The Elegant Cook

M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Cook Notes

Elegant Japanese-Style Salad

Posted on April 2, 2011 at 12:48 PM

This refreshing and elegant cucumber-radish salad is dressed with a rice wine vinegar-honey vinaigrette

Elegant Radish and Cucumber Salad

Posted on March 21, 2011 at 2:27 PM

I made this delicious radish and cucumber salad with a crinkle-cutter. I dressed it with a combination of white wine vinegar, oil, honey, Himalayan salt and ground green peppercorn. This salad benefits from an hour of marination in the dressing.

Elegant Red Cabbage Salad

Posted on January 6, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Red or purple cabbage, sliced thinly and mixed with feta cheese, yellow tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, cilantro and salt makes an elegant salad. I grew this purple cabbage and the yellow pear tomatoes. It is best to let this dressed salad sit at room temperature for at least an hour, so that the cabbage softens a little. ©M-J de Mesterton

Chopping Green Chiles, etc.

Posted on January 2, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Gardening for September 12th--30th

Posted on September 12, 2010 at 10:30 AM

From the Farmers' Almanac:

September 2010

"12th-14th Excellent Time for Planting Above Ground Crops that Can Be Planted Now, Including Leafy Vegetables, Which Will Do Well. Start Seedbeds.

15th-16th Clear Fence Rows, Woodlots, and Fields, but Do No Planting.

17th-19th Any Above Ground Crops That Can Be Planted Now Will Do Well.

20th-21st Poor Planting Day. Kill Plant Pests.

22nd-23rd First Day Favorable For Planting Above Ground Crops. Second Day Favorable for Planting Root Crops. Both Days Are Good for Vine Crops.

24th-26th Seeds Planted Now Will Grow Poorly and Yield Little.

27th-28th Good Day for Planting Root Crops.

29th-30th Seeds Planted Now Tend to Rot In Ground."

Elegant Baby Beetroot

Posted on July 31, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Beets are very nutritous, and have cancer-inhibiting properties. Here is a beetroot that I grew in the vegetable garden, steamed and dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar:

Elegant Diced Vegetable Salad

Posted on July 31, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Elegant, Nutritious Radishes

Posted on July 31, 2010 at 9:39 PM

M-J's Elegant Guacamole

Posted on May 16, 2010 at 9:02 PM

See Dinner and Drinks Parties, bottom of page.

Elegant, Protein-Rich Vegetarian Luncheon

Posted on February 16, 2010 at 3:02 PM

See Elegant Vegetarian & Spa for M-J's Recipe

The Elegant Cornish Pasty

Posted on February 16, 2010 at 9:12 AM


I’ve been making Cornish pasties since the age of 20. My mother wrote a book about the pasty and its history which was published in 1990, but my method and ingredients differ from hers. The following is my pasty (pronounced “pass-tee”) recipe: I will not formally transcribe my recipe and method for making pasties, because I never use measurements. I can tell you, however, that they are made with a short crust containing both butter and lard, water, a teaspoon of malt vinegar, and unbleached, plain white flour. Since salted butter is used in the dough, add just a dash of salt to it. I add sea-salt and hand-milled pepper to the filling, which consists of four raw ingredients, all diced very finely: tri-tip steak, which is always well-marbled and never tough; ordinary, high-starch brown-skinned potatoes, turnips, butter bits, and white or Spanish onions. The finely-diced beef and vegetables are tossed together in a mixing bowl with the salt and pepper before being laid upon the dough, dotted with butter and enclosed. The edges are crimped, either on top or on the side of the pasty, and a couple of well-placed slits are made in the top to allow steam to escape. The final product is brushed with a beaten egg mixed with a teaspoon of cream. The pasties are then baked in a very hot oven for close to one hour. Once the pasties have cooled for about twenty minutes, serve with an oil-and-vinegar-dressed lettuce salad. Offer Cornish cream, Spanish or Mexican Crema, or sour cream as an optional condiment. The pasties depicted here, which I made, are the optimum size for a meal; the dough for them was shaped into a ball about half the size of a woman’s closed hand, then was rolled out and cut around a 7″ luncheon plate. Making giant pasties just isn’t elegant, nor is it traditionally Cornish. I also make miniature pasties for parties, by using a tin can or the bottom, inner ridge of the same luncheon plate as a cutting guide. These mini-pasties are easily eaten by hand with a cocktail napkin to catch any pastry-flakes. For a basic short-crust guide, please see my Elegant Apple Pie recipe.~~Recipe and Pasty Photos Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Elegant Cabbage Salad

Posted on February 13, 2010 at 12:36 PM

See my recipe on the Salad page.