The Cookbook Review: Kitchin Suppers by Tom Kitchin
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Lucy Holden kicks off brand new feature The Cookbook Series with Tom Kitchin’s new publication Kitchin Suppers, proving students can cook like celebrity chefs too.
Anyone who knows anything about cooking will know and love Tom Kitchin. His name says it all – he was born to do what he does. For those that don’t know, Kitchin is the petite Scot whose name is above Edinburgh’s famed The Kitchin; the prestigious restaurant which awarded him as the youngest person ever to win a Michelin star.
Kitchin loves seasonal, and now he has written a simple, home-cookery book that allows us to recreate those exquisite dishes at home. This is simple, easy-to-follow cookery at its best: ‘one-pan wonders’, Saturday suppers, easy desserts, lots of risottos and tray-bakes, quick starters and wintry mains. Recipes slink between four cheese omelettes to duck breast to mussels and then pan-fried cod; the diversity of the dishes is hugely appealing and it’s nice to see a Scottish tint on this cuisine.
Despite being fairly simple to do, the results are incredibly impressive and that comes partly down to using great, seasonal ingredients and unique flavour-matching. The edge Kitchin has over other chefs doing similar things is that he puts that classy, no-nonsense edge on everything he does and quite frankly it made Kitchin Suppers a delight to follow.
Goat’s cheese wrapped in Parma ham with marinated red peppers and basil
olive oil for cooking
3 red peppers
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped black olives
Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Heat a non-stick ovenproof frying pan and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the whole peppers, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 1–2 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the peppers for 12–15 minutes until soft. On removing from the oven, place the peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with cling film. Set aside for 10 minutes; the steam created will help to lift the skins.
Remove the peppers from the bowl, peel off the skins, then cut them in half and remove the seeds and membranes. Slice the red peppers into strips and place in a bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil, the pickled garlic slices, chopped olives, sherry vinegar and some seasoning. Toss to combine and set aside.
Cut each goat’s cheese in half and loosely wrap a slice of Parma ham around each half (see below). Place the parcels on a baking tray in the oven for 4–5 minutes until the cheese starts to melt.
Meanwhile, add the shredded basil to the red pepper mixture and toss to combine. Spoon onto a platter or individual plates. Top with the goat’s cheese parcels and scatter over a few rocket leaves to serve. Accompany with warm, crusty bread.
Smoked salmon and spinach lasagne
Tom says: ‘This comforting pasta bake is easy to prepare and always popular. The recipe is based on a Scandinavian dish that my wife Michaela has been making for years. It’s absolutely delicious and has the added advantage that it can be prepared in advance, ready to bake and serve when required’.
Lucy says: ‘Although you need to slightly increase the quantity of Béchamel sauce you make with this dish I’d definitely make it again, the ingredients work wonderfully together and the consistency of smoked salmon when cooked becomes almost poached’.
75g plain flour
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 leek, trimmed, washed and cut into strips
400g baby spinach
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
400g smoked salmon
300g Cheddar, grated
8–10 lasagne sheets
4 dill sprigs, roughly chopped, to garnish
Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 1–2 minutes. Slowly stir in the milk and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
For the lasagne, melt half the butter in a heavy-based pan over a medium-low heat. Add the leek strips, season with salt and pepper and sweat gently for 2–3 minutes. Add the spinach leaves, a handful at a time, along with the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Drain off the excess liquid.
Use the rest of the butter to grease a large square or rectangular ovenproof dish. Cut the smoked salmon into small pieces, roughly 2cm square.
Spoon a layer of the béchamel sauce over the bottom of the dish and layer a third of the lasagne sheets on top. Spoon half of the leek and spinach mixture over the lasagne, followed by a good third of the smoked salmon, then cover with a third of the remaining béchamel and sprinkle some cheese over the surface. Repeat the layers of lasagne, leek and spinach, smoked salmon, béchamel and cheese, then cover with a top layer of lasagne.
Spoon the rest of the béchamel sauce on top and scatter over the remaining smoked salmon and grated cheese. Bake for about 45 minutes until the top is a deep golden colour. To check that the lasagne is cooked, insert a knife in the middle; it should meet with minimal resistance.
Scatter the chopped dill on top of the lasagne and serve, with a crisp green salad on the side.
Chocolate and walnut brownie
Tom Kitchin says: ‘This dessert is universally popular and always brings a smile to everyone’s face. It’s one where you have a spoonful and can’t resist another one. The secret here is to make sure you don’t overcook the mixture, as the brownies must remain soft and gooey in the centre’.
Lucy says: ‘What a crowd pleaser. A beautiful recipe’.
200g unsalted butter, in pieces
300g good-quality dark chocolate (at least 55% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces
90g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 free-range medium eggs
250g soft dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g walnuts, chopped
110ml double cream
60g caster sugar
220g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
Heat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3. Line a 30 x 20cm baking tin with baking parchment.
Put the butter and 200g of the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Place over a pan of gently simmering water until melted. Stir until smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside to cool slightly.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together into a bowl.
In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla extract together until slightly thickened. Fold in the melted chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the sifted flour until just combined. Finally, carefully fold in the chopped walnuts and remaining chocolate.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin, gently spreading it into the corners. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until nicely crusted on the top and still soft in the middle.
Leave the brownie in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
To make the chocolate sauce, pour the cream and water into a heavy-based pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and chocolate. Continue to stir until the chocolate is melted and the sauce is smooth.
Cut the brownie into squares and serve with the chocolate sauce and whipped cream if you like.