Brussels Sprouting. . . . . . .

At this time of the year there is very little left to pick in the Walled Garden, but the Brassicas are still producing leaves. As you can see from the photo my Brussels Sprouts literally set a few new leaves at the top of the stalk every day and if I am faster at picking them, than the pigeons, I can usually get enough together with some curly kale to make a lovely accompaniment to go with curds.
This is one of René Redzepi’s recipes. He makes a weak broth of dulse and bacon which you reduce to a third. The flavour is mildly, smoky/salty. I prefer a proper home made chicken broth for this.
If you have never had curds Little Miss Muffet style, then I can thoroughly recommend experimenting. The texture is like yoghurt and the flavour is of sweet full cream milk. Use the good milk that has not been homogenised, I get the Taste the Difference from Sainsbury’s and make them the day before you need them. You need to add a little cream and a little buttermilk, we are talking a tablespoon of each to around 300mls of milk, at room temperature. Then add a teaspoon of rennet. I “cook” mine using the Sous Vide as a water bath on 37 degrees for 2 hours. When you can press it gently with a finger and there is a little “set” on it, take it out and chill it in the fridge overnight.
The Brassica leaves I bake in the oven with oil and a little salt till they are crispy. I heat my chicken broth and put a scoop of curds into a soup bowl. Then I pour a little hot chicken broth round it and serve it with a handful of Brassica leaves sprinkled over. The sweetness of the milk, salty Brassica leaves and the chicken broth is a delicious combination. So very different to anything I have had for a long time. As a child we made something similar before mass produced yoghurt was marketed. Although as I said it is not sour like yoghurt, just creamy and milky. Hard to describe, so go and experiment…………….

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