SCOTLAND'S culinary excellence is showcased next month when Taste of Edinburgh comes to town. Here, some of the chefs taking part in the inaugural food festival share their cooking philosophy and an exclusive recipe or two
With his cherubic curls and cornflower blue eyes Tom Kitchin, 29, appears so laid back, he's almost horizontal. It's co-owner and wife Michaela who looks stressed out. Midway through our conversation she comes over, looking fraught. "Table 14 are desperate to speak to you, please come over and chat to them," she pleads. Edinburgh-born Kitchin breaks off the interview and strolls over to meet a few of his fans. This is what it must be like to be a Michelin star-winning chef (he got the gong in January) and owner of The Kitchin, Leith's current gastronomic hot-spot serving Scottish fare with a French influence. Earlier this month he became the youngest-ever winner of the prestigious Scottish Chef of the Year award. Is he feeling the strain, despite his unflustered appearance?
"I suppose it is quite a lot of pressure, it was such a shock because we weren't angling for a Michelin star at all. It was never in my mind that we were going to get one because the restaurant was so young. It's been non-stop but I just take it in my stride."
He says all this in an Edinburgh accent with French inflections. This hotchpotch is a souvenir from working for almost a decade alongside some of the world's most famous chefs, including Pierre Koffman in the three-star Michelin La Tante Claire, Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris and Alain Ducasse's Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo. He was inspired to open his restaurant in Scotland after working with our local langoustines, beef and scallops and thinking "why the hell don't we use these ingredients at home when people pay a packet to ship them over here?"
The restaurant has been open barely a year and the star was secured after only six months. Why such a buzz? "Well, from nature to plate is our philosophy. I am passionate about sourcing the produce, I want to know where the fish and langoustines are caught and where every vegetable has come from."
Today's menu offers the avant garde sounding "pig's head with roast langoustines and crispy ears". "It's not as gruesome as it sounds," he says. "I want food that gets people talking. People are bored of crappy farmed salmon and mundane chicken breast," he says. And don't expect inflated prices.
"People who haven't dined in Michelin restaurants before need not be scared of coming to The Kitchin. The restaurant isn't stupidly expensive, there are no tablecloths, stuffiness is banned and you can dress as scruffily as you like," he says.
So, leave your black tie at home when you come to his Sunday demonstration at the Taste of Edinburgh festival. He's not setting up a stall because, with such a small team, he'd hate "customers to spot me in the Meadows when I should be in my own kitchen".
That's what we like, a conscientious chef.
TOM KITCHIN'S SCALLOPS AND ASPARAGUS
West coast hand-dived scallops wrapped in pancetta with roast spring asparagus and herb beurre blanc.
2 slices of finely cut pancetta
2 hand-dived scallops
4 spears of asparagus
For the sauce:
100ml white wine
10 cracked peppercorns
1 tablespoon of cream
150g unsalted butter
chervil and dill for garnish
1 Wrap the pancetta around the middle of the scallops (ensuring the pancetta is all the way around).
2 Insert a cocktail stick to ensure it holds the pancetta during cooking.
3 Prepare the asparagus by taking off the woody ends.
4 Place the asparagus in a hot frying pan with olive oil and salt and roast until tender.
5 In another pan sear the scallops with the pancetta until the pancetta starts to cook. The pancetta will then give great flavour to the scallops.
To make the sauce:
1 Place the white wine in a pan.
2 Slice the shallot.
3 Add the sliced shallot and the cracked peppercorns and reduce until dry.
4 Once dry, add a tablespoon of cream to stabilise the sauce.
5 Whisk in the butter.
6 Add salt and a dash of sherry vinegar if needed.
7 Pass it through a sieve.
To dress the plate:
1 Place the roast asparagus on the plate.
2 Place the roast scallops on top.
3 Drizzle with sauce around the asparagus and scallops.
4 Garnish with sprigs of chervil and dill.
Tartare of mackerel with quail egg, cucumber and beetroot dressing, served with curly Melba toast.
1 fresh mackerel
1/2 finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
salt and pepper
sliced cucumber to fit a mould
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cooked beetroots, blitzed to make a pure
1 quail egg
sourdough bread, thinly sliced
1 Fillet the mackerel, discard the skin, and cut the flesh away from the bone.
2 In a chilled chopping bowl, finely chop the mackerel (or use a chopping board and transfer to a bowl).
3 Add the chopped shallots, chives, soy sauce and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4 Transfer mixture to a chilled cucumber mould. Top with the beetroot pure and a little crme frache.
5 Boil the quail egg for 2 minutes 45 seconds, put in an ice bath to cool, then peel and slice for a garnish.
6 Put the thinly sliced sourdough in a warm oven until crispy. Serve with the mackerel tartare.
For Stuart Muir, the 38-year-old head chef of Harvey Nichols' luxurious Forth Floor restaurant and brasserie, there are no tantrums and tiaras in the kitchen - it's a hard-working but relaxed environment. "I don't shout because there's absolutely no need when you've got a good team working for you," he says.
Being a pleasant boss certainly works well for him, and hopefully it means that when he sets up the Forth Floor's area at the Taste of Edinburgh event he'll have his team of 22 chefs behind him all the way, enthusiastically pulling together the dishes that they've conceived using only the best of Scottish produce. He sees being head chef as very much an egalitarian effort; developing the menus takes a bit of teamwork. "I initially come up with an idea, then talk to the chefs about how we want it and then we develop the dishes together," he says. "It's not about my sole ownership of each dish."
His involvement in Taste of Edinburgh is yet another addition to what must be the perfect curriculum vitae for any chef. Muir was previously head chef at such esteemed restaurants as The Balmoral and The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, and earned a Michelin star early in his career when he was a young chef at Knockinaam Lodge near Portpatrick.
But he's no epicurean snob - Muir's a patriotic chef, originally from Stranraer, and his home country provides his extensive larder. "I do love local produce," he says, "If it's Scottish and I can get my hands on it then I'll buy it.
"I have Scottish scallops on the Forth Floor restaurant and brasserie menu throughout the year, changing how they're presented from season to season. Plus, pork from Aberdeen is another favourite, as well as the best beef and roast lamb from Inverurie. However, the most popular item on the menu at the moment is my Scottish lobster with pink grapefruit".
The quality of meat and fish are of paramount importance to Muir, and much of the produce he uses at Harvey Nichols is organic. Logistically, however, his enthusiasm for feeding customers organic food might not extend to catering for the masses expected at Taste of Edinburgh.
"I am totally into organic food but, unfortunately, it all depends on availability and, as apparently there'll be an incredible 15,000 people going to this event, it might not be so easy to source enough organic produce for that amount of customers," Muir says. Be sure he'll try his best though.
Despite the descending throngs that'll be clamouring for a taste of Forth Floor grub, Muir isn't fazed at all (and is looking forward to briefly skiving off to grab some food from Martin Wishart and Dakota).
The three courses that'll be served to visitors at Taste of Edinburgh are currently in development but expect "restaurant-style food, using seafood, salads and lovely fresh products" with ingredients including some of his favourite signature dishes. These include salmon as a starter and fresh sea-bass for a main, chosen for their "light, summery flavours". And maybe, if we're lucky, to round off the sea-food feast we'll get some of Muir's special chocolate pudding as dessert.
"It'll be really good fun," he says. "Just as long as the weather stays fine.
"For me it's just another day at work, but with the added opportunity to be out in the fresh air of the Meadows. Edinburgh has completely transformed over the past ten to 15 years and the restaurant scene is fantastic and highly regarded.
"It really is the perfect time for us to be showcased."
GRILLED JOHN DORY WITH HOME-MADE CHIPS AND CURRY SAUCE
For the herb butter:
Mix all 3 together.
For the curry sauce:
200ml chicken stock
200ml pineapple juice
1/2 g saffron
1/2 dessert spoon curry powder
Reduce the stock and pineapple juice with the saffron and curry powder. Add the cream and reduce for a further 5-10 minutes.
1 fillet of John Dory
1 baker potato
1 Place the herb butter under the skin of the fish.
2 Pan fry the John Dory in a little oil and butter.
3 Peel the potato and cut it into thick wedges. Deep-fry these.
4 Braise the cabbage in the cream and add the pancetta.
5 Julienne the horseradish and also deep-fry this.
6 Place the fish on a plate. Layer the potatoes to the side and pour the curry sauce around the plate.
POLENTA AND LEMON CAKE WITH LEMON THYME ICE-CREAM
For the cake:
1 vanilla pod
4 lemons (juice and zest)
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
450g ground almonds
1 Mix the butter and the sugar until creamy and soft. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one by one.
2 Zest the lemons and squeeze the juice, then add to the butter and sugar mix.
3 Fold the polenta, baking powder, salt and ground almonds slowly into the butter and sugar mix.
4 Grease an 8in spring form tin and fill with the polenta mixture.
5 Cook at 155C for 1 hour.
For the ice-cream:
1 vanilla pod
1 sprig of lemon thyme, finely chopped
1 Boil the cream, milk, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon thyme together.
2 Whisk the eggs and the sugar until smooth.
3 Slowly, and whisking constantly, add the cream mixture into the eggs.
4 Leave it to cool down for 10 minutes then put it into an ice-cream maker.
Q&A: Jean-Christophe Novelli
Sweet or sour?
I like both of them equally, you can't have one without the other because they complement each other so well.
Cooked or raw?
Mainly cooked, I think food tastes better and more flavour is released when something is cooked properly.
Take away or silver service?
I would definitely go for takeaway. I don't like silver service so much, eating should be relaxed and chefs can express themselves better. It's not how you're served, it's what is coming out of the kitchen.
Chocolate or vanilla?
I love both, I can't do without either. You can cook both of them into savoury as well as sweet desserts. I have recipes for vanilla and tomato sauce and one which combines pork with chocolate, both delicious.
Rice or pasta?
Pasta for sure. I do a lot of exercise including triathalons and always eat pasta as it's a lot easier to digest.
3 squares or grazing?
I don't eat after 3pm any more, it's perfect for me and means I sleep better at night. I usually use my juicer in the morning, it makes it easy to incorporate yoghurt, fruits and vegetables into my breakfast. That keeps me going until lunch and then I'll have a normal meal, like pasta, salad or whatever. You have to be consistent with the times you eat. It's better to have two or three meals a day - grazing on food all the time means your stomach is having to digest constantly.
Cheese or dessert?
I use cheese to cook with, but I think I prefer dessert. I used to be a baker when I was a boy and I still have a sweet tooth. You couldn't imagine how many sweets I used to eat.
I'd be lost without a good saucepan. You can't do without one, it needs a heavy bottom, a good handle for a grip and a non-stick base so sauces don't burn. Le Creuset are great to cook with; they're heavy to carry but cook perfectly. I'm launching a new saucepan range in September - they'll be available everywhere.
HONEY-GLAZED LAMB KNUCKLE WITH RED WINE SAUCE
I serve this in shallow bowls, with confit vegetables surrounding the lamb knuckle, and the bone decorated with a fried bay leaf and Pommes Carlos - a potato flower made from wafer-thin slices of potato.
4 lamb knuckles or lamb shanks
a little oil
freshly ground salt and black pepper
2 carrots, cut into chunks
2 onions, cut into chunks
2 leeks, cut into chunks
225g celeriac, cut into chunks
1 head of garlic, broken up
handful of mixed rosemary, bay and thyme
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons honey
For the sauce:
20g sliced shallots
10g sliced celery
20g sliced button mushrooms
25g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mixed herbs, including tarragon, parsley and basil
250ml red wine
1 Remove any excess fat and trim the meat to expose a length of bone. Reserve meat trimmings.
2 Heat a little oil in a roasting pan on the hob. Season the knuckles and add to the pan with the vegetables. Brown them quickly all over.
3 While they brown, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Plunge the knuckles in it for 1-2 minutes. This "blanching" helps the meat retract around the bone and keep it in one piece.
4 Drain and put in a clean pan with the vegetables, garlic and herbs together with enough water to cover the meat. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 11/2 hours to the point where the meat is almost falling off the bone. Remove the knuckles from the stock and keep warm. Reserve the stock.
5 Make the sauce: preheat the oven to 160C. Sweat the sliced vegetables in a little of the butter to soften them without browning them. Add the reserved lamb trimmings and the mixed herbs and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
6 Pour in the red wine and bubble until reduced by half. Add 500ml of the reserved lamb stock and reduce again by half. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and whisk these in, a few at a time. Season to taste and pass through a fine sieve.
7 Pour half of the sauce into a roasting pan. Stir in the lemon juice and honey. Add the knuckles and coat with this glaze. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, removing every 5 minutes to baste the knuckles.
8 To serve, remove the knuckles from the roasting pan and keep warm. Add the remaining sauce to the pan and heat through.
9 Place each knuckle or lamb shank on a warmed plate, pour on a little sauce and serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables of choice.
Andalouse of Sole
For the sole fillets:
6 large sole fillets
salt and pepper
handful of fresh herbs, including thyme flower and bay leaves, to garnish
Parmesan, to garnish
For the piperade:
400ml olive oil
1 large courgette, sliced at an angle
2 medium aubergines, sliced at an angle, then halved
8 large shallots, peeled
8 baby fennel, trimmed
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut in half
2 yellow peppers, deseeded and cut in half
2 green peppers, deseeded and cut in half
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
freshly ground salt and pepper
200g sun-dried tomatoes
10 red cherry tomatoes
carton of sun-dried tomato juice, reduced to a third
3 star anise
pinch of white sugar
salt and pepper
a good handful of black olives
20 basil leaves
6 warm soft-boiled eggs, halved
200ml truffle oil
rocket, mizuna to garnish - hold in cold water until ready to use
1 Heat the olive oil in a pan.
2 Add all the vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, sun-dried tomato juice, star anise, pinch of sugar and season.
3 Cover with a tight-fitting lid and leave over a low heat until the vegetables are just soft to the touch.
4 Remove the pan from the heat and add the olives and basil to warm through.
5 Brush the sole fillets with a little olive oil and vanilla seed and season with salt and pepper.
6 Grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side, skin side upwards first. If fillets are quite thick, they may require 4 minutes on each side.
7 Place a sole fillet on each dish with the vegetables and soft-boiled eggs.
8 Add the fresh herbs and shaved Parmesan to garnish the fish and dress the plate with the truffle oil, rocket and mizuna. Serve.
You just rub it here," Roy Brett gently strokes the lobster's head with two fingers. "You do that 30 times and it helps them go to sleep." Around the tenth pass, the crustacean grows positively floppy. "People always think you're taking the piss," Brett laughs. But I don't need further convincing.
This demonstration takes place at the back of his new kitchen in Dakota, the hotel that looks as if it beamed down from space and landed at the foot of the Forth Bridge, while we're excitedly exploring the contents of Brett's fish fridge.
Brett's passion for food is evident from the way he respects his ingredients and everyone involved in their cultivation and preparation. So, for example, he follows RSPCA guidelines when killing the lobsters. "I have a lot of respect for the product. I respect the fishermen who catch it and the creature itself. I like to serve it to the best of my ability and to respect it all the way through its journey. The young chefs in this kitchen see first-hand how to work with shellfish and they really care about it." He looks around at his team, diligently working away ahead of lunch service. "I want to see them become food lovers more than chefs. I'm putting a bit of care into them just now and we'll see where they go next - but not too soon!"
Brett grew up in Corstorphine, where Sunday meant homemade steak pie followed by rice pudding with Golden Syrup. His first job, at age 16, was at the Caledonian Hotel, tackling everything kitchen-related. "I did make quite a good cup of coffee after a few years! I'd say that my real learning curve came when I worked [in London] with Mark Hix, of the Caprice group, around 1992. He used to take us to restaurants at the weekends. We'd go to Alastair Little's and try tuna salad, and the next week we'd have a tuna salad that Mark had perfected. When the Fifth Floor at Harvey Nichols opened I remember going with Mark and eating Tripe Milanese for the first time - it was one of the best experiences!"
Working with Hix, Brett realised there was more to a restaurant than food. "It's about a busy room, people laughing, as well as good food. I like restaurants where I feel I can have a good time; where you're enjoying yourself and your friends. Then the food comes and the wines are good. I never want this place to be paying homage to the food. People create the atmosphere. That's what makes a good night."
If he has a signature style, he says, it's summed up in the word simplicity. "If I'm getting good oysters, the last thing I want to do with this fantastic product is not do it justice, and the only way I know best to serve it is by opening it properly, keeping it clean and serving it over a bed of ice with some shallot vinaigrette. For me that's perfect food."
He cites Rick Stein, whom he worked with from 2001 until returning to Scotland, as another great influence. Stein taught him to loosen up, not be so regimented. "Rick is so honest and so human about his approach to the kitchen. He was never above talking to you, he would explain in depth about food and he had a palate as well, which reached further than any other chef I've ever worked with."
Like Stein's place in Cornwall, The Dakota Grill specialises in fish, which is only natural given its proximity to the sea. Asked if there are special challenges working with fish, Brett says it starts in the market. "Brilliant fish merchants know exactly what's in prime condition. What excites me about fish is that it's what happens that very morning. You get the phone call, 'Listen, I can't send you [what you ordered], it's not good, but I've got wonderful John Dory. I've got eight fish, do you want them?' Or a phone call saying, 'There's some spanking halibut, do you want it?' Of course I want it! Sometimes it gets fraught, when it's half past eleven and I don't know what will be on the menu yet, but that's almost the actual beauty of it."
Scotland, he says, has much going for it on the culinary front, not least, its chefs. "We've got our years behind us, and we're actually giving something back for the years that we've trained. There's a lot to be celebrated among my peers. Martin Wishart, Andrew Fairlie, Tony Singh, Geoff Smeddle. There are a lot of wonderful chefs and teachers in the kitchens now."
He's hoping Taste of Edinburgh will have a celebratory, carnival feel. "Food awareness is big in Scotland now. We've got one of the best larders in the world and we should just enjoy it."
BAKED EGGS WITH BROWN SHRIMPS AND CAPERS
2 tablespoons softened butter
salt and pepper
200g cooked brown shrimps
4 teaspoons mini capers
4 tablespoons double cream
parsley, to garnish
1 Set the oven at 170C. Take four moulds or cups and brush with the softened butter.
2 Season well with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the shrimps and capers, reserving some.
3 Carefully pour the eggs on top, two for each mould or cup.
4 Spoon a little cream over the eggs and sprinkle over the remaining shrimps and capers, then garnish with a little parsley.
5 Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Serve with toasted sourdough.
GRILLED GOATS CHEESE, BEETROOT AND ASPARAGUS SALAD
This dish is very simple to prepare and makes a great summertime treat.
1 bunch of asparagus
walnut bread, toasted
200g goats cheese
2 shallots, diced
juice of 1 lemon
vinaigrette (see below)
1 bunch of mustard cress
For the vinaigrette:
3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons English mustard
75ml walnut oil
250ml olive oil
salt and pepper
1 First make the vinaigrette. In a blender mix together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Simply add the oils to the solution until homogenised.
2 To prepare the asparagus, peel down the stalks and discard the ends. Lightly steam for one minute and refresh over ice then set aside.
3 Cook the beetroot in simmering water for 30 minutes or until tender. Again refresh over ice and set aside.
4 Slice the walnut bread into bite-sized pieces and toast on both sides and set aside.
5 Now slice the goats cheese into rounds and place on to the toast.
6 Mix together the vinaigrette and the shallots together with the lemon juice.
7 Now peel the cooked beetroot and slice into rounds and arrange in the centre of the plate.
8 Dress with a little of the shallot vinaigrette.
9 Place the goats cheese toasts under the grill, drizzle with a little dressing then set aside.
10 Layer the asparagus, cress and goats cheese toasts. Season then serve.
I was introduced to the flavours of Tiramisu by Georgio Locatelli in his London restaurant Zafani in 1995.
1 egg white
340ml double cream
60ml Gran Marnier
8 Savoiardi biscuits
4 espresso coffees
1 Make a stiff meringue, whisking the egg white and adding the sugar slowly.
2 Whisk the mascapone, adding the Gran Marnier slowly.
3 Whisk the cream until "soft peaked" and then whisk the cream into the mascapone, then fold in the meringue.
4 To assemble, cut the biscuits into the size required and soak in espresso.
5 Layer the biscuits and marscapone mix equally and dust with the chocolate shavings.
Head chef and owner of Oloroso and Roti restaurants, Tony Singh, likes a bit of banter. When I ask him what the delicious smell emanating from the kitchens at his award-winning restaurant Oloroso is, he says, "It's not the food, it's my chicken stock aftershave, don't I smell great?" Whatever it is that's filling the room with an enticing aroma, it's certainly making my stomach rumble.
Amazingly, when you consider that he's only 35, Singh's been in the restaurant business for nearly 20 years. He has been head chef on the Royal Scotsman train and has worked at the Balmoral Hotel, Martins Restaurant and the Royal Yacht Britannia.
A staunch Leith man, Singh works 60 to 70 hours a week to make sure that his Edinburgh restaurants remain at the top of their game. Each offers a different dining experience. After five years, Oloroso is well known as one of the most stylish restaurants in the capital, with its coolly chic roof terrace and panoramic views across the city. "We get lots of celebs in but I don't give out their names," a tight-lipped Singh says. "That's why they keep coming back."
He may be discreet when it comes to disclosing identities, but when I ask him if there have been any crazy antics at the restaurant, he tells me about a graduation party a few years ago in the private dining room, which descended into debauchery. "The guys and girls flung their pants onto the roof and I had to go out and fly-fish with a rod to get them," he recalls.
Diners are presented with Scottish food with some French and Indian influences, prepared by his team of 14 chefs. Singh sources locally, but only to a point: "We specialise in Scottish produce, beef, and vegetables, but you can't get good mangoes in Scotland."
As director of his other two-year-old restaurant, Roti, Singh can be more experimental with a menu influenced by his Indian heritage. The mantra here is: "Roti is not an Indian restaurant but it does serve Indian food!"
"About eight or nine years ago everyone was going mad for regional Italian cooking," Singh explains. "But there's a whole lot of stuff that hasn't been discovered about Indian food. I like to use regional techniques and styles but incorporating modern presentation."
His menu at Roti showcases such exotic delights as Spicy East Indian Fish Curry with Zesty Rice and Deep Fried Okra. He says he'll be demonstrating how we can make similarly styled dishes at the Taste of Edinburgh event. "I'll throw in a bit of chat, and I might even include a bit of dancing," he says, in typical cheeky style.
WARM CHARLOTTE OF CHILLI PINEAPPLE WITH LEMON ICE-CREAM
You will need six ring moulds measuring 10cm x 8cm.
1 large all-butter brioche
5g freshly ground nutmeg
5g mixed spice
5g ground ginger
200g dark brown sugar
1 large Delmonte Gold pineapple
11/2 red chillies, de-seeded and finely diced
100ml OVD rum
1 litre lemon ice-cream, follow recipe
1 Remove the crusts from the brioche.
2 Slice six to eight long slices, about 1cm thick, from the brioche. These will make the cases of your individual charlottes.
3 Cut out 12 disks from the slices to give the tops and bottoms for the charlottes.
4 Then cut bands the height of the moulds out of the rest of the brioche - these will provide the walls of the charlottes.
5 Take all the spices and mix with 100g of the sugar and grind in a food processor.
6 Melt 100g of the butter in a small pan, brush the cut brioche with the butter, then sprinkle with the spiced sugar.
7 Line the bottom and sides of the buttered moulds with the brioche slices.
8 Trim up the pineapple, and cut into 2cm cubes.
9 Heat up a heavy-bottomed pan, until you see a stong haze come off it.
10 Pop the pineapple into the pan at which point it will start to caramelise. To this add the remaining butter, chilli and sugar at once, give it a minute to caramelise (keep moving it so it does not burn) then add the rum. Watch out when it ignites.
11 Cook for two minutes and pour on to a tray.
12 When cooled for five minutes place the pineapple in the charlottes, pouring any juices over, and top with the last piece of brioche.
13 Bake in a hot oven at Gas Mark 6 for ten minutes.
14 Unmould and serve with lemon ice-cream.
500ml double cream
650g caster sugar
juice and zest of 8 lemons
12 size 3 egg yolks
1 Bring milk and cream to the boil.
2 Let this stand in the pan while in a separate pan bring the sugar, lemon juice and zest to the boil.
3 Place the egg yolks in a food processor.
4 Bring the sugar and lemon mixture up to jam temperature on a sugar thermometer and pour on to the yolks and whizz at high.
5 Continue whisking until the mixture is cold and four times its original volume.
6 By hand, fold in the cream and milk mixture.
7 Churn in an ice-cream maker.
DRY PINEAPPLE DISKS
For this you need one pineapple, peeled and cored.
1 With a sharp knife, slice the pineapple as thinly as you can (the thicker the slices the longer they will take to dry).
2 Now, the bit where the house starts smelling delicious. Place the disks of pineapple on silicone paper (the shiny side, so they will come off) on a heatproof tray, then pop them in an oven on Gas Mark 1/4 or lower - make sure they do not dry out too quickly and discolour. Alternatively, pop them in the airing cupboard or wherever the boiler is for 24 to 36 hours and they should be just great. They can be used straight away or kept for a week in an airtight jar.
Q&A: Antony Worrall Thompson
I think sour. I'm in a sort of pre-diabetic state, so I have to avoid sweet things and I've always been much more of a savoury person anyway.
Cooked or raw?
I quite like raw - I'm a big fan of sushi and sashimi. Obviously I love cooked food as well.
Take away or silver service?
It has to be silver service - I like to be pampered. Takeaways don't really feature, apart from a curry occasionally.
Chocolate or vanilla?
I'd have to go for chocolate. I've been known to pick up a bar of chocolate when I fill up at the garage.
Rice or pasta?
It would have to be rice - I like Chinese fried rice, and pilaus and biryanis. I don't like boring old plain rice. Pasta is all very well, but after the first six mouthfuls it tends to get boring.
3 squares or grazing?
I'm a grazer. Being a chef you're always picking at food, which is not very good for your waistline. I tend to enjoy small dishes and I once started a restaurant called Mnage Trois, which was based on starters and puddings with no main courses.
Cheese or dessert?
Definitely cheese, but it has to be before three in the afternoon, otherwise I have terrible nightmares and I've been seen running down the road with no clothes on chasing policemen. I'm a big fan of blue cheese, it goes really well with sweet wine.
That would be a centrifrugal juicer. I have juice every morning - it's a great way of eating one of your portions of fruit and veg a day. I like broccoli and pear which ends up tasting of bananas by some extraordinary act of chemistry. Broccoli juice on its own is pretty grim.
ORIENTAL CHICKEN THIGHS
For a traditional presentation, serve these with noodles combined with some wilted spinach leaves and flavoured with chopped garlic, fresh ginger and light soy sauce.
12 skinless and boneless chicken thighs
For the marinade:
5 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons mirin or dry sherry
3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
3 tablespoons unrefined soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 In a shallow dish combine the soy, mirin or dry sherry, chilli sauce, sugar, ginger and garlic. Add the chicken thighs and turn them to coat with the marinade, then cover and refrigerate for at least two and up to 24 hours, turning from time to time.
2 Remove from the fridge about one hour before cooking.
3 Cook the chicken thighs on the barbecue grill over hot coals for eight to ten minutes on each side, basting with the marinade several times during the cooking. Serve immediately.
4 For a grilled teriyaki tuna variation, take four tuna steaks, each about 2.5cm thick, marinate as above and cook on the oiled barbecue grill over hot coals for two minutes each side. Serve at once.
AWT'S ALL-AMERICAN BURGER
15g unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1kg finely minced lean beef
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chilli sauce
6 soft white burger buns, split and lightly chargrilled
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 In a small frying pan, melt the butter and gently fry the onion, garlic, oregano and cumin until the onion is translucent and softened.
2 Allow to cool then transfer to a large bowl and mix with the minced beef, olive oil, parsley and chilli sauce.
3 Work with your hands to create a blended mixture, but do not overwork it.
4 Form the mixture into six burgers, and chargrill them on the barbecue - for medium rare, allow four to five minutes each side; six to eight minutes each side for well-done.
5 Fill the buns with the burgers and garnishes of your choice.
6 To garnish, choose from torn lettuce leaves, thinly sliced onion rings, thinly sliced tomato, sliced pickled gherkins, tomato ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.
Recipes extracted from Barbecues and Grilling by Antony Worrall Thompson and Jane Suthering (Kyle Cathie, 14.99) with photography by David Matheson.
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