YIELD: 40 SERVINGS
EFFORT: 1 HOUR
1/2 cup butter
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 large can condensed milk
3/4 cup milk
- Put milk and butter in a thick-based or insulated pan on low heat.
- Add sugar and give a good stir.
- Add condensed milk, stir continuously until toffee comes to a boil, approximately 20 minutes. It must be boiling continuously — not just a few bubbles.
- Stir constantly for 20-30 minutes, without stopping. Throughout the stirring process, the mixture will begin to turn a dark honey color.
- To test, drop a teaspoon of the mixture onto a plate. If it sets, then the toffee is ready. If not, continue stirring.
- When ready, remove from heat and beat the mixture before pouring into a greased pan. Leave the mixture to set.
- Cut the toffee into squares after it has set, but before it hardens.
Via Josey Packard at The Alembic
1/2 lemon, juiced
.5 oz simple syrup
2 oz gin
Muddle 10 raspberries in a Boston shaker, followed by the juice of half a lemon. Add .5 oz of simple syrup (or none if you tend towards tart), then 2 oz of your favorite gin. Shake with ice, pour into a glass and top with champagne.
Hack: use a highball if you plan to have many, use a champagne flute if you’re on the salty side.
A few weeks back, Ciaran indulged me in a spot of tea at Garden Court. Petite sandwiches, fruit tarts, Brit scones with clotted Devon cream, chocolate truffles, Earl Grey and a few infusions of Albemarle Fizz transported from the lush hotel bar.
Worth every penny. You should go.
This one takes a bit of work, but it’s well worth the effort.
3 whole mushrooms and 1 chopped red bell pepper go onto a broiler pan, receive a sprinkling of salt and oil, then broil on HIGH for 3-5 minutes depending on how lazy your oven is.
Into your big salad bowl goes the following:
- 3 liberal dashes of salt, repeat with black pepper
- 1 small dollop of your favorite grainy mustard
- 1 finely chopped clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of your best oil
- .75 cups of toasted walnuts (watch those carefully on a pan in the oven while the broiler burns)
In a small saucepan, melt .5 cups of gorgonzola with a tablespoon (or two) of something sufficiently creamy. I like to use whatever Ciaran’s putting in his coffee, though buttermilk sounded like a great idea last time around. Once you’ve got a saucy sauce, pour it in with the salad dressing you’ve started and whip it up with a fork.
Get your spinach spanking clean, pull your roasting project out of the broiler, chop the products into thin slices then merge it all together just before serving. To prep this salad in advance, layer the dressing in the bowl with a blanket of undressed spinach, roasted vegetables on top.
Moments like these are priceless. We’ve been on a home cooking spree as of late and the boy doesn’t back down from a challenge. Last night he set out to whip up a classic bernaise sauce, and unlike my cooking experiments, everything worked out perfectly.
Taking a cue from Nigella Lawson’s presumptuously titled book, How to Eat, Ciaran turned a stick of butter and some herbs into a fucking gorgeous sauce.
Sadly, when Nigella told us, “Too much tarragon can evoke that manure-underfoot, farmhouse scent,” she wasn’t kidding. I love leaning over a good pot of sauce, but this one left me gagging.
And forget about finding any chervil. Go annoy yourself at 8 different groceries or simply use a substitute. 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes plus 1/8 teaspoon rubbed, dried sage does the trick. We didn’t do this and Nigella didn’t seem to care, “the sauce will still taste fabulous.”