Betty defends British food!

UK Master Chef Hosts

So here is another one of my pet peeves: complaints about British food.

I have just watched a series on BBC America called UK Master Chefs - The Professionals.

I don't think I have ever seen the equal of the food prepared by the chefs on this show. The competitors were brilliant - especially when they had to go into the kitchens of Michelin starred restaurants and prepare some of their signature dishes.

Perhaps Heston Blumenthal goes a bit over the top when his seafood appetizer is accompanied by a conch shell and earphones so you can hear the sounds of the sea while eating and do you really need to be sprayed by a "woodsy" mist to fully appreciate a deconstructed Black Forest Torte???? Maybe not, but his food is amazing.

So no more denigrating British food please! And if you have access to the BBC America, do watch some of their food programs.

Here is one episode (more on YouTube if you don't have the BBCA channel).

Note: Will not play on Apple IPAD

Gray's Breakfast Sandwich

We visited our family in Vermont recently - a visit made even more special since our grandson, Gray, was home from college in Los Angeles. On the day we were leaving, he got up really early to make us his special breakfast sandwich. If you are a growing boy who surfs, rides a bicycle 4 miles each way to school every day, snowboards and is otherwise very active, you could probably eat this once or twice a week.

The rest of us will just have to enjoy it as on occasional special treat!

Gray's Breakfast Sandwich

Two servings
Two bagels, sliced
6 slices very sharp cheddar cheese, or enough to cover one half of a bagel
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 slices bacon, cooked until crisp
6 slices ripe avocado

Place both halves on the bagel on a baking sheets and toast until done and cheese has melted.

Meantime, cook the eggs in the same skillet you cooked the bacon in, having drained the excess fat, in egg rings until just done. You may flip them over towards the end of cooking if desired.

Place the bagel halves on a serving dish, top the cheese half with the egg, bacon and avocado slices. Top with remaining bagel halves and enjoy!

If you want to zip this up a little, try adding a little hot sauce to the eggs before cooking or add a little salsa when you are assembling the sandwiches.

FitAnge S has made a comment on Gray's Breakfast Sandwich 

Yum that looks delicious. Great combination and great for low carb dieting with exception of the bread roll. Thanks for sharing

Peach Torte

I first tasted this lovely torte at my friend Flora's house.  It's a recipe that has been around for ages and was originally made with Italian prune plums cut in half.  I have changed it a bit, replacing some of the flour with almond flour, adding almond extract and using sliced peaches in place of the plums.  Of course the original is good too!  You can also use any plum, sliced, or pears.  In the winter, I have used canned apricot halves well drained and placed on paper towels to dry further.

Note: If you cannot find almond flour, simply place 1/4 cup of sliced almonds in a food processor with the sugar and process until finely ground. Otherwise, just use an additional 1/4 cup of plain flour.  I particularly like the texture the almond flour gives.

¾ cup (145g)  plus 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar
1 stick (112g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (120g) unbleached flour   
¼ cup (20g) almond flour       
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder          
2 eggs
1 teaspoon (5g) almond extract
Pinch of salt
2 or 3 ripe peaches
sliced almonds

Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, cream the ¾ cup sugar and butter.

Add the flour, almond flour, baking powder, eggs, and salt and beat to mix well. Place in a 9  ungreased cake pan lined with parchment paper.  Cover the top with the sliced peaches.

Mix the sliced almonds with the remaining 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar and sprinkle over the top.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the center tests done with a toothpick.  Remove and cool to room temperature or serve warm.  Serve plain or with vanilla ice cream.

Note:  Cake freezes well.  To serve, return to room temperature and reheat at 300° until  warm.

Variations:  I have made this with Italian plums cut in half or regular plums cut in quarters omitting the sliced almonds and substituting a teaspoon of cinnamon.  Canned apricots very well drained also work as do canned pears. This recipe will also make two 6” cakes.