Wednesday, 10 February 2016

A Yellow Plum Compote

There were punnets full of beautiful yellow plums at the supermarket this week and although I had no clue what to do with them I had to buy some - they just looked so bright, golden and sunny! It was so wet, cold and dull outside that a bit of brightness was really welcome and I wanted a little bit of that....

When I got the shopping home,  I removed them from the plastic punnet and into a decorative basket, placed them in a bowl on the kitchen table and waited for inspiration to strike....

They looked a bit sharp in flavour so I decided that waiting for them to ripen to eat or making them into any sort of fruit pie or crumble was probably out - it would require too much sugar - so a fruit preserve such as a chutney, compote or jam was probably the way to go.

I opted for a compote - less sugar and it will go with puddings, cheese or cold meats - giving us lots of options for eating it up......

recipe - enough to make up 1 jar

1 punnet of plums - about 6 plums
4 tablespoons sugar - white, granulated.
juice half a lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla paste


Wash the plums and half them, remove the stones and then half again - so you have lots of plum quaters.

Arrange in a heavy based, shallow pan, cut sides up.

Add the sugar and the lemon juice - place over a low heat. No extra water is required. Most of the sugar will dissolve in the lemon juice and then the rest will melt with the heat. Bring the pan to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid or some foil. Allow the plums to poach until soft - about 5-7 minutes.

Once the plums have softened - but still have their shape - remove them from the liquid and spoon into a sterilised jar - a 370g Bonne Marie jam jar is perfect size.

 Once all the fruit is in the jar return the pan to the heat. Add the vanilla paste and reduce the liquid to a thick syrup - this will happen quickly so don't take your eye off it.

Pour the hot syrup over the plums, cover and allow to cool before screwing on the lid.

The compote will keep in the fridge for ages - you can serve it with rice pudding, on pancakes, with french toast croissants / brioche, or with cheeses and cold meats. It's especially good with a warmed brie.

Have fun today
Love Lizx

 Plum Compote

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Around the House VIII

Just had a little spring clean and re-arrange around the house.

I've brought  brighter spring colours to the fore

And generally dusted off and moved everything around.

The wood burners and log baskets create loads of dust this time of year.....

So I've kept the decoration simple on the mantles so it's easier to keep clean....

In fact most of the surfaces have been de-cluttered, blankets refolded and loads of bits & pieces put away.

It won't last though - things will slowly re appear .....

Have a great Shrove Tuesday - enjoy your pancakes

Love Lizx

Monday, 8 February 2016

Burnt Butter Salmon

Salmon, like all fish, should be cooked simply. A quick pan fry or bake, with just a few ingredients, is really all you need to do to cook the perfect piece of fish. If you make it too complicated, adding rich and highly flavoured ingredients you can mask the delicate flavours and textures so, in my opinion the simpler the better is the way to go with any fish.

The nutty flavours of brown or 'burnt' butter mixed with zesty fresh lime juice are an amazing combination for salmon. A simple and easy way of cooking and serving it with a green salad or a few seemed vegetables such as asparagus, sugarsnap peas or just a little purple sprouting broccoli makes for a tasty health meal.

I'm not going to give you a recipe today just a few notes on what I did.......this is just such a simple way of cooking a trying to make a 'recipe' out of it would just be wrong.....

Simply place a large knob of butter into a non-stick pan - probably about a tablespoon per fillet - and let it melt over a medium heat, swirl it around and watch it like a hawk. You want it brown but don't let it burn and go black (I know my post title says burnt but that's just a name not an instruction!)

When the butter starts to foam lay your salmon fillet top side (flesh side) down in the butter and let it colour - this will take just a few minutes - flip it over, squeeze on the juice of a lime, turn the heat down to a low/medium simmer and cover the pan with either a lid or some foil.
Let the Salmon cook for a maximum of five minuets or until the flesh is springy and pulls away slightly. This will depend on the thickness of your fillet.

Season with a little salt and pepper, then serve straight away with the side dish of your choice.

A little mayonnaise mixed with the zest of a lime is a great accompaniment to the salmon.

Have a great start to you week
Love Lizx