January 16, 2014

Poached Pears

From The Telegraph UK – Xanthe Clay

Stilton & Walnut Paté

From www.channel4.com/Come dine with me

Vinaigrette Dressing

From www.deliaonline.com by Delia Smith

Ingredients: (Pears)

4-6 firm pears
Half a bottle of sweet Muscat or Moscatel wine
A vanilla pod
110gms sugar (granulated or castor)


1. Peel the pears, leaving the stems intact.
2. Put them in a small pan, one that will only just fit them, and add the wine, sugar, vanilla pod and enough water to barely cover.
3. Bring gently to simmering point, and cook slowly for half an hour or so until the pears are soft as butter. (If they keep bobbing above the level of the liquid, then put a heatproof saucer right on top to keep them submerged).

Ingredients: (Paté)

40gms walnut halves
50gsm blue Stilton, crumbled
25gms unsalted butter, softened
100gms cream cheese
½ tbsp lemon juice
50gms grated Parmesan


1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Toast the walnuts in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Reserve 6 walnuts for garnish, sealed in a container, and roughly chop the remainder.
2. Blend the Stilton, Parmesan, butter, cream cheese and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth.
3. Stir in the chopped walnuts and chill in the fridge until needed.

Ingredients: (Dressing)

1 rounded tsp Maldon sea salt
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 rounded tsp mustard powder
1 dessertspn balsamic vinegar
1 dessertspn sherry vinegar
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly milled black pepper


1. Begin by placing the salt in the mortar and crush it quite coarsely, then add the garlic and, as you begin to crush it and it comes into contact with the salt, it will quickly break down into a purée.
2. Next add the mustard powder and really work it in, giving it about 20 seconds of circular movements to get it thoroughly blended. After that, add some freshly milled black pepper.
3. Now add the vinegars and work these in in the same way, then add the oil, switch to a small whisk and give everything a really good, thorough whisking. Whisk again before dressing the salad.


Once the pears are cool, fill the cavity with the paté mix and mound it up on top of each pear. Arrange them on a bed of mixed salad leaves, and drizzle them with the dressing. Serve this with a basket of Crostini and extra paté.

logo_lady_only-tiny-version4La Femme:

The Sparkling and Sweet lesson this week had a really wide selection of tastes as there was a Botrytis wine in there too.  This recipe was, I thought, wide ranging enough in suitable flavours.  Muscat soaked pears are a delight anyway but to be able to serve them with a muscat wine makes so much sense.

Le Vin:

Moscatel de Valencia DOC, Spain, Pablo Ossorio for Marks and Spencer, 2012, MYR55

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