Sunday, December 22, 2013

Whiskey Sauce

Its Christmas time, and I have been a very very bad blogger this year. No excuses, other than I have worked hard in the office and havnt been able to face a screen when I get home.

But, its the silly season, and upon request from some lovely friends I find myself posting a recipe that I have been tweaking the last year.

We first tried whiskey sauce at a little riverside pub in Inverness last January when we were up in Scotland for the christening of Nic and Phil's son. Gerry had tatties and neeps with whiskey sauce, and whilst I am not a fan of neeps, the sauce with the tatties was sublime.

This works well with steaks, and haggis (for Nayan) and I could see it working with game meats like venison as well.

Happy Holidays!

Whiskey Sauce

Glug of olive oil
Chunk of butter (unsalted)
2 eschalots roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
2 cups (500mls) beef stock (I am loving the liquid home brand stocks from Waitrose)
Palm-ful of pink peppercorns (1-2 tablespoons)
80mls of single cream
3 tablespoons of whiskey (plus more for the chef)

Heat the oil and butter in a frypan of saucepan and sautee the eschalots and garlic until they are softened. Have a sip of whiskey. Add the beef stock and turn the heat up to a rolling boil and reduce the stock by half. Have some more whiskey as this will take about 15mins. Strain the stock and return to the pan - chuck out the solids. Add the remaining ingredients and warm through for a couple of mins (dont boil). Have a last shot of whiskey before serving.
Serves 4 (hic)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Petersham Nurseries

 Finding myself in a post-holiday pre- "finding a new job" state, and with the lovely Jacqui (aka: @sushi_junki) and Nicole (aka: @ruduss) at loose ends we decided to be Ladies Who Lunch (LWL) and go check out Petersham Nurseries for lunch. Sadly, the Michelin Starred Cafe was booked for a private function (see how pretty it looks as they are setting it up). So we will have to go back there another day (already comparing diaries!) in the Spring when we can also stock up on pretty green growing edible things for the garden. Damn.

Settling into the glasshouse of the Teahouse, we inhaled the warm jasmine scented air and ogled at all the dogs and dedicated LWL who looked...well quite similar! There were some very pampered fur babies in the room (and owners).

We settled in with a pot of tea, a cafetiere of the house blended plunger coffee and gee, a couple of slices of cake. Yes, we had desert before lunch. As you do! At the front is an orange, walnut with a chocolate and coconut icing, whilst at the rear is the lemon polenta and rosemary. The polenta cake was my favorite with a lovely dense and moist crumb. 
Onto the sensible part of our lunch, the leek and gorgonzola quiche with salad and the soup of the day (£7.50 each), washed down with the house-made lemonade (£4) and more coffee. The quiche was wonderfully seasoned and with a great pastry, and the soup whilst hot and smelling great lacked seasoning. 

After lunch we wandered around the nurseries and there is a lot of potted colour ready to go, I held off as I am not planting anything until April (this March cold spurt is really shocking when you consider a week ago I was in Abu Dhabi and it was 37 degrees!)

We cant wait to go back for more, there is talk that the nursery will be hosting popup dinners during the summer, so keep an eye on the website and don't blink as you may miss out!

Petersham Nurseries
Church Lane
Off Petersham Road
TW10 7AG