Wednesday 4 November 2009

How to de-seed grapes

We have a glut of grapes, both white and dark. In the fridge currently is of a box of about ten kilos of the things which the Technical Dept harvested from the garden in about three minutes, at the start of the week, and I've been working my way through relevant recipes ever since. A white grape sorbet was pretty good, frothed with some beaten egg white and enlivened with a glass of vin santo, and last night's Duck, pot-roast in white grapes also got significant points. I've tended to stick with recipes where the process of crushing or liquidizing or sieving eliminates the need to deal with the seeds, since de-seeding grapes has always been for me one of the most thankless of all kitchen chores. Until now. Research has unearthed this elegant version of keyhole surgery which is both quick and efficient:

1. Take a standard paper-clip and unfold it into a 'S' shape.

2. Insert one end of the 'S' into the end of the grape which was where the stalk had previously been, and bear down into the grape.

3. Bury the clip into the grape to the depth of the first arm of the 'S', and then invert it, so the bit you first inserted is now pointing back up in the direction whence it came, and you have the curve of the clip in the centre of the grape, positioned to act as a hook.

4. Twist the clip slightly, to loosen the innards of the grape, and then carefully pull the clip out of the grape, bringing the seeds with it.

5. Once the seeds reach daylight, discard them and move on to the next grape.

Couldn't be simpler!

Tonight's dinner:

Celery Risotto (with stock made from last night's Duck)

Sausages of Wild Boar, with a Potato and Shallot Gratin

Clafouti of White Grapes, baked in Lemon & Cognac Cream

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