Six Week Store Cupboard Challenge

Day 1

Item to be used: Preserved Lemons

Cookbook: Terre a Terre; The Vegetarian Cookbook.  This book is wild and decadent, difficult, fiddly and downright off putting.  But that is exactly why I recommend it.  You will be producing something amazing, gorgeous, delicious and off the beaten track.  Dare to be different!

I am going to kick this baby off with an almighty effort by attempting their ‘Send My Regards to Broadway’ Which is actually a whole menu for 6.

Seared Cherry Vine Tomatoes                                                                                         

  • 1 tbsp  oil,
  • 12 cherry tomatoes on the vine,
  • salt and pepper                                        
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan until smoking
  2. add tomatoes and sear them in the hot oil all over for about a minute
  3. season with salt and plenty of pepper
  4. remove from pan and leave to cool.

Broad Bean Mousse

  • 400g fresh or frozen broad beans
  • 400ml whole milk
  • 60g onion, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • a few parsley stalks
  • grated nutmeg
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 70g plain flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs; whites and yolks separated, yolks beaten.
  1. if using fresh beans, blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water and drain.
  2. peel the skins off the beans.
  3. make a bechamel sauce – put milk in pan with onion, bay leaf, cloves, parsley stalks and nutmeg and bring to a simmer.
  4. Remove from heat, strain and reserve milk, discarding flavourings.
  5. Melt butter in a pan, add flour and stir well to make a paste.  Cook this roux on a low heat for 2 mins stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from the heat and beat in a ladleful of the hot milk.  Return the pan to the heat and continue adding milk a ladleful at a time.  When all the milk has been incorporated simmer for 5 mins, still stirring so that it does not catch on the bottom.
  7. Season generously with salt and pepper and pour into a bowl to cool down.
  8. Put the skinned beans into a food processor and blend to a smooth thick puree.  Pass the puree through a fine sieve and fold into the cold bechamel, together with the beaten egg yolks.
  9. Turn on the oven to 150C Gas Mark 2
  10. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and then fold into the broad bean bechamel.  You need only a little lightness so you don’t need to be as gentle as you would with a souffle.  Season to taste.
  11. take a shallow baking tray around 20-30cm and line with baking parchment.  Pour in the mousse and spread it around the tin. Bake in the oven at 150C for 30-40 mins, until the mixture has risen slightly and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Leave to cool then place in the fridge until required for the Mille Feuille.

Hand peeled broad beans. It took about 20 minutes.


Yemini Pickle

3 lemons, peel and white pith removed, flesh cut into segments

  • 100ml lemon juice
  • Peel from 3 preserved lemons
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Yemen paste – from their own recipe (I can do no more, I am going to use up something similar from the fridge that is hot and spicy and add some fresh coriander leaves to it).
  1. Blend the lemon flesh, juice and peel together at high speed in a blender or food processor, then put this in a small pan with the sugar and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Boil rapidly for 2 minutes.  Now stir in the Yemen paste according to your taste (not for the faint hearted) leave to cool.              

Asparagus, broad bean and fennel salad.

  • 24 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 100g fresh (shelled) broad beans
  • 20g fennel fronds
  •  200g mixed salad leaves
  • 20g mint
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 2tbls olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Blanch the asparagus spears in slated water for 2 mins, then drain
  2. Blanch and drain the broad beans in the same way then peel off the skins
  3. reserve 6 of the asparagus spears for garnishing the Mille Feuille.
  4. Cut the remaining asparagus to 7cm lengths and mix with all of the remaining ingredients.  Set aside.
  5. Just before serving dress the salad with the oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Then Just put it all together:

Spread Lemony Yeminy over the top of one of the pastry slices, add chopped mint 1 tbsp.  Then add a layer of broad bean mousse, then another pastry layer and repeat.  Serve with seared tomatoes, and the salad.

This was such a good start.  It tasted amazing and every bit worth all the effort.  The tangy Lemony Yeminy Pickle, set against the fresh mint and combined with the flaky pastry and decadent mousse – a definite yes from me.  Although I have to say that I skipped the asparagus and broad bean salad…not quite the season and I draw the line at importing asparagus from Peru.  It did need more, or maybe just a smaller family to share it with.

I say a big lemony Yeminy Yes.


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