I’ve been preoccupied with my new show. It’s been ages. Sorry.
It was my dad’s 82nd birthday this week and so I travelled to London with a cold box and various tupperware tubs containing the components to build (I dare say) an epic curry dinner. We had Chicken and Potato Balti (I say ‘Balti’ though I’ve no idea how authentically Balti it was – nice none-the-less), an aubergine and tomato dish using those tiny egg-sized aubergines cooked whole (in this I was trying to recreate a dish from the film ‘The Lunchbox’), Channa Dahl, and rice cooked with cinnamon. But the dessert excited me the most. It’s sharp citrus offset the hot and spicy main course perfectly, both feeling decadent whilst simultaneously cutting through the fattiness of the curry. It’s so easy, keeps in the fridge for ages and tastes just fantastic. I made a fancy topping for it too and it looked great. The recipe below makes enough for 6 pots.
Lemon and Lime Posset with Rose Sugar and Pistachio Praline
For the possets
600ml double cream
150g sugar (caster or granulated, and white or golden ideally)
a big pinch of powdered ginger
a small pinch of powdered nutmeg
For the topping
a handful of shelled unsalted pistachios
about 60g white sugar (must be white)
For the rose sugar
some dried rose petals
granulated white sugar
Make the possets first by combining the cream, sugar, ginger, nutmeg and the zest of both the lemon and the lime in a pan over the stove. Bring it to the most gentle simmer (be so careful it doesn’t boil up and over) and then let it simmer away for about two minutes.
Juice the lemon and lime. Remove the cream from the heat and whisk in the juice before pouring through a sieve into six little pots or glasses or teacups or whatever you fancy serving them in.
Put them in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to set.
Make the two toppings, first the praline. Toast the nuts in a dry pan until lightly toasted, then set aside. Now make a caramel by pouring sugar and a little water into a pan with a silver or white interior so you can see when the caramel starts to form. Set over a medium heat tilting the pan hear and there to get the sugar to melt and start to boil. DON’T STIR IT OR IT WILL CRYSTALLISE. AND DON’T STICK YOUR FINGER IN IT OR YOU’LL NEVER FORGET IT! The sugar will boil clear for a while before starting to turn pale golden brown and starting to smell like caramel. Don’t let it go to far or it’ll taste bitter and burned. As soon as it’s caramel brown and smells good take the pan off the heat, pour in the nuts, tilt the pan around and pour the contents onto some baking parchment resting on a heatproof board and leave it to set. It should look like amber with nuts set in it.
Now make the rose sugar by simply grinding sugar and rose petals together in a pestle and mortar until you have a light pink powder that smells like Turkish Delight.
When the caramel is rock hard chop it up with a knife until you have a fine crumb. You could also do this in a food processor.
To assemble, sprinkle a pinch of rose sugar on top of the possets, then a layer of praline crumb, then a pinch more rose sugar and finally, if you have any, an edible flower.
As I said at the beginning I’ve been rather preoccupied developing, practicing and performing my new anarchic cooking show. It’s coming together. Presently it’s called George Egg: Anarchist Cook Part Two ‘Second Helpings’, but when it gets to the Edinburgh Fringe in August it’ll be called George Egg: DIY Chef. On the surface it’s about cooking with tools. If you want to get deeper it’s about resourcefulness, rebellion, independence and eccentricity in a painful and disturbing world of change, uncertainty and chaos. Something like that anyway.
Click HERE for dates.
It’s Jem’s 19th birthday today and so of course some sort of decent breakfast is called for. And inspired by the recent addition of edible flowers (from hotel hanging baskets!) to the Anarchist Cook show, I made modest non-blow-out-sized portions as above.
On the plate:
3 day old sourdough (sliced, drizzled with a little EV rapeseed oil and griddled)
a chunk of plum tomato (grilled and dotted with thyme leaves)
raw chestnut mushrooms (sliced and salted and dressed with a little lemon juice and black pepper – thanks for the help with those Tom Kerridge)
maple-cured streaky bacon (fried)
little nubs of Bury black pudding (fried in the bacon ‘dripping’)
a poached egg
a nasturtium leaf (which I remembered I’d picked after I took this photo)
an edible flower (a miniature pansy)
And then all sprinkled with pluck pepper and a little smoked salt.
Oh, and we had an Irish potato cake on the side (fried/warmed in the bacon/blackpudding pan so it had a few char marks and ‘bits’ on).
And for Nikki, something vegan: griddled sweet potato slices (like these here), a grilled Portabello mushroom, tomatoes (as above), toasted gluten free bread, grilled peach and the herbs and flowers that we all had.
Happy Birthday Jem x