Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Cooking for unexpected visitors can be challenging - trying to russle up something quick with not much in the cupboard! Imagine if the person you were russling up food for was none other than Masterchef finalist Ben Axford! No pressure there then!!! Ben came to stay last night on his way to a meeting - it was so lovely to see him and to catch up on all he has been doing! We had not seen each other since watching the final programme at the edit together a few weeks before it was aired.

So what to serve a foodie extraordinaire....the meal ended up being very lavendery! Spiced monkfish, fennel salad with lavender dressing, new potatoes and home made sun dried tomato bread, lavender pavlova with fresh cherries and cherry sauce. To finish the meal Ben had brought us some delicious cheeses from his shop with some...you've guessed it....lavender crackers! The crackers were yummy - really crumbly and salty with a strong lavender aftertaste. All washed down with some nice wine and port. A perfect way to spend a Monday evening.

Fennel and Avocado salad with Lavender dressing

Green salad leaves
1 bulb of fennel finely sliced
1 avocado chopped
1 tsp culinary lavender, ground in a pestle and mortar
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp caster sugar
freshly ground salt and pepper
Whisk the lavender, vinegar and oil well and season with salt and pepper. Toss the avocado, fennel and leaves in a bowl and pour over the dressing just before serving. The dressing works well on any salad, but matches with fennel perfectly.


Anonymous said...

If it isn't too much trouble, Hannah, a letter would be really special as then I can treasure it for ever.

Alex Joynes

Squishy said...

Sounds like a great meal chicky. Th pav sounds gorgeous. I have just watched the episode with you and the guys cooking breakfast and then lunch for the school kids. You did a fantastic job. I was very impressed.

Cheers Amelita
P.S. Looks like this Alex Joynes person in the comment above me has a little crush on you my dear.........very sweet :)

David Hall said...

Hannah - if I stay on Sunday evening will you promise to replicate that dish for me? Or as a rustic Northern cook, do I get an untidy and large plate of slop, just like my own food?

Speak soon


Marie said...

Sounds absolutely delightful! I love it when I get un-expected company. I'm one of those annoying people that thrive on a challenge and always do my best work under pressure. Sounds like you rose to the challenge perfectly!