Saturday, September 7, 2013

Experimenting with coulis

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I am always finding something on MasterChef that looks lekker,  but that I’ve never heard of and haven’t a clue how to make.   Fruit coulis recently fell into that category.   Basically a fruit jam, I first made one to use up some overripe blueberries, composing a parfait with yoghurt and chocolate. 

Unfortunately it rapidly devolved to an unappetizing brown and purple stew.

The main problem was getting the three layers to set ahead of spooning them into the jars.  The trick is to both cook a bit more and cool a bit more, especially for the coulis.  Now, I can grind them out quickly1, 2, 3, from any fruits on hand:

  1. Put 1-2 cups of ripe fruit, diced to blueberry size if larger than that, into a saucepan with a tablespoon of liquid (water, wine, brandy).  Heat over low heat until the fruit starts to soften.
  2. DSC09956 (853x1200)Add 1 tblsp sugar, squeeze in the juice form one lemon, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, as the fruit breaks down and the juices thicken.
  3. When the sauce is the consistency of syrup, remove from the heat and pour through a strainer into a bowl, using a spatula to press the liquid out.  Turn and scrape the bottom of the strainer into the bowl as well, discard the  remainder in the strainer.

An hour’s refrigeration and it’s good to go: I’ve been layering meusli, greek yogurt, and coulis for breakfast all week.  I’m starting to experiment with berry mixtures and different liquids; the basic recipe seems really adaptable and reliable  now.  I still need to mix it with a chocolate fondant recipe as well to be truly MasterChef caliber.

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DSC09448 (1193x1200)Last month it was leeks: I thought the soups were better than the ‘leek and cheese’ and ‘creamed leek’ casseroles (several tries and it never really came together).  I’ve been doing a wonderful tomato soup from scratch that is  even better cold, and got wondering if the same trick might work with leeks.

And that would be Vichyssoise soup.

Basically leek and potato, cream and onion, it goes together quickly and was great as a cold side in the heat of the afternoon.

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