Little black book

On this page, we have collected a bunch of those quick preparations that sometimes require une aide à la mémoire, but do not warrant a standalone recipe. We keep these at home in a ‘little black book’, but we are putting them online, not only to share with you, but also to remind ourselves. 

Anchovy essence
Simmer equal (volumetric) quantities of minced anchovies, red wine vinegar, water, lemon juice, plus a big pinch (quarter tsp) of cayenne pepper in a Mauviel Mini for about 15 mins. Cool and strain.

Butter, hazelnut
AKA beurre d’Aveline or beurre noisette. Blend 100g blanched and toasted (or roasted and peeled) hazelnuts with 2.5ml water until paste. Combine with 250g unsalted butter and pass through a fine sieve.

Burger dressing
4 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce.

Cabbage, braised
Quarter cabbage, sear to brown in oil. Add stock to on third depth, whole garlic cloves, rosemary and thyme. Simmer with cartouche for 20–30 mins. From Marcus Wareing MasterChef Pro skills test.

Caramel, salted
175g brown sugar, 300ml double cream, 50g butter, half tsp salt. Heat the whole lot over low until sugar dissolves. Up the heat and bubble until syrup. Cool to store. Serve warm, but not hot. 

Chutney anything
Tart fruit, sugar, vinegar (1:2) and lemon. Cook and cool. Can add ginger, tamarind, garlic, onion, salt, fenugreek, coriander etc.

Coleslaw
Cabbage with vinegarette or mayo. All else is casual. Derived from 17th C. Dutch ‘koolsla.’

Crème Chantilly
600ml whipping cream (chilled), 30g caster, vanilla to taste.

Crème patisserie
25g plain flour, 80g caster sugar, pinch salt, 7g unsalted butter, 2 eggs, 1 vanilla pod, 250ml milk. Flour, sugar, salt, butter and eggs in a heavy saucepan; work with whisk until combined. Heat milk in a saucepan with vanilla pod until it boils. Add milk to the dough, stir well and boil moderately for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the crème to an earthenware dish to cool, stirring occasionally.

Crêpes, Escoffier A (with less sugar)
Blender will over-activate gluten. Use a hand whisk.

Flour, g500250125
SaltPinchPinchSml pinch
Eggs1263
Milk, ml1500740375
Caster, tbsp842

Crumble, dessert
170g flour, pinch salt, 110g butter, 55g sugar, rub (do not process as it will be too fine). 
Fruit base: 400g tart fruit, 75g caster, 2tbsp cornflour. 45mins @ 200˚C.

Crumpets, sourdough trash
By James Hillery and Hobbs House Bakery. Mix 270g sourdough feed discard with 1 tbsp clear honey or maple syrup, half a tsp of salt and half a tsp of bicarb. Griddle in oiled crumpet rings in an oiled pan until the edges brown. Remove ring and flip to finish.

Curd, lemon
Zest and juice of 2 lemons, 85g butter, 225g granulated sugar, 3 whole beaten eggs. Heat gently until thickened. Strain into jars. Chill.

Curry sequence, Atul Kochhar
Whole spices -> onions and salt -> ginger-garlic paste -> powdered spices -> tomatoes.

Dressing, French
Add Dijon mustard to vinaigrette to taste. Season.

Eggs, poached Berner’s Tavern
62˚C 50 mins in the shell. Cool rapidly in iced water. Boil water and crack coddled eggs into simmering water and heat for 1 minute. 

Egg yolk, confit
Immerse an egg yolk devoid of white in olive oil (possibly flavoured, e.g garlic, herbs, chilli, truffle) for 1h at 65˚C. A bain marie in a water bath is the most accurate method.

Five spice
Star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper (like coriander) and fennel seeds.

Flatbreads, Ian Haste ‘naan’ style
260g self-raising flour, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, big pinch of salt, mix. Combine 250ml (1 USA cup) yoghurt into a dough, adding tiny bit of milk if needed. Knead in the bowl until the sides clean. Knead on surface to spring; wrap, chill, rest. Quarter, roll out, press in flavourings (e.g. garlic slices, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, coriander) with rolling pin. Griddle until ‘giraffed.’ Brush with melted butter and sprinkle a bit of sea salt.

Frangipane, basic
150g each of softened unsalted butter, caster and ground almonds, 3 eggs, 1 tsp almond extract. Cream the eggs and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in nuts and flavourings. Add a half a tsp of baking powder to lighten for e.g. Bakewell. Add squeeze of lemon if liked (also for Bakewell).

Frangipane, Larousse
200g crème patisserie, 100g softened butter, 100g caster sugar, 100g ground almonds, few drops of vanilla extract, 1 tbsp Navy rum. Mix the softened butter, sugar almonds vanilla and rum. Mix in the crème pâtisserie until smooth.

French fries, Heston Blumenthal triple-cooked
Parboil. Fry 130˚C 6 mins. Fry 190˚C 2 mins. Chill or freeze between steps.

French fries, shoestring
Julienne with mandoline, wash off starch in a couple of bowls of cold water and dry thoroughly with paper. Fry 190˚C 2 mins. Caution is needed because the fat volume will expand a lot.

Game seasons, UK

Rabbit, muntjac, pigeonNo closed season
Pheasant1 Oct – 1 Feb
Grouse12 Aug – 10 Dec
Partridge1 Sep – 1 Feb
Woodcock1 Oct – 31 Jan
Duck, goose1 Sep – 31 Jan

Garlic, roasted
Break up a head of garlic into cloves, unpeeled. Wrap in foil with oil, and roast in an oven at 180˚C for 20 mins. Peel to serve.

Gelatin
1 tbsp of gelatine (1 Dr Oetker sachet) will gel 500ml water. 4 leaves of gelatin = 1 tbsp gelatin, and will also set 500ml. Bloom before use and always add to hot liquid to prevent ‘roping.’

Ghee
Heat unsalted butter in a pan; allow it to bubble to cook the solids; skim off the whey proteins that float to the surface; cool a little to solidify the solids a bit more; filter through a coffee filter to obtain the clear, yellow ghee.

Goose, cooking times
Gressingham guide.

Hazelnuts, roasted
Single layer. 180˚C for 15 mins, Rub with towel to remove skins.

Jambon beurre
Classic French lunch sandwich. Baguette split and spread with butter. Fill with slices of good quality ham. Pickles often added.

Leeks, crispy
Juilienne the white part of leeks as fine as possible. Deep fry 180˚C until crispy. Dry on a paper towel. Season with salt immediately before serving.

Meat internal temperatures to just done,  degC

Beef54
Pork56
Lamb56
Poultry74
Fish50

Meringue, French
1:60g egg whites:caster sugar. Set oven to 150˚C. Whisk eggs and sugar to soft peaks. Bake on parchment 140˚C (reduce oven temp) 1 hour, and then switch off the oven and allow the meringues to cool in the oven.

Mint sauce
Bunch of mint chopped with salt to break down. Pour over 4 tbsp boiling water. Add 4 tbsp white wine vinegar and 1tbsp caster sugar. Steep.

Onions, glazed
Peeled pearl onions/shallots, 100ml water/stock, sugar, butter. Cook with cartouche until almost dry.

Parmesan crisp
Grated parmesan on a silicone-lined baking tray (Pack a cookie cutter to control shape). Bake 200˚C 3–5 mins. Shape while warm. Cool. Do not try to cut the cooled cheese – the crisps will shatter.

Pasta, basic
100g Petra 7220 granpasta flour and 1 egg per person. No salt, but cook pasta in ‘mild seawater.’ Full instructions here.

Pasta di ortica (nettles)
100g Petra 7220 granpasta flour and 1 egg per person. No salt, but cook pasta in ‘mild seawater. Prepare egg by boiling nettles 25 mins, squeeze dry in a cloth, blend with the egg and pass. See Pasta, basic for link to full instructions for the base product.

Pasta verde
100g Petra 7220 granpasta flour and 1 egg per person. No salt, but cook pasta in ‘mild seawater. Prepare egg by wilting spinach or basil, squeeze dry in a cloth, blend with the egg and pass. See Pasta, basic for link to full instructions for the base product.

Pastry, shortcrust
2:1 ratio flour:fat. Pinch of salt and minimal liquid (egg and/or water). Flour is self-raising if using suet as the fat. 200g flour, 100g butter, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, pinch salt, minimal water to bring together. Process. No chill. Roll, drop in to oil-sprayed, paper-lined tin with pull tab, fold over top, press in with scrap pastry, prick base, blind bake with triple layer of cling wrap and beans on a pizza stone 190˚C 25 mins, remove beans, make 2 holes, bake 6 mins, patch holes with scrap (can egg wash and dry 2 mins in oven if needed). Shave edge off with blade. Brush edge with egg, fill, bake per recipe. Masterclass here.

Pastry, sucre
2:1:0.75 ratio flour:fat:sugar. Pinch of salt and minimal liquid (egg and/or water). 200g flour, 100g butter, 75g sifted icing sugar, pinch salt, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk (zest of a lemon can be added). Process. Roll flat, wrap and chill 1h. Roll quickly, pick up over rolling pin, drop in to oil-sprayed, paper-lined tin with pull tab, press in with scrap pastry, fold over top, prick base, line with triple layer of cling wrap and beans. Freeze 30 mins. Bake on a pizza stone 190˚C 10 mins and trim. Remove beans and bake 20 mins. Egg brush and bake 10 mins. Thanks to chef Robert Thompson for the chill steps.

Pâté, fish
200g cooked or cured fish blitzed with same weight in creamy dairy and/or mayo. Flavour with herbs and citrus. For chunky pate, blitz half the fish and then flake in the rest.

Peppers, sweet and sour Gordon Ramsay
Sliced red peppers, red onion and olive oil in a hot pan. Season. Add 1 tbsp sugar to caramelise a bit. Add red wine vinegar to glaze. Reduce heat, add more oil and stew for a few mins. Add basil chiffonade, cook 30 seconds and serve.

Persillade
Mix chopped garlic and parsley and add to a dish at the end of cooking.

Pici
100g strong flour, 50ml water, pinch salt and a quarter tbsp olive oil per person. Cook pasta in ‘mild seawater.’

Pickles, fridge
Thinly slice or shave veg. Balance vinegar and sugar while heating. Cover veg with liquid and cool. Add chilli, peppercorns, whole spices and herbs as fit. Chill.

Pomme purée
Boil potatoes and rice them. Add melted butter taste. Season. Add milk or cream to desired consistency.

Potatoes, baked
Prick with fork. Oil and salt. Directly on wire shelf at 190˚C for 1h.

Pound cake
3 eggs, weighed, plus equivalent weights of butter, sieved self-raising flour and caster sugar. 1.5tsp of baking powder (sieve with the flour for even finish) will additionally raise a 3-egg recipe for lighter cakes. Halve this recipe for a loaf tin.
Add zest of 1 lemon for lemon cake (half for loaf tin).

Roasting times
Beef: 200˚C, 20mins, then 160˚C for 20 mins/500g (medium) or 15 mins/450g (rare).
Lamb, leg: 200˚C, 15 mins/500g and 20 mins extra.
Pork: 220˚C 30 mins, then 190˚C 25 mins/500g. Skin will crackle if scored, covered in oil and heavily salted.

Rice, boiled Atul Kochhar
1:10 rice to water, salt (75g rice per person). Boil 7 mins until just past ‘Italian al dente.’

Rice, pilau Atul Kochhar
1:1 w/w rice:water. Sauté cardamom, cloves and chopped onion in butter and add a dollop of yoghurt. Sauté the rice in the mixture for 1 min. Add the water and boil. When you can see the top of the rice emerging from the water, cover the rice with a wet towel and lid. Put the covered pan in an oven for 10 minutes, or leave on a very low heat on the hob. Then, leave covered for 15 minutes off the heat.

Rice, saffron
Bloom a large pinch of saffron with 2tbsp boiling water. Melt butter, salt and toast rice, cook as normal in chicken stock and saffron water.

Rice, sticky
Rinse rice in a sieve until the water runs basically clear. 1 mug of rice to 2 mugs of cold water in a cold pan serves 2–3 people (or half a pint of rice to one pint water). Bring to boil, move to very low, cover and cook for 15 mins. Turn the heat off, still covered for another 10–15 mins. 

Risotto
350g rice = 1L stock. Serves 4. Have extra stock handy.

Sauce, Marie Rose
2:1 mayo:ketchup, cayenne, brandy, lemon juice. Fanny Craddock, 1960s.

Sauce, Robert
Escoffier: Fry onions in butter (no colour); add white wine, reduce; add demi, simmer 30 mins; strain and pass; add 2 tsp English mustard powder let down in little water. Do not boil post-mustard.
Wareing: Fry onions, garlic, thyme and rosemary (whole) in oil. Add wholegrain and English mustard, white wine; cook. Add demi, chopped herbs, lemon juice. MasterChef Pro skills test 2019.

Sauce, sweet and sour
Pineapple juice, rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup. 

Shallots, fried Tim Lovejoy
Roast unpeeled banana shallots for 40 mins in foil. Cool, split and fry in fryer until crisp.

Sorbet, mulled wine
Chill a bottle of shop-bought mulled wine and pour it into an ice cream maker. Churn to sorbet, box and freeze. 

Stock, basic
Carcass/giblets (no liver), split carrots and celery, halved onion, peppercorns, thyme, bay, parsley stalks. 7l water. Simmer until stops getting tastier. Cool overnight, skim, bag and freeze.

Syrup, fruit
1:1:1 w:w:w fruit, caster sugar and water. Dissolve sugar over heat. Add fruit, mash up and steep 1h. Strain with jelly bag (squeeze), bottle and refrigerate.

Syrup, herb
1:1:1 v:v:v herbs, caster sugar and water. Boil 1 min, cool and strain.

Syrup, simple
1:1 v:v caster sugar and water. Heat until the sugar dissolves, cool.

Syrup, vanilla
250ml sugar, 250ml water, 1 vanilla pod, split. Heat until the sugar dissolves, cool.

Teriyaki glaze
4, 4, 3, 2, 1 tbsps of soy, mirin, demerara sugar, rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil; 2cm ginger, grated. Heat to dissolve sugar and reduce by half.

Turkey, cooking times
Gressingham guide.

Vinaigrette
3:1 oil:vinegar.

Yorkshire puddings, volumetric method
Equal volumes flour, eggs and milk. Pinch of salt. Mix and cook in mad hot beef or goose dripping at 200˚C until done (about 15–20 mins). Each egg makes 2 yorkies.