I make so much butter from scratch, that I’m constantly trying to figure out what to do with the leftover buttermilk. Of course, you can just buy buttermilk from the market for this recipe.
Neila is a family friend of ours, and a fantastic artist. During the summers, she would join us for a night or two up at Angora Lake, and make me photobooks so I could remember those trips. She also made a damn tasty blue cheese dressing as it turns out. I found this recipe in my godmother’s desk. I like to make it really garlicky. It’s tasty on sandwiches too. Or dip veggies into it.
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of mayo (if you have sour cream, you could do a 1/4 mayo, 1/4 sour cream)
1/2 cup of blue cheese - (Roquefort tastes good too)
2 cloves of grated garlic
squeeze of half a lemon
salt and pepper
If you don’t want the dressing too chunky, throw it in a food processor for just a moment.
Making cakes does not come naturally to me .. they require such precision and I tend to *not be so precise in the kitchen .. typically because i’m entertaining and talking and cooking all at the same time.
But a cake made with sour cream is quite simple and fairly hard to screw up (famous last words!). While the cake is very moist, it’s plain and simple and it does well with a fresh fruit salad served with it. This one is soaked in pink champagne .. it’s an apertif and dessert in one dish!
I used Violette Liqueur because I had the tail-end of a bottle on the shelf. You likely won’t have that liqueur lying around and, certainly, there’s no need to make a special trip to find it. This will work just as well with Sherry.
Make sure you have a 9 inch spring-release cake tin before you get started on this.
This feeds 8 - 10 people.
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of sour cream
a knob of room temperature butter
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 1/2 cups of plain flour (you’ll use some of this for dusting the cake tin)
4 tablespoons Violette Liqueur or Sherry (or some other liqueur you’re a fan of!)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
a spring-release cake tin .. one that is 9 inches (standard).
Any kind of berries will really work well for this.
2 cups of sliced strawberries
1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of raspberries
2 cups of pineapple
2 cups of pink sparkling wine
1/2 cup of sugar
Turn on the oven to 350F.
Combine evenly the sugar and sour cream together, and then trickle in the canola oil. Add the eggs one-by-one stirring enthusiastically so the mix doesn’t get clumpy and remains evenly distributed.
Butter the cake tin lightly and then take a few teaspoons of the flour and dust the cake tin with it.
In another bowl mix the flour and the baking powder. Important to make sure the baking powder isn’t lumpy so mix well. (If your baking powder is lumpy, you can add it to the flour via a small sieve.)
Slowly mix in the flour mix into the batter, stirring well. Then add the liqueur.
Now pour the batter into the cake tin.
Bake for 50 - 55 mins. You should be able to poke a sharp knife into the center of the cake and have no wet batter on it as you pull out the knife.
While the cake bakes, make the fruit salad. Mix up all the fruit, sugar and sparkling wine and let the fruit sit.
Remove the cake from the oven, let cool for 15 mins (you can make this the day prior), slice into portions and put on plate. Put the fruit salad next to the cake on the plate, and spoon over some of the liquid from the fruit salad onto the cake.
This is a very low fuss roast that you can prepare quickly and then pop in the oven and leave for a few hours with no worries allowing you to get on with your day.
I like a boneless leg of lamb because they are much easier to roast evenly throughout .. and because they offer such a great opportunity to add another flavor into the dish by stuffing the piece of meat. I always have some olive tapenade in my fridge which made coating the inside of the lamb with it an easy choice.
The onions add a a great sweet flavor to the meal.
Let the lamb sit for at least an hour in the fridge or overnight with the olive tapenade to soak the flavors before popping it into the oven.
1 boneless leg of lamb
1 cup of olive tapenade recipe here
salt and pepper
string for tying up the leg
2 - 3 big onions
1 - 1 1/2 lbs little potatoes
Feeds about 8 people
Oven at 300F when you’re ready to roast.
Open up the butterflied lamb leg and sprinkle salt and pepper on the flesh. Then coat with the olive tapenade.
Tie up the lamb so that the olive tapenade stays inside the center of the butterflied leg. You’ll find that some escapes so just pat it back in and with any leftovers you can spread it over the outside skin of the leg.
Salt and pepper the leg on the outside.
Let the leg now sit for an hour or up to overnight in the fridge. (If you do the latter pull it out about 30 mins before putting it into the oven to get to room temp).
Slice the onions into big chunks. Layer those on the bottom of the roasting pan and toss with some salt and pepper. If you have some balsamic vinegar at hand, adding a dash of that always adds to the flavor of slow roasted onions but it’s not necessary. Now lay the lamb on top of the onions.
Pop in the oven and let roast for 2 1/4 hours. Pull out the lamb and add the potatoes to the roasting pan, tossing them so they are coated in any of the oils that have come off the lamb. (Of course you can roast these in a separate pan if that’s easier for you .. toss in olive oil or duckfat).
Now roast the lamb, onions and potatoes for a further 45 mins for a total of 3 hours for the lamb.
Pull out once the time is up and then let it rest for 15 mins or so.