A fantastic summer, and a few saffron recipes pasta with crayfish

As I informed you I  played Gypsy woman in my camper Pattys Wagon in Devon , Cornwall and Ireland with my four footed companion Jolly . It was a wonderful experience. For a part  of the journey we travelled alone, it was very special meeting many lovely people on the way.
Since my return I have enjoyed the summer in Amsterdam with a few trips in our beautiful country, now I am preparing a trip to Ile de Rhe , home of the Fleur de Sel.
this time a few happy snaps and a few favourite recipes for Saffron, I just read an article in my English Country Living, that it is now been cultivated again in England for the first time in 200 years. Guess where near Saffron Waldon
I may be making this one in Ile de The as they have the most delicious ecrivisee.
the broad beans may well be finished though
Home made pasta with crayfish tails, summer vegetables and a lemon and tomato salsa
300 g fresh pasta
Pasta                                                    Sauce
150 g flour 00
150g semolina fine                              1 lemon cut in fine julienne
3 eggs                                                  450 g ripe Italian tomatoes or tros tomatoes
2½ dl olive oil
1 egg cup of water                               6 fresh cloves of garlic
5 stems of saffron                               20 basil leaves
10g salt fine                                         sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Young peas
Sugar snaps
Broad beans
Baby carrots (if desired)
25 g butter


  1. Soak the saffron in the egg cup of hot water for ten minutes
  2. Place all the ingredients for the pasta in the bowl of the food processor and process until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. When squeezed between the fingers the mixture will stick together too a dough .If necessary add a little extra water
  3. Knead the mixture to a smooth dough, leave under an upturned bowl to rest
  4. Roll the dough out thinly or use a pasta machine .Cut the dough into tagliatelle from 2 mms wide


  1. Wash the lemon, remove the peel with a potato peeler and cut it into very fine julienne (you may if you wish blanch the lemon for a less tart taste
  2. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove the pips, place the pips in a sieve and retain the juices Cut the tomato flesh into concasse, (fine dice)
  3. Peel the garlic and cut on a fine slicer or with a sharp knife into very thin slices
  4. Mix the tomatoes, tomato juices and garlic with the oil, tear the basil leaves or cut into a chiffonade and add to the mixture. Leave to stand so that the flavours will blend together. Season to taste
  5. Blanch the vegetables in boiling salted water until “al dente” TO THE BITE . Stop the cooking process by plunging in cold water

To serve

  1. Place the crayfish tails in a pan of boiling water or court bouillon. Bring to the boil and remove almost immediately from the water or fry very quickly in a little olive oil with a nut of butter and seasoning
  2. Boil the water for the pasta and cook the pasta to al dente remember fresh pasta cooks very quickly season with alt and freshly ground pepper. Toss in the lemon and tomato salsa.
  3. Heat the vegetables in a hot pan or wok for a few seconds in a little oil or butter with some seasonings
  4. Serve the pasta and top with the vegetables and the crayfish .Use a little chervil for garnish if desired

The Italian feeling

A new adventure begins
I am on my way to Padua, I was last there with my friend Pia before I started LCF in 1978
Then with a Peugeot 407 coupe with 2 windsurfers on the roof.
I am going to browse the markets and cook with friends , who have now the time to enjoy my passion too.
My first food in Italy was in San Remo in 1969, then in Varese my first plate of pasta with shaved truffles over it, never to be forgotten, after that visiting my friend Penny Radford at her Hilltop holiday homes, Prato di Sotto in Umbria, giving cooking classes there to a few of my students. www.umbriaholidays.com
Also wine trips with Ellen Bax tasting the most fantastic wines imaginable
And even more culinary moments in the past years
I love Italy, the pureness of its food made possible by perfect ingredients.
This morning we are of to Market, I am told one of the best in northern Italy
More later
It was a lovely morning despite the weather, we had great fun buying the ingredients for lunch tomorrow. Then some culture visiting the amazing Palazzo Della Ragione .
Originally constructed in 1218 as the seat of the law courts and the city council.

Last night Foeke made a artichoke risotto ,
As you know I love artichokes and here you can buy them already cleaned
The recipe was from the seller of the artichoke !, the best way to learn , from the source.
6 young small artichokes cleaned and sliced in about 4/6 slices
1 onion chopped
Olive oil
A fresh stock (vegetarian)
one can use cubes, the Italians do
Canaroli rice
White wine
Flat leafed parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the onions in a casserole with the olive oil and cook softly for a few minutes. Add the artichokes. Pour over the wine and cook gently for 10 minutes, add a little more wine or stock if necessary to cover the artichokes
Add the rice and ladle over a little of the warm stock, when this is absorbed add a little more
Season well, when the rice is cooked , remove from the heat, add a little of the Parmeggiano cover and leave to stand
Serve with chopped flat leaf parsley and the remaining cheese
I once learned that when you press a grain of risotto rice between the thumb and index finger and you only see a small tiny white point of the kernel of the grain , it is cooked.
Risotto should have a bite to it.
Notes( I found this)
Cooking the rice al dente is the first, biggest step to greatness. Just like pasta, you want the grains to have a slight bite-you want each grain to have its own identity. The best way to test is to taste it. But if you’re unsure, employ the smear test. Take a grain and put it on a smooth surface (like a cutting board or your countertop). Press your finger into the grain and smush it down while dragging your finger across the surface. If it’s undercooked, the grain will chunk apart and you’ll be able to clearly see the white, raw center. If it’s just right, your smear will start to smooth out, but you’ll be still be able to see a little bit of the white, al dente center of the grain. If it’s overcooked, the smear will be totally smooth.
Called the “king” or “caviar” of risotto rice, chefs like to use this one for its great flavor and because each grain maintains its shape. It also produces the creamiest risotto and is more forgiving to cook with.
Tonight we are eating at one of there favorite restaurants , simple but good. I look forward to it.
Padua is not plagued by tourist despite it proximity to Venice and has some wonderful what I call real shops. Hat shops, beautiful clothes shops, real specialist shops with wonderful arrays of food, chocolates and sweet meats.
A true feast for the yes.
Most visitors are pilgrims or connected to University life.
The lively local restaurant was run by a Dutchman who had lived for forty years in Italy. The food was good we had three starters, delicious creamy baccalau, black black sepia in a delicious sauce with white polenta and a wonderful stew of stuffed small ink fish . Actually that was enough bit we had ordered one of their lovey stews too. Mine was rabbit.
Finished of by chocolate mousse wit three spoons.
The city is upstart night so we stopped fora wee nightcap in one of the local cafés
Full of students earlier it was filled with old men , then locals popping infer a simple meal.
Despite the bad weather we where out and about, the covered walkways making a it almost dry.
We had fun walking the streets , having coffe and tremizzino for lunch and we even made roast chicken followed by apple crumble on Sunday, for some of their Italian friends in their tiny kitchen with 2 small oven baking tins

We had seen puttanesca on the market and decided to make it last night, we even managed to buy a special cutter in a very small ironmongery

that and the prepared artichoke bottoms with a
Bagna Caudo made our meal last night , and a little pasta just with butter and parsley
Life can be so simple and cooking together with Foeke and Charlotte such fun.
Padua is a lovely city full of history and art and throbbing with student life
And not many tourists either, most are Italian pilgrims Foeke says.
I loved it there despite rain and snow and can imagine in summer with all the lovely terraces and the tiny cobbled streets a great place to be..until deep into the night
Bagne caudo
12 cloves of garlic ( 1 head)
100 g anchovies
1 cup olive oil ( or a little less)
20 g butter
A little lemon juice
Chop the garlic fine, chop the drained anchovies , place in a small pan with the olive oil and allow to cook over a low heat for 20 minutes , the garlic should not discolor
Purée and add the butter and lemon juice .
I used this as a dressing for the Puntanessca , it is often used as a dip sauce with vegetables and it is great dripped over a good buffalo mozzarella
Now in the plane with a few goodies in my bag and many happy memories
I must visit Italy more often…

food and wine make good travelling companions

I have travelled with Ellen Bax  for 30 years or more and enjoyed every moment
our last big trip was Vietnam
My one dream is still India, but that may no longer be possible and they have no wine, but there is a to to still see and taste nearer to home
Vietnam- we spent the last days at a great resort on an island to recover from our tiring trip
We ate swam and slept on the oceans edge , wonderful
Last week I lunched at 212 the new restaurant on the corner of the Herengracht and the Amstel from Richard Oostenbrugge en Thomas Groot .
It was delicious, pure flavours and interesting combinations to be expected from 2 top chefs who know what they are doing, in there own special way of dining ,just a wonderful experience
Then today a very typical french lunch at Bouchon du Centre, a place one often returns to for the classic french cuisine from Lyon. A very interesting concept in a simple traditional atmosphere , a one woman show .
Tomorrow lunch at  Rijks with Ellen after a visit to the Rijksmuseum, what a wonderful way to spend Sundays !!!
No this is not a normal week but fun specially in this cold weather
16 th March I go to Padua near Venice for 4 days and we will be visiting the food markets to be sure as great friends of mine are living there for almost a year now and cooking up lots of delicious food. That is why I am going !! but firstly to see them of course but I just love cooking together with friends

Cold weather and comfort food -puddings

As you may Have realised I do not eat many sweets but used to be a dab hand at great dessert buffets when I did a lot of catering in the 1980’s to 1990’s
Hazelnut Dacquise, Mille Feuille , Chocolate roulades, Lemon meringue pies, Trifles , Strawberry shortcakes, Pavlovas and many many more. Cakes in the form of castles, cakes which got trodden on by mistake, cakes which melted in the heat.
I wa  never really keen on cream or bavaroise but love panna cotta and baked peaches in caramel sauce , I adore raspberries and tropical fruit when ripe as I ate in Vietnam

thought this photo may cheer you up.
But I don’t often eat an apple but love them in desserts
Now with this weather my mind goes back to these puddings
Oven baked apples with orange Sabayon
12 golden delicious apples
0,75 ltr Madiera
75 gr sugar lumps
115g flour
150g Icing sugar
3 egg white
150 gr butter
finely grated orange rind
6 egg yolks
120 gr. sugar
3,5 dl orange juice
Grand Marnier or other orange liquor to flavour
almond mixture
90 g almonds
75 gr. sugar
½ egg
grated lemon rind
1 tsp lemon juice
Make the tuiles first or buy them !! brandy snaps are also good with this dish
Mix the ingredients for the tuiles together, leave in the fridge to become firm.
Smooth out in circles and bake on non stick paper at 180° C (about  5 min.).
Take out of the oven and place on  rolling pin or on a form.
Almond mixture
Grind the almonds finely, add the sugar, the egg, lemon rind and juice. Mix the mixture well Peel the apples and remover the centre core with an apple corer.
Fill the hole with the almond mixture
Place the apples in a oven proof deep dish pour over the Madeira and sprinkle with the sugar
Place in the oven for 30 minutes to bake (oven van 180° C.)
Check the madeira does not burn !
For the Sabayon beat the egg yolks with the orange juice and sugar over a moderate heat au bain marie add the Grand Marnier to taste, keep beating until it begins to thicken.
Pour of and keep warm
Serve the apples in a shallow bowl, pour over the sabayon and top with the biscuit
While in Vietnam we attended a cooking school Morning Glory in Hoi An
I bought there book a Taste of Vietnam and still mean to cook from it .
This was 4 years ago almost to this day February 2014
I loved our journey and the food was incredible, an  experience I would not have missed it for the world

Now another apple recipe
This one is a bit more difficult but delicious, we served it in our Christmas menu
Baked apple stack with Panttone “French toast “, caramel sauce and
vanilla and rum ice cream
10 cooking apples
2 tbsp sugar
50 g butter
Make small cuts in the apple to stop it bursting during cooking.
Place in a buttered oven dish sprinkle with sugar and dot with butter.
Bake in the oven at 180 ° C until tender but not collapsed. Baste from time to time.
Remove from the oven and form into squares with the help of a spatula or form into rounds in a round form
Pain perdu
1 cup sugar
12 dl milk
4 eggs
pinch of salt
10 slices of Panattone bread/cake
50 g butter
Beat half of the sugar with milk, Beat the eggs with the salt. Dip the bread in the milk then in the eggs. Heat the butter with the remaining sugar in the pan. Allow to caramelize, add the bread and fry until golden brown. Place an apple on each plate. top with the pain perdu and place a scoop of the vanilla rum ice cream on top
Serve with a caramel sauce.
200 g sugar
1½ dl water
Slowly dissolve the sugar in the water, when dissolved bring to a slow boil until caramelized. Pour on 11/2 dl warm water and allow the caramel to dissolve again. Set aside to cool.

and here is classic with a difference
Bread and butter pudding with rosemary icecream
Ingredients:                                                                 Batter
5 crisp baking apples                                                                                6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp lemon juice                                                                                     3dl milk
Nutmeg                                                                                                            2dl light cream
200g sliced almonds                                                                                Sugar
1 loaf of old bread                                                                                      Nutmeg
6tbsp butter                                                                                                  60g sliced almonds
6tbsp sugar
1¼dl cider
Cut the apples into thick slices, remove the core and pits and squeeze over some lemon
Toast the nuts, either in a dry pan or under the grill. Turn regularly
Remove the crust from the bread and cut in slices.
Place a layer of the slices in a well buttered oven dish or casserole
Melt the butter in a large pan, add the sugar, the nuts, the lemon juice and water or cider or apple juice. Toss in the apple chunks
Layer the apple mixture with the remaining bread in alternating layers in the dish or casserole. The final layer should be bread
For the batter, beat the softened butter with the sugar, add the eggs, milk and cream
Pour over the bread, sprinkle with the remaining nuts, sugar and nutmeg
Bake in a preheated oven at 175°C for 20mins
it could take a little longer than this so test it before taking it out of the oven .
Ingredients rosemary ice cream
375 ml milk
Bunch of rosemary
90 g sugar
5 egg yolks
185 ml cream
Heat the milk with the rosemary and half the sugar until almost boiling, leave to stand
Mix the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and beat until thick and creamy
Re-boil the milk and pour over the egg mixture, whisking well. Place the bowl au bain marie and warm gradually, stirring well until it thickens. The temperature should not go above 85ºC
When the custard is at the right thickness, place the bowl in some cold water to stop the cooking process. Leave to cool, stirring from time to time. Leave in the fridge for some time, covered
Remove the rosemary from the mixture, beat the cream and add to the custard
Churn until frozen or pour the mixture into a container to a depth of 4 centimetres.  Cover with a lid and place in the deep freezer
After 1½ hours, beat the mixture and return to the freezer. Repeat this 2 more times and leave for at least 30 minutes before serving

I hope this helps you to feel warm and spring is on its way

Nigel Slater

Yes I do Have beetroot mania as you will know by now.
I know have a new recipe from NIGEL SLATER
My favourite English writer and cook
You can look it up on the internet. HE ROASTS THE BEETROOT IN THE OVEN WITH THE CHICK PEAS….
and I made his Gooseberry Fool with my gooseberries from the garden which I had frozen..
He has just started a new Program on BBC 2, Friday 9pm !!
Nigel Slaters Middle East the first series he has made for three years
I think well worth watching, a travel and cooking program in one in his own laid back way.
This is a recipe from Mischa de Winter who worked with me for about 10 years
We often served it for the Open Tuinendagen
He is now to be found at Amsterdam Flavours
Red Beetroot and Feta Hummus
25 g day old bread
200 g red beetroot, cooked and finely chopped
1 tsp. Tahini
1 clove of garlic crushed
2 gr ground cumin
75 ml olive oil
30 ml lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g Feta cheese
Place the bread in the magimix and make crumbs from, add the beetroot, the tahini, the garlic and the cumin, then slowly add the olive oil and lemon juice, then with the pulse knob incorporate the feta cheese. Season to taste.


 Cooking is a passion one can never forget

My prize trophy

When I was just starting LCF in 1980 I went on a very expensive culinary professionals trip, we visited 4 Three star restaurants in just as many days, Paul Bocuse was one of them.Trois Gros another , the third was Alain Chapel and the fourth I cannot remember, I have never eaten so much in 4 days in my life
An experience I will never forget
Now our culinary Godfather has passed away.
He was here when Cordon Bleu was waving the wand for a few years, together with Johnny de Boer for a reclame spot..
However he spent the whole day sitting on my tribune with his wife and I chatted to him in my poor French

One thing I know is that I cannot live without cooking, it is more difficult now but I still do my best

I served my favourite recipe of Quails to some of my bridge friends this week

With fried pumpkin and onion ragout, the recipe is somewhere in my blog, but a quicker one is the following recipe and serve it with a freshly made Salsa verde.

 Oven roasted quails in pancetta with roasted tomatoes, sage and  Ciabatta

1-2 quails per person,you could you small poussin, baby chickens( the cooking time will be longer)I buy these on the Saturday market ,
2 to 3 lemons cut into pieces
1 bunch of sage leaves
Salt and pepper
100g butter
20 slices of pancetta
1 ciabatta bread cut into rough pieces
500 grams small (cherry) tomatoes
Olive oil
1kg wild spinach
Pre heat the oven to 200°C
Season the inside of the quail with salt and pepper and place a piece of lemon, a sage leaf and a small piece of butter in the bird.
Season the outside of the quails and wrap them up in the slices of pancetta. Place side to side on a baking rack from the oven and set aside.
Place the ciabatta in a roasting tin, scatter over the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt, pepper, olive oil.
Place the oven rack with the quails in the top of the oven and slide the roasting tin with the bread and tomatoes underneath.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. If necessary, spoon the ciabatta around from time to time and push onto the ciabatta to produce the juices
I like my quails slightly pink, but that is up too you.
You can also use the blauwe hoen legs, but then roast a little longer
Wash the spinach well and fry quickly in a little olive oil and garlic and add to the ciabatti mixture.
Or with small leaves just toss through
Recently I could not cut my pumpkin in half and Marleen was not here to help me 
so I put it covered in the oven with a little water and then after about 20 minutes I took it out and cut through it like butter

Meanwhile I made my diner, a salad of Cavolo Nero and beetroot with a dressing with this new vinegar I have been given, it is from a producer in Venlo.
Food Delicious Azijn- Top !
I don’t like sour but this I could almost drink.
the Tomato Basilicum is already finished it was houdbaar until 1.05.2019!!!!

Cavolo Nero recipes

Article DeTelegraaf February 2001

The Risotto recipe follows and does a recipe for Polenta
Risotto from the garden
50g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 finely chopped shallots
200g Cavolo Nero or green cabbage finely chopped
1 tsp salt
450g Aborio rijst
1½ litre chicken stock, this is lovely when freshly made but I use Porcini stock cubes sometimes
1 piece of parmesan cheese (crust) scrape it clean and wash well before using (Only if you have it in house)
salt and fresly ground black pepper
50g butter
50 to100g grated parmesan cheese
chopped leaf parsley
Melt the butter and oil in a pan with a thick bottom add the shallot and fry for a few minutes until soft but not coloured, add cheese crust and  the cabbage and allow to cook for a few minutes, with aloud on the pan.
Add the rice to the pan and raise the heat slightly, stir well until every grain of rice is covered in oil, this takes a few minutes and is called toasting the rice.
Heat the stock and add 1/2 of it to the rice, and let it be absorbed over a medium heat, then add the remains stock, soup  ladle by soup ladle , one at a time, wait until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more, keep stirring lightly until the stock is absorbed, and it is a creamy mixture . Continue until the rice is cooked about 16 minutes.
Take a piece of rice between the thumb and the index finger and press to feel the centre of the rice grain.
If the grain has three small white points then it is cooked.
Add a nut of butter and the cheese and leave to stand for a few minutes.
Add the chopped parsley if desired before serving.
If any risotto s left over, make balls of it with a piece of cheese in the middle and fry for the borrel.

Creamy Polenta with Cavolo Nero

300 g very fine cornmeal
½ litre milk
½ litre water
1½ tl (15 g) salt
pepper freshly ground
a light oil
600g Cavolo Nero or (2 bulbs raddichio treviso)
25 g butter
2 cloves of garlic
grated parmesan cheese
Pour the water and milk into a large pan with the salt and bring to the boil
Remove from the heat and pour the cornmeal into the pan stirring well with a strong wooden spoon or I use a thin rolling pin. Return to the heat and cook on a low heat, stirring weel , for about 35 minutes
Clean the Cavolo Nero and remove any which stalks, blanch in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, drain well  and with cold water. Press out any moisture and then  lightly cook the garlic in the butter and toss in the Cavolo Nero.
Spoon this through the polenta and add the cheese and if necessary  a little more milk, it she be quite soft and creamy
You could serve a little fried small cubes of pancetta as a topping for this or Ganda Ham, sort Parma Ham from Gent
An Idea
Cavolo Nero is Your stampot instead of boerenkool.. I think it has more flavour !!!
Brandt&Levie have a good recipe with knolselderij(celeriac), Pastinaki(parsnips) and Palmkool,(Cavolo Nero) served with their delicious rookworst and fried pancetta.
They are to be found on the Saturday Market in Amsterdam Zuid, Jacob Obrechtstraat (Plien). Organised by a cooperation of inhabitants of Oude Zuid
I often stop by there on my way back from the bos with Jolly, it is less busy than Noordermarkt and they have some good stalls, the vegetable stall, with goods from the local farms  run by the inhabitants , who take it in turn to serve. Also Lindenhoff , my favourite poelier , forgot the name !!and lots of local incentives and of course Brandt &Levie

A traditional Christmas menu

I dined in the brasserie of Hotel L’Europe last week and was surprised to be served this classic dish of marble de Foie gras
Here is a similar recipe made with a mousse of Foie gras which was on our menu about 20 years ago
it isn’t difficult!
Further the venison fillet is just so delicious with it lovely rich sauce and just needs popping in the oven for about 15 minutes, then a few minutes rest before serving
and the dessert can be made in advance
Marbré de pigeon et de foie gras
250g foie gras from a block (tinned)
125 g butter
100g Parmaham
12 thin slices of cooked pigeon or duck breasts or even smoked beef
100 g  mousse de canard
Puree the foie gras with the mousse, carefully fold in the creamed butter, season with pepper and fresly ground sea salt
Line a bread tin with plastic foil.
Line the sides and bottom with the parma ham, then make thin layers of the foie gras mousse and the thinly sliced pigeon breast ending with the mousse, lay on some Parma Ham, cover with plastic foil and leave to firm up.
Cut with a good sharp knife when still cold, lay on the plates and allow a few minutes to come up to temparature
Serve with a few grains of salt on the terrine
A small mache salad and a little confit of onions goes well with this
Medallions of stag with Sauce Bordelaise, traditional accompaniments
1 kilo deer or roe deer filet , (rug)
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 any of the fleece (thin white skin)this will help to stop it shrinking
Cook the red wine to a glaze. Allow to cool.
Mix the olive oil the juniper berries, the bay leaf and salt and pepper into the wine
Pour this over the meat and marinade for several hours.
Remove the meat from the marinade and dry well.
Heat the oil in the pan and when hot add the butter. Quickly sear the meat on all sides  set aside
When needed place the meat in a roasting dish and roast in the pre-heated oven for about 15- 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the cut of the meat  at (180°C)
Allow the meat to rest before cutting into thick slices(medallions).

Reserve any cooking juices and add to the sauce.



50 g butter
100gr bacon cut into pieces
250g mushrooms e.g. mousserons
1 dl red wine
1 glass port
3 dl game stock
Melt the butter and 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. Add any juices from the roasting of the meat
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 or casserole and add the onions and the parsnips and fry until they just begin to colour, add the cream and cook on a very low heat until the parsnips are cooked. Stir well to avoid the parsnips catching on the bottom of the pan.
Smash with a fork to a fine puree. Keep warm au bain marie

vegetable garnish
500 g sprouts
50 g butter
2 shallots chopped
Clean the sprouts and cut into each sprout into quarters. Melt the butter in a pan, fry the shallots and sprouts stirring well, add a little water or stock season with salt and pepper and cook until tender but not soft
Prune tart with Armagnac, macadamia nuts and buttermilk ice cream
Serves 6-8
Ingredients:                                                                                             Garnish:
250g prunes without stones                                                         2 fresh figs
Red wine or strong tea to soak the prunes                            100g macadamia nuts
25g soft butter                                                                                                        100g sugar
1 tbsp. Armagnac
2 tbsp. marmalade                                                                              Ingredients buttermilk ice cream:
1 to 2 tbsp. sieved apricot jam                                                                      750ml buttermilk
1 vanilla pod
Rich pie pastry: (pâte sucrée)                                                        250g sugar
150g flour                                                                                                3 egg yolks
75g butter                                                                                                250ml of cream
75g sugar or icing sugar                                                                                     1 tbsp. lemon juice
3 egg yolks
A few drops of vanilla essence
Sieve the flour on a marble slate and add the salt, make a well in the middle and add the remaining ingredients. Knead these ingredients together (without the flour) with the fingertips of one hand.
When a soft paste is formed, clean fingers and mix the flour with the paste with a pallet knife. Knead the dough into a ball, wrap in aluminium foil, leave to rest in a cool place for at least an hour.
Roll the pastry out on a floured cool surface, lay on a flan ring or 22cm pie dish. Place greaseproof paper on top of the pastry and pour on baking beans. Bake in a hot oven (210-220°C) for 10mins.
Remove the beans and the paper and return the tart to the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking.
Remove the tart case from the form and leave to cool completely.
Soak the prunes a few hours or overnight in red wine or tea, drain well and place in a buttered pan.
Add the Armagnac and the marmalade, cover with buttered paper and place on a low heat to soften.
Allow the mixture to cool, puree to a thick mixture in the food proc essor or chop with a knife.
Spoon the mixture into the form and spread out, cut the figs in slices and place in a circle in the centre of the tart.
Place the macadamia nuts in a pan with a thick bottom, add the sugar and place over a medium heat to caramelise. Turn out onto a lightly greased baking sheet and leave to harden.
Crush the nuts and sprinkle around the edge of the tart. Heat the jam and brush over the figs.
Serve with buttermilk ice cream:
Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and place in a pan with the cream over a low heat to infuse for 10 minutes. Leave to stand to allow the aromas to optimize.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and creamy, stir in the warm cream.
Rinse the cream pan with cold water. Pour in the egg cream mixture and stir over a low heat until 85°C, do not boil. Leave to cool well.
Add the buttermilk and scrape out the vanilla from the vanilla pod. Place in the ice cream machine, churn to a creamy consistency and place in the deep freeze until half an hour before serving.

I am not a pheasant plucker I am a pheasant pluckers son !!!

I had forgotten how delicious pheasant can be
In the days of La Cuisine I often ate it, as I did many other things I don’t do so quickly now as I am alone
However now and again I have the pleasure of cooking for friends, my bridge friends and visitors from abroad then I try to do my best in my small galley kitchen or my camper van. As you know it is my passion.
This recipe I made Friday for our Bridge pro Patrick van Zinnicq Bergmann and our lesson quartet .
Casserole of pheasant and wild mushrooms
2 pheasants
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp  dl balsamic vinigar
2 tbsp  honey
1 tsp herbs mixed (thyme , oregano etc)
2bsp oil and 50 g butter
100 g pancetta (optional)
1 small glass of grappa
2 glasses red itaian wine
3 bayleaf
2 pieces of ginger cut finely
4 onions cut in rings
50 g dried mushrooms (porcini, pied de mouton, chantarelles, trompet de mort)
soak in warm water
1 litre chicken stock ( the real thing )
Garnering : chopped parsley
Method :
Rub the oil, balsamico, honey and herbs onto the breast of the pheasants.Leave to stand for a time
Heat the oil in a thick casserole add the butter and when foaming brown the breast of the pheasant, (I used my Creuset pan , which is ideal for this). Remove the pheasant from the pan and add the onions and ginger, be careful not to burn them as the honey from the pheasant could catch on the bottom of the pan.
Return the pheasant to the pan , pour on the grappa and flame if desired(be careful)
Add the red wine and simmer for a few minutes, add the sieved water from the mushrooms and the mushrooms , rinsing them of to remove any sand.
Then add the bayleaves and the stock, bring slowly to the boil and simmer over a gentle heat or allow to cook slowly in a pre heated oven 180°-190°C for 1 hour, or until the meat falls from the bone.
Allow to cool in the liquid.
I then plucked of the meat and kept covered , in a cool place, reduced the cooking liquid slightly after removing any excess fat with kitchen paper, and seasoned to taste.
at the last minute I reheated the casserole, then slid the pheasant in to reheat
300 gr dried white beans – cannellini beans  -soaked overnight in cold water
1 onion, peeled
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
olive oil
salt and pepper
Drain the soaked beans and put into a saucepan with fresh cold water to cover. Bring to the boil and ladle off the scum. Add the onion and bay leaf and reduce the heat to a simmer. DO NOT ADD SALT AT THIS STAGE!
Cook gently for about an hour. When the beans are soft remove from the heat and discard the onion and bay leaf. Drain the beans but keep back about a cupful of the cooking water. Purée the beans in the kitchen machine or through a mouli – add the garlic and season to taste. Add olive oil and some of the cooking water to obtain a smooth thick cream. Keep warm.
this way is does not catch on the bottom of a pan
Buy the very best tomatoes  you can find and slice thinly. Make a circle on each plate with the tomatoes and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt. Spoon a good dollop of the hot bean mixture in the middle and serve with the pheasant. This may also be served with some slices of crusty bread or focaccia.
It was delicious but I forgot to make a finish photo
I served it with a Burgundy wine .
and another idea !
Pot roasted pheasant with sausage  quince sauce  Savoy cabbage and grilled sweet potatoes
Ingredient:                   (6 person)
100g sausage Italian Luganega or chorizo
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of rosemary
5 fresh sage leaves
4 cloves of garlic
20 black peppercorns
2 pheasants
2 tbsp olive oil or duck fat
5 dl stock
Method :

  1. Cut the sausage into pieces
  2. Heat the olive oil or duck fat in a heavy casserole with the garlic, sage and rosemary for a few minutes. Remove the herbs and set aside.
  3. Fry the pheasant on all sides to a golden color and set aside
  4. Add the pieces of sausage to the pan and fry until golden brown, add the onions and continue to cook until soft and translucent
  5. Add the herbs to the pan with the peppercorns, pour in the stock and bring to the boil
  6. Place the pheasants on top, cover with a lid and bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the oven at 190°C
  7. Remove the pheasant from the pan cut off the legs and return them to the pan
  8. Return the pan to the oven with the lid off for 20 minutes
  9. Meanwhile remove the breasts from the carcass and keep warm
  10. Cut the pheasant breast into pieces and add to the casserole just before serving

Savoy cabbage

Heat a little duck fat in a thick casserole. Cut the Savoy cabbage in a thin chiffonade.
Add to the pan and fry over a moderate heat stirring continuously. At the last moment add a little cumin if desired salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Grilled sweet potatoes
Cut the potatoes into thick slices , brush with olive oil and sprinkle with ground sea salt, lay on a piece of foil on a baking sheet and place under the grill, when beginning to brown turn over and brown the other side.

and another

Roasted pheasant with Vin Santo and pumpkin gnocchi

instead of pumpkin Gnocchi you could serve Pumpkin chips much easier
Vin Santo is a holy wine made from grapes. This wine has been in barrels for at least 3 years and resembles sherry and Madeira.
2 pheasants
Some herbs, for instance thyme, sage, chilli
Celery stalks
4 tbsp olive oil
1 glass of liquor e.g. grappa
2 glasses of Vin Santo
Salt and pepper
25g soaked mushrooms
1-2 dl cream


Place the celery and herbs in the cavity of the pheasant breast.
Rub the breast with salt and thyme and lay a thin slice of fat over the breast. Heat the oil in the pan wit a few cloves of garlic.
Roast the pheasants until golden brown, turning and basting the meat the whole time.
Pour off the extra fat and deglaze the pan with an eau de vie such as grappa and flambé (be careful)!
Pour the warm Vin Santo over the pheasant, grind over a little black pepper and place the lid on the pan.
Place on a low heat or in a moderately heated oven and turn the heat down after 7 minutes. Turn the pheasant every 15 minutes and baste with the cooking juices. The pheasant should be ready in ¾ hour to 1 hour – quicker if roasted in the oven. Remove the pheasant from the pan and keep warm.
Pour a little water / stock in the pan and scrape any cooking rests from the bottom. Bring to the boil, add the cream and the mushrooms, simmer for a few minutes and season to taste.
Cut the pheasant in four pieces, serve on plates or in a deep serving dish and pour over the sauce.
Ingredients gnocchi:
1kg Bildstar potatoes and 450g pumpkin
1½tsp salt
1-2eggs (optional)
200-250g flour (type 00)
60 g unsalted butter
Sage, finely chopped
50g parmesan cheese (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper


Cook the potatoes in the skin, pour off the water and allow to dry in the pan for a few minutes and then remove the skin. Cook the pumpkin in boiling water or stock and drain well in a colander.
Puree the potatoes and pass the pumpkins through a moule de legume.
Place the purees on a piece of marble or smooth working surface thinly dusted with flour, leave to cool slightly.
Add salt and flour (and eggs if desired) and knead to a smooth dough.
Roll out with by hand into sausage shape, cut into pieces of about 3cm long.
Dust a fork and your hand with flour and press the fork against the gnocchi to obtain a ribbled effect (this can also be done by pressing the dough against a cheese grater)
Bring a large pan of water with salt to the boil and slide a few gnocchi at a time in to the water. Once they rise to the surface, count out ten seconds and then scoop them out of the water, leaving them to drain on a moist tea towel. Repeat with all the gnocchi.
Heat the butter, add the sage and toss the gnocchi in the pan. Sprinkle with the cheese if desired, grind over a little black pepper.