Do I Look Like A Sauce to You?

Now I can reveal why Pebble Soup's posts have been so scarce lately, I was busy co-writing a book which will be published by Contact Publishing on the 1st of November.

"Writers in Black & White : Contemporary Authors Discuss the Writing Life" was a brilliant commission. In collaboration with another author, Alanna Lynott, and a street photographer, Anne Mortensen, we collated 30 mesmerizing authors' interviews among which quite a few famous ones.

In an endeavour to offer a wide range of perspectives, I interviewed fiction and non-fiction writers. The food-writers community will be represented by the delightful and stylish Jennifer Joyce and the romance writers' voice is that of the equally lovely Heidi Rice.

On my way back from interviewing Heidi, I stopped at the Roccoco Belgravia's store where I had been invited to sneek preview of their newly designed Artisan Bar.

Iwas amazed to meet with Chantal Coady who started Roccoco Chocolates in 1983. Yes I know, I should have expected her to be at the lauch of her own designs, but I must have been a bit of an airhead on that day because I was even surprised to see her there. I was much, much more surprised when after taking one look at me, she frowned and said "you remind me of a family recipe." difficult to reply to such a statement, so I smile back and went "gggghhaaah" "Yes" she continued "Tomato sauce with vodka, we use it on gnocchi."

That was it, I dashed back home and re-created the Coady's family recipe: fry the onions in oil, add a tin of peeled tomatoes, pinch of sugar, salt lots of pepper and vodka. A kind of Bloody Mary sauce, add the gnocchi and to my great relief that tasted delicious.
The new Artisan Bar wrappers come in 16 different designs, Chantal says "I was inspired by a casual glance onto our celebrated tiled Morocco garden in Motcomb St store"

And the Winner Is............

Congratulations to Kathy Murrell who was the last entry and thanks to every single one of you for your ideas. I will be bringing you more recipes from Cook Vegetarian! as I have almost exhausted my current issue.

Give Away #2: A Year's Free Subscription to Cook Vegetarian!

This is an exclusive opportunity for Pebble Soup's readers to win a year's free subscription to Cook Vegetarian! This prize is worth £42.

Imagine 12 months of recipes, tips, yummy pictures and much more. Free. All what you have to do is to answer an easy question.

In the comments section, you will find below, enter your name and give your answer to the following:

Name your favorite vegetarian dish

You can tell us a bit about it, if you wish, that's lovely but not compulsory and there is no need for the whole recipe. Simple.

The competition closes on Sunday 27th of June and one lucky winner will be announced on Monday, the 28th of June.

Don't go away just yet you need to read the T & C

Terms & Conditions
◦Unfortunately, due to the nature of this prize this giveaway is only open to UK residents.
◦Only one entry per email address allowed.
◦The winner will be randomly chosen by the Random website.
◦Entrants must be 18 years or older.
◦If the winner hasn’t replied within a month to the organisers’ emails to collect the prize, a new winner will be randomly drawn.
◦ The magazine will be sent directly from the publishing house.

Best of luck and if this is your first visit to pebble soup don't forget to browse the site to find a recipe for tonight's diner.

Savoury Cheesecake with Oven-Roasted Vine Tomatoes

This is a sneak preview at tonight's diner. I found this recipe in Cook-Vegetarian! UK's only veggie monthly.

And if you came back regularly to check your little Pebblesoup (this can be done with the followers new button hint!) you will soon see a subscription Give-Away for this brilliant meat-free magazine.

This publication is absolutely packed with recipes and I'll tell you what I like about it: the recipes work, it is as simple as that. In season ingredients, imaginative ways of cooking, for example: In the June issue, they did a Mediterranean Special with an Antonio Carluccio's Masterclass. I'd love to interview Mr Carluccio, we share a passion for fungies. He tosses his pasta in a Courgette Sauce, 5 minutes work and a welcome change from tomato sauce.

Then, there is Cook Like a Masterchef, I am not a great fan of these two chefs (Greg & John) I can still hear their repetitive formulae, I think the candidates often show so much more talent that they, themselves do, anyway the good thing is that Cook Vegetarian concentrates on past winner's recipes.

Savoury Cheesecake is a new one on me and I was curious to see how it would turn out, as usual not exactly like the picture but it is yummy and ready in 50 minutes so may be not exactly a fast one to create but if your friend Anne was coming for diner, then that would be an obvious choice, let hope that she has not developed a sudden allergy to one of the ingredients. I love Anne's spectacular hypochondriac ailments, she gets a new one almost every week.

Savoury Cheesecake with Oven-Roasted Vine Tomatoes

Serves 4

  • 85g fresh white bread
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 100g full fat cream cheese
  • 1 large free-range egg yolk
  • 75g vegetarian blue cheese
  • 1tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 20 cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 75ml olive oil, plus extra for roasting
  • 30g basil leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/£375F/Gas %. Butter the bases and sides of four 8cm (3in) fluted loose -bottomed flan tine ( note that any odd ramekin will do as well)
  2. Put the bread in a food processor and whiz until it has turned into fine crumbs. Melt the butter over a gentle heat in a saucepan, tip in the breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Press into the bottom and sides of the flan tins with the back of a spoon to ensure an even layer. Bake in the oven for about 10 mins until golden - Keep watch!-
  3. Cream together the filling ingredients and divide between the flan tins. Return to the oven and bake for 10-12 mins or until golden and just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the tins.
  4. Split the tomato vines so there are five tomatoes per person. Place on baking tray, drizzle over some olive oil and roast in the oven for 10 mins or until the skins start to blister.
  5. Meanwhile, blanch the basil in salted boiling water then refresh in cold water. Blend in a food processor with 75ml olive oil until liquid. Pour into a muslin-lined sieve over a bowl to drain.
  6. Place each cheesecake on a plate, top with the cherry tomatoes, and add drizzle of basil oil.

developed by James Shepherd -groom turned caterer and 2007 quater-finalist.


Bananas Foster

If you could have something named after you what would it be? a street? a tree? a town? I would like a dessert to bare my name, I am not sure which yet and I am opened to suggestions but I do envy lucky Mr Foster whose mate Chef Paul created this scrumptious recipe and named it after him.

He went to some trouble to recreate it, the gathering of the ingredients was the biggest hurdle, when the banana liqueur was acquired the bananas had disappeared, when they had reappeared the rum had gone. Eventually he got there and the eating was a blissful moment.


¼ cup (½ stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, cut in half
lengthwise, then halved
¼ cup dark rum
4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet.

Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum.

Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside,

Lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

recipe copied from the Brennan's website



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