It’s a school day, its 7.00 am and the kids are up and shouting names of various breakfast cereals at me, except for The Ru, who of course is demanding “Ha” (ham). Tilda is running around chasing The Ru and shouting “Torti”..Lola is lying on her back with her legs in the air singing Marry the Night…I tune it all out and start cooking breakfast…”Uhh mum what are you cooking?” asks Lola, “Huevous Rancheros darling”. She looks at me and rolls her eyes..”Your weird”………..go figure.
I started the week assisting Lisa Barber who is shooting David Everitt-Matthias new book. He is the chef at Le Champignon Savauge. His food is sublime, we tried, amongst other things his truffle infused risotto, it was heavenly! Tomorrow Lisa and I will be finishing the week photographing pestos and gremolata’s. I have been designing recipes that are not only delicious but look great too.
A pesto doesn’t just have to be the usual basil, olive oil, pecorino, pine kernels combo. I love to experiment with different ingredients. My addiction at the moment is rocket. It works as a wonderful peppery base for a pesto. I add goats cheese or any soft mild cheese. I also love to add walnuts, or sunflower seeds, or hazelnuts. Then bring out the flavours with a little lemon juice and season. Its all about balance, pepper, mild, deep, sharp, sweet.
As well as making pestos I have been cooking vietnamese inspired food. I think it is one of my favourite cuisines. Its totally addictive, mainly because of the chlli, lime and sugar elements in a lot of the classic dishes.
I leave you with a few photos of this weeks eclectic cooking and also my recipe for rice paper wraps and chilli dipping sauce.
Have a wonderful day
These I cooked for about an hour and then placed in the fridge with a glug of olive oil. I use them as and when I need them. Hence Huevous Rancheros for breakfast.
Green olive and thyme and a ton of olive oil
Gluten free and divine. I topped this with vanilla cream and cocoa powder.
I told you it was a pretty eclectic week!
Rice Paper Wraps with Chilli Dipping Sauce
These are wonderful they make me happy and the kids help me make them sometimes. It is a great Saturday lunch activity.
For the Rice Paper Wraps
- 1 pack of rice paper sheets (the round ones)
- 150g of cooked prawns
- Half a cucumber cut into half inch lengths
- Handful of mint leaves
- 2 spring onions cut into matchsticks
- 50g Firm tofu (optional) cut into matchsticks
- 1 packet of mung bean glass noodles (soaked in hot water and drained)
For the Dipping Sauce
- 1 tbs water
- 1 tbs light soy sauce
- 3 small red chillis (diced as small as you can)
- 2 cloves of garlic (mashed)
- Juice of a lime
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
Ok these measurements are a guideline. Taste and add more or less of any of the ingredients to make it more spicy more sweet more citrus. Its up to you.
Making the wraps
Prepare all you ingredients and fill a large bowl with warm water.
Take a chopping board and place a clean tea towel on top. Take your rice paper round and dip it in the warm water, turning it evenly so the wrap softens (if the water is too hot it will disintegrate).
Then carefully place the soft wrap on top of the tea towel, this absorbs the excess water. then a 3rd of the way from the bottom of the wrap layer your ingredients, leaving at least 2cms on either side of the wrap clear. Fold the sides of the wrap in and so you seal the sides and then fold the bottom of the wrap over the filling and roll away from you so you end up with a spring roll shaped wrap. Cut in half and then repeat until you have used all the ingredients.
Dip in the dipping sauce and eat and be happy.