All posts filed under: Summer Recipes

Courgette Soup

This is a surprisingly creamy, pleasantly unctuous soup. A perfect way to use an excess amount of summer courgettes and one of the simplest soups you could ever wish to make. Since courgettes, on their own, can taste rather bland it is important to consider how you are going to give this soup a savoury punch. The most effective way is to use a good animal fat – either butter, goose fat or lard with some olive oil to loosen the fat and a chicken or veal stock. If you don’t have any stock to hand consider adding anchovies or olives as alternatives. Ingredients Courgettes, onion, stock, soured cream, salt & pepper Directions Fry the onions on a medium heat in some butter or goose fat. Add some olive oil if the onions are beginning to stick to the pan. The animal fats will add a desirable flavour to the final soup, whilst the olive oil will add texture. When the onions are tender and translucent add the sliced courgettes. Leave to fry for a …

Balsamic vinegar and honey spare ribs

Ingredients Pork spare ribs, balsamic vinegar, honey, cumin, star anise, cloves, salt & pepper. For the marinade Pour a generous helping of balsamic vinegar in a bowl and add around three to four table spoons of raw honey. Add a teaspoon of cumin, a star anise, three to four cloves and some salt & pepper. Stir the ingredients into the vinegar dispersing the flavours and the honey before adding some olive oil. Pour the marinade over the spare ribs and leave to marinate in a bowl for 4- 5 hours in the fridge. About half an hour before cooking take out of the fridge and leave the meat to relax and reach room temperature. That way the meat will be more tender when cooking. The ribs can be either fried in a pan on a low heat for 30-40 minutes. The honey will make them brown quickly so make sure to fry in plenty of fat such as lard mixed with olive oil on a medium, not high, heat. Alternatively grill them over the BBQ and serve …

Two different potato salads

  I am not going to give exact amounts since each cook has to decide how many they are preparing for – five or fifteen. My only advice is make plenty –potato salad is always the first to go. Nor am I going to suggest which potato to use. I’ve made potato salad with just about every potato available and they’ve all worked well. The most traditional way is to boil large whole potatoes with their skin on. Once they’ve cooled you can peel the skin before cutting them into smaller pieces. This prevents the potatoes from becoming mushy and keeps them firm. My Westphalian grandmother always used sun-flower oil for her mayonnaises. As, indeed, does my Belgian father-in-law. Olive oil was unheard of in northern Europe until well after the second world war – but then again so was sunflower oil until the early part of the twentieth century. Sunflower oil is certainly cheaper than expensive cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil – so you decide – but be aware that commercial sunflower oil is highly problematic and …

Mayonnaise

A fresh, home-made mayonnaise is not only a delicious accompaniment or condiment to your meal the raw olive oil and eggs are literally packed with easy to digest natural enzymes and nutrients that have not been killed off by high-heat processing or sterilisation. The flavour derives from the combination of creamy eggs, mustard and the distinctive flavour of olives that is a feature of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. The fresh egg yokes emulsify the sauce – not fake, novel ingredient such as xanthan or soy lecithin. It takes next to no time to whisk up – either by hand or with a blender and once you see how easy it is to make and how natural the flavours are it is unlikely you’ll be tempted to buy a commercial fake ever again. If you want to benefit from the nutrients as well as the flavour only use cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. All other liquid vegetable oils (bar linseed oil) are fakes and you will be consuming neutered, nutritionally defunct food packed with energy but …

Sour-cream and chives cucumber salad

Ingredients 1 fresh cucumber, sour-cream (or fresh cream), white wine vinegar, chives, salt & pepper, 1 tea-spoon of honey or sugar. Directions Peel the cucumber. Using the side of a cheese grater slice the cucumber into wafer thin slices.  Pinching some sea salt between fingers and thumb sprinkle the salt over the sliced cucumber and leave to rest for approx. half an hour and leave to rest until the juice has leached out of the cucumbers. For the vinaigrette Mix the vinegar with the sugar, salt & pepper and chives. Stir in the sour cream (or fresh cream) into the vinegar. Squeeze the residual water out of the sliced cucumbers before adding to the vinaigrette. You can chill the residual cucumber juice and drink as a refreshing tonic later. For the more adventurous add some grated ginger to the vinaigrette – the delicate flavour of the cucumber combines naturally with ginger to make a refreshing salad.

Greek Tzatziki

Making this refreshing home-made and nutritious sauce is about as easy and as quick as opening a packet of sugared cereal and pouring milk on top. Really it takes five minutes maximum to prepare. Unlike commercial tzatziki your home-made tzatziki will not have been pasteurised and hence is packed full of natural nutrients plus plenty of beneficial bacteria to replenish and spoil you and your family’s human biome. On it’s own it tastes nice. OK. Teamed up with my Greek-style burgers  – or any cooked or grilled meat for that matter it comes into its own and shines like a star on your dish. This is probably because your senses are telling you – this yoghurt brimming with healthy bacteria and enzymes is just what I need to help digest the cooked meat. Ingredients Roughly ¼ of a cucumber, yoghurt or sour cream, olive oil, mint or fennel or any seasonal herb you like the look of, olive oil, salt & pepper. Directions Grate the cucumber into a bowl. Add three to four tablespoons of yoghurt. Season with …

Salt pickled tomato and chilli salsa

So few of us, myself included until recently, have ever fermented anything in our lives. So few of us, myself included, have seen anyone ferment food. So few of us have tasted home-made fermented foods. This means a big leap into the unknown. The truth is fermenting vegetables couldn’t be easier – but you’ll only discover this if you give it a bash. Keep practicing until you’ve mastered the technique. It’s not difficult. The chemistry and mastery of these food will work – it’s worked for population over thousands of years and will continue to do so. If you are worried about fermented food “going-off” consider this statement by Fred Breidt an expert working for the USDA and who is a specialist on fermented vegetables “There has never been a documented case of foodborne illness from fermented vegetables. Risky is not a word I would use to describe vegetable fermentation.” Because it is fermented you can keep this stored in a jar in the fridge over the winter and it will not deteriorate – it will only …