stuffed ricotta crepes

as seen on Ottolenghi’s Instagram account once. 

Ok, now that we are spending more and more time together, I might as well tell you more about me, apart from my loyalty for pork and pleasure for swearing. Let’s start with the fact that I have a thing for figs, the fresh ones. I love their sweet flavour and sweet aroma and I’m pretty sure I could eat tones and still not have enough. Add cheese and/or wine and I will be yours forever. Stuff them with cheese, alcohol, cover them in chocolate and you might be The One. 

‘But the title says stuffed ricotta crepes, why on Earth are you even talking about figs?’, you’ll ask. Well, yes. But the thing is, a well-trained monkey could stuff crepes with some cheese, I would’t waste time writing about this. What the title doesn’t say and probably most of you will not read because you are already looking for recipes on another blog is that these stuffed ricotta crepes are covered in the world’s most delicious sauce, mostly made out of champagne, orange juice, orange zest, caramelized figs – a thingy that was probably invented by the Gods a really long time ago – and sprinkled with crushed salted pistachios.

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 Now, about those crepes. A crêpe or crepe is a type of very thin pancake, usually made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour (galettes). The word is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning “curled”. The common ingredients include flour, eggs, milk, butter, and a pinch of salt.

For the crepes you’ll need 100g plain flour – sifted, 2 eggs, 200ml milk, 50g butter, grated orange zest from one medium orange, 50g caster sugar, a pinch of salt. For the champagne sauce you’ll need about 125ml champagne (I mean, that’s how much I got left after I opened the bottle and quality checked it *wink-wink*), the juice and zest of an orange, 4-5 fresh figs, 1 tbsp brown sugar. And of course, some ricotta cheese to stuff them and a bit of vanilla extract to mix the cheese with. And some salted pistachios, if you fancy them. 

First, the crepes. Sift the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, start mixing. Gradually add milk, keep whisking. Melt the butter in a pan; add half of the quantity into the batter, use the other half for the actual frying of the crepes. I’ll assume you all know how to do that, so I’ll carry on with the sauce. 

Slice the figs and set a pan over a low-medium heat. Add the figs, sprinkle brown sugar and allow the sugar to melt slowly without stirring and continue to cook until it becomes a deep amber-coloured caramel. Remove from the heat, add the orange juice, orange zest and that glass of champagne, return the pan to low-medium heat and cook the thingy until it reduces to half. 

Quickly mix the ricotta cheese with a bit of vanilla extract, stuff the crepes, drown them in that heavenly sauce, sprinkle crushed salted pistachios on top, enjoy.

You’re welcome!

Lamb loin chops, mustard and pistachio crust

Cut from the rump end of the loin and with the backbone chined, these chops have both loin and fillet meat and are most 20160320_144228-01[1]succulent of all the chops. At least, that’s what they say in my second favourite book, The Meat Cookbook. I know you didn’t ask, but The Catcher in the Rye is my favourite one. Moving on.

Lamb loin chops excess fat trimmed (your butcher can do this). As many as you want. I usually cook two per portion but hey!, who am I to judge? What else? Oh, mustard. English mustard (the wholegrain one will do also), let’s say 2 tablespoons, a cup of salted pistachios – you can go for the unsalted ones, 50g of butter, breadcrumbs, maldon salt, black pepper.

Ok, this should be simple. Preheat the oven at 200º C. Chop the pistachios, mix them with the mustard, butter, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Use the mixture to rub the meat, making sure it gets allover the chops.

Fry the lamb chops in a dry, hot frying pan for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan. Bake on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes. Remove and leave to rest for 10-12 minutes. Eat!

11018167_10204489564696513_1529865084559681156_n You’re welcome!