The 'P' Garden
Friday, May 29, 2009
The 'P' Garden
I'm in Grand Rapids
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Sweet Cicely the Star of this Flour-less Cake
8-inch springform pan, lined with parchment paper and lightly buttered
preheat oven to 375° F
1-1/4 cups blanched almonds
4 eggs, separated
1 cup caster sugar, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sweet cicely
grated rind and juice of 3 oranges (about 1-1/4 cups juice and 3 tablespoons rind)
1 tablespoon Anisette or other anise-flavored liqueur, optional
1. Using a food processor, chop the almonds until they are coarse. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with ½ cup of the sugar until thick. With the motor running, add the yolk mixture through the opening in the lid, processing until the mixture is thick and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the orange rind. If the mixture is too thick, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the orange juice, until it is of batter consistency.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sugar over and beat until the peaks hold their shape. Fold half of the meringue into the almond mixture until just evenly mixed. Fold the other half into the almond mixture, being careful not to over mix in order to keep the air in the whites.
3. Spoon the almond mixture into the prepared springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until set in the center and a light golden color. Cool and transfer to a serving plate.
4. Make orange sauce: In a saucepan, combine orange juice and remaining sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Adjust heat and lightly boil for 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the liqueur if using. Drizzle the orange sauce over the top of the cake and let sit for 20 minutes or longer before serving.
5. To garnish, lay fresh sweet cicely leaves over the cake and sprinkle icing sugar or cocoa over the leaves to impart a leaf pattern. Garnish the serving plate with fresh sweet cicely leaves.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Wild Leek Loaf
1/3 cup chopped wild leeks, save 6 whole, with leaves for garnishing the top
2 cups chicken stock
½ tsp salt
1-1/2 cups couscous
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
1 small zucchini, diced
8 oz/228 g mushrooms, chopped
½ cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
1. Line a 2 L (8 cup) loaf tin with plastic wrap, letting it overhang on the long sides. Lay 1 or 2 the wild leek(s) on the base of the tin, set aside in a cool place. Set aside remaining whole leeks for garnish later.
2. In a saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in salt and couscous. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
3. Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and onion for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the garam masala, coriander and red pepper flakes if using. Cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Add the remaining oil and cook the zucchini and mushrooms for 7 minutes, or until soft. Let cool.
4. Add the onion-mushroom mixture and the red bell pepper to the couscous. Cover and chill for an hour. Press the mixture into the tin, pressing it in and around the leek on the bottom of the tin. Fold the plastic wrap over to cover. Weigh down with food tins and chill overnight.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Here's what Chuck has to say about the species of horsetail growing near him:
Your mystery plant is what I have always known as horsetail, an Equisetum species I believe. The horsetail I know has vertical ridges on the stems, and is very abrasive, I think due to its high silica content. Sometimes it is called "scouring rush" for this property. It's what Jim Long uses in his foot soak for toenail fungus, too. It grows along ditchbanks here like the "gone wild" photo you sent, usually on the shady side of the ditch or in slightly moist sites, where more aggressive grasses predominate. For all I know, there may be hundreds of species of Equisetum. The trouble with common names is that they aren't usually that uniform across geography.
Chuck sent this link for more interesting information on both Eleocharis and Equisetum (horsetail and other interesting common names).
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tune in on Friday May 8 for the new Mystery Herb but just in case you are hankering for a new challenge, here is my Name Those Furry Things- probably only once will I do this.
Congrats to Simon who correctly named Horsetail as the Mystery Herb. My little herb handbook, Oregano is going out to him or he might want this book if he doesn't already have it.
This is the little spore head - this was taken Sunday May 3.
Help, Waiter! There's a WASP in my Scales