- cut the hard end of the endive off, with a sharp knife, take the little "heart" out, this is where the bitterness leaves, so I was told.
- steam the endives until tender when cook, put them aside for at least an hour to drip all the water out
- prepare the white sauce (bechamel)
- roll the slice of ham around the endive, place in an oven dish
- pour the bechamel over
- top with cheese
- cook for 25 minutes, grill the top if necessary
a) had entered a muffin competition
b) was searching frantically for the origins of Dulche de Leche in my grand-mother's battered cookery book. Mémé had no connection with Argentina or anywhere else further than 1km away from her flat.
c) cooking a cheese-cake for poor Bob and June who need cheering up.
All this, in a happy jumble with no particular order.
Let's, at least try to put back some chronology , as I was reading Sophie's blog, something was really nagging me, I had seen a similar recipe before a long time ago. Then in a flash it came to me, Confiture de lait mais c'est bien sure: Mémé 's book.
Mémé 's book has neither cover nor back, so no way to know what it is called or when it was published. Further research dated the first recipe to the 14th century, place it in Normandy, so dulce de leche might have originated in France, but it has dropped in popularity when in Argentina it is staple foods.
If there is an easy way, take it. So the next day I set to cook
- Place unopened can(s) of sweetened condensed milk in a sauce pan, covered with water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 3 hours IF it is not submerge the whole time, IT WILL EXPLODE, you have been warned.
- Leave it to cool before you open the can. IF you don't IT WILL POP OUT AND BURN YOU, this is a bit over-dramatic however though a really simple recipe it has to be handled with care.
The longer you cook it, the thicker it becomes, after 2 hours you can drizzle it, 3 hours is excellent consistency for cheese cake.
Now for the cheese cake, I found this recipe in "the hairy bikers ride again". I can confidently tell you that it taste delicious though I will not have the opportunity to taste it as it is all gone.
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
- 400g Hobnobs (oat biscuits)
- 150 g melted unsalted butter
- 750g cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 600g dulce de leche
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbs cornflour
- Preheat oven to 300°F (140°C).
- Put the Hobnobs cookies in a plastic bag and bash them into crumbs with a rolling pin
- Pour over the melted butter and mix well
- Press evenly into the bottom of a lightly buttered 23cm springform tin.
- With an electric mixer beat cream cheese, the dulce the leche, your vanilla
- add the eggs when at the time
- Finally beat in the cornflour
- Pour the mixture on the top of the biscuit base
- Bake for 1h30 min. When cool, remove from the tin, grab a piece for you and serve.
2 large aubergines
2 green peppers
2 tin tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
4 tbs olive oil
1 tbs of herbs (herbes de Provence)
a "big" pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
- peel and chop the onions, the peppers, the aubergine (cut the slices in 2) and the garlic
- heat the oil and add in this order, stirring as you go along
- onions, fry until transparent
- garlic and peppers, fry for 5 minutes
- tinned tomatoes
- seasoning: herbs, salt, pepper, sugar
- if you use the pressure cooker, cooking time is 30 minutes without it will take 45 minutes in a large saucepan with a lead .
- open add the courgettes and continue to cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
I do not salt the aubergines before cooking them, they don't seem are not bitter any longer. Monique is Nice used to add bacon, but if you do so reduce the salt.
The number of serving tips is countless here are some: lovely with fried eggs, roasted chicken,
you may remember the pain bagnat, well I have realised that "pressed down" sarnies are in fashion, so why not do the same: fill a ciabatta with ratatouille, roll in a cling-film and press it down with a board until the bread absorbs the juices,
if you have a little left, line a tart-tin with puff pastry cover with the left overs and slices goat cheese, cook in the oven for 20 minutes,
and finally if fish is on the menu, place the fish in an aluminium foil cover with ratatouille, fold tightly, place on a tray and bake for 15 minutes.
How exciting, this is just brilliant.
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp tahini paste (I use the light kind)
2 tbsp fresh mint or parsley, chopped
1- 1 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
- Pre-heat oven to 190C/380F/Gas mark 5
- Prick the skins of the aubergines so that they don't explode in the oven.
- Place the Aubergine in a tin, in the oven for 20 minutes, it does not matter if it is longer, as long as they are soft inside and slightly shrivelled outside, leave them to cool slightly
- Remove the skin
- Tip into a food processor small bowl, add the garlic, the lemon juice and tahini
- Add the olive oil as you whisk
- Finish by adding the salt, cumin, cayenne pepper to taste,
- Give it a last whirl, it should be smooth add water if necessary.
Cool it 1/2 hour further in the fridge, Serve with warm pitta, it will blacken slightly but that does not affect the taste.
I do not object to the concept: indoor-beach: bizarre but why not; man-made complete with lights imitation, sun for the day, moon in the evening : good; free entertainment for kids and grown ups : excellent.
What I do not like AT ALL is the distortion of simple pleasures, beach but no water, beach but no weather, beach but only certain prescribed activities (please, let's make sure that we all do the same at the same time, here is a timetable) at that point, I have got to say NO that is NO beach. Have the organisers given a thought about the wonders of the fresh salted air that make your skin crispy and itchy, the sand in your food, the endless hours spent doing nothing or nothing much, that for me is a beach so on that "moany"-note, I leave you with the sound of the crickets, find a bit a open space (balcony will do) & try the following recipe.
- Slice the bread length-wise
- brush the olive oil on the inside
- sprinkle basil
- spread the rest of the ingredients
- wrap in cling film
- weight it down with a chopping board for as long as possible
- unwrap and cut large slices.