15 January 2013

Five Pears for 8p!

~  Menu  ~

Salad of Blue Cheese and Sugar Spiced Walnuts
Pear Vinaigrette
Glass of  Merlot
Handful of Grapes

A few days ago we bought 5 pears for 8p.  I think they were Red Anjou, they were large and firm so I put them on the window sill (together with some of the out of date flowers my real man is constantly buying at 30p a bunch) to ripen a little and yesterday I peeled them, sliced them, nibbled the cores, tossed the fruit with light brown sugar and baked them at 375ºF/190ºC/170ºC fan/gas 5 till tender.

 "And what did I do next?" you may ask.  Well ...

The first thing I made was a Pear Sponge for my real man, I prefer crumbles but he likes sponge and it was his turn to choose.

That used about half so today I took a spoonful to make the dressing for my lunch. This was an old favourite on my menus in the West Indies although it could in no way be considered a tropical dish.  For the sugar spiced walnuts see here  they are great with loads of things or just on their own.

Pear Vinaigrette - 2 ways

The way I make this vinaigrette from scratch ...

1 large almost ripe pear
150ml cider vinegar
2 tbsp runny honey
200ml olive oil

~   Peel, slice and cook the pear in the vinegar till tender and the vinegar has gone!
~   Put the pear in a liquidiser or food processor together with the honey and whilst running gradually add the olive oil till the dressing has emulsified.
~   Taste and season.

The way I did it today ...

1 tbsp sweet cooked pear
½ tbsp cider vinegar
60ml olive oil

~   I just puréed the lot and seasoned generously with black pepper.  It wasn't quite the same as my original recipe but was very good and worked well with the blue cheese and the nuts.

For other salad dressing ideas see here.

I have two other plans for the rest of the pears ...

1.   Cooked pears are excellent stirred into pasta with a creamy blue cheese sauce.
2.   Any day now I am going to make Buttered Rum and Ginger Ice Cream (the recipe is in my Lush Ice Cream without a Machine).  We had planned to have it for Christmas but had Far Too Much Food which we are still trying to eat up, so ... later on that one.  Not too much later though because it will be a humdinger with some pears!

In other news ~ 3 items.

I have just read in an article on how to "think like a chef" ...

"BEFORE YOU START COOKING, put on some music and pour yourself a glass of wine, fruit juice or iced tea. A relaxed, composed cook is a more efficient one."

In 30 years or more I never knew that was the way to start work!  Mind you I did often find Chef's Coffee to be a help.


My little eBooklet "219 Cooking Tips & Techniques you might find useful!" is free on Amazon - here in the UK and here in the US. I would be very grateful, if you like it, if you would be kind enough to give it a bit of a review on Amazon.  


On fetching the link for 5 Unusual Salad Dressings to keep in your Handbag! I see I posted that about a year ago and the place was rife with flowers!  Not so good this year but here are some I have seen on my brief "healthy" walk today ... 

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Attila said...

And to think I told the checkout girl last night that my husband is the "only man in the world who can get away with buying his wife reduced flowers!" I was wrong!!!

debs said...

what a bargain!and the flowers are lovely, I love stocks they smell so lovely!

Suzy said...

I'd be cross if he paid full price!