Friday, August 3, 2012

Lovely Lavender...


                                                                              

I love having lavender throughout my kitchen.

DEAN & DELUCA Herbes De ProvenceThe fragrant plant reminds me that I should not ignore it, but rather come up with more uses.  

Traditionally used in tea, my thoughts are turning to another form, such as a lovely creme brûlée...


ingredients


• 2 vanilla pods
• 300ml double cream
• 200ml whole milk
• 8 large free-range or organic egg yolks
• 75g sugar
• a bunch of lavender, flowers picked
• 4 tablespoons caster sugar



prepare...


Lavender has a clean fresh flavor and is surprisingly good in cooking. 

Preheat the oven to 275°F. Score the vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out the vanilla seeds with a knife or a teaspoon. Place the seeds into a saucepan, add the pods, cream and milk and slowly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.

Get a large bowl that will fit over your pan and beat together the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Remove the vanilla pods from the pan and, little by little, add the milk and cream to the egg mixture in the bowl, whisking continuously. Add 2.5cm of hot water to your dirty pan, bring to a simmer and put the bowl on top of the pan. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes over the simmering water, stirring often, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in a small handful of lavender flowers, but the trick is to be delicate – you only need a hint of its distinctive flavor. 

Remove any bubbles or froth from the mixture before dividing it between your ramekins. Stand these in a high-sided roasting tray, and fill the tray with water halfway up the ramekins. Place carefully in the preheated oven and cook for around 30 to 45 minutes or until the mixture has set but is still slightly wobbly in the centre. Allow to cool at room temperature then place in the fridge until ready.

To serve, sprinkle each crème brûlée with a tablespoon of caster sugar and some more of the lavender flowers and caramelize under a very hot grill or using the chef’s torch.




Another use for lavender in the kitchen would be to make a rub for chicken or meat.  
One very well known use is a Mediterranean mixture called Herbes de Provence
 Ingredients:  Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Savory, Basil, Fennel, Marjoram...
be sure to use olive oil to lock in the wonderful aromas & natural juices!


I love to mix it in any dish that I prepare with feta cheese 
(had this last night, and thoroughly enjoyed every bite... 
perfect for a simple summer appetizer or outside meal 
along with a glass of your favorite wine or sangria!)



Lavender Sugar

jar of lavender sugar with fresh flowers - sweet food Stock Photo - 10082307
The wonderful aromas in my kitchen coming from herbs 
makes it a welcome place to be.


Other great uses for Lavender in the home...


Lavender Brooms



Lavender Decor



                                                  

Lavender Wands...
                               


Lavender Quotes...

“There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: 
Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. 
Keep rosemary by your garden gate. 
Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. 
Plant roses and lavender, for luck. 
Fall in love whenever you can.”
Alice HoffmanPractical Magic


Lavender is for lovers true, Which evermore be faine; 
Desiring always for to have Some pleasure for their paine: 
And when that they obtained have The love that they require, 
Then have they all their perfect joie, 
And quenched is the fire.
~Lavender and Clement Robinson 
(Handefull of Pleasant Delites, 1584)




1 comment:

  1. The lavender seems particularly good this year. Your post makes me want to experiment with it a little more as an ingredient - love that creme brûlée, Phoebe

    ReplyDelete

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