Sunday, 20 April 2008

Chinese In

Chicken Walnut Bon Bons, Barbecued Pork and noodles. Unfortunately the Baramundi we had planned to steam had gone off. Nevertheless even without it, this was a feast.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Decadence Part Dieu

The assembled ingredients for last night's dinner.

Starter of Crab Salad.

Followed by possibly my favourite dish ever Tournedoes Rossini. Mrs tnr has normally been the cook when this has been on the menu but this time I was.

Start off with a mirepoix of 3 shallots, 1 carrot and 1 stick of celery. Add a couple of tablespoons of chopped mushrooms and gently fry in half an ounce of butter for 20 mins and put it aside.

Then melt half an ounce of butter in a frying pan, stirring in an ounce of plain flour. Cook until it turns a light biscuity colour, no darker. Add some good quality beef stock (even better if you can get veal stock) and stir together to amalgamate. Keep adding the beef stock slowly and stir until you have used about a litre. Put your mirepoix back into the stock and let it gently simmer for a couple of hours. Then strain it, squeezing as much liquid as you can into a pan. Add a quartter of a pint of Marsala and let it simmer for a while until it reduces to a nice thick brown Espagnole sauce.

When this is ready, fry a nice big round crouton of bread for each serving. Spread with fresh gently fried Foie Gras if you can get it, we used a tin. If you can't any goose pate will probably need to do.

Top with a lovely Tournedo of Beef Fillet. Thank you very much Auguste Escoffier.

For pudding, Pain Perdu with roasted rhubarb and a wee drizzle of cream. Awfully delicious.

Sunday, 16 March 2008


Starting off the evening as we meant to go on. Les Negresses Vertes blasts from the kitchen Victrola as preparations were underway. Poussin in the oven, greens and sautee potatoes prepared for cooking, it was time to open the chilled pink Champagne that Jimty had gotten Mrs Tnr for her birthday.

Then came the caviar, Avruga, we're not made of money!

Slapped a plastic spoonful of Avruga (I don't know if that's the proper verb for applying caviar) on to one's Blini, top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of finely chopped shallot. Absolutely fabulous and way, way better than lumpfish roe let me tell you.

Mrs Tnr closes her eyes and enjoys.

Spatchcock Poussin done to perfection, crisp skin moist and tasty inside, with just an overdose of greens and tenderstem brocolli.

To finish off with remarkably simple Crepes Suzette A' La Nigella. 10 minute job, but tastes absolutely wonderful.

Post dinner entertainment the splendid La Vie En Rose rounds off a French themed night.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Catch it, kill it, eat it!

Okay maybe not catch it. Buy it live from the Wee Hurrie at Troon harbour. Amazing fish and chip shop. They do lobster suppers for about £ 18! The also do a whole range of locally caught fish and seafood at reasonable prices to boot. Two of the above cost £5 and made the most amazing crab salad with passion fruit vinaigrette ala Gordon Ramsay. Apparently, to humanely dispatch the live crabs, you either kill them prior to cooking or put them in the freezer for a couple of hours before boiling them. I opted for the latter. Then its a case of dressing them, which I have to admit is one hell of a fouter! The recipe I was following only required the white meat, so that made it a bit easier. When I was finished I thought this wasn't a lot for a main course, which was our plan. Mrs tnr looked at the book and said "This is a starter!" "Oops" says I. Had to pop down to Tesco then for some microwave shit as a main course didn't I. Twit!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Burns Supper A la Andy Bell

So close to Burns' night we fell over the Haggis stockpiled in Tesco. It reminded me of the recipe given to us by Andy Bell following our pre-Christmas visit to London.

Andy's original recipe went like this:

Steamed Haggis with a creamy Drambuie and Mustard sauce.

Easy and quick way to eat your national dish any time and good for serving as a surprise starter at dinner parties for foreigners. I've done this loads of times and (almost) everyone raves about it. I've adapted it from the Unicorn Inn Restaurant recipe. Veggie haggis is easy to buy if you're so inclined but the ingredients need bolstering with some black pepper if this is the case. Equally good with most whiskies but Drambuie does the trick.

450g Haggis
Olive Oil
2 Shallots
Large dessertspoon of Grainy Mustard
2 tablespoons of Drambuie
100ml of Crème Fraîche
50g Salted Butter

Oil the inside of four ramekins or similar moulds, (try coffee cups if need be), and firmly fill each one with the haggis. Steam for ten minutes.

Meanwhile melt the butter in a pan and add the fairly finely chopped shallots, cooking until soft. Add the mustard, stirring until mixed through. Spoon in the Drambuie, warmed if possible, and set it alight. Shake until the flames go out, pour in the crème Fraîche and stir till hot.

Turn out the moulds and pour over the sauce, garnish with whatever is to hand. Looks really impressive for so little work and tastes tremendous.

Number Of Servings: Four

Preparation Time: Can be done in twenty minutes, needs serving as soon as the sauce is ready.

Not having Drambuie to hand I substituted Laphroiag, which I reckon worked really well. I am particularly partial to the smoked peaty flavour of the Islay malt. Mrs tnr, I am sure, would have preferred the Drambuie. We'll certainly make it again though.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Happy Hour

Singapore Slings. Mrs tnr has actually drank these in Raffles. I had my first last night and my second will be in an hour or so as an aperitif. Bloody brilliant they are.

Breakfast A La Reidski

When we were in London just before Christmas, Reidski made us this deleicious breakfast of nice toasted bread, spread thinly with butter and marmite, then avocados and thinly sliced tomatoes on top. Up until that point in my life I hated marmite with a passion. Now its quite good really. Post Christmas I'm inent on losing abit of weight, 6lbs in two weeks so far, so this breakfast will replace the occasional rolls and slice (Lorne Sausage) Saturday Breakfasts. They will now be extremely occasional!