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Arts – Recipes from No. 10: Beignets with Cheese

Finest Hour 115, Summer 2002

Page 44

By Georgina Landemare, the Churchill family cook, 1940s-1950s, updated and annotated for the modern kitchen by Barbara Langworth ([email protected]).


In the fascinating life of her mother, Clementine Churchill: The Biography of a Marriage, Lady Soames acquaints us with Georgina Landemare:

“Mrs. Landemare was a superb cook, combining the best of French and English cooking. She had learned her craft the hard way, starting as No. 6 in the kitchen over which reigned the French chef, Monsieur Landemare, whom she eventually married. Clementine had come to know and appreciate her talents and her delightful personality during the Thirties, when she used to come to Chartwell for special parties or busy weekends to boost and teach the rather inexperienced cooks or promoted kitchenmaids that Clementine could then afford. When they moved into Downing Street, Mrs. Landemare came to cook for Winston and Clementine on a permanent basis. Through all the difficulties of wartime rationing, she managed to produce delicious food. After the war she stayed with us until 1953 when she retired, aged seventy.” Lady Churchill later wrote the foreword for Mrs. Landemare’s book, Recipes from No. 10, which may be republished by her granddaughter.

These delectable morsels from Mrs. Landemare’s kitchen were a particular favorite of the Churchill family.

BEIGNETS WITH CHEESE

(Makes 3-4 dozen)

choux paste*
4 oz grated Parmesan cheese mixed with
4 oz grated Gruyère cheese
2 egg yolks
cayenne pepper

Mix the choux paste with the grated cheese and egg yolks and add several pinches of cayenne pepper. Drop a spoonful at a time into very hot, but not boiling, deep fat. Fry slowly until a golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on kitchen paper which will absorb any surplus grease.

Serve with tomato sauce.

*CHOUX PASTE
1/4 lb butter
10 oz water
4 eggs
4 oz. (scant cup) flour

In a saucepan put water, butter and salt and bring to the boil. Mix the flour in all at once and beat well until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan (a wooden spoon works well). Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or two, then gradually add the four eggs one at a time, beating well after each.

TOMATO SAUCE
1 lb. Tomatoes
3 chopped shallots
Sprig of thyme
Parsley stalks
Pepper & salt
1 tsp. Sugar
3 tbs. olive oil
1 blade (clove) of garlic
butter

Put the oil into a saucepan and fry the shallots until soft; add the thyme, parsley stalks, garlic, seasoning and sugar. Cut the tomatoes up coarsely and add to the rest. Stir well and cook slowly for 1/2 hour. Pass through a fine sieve, reheat and add a small knob of butter.

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