Thursday, 9 August 2012

A Golden Summer

They say a week is a long time in politics- and it certainly is in sport, if this one is anything to go by! Just last Thursday I was racking my brains for some 'bronze' recipes to honour our athletes- when suddenly there was a veritable cascade of bronze, silver and gold upon gold upon gold.

So- who has inspired me most for today's 'Golden' recipes? Well, obviously the triumph of our men's C2 team gaining silver and gold minutes after my last blog post has to come first.

I thought that a fish which is both gold and silver- the gilt head bream (or dorade) would be an appropriate salute so here I have one pan fried until the skin is crispy and golden and served on a bed of courgettes, lightly braised in butter and stock with herbs. Courgettes absorb flavour- so a strong herb such as tarragon or mint is perfect to give them some oomph. Fry the courgettes briefly in butter,  barely cover them with the stock, be generous with the chopped herb in the butter and stock mixture and cook until the stock is all absorbed.Yum!

After that I'm just going to dedicate the rest of my golden recipes to anyone and everyone who has enjoyed the Olympics as much as we have.

But I also mustn't forget all those of you who have leftovers to use up and are waiting for me to get up from in front of the TV and do some cooking!

I've got two suggestions here for something to do with leftover chicken or vegetable curry, or just a few spoonfuls of curry sauce or even a pot of Coronation Chicken sandwich filler.

The first is a curry tart- no, I'm not kidding- I  had this recently in a restaurant in Isle-sur-Sorgue in Provence and, whilst the setting was fab, there 's no need to go all that way just to eat it.

Bake a pastry case 'blind' (as in the pictures- pastry rolled to fit a dish and then cooked in a moderate oven until crisp and pale brown, weighted down with baking beans and greaseproof paper) or use a pre-made one.

Take your leftover sauce, Coronation chicken etc and blitz it with  some creme fraiche, add three beaten eggs and pour into your pastry case. Bake again in a moderate oven until firm to the touch and golden on top.

Leftover sauce is also particularly good as a marinade for meat on the barbecue- here some chicken skewers have been coated in sauce and grilled:

Just to finish off this 'golden' page, I can't resist raising a glass in celebration with my newfound favourite aperitif- Muscat Beaume de Venise over ice. If anything says summer, gold and sunshine, then this is it. Cheers!

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