Sunday, 21 December 2014

Joyeux Noel & a Happy 2015

Joyeux Noel
Eric le chien at De Tout Coeur Limousin
De Tout Coeur Limousin 2014
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Wordless Wednesday
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Wordless Wednesday

Friday, 19 December 2014

Greek Fish (Ryba po Grecku)

as featured on The Guardian Readers' Recipe Swap: Winter Salads 10 October 2015 

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Greek fish (Ryba po Grecku)


Greek fish or Ryba po Grecku in Polish is a festive family favourite.  I cannot remember a Christmas Eve (Wigilia) that this was not part of the traditional spread.  A tradition I have carried on to this day. My gran never shared her recipe but this tastes pretty close to the original and the flavours I grew up with.  

A handy make-ahead dish which is very useful at this busy time of year. But it's not just for Christmas! It's a really versatile light fish dish great served cold as a starter or lunch dish or served warm with a simple side dish of boiled or mashed potatoes. An interesting contrast to all the heavy meals during the festive season too.  I also made a huge amount of this for my sister's wedding meal to add a little Polish flavour to her Polish-Cornish wedding day (the Cornish contingent provided the best Cornish pasties I had ever eaten). 

Ryba po Grecku is such a simple combination of affordable, readily available ingredients but creates a dish much greater than the sum of its parts. For me it's a real taste of home and tradition that I will always return to. Do get in touch and share your family favourites and traditional recipes too.  

Smacznego and Bon appetit!   

serves: 4-6 as a starter or part of a buffet meal
preparation time: 10-15 minutes
cooking time: 20-30 minutes

ingredients:
500 - 750g white fish - skinned/boned fillets (I often use coley or sustainable haddock but any firm white fish would be good)
2 large mild onions - sliced into thin rings
4 large carrots - grated
5-6 bay leaves
1 tsp allspice berries
3 tbsp tomato puree
6 tbsp plain flour 
4 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

method: 
  1. add the paprika and salt and pepper to the flour and mix before coating the fish fillets on either side.
  2. add half the oil and butter to a preheated pan and fry the fish on either side until lightly golden and cooked through, then drain on kitchen paper and leave to one side while you cook the carrots and onions.  
  3. wipe out/clean the pan before reheating and adding the remainder of the oil and butter before adding the sliced onions, bay leaves, allspice berries, salt and pepper. Cook gently until the onions are well softened and translucent.  
  4. add the carrots and tomato puree and cook for a further 5 minutes
  5. to finish roughly layer up the fish with the carrot and onion mix.  It's ready to eat now, but I think it's so much better the next day served cold when all the flavours have had a chance to mix and mingle.  
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Greek fish (ryba po Grecku) 

I look forward to hearing about your favourite festive dishes too.  

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TamingTwins


#Foodie Fridays




Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Earl Grey prunes with bay, cardamon & orange

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Earl Grey prunes with bay, cardamon & orange

Earl Grey prunes with bay, cardamon & orange

I love Earl Grey tea. The lovely soft floral perfume from the bergamot lends itself so well as a flavouring in recipes. My Earl Grey and rum sticky toffee pudding is just one other example you may wish to take a look at... 

This quick and easy prune recipe makes a versatile, affordable festive food gift too. It's lovely for breakfast served with Greek yogurt, delicious in a traditional French prune and almond tart and a handful thrown in with some braised red cabbage adds a unique spicy sweetness to your festive dinner.  


Tip: you can substitute the orange juice for a boozy alternative - rum or Armagnac would be good.  


preparation time: 10 minutes (& overnight soaking)


recipe adapted from Earl Grey and orange prunes by Claire Thompson


makes 2 x 450 ml jars (I used kilner-style jars)


400 ml Earl Grey tea (using 2 teabags)

2 tbs honey
250g prunes (I used Agen prunes)
150ml fresh orange juice
4 bay leaves
1 tbs cardamon pods
2 tbs orange flower water
peel of 1 orange (white pith removed)


  1. brew the tea for 4-5 minutes, add the honey and leave to cool before adding the prunes and leaving to soak overnight.
  2. strain the soaking liquid into a saucepan adding all the remaining ingredients
  3. bring the liquid to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes
  4. divide the prunes between 2 sterilised jars then cover the prunes completely with the liquid.
  5. seal and store in the fridge. These will keep for up to 3 months. 
Bon appetit & Joyeux Noel 



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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Sticky toffee pudding with Earl Grey and rum

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sticky toffee pudding with earl grey & rum
sticky toffee pudding with earl grey & rum

sticky toffee pudding with earl grey and rum

Looking for some festive dessert inspiration I turned to the classic sticky toffee pudding. Warming spicy flavours and a rich toffee sauce - a perfect finale to a festive meal.

The bergamot in the Earl Grey tea adds a little hint of citrus that lifts through the sweetness of the pudding. The rum? Well it's nearly Christmas! One of the ultimate comfort food desserts. I hope you enjoy. 

recipe by: Ema at De Tout Coeur Limousin 


ingredients:
200g chopped pitted dates
190g plain flour
140g brown sugar
180ml hot Earl Grey tea
2 eggs
2 tbsp black treacle
50ml rum
125g butter
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon  
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
pinch of salt

for the toffee sauce
250g caster sugar
140ml double cream
50g butter
4 tbsp water
pinch of salt

Method:
add the chopped dates to the hot tea and leave to plump up for about 20-30 minutes then give them a quick whizz in the food processor to create a thick date paste
preheat the oven to 180c then grease and line a 20cm square baking tin
melt together the butter and treacle over a low heat before adding the sugar and the date paste followed by 2 beaten eggs and the rum
sieve the flour, baking soda, spices and salt together then fold into the wet mixture before pouring the batter into your prepared baking tin.
bake for 25-30 minutes until it is firm in the middle and a skewer comes out clean.

for the toffee sauce

add the sugar and water to a pan and bring to the boil - let it bubble away (without stirring) until the colour changes to a light nutty caramel colour (about 5 minutes)
remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and butter - be careful as it will probably splatter.
put back on the heat and simmer for 1 minute. 

Pour the sauce over the pudding and serve immediately. 

Bon appetit! 



sticky toffee pudding with earl grey & rum


Say bonjour & visit us at De Tout Coeur Limousin. Creative & well being retreats, holidays & workshops in the heart of rural Limousin, SW France


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singing holidays, singing, group singing, group holidays, sing from the heart, France, Limousin, Nouvelle Aquitaine, Creuse, retreat, community singing, singing retreat, winter retreat, hygge,
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singing holidays, singing, group singing, group holidays, sing from the heart, France, Limousin, Nouvelle Aquitaine, Creuse, retreat, community singing, singing retreat, winter retreat, hygge,

winter singing retreat 1-4 December 2017 at De Tout Coeur Limousin

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

December evenings at Lac de Vassivière





Exploring beautiful Winter scenes here in the Limousin. Leafless trees & chopped down trunks ready for the colder weather ahead. 



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Tuesdays of Texture

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Beef Mafé (West African groundnut stew)


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Beef Mafé - West African groundnut stew
Eric le chien trying to blend in with his surroundings
The snow is falling here in the Limousin and powdery white flakes are covering the ground.  The temperature has dropped by about 20c in a week, a bit of a shocker, but it's beautiful. As long as the fire's on, I've had a long country walk with Eric le chien and a stew is slow cooking away I'm happy. I am still excited by the change of seasons and colours here in the Creuse - it is a real pleasure and a joy to be so close to, and a part of nature where we live. 

I am always looking for new recipe and flavour inspiration from around the world and love to experiment with new methods and ingredients. This recipe for mafé - a West African groundnut stew is a simple one pot dish. The choice of ingredients is up to you and what's seasonal or needs using up. You can cook this on the hob on a low heat until the vegetables and meat are cooked through and tender - or let it simmer away in the slow cooker for about 5-6 hours.  It's cooked when the meat is tender and falling apart and the vegetables cooked through.


This recipe was given to me by my friend Susanne who knows of my love of spicy stews and slow cooking.  Merci beaucoup Susanne.


recipe inspired and adapted from The Congo Cookbook 


My mafé recipe uses beef but you can substitute with your meat or fish of choice, or leave it vegetarian. You can use your own choice of vegetables too. I've used this same recipe base with pork shoulder, sweet potatoes & cabbage. NB: cooking times will vary depending on your choice of ingredients.  


Tip:  Stews are always better eaten the next day if you have time to prepare ahead.  After cooking, cool and refrigerate and reheat thoroughly the next day.  

serves 6

preparation time: 15 minutes
cooking time:  approx 2 hours on the hob or 5-6 in a slow cooker (but refer to your own cooking manual as all slow cookers are slightly different)

ingredients:

1 kg stewing beef (cut into large chunks)
2 large onions (roughly chopped)
6 carrots (cut into large chunks)
2-3 handfuls green beans 
2-3 large potatoes (cut into large chunks)
1 cup peanut butter (or make your own by blending 1 cup of roasted peanuts with 1/2 cup of water)
1 cup stock/water
1 kg chopped tomatoes
3-4 garlic cloves (crushed)
3-4 bay leaves
2-3 whole chillies (scotch bonnet are good) 
salt and pepper 
2 tbs oil

method:

Heat a large frying pan then add the oil. Fry the beef for a few minutes (in batches if necessary) to caramelise on both sides then add with all the other ingredients to a large cooking pot/slow cooker. Stir everything together to make sure it's well incorporated then cover and bring to the boil.  
Reduce the heat and simmer on a low heat for approximately 2-6 hours - depending on your cooking method/cut of meat. Check regularly and stir. If it looks like it might be drying out add a bit more stock/water.  

I like to serve this with soft polenta or rice. Bon appetit!  



my mafé - beef groundnut stew


The almost invisible & stealthy Eric le chien at De Tout Coeur Limousin


Say bonjour & visit us at De Tout Coeur Limousin. Creative & well being retreats, holidays & workshops in the heart of rural Limousin, SW France


Thanks for stopping by. You can say bonjour and connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram & Bloglovin too and sign up to our newsletter hereWe look forward to welcoming you soon at De Tout Coeur Limousin.  


What's on at De Tout Coeur Limousin? 


singing holidays, singing, group singing, group holidays, sing from the heart, France, Limousin, Nouvelle Aquitaine, Creuse, retreat, community singing, singing retreat, winter retreat, hygge,


singing holidays, singing, group singing, group holidays, sing from the heart, France, Limousin, Nouvelle Aquitaine, Creuse, retreat, community singing, singing retreat, winter retreat, hygge,
bespoke creative and wellbeing retreats Limousin France

singing holidays, singing, group singing, group holidays, sing from the heart, France, Limousin, Nouvelle Aquitaine, Creuse, retreat, community singing, singing retreat, winter retreat, hygge,

winter singing retreat 1-4 December 2017 at De Tout Coeur Limousin