
1 green chili pepper
1 bunch of coriander
6 tbs oil
2 tbs grated ginger
750 g roughly chopped spinach
salt and pepper
lime juice


Cook the lentils in plenty of salted water, strain
Cut the chili pepper in thin rings
Chop the coriander very fine
Heat the oil in a wok, aromatize the oil with the pepper and ginger for 10 seconds
Add the spinach and coriander, when the spinach has shrunk add the green lentils, add the salt pepper and lime juice
Cook on a high heat to dry

Balti chicken van Nick Brooke – Potter

Thanks Nick – he is family and we once cooked together in Holland for Magimix, they never recovered from Laughing ..
these are old recipes but still taste good
750 g chicken meat
4-6 tablespoons ghee or oil
3 cloves of garlic
2 onions
2 tbsp. masala powder
8 cardamom seeds
2 dl chicken stock
250 g pineapple cubes (fresh is better)
2 dl creamed coconut
1 bunch of fresh coriander
aromatic salt to taste


Cut the chicken into pieces and cook in the wok with 2 tbsp. of the ghee. Remove the chicken from the wok and set aside.
Heat the remaining ghee in the wok, add the garlic stir fry for 30 seconds add the onions, reduce the heat and fry for 10 minutes until the begin to become brown and are soft.
Add the masala powder and the cardamom together with the cooked chicken. Raise the heat and fry briskly for 5 minutes.
Add the stock and allow to simmer, gradually add the creamed coconut stirring well, allow to simmer for 10- 15 minutes until the chicken is tender.
Add the pineapple cubes aromatic salt and the freshly chopped coriander.
Serve with pieces of lime and Naan bread.

 The Avocado show

this was with sushi rice and a wasabi dressing TOP

Sea Scallop Ceviche Yucatan

This is not one of their recipes
but delicious
1 kg sea scallops
2½ dl fresh lime juice
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 serrano chilies, chopped
1 tabs coriander (cilantro), chopped
1 tabs mint, chopped
1¼ dl fresh orange juice
½ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 glass of tequila
2 fresh limes
2 avocados
Remove the small crescent shaped muscle from the scallops
Cut the scallops into slices and mix with the rest of the ingredients
Refrigerate for at least 5 hours before serving
Serve in a margarita glass dipped in egg white and salt
Garnish with wedges of lime and diced avocado

Oysters and shellfish where our daily diet- OUR TRIP TO ILE DE RE

An oyster shack near St Martin-de Re As I told you in September I went to Ile de Re an island of the west coast of France in my camper van with a very good friend Pia and of course Jolly
We took 4 days on the way and back and  stayed in “France Passion “adresses in vineyards and farms on the way and of course did a tasting or two and loaded a few cases into Pattys Wagon, bearing in mind the weight.. Just empty the water tank on the way back.. Ha Ha
This was in Chinon , in a vineyard where this man had dug out the cellar in the rocks with his father.

and here it was the Vendange
Once there we stayed in a chalet on a camping site le Cormoran, with Pool

If I had my way I would spend a long time travelling through France in this way, but my camper is too small for two for a long time
I am looking for company of another camper for my culinary trips. Next year Italy !!!!!

Huîtres aux oignons rouges et vinaigre – oysters with  onions and vinegar

6 -12 oysters per person

To open and serve oysters :-
Equipment :
1 strong oyster knife
1 oyster glove or thick tea towel
Type oysters:
Creuzes or wild oysters
Fine de Claire: an excellent sort of oyster that grows in the wild natural surroundings
Ballons: are cultivated round oysters and are found in different sizes
These ate the first days in Ars and they where the best so we ate there on the last day too
Open the oysters carefully, remove any shell be rinsing out the oyster well if necessary. Place theopened on a tray or plate on a bed of shaved ice or with rough sea salt to balance the oyster.
Or blanch the seaweed from the case where the oysters where in and cool, place on the dish to support the oysters
I prefer them pure but the following sauce is a classic
Mignonette sauce
A light elegant sauce for oysters on a half shell
1 ½ dl dry red  wine
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 shallot finely chopped
freshly  ground white pepper
Heat the wine with the vinegar in a small pan, pour over the finely chopped shallot and grind over the pepper.
Serve in a small ramekin with the oysters. Spoon over the oysters with a small spoon
Cooking en Route in the Loire
Fish stew a la minute a la Chinon !!
This is a recipe from the Cuisine Francaise files
Fish stew of pike-perch and Chinon (cabernet franc) wine
4 personnes / serves 4-6
1 kg pike-perch (gross weight)
1 tbsp oil
25g butter
½ onion
2 shallots
750 ml Chinon wine
1 bouquet garni
50 g flour
100 g butter
20 pearl onions
200 g smoked slab bacon
1 tbsp chopped parsley
30 potatoes (waxy type), turned “cocotte”
200 g button mushrooms
200 ml brown veal or chicken stock
Heat the oil and the butter in a casserole add the shallots and onion chopped , cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring until soft, add the fish pour on the wine and herbs , simmer slowly until the fish flakes. Remove the fish from the pan and place in an ovenproof dish .
Melt 50 g butter in a pan , add the onions and bacon and fry for a few minutes , remove the onions and bacon, add the cooking juices from the fish and the brown stock  to the pan. Boil for 5 minutes or until well flavoured. Mix the remaining butter and the flour to a beurre manie and add to the stock gradually to give a  a thicker consistency  Simmer the button maushrooms in a little water with lemon juice salt and pepper.
Cook the potatoes.
Add the onions, bacon and mushrooms to the stock, season to taste  .Pour over the fish and sprinkle with the chopped parsley
I did not quite have these ingredients but it tasted good
Tasting In Chinon
A tasty soup for the winter days
Soup with hidden treasures – Leek soup with oysters
4 leeks (middle sized)
2 potatoes (± 200 g)
25 g butter
1 tsp curry powder (Madras)
1 l chicken stock (event. of tablet)
1½ dl milk
2 egg yolks
1/8 l cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 oysters per person,
Clean the leeks, cut of the green bit and keep aside for garnish and cut the white bit into slices
Peel the potatoes and cut them in pieces
Melt the butter in a large pan (± 2 liter), add the sliced leek and cover with a piece of grease proof paper and allow to cook slowly without colouring.
Add the pieces of potato, stir well.
Dust over the curry powder and allow to cook for 1 minute.
Gradually add the chicken stock and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, add the milk after 15 minutes.
Allow to cool a little.
Puree (or liquidize) the soup
Mix the egg yolks with the cream and the juices of the oyster add to the soup at the moment of serving, do not boil
Place 2 oysters in each soup bowl and pour over the hot soup and garnish with the julienne of leek (the green bit)
For the culinary minded a bit more work

Oysters with salsify and a velouté sauce

8 oysters          –
1 dl cream
a little champagne, drink the rest.
20 g butter
1 small leek cut into very fine juliennes
1 small fennel bulb, cut into very fine juliennes
2 pieces of salsify, cleaned and cut diagonally in very thin Slices and blanched  (or a pot)
sprigs of fresh herbs – watercress, tarragon, dill, chervil or chives
Open the oysters, pour of the juices in a pan and keep aside
Keep the oysters aside in a cool place
Rinse out the oyster shells
Heat the oyster juices, add the oyster and poach for 30 seconds only
Remove the oysters and keep aside
Add the cream and champagne to the poaching juices
Sweat the leeks and fennel in the butter
Heat the cream and champagne mixture in a pan.
Puree and sieve the vegetable mixture, add to the sauce and  allow to simmer slightly and season to taste
Cook or warm the salsify
Lay in the shells – or if preferred on small plates
Top with the oysters
Spoon on a little of the sauce and garnish with sprigs of the chosen fresh herbs

There will be more winter recipes coming soon and I hope an adaption

As the sun sets on the West coast of Ireland-Salad of seared very thinly sliced Irish beef with lobster mayonnaise,crispy fried capers

I hope you enjoy the photos and recipes I have just published
Now to Ile de Rhe


one last recipe an old favourite!!

I am sure I gave it too you before…

Salad of seared very thinly sliced Irish beef with lobster mayonnaise,crispy fried capers

Serves 4 -6
300g fillet of irish beef
Freshly ground pepper
Rub the fillet of beef with olive oil , season the fillet of beef lightly. Heat a frying pan, place in the beef and sear quickly on all sides . Ground more pepper over the filet and roll up in foil. Leave to cool in the fridge .
Lobster mayonnaise :
1 x 450g lobster , cooked for 7 minutes
45ml olive oil
30g butter
1 onion chopped
1 stick celery chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
the lobster shells, claws and heads ground down lightly
60ml cognac
6dl lobster, fish or light chicken stock
Salt and pepper
2 dl mayonnaise
Capers , well dried and deep fried just before serving
Garnish if desired with purple shiso leaves
Cook  the lobsters in boiling water with a little salt added, (if you have not done this before, look it up in a good cookery book or maybe even online) remove and allow to cool, remove the meat from claws, head and shell and break up the shells . Keep the lobster meat covered to prevent drying out
For the sauce heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan, add the butter, stir in the onion, carrot and celery, allow to colour slightly on a low heat for about 10 minutes stirring well
Add the garlic and the crushed lobster shells and cook for 5 minutes , heat the cognac in a soup ladle and set alight pour over the shells in the pan shaking well.
Add the stock , cover the pan and leave to simmer gentley , for  approx 25 to 30 minutes, sieve and season to taste, reduceer to a thick concentrate.
Add to the mayonnaise season to taste.
Make a line of the mayonnaise on each plate, with a spoon.
Cut the meat into thin slices and lay next to the mayonnaise on the plate
Cut the lobster body meat into slices . Place the lobster meat and claws on the meat or the plate, whatever you feel like, sprinkle over the capers .

Now with a R in the month, tonight I eat mussels in saffron sauce

Lucas at Ballymaloe with his first ever own home made cake
The young man I went to visit at Ballymaloe, his father had been one of my students years ago.


Serves 2
1kg mussels
100ml white wine
2 bay leaves
5ml black peppercorns
1 small onion, thinly sliced
45ml chopped parsley
Debeard, scrape and wash the mussels well, discarding any which do not close when tapped. Rinse in a colander under cold running water for 3-4 minutes. Leave to drain.
Put a large pan or pot with a close-fitting lid on the gas and allow to heat until very hot. Place all the ingredients in the pot. Cover with the lid and allow to steam for about 4 minutes, shaking the pot from time to time. Remove from the heat. Discard any mussels which have not opened. Serve with the lemon and saffron dressing.


pinch of saffron threads
30ml hot water
1 egg yolk, beaten
5ml crushed garlic
15ml lemon juice
125ml olive oil
60ml reserved sieved mussel stock( I reduced the mussel stock to increase the flavour)
125ml brunoised tomatoes
P.S I used some ready made aioli for the sauce instead of egg yolk , garlic and lemon juice  and little less oil..
Dissolve the saffron threads in hot water and allow to infuse. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, garlic and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Whisk in the saffron infusion and mussel stock. Add brunoised tomatoes and seasoning. Lightly pour the dressing over the mussels and serve.
it was delicious
Sunset over the Arran islands


lots of reading to be done
My new bible

A day at Wimbledon , strawberries and cream


A traditional dish normally made with strawberries , but this one is worth trying
Serves 6-8
600g blackberries
2 Tbsp castor sugar, plus extra to coat
4 Tbsp crème de cassis or kirsh
600ml cream
2 Tbsp icing sugar
2 meringue nests (homemade)
Put half the fruit in a non-stick pan with the sugar and crème de cassis or kirsh. Cook over a high heat for 1½-2 minutes until the berries soften and begin to bleed. Crush lightly with a fork and push the fruit through a sieve into a large bowl. Leave to cool completely.
Whip the cream together with the icing sugar in another bowl until it forms soft peaks. Crush the meringue nests and fold them through the cream with the remaining berries. Fold or ripple through the berry coulis.
Spoon the mixture into a glass or mould on individual serving plates.
Strawberries and cream in the members lounge at Wimbledon


Last week I ate at restaurant Oud-Zuid and had the lobster menu, delicious

Bought in Ireland-crab claws
Served in Oxfordshire with friends

Salad of fresh lobster with vanilla dressing
An old favourite

Ingredients for 4 people

500g bouquet garni (leek, carrot, onion, bay leaf, pepper corn, salt)
2 lobsters of 500g each
1 frisée lettuce
½ lollo rosso
½ lollo bianco
3 egg yolks
1 glass of white wine
1 dash of white wine vinegar
½ vanilla pod
50ml olive oil


Insert a sharp pointed knife into the head of the lobster.
Boil them in water with the bouquet garni for 7 minutes.
Leave them to cool; remove meat from tails and claws.
Finely slice the lobster and distribute over the salad.

The dressing

Simmer the white wine, vinegar and vanilla pod over a low heat for about 10 minutes.
Add the egg yolks and whisk the mixture au bain marie until fluffy.
Stir in the olive oil directly before serving.
Dress the salad and serve.
Important: The strength of the vanilla flavour will depend on how long the vanilla pod is allowed to steep.

Red mullet with saffron vinagrette

Lunch with Rita at Rick Steins cafe in Padstow

Rick steins cafe

Grilled red mullet with a saffron dressing
10 fresh red mullet
Ingredient dressing :
2 cloves of garlic
5 threads of saffron
1 small piece of fresh ginger
½ dl vinegar
1½ dl olive oil
2 lemon wedges
1 bay leave
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
fish: e.g. sardines, trout or any other small fish
½ dl olive oil for frying
Ground the garlic, saffron and ginger
Mix the vinegar with the olive oil, lemon and all the spices
Bring to a boil and add the saffron mixture to it
This dish can be kept for days in a cool place before serving
Clean the fish and wipe with a damp cloth
Lay on a baking sheet and place in a low oven to slowly cook through
Pour over the dressing and leave to stand for a while
This can be kept in the fridge for 2 days but remove in time to come up to temperature
This can also be made with vegetables
It was really delicious
we did not go to his restaurant, a pity as it seems he was there, but it was too hot to leave the dogs for a long time

Red mullet with Saffran potatoes

If I was young again this would be my life
A food shack in Connemara


Red mullet with saffron potatoes and anchovy dressing
10 fillets of red mullet or wild dorade, scaled – approx weight per person 80 to 100 grams
1dl olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 to 6 raw beetroots, according to size
Sea salt
Rosemary or thyme
Anchovy Dressing:
6 anchovy fillets – if very salty, soak in a little milk before use
1- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1tbsp white wine vinegar
2dl olive oil
1 tsp chopped tarragon
750g firm potatoes (Roseval,  Oppenheimers, Nicola), peeled
5 stamens of saffron soaked in a little boiling water
25g butter
Fillet the red mullet and remove the pin bones. Score the skin lightly and place in the fridge until needed.
Lay a piece of strong aluminum foil out on a baking sheet, sprinkle over a little sea salt and fresh herbs, lay on the beetroot and drizzle with olive oil. Fold into a parcel and place in the oven.
Bake for one hour (if the beetroot is very big, cut into pieces before baking).
Test the beetroot with a skewer to see if it is cooked, allow to cool before peeling. Cut into brunoise (small squares).
Boil the potatoes in salted water with the saffron until cooked (about 20mins), drain well, toss in a little melted butter or olive oil and keep warm.
Put the anchovies, garlic and white wine vinegar into a food processor and whiz to a rough puree. With the motor running, slowly trickle in the olive oil until amalgamated. Transfer the dressing to a bowl and stir in the chopped tarragon.
Heat a frying pan well and add a little olive oil. Season the fish fillets and place them in the hot pan, skin side down. Press down lightly.
Cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crisp. Transfer to a greased and seasoned baking sheet with the flesh side down and finish in the oven; a few minutes at 180°C to heat through or under a hot grill for about 4 minutes.
To serve, spoon the beetroot on the plate in a line, place the fish on the beetroot at an angle, spoon the sauce over the fish and finish the plate by adding the potatoes.