Lobster Bisque with Puff Pastry and Cotswolds Butter

 

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This luscious lobster bisque  is enhanced by using locally churned Cotswold Butter which is available at many Cotswold farmer’s markets. Below is the link to farmer’s markets in the region. This link and other useful foodie information appear in the Travel Guide of my book COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage. (Available on Amazon in Paperback, Kindle and Audio Book)

www.thecotswoldgateway.co.uk

Serves 4
Ingredients:

Bisque:
2 each 1¼ to 1½ lbs. live lobster
6 cups Water
2 cups Dry white wine
2 cups Fish stock
½ cup Melted butter, salted (Cotswold if possible)
1 cup Onions, finely diced
½ cup Carrots, finely diced
½ cup Celery, finely diced
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
½ cup All-purpose flour
¼ cup Cognac (or Brandy)
1½ cups Tomatoes, seeded and diced (fresh or canned)
1 tsp. Paprika
½ tsp. Thyme
¼ tsp. Ground red pepper
1 cup Heavy cream

Pastry:
Ready-made puff pastry
1 Cotswold egg
1 tbls cold water

Preparation:
1.Place the water, the white wine and the fish stock into a wide, deep pot (or a Dutch oven), and bring to a boil on high heat.
2.Place lobsters, topside down, in the broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook covered for approximately 6 minutes. With a pair of tongs, turn lobsters and cook covered for another 6 minutes.
3.Remove lobsters from broth and put them to the side. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, begin removing the meat from the shell, dicing the pieces into ½-inch cubes. Store the lobster meat in the refrigerator until later. Place the lobster shells back into the broth, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
4.Strain the broth through a sieve into a container and store in the refrigerator until later. Discard the lobster shells.
5.Put your pot (or Dutch oven) back on the stove under medium heat. Pour in the melted butter.
6.Once the butter is heated up, add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Sautee for 3 to 4 minutes.
7.Add the cognac (or brandy) and cook until the alcohol has evaporated.
8.Mix in the flour, stirring with a heavy gauge spatula or spoon until the mixture is blond in color and has a buttery aroma.
9.Mix the diced tomatoes, paprika, thyme and ground pepper with the cold broth from the refrigerator. Then, pour the broth slowly into the butter and vegetable mixture. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes under medium low heat, stirring frequently so not to burn.
10.Remove bisque from heat. Blend small amounts of bisque in blender and then puree. Puree all of the bisque and pour pureed bisque back into pot with remaining amount.
11.Add chopped lobster meat and heavy cream, heat and serve. If the soup is too thick, thin it by adding milk or water prior to serving.

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To add puff pastry:
Allow bisque to cool over night
Pre-heat oven to 350F/200C/180C fan/gas 6
Fill ramekins almost to the top with the cooled bisque (if filled to the
top, the bisque will wet the pastry and prevent it from rising)
Roll out a square of puff pastry to overlap the ramekin by an inch or so
Brush pastry with a mixture of egg beaten with a tbls of water
Place ramekins in oven for 20-30 minutes or until pastry is puffed up and browned

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Visit the Cotswolds for Lamb Wellington

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Cotswold Lamb Wellington Recipe

In both Metric and Imperial Measures
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 kg (2-3 lb) leg of lamb. Use Cotswold Lamb if possible.
Bone and trim the lamb or have butcher do this.
10 mushrooms, sliced
1 package of ready-made puff pastry
½ cup chopped shallots
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
Handful of fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp. butter (Cotswold Butter if possible)
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 egg (Cotswold egg if possible)

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 350F/200C/180Cfan/gas 6
Melt butter in frying pan
Add garlic, shallots and mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes
Season with salt and pepper. Set aside
Heat the olive oil in a large pan
Brown the leg of lamb for 2 minutes on each side
Season with salt and pepper and set aside
Wait 10 minutes before assembling the Wellington
While the lamb cools roll out the pastry to a thickness of ¼” (75 cm) thick
Beat the egg in a bowl together with a tsp of water
Line a baking tray with parchment baking paper
Place the puff pastry sheet on the baking paper
Place the lamb on one end of the pastry
Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the top of the lamb
Roll the pastry over the lamb, tucking in the sides as it is rolled
Coat the ends of the pastry in the egg mixture and pinch together
Brush the egg mixture over the remaining parts of the rolled Wellington
Place the cooking tray in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden and dry to the touch
Cover the lamb with a sheet of kitchen foil and let stand for 10 minutes
Slice in thick sections and serve

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Cotswolds Holiday Gift Idea

Great Holiday Gift Idea

Buy now to allow time for shipping while supplies last! 

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Author Diz White will sign a limited number of Holiday Gift copies of COTSWOLDS MEMOIR

Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain On a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage

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Price, $17.95 INCLUDES POSTAGE & HANDLING in the U.S.
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For details of how to purchase  

Contact: PublicityPromo@aol.com

An English actress and comedy writer returns from Hollywood to her homeland to buy a cottage in the Cotswolds, the most beautiful part of Britain. Her exciting search turns into a laugh-out-loud, good life, foodie, meet the eccentric locals, cliff hanging, explore the idyllic Cotswolds fun read as she finds the sense of community lacking in her urban existence and decides ‘It doesn’t get much better than this!’

‘Extremely entertaining, funny and beautifully written”

Katie Jarvis, Cotswold Life Magazine

“Diz White writes about the Cotswolds with such passion. Superb story telling.”

Debbie McGee, BBC Radio Berkshire

Visit Landmarks of the Cotswolds that Reflect its Beauty

The shimmering, cool rivers, ponds and streams of the Cotswolds provide a wonderful mirror-image of the beauty of this forgotten-by-time region. Here are some reflections of the Cotswolds, captured in several of its most treasured landmarks.
Visit these lovely places and enjoy a few calming moments of contemplation by the soothing sounds of trickling water.

1Kiftsgate Garden

Kiftsgate Garden, near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire
This garden, created by three generations of women, is a must-see. A series of interconnected garden rooms and descending terraces offer spectacular views, some of which are reflected in a pond overlooking an endless vista of the Cotswolds.

2Cornwell Manor in the Cotswolds is a Grade II listed Manor House in West Oxfordshire

This lovely garden evokes images of Downton Abbey in Edwardian times with beautifully gowned women and suave men in tuxedos, chatting, as they drink a pre-dinner sherry. Perhaps these dinner guests stroll, on a warm summer’s evening by the reflecting waters of the fountain, before pairing up to take their places in the elegant dining room of this matchless 17th Century manor.

4Prior Park Garden

This National Trust Grade I listed garden, Prior Park, just south of Bath, Somerset, is built high on a hillside with spectacular views of Bath as just one of its many attractions. It was created by local entrepreneur Ralph Allen and begun in 1734. There are few flowers and no formal beds in this garden; it is all about breathtaking views, restful green lawns, reflecting water from the lakes and a sculptural Palladian bridge, creating a mellow mood that is immensely pleasing.

5Shilton Open Gardens

Shilton, tucked away in the Shill Brook Valley, near Burford, Oxfordshire is a charming village with much to boast about. There is a traditional pub, The Rose and Crown, which serves delicious food, and camera-ready ducks that occasionally cause cars to swerve out of their way as they cross a nearby ford. The flower-bedecked gardens are so beautiful that they are opened to the public once a year for the National Garden Scheme. It was at an open garden that this wrought iron bridge was glimpsed, its delicate pattern making a mesmerizing reflection in the stream below.

7

Westbury Court Garden

Westbury Court Garden near Gloucester and the Severn River on the edges of the Cotswolds is a revelation. It is the only 17th Century restored Dutch water garden in Great Britain. The National Trust rescued it in 1967 using an engraving of the garden from 1707 as a guide for its restoration. The calming trickle of the lily-covered canals, and the endless reflections from the gently rippling water make this garden a wonderful place for peaceful relaxation.

9

Little Faringdon Mill Near Lechlade

There has been a Mill on this site for over a thousand years which is evident from its Domesday Book listing. The two photographs of the mill, above and below, give an indication of its idyllic setting with a charming barn and weeping willow trees reflected in the streams that lazily weave around this lovely property.

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Photographs by Randall Montgomery ©2014 Available for purchase at PublicityPromo@aol.com

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A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

Visit the Cotswolds for Lamb in Puff Pastry

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Cotswold Lamb in Puff Pastry Recipe

In Metric and Imperial measures
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 (8-ribs) rack of lamb trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat.
Use Cotswold Lamb if possible
1 package of ready-made puff pastry
¾ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg. (Use Cotswold egg if possible)

Seasoning:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
1 ½ teaspoon salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F/200C/180Cfan/gas 6

Prepare seasoning
Add the garlic, salt and rosemary to 2 tablespoons olive oil,
mix ingredients together, mashing the garlic so that it blends with the oil.
Set aside.

 

1

Prepare lamb:
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over high heat until hot
Meanwhile, pat lamb dry and rub meat all over with salt and pepper.
Brown racks, in 2 batches if necessary, on all sides about 10 minutes per batch.
Divide each rack into 4 double chops
Transfer racks to a roasting pan.
Spoon the seasoned oil over the lamb racks
Place racks in preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes

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Puff Pastry
As the lamb cooks roll out puff pastry to approximately ¼ inch (.75 cm) thick.
Cut the pastry into 8 rectangular sections of 3 x 5 inch (7.5×12.5cm) each
Beat the egg in a bowl with a dash of water.

After 40 minutes remove the racks of lamb from the oven
Place one section of pastry on each pair of chops and
brush with the beaten egg mixture
Decorate the top with extra bits of puff pastry
Return the lamb to the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes
or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

Prior Park Garden in the Cotswolds – A National Trust Must-See

IMG_4635

Prior Park is a must-see landscaped garden built high on a hillside with spectacular views of Bath as just one of its many attractions.
IMG_4641This National Trust Grade 1 listed garden was created by local entrepreneur Ralph Allen and begun in 1734.
IMG_4621Allen, who made his fortune by reorganizing the post office, took advice from the poet Alexander Pope and the garden designer Capability Brown before creating this masterpiece.
IMG_4618There are few flowers and no formal beds in this garden – it is all about breathtaking views, restful green lawns, reflecting water from the lakes and sculptural bridges – creating a mellow mood that is immensely pleasing.
IMG_4657Meandering across the elegant Palladian Bridge, one of only four left in the world, is a joy and there is much more to discover including: a Serpentine Lake, a Cascade, a summerhouse, and a horseshoe walk.
IMG_4655Winding and sometimes steep paths lead to hidden retreats, tranquil lakes, a ruined Gothic Temple, a Grotto and finally, stunning vistas over Bath. Prior Park was the matrix for style that became known as the “English garden”.
IMG_4623-1The Palladian mansion, which tops one of the garden’s sweeping green slopes and overlooks Bath, now houses Prior Park College and was designed by John Wood, the Elder in 1742. He was commissioned by Ralph Allen to build a house “To see all Bath, and for all Bath to see”.

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This house, with its classic symmetry, should be on the list of all the overseas visitors who, caught up in Downton Abbey fervor, are now interested in seeing other examples of the great houses of Britain.

Afternoon Tea can be taken at a tiny, clapboard tea house, with outdoor tables, tucked away in the foliage.
IMG_4647A five-minute walk from the garden leads on to a six mile circular walk around Bath, with amazing views, that passes through woodlands, meadows, an Iron Age hill-fort, Roman settlements, and an 18th-century folly.

Prior Park Garden is south of Bath, Somerset, by Ralph Allen Drive, and 3/4 mile (1.2 km) from the Kennet and Avon canal path. BA2 5AH

Click here for National Trust Link

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A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.