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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Honey glazed baked ham

We love baked ham and don’t know why so many save it only for Christmas. It’s great for Sunday lunch with champ, cauliflower cheese and greens and there is always loads leftover for sambos (that’s sandwiches for the non-Irish).

Wine Suggestion: lucky us had a bottle of the Jamet IGP Syrah from the Northern Rhône.  Jamet is a top producer of Côte Rôtie, which Jono’s company imports, and the Syrah is their joyful entry level wine which is allocated in small lots. We get an allocation of 6 bottles which we happily buy each time a shipment arrives, we wish we could get more. Works perfectly with the ham too.

Honey-glazed baked ham – serves 4 to 6

  • 1 x 1.75g gammon joint
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 200ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar

Soak the gammon in cold water overnight, then rinse well and put into a large saucepan. Cover with fresh cold water and add the onion, carrot, bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to the boil slowly, then cover and simmer very gently for 1½ hours, skim off any white froth from the surface now and then. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the liquid.

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

Remove the gammon from the liquid and cut away the rind leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat in a diamond pattern and put the joint into a small roasting tin, then pour in the orange juice.

Mix the mustard, honey and sugar together and season generously with black pepper, then smear all over the gammon. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until caramelised. Leave to rest in a warm place for at least 20 minutes, then carve.

(Original recipe from ‘Neven Maguire’s Complete Family Cookbook, Gill Books, 2016.)

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Squid stuffed with oregano

There is a huge marjoram bush growing in our garden and it’s a herb we definitely don’t use enough of. Use tender baby squid for this and have it all prepped in advance. This is a super simple starter to throw onto the barbecue as people arrive.

Our fishmonger carries good frozen squid for when there is none available fresh and it works just as well.

Wine Suggestion: a crisp, dry and minerally white with a citrussy lemon character, like Assyrtiko from Greece, would have been our first choice, but as we didn’t have one in the fridge we pulled out a bottle of Zero de Bouvet-Ladubay, a sparkling Saumur made from Chenin Blanc and, like its name suggests, completely dry with zero residual sugar. It worked just as well.

Baby squid with marjoram – serves 4

  • 600g baby squid
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 tbsp marjoram leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 dried chillies, crumbled (or use chilli flakes)
  • extra virgin olive oil

To prepare the squid you need to pull away the head and tentacles and any pulpy stuff inside the sac. Cut out the hard beak. Wash the tentacles and sac. The recipe suggests leaving the skin and fins on but we usually remove them. Pat dry with paper towels.

Squeeze the juice from 1 of the lemons and cut the other one into quarters.

Season the squid generously inside and out and put 1 tsp of the marjoram into each sac.

Mix the crumbled chilli with 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil and the rest of the marjoram.

Cook the squid bodies and tentacles on a hot barbecue and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Turn almost straight away – when the white flesh has charred lightly – and char on the other side. Serve with the sauce and lemon.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy by Rose Gray & Ruth Roges, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

 

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Chickpea & Rainbow Chard Pork

We made this with some fabulous rainbow chard from one of our best friends’ vege patches. So simple and super tasty.

Wine Suggestion: Find a youthful Tempranillo with little or no oak influence, juicy fruit and not too much extraction (tannins). Chill it for 30 minutes and enjoy. Our choice, the Paco Garcia Rioja Seis.

Chickpea & Chard Pork – serves 4

  • 400g pork fillet, seasoned with salt and black pepper
  • 1 x 480g jar of roasted red peppers in brine, drained and diced into 1cm cubes
  • 300g rainbow chard, finely sliced including the stalks
  • 1 heaped tsp of fennel seeds
  • 1 x 660g jar of chickpeas

Heat a large shallow casserole over a high heat. Put 1 tbsp of oil into the pan along with the pork and sear for 5 minutes, turning over halfway (you can cut it in half if it fits easier).

Remove the pork from the pan, then add the fennel seeds, peppers and chard to the fat left behind. Stir fry for a couple of minutes before pouring in the chickpeas and their juice. Season, stir well and bring to the boil. Nestle the pork in to the chickpeas so that it’s touching the bottom of the pan and pour over any juices from the plate. Cover and simmer gently for 12 minutes or until the pork is just cooked through, turn the pork over now and then as it cooks.

Rest for 2 minutes, then slice the pork and check the chickpeas for seasoning. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and a drizzle of oil before serving.

(Original recipe from ‘5 Ingredients’ by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2017.)

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Spicy Yoghurt Chicken

Drumsticks are a regular weeknight dinner in our house and we’re always looking for ideas for what to do with them. You can cook these on the barbecue or in the oven – we find oven first and finished on the barbecue works well.

Wine Suggestion: Our choice of the Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Federspiel was a good match with the spice, chilli and chicken, as well as fresh to suit the warm weather we’re having. Long may it last.

Spicy yoghurt chicken – serves 4

  • 8 skinless chicken drumsticks (the skins are easy to pull off)
  • 142ml pot natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric

Make a few slashes in the drumsticks with a sharp knife.

Mix the yoghurt and spices together in a large bowl and season with salt and black pepper. Add the drumsticks and massage with the yoghurt mixture, then cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Lift the drumsticks out of the yoghurt and shake off the excess.

Cook on a hot barbecue for 20-25 minutes or roast in the oven for 30 minutes (200C/180C Fan)

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Sloppy Joes

Nothing too glamorous about this dish but it’s really tasty and our 4 year old loved the leftovers with rice and salad. Good value stuff for busy weekdays.

Wine Suggestion: A fun, easy and tasty meal needed something similar on the wine front so we found a bottle of the La Puma Pecorino lurking in our fridge. Italian white’s like this seem to be made for food with a bit of tomato, light spices and, in this case, a touch of sweet and sour.

Turkey Sloppy Joes – serves 6

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 125ml cider vinegar
  • 500ml passata
  • 6 soft buns & coleslaw (to serve)

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion and garlic with some seasoning for about 5 minutes. Add the mince and cook until browned. Add the cumin, brown sugar, paprika and vinegar, then keep cooking for another 5 minutes. Add the passata and cook for 10 minutes.

Serve on the buns with a spoon of coleslaw.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Finocchiona salami with fresh Borlotti beans

We grew fresh borlotti beans in our little garden last summer. The beans had a fabulous creamy texture. Serve this as a starter with lots of ciabatta to mop the plates with. Finocchiona is a soft salami from Tuscany with fennel seeds in it.

Wine Suggestion: If you feel like a white choose a Vermentino from the Tuscan coast; we like the Poggio ai Ginepri Toscana Bianco. If red is what you feel like search out a fresh, youthful and fruit-driven Chianti like the Rocca delle Macie Chianti Vernaiolo, a real taste of spring and summer with no oak and vibrantly fresh fruit.

Finocchiona salami with fresh borlotti beans – serves 4 as a starter

  • 1kg fresh borlotti beans, podded
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 300g Finocchiona salami, finely sliced

Put the beans into a medium-sized saucepan with the garlic and cover with water. Bring the the boil, then simmer for 25 to 35 minutes or until tender. Drain, season generously, then add the vinegar & 3 tbsp of your best olive oil.

Slice the plum tomatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 3 long strips. Season the tomatoes, then gently fold into the borlotti beans.

Divide the beans between 4 plates and scatter the salami over the top. Serve drizzled with some more oil.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

 

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Spinach & Courgette Lasagne

We loved this easy veggie lasagne that celebrates courgettes – one of our favourite summer vegetables. An excellent family dish for mid-week.

Wine Suggestion: We had a Bergerac blanc from Le Tap at hand from our recent holidays. It was a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and a touch of Muscadelle and had the right kind of freshness and body.

Spinach & Courgette Lasagne – serves 6

  • 400g spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 100g Parmesan, grated
  • 9 lasagne sheets
  • 100ml double cream
  • 3 large courgettes, sliced lengthways

Put the spinach into a colander and pour over boiling water to wilt it. Leave until cool enough to touch, then squeeze out the excess liquid with your hands.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add the garlic and soften for a minute. Add the nutmeg and cook for another minute before adding the mascarpone, spinach, half the cream and half the Parmesan. Mix together and season well, then set aside.

Heat the oven to 180C/160 fan/gas 4.

Spread a third of the filling over the base of a 20 x 30 cm baking dish, cover with 3 lasagne sheets, then add a layer of courgettes. Repeat two more times. Pour the remaining cream over and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the pasta is cooked. Rest for 5 minutes before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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