How to give your home cooking a Michelin star!
How to give your home cooking a Michelin star! Le Caprice’s eggs. Heston’s butter. And chocolate fit for The Ritz. With restaurants closed, how you can have Britain’s poshest food delivered
- British food producers are selling to consumers because restaurants are closed
- Sudi Pigott shared the gourmet swaps you can make to home-cooked meals
- Picks include swapping horseradish for wasabi and brioche instead of bread
During lockdown, the contents of your fridge are a huge concern. Instead of scoring a hard-to-get restaurant reservation, foodies are now bragging over who has the best food delivery booked, whether it’s from Tom Kerridge’s butcher or the dairy used by Claridge’s Hotel for its famed afternoon teas.
The way we shop has changed dramatically. With restaurants closed, top-notch food producers who don’t normally sell to consumers have opened their (virtual) doors. The quality is impeccable, yet prices are usually lower than a high-class deli. Which makes it the perfect time to try something new.
These fine ingredients are ideal for making some of the recipes that chefs are sharing online (greatbritishchefs.com). Here are the gourmet swaps you can have delivered to make home-cooked meals worthy of a Michelin star . . .
Sudi Pigott shared the gourmet swaps you can have delivered to make home-cooked meals worthy of a Michelin star. Pictured: The Estate Dairy
SWAP SPREADABLE FOR HESTON’S BUTTER
The Estate Dairy, whose Guernsey cows living in idyllic Somerset pastures and produce golden-coloured milk, supplies Claridge’s Hotel and three Michelin-star London restaurant Core by Clare Smyth with its cultured butter. It was developed with Swedish ‘Butter Viking’, Patrik Johansson, known for the ‘virgin’ butter used by Heston Blumenthal.
Forget your tub of spreadable, this has a much richer, slightly sourdough-like fermented taste — perfect on homebaked bread. (£6 for 500g, theestatedairy.com)
SWAP MEATBALLS FOR WAGYU MINCE
Sudi suggests transforming midweek meals by swapping meatballs for wagyu beef mince (pictured)
Transform a midweek meal into a feast by using wagyu beef mince, from grain-fed, pampered cows. Renowned as the tastiest beef in the world, Wagyu will make memorable meatballs or shepherd’s pie.
Wagyu burgers are also sublime. The high ratio of marbled fat-to-meat means the flavour is unparalleled.
Wagyu steak is a favourite at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants and with maverick Michelin chef Michael O’Hare, who runs The Man Behind The Curtain restaurant in Leeds. (£17.50 for 500g, finefoodspecialist.co.uk)
SWAP PASTA SAUCE FOR A TRUFFLE TREAT
Sudi claims La Favorita (pictured), a tomato sauce with truffle, transforms tagliatelle
Forget your usual jar of tomato sauce and get something fabulous from boutique brand La Favorita. Founded in Liguria in Northern Italy just after World War II, the company is obsessed with sauce.
There’s a rather special tomato sauce with truffle that transports you to Mediterranean holidays, with ultra fruity tomato flavours which are enhanced with the woody warmth of truffle.
Stirred into tagliatelle, it’s transformative.
Or you could try the firm’s pesto, which is made from basil grown near to its factory — La Favorita insists the soil conditions there are better than anywhere else. (Tomato truffle sauce, £6.95, souschef.co.uk)
SWAP HEN’S EGGS FOR LE CAPRICE’S DUCK EGGS
Sudi recommends opting for duck eggs (pictured), because free-range hen’s eggs can be difficult to find
Free-range hen’s eggs can be hard to find, so try upgrading to duck eggs. They have extra vivid yolks, a richer taste and their thicker shells mean a longer shelf life. They’re a favourite at Mayfair’s Le Caprice, served for brunch with artichokes and wild mushrooms.
They’re bigger, too, and contain more albumen, so cakes made with them are fluffier and lighter.
Remember recipes need to be adjusted: two duck eggs are equivalent to three hen’s eggs.
Duck eggs are brilliant scrambled, though they are higher in cholesterol. (£2.95 for 6 Clarence Court duck eggs, hgwalter.com).
SWAP WHITE BREAD FOR BRIOCHE
Sudi recommends indulging in authentic French brioche (pictured), like multi-award winning Michelin pub by the sea The Sportsman
Rather than your usual loaf, treat yourself to the decadence of authentic French brioche, with its gorgeous Panettone-like texture and made with more butter than you need to know about.
Stephen Harris of multi-award winning Michelin pub by the sea The Sportsman serves brioche as the ultimate breakfast treat. (£3.50 a loaf, finefoodspecialist.co.uk)
SWAP NUTELLA FOR A RITZ-WORTHY SPREAD
Sudi claims Amedei chocolate and hazelnut spread (pictured) is a divine alternative to Nutella
For a WFH treat, serve the afore mentioned brioche with the most divine Nutella upgrade imaginable: Amedei chocolate and hazelnut spread. Multi-award winning Amedei is a bean-to-bar chocolatier from Tuscany which supplies The Ritz. It’s sublime: cacao bean and Piedmont hazelnuts.
And, yes, it is also enjoyable spooned straight out of the jar. (£8.20 a jar, kingsfinefood.co.uk)
SWAP LAMB FOR RIVER COTTAGE CHEF’S GOAT
Sudi suggests ordering a kid goat (pictured) from Cabrito, instead of battling the supermarket aisles for BBQ food
Rather than battling the hordes looking for BBQ food in the supermarket aisle, order in kid goat from Cabrito. The company was founded by former River Cottage chef James Whetlor, who bought male kid goats that went to waste from dairy farms. An ethical choice and nutritious too, with tasty lean meat.
Cabrito is the new darling of chefs, from Gizzi Erskine to Saturday Kitchen’s Matt Tebbutt. (Two goat shanks, £9.95 or £48 for a shoulder, cabrito.co.uk)
If goat’s not your thing, try Jacob’s Ladder ribs — intensely flavoured, well marbled short ribs of beef that are fall-off-the-bone-tender after slow cooking. Fourth-generation Wiltshire butcher Walter Rose & Son supplies Tom Kerridge. (£9.88 per kg, walterroseandson.co.uk)
SWAP KETCHUP FOR TAMARIND SAUCE
Sudi recommends trying Indian tamarind and date sauce (pictured) on cheese toasties
If the family ‘needs’ condiments, how about something more adventurous than tomato sauce? Indian tamarind and date sauce has the requisite fruity-meets-umami taste with a little more tang.
Chef Romy Gill MBE, star of BBC1’s new version of Ready Steady Cook, has a recipe for tamarind and date chutney in her book Zaika and says: ‘It is the most delicious ever and goes with everything.’
It transforms cheese toasties, too. (£1.70 a jar, souschef.co.uk)
SWAP HORSERADISH FOR ENGLISH WASABI
Sudi suggests swapping British horseradish sauce for UK-grown wasabi (pictured)
Instead of quintessentially British horseradish sauce, try UK-grown wasabi for a spicy kick. The English Wasabi company sells fresh wasabi rhizomes or stems (they look a bit like ginger) to top restaurants including Notting Hill’s two Michelin-star, The Ledbury.
Gary Jones, executive chef of Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, describes English wasabi as ‘a small miracle of pure taste and flavour’. (100 g of wasabi £22.50, thewasabi company.co.uk)
SWAP FISH FINGERS FOR NOBU’S BLACK COD
Sudi revealed you can recreate the menu of Japanese restaurant Nobu, by ordering a delivery of frozen miso black cod (pictured)
Black cod glazed with miso and sake rice wine was made famous by the celebrity-packed Japanese restaurant Nobu. But although pricey, it’s not as crazy an indulgence as you may imagine served up at home.
You can get a delivery of frozen miso black cod, fabulously flaky, ready to bake in the oven for ten minutes and finish under the grill so that it caramelises beautifully. (£29.95 for 300g, finefoodspecial ist.co.uk)
SWAP SPAGHETTI FOR HANDMADE RAVIOLI
Sudi revealed artisan handmade pasta company La Tua have ramped up their retail offering
Pasta hoarding has reached epic proportions. So artisan handmade pasta company La Tua, which supplies some of the best Italian restaurants including Giorgio Locatelli’s Locanda Locatelli, has ramped up its retail offering with a big choice of shapes and flavours.
Besides fresh tagliatelle, orecchiette and fusilli for £10 per kilogram, there’s stuffed ravioli from pumpkin and sage to beef with black truffle and gnocchi. (£15 a kg, latua pasta.com)
SWAP COFFEE FOR TOP BARISTA’S RARE ROAST
Sudi claims you can enjoy a world-class coffee at home, among the most exclusives is Difference Coffee (pictured)
You might be missing your coffee shop cappuccino, but for about the same price you can enjoy a world-class coffee at home.
Many roasteries are selling direct, and most exclusive of all is Difference Coffee. It sells only coffee from estates that win top grades at international auctions (which is how the finest and rarest beans are sold).
The coffee is then roasted by Jonny England, head judge of the World Barista Championships — and supplied to 60 Michelin-starred chefs worldwide.
Now you can try it yourself. Start with Twumba coffee from the village of Nyaruyaga in Western Rwanda — the 2018 Cup of Excellence winner — with notes of blackberry jam and dark chocolate. (£40.50 for 10, differencecoffee.com).
SWAP PARMESAN FOR BOTTARGA
Sudi recommends swapping ready-grated parmesan for grated bottarga flakes (pictured)
Upgrade from dusty, ready-grated parmesan: for some real foodie credentials, try grated bottarga flakes to get an amazing umami hit.
Bottarga is made from grey mullet roe, which is salted, pressed and dried into a block. Grate finely over spaghetti with lemon zest and olive oil, use to finish a risotto or add to scrambled eggs for brunch. Ben Tish of Fitzrovia’s Sicilian restaurant, Norma, adds bottarga to his elegant sea bream carpaccio and makes bottarga butter to eat with fresh asparagus, newly in season. (£5.95 per 35g jar, souschef.co.uk)
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