Leek and Mustard Cheese Tart

In the days when I was very poor, there was a recipe which was always a hit and that was: Tarte à la moutarde . The sound of all this mustard might make diners a bit suspicious but it is a nice, filling starter in which the taste of the mustard is barely discernible.

So I took the recipe with me and it became my signature dish. It was one of my first post on the net in the days when I wrote for the well-fed network but enough reminiscing. Back to the present, in fact back to last month, I spotted a new mustard tart in the Asda Magazine: Leek and Mustard Cheese Tart. Short of being as delicious as my Tarte tomate à la moutarde but still nice, easy to make and it might just take care of that grainy mustard which has been in your pantry for a little while.
Leek and Mustard Cheese Tart
25g butter
2 medium leeks, cut into thick slices (about 350g)
Ready rolled shortcrust pastry (sorry, I know it is easy to make from scratch but...)
3 tbsp coarsegrain mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g (3½ oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
2 large eggs
175ml crème fraîche
1tbsp olive oil plus extra for drizzling
50g mature Cheddard grated & 25 g Parmesan grated too
1 small bunch of chives chopped

Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan and add the sliced leek. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring well. Add 1 tbsp water, cover, reduce the heat for about 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until it softens.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 or 200°C. Roll out the pastry and put it in a tart mould (20 cm+)
Spread with the mustard

In a bowl mix the remaining ingredients but not the chives add the mixture to the cooled leeks

Pour on the pastry and bake for 35-40 minutes, get out of the oven and sprinkle with chives

Week-End Pictures

Only a couple of hours away from London is a county very seldom talked about. The smallest of them all in England is Rutland. At is center is a man-made reservoir large enough for people to fish and do all sorts of nautical things. Delightful villages: yellow-stones houses giving them a unity and bags of charm. So here are some photos from the week end

Curious Ingredient Number 3 : Paneer

Paneer: You have seen it in the cheese section of your supermarket, you may well have gone as far a picking it up and putting it down. It looks like a slab of...well a slab of...my best description is: "a slab of", it is off white, it is cheese, it is very popular in Indian cuisine. Unlike other cheeses, it does not taste very much when raw and does not have a strong taste when cooked but has a nice and soft texture. Paneer is used in a myriad of ways and Pebble Soup readers' in India might want to comment and give us ideas or alternatively here is what good old Wikipedia says about paneer.

I often buy paneer it keeps for a long time unopened in the fridge and makes a welcome change to the same old menus. Curious ingredients have this ability to turn dreary shopping lists into somewaht rather exciting daily feasts.

As mentioned earlier there are numerous ways of cooking paneer, but I have only know 1 recipe which I found in the Hairy Bikers' cook book. Don't worry if you don't have all the ingredients there are 3 main ingredients here: Paneer, semoulina and spinach, the rest can be swaped, replaced by similar or simply dropped.

Crunchy Palak Paneer

For the sauce
2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
7.5cm/3in piece root ginger, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 whole red or green chilli
1 tsp salt
1 x 400g/14oz can tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tsp sugar
500g/1lb 2oz fresh spinach, washed
2tbsp water
For the paneer
2 tsp garam masala
50g/1¾oz semolina
200g/7oz paneer, cut into 1cm/½in cubes
vegetable oil, for shallow frying
small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped, to garnish
1 tsp lemon juice

1. For the sauce, heat the ghee or oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook for about three minutes until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a further minute.
2. Add the ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, whole chilli and salt.
Tip : Cooking spices releases their flavour
3. Add the chopped tomatoes and sugar and simmer for ten minutes.
4. Meanwhile, turn your attention to the main ingredient: paneer,
Pplace the garam masala and semolina in a large bowl and mix well add the cubed paneer in and coat well.
5. In a Frying pan or a wok, eat the oil add the coated paneer and fry until crisp and golden.
7. Add the washed spinach and two tablespoons of water to the tomato sauce, stir in and cook until the spinach wilts.
8. Fold the paneer into the sauce.
9. To serve, garnish with the coriander and squeeze over the lemon juice.
At Pebble soup, we loved this recipe so much that it fast became a dinner favourite which I would like to share with the readers of Bangers and Mash via #TheSpiceTrail challenge.

Clementine Pudding Cake

This morning, I was scouring supermarket magazines as one would do and could not help being slightly outraged at the price of a Pear Tarte Tatin. Why would one pay £17 for something which is so easy to make?

So I decided to take you step by step through this equally nice recipe which will cost you £2.30 will serve 6 and takes 45 mins. It is moist and the citrus flavours are really refreshing.

Here is what you will need:

6 clementines
150g (5oz) butter
150g (5oz) caster sugar
3 eggs
150g (5oz) self-raising flour

Heat the oven to Gas 4, 180°C, fan160°C. Remove zest from 3 clementines, cut away remaining peel and pith with a sharp knife and slice to approx 1cm (½in), removing seeds.
Line a 20cm (8in) springform tin with baking parchment and arrange clementine slices over the base.
Cream together the butter, sugar and zest until light and fluffy, add 3 tablespoons hot water and whisk vigorously. Add eggs and whisk again – mixture may split but don’t worry. Add flour to sponge mix and fold in until smooth and evenly blended.
Spoon into prepared tin over sliced clementines, taking care not to move the slices. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove and cool a little. Place a plate on top and turn the whole thing over. Release spring and remove cake tin and baking parchment. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Serve hot or cold.

I am sure sliced oranges or grapefuits will do the trick perfectly well too.
this is a Tesco's recipe

The Cadogan Arms a Gastro-Pub Review

The Cadogan Arms is a gastro pub situated on the Kings' road's black hole, not quite near enough Sloane square to be filled with fashionistas.

Though a gastro-pub of some pedigree (own by the Martin brothers who run another 5 highly acclaimed such pubs through London the Gun in Docklands, E14, the White Swan Pub and Dining Room on Fetter Lane, EC4, and the Well in Clerkenwell, EC1. The Cadogan Arms still remains a local boozer with good Ale.

Having 5 bloggers descending on you to review and unpick your menu is bound to be rather nerve racking but if it was the case, it certainly did no show: the General Manageress was relaxed & discreet, the staff watching your every need but not overly so, possibly albeit rather puzzled at the paparazzi effect every time drinks or food was brought to our table.

I declared straight away that I was not, I repeat not going to drink, that was before the first cocktails arrived. They looked so refreshing that I succumbed to a Caipirinha and was not disappointed. Cocktails, in my opinion, scored 8 out of 10, if only for the double espresso Martini which changes my views on double espressos forever.
But we were here to eat. That's what gastro-pubs are all about. The first time, I went to a gastropub many moons ago, I thought it was all gloss/no content or as they would say at my local: "Them gastros, all fur, no knickers" that is certainly not the case for the Cadogan Arms.

The menu has a wide range of options and apart from the occasional absentee (lamb) and the case of undercooked scallops and steak which both happen to land into Michelle's of The Greedy Gourmet plate, the rest was very satisfying.

My starter a wild rabbit, duck heart and pistachio terrine with a pinch of flaky salt, was a tasty assortment of complementary meats. As across the table, crayfish and avocado salad were abundant, Steak Tartare, raw quail's egg not often seen on menus was being highly praised by Johanna of The Passionate Cook, the oysters were avidly being talked about by Sarah of Maison Cupcake.

By now, the restaurant area had started to fill up. There is space for about 50 diners and on that Saturday night despite an empty King's road, the place was very busy, almost to full capacity which is a sign. Flash, flash, flash here comes the main course.
I plumped for the 35 days aged Aberdeen Angus rib-eye steak, Béarnaise sauce, hand cut chips and bone marrow jus. The Béarnaise sauce was out of this world, smooth to its right consistency and the steak was really tasty.

You would have thought that by now we were about to implode, but certainly not Jeanne of Cook Sister! and I shared the dessert which suited me fine as I like my cheese before the pudding and by sharing nobody noticed my widely French habit. British cheeses consisted of
  • Wookey Hole Cheddar
  • Tunworth
  • The Isle of Avalon
  • Bosworth Ash
  • Barkham Blue
and last but not least our Roasted Pineapple with a touch of chilli with a caramel sauce and a creme fraiche sorbet and that was refreshing, not too sweet, the pineapple had roasted slowly for 2 hours and was melting in our mouths, the flower was edible and ate it was.

The portions were very generous, the menu was well thought out and overall, the food nicely executed, the price £38 (drinks not included). I will always associate Bearnaise with that meal and if you can come out of a restaurant with one long lasting memory, that means that the place must be doing something right.



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