Friday, September 12, 2008

Is this the cheese recipe of the year?

If you judge the success of a recipe by the number of times it's mentioned in reviews or newspaper articles Rowley Leigh's parmesan custard would already run away with the prize.

For those of you who don't know Rowley, he's one of London's longest-serving and best-loved chefs, former chef of Kensington Place and now of the wonderful Le Café Anglais, an Anglo-French brasserie in Bayswater

Part of its retro charm is its selection of hors d'oeuvres of which this dish is one. It's a warm, slightly wobbly pot of wantonly delicious cheesy custard into which you can dunk fingers or 'soldiers' of toast sandwiched around an anchovy filling. Pure comfort food - I think I could eat one every day for the rest of my life without tiring of it, although there probably won't be any anchovies left to make it in a few years time if reports are to be believed.

It stems, Rowley explains in his weekly Financial Times column, from a chicken and goats' cheese mousse with olives he had on his menu at KP (as it was affectionately known by its regulars) which was almost equally delicious.

The beauty of it is that it doesn't look that difficult to make apart from the fact that the recipe suggests 100g of freshly grated parmesan. That's an awful lot of parmesan as any of you who have weighed parmesan will know. I suspect you can get away with rather less.

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