Monday, 16 December 2013


Blood orange & Beetroot Tartlet , Beetroot panna cotta , Persian cucumber , Asparagus , Hummus , Swiss cheese , Rocket , Red oak , Blood orange and edible flowers.

               This is a dish put together with left over ingredients making their way to areas of the fridge that don't see light, out of sight out of mind the saying goes, but not this time. I made use of these awol. veggies before it was to late and they become food for my worm farm. It came together quite well considering, the ingredients are slightly random but surprisingly works together and this would make a fabulous light lunch, brunch type deal. Next time I would just add a bit more beet juice to the panna cotta to try and achieve a more purple, maroon beetroot coloration rather than the strawberry looking one I've made.      
                The sweet shortcrust pastry was the first preparation for this meal, starting by combining flour, butter and sugar in a food processor to make a fine crumb, to this I added egg yolk and chilled water and processed bringing together a dough before turning the pastry onto a floured work bench and rolling out to a 3-4 mm thick disc. This was then covered between two sheets of baking paper and placed in the fridge for 30 minutes. Greasing muffin tins, I then cut circles with a glass out of the pastry and lined the muffin inserts. In a bowl I grated beetroot and mixed with blood orange juice, sugar, egg and a little flour, this was then spooned into the pastry shells and placed into a 170 deg.c. oven and cooked for about 25-30 minutes until the filling was cooked and the pastry just  browning. These were then removed and allowed to cool before serving. To make the panna cotta I simple heated in a small saucepan milk, cream, sugar, beetroot juice and agar agar at 2%. This was then brought to a simmer whisking to dissolve the sugar and agar powder, this was then poured into a 10 mm plastic tube and set in the fridge. I poured the remaining mixture onto a flat tray and placed it in the fridge to set. While these were setting I prepared the asparagus by washing, trimming and blanching asparagus spears of which were then steeped in an ice bath to stop the cooking procedure. The cucumber was shaved using a veggie peeler, trimmed and dressed in olive oil and seasoned. The lettuce greens were simply tossed in seasoned olive oil before being plated. I then made a hummus by placing chick peas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, cumin and lemon juice in a blender and processed to combine adding a little water and blending to make a smooth paste.                                                                                                                          

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