Each month I have decided to do a blog called chalet menu.
A Chalet menu requires a lot of thought, making sure each dish can be adapted for vegetarians and dietary problems and making sure that the dishes come within budget.
Every month I will list a Starter, Main and Pudding with the recipe for you to try each one out. So far our chalet menu has been very popular so fingers crossed for our Peak District short breaks and our walking holidays in the alps for 2019.
Starter: Cauliflower Soup Recipe
- 1 medium, good-sized cauliflower (about 1lb 4 oz/570 g)
- 2 oz (50 g) Roquefort, crumbled into small pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 oz (25 g) butter
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 1 large leek, trimmed, washed and chopped
- 4 oz (110 g) potato, peeled and chopped into dice
- 2 tablespoons half-fat crème fraîche, plus a little extra to serve (optional)
- salt and freshly milled black pepper
- The stock for this is very simply made with all the cauliflower trimmings. All you do is trim the cauliflower into small florets and then take the stalk bits, including the green stems, and place these trimmings in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Then add 2½ pints (1.5 litres) of water, the bay leaves and some salt, bring it up to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes with a lid.
- Meanwhile, take another large saucepan with a well-fitting lid, melt the butter in it over a gentle heat, then add the onion, celery, leek and potato, cover and let the vegetables gently sweat for 15 minutes.
- Keep the heat very low, then, when the stock is ready, strain it into the pan to join the vegetables, adding the bay leaves as well but throwing out the rest.
- Now add the cauliflower florets, bring it all back up to simmering point and simmer very gently for 20-25 minutes, until the cauliflower is completely tender, this time without a lid.
- After that, remove the bay leaves, then place the contents of the saucepan in a food processor or liquidiser and process until the soup is smooth and creamy
Main: Beef Bourguignon Recipe
- 2 lb (900 g) braising steak, cut into 2 inch (5 cm) squares
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
- 15 fl oz (425 ml) red Burgundy (or other red wine or dry cider)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 12 oz (350 g) shallots
- 2 x 130 g packs cubetti pancetta or 225 g smoked or unsmoked streaky bacon, bought in one piece, then cut into cubes
- 4 oz (110 g) dark-gilled mushrooms, cut into chunks
- salt and freshly milled black pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C).
- Bring 1¼ tablespoons of the oil to sizzling point in the casserole or pan and sear the beef , a few pieces at a time, to a rich, dark brown on all sides.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate as it browns.Next add the sliced onion to the casserole and brown that a little too.
- Now return the meat to the casserole or pan and sprinkle in the flour, stirring round to soak up all the juices. Then gradually pour in the Burgundy, again stirring all the time.
- Add the chopped garlic, herbs and seasoning, put the lid on and cook very gently on top of the stove (if the heat is not low enough, use a diffuser). Or transfer to the oven – either way it will take 2 hours.
- Then, using a bit more olive oil, fry the shallots and bacon in a small frying pan to colour them lightly. Add to the casserole, together with the mushrooms, then put the lid on and cook for a further hour.
- The French accompaniment of potatoes boulangères and green salad would be good with this, or else tiny new potatoes and ratatouille.
Pudding: Creme Brulee Recipe
- 250ml double cream
- 75ml full-fat milk
- 1 vanilla pod, scraped
- 4 egg yolk
- 3 tbsp caster sugar, plus 3-4 tbsp for the topping
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1.
- Put the cream, milk and vanilla pod into a pan and heat to boiling point.
- Cover and leave to infuse for 10 mins.
- Whisk the egg yolks and 3 tbsp of sugar together until pale and thick.
- Add the vanilla extract and pour the boiling cream onto the mixture.
- Stir well, then pour into two ramekins.
- Place the ramekins in a bain marie and cook in the oven for about 20 mins or until just set. Leave to cool.
- Heat the grill. Sprinkle the cold brûlée with a thin, even layer of sugar, and caramelise under the very hot grill (or use a blowtorch).
- Repeat several times until you have a golden crackling topping.
- Leave to cool and serve for 2 hrs