Updated: Apr 9
Having been just on the verge of launching my new supper club venture this coming Saturday 28th March as the Real Hoxton Chef, the unexpected happened and unfortunately it came to an abrupt halt.
How I felt is how you all felt when we heard the word Coronavirus is on our land and I can tell you I was knocked for six. Now I don’t have the virus myself as I have been safe and I am staying safe but I have to say, it took a lot of effort in to getting this event up and running and for those in hospitality or just business in general, I think you know where I am coming from in putting things in order.
Six month ago I started this process then two month ago I became fully booked and just three weeks ago I upped the energy as I became more organised. To get things started I searched for weeks on end for that fresh pasta supplier as I knew I would not have the time to make it fresh myself leading up to the event and the supplier had to be local to me and then to wake up before the crack of dawn for an early morning meeting with the butchers in Smithfield meat market and then to go visiting a few different fruit and veg suppliers and also meeting with my fish supplier.
And so as you can imagine all this takes time and as I was still going to work as a free-lance chef I was also putting in the hours, but not to grumble as it comes with the territory as being a chef.
So I am now back in front of the key pad and thinking to myself that I may have a hell of a lot of time on my hands over the coming weeks, but before I get carried away totally, in thinking and over thinking about the here and now, I am just putting things in perspective.
During lockdown, I will try to load as much food related things to my web page and my Facebook page as I possibly can, over the coming weeks and months as this will be my own working at home job and as I have not been able to blog for a while due to work commitments this feeling is very refreshing as I can just write freely and without any research as such.
With the postponement of a Tribute to Gary Rhodes event, I will announce upcoming dates in the very near future so hold tight for information coming soon.
So in the meantime let me give away some recipes and methods of cooking and then why don’t you get cooking or baking and try them out.
Below is the first instalment, it’s the lemon tart that I have on my menu and I will take you through it step by step, it is so simple to make but yet so very refreshing and tasty with a tang to tickle your taste buds.
On my menu I serve it with Raspberry sorbet, dried raspberries raspberry sauce and a sugar shard and it is encased in a lovely sweet pastry scented with lemon.
Lemon Tart Recipe - 8 Portions
1x9.5 inch push up flan ring, chopping board, weighing scales, Knife, zester or grater, mixing machine, measuring jug, rolling pin, sieve, mixing bowl, grease proof paper and dusting flour.
250g butter, 500g plain flour, 175g icing sugar, 1 lemon zest, 1 vanilla pod, 1 large egg
Weigh all ingredients then cut the butter in to dice and add to the mixing machine.
Sieve the icing sugar in a mixing bowl then add to the butter, mix slowly to start then on full speed for 30 seconds.
Clean the sides down and repeat the process a few more times until it is totally incorporated.
Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways, scrape the insides out and then add it to the butter mix.
Add the sifted flour and the lemon zest and mix again.
Crack the egg into a small bowl and add to the mixture and blend until it forms together. If it is to dry then crack another egg, whisk it then add it a little at a time until it takes on a smooth texture, you may only need an extra half an egg.
Remove from the machine and mix on a table to form a ball and add a dusting of flour if it is too wet, flatten it, wrap it in cling film and rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
After resting the pastry, remove the film then place the paste on a floured table and roll it out evenly to the desired shape.
Roll it back on to the rolling pin and then unroll it over the flan ring and push in to the corners, trim off the excess overlap and keep to one side.
Place the pastry in the fridge for a further 20 minutes, cut some baking paper to size then place in the middle of the pastry with baking beans.
Cook at 160 C / 320 F / gas 2-3 for 20-25 minutes, when cooked check for cracks and fill in with the spare pastry you kept to one side. While this is cooking you can start making the lemon tart mix.
9 eggs, 6 lemons, 1 lime, 420 g caster sugar and 360 ml double cream.
Crack the eggs, add the sugar and whisk.
Zest of lemons and lime and add to above then squeeze, sieve out the seeds over a mixing bowl and add the juice to the eggs, add the cream and whisk and pour in to a measuring jug.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes then remove the froth from the top with a spoon.
Place the pastry in the oven and then slowly pour in the tart mix until it is near the top.
Close the oven and bake at 155 C / 300 F / gas 2 for 35 - 40 minutes.
To check if it is cooked it should ripple like jelly in the centre, if it don’t then leave it for another 10 minutes and check it again.
Once it is cooked remove it from the oven and leave to cool before placing in the fridge.
If you want to caramelize the top then dust it with Icing sugar and burn it with a blow torch but take great care and do not burn yourself and always hold the torch away from you.
Cut and eat as desired, enjoy.