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Food More quick dishes from the delicious new cookbook by Raymond Blanc

03:21  30 january  2021
03:21  30 january  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Raymond Blanc sitting at a table with a plate of food: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Mussel & saffron risotto

a pizza sitting on top of a stove: Chef Raymond Blanc says mussels and saffron are united harmoniously in this fabulous risotto © Provided by Daily Mail Chef Raymond Blanc says mussels and saffron are united harmoniously in this fabulous risotto

Mussels and saffron are united harmoniously in this fabulous risotto.

Serves 4 l Prep 20 mins l Cook 40 mins

For the mussels

For the risotto

To finish

First, the mussels. Ensure that all of them are tightly closed and not damaged before you begin to cook; any that are damaged or open should be discarded. The preparation can be done in advance (see tip across the bottom of the page). Drain the mussels.

In a large saucepan over a medium heat, sweat half the onion, the bay leaves and thyme in the butter for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high, add the mussels, pour in the wine, cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes. Drain in a sieve over a large bowl and discard any mussels that have not opened. Reserve the cooking juices – you will need about 200ml to make the risotto. Once the mussels have cooled, pick the meat from their shells, leaving a few in their shells for decoration, and put them all aside.

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For the risotto, melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the remaining onion, cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and stir in the rice. Add the bay leaves, saffron and cayenne pepper and lightly season with salt. Stir and cook on a medium heat for 2 minutes, until the grains of rice are shiny.

Pour in the mussel cooking liquor, the wine and the water or fish stock and stir again. Now cook on the gentlest simmer, with just a single bubble breaking the surface. Cover with a lid and leave for 20 minutes, but it mustn’t boil. Now it’s time for 5 minutes of some serious and fast stirring. At full speed, stir the risotto. The grains rub against each other, extracting the starch, and this gives the rice its creaminess. Yet every grain remains whole, unbroken. Taste – the rice should still have a slight bite.

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Add the cheese, butter and parsley, along with the cooked peas and spinach (if using), the cooked mussels and a strong squeeze of lemon. Stir, taste for seasoning, then serve.

A quick ratatouille

a bowl of food with stew: Raymond says that this ratatouille is cooked quickly but is still as delicious as the traditional version which is cooked slowly © Provided by Daily Mail Raymond says that this ratatouille is cooked quickly but is still as delicious as the traditional version which is cooked slowly

Ratatouille. Ah, just the sound of the word takes me straight to Provence and the Mediterranean, with its fabulous smells, sensations and extraordinary natural light. This dish is said to have originated in Nice, which once belonged to Italy, home of the tomato sauce. Traditionally, ratatouille is cooked slowly – this ratatouille may be quick, but I can assure you that it is also delicious.

Serves 4-6 l Prep 5 mins l Cook 15 mins

Prepare well before cooking begins. Dice the onion, finely slice the peeled garlic and put these to one side. Halve the courgette and aubergine lengthways and chop into 2-3cm pieces. Halve the pepper lengthways, remove the seeds and dice to about 2cm. Chop the tomatoes into larger chunks – the larger pieces add juice, colour, texture and huge flavour. Voilà! The preparation is done.

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Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan or casserole dish on a low heat. Leave for a moment then add the onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Sweat the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes – stir, but don’t brown them.

Increase the heat to high and add the courgette, aubergine, pepper and tomato. Season and stir. Place a lid on the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 6-8 minutes, letting the vegetables steam in their juices. Stir once or twice. Finally, taste and correct the seasoning. Serve the ratatouille straight from the pan.

Apple & blackberry crumble

a bowl of food on a plate: Raymond says he has been making this crumble for years and that it can be prepped a day in advance © Provided by Daily Mail Raymond says he has been making this crumble for years and that it can be prepped a day in advance

The British crumble is a classic home comfort. I’ve been making this version for years. The crumble topping and apple compote can be prepared a day in advance and kept in sealed containers in the fridge.

Serves 6-8 l Prep 15 mins l Cook 30 mins

For the crumble topping

For the apple compote

For the blackberries

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.

Peel, core and quarter the apples, then cut each quarter in half to create eight roughly square pieces from each apple. Put in a large saucepan with the water and cover with a lid. In a large bowl, mix the flour and sugar. Add the butter and mix with the tips of your fingers to achieve a sandy texture. This will take 4-5 minutes. Next, mix with your hands to create nuggets of raw crumble. Scatter this crumble topping directly onto a baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes, until rich and golden. Remove the tray and scrape the mixture with a spatula to break up some of the larger pieces. Leave the crumble to cool on the tray.

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Now, place the apples in the saucepan over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the apples start to break down. Stir in the vanilla, if using.

Next, do the blackberries. In a frying pan on a medium heat, melt the caster sugar into a syrup and add the butter. Swirl the pan to melt the butter, then add the blackberries. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and reserve.


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Serve in either a large serving dish or in individual bowls. Spoon in the blackberries, cover with apple compote and then top with the gorgeous crumble. Serve with clotted cream, crème fraîche, custard or ice cream.

Pan-fried pork chops with steamed kale & apple sauce

a plate of food on a table: Raymond's pan-fried pork chops with steamed kale and apple sauce is a multitask dish © Provided by Daily Mail Raymond's pan-fried pork chops with steamed kale and apple sauce is a multitask dish

This is a multitask dish. The apple sauce is fresh-tasting and nutritious. Meanwhile, the pork chops are placed into the hot pan when the butter is at beurre noisette stage – hazelnut brown, foaming, and with a slightly nutty aroma. The chops will be gently caramelised, and the juices will create deposits on the pan. These, in turn, will give you the most marvellous jus.

Serves 2 l Prep 5 mins l Cook 20 mins

For the apple sauce

For the wilted kale

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First, make the apple sauce. Peel and core the apples, and chop them into pieces of about 2cm. In a medium pan with a lid and on a medium heat, cook the apple pieces in the water for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apple pieces are soft enough to be broken with the back of a fork. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the sauce to cool until ready to serve. It can be blended to a purée or left as it is, with more texture than a purée.

While the apple sauce is cooking, put the kale in a medium pan, add the water, season with the salt and place the butter on top of the kale. Cover the pan with a lid, and leave it for now. Next, season the pork chops with the salt and pepper. In a large frying pan over a medium heat, melt the butter and when it is foaming (at the beurre noisette stage), carefully add the thyme sprigs, and place the pork chops in the pan. Cook the chops for 7 minutes each side, until golden and appetising. After you have turned the chops, cook the kale.

Put the kale pan, covered with a lid, on a high heat. Very quickly the kale begins to steam and it will take 3-4 minutes to cook. Drain the kale, and taste for seasoning. In the final minute of the chops frying, pour the water into the hot pan. Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle – don’t you love the reassuring sound of near completion! Divide the kale between two plates, place a chop on top, and spoon the hot pan juices over. Serve with the apple sauce.

Flourless chocolate mousse cake

a piece of chocolate cake on a plate: This flourless chocolate mousse cake is popular with ‘students’ at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School © Provided by Daily Mail This flourless chocolate mousse cake is popular with ‘students’ at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School

A fabulous dessert and popular with ‘students’ at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School.

Tomato Beef Barley Soup

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Serves 8-10 l Prep 20 mins l Cook 30 mins l Set 3 hours

For the sponge

For the mousse

To serve (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3½. Begin by making the chocolate sponge in a springform cake tin, 15cm in diameter. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper to cover the base, and lightly butter the paper on both sides.

Separate the eggs. In a food mixer on high, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks, adding the sugar little by little. Take a third of them and whisk them into the egg yolks. Once incorporated, gently fold in the remaining whisked whites. Now sift and fold in the cocoa powder. Pour into the cake tin and spread evenly. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool before removing from the tin, then cool fully on a wire rack.

Clean the cake tin, and remove the paper from the sponge. Now put the cooled sponge back in the ring ready for the mousse.Chop the chocolate then melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. The chocolate should be hot to the touch to ensure it is incorporated in the next stage. Sift the cocoa into a bowl and whisk it with the egg yolk and hot water. Pour onto the melted chocolate but do not mix.

Whisk the egg whites and sugar to medium peaks. Whisk about a third of the whisked egg white into the melted chocolate, and then fold in the remaining egg white. Pour the mousse onto the sponge in the ring, then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

To remove the cake, heat a palette knife in hot water, then slide it around the inside of the tin to release. Before serving, decorate with a dusting of cocoa, grated chocolate and nuts, if using.

Note: this dish contains raw egg.

Assiette de crudités, Maman Blanc

a plate of food with broccoli: Raymond says his assiette de crudités holds so many fond memories of his mother and father for him © Provided by Daily Mail Raymond says his assiette de crudités holds so many fond memories of his mother and father for him

Here is one of my favourite beginnings to a meal, one that holds so many fond memories. In his cherished garden, my father grew the vegetables. In her beloved kitchen, my mother transformed them. Every Sunday, after Mass, our dining table was adorned by this hors d’oeuvre of mostly raw vegetables with a delicious dressing.

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Serves 4-6 l Prep 1 hour l Cook 10 mins, plus 1½ hours for the beetroot

For the dressing

Begin by washing and trimming the beetroot. Place them in a large pan and cover with water. Over a high heat, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook like this for 1½ hours (if you prefer, the beetroot can be steamed). Allow the beetroot to cool slightly before peeling and slicing.

While the beetroot are cooking, you can prepare the other components:

Eggs: boil for 10 minutes. Cool in cold water for 1 minute, then peel while still warm. Leave in a bowl of cold water and halve just before serving.

Raymond Blanc sitting at a table with food: Extracted from Simply Raymond: 100 Quick And Easy Recipes by Raymond Blanc © Provided by Daily Mail Extracted from Simply Raymond: 100 Quick And Easy Recipes by Raymond Blanc

French beans: top and tail them. Blanch for 2 minutes in a saucepan of boiling, salted water. Drain and refresh the beans in a bowl of iced water. Drain and put them to one side.

Celeriac: peel and slice or coarsely grate into long strips, using a mandolin or spiraliser if you have one, and mix with 2tbsp lemon juice (to stop the celeriac turning brown).

Cucumber: peel and finely slice.

Tomatoes: chop into chunky pieces (roughly 3cm big).

Carrots: peel, grate and mix with 1tbsp lemon juice to stop the carrots turning brown.

Lettuce: pick and wash.

To make the dressing, use a whisk to combine the ingredients, taste and correct the seasoning if necessary.

Divide the vegetables into separate bowls and I recommend you mix them with the dressing like this: 2tbsp dressing with the beetroot, cucumber, tomatoes and carrots; 1tbsp dressing with the beans; 4tbsp with the celeriac.

To serve, toss the salad leaves with about 3tbsp of the dressing and place them on a large serving plate. Arrange the dressed vegetables on top and around the plate. Garnish with the boiled egg halves. Add a little extra dressing if necessary.

Extracted from Simply Raymond: 100 Quick And Easy Recipes by Raymond Blanc, to be published by Headline Home on 29 April 2021 at £25. © Raymond Blanc 2021.

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8 fantastic cookbooks for celebrating the Lunar New Year .
— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Though Lunar New Year traditions may vary among the different Asian American communities in the U.S., food is always a main element of festivities. 2021 celebrates the Year of the Ox, the second animal on the Chinese zodiac, which is an auspicious sign of strength, hard work, and determination. In the Chinese householdIn the Chinese household that I grew up in, we celebrate the month-long Spring Festival with a combination of going out to restaurants and eating homemade meals with relatives.

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