Parmesan and Thyme Soufflés
50 g butter
40 g plain flour
300 ml milk
75 g parmesan, freshly grated
1 heaped tablespoon thyme leaves
3 eggs, separated plus 1 egg white
Preheat the oven to 190 C°. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and gradually blend in the milk. Return to the heat and cook for a few minutes, stirring/whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and is smooth. Remove from the heat and beat in the cheese, thyme and salt and pepper. Cool for 5 minutes then heat and stir in the egg yolks.
Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Fold a quarter into the cheese sauce. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Spoon the mixture into 8 cm ramekins. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-18 minutes, until well-risen and golden brown on top.
(From “Feasting on Herbs”, Sue Lawrence)
Beef stewed with Thyme, allspice and Coconut
90 ml coconut or sunflower oil
2 tablespoons caster sugar
750 g good stewing beef, cut into 3 cm chunks, trimmed
1 large onion, very finely chopped
3 generous sprigs of thyme
2 garlic gloves, crushed
1 teaspoon allspice berries, bruised
200-300 ml coconut milk
salt and pepper
Put the oil and sugar in a casserole. Heat over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is golden brown and molten. (At first, it shows no inclination to soften but it will).
Dry the pieces of beef. Add them to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon until the meat is rich brown colour. Then add the onion and stir. Reduce the heat right down low, season generously with salt and cover the pan. Leave to sweat for 15 minutes, by which time the meat will have thrown off a surprising amount of liquid and the onion should have more or less dissolved into the juices, thickening them slightly.
Uncover and add all the remaining ingredients, using the lower quantity of coconut milk. Stir, then simmer, covered, for an hour or until the beef is very tender. Check occasionally and if it seems to be getting a little dry, add more coconut milk. Adjust the seasoning and serve.