Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Keep Up The Good(e) Work!

Despite being simple to make, this is a perfect example of how just a few 'good' ingredients can make a wonderful and traditional soup.

Avgolemono: serves 4
1 1/2 pints (900ml) chicken stock
2 oz (50g) long-grain rice (more if you wish)
salt and pepper
3 egg yolks
2 - 3 tblsp lemon juice
2 tblsp freshly chopped parsley
Put the stock into a large saucepan, and bring to the simmer. Stir in the rice, half cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Beat the egg yolks, then whisk in 2 tblsp of the lemon juice, and when smooth and bubbly, whisk in a ladleful of the chicken stock.
Remove the pan of stock/rice from the heat, then slowly whisk in the egg mixture, the soup will then begin to thicken and change to an attractive lemony shade. Taste, and add an extra tablespoon of lemon juice if you feel it needs it. Adjust seasoning, stir in the parsley, and serve immediately.
Do not reheat or the eggs will curdle.

So you have three egg whites to use up? Why not make these lacy pancakes (aka 'white crepes') that are served as a 'wrap-over' fresh (or canned) fruit salad. As far as the fruit goes, you can make your own mind as to which you prefer to serve. It is the pancake recipe that is important.
Lacy White Crepes: serves 4
3 egg whites
4 tblsp cornflour
3 tblsp cold water
1 tsp sunflower oil
Mix the egg whites, cornflour and water together to make a smooth batter. Brush a frying pan with oil, and when hot, drizzle a quarter of the batter over the pan (to form a lacy pattern). This will take only a few seconds to set, and then the 'crepe' can be removed and placed on kitchen paper to drain. Keep warm whilst repeating with the remaining batter.
To serve, place one on each of four plates, spoon chosen fruit filling over one half, then fold the other half over. Indulge yourself by pouring cream over if you wish.

If, like me, you have rice flour that you wish to use up, the why not make these gluten-free 'pancakes' - not a million miles away from the English 'drop scone', sometimes called 'Scotch Pancakes', also similar to the American (breakfast) pancake. Good eaten freshly cooked for breakfast, brunch, lunch or tea-time.
If wishing to re-heat, cover and heat in the microwave, about 10 seconds only per pancake.
Breakfast or Anytime Pancakes: makes 8 -10
5 oz (150g) rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 egg
4 tblsp sunflower oil
2 oz (50g) butter, melted
half pint buttermilk, skimmed milk or diluted yogurt
Put the rice flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix together. In a jug put the egg, 1 tblsp of sunflower oil, the melted butter and the buttermilk (or alternative) and whisk together.
Slowly pour the liquid in the jug into the dry mix, a bit at a time, stirring as you go, then keep adding more of the liquid until the batter ends up loose, but still thickish.
Heat a dry 9" (23cm) frying pan over medium heat for a few minutes, then when hot pour in the remaining oil. When this is hot, spoon in tablespoons of the batter to make four pancakes - leaving them room to spread. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, and when bubbles appear on the surface, and one or two break open, then turn the pancakes with a fish slice and cook the other side until golden. Remove and place on a clean tea towel (this resting on a cake airer) and cover with a fold of the towel to keep them warm and moist, whilst repeating the cooking until all the batter has been used up.