Poached pears with ri­cotta METHOD

SERVES FIVE

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Front Page -

Put all the in­gre­di­ents for the stock syrup into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Re­duce to a sim­mer and stir un­til the sugar has dis­solved. Re­move from the heat and al­low to in­fuse while it cools. This can be kept in the fridge un­til you need it.

Peel and care­fully core each pear, leav­ing them whole and ide­ally with the stalks on. Lay them in a pan, along with the stock syrup.

Cover with a cir­cle of parch­ment pa­per and sit a plate (smaller than the cir­cum­fer­ence of the pan) on top – this keeps the pears in the syrup while they cook.

Bring to the boil then turn down to a sim­mer and cook for 10 min­utes, or a lit­tle less if the pears are re­ally ripe – check them with the tip of a knife. Re­move from the heat and al­low to cool in the syrup.

Beat the ri­cotta a lit­tle just to loosen, then mix in the mas­car­pone and ic­ing sugar, beat­ing to a smooth silky tex­ture. Mix in the lemon zest.

To serve, spread the ri­cotta on five plates. Sit a pear in each one, with a touch of the cook­ing liq­uid. Fin­ish with the chopped hazel­nuts.

Sun­day 11 November 2018

SERVES FOUR

Parmo, the clas­sic post-pub treat from Mid­dles­brough, got bad press re­cently for be­ing a tad calo­rie-heavy. Here I’ve taken in­spi­ra­tion from Aus­tralia, where they use chicken or aubergine. I’ve used chicken mini fil­lets, but you could slice an or­di­nary chicken breast into four or even six.

Soak the beans in cold wa­ter overnight, or at least for four hours.

Cube the ba­con, if us­ing. Drain the beans and put them into a roomy saucepan with the ba­con (or the ham bone if us­ing) and enough wa­ter to cover to dou­ble their own depth – beans need plenty of room to ex­pand.

Bring to the boil, skim, and then turn the heat down. Sim­mer for two to three hours un­til they are soft. You may need a lit­tle more boil­ing wa­ter – it depends on the beans.

Shred the let­tuce and stir it into the soup when the beans are soft. Cook for 10-15 min­utes.

Mash the beans a lit­tle. Re­move from the heat. Fork up the yolks, cream and vine­gar, and stir into the hot ( but not boil­ing) soup. Taste and sea­son. Fin­ish with finely chopped dill. Don’t re­heat.

Serve the soup with black bread and a bot­tle of Ro­ma­nian red wine.

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