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For the last 35 years, renowned chef, Raymond Blanc, has inspired the world with his cooking.
It's about celebrating the gorgeous, glorious food and sharing a special moment with your loved ones.
Now he's opening his kitchen and sharing his secrets.
I've made all the mistakes which could be made so you don't have to make them yourself.
Showing with a little effort...
Food is so, so beautiful.
..anyone can bring some joy to the dinner table.
Even the most complicated dish is not impossible to make.
On Kitchen Secrets, Raymond celebrates the season by unearthing his recipes for winter vegetables.
Celebrate these wonderful root vegetables which are being dug up.
From a healthy bowl of watercress soup...
Oh, look at that.
..to roasted wild duck accompanied by a rich celeriac puree...
Wonderful. That celery flavour.
..a simple lunchtime treat,
beetroot salad served with hot smoked salmon...
Look at that, amazing colours.
..and the perfect vegetarian dinner party dish,
a colourful winter vegetable salad.
This is the dish that represents all that I believe in,
the celebration of the seasons.
In his Oxfordshire kitchen, Raymond and his team prepare for the day.
OK, come on guys, Adam. When you look around,
look at this amazing basket here. That is winter.
Look, look at this amazing, beautiful potimarron,
Muscat de Provence, the best pumpkin experience in the world.
Look at how beautiful, it makes the best pumpkin soup ever.
Raymond's first dish is a beetroot salad with flakes
of hot smoked salmon and horseradish creme fraiche.
Now we can start. I'm going to do a beetroot salad, OK?
And if you want to you can add this wonderful hot smoked salmon.
The difference between a smoked salmon and a hot smoked salmon
is that one is cooked, the smoked salmon is only cured.
As you can see it's cooked through.
Oh, we love this flavour of smoking, it really...
Raymond's using three different kinds of beetroot
for colour and flavour, including a dark bull's blood variety.
Look at these wonderful varieties.
That's a golden one, that's a candy one, what a lovely name.
Look at that. And look at that beautiful beetroot.
So they are packed with flavours.
So I'm going to steam them. So we can boil them or steam them in,
of course, into a pressure cooker that will take only 20 minutes.
Here it will take 40.
Don't boil them to death, please?
Just nice simmer, that will be fine
so you keep the texture of your vegetable.
Now there's very little to do but to wait, OK?
While the beetroots steam, prepare the salmon.
So now, I will just take a few flakes.
What you need is about 50 grams per portion,
so we just flake it up completely. Tres bien.
Oh. S'il vous plait, Dan.
What I can do and that's purely optional,
you can serve a little horseradish sauce on the side, should you wish.
Mix 100 grams of creme fraiche, chopped dill...
A little je ne sais quoi.
..and grated fresh horseradish.
One of my favourite lunchtime meals is roast beef and nice horseradish.
Very boring, but I think a good man's Sunday lunch.
Be careful. You can always add, you cannot take away. So taste.
Hmm. The heat is nice. Lovely.
After 40 minutes the beetroots are cooked and ready to be peeled.
Lovely. Now I know all the flavours are present here, so I'm going to cool them down a bit.
Look at that, amazing colours.
Cut the beetroot and dress with extra virgin olive oil.
That's when you use your very best extra virgin,
not to cook, but for your dressing.
That is absolutely heavenly.
A good quality balsamic vinegar and thinly sliced shallot.
A little bit of pepper.
Not very much.
And then all that you do is to stir it.
Voila. OK, now we serve it.
Flake over the hot smoked salmon.
A tiny little bit of fresh dill, should you wish.
Then of course you've got your creme fraiche with the horseradish sauce to serve on the side.
It's a lovely simple dish, which is all about beetroot.
Dan. A little bit of veg, a bay leaf as well.
-OK and a clove, deux clove.
-Yep. OK chef.
Raymond's next dish is roast duck with celeriac puree and a blackberry sauce.
The dish I'm going to cook today is of course wild duck
with a celeriac puree and a blackberry sauce.
So we've got two lovely little wild duck here.
They're called mallard, OK?
What I love about the duck, wonderful flesh, beautiful meat
which melt, really melt in your mouth.
Really it's not tough if you cook it well.
If you murder it by over cooking it, well done,
little bit less hurry because the muscles they fly all the time.
The duck's legs take longer to cook than the breast,
so before putting in the oven, cook leg-side down
in duck fat for seven minutes.
It's a lovely nice gentle seasoning. It's not aggressive, just right.
You know just right. All this kitchen is already smelling
of that beautiful sweet, slightly gamey flavour. Wonderful!
That is ready. Tres bien.
And a nice colouration here.
Once the skin on the legs has started to crisp,
turn them over to cook on the other side for seven minutes.
Gastric juices start to run.
-Shame it's not 12 o'clock.
When the legs are crisp, turn over onto the breast.
I'm just now caramelising the breast, just for one minute.
So now, these ducks are ready to go in the oven.
180 degrees for ten minutes for medium rare.
30 minutes for medium and for well done, well, as long as you want to.
I'm going to show you now how to prepare a celeriac puree, which will accompany the wild duck.
Grown for its root rather than its stalks and leaves, celeriac is a variety of celery.
It's a perfect alternative to potatoes.
Wonderful. That celery flavour.
Nobody gives me a commis, so I've got to peel my own vegetables.
You cannot do it up here, you need a small knife to go around.
Once peeled, chop the celeriac into equal sized cubes.
So they all cook in the same time. Voila.
Poach the celeriac in milk with a pinch of salt.
The gas here has gone off again.
I love it. I love it because everyone's involved.
Never any fast cooking because fast cooking overcooks the outside and doesn't cook the middle.
So slowly, let the heat permeate.
So now we have 20 minutes for ourselves where we can have a nice
glass of water or maybe a little espresso. That would be very nice.
The celeriac is ready.
What is simmering away is the moisture, I don't want too much moisture, OK?
So I'm going to let it simmer away for five minutes. Go away.
Of course you can do that puree in advance and reheat it,
unlike mashed potato, which cannot be reheated.
This one does because all the starch is good, less sticky, much smoother.
After the steam has gone, puree the cubes in a liquidiser.
We're going to use a bit of the milk here.
Tres bien. Very smooth. Lovely flavour. It is so,
so well worth the effort.
-Having added a squeeze of lemon juice...
-There's 40 grams here.
..Raymond makes a beurre noisette -
a browned nutty tasting butter to enrich the pureed celeriac.
We'll bring the butter to a temperature which gives a lovely colouration
and I want that butter to go a slightly hazel look.
And now it's about to happen.
Look at that, that's perfect.
Now voila, we've got a nice colour here, you can see it here, you see?
That is lovely, just very simple and lovely.
Alongside the roast duck and celeriac, Raymond's serving a blackberry sauce.
It's a lovely sauce, which you can easily make in your own home very simply.
A little bit of clove,
a bit of juniper berry.
Spice up blackberries with a simple marinade.
So with my clove, one single clove, two juniper berries,
tiny bit of bay leaf and a sprig of thyme.
A dash of sugar and it takes on all of those flavours and believe me,
that process will make that blackberry taste at least three times better.
Maybe four times, I've never been a good mathematician.
Fry sliced shallot and field mushrooms in butter.
Blend them a little bit, just for one minute.
Add 100 mls of ruby port...
..and the same amount of red wine.
Now I can add the blackberries.
A pinch of salt only. Remember,
there's quite a lot of spice here, you don't need very much salt.
takes about ten minutes.
When the sauce has simmered gently for ten minutes, puree in a liquidiser...
It's like a richer mulled wine.
..and press through a sieve.
I think that's going to be rather lovely.
After 12 minutes in the oven, the duck is ready.
-Raymond props up the ducks to rest for ten minutes.
This relaxes the meat so it releases its juices becoming succulent.
Adam, please, I need my fork, my small fork.
Where's my small fork? Bring me back all the time the stuff I'm using. Thank you.
So now we are really ready to carve.
Open it up. Voila.
Guy is joining me.
We have worked together for a long, long time now
and I'm going to make him taste the dish.
Raymond serves slices of duck with the blackberry sauce.
Voila, the sauce, go ahead.
Adam, have you got a few crisps, please?
A garnish of deep fried parsnip ribbons and a helping of the celeriac puree.
Voila. Bon appetite.
The cooking is nice, it's not too pink.
It works well.
I like that.
If I had that at home I would be very happy, I'd be a happy guy.
-You're a happy boy, OK?
-So would I. I think so.
One vegetable enjoying a renaissance is watercress.
Long hailed as a super food, it is low in calories, fat free and packed with vitamins and minerals.
Raymond has come to Alresford in Hampshire to meet Tom Amery,
who's worked in the watercress business for ten years.
-Good morning to you, Tom.
-Good morning Raymond.
-Welcome to the Watercress Company.
-Thank you very much.
Watercress needs cool flowing water to grow and the spring water that comes into Hampshire
from the surrounding chalk downs provides the perfect conditions.
-Is it OK to walk on the watercress?
-It's fine, yeah, we do...
-Crush it down. I can hear it, you know, screaming.
It's amazing how resilient the crop is Raymond, it will stand up again.
I didn't have my breakfast, my croissant and my pain au chocolat
this morning, so I will have bit of watercress. Is OK?
-Absolutely. You're at the right place, Raymond.
-You know apparently in London, it's what I've read OK,
I don't know if it's true or false, but apparently watercress was sold by street vendors.
-In 1800 or so, people would eat it like an ice cream, like that.
I'll take over while you eat that.
-True or false?
-It's absolutely true. Historically people would consume it daily.
A lot of it goes back to the medicinal and health benefits of watercress.
I love watercress, OK.
I use it in many ways.
Not just meaningless garnishes but in my food, which is a herb puree or soups.
There's so many wonderful ways to use it because it is very bittery,
very strong flavours, packed with mustardy flavours, pepperiness and so on.
It is absolutely delicious.
The watercress harvest is cut low to the ground, keeping the stalk as long as possible.
-Have you see the cool trick here?
You've seen it in operation, I think it's time you had a go yourself.
Well, if you trust a Frenchman that Frenchman is now going to break your machine, would be personally great.
-That's right. We're going to spin you round.
-OK. I'm spinning, OK?
-That's good, Raymond.
I'm cutting the heads off watercress The Frenchman is very good at that.
Right, let's go and have a look at what we've done.
I prefer my motorcar.
We've left a fair bit behind.
-well it's the first time.
-On the whole that's pretty good.
At least I didn't destroy your crop. Have I got a job?
-You certainly have.
-That's very surprising. Very surprising.
So you taste, always taste. The head, I've just put watercress in my mouth, so have you.
In the kitchen, watercress soup is on the menu.
Served with a swirl of creme fraiche.
Watercress should have a much bigger place in our culinary repertoire than to be a simple garnish.
The first thing that you should do when you make this soup,
you run into your kitchen, you boil your water.
Before switching on the lights, you boil your water.
Adam, 20 grams of butter, please?
-20 grams of butter. 20.
Oh. The only fat that's going to go in that soup, OK?
And I've got an onion. A white onion, but you could use
obviously a different onion, but that one is sweeter.
Lovely onions, very, very sweet and all what you need is about that.
Finely slice onion and stir it into melted butter.
Add sliced garlic and cook on a low heat until softened.
So my water's boiling, my watercress is here, my spinach is here.
Spinach is purely optional.
It's to just round up a bit of flavour of the watercress,
but if you truly love watercress just don't put the spinach.
Now I'm going to add all of the watercress in here.
Sorry it's too much, guys, it's too much. I'm in trouble.
Maybe use a larger pan would be better.
I cannot do a soup into a shallow plate when we need about two kilograms of this.
Sorry. Adam, butter, please?
In a LARGE pan add 300 grams of watercress to the sweated onion and garlic.
That's going to look a lot. You can see - looks like a mountain of watercress
but actually it's going to wilt down like spinach.
It looks a lot then you go to a miserable little, not quite like that, but...
Tres bien. I'm adding my salt, only about six gram of salt, that's all that you need.
After a 30 second burst of heat...
Now I add my spinach.
..add 100 grams of spinach.
Voila. So it's a great little soup because you can do it really in so little time.
You can omit the onions if you don't want to. If you want to make it
really simple remove the garlic, remove the onions, just have water and watercress.
It will still be, I can assure you, completely delicious.
Now we're going to add the boiling water.
As soon as the leaves have wilted down, add half a litre
of boiling water and leave to simmer for just two minutes.
Voila. So now it's boiling up and we can get my ice.
Adam, could I have the ice please. Thank you very much.
Thank you Adam, merci beaucoup.
And then I'm going to stop the cooking with ice.
Completely. And that's a little secret so you
can retain the flavour, the colour, the textures and all the nutrients.
You win all the way.
It looks a watery mess, it's not the most appetising thing now, but you wait later.
Puree the soup in a blender.
Look at that lovely watercress, all wilted down.
That's really a bowl of health, the most delicious simple soup.
So it's a serious amount of soup here, you can do that for eight friends at least.
Voila, you press that.
Now I've got my soup for my many friends.
Put that away here.
When ready to serve, reheat until simmering,
being careful not to boil.
I want it piping hot.
Yes! Oh, my God.
We've got a lovely soup here.
I love to see a nice big bowl of soup in the middle of a table.
To me it's so symbolic of family, of home, of a special moment together.
Then finish the soup with a swirl of creme fraiche.
Merci. Oh, look at that, oh. Mm.
I think creme fraiche is to die for.
Oh, look at that.
I've got my beetroot already done which is brilliant, fantastic.
They're marinating nicely here. Now serve them tepid.
Write that down on the recipe - serve tepid. To be served tepid.
Raymond's final dish is a celebration of seasonal vegetables, a winter salad.
Steamed beetroot sits atop pumpkin puree,
garnished with sauteed mushrooms and pan fried mini pumpkin,
all drizzled with red wine essence.
It's a beautiful dish really just for a lovely winter day.
It celebrates these wonderful vegetables which are being so underused.
Ooh. I'm going to use all that, OK?
This variety is called Muscat de Provence.
She's the mother of all pumpkins.
Of course I get excited when I see this amazing produce. As a cook,
I know I translate into taste. OK, so now let's cut it.
Voila. Look at that.
The colour of the flesh tells me that you've got a very ripe pumpkin here.
Now, I'll move this beautiful treasure aside here.
Chunks of peeled pumpkin will make up two elements of the dish.
Circles of pumpkin cut with a pastry cutter will be fried until golden.
So you've got a nice little pumpkin, mini pumpkin so to speak.
And from the trimmings, Raymond will make a pumpkin puree.
Put the pumpkin trimmings in olive oil for five minutes.
Put this in here. Oui.
That's flavour. What I'm extracting here is flavour.
The right smell already tells you exactly where we are, OK?
Cover and leave to soften on a gentle heat for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, pan fry the pumpkin circles.
Very simple here, I want to brown them on one side to a lovely colour
and then I will turn them around and finish them off in the oven.
The pumpkin is better to overcook it than undercook it
because you get the flavour through cooking, so if you undercook it, it's not very nice.
Now you've got the right colour.
It's not beige like English cuisine of of the 70s.
It's really appetising, it's dark, it's alive.
Season the pumpkin circles and put them in the oven
for seven minutes at 170 degrees centigrade.
Once the pumpkin trimmings have softened...
Oh! The hot pumpkin!
..liquidise to make a puree.
That one is just right. No added liquid, just as it is.
Salt, pepper, dash of lemon juice and puree.
We've got a very fine puree here. Just lovely.
Add olive oil and for a nutty flavour, a dash of hazelnut oil.
Oh. What a lovely smell.
I have got my pumpkin puree here, which is ready, just still warm.
On top of the puree will be bite size pieces of beetroot.
Raymond has already steamed the beetroot and marinated it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Now he reheats to develop the flavour.
-Adam, where are the small leaves?
-They're here, Chef.
Then afterwards it's up to you what you want to add.
I've found some lovely little wild mushrooms, lots of wild mushrooms,
girolle, chanterelle and black trumpets.
Raymond sautes beetroot leaves...
with a squeeze of lemon juice.
OK. So now I'll add the girolle. Tres bien.
The sauce, which will be drizzled over the dish, is a reduction or essence of red wine and ruby port.
And I'm using the port to cut the harshness of the wine.
The pan is hot.
Add 100 mls of port into a hot frying pan.
When it is reduced by half,
add the same amount of red wine and star anise.
Just that much.
That will set up the pumpkin beautifully.
When the essence is reduced to a syrupy consistency, leave it to cool.
Look at that beautiful colour. That flavour will be
really stunning, too, and now with my little essence here.
We are now ready to serve the dish.
First, pumpkin puree.
Tres bien, very simple. The beetroot leaves, a few beetroot leaves,
I'm going to add for a nice chew. OK?
This is wonderful beets.
Then add your cooked pumpkin circles.
OK, so lovely.
Next the warmed marinated beetroot.
They're a bit on the hot side but you can cool them down on the dish, OK.
Tres bien. Oh, so lovely.
Then the sauteed mushrooms.
And the dish is ready.
You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want to.
Raymond tops off the salad with crunchy parsnip ribbons...
You can either dry them in the oven, OK, or deep fry them.
..and deep fried sage leaves.
A burst of little flavours, of sage. Look at that.
It breaks like glass.
Finally, drizzle the salad with the port and red wine essence.
This is the dish that represents all that I believe in -
the celebrations of the seasons.
-Carl. There it is. For you, sir.
-So let's taste it.
-The pumpkin's really nice.
-Are you paying me a compliment, Monsieur Carl?
-Which beetroot do you prefer the most?
The ones we've been trying at the moment, I'd say the gold one, or the candy have been good.
What a great dish.
I think another satisfied customer.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Legendary chef Raymond Blanc welcomes the cameras into his kitchen to share his cooking secrets. Filmed in the lively surroundings of his Oxfordshire restaurant kitchen, this programme features a range of achievable and inspirational recipes for cooks of all abilities.
Raymond makes roots exciting! To start a simple salad of steamed beetroot with balsamic dressing, hot smoked salmon and horseradish creme fraiche. Next up is a creamy yet nutty celeriac puree served alongside a crisp-skinned roast wild duck with blackberry sauce. A simple and stockless watercress soup is a bowl of health on a winter's day and to round off, a celebration of the season: a winter vegetable salad featuring pumpkin, beets, wild mushrooms and a red wine reduction. Along the way, Raymond tries his hand at cutting watercress in Britain's watercress capital, Arlesford in Hampshire.