Two Fat Ladies Obsessions

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9780609606346: Two Fat Ladies Obsessions

You know them from their eponymous hit television series and their three previous cookbooks: Cooking with the Two Fat Ladies, The Two Fat Ladies Ride Again, and The Two Fat Ladies Full Throttle. Restoring passion to cooking and outspoken humor to the world of food, Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson have brought joy to millions of fans. In Two Fat Ladies Obsessions, they turned their attention to what turns them on, taking an in-depth look at thirty-four of their favorite ingredients, ranging from Oysters, Chicken, Chilies, Lamb, and Olives to Raspberries, Chocolate, Peaches, Salt, Butter, and Coffee. More than 150 recipes -- all written in true Fat Lady style -- reveal not only the history of these foods, but also why they are so near and dear to their hearts.

Jennifer's fondness for Lobster Puffs, Maine Style, stemmed from the time she spent cooking on a boat off the coast of New England, while her Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe was a favorite from a childhood stint in Sicily. Clarissa's first food memory, at age 3 ½, of eating a cold sausage and a hard-boiled egg, leads to a wonderful recipe for Simple Sausage Ragu, and her years spent working on a pheasant farm provide a variety of ways to prepare the bird, including delectable Georgian Pheasant. Other recipes, such as T-Bone Steak à la Castle Floors, Ceviche of Salmon, Duke of Hamilton's Fig Ice Cream, Walnut Pancakes, and Raspberry and Chocolate Millefeuilles, offer a new twist on foods we all love.

Uniquely personal and highly entertaining, Two Fat Ladies Obsessions will delight old and new fans alike and serves as a fittingly robust tribute to the memory of Jennifer Paterson.

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About the Author:

Clarissa Dickson Wright is a talented professional cook, an inspired food writer, and a columnist for Decanter magazine. She has become an audience favorite on Radio 4's "Curious Cooks" and is an occasional reporter for Channel Four's "Food File." She runs a specialty cookbook shop in Edinburgh.

Jennifer Paterson cooked professionally all her life and was one of the loudest and most beloved voices on the food circuit, writing regularly in the U.K. for The Spectator and The Oldie. She was a frequent guest on Radio 4's food quiz, "Questions of Taste," and made several legendary appearances on BBC2's "Food and Drink." Loud, funny, and undoubtedly fat, Jennifer did not suffer fools gladly. On the subject of food, she did not suffer them at all. She passed away in August 1999.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

PETITS POTS DE CRÈME
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp strong black coffee, cold
2 tsp Tia Maria (optional)
2 cups heavy cream

To serve (optional):
A little whipped cream
Chocolate curls

Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar coffee, and Tia Maria, if using. Scald the cream and Stir into the egg yolk mixture. Strain into a pitcher and pour into small ramekin or cocotte dishes.

Stand the dishes in a baking pan and pour in hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Cover the pan with foil and place carefully in the center of a preheated oven at 300°F. Cook for about 30 minutes or until firm

Remove carefully from the oven. Leave to cool then chill before serving. Decorate with a little whipped cream and a few chocolate curls, if desired.

BOODLES' FOOL
A favorite recipe from the famous Boodles Club in St. James's Street.

Grated zest and juice of 2 small oranges
Grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
1        tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Cointreau
2-4 slices of plain sponge cake or pound cake, depending on the size of the bowl
11/4 cups heavy cream
Combine the zest and juice of the oranges and lemon. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Then stir in the Cointreau.

Arrange the cake slices in the bottom of a glass bowl, preferably one with straight sides. Pour the cream into a large bowl arid whip until it is just beginning to thicken. Take care nor to overwhip the cream. Then gradually add the orange and lemon mixture while continuing to whip the cream.

Pour the cream mixture over the cake and chill for 3-4 hours.

RASPBERRY AND CHOCOLATE MILLEFEUILLES

You can either buy the puff pastry ready-made or use the recipe in our first book, Cooking With The Two Fat Ladies.

1 lb puff pastry
A bar of Valhrona or other good white chocolate
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped
3 pints raspberries

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a large rectangle and trim to 18 by 12 inches. Cut it into three strips, each measuring 12 by 6 inches. Place each pastry strip on a baking sheet and leave to stand for 10 minutes (this is important, because puff pastry bruises easily and the standing time allows it to recover from the rolling out. Then bake it in a preheated oven at 450°F for 15-20 minutes or until it is well risen and golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Gently melt the white chocolate, either in a bowl set over boiling water or in a microwave. White chocolate burns very easily and will not temper, so be very careful with it.

To assemble the millefeuilles, place one pastry rectangle on a plate and pour a layer of white chocolate over it. Spread with whipped cream and add a layer of raspberries. Place a second pastry rectangle on top and layer on more of the white chocolate, whipped cream, and raspberries. Place the final piece of pastry on top of this and decorate with the remaining chocolate, cream, and raspberries, this time arranging the raspberries in a nice pattern.

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