Oh pickles.

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College is getting good.

Our tutor set us two pieces of homework:

The first was to create a vegetarian dish, either a pithivier or galette (see my other blog) using the following:- 1 beefsteak tomato, 1 courgette, 1/2 aubergine, 1/2 butternut squash and 100g of spinach.

The second was to research a pickle or chutney of our choice.

For the first homework I did some research just to help me along. So I decided on a Provencal Pithvier, Butternut squash puree, deep fried salsify with creamed spinach and turned courgettes.

Luckily when I got in to college the next day, we were given the stores card and we pretty much raided the cupboards for a few extra ingredients so I added some shallots to the mix, yellow an red peppers. So my pithivier became a ratatouille pithvier instead. I also took some pine nuts and roasted them (I mean, nearly burnt) added it with some of my concasse to my spinach which I finished in butter and creamed with ricotta cheese, then finished with parmesan for flavour.

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As you can see, I forgot about the salsify, haha! What am I like?! My tutor was like “what’s that?” and I had to explain I was a bit careless… OOPS. 😉

For the second assignment I fancied messing about with fennel as it’s something I haven’t cooked with yet plus I have an aniseed craving at the minute. So I did my research and this recipe intrigued me as the writer talks about how her mother was put off but fennel after rearing a cow which grazed in a fennel field, so you can gather what the beef tasted strongly of… anyway this is her way of trying to trick her mum into liking the stuff again. Here is the link.

I love the look of fennel it kind of reminds me of a heart.

The recipe I used was fennel and orange pickle.

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It was curious recipe and reading it back I didn’t really follow it. Instead I boiled it for a minute or two with the rest of the ingredients just to soften the fennel and zest. The zest I peeled off whole off of the orange and sliced into julienne myself. Then so as not to waste the orange I segmented it and added it in before jarring it.

I’m not sure about this pickle yet it was very acidic but that’s the thing about pickles, they improve with time. So in 2 weeks or a week now… I’ll be trying again and hopefully it’ll have a lovely sweet licorice taste.

Then we got another bomb thrown at us, we needed to make scotch eggs to go with our pickle. I personally wanted to use black pudding and maybe some tarragon or something but we only had chorizo instead which I married with grated carrot as my rational was that carrot goes with orange.

That’s right we even made the sausage meat ourselves. I tried to use the robot coupe at first but it doesn’t quite mince up the pork sinew the way a meat grinder does.

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For me, I’d like to experiment with this again and try a better and more complimentary sausage meat. Chorizo is a sometimes horribly strong taste, then again I’m not a fan of smoked paprika which is what was most dominant amongst the flavours. This is what it’s all about though, discovering taste and messing about with flavour.

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