roasted pumpkin and ricotta gratin

by Sam on January 27, 2015

roasted pumpkin and ricotta gratin

My adoration with ricotta deepens every day and I love using it in both sweet and savoury recipes. its fresh neutral taste lends itself to so many different flavour applications, and its a joy to play with. It’s wonderful to eat at breakfast – on its own, with honey drizzled over it and fresh fruit and a cake like bread, and its wonderful to bake it into things. Like this roasted pumpkin gratin. It puffs up into an almost soufflé like texture and is quite scrumptious.

roasted pumpkin and ricotta gratin

I roast the pumpkin before to ensure its cooked through and the process adds wonderful flavour. The resultant texture in the gratin is quite soft, but it’s that sort of comfort I’m looking for. I added a breadcrumb and Parmesan topping to create some texture. A scattering of toasted pine nuts would be wonderful too. [click to continue…]

{ 3 comments }

a few fabulous canapés

by Sam on January 23, 2015

bloody mary shots with crispy bacon strips canapé

carpaccio of beef on a crostini with cheats aioli

caramelised pear and gorgonzola cigars in phyllo canape

cauliflower and taleggio cheese croquettes

mini grilled pinapple tart tartins with minty creme fraiche

salmon tartare in wonton cups

I was delighted to be featured in the January issue of Food & Home Entertaining with four of these five canapé recipes. The magazine was on shelf from mid December to mid January so smack over the hectic party season which now feels like million miles away. These would have been perfect for then. [click to continue…]

{ 10 comments }

four delicious salads and a week end away

by Sam on January 20, 2015

slow roasted tomatoes wth mozzarella and basil

slow roasted tomatoes wth mozzarella and basil

zucchini 'linguine' with Parmesan

zucchini 'linguine' with Parmesan

green beans with red onion and Pecorino

green beans with red onion and Pecorino

asparagus with anchovy butter and Parmesan

asparagus with anchovy butter and Parmesan

I spent last week-end away in the beautiful hamlet of Churchaven up the West Coast. It was just what I needed after an abrupt start to my work year, giving me three days to recharge my batteries again and revel in this idyllic environment. I wanted to try these four delicious salad recipes out on my friends, because summer and salads at the beach seemed the perfect way to go.

Churchaven, South Africa

I wanted to shoot in the gorgeous cottage we stayed in and, luckily for me, one which I will be visiting often this year.

I discovered that recipe testing, entertaining friends and shooting all at the same time is quite tricky and I ran out of steam when the food got to the table. The whole thing was quite a production and I just wanted everyone to get stuck in as opposed to watch me dither around taking more pictures. I thoroughly regret this decision because everything was quite beautiful and I wish I’d persevered. My friends are very understanding of my weird ways with food. [click to continue…]

{ 12 comments }

raspberry and limoncello ice cream

by Sam on January 15, 2015

raspberry and limoncello ice cream

Raspberries and lemon go well together as flavour partners so I thought why not add Limoncello instead? A splash of booze in ice cream improves the texture and makes things a little more grown up.

raspberry ice cream with limoncello

I havent added too much so it doesn’t take over the party, but I adore the refreshing citrus it gives this creamy ice cream. [click to continue…]

{ 15 comments }

grapefruit brûlée with black pepper

by Sam on January 12, 2015

grapefruit brûlée with black pepperI’m not a fan of the bitter flavour profile in food, but grapefruit is the one exception. I absolutely adore a juicy pink grapefruit and learnt in my teens how to enjoy it on its own, sans any sugar. I was no doubt dieting at the time. I have also discovered that a few grinds of black pepper adds wonderful flavour and gives the fruit a subtle nuance of heat – in a similar way to how it works so well with strawberries. Life is all about making the everyday special, and adding black pepper and sugar to your grapefruit, and then melting it under a blowtorch until it caramelises to a golden crisp, takes the whole eating experience to another level.

grapefruit brûlée with black pepper

You could pre segment the fruit in each half after its been cut, but I kind of like digging it out with a serrated spoon. That way I am assured that I will gauge out all the pink flesh. You can use whatever sugar you like. The darker the sugar the more caramel the flavour. I settled on a light brown sugar, but next time I want to try it with palm sugar, because this is hands down my most favourite sugar in the world. [click to continue…]

{ 6 comments }