Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Cook's Alphabet 'N"

Cook's Alphabet 'N'

Today is a fairly momentous occasion as I'm half way through this listing of the complete Cook's alphabet.

This is the fourteenth in my series of 28 postings going through the entire alphabet, as it relates to cooks and cooking. As you can see, today I'm dealing with the letter 'N'.

The letter 'N' is, of course the thirteenth letter in the English alphabet, and today's recipe is for a classic British recipe for an ice cream made with apples and cobnuts (hazelnuts):

Nutty Apple Ice Cream


450g cooking apples
1 tbsp water
peel of half a lemon cut into julienne strips
1 tbsp lemon juice
100g sugar
2 eggs, separated
900ml single cream
900ml double cream
50g roast cobnuts, corsely ground

Add the peeled apples, lemon peel and water to a pan, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the apples reduce to a pulp. Immediately pass through a sieve into a bowl and add the lemon juice, sugar and beaten egg yolks, and leave to cool.

When cold, mix in the coarsely ground nuts, whip the egg whites until stiff and, using the same whisk, whip the single and double cream together. First fold the cream into the apple mixture, then the egg whites, and freeze for two hours, whipping every half hour, before serving.

(This recipe reproduced, with permission, from the Celtnet Nutty Apple Ice Cream Recipe page. )

Today's cooking term is Noisette: Noisette is a French term that literally means 'nut' (hence another tie-in with today's letter). It can be used for desserts or candies containing nuts (noisettes). It can also be used to refer to substances that are 'nut brown', such as Beurre Noisette (nut-brown butter). It is also used for hazelnuts, so that candies containing hazelnuts are all noizettes. Noisettes are also the small rounds cut from a boneless rack of lamb.

Today's spice are Nijella Seeds: Nijella Seeds are the black seeds of the plant, Nigella sativa, members of the butter cup family. The seeds are sometimes also known as kalonji, black cumin and onion seeds are used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The black seeds have a peppery, slightly nutty, taste and are generally used as a pepper substitute in recipes that incorporate pod fruit, vegetables, salads and poultry. They also feature as an ingredient in a number of spice blends, such as Bengali Panch Phoron. The recipe for Panch Pharon is given below:

Panch Pharon Recipe

1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp nigella seeds
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds

Heat a dry non-stick pan on a low heat, add the spices to this and toast gently for five minutes. Allow to cool then transfer to a coffee grinder and blend to a smooth powder. This will store for several weeks in an air-tight jar.

(This recipe reproduced, with permission, from the Celtnet Panch Pharon Recipe page, part of Celtnet's spice blend recipes section. )

For more information on cookery-associated terms and information beginning with the letter 'N' here are various links that may well be of interest:

Recipes beginning with 'N'
Spices beginning with 'N'
Herbs beginning with 'N'
Wild foods beginning with 'N'
Cook's glossary 'N'

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