I thought we had better have some recipes today, and the first is something which if I did not make with Christmas lunch, my sons would not be happy at all. They love it so much and to be fair so do I. To have any chicken, guinea fowl, goose or game bird without it would be sacrilege if that is not too strong a word.
I have to make it in almost industrial proportions and even then there is still a fight for the scrapings.
Not that you have to eat it only at Christmas, in fact this Sunday last I made some because we were having chicken for dinner and it is so easy to make.
So I hear you shout for goodness sake Powerful what is this wondrous stuff that we are missing out on, which goes hand in hand with your force-meat stuffing, your chipolatas wrapped in bacon, your butter fried chestnuts?
Of course I am referring to BREAD SAUCE and if you have never had some I urge you to try it and if you are a convert and buy the packet stuff then please try making your own, it knocks the socks off it and this is what you need to make your own.
Now as I said I have to make huge quantities but for a normal family of four the following should be enough, for more just up the proportions.
First of all you need to flavour a half pint of milk by putting a medium sized peeled and halved onion in the milk with a few cloves, probably half a dozen, if you want a stronger flavour add more cloves but do not go too mad, you want a subtle flavour. Leave it as long as you can to get the flavour but not so long that the milk curdles, half an hour should do it but play it by ear. You will also need 2 ounces of fine breadcrumbs and a pinch of nutmeg and the obligatory salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the milk through a fine sieve to get rid of the onion and cloves and put the now strained milk in a saucepan. Start heating the milk and put the breadcrumbs in stirring all the time until the sauce starts to thicken, you want a very thick sauce not a runny one. When the sauce is really thick grate some nutmeg in or use ready ground and season with salt and pepper. You can swirl a little single cream in just to add a bit of luxury. Then serve with your chicken, turkey etc and enjoy.
As I am writing this Mrs Powerfulpierre is in the kitchen making Potage Crecy, French carrot soup.
The carrots grown in the vicinity of Crecy have the reputation as the tastiest in the whole of France which is why the name was given to the soup. From France, the soup crossed into England. According to 14th century tradition, loyal Britons should eat carrot soup or “potage Crecy” on the anniversary of the battle of Crecy, a legendary victory of the English over the French in the the Hundred Years’ War. Yes I am sure all good Englishman remember the 26th August 1346 and celebrate accordingly.
The smell of the soup has now started to waft into the study and it smells delicious.
So to the carrot soup, what you will need
Butter for frying
1 pound carrots peeled and chopped
1 medium sized onion peeled and finely chopped
1 large potato peeled and diced
one and a half pints chicken stock
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
1 tea spoon of sugar
Melt a knob of butter in a saucepan and add the vegetables. Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes. Gradually stir in the chicken stock and bring to boil, add salt and pepper to taste, parsley and sugar. Lower the heat and half cover. Simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
Purée the soup in a blender and return to the rinsed out pan, reheat gently and adjust seasoning, pour into warmed bowls for serving and swirl a spoonful of cream or creme fraiche in each bowl and top with fried croutons.
So there you have it a creamy, nourishing soup all the way from Crecy, bon appetit