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Chive and Blue Cheese Butter

Any steak becomes even more luxurious topped with a dollop of this gently tangy Chive and Blue Cheese Butter. The herb butter also goes well with lamb chops and chicken. I love to spread it on crackers served with preserved figs, or the serve it with freshly baked bread.
chive and blue cheese butter

Chive and Blue Cheese Butter
 
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  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • a pinch of pepper
  • a dash of Worcester sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brandy
  1. Blend all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, cover and store in refrigerator to allow the flavours to develop.
  2. Soften at room temperature before serving.

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Vichyssoise with Fresh Italian Parsley

Soup is the ultimate comfort food. Nothing else can send so much rich aroma into the air, and nothing else so effectively makes every house into a home.

What’s more…

“A good soup is the ultimate sign of a fabulous cook. And despite that, soup is the most forgiving thing you’ll ever make, the easiest kind of cooking.” – Ruth Reichl

vichyssoise soup with fresh parsley
Serve vichyssoise as cold as possible in chilled serving bowls.

With that in mind here’s the recipe  for our herbed version of Vichyssoise – a cold creamy leek and potato soup. It’s a great summer soup and it never fails to impress our guests.

According to Wikipedia its cold serving temperature is often used for comedy value in entertainment. For example, in the 1992 movie Batman Returns, Bruce Wayne is surprised at its temperature, saying “It’s cold!” to which his butler, Alfred responds that “It’s supposed to be cold.”

Similarly, on an All in the Family episode, Archie Bunker’s neighbour brings over a dish of vichyssoise for dinner. Before tasting it, Archie brings a spoon up towards his mouth, blowing on the soup to cool it, and then remarks as he tastes it, “Boy, this soup is cold, and I hardly blew on it at all!”

Cold dulls our sense of taste, so vichyssoise, require more seasoning than a warm potato-leek soup. Taste the vichyssoise again just before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Also remember that cold soups should have a thinner consistency than hot soups. To achieve this in Vichyssoise we use a higher ratio of liquid to main ingredients.

Vichyssoise with Fresh Italian Parsley
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
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Recipe type: Soups
Serves: 4
  • 250g leeks, white part only
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped
  • 250g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 900ml chicken stock
  • 175ml whipping cream
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • Paprika to garnish.
  1. Split the leeks lengthwise and wash well to remove all sand and grit. Slice thinly.
  2. Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan and add the leeks, celery and parsley. Sweat without browning until they are soft. Stir occasionally. About 15 minutes.
  3. Add the diced potatoes and chicken stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  4. Simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 45 minutes.
  5. Puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender and strain through a sieve.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature.
  7. Blend in ½ the whipping cream.
  8. Adjust the seasoning.
  9. Place in refrigerator to cool for at least 2 hours.
  10. Serve in well chilled bowls. Softly spoon the remaining cream into the centre of each bowl and garnish lavishly with the chives. Then sprinkle lightly with paprika to add colour.

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Potato Wedges with Rosemary and Thyme – Recipe

A favourite in almost every household and restaurant, this potato wedges recipe can be enjoyed as a snack, side dish, or as a light meal on its own. I love serving it with a juicy steak or as a quick snack with sweet chili sauce or a dipping sauce.

You almost can’t make a mistake with this recipe and if you do, well then you might have just created your own signature version of it.

Potato Wedges

Potato Wedges with Rosemary and Thyme
 
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Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
  • 6 large potatoes (peeled)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt & pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 C with a roasting pan inside
  2. Cut the potatoes into wedges about 1 cm thick.
  3. Boil the potato wedges in salted water for about 5-6 minutes until just tender not soft.
  4. Drain the potato wedges and pat dry with paper towel.
  5. Remove the hot roasting pan from the oven and scatter the potatoes in the pan.
  6. Coat the potato wedges with the garlic, herbs, olive oil, salt & pepper. Use tongs to toss all the ingredients to make sure everything is mixed properly.
  7. Bake for 10-15 min until golden brown and crispy, turning regularly during baking. Remove and serve.
Notes
Variations: Baby potatoes cut in halves. Add a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice. Tip: Use fresh herbs and not dried, as the fresh herbs flavours will develop more in the oven. Make sure the potato wedges are well coated with olive oil as this is vital in getting them crispy.