Monday, 10 March 2014

Neighbours Ken and Moira and a vegetable terrine

So that's clearly not Ken but it is Moira, in the middle (and let's not joke about who's the vegetable terrine!), flanked by another Moira and a Maria, friends from school (don't anyone use that awful word 'bezzies'. Yuk.) Ken was a little camera shy maybe. They came to us to celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary. They only live two doors down. They are always gregarious and interesting but I always seem to wake up with a sore head. Anyway, Moira is a fish eating vegetarian...

Good colours

This is a vegetable terrine; my first in fact. It's loosely based on a Michel Roux recipe. I used wilted spinach as a casing and a filling of celeriac mousse. It's not complicated or even very fiddly. You line a terrine tin (loaf tin) with cling film and then with spinach, blanched for a few seconds. The case is filled with mousse and layers of vegetables. 
I used celerybeans and asparagus, which were blanched for a few minutes, and roasted carrot and shallots. Why roasted? For more flavour and some sweetness. I managed to find some long thin carrots which was very useful. In retrospect I might prefer more veg and less mousse. The mousse was made by cubing 300g of peeled celeriac (about a half) and simmering this with 500ml of double cream until the root is tender. Season with salt and white pepper. Blend this until very smooth then add three egg yolks and four eggs and pulse a few more times. I then added some finely chopped parsley and lemon thyme.

Blanched and refreshed
Top the whole with more blanched spinach and pull in the cling film tightly over the top. Don't worry about cling film in the oven. Cook the terrine at 160°C for around 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cool and then chill in the fridge overnight. Allow the terrine to warm to room temperature before serving. This is for flavour and texture. Cold veg don't taste of much. 

I served the terrine with roasted tomatoes that I'd coated with a mix of salt, sugar and spices. I cooked them for only six minutes or so at 250°C. I wanted a slightly charred exterior. This was plated with lots of parsley and a vinaigrette sweetened with some gooseberry jam (see above). Michel Roux suggests his pear and lime salsa. If I ever manage to find a pear that's somewhere between a rock and mush, I'll make some and try it.

Quite pretty. 

This was the fish dish they had for mains. Pan fried cod with a anchovy and rosemary butter. Accompanied with charred gem and braised (and then fried to colour a little) fennel. This was served with fennel seed roasted 'crash' potatoes - par boiled, crushed and roasted with a drizzle of olive oil.

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