The Modern Pantry restaurant serves some of the most exciting food in London. It was founded in 2008 by culinary genius Anna Hansen, who was born in Canada, but grew up in New Zealand in a family peppered with Danish culinary influence. With its fresh and delicious dishes, such as Cherry, Olive, Braised Red Onion and Couscous Salad with Tymsboro Goats’ Cheese, and its simply tranquil setting, it’s worth a visit. If you don’t get a chance to go there anytime soon however, you can follow some of the recipes at home, taken from Anna Hansen’s new book The Modern Pantry Cookbook, published by Ebury.
COCONUT WAFFLES WITH VANILLA MASCARPONE, MANGO AND PASSION FRUIT RECIPE
‘Waffles are one of my all-time favourite things, especially for brunch,’ says Anna. ‘For a variation, replace the desiccated coconut with polenta and serve with bacon and maple syrup. I’m afraid you’ll need a waffle iron to make this recipe.’
INGREDIENTS – Serves 6
For the waffles:
270g plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
100g desiccated coconut
200ml tepid water
200ml tepid beer or ale
150ml double cream, lightly whipped
100g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for brushing
4 eggs, separated
For the topping:
icing sugar for dusting
2 ripe mangoes, peeled with a potato peeler, then sliced into generous chunks
pulp of 6 passion fruit
For the vanilla mascarpone:
150g mascarpone cheese
150ml double cream
vanilla sugar, to taste
To make the vanilla mascarpone, put the mascarpone into a bowl and loosen it with a whisk. Add the double cream and some vanilla sugar and whisk until lump free, thick and glossy.
To make the waffles, sift the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and stir in the desiccated coconut. Gently whisk in the water, beer, whipped cream, melted butter and egg yolks. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and then fold them through the batter, being careful not to overmix.
To cook the waffles, heat your waffle iron and brush it lightly with butter. Spoon in some of the batter and spread it almost to the edge of the waffle pattern, then close the lid and cook until golden. This should take 4 minutes or so. The amount of batter you need will depend on the depth of your iron so play around until you get the volume right. This recipe makes 10-12 waffles. You will want more than one!
To serve, place a waffle or two on each plate and dust with icing sugar. Put a spoonful of the mascarpone cream on top, place a few pieces of mango on this and then drizzle over the passion fruit pulp.
‘Tymsboro is one of my favourite goats’ cheeses,’ says Anna. ‘Its dense texture and delicate lemon flavour are perfect in this recipe alongside the fruity cherries and salty olives.’
INGREDIENTS – Serves 4
80g dried sour cherries
250ml apple juice
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
100g Kalamata olives, pitted
2 red onions, sliced into rounds 1cm thick
80ml sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
180ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
350g instant couscous
juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
250g fresh cherries, pitted and halved
a bunch of chervi, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of tarragon, finely chopped
3 bunches of watercress, woody stalks removed
1 Tymsboro goats’ cheese, cut into thin wedges
Maldon salt or other flaky seat salt and black pepper
Put the sour cherries, apple juice and pomegranate molasses in a small pan and gently bring to the boil. Take off the heat and leave to cool. Strain the sour cherries, reserving the liquor, and chop them roughly, along with the olives.
Place the red onions in a parchment-lined roasting tin just large enough to hold them and pour over the vinegar and 80ml of the olive oil. Season, cover tightly with foil and bake in an oven preheated to 180degreeC/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, stir, then return to the oven for 10 minutes or so, until the onions are cooked through. Leave to cool.
Put the couscous in a large bowl and add the lemon juice and zest and enough cold water to cover by 1cm. Add the remaining olive oil and some salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Cover with cling film and leave to soak for 20 minutes or so, until the couscous has absorbed the water and is soft. Remove the cling film and fluff up the couscous with a fork, then mix in the sour cherries and olives, plus the fresh cherries and chopped herbs. Taste for seasoning.
Scatter a layer of watercress over a large platter, then some couscous followed by braised red onions and Tymsboro wedges. Repeat the layers until you have used everything up, then drizzle over the reserved liquor from the sour cherries and a little extra virgin olive oil.
The Modern Pantry restaurant in London…
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Emily Peck, Editor
View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor