Friday, August 29, 2014

Food Bowls You Can Eat

Bread Bowls

I first tasted a bread bowl in east Berlin Germany in the 90's on the corner of a cold snowy street at an Imbiss or Schnellimbiss - fast food stand. People were standing in the street drinking and swapping stories of the day, the smell hit me as I walked past, I stopped and asked what smelled so good. A dark-eyed Turkish fella had a steaming pot on the go, he grinned grabbed a 9 inch baguette and poured in chicken and mushroom in a cream source. He wrapped a napkin around it, and smiled, a broad all-knowing, confident smile, that I was going to enjoy - wow factor immanent and he wasn't wrong.

I forked the ingredients and broke off the bread that had soaked up the sauce and reciprocated his smile.

This is not a new idea Ancient Rome and Greece used bread bowls. Englishmen in the middle ages called these 'trenchers' and used them as serving pieces, usually the bread's not eaten because it was week old left-overs and cast to the hounds after finishing.

Steak au Poivre Bread Bowl

French Pepper Steak with Brandy Cream Sauce

  • Prep Time:
  • Total Time:


  • one-inch thick rump steaks
  • 1 tablespoon mixed crushed peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • For the Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 table spoon Brandy
  • 50ml/2 fl oz of stock
  • 150ml /1/2 PT cream
  • 1 table spoon English mustard
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut the steak into thin lengths.
  2. Using your fingers coat the steaks with the ground pepper.
  3. Warm a frying pan and add the butter, olive oil and steak.
  4. Cook for 4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for 4 more minutes on the other side
  5. Season the steaks with salt to your taste.
  6. Drain off the liquid from the pan except for a teaspoon full leaving any sediment and replace on the heat.
  7. Pour in the Brandy bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to incorporate all the sediment.
  8. Add the cream and mustard and stir until thick and bubbling, season with salt to your taste.
  9. Pour into the bread bowl.
Cook or brown in a pan containing a small quantity of butter or oil

Tomato bowls - stuff tomatoes.

I first tried this dish in Honfleur Normandy France D-day celebrations with American Jeeps parading down the street, what an amazing place in the summer, one word of warning don’t ask for garlic.
I thought the waiter winced at my French pronunciation but the mere mention of garlic in the stuffed tomatoes was the course of his expletive explosion and a sausage finger pointing me to Paris.
So I admit the only thing to this dish I have changed is the addition of garlic because I think it is better with and when I cook it, I use a bulb but you can omit if you want because it rocks either way.


  • 4 steak tomatoes
  • White Stilton cheese
  • Two Garlic cloves
  • ½ cup Bread crumbs
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 4 Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Salt and black pepper


  1. Cut off the top of the tomatoes large enough so that you will be able to stuff ingredients into them without ripping it. Slice thin off the bottoms so they can stand. Hollow out and remove the insides of the tomato. The filling depends on if you are going to eat it raw or cooked.
  2. Peel the Garlic cloves and mince in a crusher.
  3. De-seed the pepper and finely chop along with the onion and mushrooms place in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle on the Herbes de Provence alternative (fennel, basil, thyme) now add the bread crumbs
  4. Place the Stilton into a frying pan adding olive oil or a noggin of butter, heat until the cheese liquefies then add the above ingredients constantly staring for a few minutes.
  5. Spoon the filling into the tomatoes to the top and drizzles a little olive oil.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C
  7. Place the tomatoes in the oven for 10 minutes lightly brown and serve warm.
  8. This is also a great combination for stuffed peppers swap the tomatoes for peppers.
  9. Try this cold by adding tuna, cold meats and various cheeses. pasta with sauce chicken and vegetables. You could fill several tomatoes with different dips, dressing, or salsas.

Sopa do Mar no Pão - Sea Soup in Bread

This is a Portuguese bread bowl

Large bread loaf, hollowed out and filled with a delicious seafood soup.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel coarsely chopped
  • 300 ml of white wine
  • 900 ml of fish stock
  • 125 g of shells - clams
  • 450 g skinless sea bass fillets cut into cubes
  • 2 tomatoes peeled and deseeded
  • 1 tablespoon of corn flour
  • 120 g shrimp peeled and cooked
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a pan add the garlic and chopped onion fry for 5 minutes until soft
  2. Stair in the wine and fish stock, bring to the boil and add in the fennel
  3. Turned down the heat to a simmer and add the fish cubes, clams and tomatoes
  4. Add two tablespoons of water and the flour raising the heat and starring constantly now add the shrimp and cook for a further minute and stair in the cream and parsley.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Now pour in to the bread bowl and serve.

Iced bowls and fruits in Jelly

You will need:

A large bowl
Small bowl
Sliced raspberries and kiwi fruits

Put the sliced raspberries and kiwi fruit along the side of the bowl lining it and on the bottom.

Place the second smaller bowl inside the larger one and fill the gap between each bowl with water weighing down the smaller bowl if it floats also with water, you want an even gap all the way around.

Place into the freezer. Once frozen remove the small bowl and then the now ice bowl place this on a flat plate and serve a dessert or ice cream.

Fruits in Jelly
  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:
  • Total Time:


  • 1 tin of strawberries
  • 1 tin of mandarins
  • 1 table spoon of gelatine


  1. Drain the strawberries and mandarins keeping the syrup in separate bowls and Sprinkle on ½ table spoon of gelatine over each syrup bowl.
  2. Dissolve using a double boiler (by placing the bowls into water simmering in a large pan) and cool.
  3. Place individual fruits in ice-cube trays or small metal or chocolate moulds. Top up each one with its own syrup and place in the fridge to chill until set solid
  4. Place the moulds in hot water and ease out with a knife.
  5. Place on the ice bowls and decorate with a mint sprig.
  6. Note:
  7. Any tinned fruit are suitable as long as they are in syrup fruits in natural juices cloud the jelly.

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