Thursday, October 11, 2007

Poppy overload!

A quick one as I'm off to the lake district tomorrow for a girly weekend with friends from Dundee! I'm looking forward to it very much as there will be lots of chatting, walking, relaxing and nice food. But I'll blog about that next time. The post now is one I promised to my brother who was visiting last week with his girlfriend. It was so nice to see both of them (last time was in March) and spend some quality time both in Basel and the Alps. Tuesday night was their last evening in Basel and so we cooked the first fondue of the season. For dessert I wanted to make something special and decided to open one of the jars of poppy jelly I made in July.

I was intrigued from the first moment I saw this recipe and knew I had to make it. So I set out one afternoon, gathered way too many leaves and spent hours cleaning all the pollen off (it pays off to be a bit more careful in the picking, then you'll have a lot less work). I made three jars of beautiful red jelly that then disappeared into the cupboard and came out again last Tuesday night. The taste of the jelly was strange but nice, not very strong but also not like anything I'd ever tasted. I decided to pair it with a panna cotta and to prevent it from all being too jelly-like (and stick with the theme) I added poppy seeds which collected at the bottom (=top after inversion) of the mold. They formed a nice contrast both in colour and in texture to the creamy panna cotta. I just thinned out the jelly (2 tbsp with one tbsp water) by heating it and drizzled some over/around the pudding.

Poppy Panna Cotta (serves 4)
200ml Double cream*
200ml Single cream*
60g sugar
1/2 vanilla pod
2 tbsp poppy seeds
level 1/2 tsp agar-agar**

Mix cream, sugar, poppy seeds and agar-agar in a pan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the cream and throw the pod in. Gently bring to the boil and cook for 1-2 min. Leave to cool slightly, then pour into individual molds. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

* This was just what was in the fridge but you could use double cream and milk or all single cream or whatever you feel like.
** I find it easier to just have this at home for when vegetarian friends come for dinner, you could also use gelatine in which case you need 1 1/2 sheets.


Louise said...

looks lovely Eva! I spotted your plate - could it be from the 100 yen shop in Japan by any chance?? I fell in love and bought a small set of plates/bowls almost identical to that when I was there in 2002. I was worried about being over weight with the baggage but now I'm sad I didn't buy more because I only have a few left!

Di said...

Wow - it looks amazing! I am always so amazed by what you cook with - acorns, was lovely to see you at the weekend - just made me realise how much we miss your cheery presence (and great food) in Dundee!!

Eva said...

Thank you both!

Louise- the plate is japanese indeed but this one was bought in Cork of all places and not in the 100 yen shop. I know what you mean though, it's a great shop and I always regret not taking an extra suitcase! But did you know there is a mini one in the Japanese centre in London?! I got very excited when I saw that and did some more shopping :-)

Diane- it was great to see you to and hopefully I'll make it up to Dundee soon to see you guys there...good luck with the log!

Jo said...

Hi Eva

Great blog!

Where in Basel do you get your agar agar from?


Eva said...

Hi Jo,
Sorry for the late reply, I hope you see this as I tried to email back but can't access your site. I get my agar agar either at the bigger supermarkets (manor and globus have it and I think the bigger coop in town as well). Otherwise I get them at the health food shops as they always stock it. Good luck!