Sunday Providence In The Kitchen, Elle Goulding, Ottolenghi Lamb and Lavendar Creme Brulee..

It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’ve committed some hours here to try an Ottolenghi Recipe for lamb and to make lavendar creme brulee with Mandy’s Eggs and Cream after much nagging from my husband.
I’ve been thinking of you as always while I cook and thought I’d stop and chat to you quickly before I lose my train of thought.
I’m thinking that we don’t do herbs enough and when we do use them we don’t use enough at all. It’s a Western curse. We have lost so much knowledge, and yet, it makes it all the more fun and rewarding I guess,  to rediscover it. The magic of herbs.
When I look at chefs who cook food that turns out delicious every single time, and the kind of chefs I would support as real chefs, using whole, real ingredients, I commonly find chefs who are not scared to use herbs. In volume. If there is one real food thing that will change your life and cooking around for the better, that I would highly recommend to lift your real food cooking to new levels, it would be to grow your own herbs. This isn’t difficult, there are so many of us out here who can share knowledge with you. Have at least thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, curley and italian parsley growing on a window sill on in pots outside if you haven’t got space for a herb garden. It will transform your cooking.
Take this recipe for example from one of my favourite chefs Ottolenghi, I might challenge you to find any of his recipes that aren’t so rich in flavour.  It’s a marinade for lamb chops, it is on page 107 of ‘Ottolenghi – The Cookbook’, I’m trying to make it now but keep stopping to write this entry as dying to talk to you about my thoughts on herbs !
Anyhow, I’m making it now and the marinade for the lamb chops to start with is leaves from 6 sprigs of thyme and 1 of rosemary. That’s exactly it. Who uses 6 sprigs of thyme nowadays? Yet the flavour that this will give, will go way beyond anything you could buy in a chemically enhanced bottle from a manufacturing plant. And if you’re growing them yourself, the difference in freshness between herbs you grow yourself and those from a packet is unmistakable.
Having said that, if you can’t grow your own herbs this week, at least buy fresh, organic herbs from organic farmers, if you are placing an order with us and missing some herbs that aren’t on the site, just pop me a mail and then I can pick you some from my home garden and add it to your order.
You”ll just need to then place your order in the afternoon, mail me, so that I can pick them for you the following morning and bring them in to go out with your order. I’ve got thyme, rosemary, curley parsley and italian parsley at the moment, oh and loads of lemon balm for tea.
Right, it’s late Sunday afternoon, the sun is casting a moody shade across my kitchen counters, Elle Goulding is playing in the kitchen keeping me musically enchanted and connected to the eternal celtic poet and mystic that too lives inside of me.
Back to the recipe – I’ve marinaded the lamb – I’m using the Karoo Meat Of Origin chops. Once I finish this natter to you, I’m going to start on the sauce, which is just 125 ml fresh orange juice, 60ml red wine vinegar, 50g honey, 1 star anise and 1 cinnamon stick which I’m going to reduce on the stove-top. Later on, I’ll griddle the marinaded chops, and serve them on a base of parsley leaves, mint leaves, goats chèvre, some lightly toasted walnuts. The recipe wants me to add fresh figs to this serving but they’re not in season so that won’t be  happening….I may rather add some chunks of roasted sweet potato that I already have left over from another meal.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening..I’ll take some photos as I’m cooking to maybe inspire you? It’s a gorgeous Sunday, Winter is fading softly into the shade, the dish is Ottolenghi’s lamb cutlets with walnut, fig and goat’s cheese salad, the album is Elle Goulding, the track is ‘Every Time You Go’. This blog was just to prove that I’m always thinking of you, when I’m in the kitchen especially…Debbie x

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