Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Smoky Chorizo Salmon

It’s still cold but there’s a bit of sunshine and promise of warm spring days to come. We can’t wait for the spring veg to start but this bright dish is not a bad compromise.

Wine Suggestion: in the mood for Spring we chose the Chateau Vignelaure, La Source Rosé which we often find a good match for salmon and it came through yet again. Vibrant, fresh fruit and a long dry finish.

Smoky Chorizo Salmon – serves 2

  • 2 x 150g salmon fillets, skin on
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 sprigs fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 8 black olives, remove stones and finely chop
  • 30g chorizo, finely sliced

Put the salmon in a large cold non-stick frying pan with the flesh side down. Put over a medium-high heat and cook for about 3 minutes or until it is sizzling underneath. Flip the salmon over on to the skin side and continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until the skin is very crispy and the fish is just cooked through.

Meanwhile, tear up most of the basil leaves and mix with the cherry tomatoes, the red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix the chopped olives with 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of water.

Add the chorizo to the pan with the salmon for the last 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes for 30 seconds. Divide the tomatoes between two plates and top with the salmon, then spoon over the olive dressing and the rest of the basil leaves.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2017.)

Advertisements

Chicken with an agrodulce sauce

A quick and healthy Italian-style sweet & sour dish for midweek. We weren’t completely sure about the celery but it smells amazing in the pan with the red onions and tastes perfect in the finished dish. Serve with new potatoes and a green salad or steamed tenderstem broccoli.

Wine Suggestion: We served this with a fuller Italian white, the l’Insolito by Michele Biancardi from Puglia. This is made from Minitolo which used to be thought of as a sub-variety of Fiano. Honeysuckle and white flower aromatics are tempered by a good citrus twist … sort of like the agrodulce.

Chicken with Agrodolce Sauce – serves 2

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp flour, well-seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • a small handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally. Cover the 4 pieces of chicken with baking paper and flatten gently with a rolling pin. Dust the chicken pieces with the seasoned flour shaking off any excess.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and brown the chicken really well, then remove from the pan. Throw the onion and celery into the pan now and cook for about 3 minutes, then season. Add the tomatoes and cook for another few minutes or until they start to break down, then add the vinegar and sugar.

Return the chicken to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through, then stir in the parsley.

Serve with green salad or steamed broccoli and some new potatoes if you like.

(Original recipe by Jennifer Joyce IN: BBC Olive Magazine, April 2009.)

Spaghetti with Prawns & Rocket

Easy, tasty, prawns, chilli & spaghetti 🙂

Wine Suggestion: A great match was the Biancardi Solo Fiano from Puglia which was aromatic, floral and vibrantly fresh.

Spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola – serves 4

  • 400g dried spaghetti
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 dried chillies, crumbled (or you could use a tsp of chilli flakes)
  • 400g raw prawns (peeled)
  • 1 small wineglass of wine – about 175ml
  • 2 heaped tbsp of sun-dried tomato purée or 6 sun-dried tomatoes blitzed in a blender
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 handfuls of rocket, roughly chopped

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted water according to the pack.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and chilli.

When the garlic starts to colour, add the prawns and sauté for a minute, then add the wine and tomato purée and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Drain the pasta but reserve a little bit of cooking water.

Toss the spaghetti with the sauce, the lemon juice and half the chopped rocket and season to taste (add a bit of the pasta water at this stage if needed).

Divide between plates and scatter with rocket and lemon zest before serving.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2005.)

Sausages and green lentils with tomato salsa

Italian-style comfort food with honest, rustic flavours. Generous portions of deliciousness and tastes even better on the second day. Do seek out proper Italian sausages if you can – some of them are gluten-free as well for our coeliac friends.

Wine Suggestion: playing on the rustic theme works well by looking for an earthy wine match, you also need a bit of acidity which you can often find in Italian wines. We’ve successfully tried some cheaper Rosso Conero from the Marche made from Montepulciano and simple Chianti made from Sangiovese. Alternately the Insoglio del Cinghiale from the Maremma steps it up a notch, and then a step further the Pira Luigi Serralunga Barolo.

Salsicce con lenticchie verdi e salsa de pomodoro – serves 4

  • 8 good-quality Italian sausages
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 500g purple-sprouting broccoli or cima di rapa
  • juice of ½ a lemon

FOR THE SALSA ROSSA:

  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 1-2 small dried red chillies, crumbled
  • 2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes

FOR THE LENTILS:

  • 400g Puy lentils or lentichhie di Castelluccio
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • a handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped and stalks reserved
  • red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • a small handful of thyme tips

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Start with the salsa by heating some oil in a saucepan and cooking the onion, garlic, cinnamon stick and chilli over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft. Turn up the heat and add the red wine vinegar, then turn the heat to low and add the tinned tomatoes (chop them up with you hands or with a wooden spoon). Simmer the sauce slowly for about half an hour while you cook the lentils.

Put the lentils into a large pot, cover with water and add the whole cloves of garlic, the bay leaf and the parsley stalks (tied together so they’re easy to remove at the end). Simmer for about 20 minutes, checking to make sure the liquid still covers the lentils. Check regularly near the end of the cooking time to make sure they don’t overcook.

Toss the sausages in a small bit of olive oil and bake in a roasting tray for about 25 minutes until golden.

When the sausages are cooked either boil or steam the broccoli until cooked, then drain and toss with some lemon juice, good olive oil and seasoning.

Fish the parsley stalks and bay leaves out of the cooked lentils and pour off most of the water. Mash the garlic cloves with a spoon and mix into the lentils with 4 tbsp of good olive oil and 1 to 2 tbsp of vinegar. Stir in the chopped parsley, then mix and season.

Pour away any fat from the sausages and slice thickly.

Remove the cinnamon stick from the salsa and season well.

Put the lentils onto plates, spoon over the salsa and top with the sliced sausages. Sprinkle with the thyme tips and serve with the broccoli.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2005.)

 

Meatballs in a tomato & pepper stew

The first dish we’ve tried from the loveliest of cookbooks – Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam & Dina Mousawi. A mix of Syrian recipes and simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming stories. We plan on gifting it to everyone we know. The Syrian name translates to Lord David.

Serve with rice.

Wine Suggestion: this was delicious with the Domaine Ventenac Paria, a juicy and vibrant Grenache from the Cabardes region of southern France. Using the old fashioned, but now new again, concrete vats this has a freshness and minerality that we loved.

Dawood Pasha (Meatballs in a tomato & pepper stew) – serves 4

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 500g tomatoes, finely diced (we used the equivalent weight of drained plum tomatoes from a tin)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée

FOR THE MEATBALLS:

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 tsp 7 spices (also known as baharat mix) – you can find this in large supermarkets or Middle Eastern shops. See below for the recipe if you would like to make it
  • half a large bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped

For the 7 Spices: Mix the following spices together and store in a sealed jar: 1 tbsp ground cardamom, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp ground coriander, 1 tbsp ground black pepper, ½ tbsp ground cloves, ½ tbsp ground nutmeg.

Heat the oven to 160C/Gas 3.

Fry the onion in a splash of olive oil until soft, then add the garlic and fry for another minute. Add the green pepper and tomatoes, then fry for a couple of minutes before turning down the heat and leaving to simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and leave to simmer for another 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have reduced down.

Mix the meatball ingredients together in a bowl and roll into 2.5 cm balls using wet hands. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle a little olive oil over them and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the meatballs from the oven and tip into the tomato sauce which should be nice and thick now. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and serve with rice. If you make these a day in advance they’ll taste even better!

(Original recipe from Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam & Dina Mousawi, Trapeze, 2017.)

Potato Pie with Beaufort Cheese

What can we tell you about this pie? Well first of all it doesn’t look remotely like the picture in the book and there were a few moments of panic when the cream started to run out the sides. Despite our wholly inadequate pastry skills and some last minute patching to stop the leaks, it tasted pretty good and didn’t look half as bad when it came out of the oven as it did going in. If you have a similar leak we advise remaining calm and sticking some pastry over the hole – pronto!

If you have trouble finding Beaufort,  Gruyere is a good substitute. Serve with a green salad.

Wine Suggestion:  an oaked white with a good freshness and texture is the best match for both the cheese and pastry. If you can find a white from Jura or Savoie you’re in for a treat but otherwise there are plenty of options. For something a little different we tried both the Sartarelli Balciana Verdicchio from the Marche in Italy and the Soalheiro Alvarinho Reserva from the Melgaço in Portugal and had a great match with both.

Potato pie with Beaufort cheese – serves 4 

  • 500g medium-sized waxy potatoes – we used Charlotte
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 cloves of garlic, lightly bruised
  • 25g-30g butter
  • 375g ready-made puff pastry in 2 sheets
  • 75g Beaufort cheese, very thinly sliced (a vegetable peeler works well)
  • ½ tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 egg beaten, to glaze

Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6.

Steam the potatoes until tender, then cool and peel. Slice moderately thickly and set aside.

Put the cream into a small saucepan with the garlic and bring to the boil, then take off the heat, cover and leave to infuse.

Lightly smear a baking sheet with some of the butter. Roll out 1 pastry sheet thinly (about 2-3mm) and lay onto the baking sheet. Mark a circle on the pastry about 20cm in diameter. Cover the circle with half of the potatoes, arranging in a slightly overlapping layer. Season with salt and pepper then cover with half the cheese and thyme leaves, adding a few flecks of butter. Repeat these layers, then brush the pastry edges with beaten egg.

Roll out the other sheet and place over the filling. Clamp down the edges with your fingers and either trim to a round or if it’s easier fold in the extra pastry to create a thicker edge.

Brush the pastry all over with the egg and decorate with a fork (the decorating was beyond us and may have caused the hole so skip this step if you like). Make a hole in the centre of the pie about 5mm in diameter. Remove the garlic from the cream, then slowly pour into the pie using a small funnel. Do this slowly and allow the cream to settle before adding more. Stop when no more will fit – you might have a bit left over.

Put the pie into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4. Continue to bake for a further 20 minutes – cover loosely with foil if the pastry browns too quickly.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving in wedges with some dressed salad leaves.

(Original recipe from The Vegetarian Option by Simon Hopkinson, Quadrille Publishing Ltd, 2012.)

Roast drumsticks with parsley and garlic

The title is a little bit deceptive as you don’t actually need to put these in the oven. They are very cheap and tasty and especially good with some potatoes and green veg. We’ve given the recipe to feed four people but we used just four drumsticks to feed two and scaled down the extra bits slightly and it worked perfectly.

Wine Suggestion: We had a simple, unoaked Viura (the grape used in white Rioja) from Castilla in Spain and the flinty texture and balance between fruit, freshness and a lighter body worked even better than we hoped.

Roast chicken drumsticks with parsley & garlic – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 12-16 chicken drumsticks
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Season the drumsticks generously with salt and pepper.

Heat a large, heavy-based casserole with a lid or a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil and half the butter. When the butter is foaming, add the drumsticks, and fry until browned all over.

Cover the pan with a lid and continue to fry gently for 20-25 minutes, turning often. Remove the lid and add the rest of the butter, the garlic, parsley and lemon juice. Remove the pan from the heat and rest for a few minutes before serving.

(Original recipe by Paul & Jeanne Rankin IN: BBC Good Food Magazine, March 2014.)