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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Feeling peckish? Try eatthechef, with fries

Chef Simon Rimmer likes to be kept busy, you can tell. It’s not enough to star in a weekly TV show, run two restaurants, write books, give demos and be father of two.

Simon Rimmer photo
Simon Rimmer

Now he is involved with a new website called www.eatthechef.com.

It’s a community site where anyone can upload their vlogs, (video logs) of themselves cooking.

Simon hopes to create a database of free videos created by the users themselves.

When he’s not filming vlogs for the website, coming up with recipes for BBC2’s Sunday morning show Something For The Weekend – “I write four a week, and we’re on week 165!” – or running his restaurants, Simon says he somehow finds time to see his family.

“I have two restaurants, two kids and one wife,” he says frankly.

“And I try and give a little bit of everything to all of them, but I’d hate to be married to me.”

Simon admits that working pretty much seven days a week can be hard on his wife, Ali, and two kids, Florence, 12, and Hamish, aged six. But he’s about to make it up to them.

“Next week, Ali and I are off to St Lucia where I’ll do cookery demonstrations and she’ll get to sit by the pool. It’s the first time I’ve been offered such a glam gig – normally they happen in Wigan and Coventry.”

“My mum will look after the kids, which is a holiday for them, and it’ll get me a few brownie points,” he admits with a chuckle.

“But I’m very thankful for all these opportunities. Let’s face it, I could be making burgers in McDonald’s.”

Try out some of Simon’s recipes from his book, The Accidental Vegetarian.

PAN HAGGERTY (Serves 4)

Ingredients

50g/2oz butter

1 onion, finely sliced

200g/7oz waxy potatoes, peeled and finely sliced

75g/3oz mature Cheddar cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4. Heat half the butter in an oven proof pan and fry the onion until soft, then remove from the pan.

2 Put a layer of potato in the same plan and fry for a few minutes until golden.

3 Now layer up onion, potato, onion, seasoning each layer and finishing with potato.

4 Melt the remaining butter and pour over the pan. Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes until soft.

5 Before serving, grate the cheese over the top and put under a hot grill until the cheese bubbles, then serve.

RED THAI BEAN CURRY (SERVES 4)

Ingredients

400ml tin of coconut milk

100ml stock

225g cooked fine beans

225g cooked broad beans

1 bunch of spring onions, finely

chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

Lime wedges and fresh coriander leaves, to serve

For the curry paste

10 black peppercorns

2tsp cumin seeds

2tsp coriander seeds

10 red chillies (deseeded if you

like)

5 shallots

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Piece of fresh ginger

6 stalks of lemon grass

12 kaffir lime leaves

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1/2tsp turmeric

Splash of vegetable oil

Splash of chilli oil

1tbsp palm sugar

2tbsp vegetable oil for frying

Method

1 To make the curry paste, dry-fry the peppercorns, cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant, then grind them in a mortar and pestle.

2 Put them with all the other paste ingredients except the oil into a blender and blitz until smooth – it takes 5-10 minutes.

3 Warm the oil in a pan and add four good spoonfuls of paste (one per person). Cook on a low heat until it becomes fragrant.

4 Crank up the heat, add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes.

5 Add the finer and broad beans, onions and tomatoes and simmer for about 4 minutes.

6 Divide curry between bowls and garnish with lime wedges and coriander and serve with rice.

PASSION FRUIT TART (SERVES 8-10)

Ingredients for the pastry

225g plain flour, plus extra for

the dusting

75g unsalted butter, cubed

Pinch of salt

100g sifted icing sugar

50ml milk

2 egg yolks

1 egg, beaten, for egg wash

Icing sugar, to server

For the Filling

350g cater sugar

150ml water

Pulp and juice of 12 passion

fruit

9 eggs

300ml double cream

Method

1 To make the pastry, put the flour, butter, salt and icing sugar into a food processor and pulse until ’crumby’.

2 Then add the milk and the egg yolks and pulse until it forms a dough.

3 Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, then cover and chill for at least one hour.

4 Turn the pastry out onto your floured surface and roll out 5cm/2inches larger than a 28cm/11 inch tart case.

Push the pastry into the base, leaving the excess hanging over the sides, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

5 Preheat the oven to 180C/Mark 4. Line the pastry case with foil and rice or baking beans and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

6 Remove the rice or beans and oil, brush with the eggwash and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Leave to cool.

7 Whisk the eggs and sugar together, then add the cream. Using a slotted spoon, add all the passion fruit pulp to the cream mixture with a little of the juice, probably about 1 tablespoon. Reserve the remaining juice to use as extra sauce.

8 Pour this custard into the cooked and cooled tart case (fill the tart case while it’s sitting on the oven shelf, with the shelf pulled out to avoid spills).

9 Reduce the oven to 170C/Mark 3 and bake the tart on the middle shelf for about 40 minutes.

10 It should still be a little wobbly, but it will carry on cooking and will set. To serve, dust the tart with icing sugar and a spoonful of extra sauce.

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