Pain Perdu with Berries and Mascarpone Ice Cream

The Wee Restaurant Pain Perdu 1.jpg

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 slices of brioche 

1 egg 

100ml milk

25g caster sugar

1/2 vanilla pod scraped

60g unsalted butter

250g mixed berries, washed and sliced

Icing sugar and fresh mint to garnish

For the coulis:

200g raspberries

50g icing sugar

For the ice cream:

500g water

500g caster

500g mascarpone 

1 vanilla pod scraped

1 egg white

Method

Begin by making the ice cream. Warm the sugar and water together with the vanilla pod until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.

When cooled to room temperature, add in the mascarpone and egg white and whisk together well. Pass through a sieve and churn in an ice cream machine until ready.    

Make the pain perdu by whisking the egg, milk, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl. Then dip in each slice of brioche to coat it in the mixture. 

Heat the butter until foaming in a non-stick pan and cook each slice of brioche until golden brown.

Next, make a coulis by mixing together the raspberries and icing sugar in a blender. Pass through a fine sieve to take out the pips. 

Coat the berries in some of the coulis, reserving the rest as a garnish.

To serve, place a slice of brioche each plate and top with the berries. Place a scoop of the ice cream on top of the berries and garnish with a sprig of mint. Finish each plate with a circle of coulis and a dusting of icing sugar.

Chocolate Pecan Tart

When thinking of a chocolate dessert to put on the menu, Craig came across an old recipe he had for a simple pecan tart. He decided to take it up a level, adding some rich, dark chocolate. As if it’s not indulgent enough already!

Adding the chocolate gives this tart a luxurious quality and will tempt those with a sweet tooth. It's lovely served with homemade mascarpone ice cream which helps balance its decedent sweetness.

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Sweet Paste

This makes enough for 2 to 3 tarts, so wrap the remaining paste in cling film and it will keep for a week or so in the fridge.

Ingredients

510g plain flour

200g icing sugar

170g unsalted butter

1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out

2 large free range eggs, beaten

Method

Mix together the flour, vanilla seeds, sugar and butter until crumbed. Beat the eggs, add to the mixture and then combine, allow to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up and then roll out. 

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Roll out the sweet pastry and line a few mini tart cases or one larger one.A wee tip - when you line the tart case, leave a lip of pastry to overhang the edge of the tin, all the way around. This will prevent the pastry shrinking back when it cooks.

To blind bake the pastry case, line the pastry in the case with cling film and fill with baking beans or dried pulses. Bake for around 10 minutes until light golden brown around the edges. Remove the baking beans and cling film and continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes until the pastry is an even light golden colour.

Reduce oven temperature to 140°C.

Allow to cool. Don’t worry if they crack – repair them with a little of the extra sweet paste.

 

Chocolate Pecan Filling

Ingredients

275g pecan nuts

220g golden syrup

180g demerara sugar

140g unsalted butter

100g chocolate

2 free range eggs

Method

Gently warm the syrup, butter, sugar and chocolate in a pan until melted, then whisk together. Allow the mixture to cool, then add the eggs and mix well. Stir in the nuts then pour into the tart case. 

Bake for around 30 minutes until the centre is a little wobbly. Allow to cool and then pop into the fridge for 30 minutes - this makes it much easier to cut. Serve at room temperature with some ice cream and a little chocolate sauce.

BANANA TARTE TATIN & VANILLA ICE CREAM

We love tarte Tatins at The Wee Restaurant and they normally always feature on our dessert menu throughout the year - changing fruit with the seasons. While I am more traditional and prefer apple tatin, Vikki loves bananas, so a few years ago now I made her this recipe as a special treat and it has featured regularly on our menu as a Wee Restaurant favourite. 
What's not to love? Caramelised toffee bananas with crisp candied pastry and homemade ice cream - delicious!

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Makes 4 individual or one large tarte

Ingredients

6 bananas (must be firm)

4 puff pastry discs rolled out fit over mould with 1cm overlap (or 1 large)

150g caster sugar

100ml water

30g unsalted butter

 

Method

Pour the caramel into either one large pan or four smaller individual mini pans or moulds and allow it to cool.

Peel and cut the bananas into approximately 2cm thick slices and then line the banana slices carefully onto the caramel mixture. Place the puff pastry over the top and be sure to tuck the edges into the caramel around the outside.

Place on a tray and bake in a hot oven at 200°C for approximately 15-18 minutes until the pastry is golden and crispy.

Carefully remove from the oven and flip out onto plate. Pour over any excess caramel and serve with a scoop of our homemade vanilla ice cream. Deliciously comforting! 

 

Vanilla Ice Cream

 

Makes 1 litre of Ice Cream

Ingredients

1/2 pint double cream

1/2 pint milk

4oz caster sugar 

2 vanilla pods (scraped)

6 free range egg yolks

 

Method

Bring the cream, milk and vanilla to the boil and then remove from the heat.

Whisk together the egg yolks and the caster sugar and then add a small ladle of the hot creamy mixture and whisk.

Next, pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan with remaining cream/milk and turn the heat down low - stir continuously until the mixture begins to thicken (some recipes suggest 82°C but I tend to judge by eye). 

The mixture will thicken slightly and at this point remove from the heat. Remove the vanilla pods and whisk for a few seconds to ensure there are no lumps.

Allow the mixture to cool and then churn in an ice cream machine and freeze.

 

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CHICKEN SUPREME WITH PUY LENTILS, CONFIT ONION, SPINACH & FONDANT POTATO

We use smoked chicken for this dish, which you can either smoke yourself (if you’re adventurous!) or buy already cold-smoked.

Serves 4

Ingredients

200ml chicken jus, home-made or shop-bought

1 tablespoon double cream

75g cooked puy lentils

1 cooked Toulouse sausage, diced

1 tablespoon confit onion (recipe below)

Small handful shredded baby spinach

Salt and pepper

4 smoked chicken breasts

Knob of butter

Clove of garlic, peeled

Sprig of fresh thyme

1 large potato

110g salted butter

100ml water or chicken stock

Method

In a pot, add the cream to the chicken jus and season lightly. Add in the cooked puy lentils, confit onion and sausage and heat through. Then mix in the shredded baby spinach. Keep warm.

Heat a knob of butter, a clove of garlic and a sprig of fresh thyme in an ovenproof pan and seal the chicken breasts. Then place the whole pan in a medium-hot oven for approximately 6 minutes.

To make the fondant potato, take a large potato and cut out 4 circular disc shapes either by using a small vegetable knife or using a cutter, rinse in cold water.

Place 100g of salted butter in a sauté pan with a metal handle and add approximately 100ml of water or chicken stock. The add the potatoes and heat until boiling. Then place the whole pan in the oven and cook at 200°C for 30 minutes. The potatoes should be tender to touch when you push the top and have a nice golden colour underneath. Turn them over before serving.

To serve, divide the sauce between 4 warmed bowls or plates and top with the chicken and a disc of fondant potato. Enjoy!

CONFIT ONION

Ingredients

1 large white onion finely sliced

110g salted butter

Method

Sauté the onion in the butter on a high heat, try to let it catch on the bottom to help get a nice golden colour. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Cook for 20-30 minutes to let the onions caramelise.

Place into a container and allow to cool, then store in the fridge.

 

Rhubarb Crème Brûlée with Hazelnut Meringues

Serves 6

To make the rhubarb compote:

500g rhubarb, diced

150g caster sugar

Method

Mix the rhubarb and sugar and place onto a tray in a medium oven and cook until the rhubarb is tender. Be careful not to overcook.

Take a quarter of the rhubarb mix and blitz it in the blender. Then mix this back into the remaining rhubarb and allow to cool.

Spoon some of the rhubarb mix into the bottom of the brûlée moulds.

To make the brûlée mix:

570ml double cream

85g caster sugar, plus extra as a topping

10 egg yolks

2 vanilla pods, scraped

 Method

Bring the cream and vanilla to the boil.

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.

Add a ladleful of the hot cream into the yolk mixture and whisk. Then pour this into the pan with the hot cream stirring continuously on a low heat until it begins to thicken. Be careful to not overcook as it will split and go grainy.

Pass through a sieve and pour carefully into the brûlée moulds on top of the rhubarb and allow to set. Chill in the fridge overnight and sprinkle a little caster sugar over the top and blowtorch to caramelise. If you don’t have a blowtorch, flash under a very hot grill.

To make the hazelnut meringues:

3 egg whites

75g caster sugar

75g icing sugar

40g ground hazelnuts

5g corn flour

Method

Whisk together the egg whites and caster sugar until stiff.

Fold in the icing sugar, hazelnuts and corn flour.

Pipe small nests of the mixture onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and place into the oven for 45-60 minutes at 140°C. Allow to cool on the tray.

Serve 2 or 3 with each brûlée and top with a sprig of mint and a dusting of icing sugar.

Enjoy!

MINI MINCEMEAT FRANGIPANE TARTS

We feature these on our Christmas menu as petit fours and I think the staff eat more of these than the customers as they are so delicious!

We buy little pastry cases for this recipe as making them takes a while. You can make a large tart as a dessert, or even use puff pastry to line tart moulds. 

This frangipane recipe is very simple and makes a batch that can be kept in the fridge for a week. 

Ingredients

Makes around 24 mini tarts or 1 large tart

250g unsalted butter soft

250g caster sugar

250g flour

250g ground almonds

4 whole eggs

A small spoonful of mincemeat for each tart case

24 mini pastry cases

 Method 

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Add in the eggs one by one with a spoonful of the almonds and the flour at the same time.

Mix until smooth and reserve for use, this will keep in the fridge for 1 week.

 Spoon a small amount of mincemeat into the bottom of the mini tart cases (too much and it will bubble out during cooking) and cover with frangipane, smooth over with a palette knife and bake in the oven 160°C for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden.

Serve and enjoy!

 

ROAST LEMON SOLE ON THE BONE

This recipe is all about the fish!  Cooking sole on the bone allows the natural gelatine in the bones to keep the fish nice and succulent as it cooks.

Sometimes we substitute lemon sole with megrim sole or whole plaice but I have to say it’s never quite as good!  This is a really simple recipe as there isn’t much to prepare, it's all about sourcing some prime fresh fish from Scotland and letting this shine through.  The samphire, capers and lemon complement the delicate flesh.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients

Per person:

1 lemon sole, skinned and trimmed - ask your fishmonger to do this for you, or if doing yourself - remove the head, skin and guts and trim the outside frills with some scissors

Plain flour for dusting

Olive oil

Salt and white pepper

Knob of salted butter

I clove of garlic, chopped

Juice of half a lemon

2 teaspoons capers

Small handful samphire

Fine herbs or sakura cress to garnish

Method

In a large sauté fry pan heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

Season the sole with salt and a little fresh ground white pepper. Dust in flour and shake of the excess.

Carefully place the fish into the medium-hot pan and cook for a minute top-side down. Once you get this side a light golden colour turn over and place the whole pan into a medium-hot oven or under a medium-hot grill. Cook for approximately 3-4 minutes and then turn back over so the presentation side is upwards.

Add the butter, garlic and lemon juice to the pan and spoon over the fish to baste.

Add in the capers and samphire (if you can get it), and spoon over the fish to get as much flavor into it as possible.

Carefully remove the fish from the pan with a large fish slice and place onto a plate. Top with the capers and samphire and sprinkle a few fine herbs or sakura cress on top of that. Serve immediately with some simple new potatoes.

ORGANIC SPELT GRAIN RISOTTO WITH GIROLLE MUSHROOMS

Similar in texture to barley, spelt grain is much lighter than rice, and makes a great alternative for a risotto. This dish is always popular in the restaurant and a little unusual!

I was inspired by an amazing spelt risotto with lobster and squid ink I tasted in Paris a few years ago. Maybe we’ll put that on the menu one day at The Wee Restaurant!

Serves 4

Ingredients

200g spelt grain, organic if possible

1tbsp mascarpone

50g grated Parmesan

50ml double cream

100g salted butter

A few drops of truffle oil

1 banana shallot (or 2 small shallots)

1 clove garlic

100g fresh girolle mushrooms, or other wild mushrooms

 

Method

Rinse the spelt grain and place it in a large pot of water with a pinch of salt and cook for approximately an hour and 15 minutes. The spelt should still have a bite to it. Then rinse in cold water to stop it cooking further and set to one aside.

Chop the shallot and garlic finely and sauté with half the butter until transparent. Add in the spelt grain and stir before adding the cream, mascarpone and Parmesan. Add a few drops of truffle oil and a little seasoning to taste.

Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in rest of the butter in separate pan and season lightly. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and stir the juices to the risotto.

 

To Serve

Divide the spelt risotto between four warmed bowls and arrange the mushrooms on top. Garnish with some fresh truffle (if you’re feeling extravagant), some small herbs and Parmesan shavings.

Enjoy!

 

PAN-FRIED SEA BASS WITH SPICED CRAB RISOTTO & SALSA VERDE

This is one of the most popular dishes on our menu. Simple in its presentation, but packed full of flavour. The bright green salsa verde, and the golden colour of the spices and saffron in the risotto make this a very vibrant dish.

Risotto can be quite rich and filling, so we use sea bass in this dish for its lean-ness and subtle flavour. The key to cooking this fish is to get skin nice and crispy. If you can’t get hold of sea bass, sea bream or a small portion of cod would be a good alternative. With the skin on of course!

We’re very fussy about the produce we serve you at The Wee Restaurant, especially the fish. We have a couple of suppliers who buy daily from the fish markets across Scotland to ensure we attain the freshest catch. Things like Shetland mussels, Orkney crab, langoustines and lobsters as well as cod, hake, sea bass and all the other top-quality fish available to us in Scotland. Our nation’s cool waters provide us with the best seafood in the world!

The salsa verde helps to offset the risotto’s richness in much the same way that wines like Muscadet or Chablis offset cream-based sauces. The salsa’s acidity, coming from the capers and garlic, add a nice contrast to any fish.

Serves 4

Crab Risotto

100g carnaroli rice

A pinch saffron strands

1tspn curry powder

A pinch of cayenne pepper

1tspn fennel seeds

2 cloves garlic, chopped 

1 shallot, chopped

Freshly-picked crabmeat (approximately 1 large brown crab)

100ml white wine

1l warm fish stock

110g salted butter

1tbsp mascarpone

2tbsp grated Parmesan

3 spring onions, chopped

Method

Start by gently melting the butter in a casserole pan.

Then add the chopped shallots and garlic and cook for 30 seconds being careful not to colour. Season lightly with a pinch of salt.

Next, add the carnaroli rice, spices and fennel seeds. Cook for a further minute.

Add the white wine and stir. Cook for a minute until evaporated and then slowly add the warm fish stock (this will help the rice to absorb the flavour). If you don’t have fresh fish stock, water is fine, and better than stock cubes!

Continue to add the stock, stirring on a low heat until the rice is cooked ‘al dente’ - but not too hard!

Once cooked, you can either use straight away or pour onto a tray and cool quickly (if kept too warm it will continue cooking) and reheat later.

Just prior to serving, incorporate the crab, mascarpone and Parmesan - stirring until the risotto is creamy and smooth.

Add the spring onions at the very last minute to retain their full colour and flavour.

 

Salsa Verde

1 bunch flat parsley

1/2 bunch coriander

A few mint leaves

A few basil leaves

1tspn Dijon mustard

1tspn capers

1 clove garlic

A pinch of salt

100ml olive oil

Method

Place all ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor and blitz for 10 seconds.

Then add the oil and give it a final, quick blitz.

 

Sea Bass 

4 fillets

Some sea salt

Splash of olive oil

A squeeze of lemon

A knob of butter

Method

The sea bass is cooked very simply. Season the fillets with salt and place skin-side down in hot olive oil until the skin crisps up. Turn, and cook for a further 30 seconds.

To finish, add a few drops of fresh lemon juice and a knob of butter to the pan and spoon over the fish.

 

To Serve

Spoon the risotto onto plates and place a piece of sea bass on top. Drizzle a ring of salsa verde around the edge of the plates.

Garnish with micro-greens (if you can source them), a few baby rocket leaves or some picked herbs.

Enjoy!

CHILLED VANILLA RICE PUDDING WITH MACERATED STRAWBERRIES

I was never a fan of rice pudding as a kid, with that burnt skin hiding stodgy rice underneath, but this is a much lighter, smoother version. Fresh vanilla, rather than extract, gives it great flavour whilst the whipped cream lightens up the starchy rice. We feature this dish on the menu during the summer months with strawberries and raspberries; and over winter with caramelised bananas and toffee sauce.

So, if you’re not a rice pudding fan, don’t be put off. Give this a try. 

Chilled Vanilla Rice Pudding with Macerated Strawberries 2 copy.jpg

Serves 4

Rice Pudding

110g pudding rice

85g caster sugar

30g butter 

550ml milk

1 vanilla pod, scraped

280ml double cream

Method

Blanch the rice for 2 minutes in boiling water to remove some of the excess starch.

Place the rice into a large saucepan / casserole dish with the milk, vanilla pod, butter and sugar.

Bring to the boil, whisk and place a greaseproof-paper lid on top.

Place in the oven at 200°C for 20 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool. Place in the fridge overnight.

Whip the double cream to soft peaks and fold into the cold rice pudding.

 

Macerated Strawberries

1 punnets strawberries, washed and hulled

50g icing sugar

1 vanilla pod, scraped

Method

Trim larger strawberries and place onto a tray, dust with icing sugar and add the vanilla pod.

Cover the tray with tin foil and place into the oven for 10 minutes.

Allow to cool and refrigerate.

 

To Serve

Divide the rice pudding between 4 bowls.

Spoon the macerated strawberries over the rice pudding.

Garnish with some fresh strawberries and mint leaves.

 

Enjoy!