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Archive for the tag “Ravneet Gill”

Mélange à trois: jelly, empanadas, rice rolls

Some weeks the urge to mix it up is irresistible. With our lockdown clan (The Husband, the two daughters and me) reunited for my birthday, this was just such a week.

We needed celebration. We needed snacking. We needed playful food.

We needed celebration. We needed snacking. We needed playful food. Enter Guardian Feast Issue No.178 the let me entertain you issue with Ravneet Gill’s pineapple and coconut jelly, Felicity Cloake’s perfect cheese empanadas and Yotam Ottolenghi’s zingy tofu rice paper rolls.

My challenge to cook at least one recipe from each issue of Guardian Feast in 2021 (find out more about that here), continues apace. This week it was lovely to have the return of the eldest daughter’s nimble fingers and strict kitchen protocol.

Read on for the usual useful insights into tackling unknown recipes and tempting mouthwatering deliciousness.

The photo of Ravneet’s beautiful pineapple and coconut jelly was simultaneously droolingly succulent and terrifying. I wanted to grab a spoon and plunge it into the photo but I wanted Ravneet to make it for me. However, part of my reason for tackling a recipe a week from Feast is to wrestle through recipes I would otherwise skip over. Here goes.

Ravneet Gill’s pineapple and coconut jelly

We only have one jelly mould in the house and I felt a tad offended that The Husband considered it ‘eccentric’ for the jelly in hand. I mean, it is ‘a great jelly mould’ as required by Ravneet, perhaps just not the one she had in mind (see below).

My lobster jelly mould. Perhaps not quite the ‘great jelly mould’ for Ravneet’s spectacular pineapple and coconut jelly

It’s a wibbly wobbly pina colada!

Since the coconut jelly (a delicious smooth, creamy panna cotta) must set before the pineapple wobble is poured on top of it, I made this over two days (I’m learning to read a recipe properly before I start it!). I used the gelatin powder I had in stock, rather than the recommended platinum leaves. It seemed fine. I ended up with more of both jellies than required – a small ramekin of the coconut and double pineapple and lime! My daughter was clearly right in her interpretation of the recipe: ‘400g pineapple, trimmed, peeled and cut into small chunks’ means the unpeeled and untrimmed weight. Oh well, double dibs on pineapple jelly? No one’s complaining.

If I were to make this gorgeous party centrepiece again – it’s a wibbly wobbly pina colada, why wouldn’t I? – I would clingfilm the surface of the coconut panna cotta to prevent it forming a slightly rubbery skin while it’s setting (although The Husband loved the ‘texture’).

Wibble wobble, lobster jelly on a plate: my take on Ravneet Gill’s pineapple and coconut jelly. Pina colada on a plate!

The eldest daughter picked up the baton for Yotam Ottolenghi’s zingy tofu rice paper rolls and Felicity Cloake’s perfect cheese empanadas to create a welcome home feast for the youngest daughter.

Feleicity Cloake’s the perfect… cheese empanadas

The eldest daughter ordered in masarepa (pre-cooked cornmeal) specially to make these golden cheese toasty wraps.

The biggest challenge was (as Felicity hints) handling the corn pastry. Felicity counsels ‘handling it with wet hands at all times’. The issue for us was that the pastry tore and holed really easily. Wet hands helped but the biggest breakthrough was using extra masarepa and greaseproof paper in the envelope creation. That way you barely need to touch the empanadas with your hands.

Felicity suggests a range of acceptable extras to add to your cheesy filling. To be honest ours needed a bit of flavour-plumping – the blend of mozzarella and halloumi was not the most flavoursome. We all agreed that we’d add jalapeno peppers in the mix next time and probably change the cheese combo for something with a bit more oomph. We baked ours – although I can see the appeal of deep frying!

Yotam Ottolenghi’s zingy tofu rice paper rolls

Like Ravneet’s jelly, Yotam’s vegan rice rolls look so pretty and appealing on the page. We couldn’t wait to recreate them. Yotam’s right to call them ‘zingy’. Bursting with pine nuts, sesame seeds, chestnuts, ginger, garlic and chilli, they have exactly the right balance of chew and crunch and zest and heat.

The eldest daughter took charge of prep while I got the shitake shrooms soaking and searched out the rest of the ingredients. Instead of adding the fried ingredients to the cold marinated tofu, we popped the tofu in the pan and let it warm through and soak up the soy saucy flavours. Other than that, we stuck to Yotam’s instructions. Bish bash bosh: top nosh.

Original recipes:

Ravneet Gill pineapple and coconut jelly

Felicity Cloake the perfect… cheese empanadas

Yotam Ottolenghi – zingy tofu rice paper rolls

Mélange à trois. What a feast!

Feast: shiny, sexy tart

I’m celebrating my love of the food columns and supplements in The Guardian by trying to cook at least one recipe from each issue of Guardian Feast in 2021. Find out a bit more about that here.

Welcome to February folks. Doesn’t your stomach just growl for comfort food and sweet treats? I know mine does. However, cooking during these lockdown days (take 3) can be a challenge. In our family we’re limiting our shopping trips. I’m fortunate to have a pretty well-stocked store cupboard (although readers of previous posts will also note that this project is an opportunity to use out-of-date items lurking dustily in the far recesses of my shelves). Even so, up here in Berwick, ingredients such as ‘meyer lemons’ and ‘cassava’ are not readily available. In fact, this week The Husband did yell: ‘Come on Guardian not everyone lives in London!’.

Despite such minor frustrations, I’m finding that I’m tackling recipes I’d usually not bother with. Looking at the cover pic of Ravneet Gill’s miso caramel and chocolate tart in Guardian Feast Issue No.159, I was salivating.

However, I also thought it looked way too hard for me to tackle – it just had a pastry chef-ish air to it. How wrong could I be? This shiny, sexy, silky, satiny tart with its bran flake crust is SO easy and SO delicious. I was lucky to have white miso in stock (we love Japanese food and use miso in all sorts of things for its umami tang). I didn’t, however, have posh 75% dark chocolate so dusted down a couple of bars of Bourneville.

There were a couple of flashpoints in the recipe… 35ml of caster sugar – should that be 35g? I decided yes. 200g double cream – should that be 200ml? Again, I decided yes. And I see in the updated online recipe (see link below) this has been corrected and I was right. Phew.

I’m always terrified of making caramel. I’m so easily distracted that I’ve burnt goodness knows how many pans of sugar. But the caramel gods were with me on Sunday. And OMG, miso caramel is something I’m going to be making again just for the sheer joy of its taste.

Really, there’s nothing else to say. Ravneet is spot on when she says the tart’s ‘very much on that edge of sweet and salty’. Put simply, it’s full on moreish! Like Ravneet’s family, we finished this superb tart in a day! I think it’s impossible not to.

Ravneet GillMiso caramel and chocolate tart

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