Monday, April 20, 2009

nice things

people say the nicest things. last saturday someone, i didn't have time to make her acquaintance, said that the wild garlic and nettle malfatti were the nicest thing that she'd ever eaten. i must admit to thinking that they are very nice indeed and whilst the wild garlic is the dominant flavour, the nettle adds a certain soemthing. this is the recipe, which is loosely based on a recipe by paul gayler, a brilliant veggie cook who was at the Lanesborough hotel in london, where, coincidentally, i ate my only afternoon tea whilst picking up a mate, mad-dog dan murray, en route to skiing in tignes. it remains, and will probably continue to do so, the most expensive sandwich and piece of cake that i have ever eaten.

we use quark instead of ricotta, there is little difference in terms of cost but quark is virtually fat free and has good flavour. for one 250g box of quark use one whole egg, mix together, season with salt pepper and numeg, then add the extras. we've done the spinach ones before but wild garlic is still available and does make a good dumpling.

now add some flour, you are looking for something that has a decent chance of staying together when you poach it but is not going to be too gluey. the amount of flour depends on the size and age of the egg, the wetness of the cheese and stuff, so sorry but it's guesswork. you can also add parmesan (vegetarian of course) for that extra indulgence.

let it stand for a couple of minutes, check the consistency again, then poach for a few minutes in lightly bubbling water.

the cheese broth that we do could not be easier. fry an onion 'til translucent then add some stock, let it bubble and add grated veggie parmesan. blitz with a hand blender. keep adding cheese until you get the consistency you want. oh and i forgot about a little slurry of cornflour to help with the consistency.

happy poaching (not stealing animals)


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