18 June 2011

Sugared White Peaches on Toasted Cake!

~  Menu  ~

Broccoli & Cornish Crackler Gratin
Toasted Vicky’s Bread
Glass of Red
Sugared Peaches on Grilled Cake

I have just sautéed the worst potatoes I have ever seen in my 472 years as a chef.  I have no idea what was wrong with them.  They were labelled “Baking Potatoes” in the supermarket and looked and felt perfectly normal.  I cooked them exactly as I have always done, which is …. peel, dice, cold water, salt, to a boil, turn down, partially cover, simmer till tender, drain, allow to steam dry a few minutes, heat a little oil in frying pan, when hot add hot potatoes, cook without too much disturbance but with a bit of a shake and a toss every now and then till crispy, crunchy and golden.  I have never had a problem before but these potatoes were appalling; they looked and felt slimy after a few minutes in the frying pan and they shrunk like you know what!  I wonder what they were!  Any ideas?

On a happier note yesterday afternoon, before the potato fiasco, we had a swift half in The Earl of St. Vincent; a very pretty pub in the village of Egloshayle near Wadebridge.  The pub is an old cottage full of antiques including 215 clocks and it’s kind of magical on the hour when they all strike (at least it was at 2.00 in the afternoon, maybe not so good at midnight) with all the tinkles, chimes, cuckoos and bongs.

Anyway back to lunch which was as listed above.  My darling brought home an unfeasibly large amount of broccoli which he had bought for 30p so I felt behooved to eat as much of it as poss.  We had Broccoli Cheese as our veg dish last night using wonderful Cornish Crackler Cheddar from Davidstow (is that an oxymoron – Cornish and Cheddar) and believe me I made plenty. 

Today I gently heated up the leftovers having stirred in a little more cheese and some double cream to loosen it a bit.  Piled onto hot toast with a sprinkling of crisply fried breadcrumbs and lots of black pepper it made a gorgeous lunch which this picture doesn’t do justice.   

Simple, Basic, Normal Cheese Sauce

40g butter
40g plain flour
pinch Colemans English mustard powder
500ml milk
90g grated mature Cheddar

~   In a small saucepan melt the butter and then stir in the flour and mustard powder to form a paste.
~   Cook stirring over low heat a minute or so and then gradually whisk in the milk.
~   Bring to a boil whisking constantly – the sauce will thicken.
~   Turn down the heat and simmer for five minutes.
~   Stir in the grated cheese till melted.
~   Taste and season and if you feel the sauce is a little on the thick side feel free to add a bit more milk.

This sauce is great for all sorts of things including pouring over lightly cooked broccoli, sprinkling with a little extra grated cheese and some fresh breadcrumbs then baking in a hot oven till a bubbling and golden gratin has happened.  Also other cheeses, so long as they are good melters, can be used instead of or as well as cheddar.

Whilst in Wadebridge I bought some white peaches from The Vine and talk about delish! 

We had peaches and cream for dessert - I diced the peaches with their pretty pink skin still on and tossed them in a little soft brown sugar an hour or two before serving.  Today, had a spoonful on chargrilled leftover pound cake I found lurking in the freezer together with a few strawberries the birds had missed and a little cream - a kind of sudden trifle if you will.   Geordie lads last night just had juicy peaches, cream and shortbread - no cake, no strawberries poor things but still good.   

Incidentally any leftover peach and brown sugar juice is great topped up with sparkling water, ginger ale or Champagne,

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