Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crumbed Camembert Kimwarer Valley-style

While in Nairobi at the end of January, I bought a wheel of Camembert. This week Grant and decided was a good time to enjoy it. I've posted about this dish before (here) but with a difference. These soft cheese parcels, dipped in egg wash, rolled in breadcrumbs and deepfried in olive oil, are normally served with strawberry coulis and whole green figs preserved in syrup.
White roses from the garden with potpourri of rose petals around the vase created a beautiful centrepiece
However, here in Kenya I've not been able to find any figs in syrup and decided to adapt the accompaniment accordingly. I subsequently made caramalised oranges, and once Grant had cooked the Camembert, I arranged the sweet, syrupy fruit alongside as the perfect foil for the rich and delicious protein. I also replaced the strawberry coulis with Confiture de Cerises Noir / Black Cherry Preserve which is what I had in my pantry.
Crumbed Camembert with Caramelised Orange and Black Cherry Preserve. It's every bit as delicious as it looks

And yes, it called for a formal table setting; centrepiece of rose petals, flowers in jam bottle, candles in ashtrays and ice-cold H2O a la water dispenser!

Caramelised Oranges - (I tweaked the recipe as not everything is available here in the valley)

6 navel oranges or any small thin-skinned variety

500g caster sugar - I used brown
250ml water - I only used 100ml water
8 cardamom pods, crushed - I added cinnamon sticks

Using a small sharp knife, cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of the oranges, and then slice off the skin vertically, turning the orange as you go, being careful to keep as much flesh as possible but removing all pith.
Slice each orange into 5mm rounds, trying to reserve as much juice as you can.
Just plonk the slices, pouring the juices, into a bowl as you cut them. Or just cut them straight into something like a lasagne dish.
To make the caramel, put the sugar, water and cardamom pods into a large saucepan and swirl (not stir) a little to dissolve the sugar. Then slowly bring to the boil without stirring, until the syrup becomes a dark amber colour.
Take the saucepan off the heat and tip in the oranges and any juice that's collected in the bowl. Quickly coat the orange slices in the caramel and pour on to a flat plate; act with speed otherwise the caramel will set before you can get it out of the saucepan.
If you can pick out the cardamom pods without burning your fingers, great, but there's no need to get too exercised about it: let those eating do a little work as well. Let the oranges cool, and then put them in the fridge to chill for a little while.

Nigella posted this recipe as a dessert with Greek yoghurt. So if you're not a fan of the cheese we enjoyed it with, why not try it this way and really wow your dinner guests!

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  1. Hi Jo, Lovely rose --and centerpiece... Love the whole setting ---even with candles... PRETTY. Bet that makes your food taste even better!!!

  2. Yummmmm how come I always manage to hit on a food post when I'm hungry. You have done well with an exotic meal in the back blocks of Africa.

  3. What an exotic and resourceful chef you are, Jo. It all sounds delicious, and I love your formal table!
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. Wow! Sounds and looks delicious!!

  5. Yummm - and the roses look like my favourites - Antique Silk? x x Caroline

  6. Beautiful, Jo! And the food looks delicious! What a great cook you are indeed! Delightful post for the day! Hope your week is off to good start! Enjoy!


  7. You are so ingenious, Jo and what a pretty table and yummy looking meal. As Diane said, WHY? when I'm so jolly hungry? I'm on puppy duty...Coco & Milo sleeping beside me and Heathcliff, asleep at my feet. The sun is streaming indoors. If I move, they'll all wake up promptly, so I don't have the heart to. They played so enthusiastically all morning and are completely tuckered out now :) So, I'll just have to drool over your pictures, here!

  8. Mmmm-mm-mm!! That looks so delicious, Jo. You are a fantastic cook!

  9. congratulations on successfully making me hungry.

  10. Sounds and Looks delicious Jo!!!
    ....My Phone Didn't Ring!!!Hahaaa

  11. Hi Jo. Just popped in while I had a little time. The roses are beautiful and the dish looks yummy. ;o)


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