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Archive for the ‘Side dish’ Category

Creamed Spinach

This is creamed spinach, not that bizarre idea of serving spinach with runny cream, and it truly is the best accompaniment to a barbecued ribeye steak. Our dinner for two on New Year’s Eve.

Creamed spinach – serves 2

  • 300ml whole milk
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, bashed
  • 2 bay leaves, torn
  • 500g main crop spinach
  • 50g butter, plus a bit extra
  • 40g plain flour
  • nutmeg, for grating
  • a large handful of coarse white breadcrumbs
  • a large handful of finely grated Cheddar cheese

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 6.

Pour the milk into a medium-sized saucepan and put over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaves and bring to a gentle simmer. Take the pan off the heat and leave to infuse for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, drop the spinach into a large pan of boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes, until wilted. Drain and cool until you can squeeze the excess liquid out with your hands. Roughly chop and set aside.

Heat a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. When it starts to bubble, add the flour and cook and stir for 1 minute before pouring in the infused milk (strain it through a sieve first and discard the onion and herbs). Whisk for 1-2 minutes to make a thick white sauce. Season well with salt and pepper and a good grating of nutmeg, then remove from the heat and fold in the chopped spinach. Spoon the mixture into a small ovenproof dish.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the grated cheese and scatter over the dish. Dot with a little butter and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp, golden and bubbling.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

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Buttered Sprouts with Chestnuts & Bacon

Sprouts are not just for Christmas and indeed should be eaten throughout the frosty months in our opinion. We particularly like this recipe with butter, bacon bits and chestnuts – a sprout-lovers dream!

Buttered sprouts with chestnuts & bacon – serves 8 (easily halved)

  • 1.25kg Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 6 rashers streaky smoked bacon cut into bit-sized pieces or cubes of pancetta
  • 200g vacuum-packed chestnuts
  • 50g butter

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and tip in the sprouts. Return to the boil and cook for 5 minutes, then drain and run under the cold tap until cold, then drain again.

Heat a large frying pan, add the bacon and gently fry for 10 minutes until crispy. Scoop the bacon out of the pan with a slotted spoon and leave the fat behind, then add the chestnuts and fry over a high heat for about 5 minutes until they have darkened in places, then tip out of the pan.

Put the sprouts into the frying pan with a splash of water, then cover the pan with a lid and finish cooking over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove the cover, turn up the heat, then add most of the butter and sauté the sprouts for another 2 minutes. Tip in the bacon and chestnuts, season generously, then serve with the last bit of butter on top.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, December 2009.)

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Spiced Garlic Savoy Cabbage

It’s nice to do something different with greens now and then. This rich, garlicky and full of flavour cabbage dish goes really well with lamb. We also liked it served with a few other veggie dishes. You could of course use other varieties of green cabbage.

Spiced Garlic Savoy Cabbage – serves 4 to 6

  • 1 large head of Savoy cabbage, halved, core removed and leaves cut into ribbons
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1-2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cloves bashed and thinly sliced
  • 50g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 6 tbsp Greek yoghurt

Wash and drain the cabbage but don’t bother to shake off the water as this will be used to steam it.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the spices and dry-roast for a minute, shaking, until they smell aromatic and are starting to brown.

Add enough olive oil to just coat the base of the pan. Add the garlic and fry for a minute, then put half the cabbage into the pan. Season with a little salt and pepper and stir well before adding the rest of the cabbage and seasoning lightly again. Drizzle over a little oil, then cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender.

Stir the cabbage well to coat in the spices, then add the butter and stir. Check the seasoning, then take the pan off the heat and stir through the yoghurt.

(Original recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

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Roasted Beetroot Salad with Burnt Chestnuts

We can’t help but associate chestnuts with December when everyone’s in holiday mood. This side dish would complement any banquet and would even work well on the big day as an alternative to carrots and sprouts (not that there’s anything wrong with them). Another great idea from Sabrina Ghayour.

Roasted Beetroot Salad with Burnt Chestnuts, Tahini Yoghurt & Herb Oil – serves 4

  • 1.5kg beetroot, roasted and peeled, quartered (roast beetroots wrapped in foil for between 45 to 90 minutes or until soft when pierced with a knife)
  • 200g vacuum packed cooked chestnuts

FOR THE YOGHURT SAUCE

  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 100g Greek-style yoghurt
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp warm water

FOR THE HERB OIL

  • 15g dill
  • 15g coriander
  • a good squeeze of lemon juice
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

TO GARNISH

  • toasted sesame seeds
  • toasted nigella seeds

Arrange the beetroot quarters over a large platter.

Heat a large frying pan over a high heat, then dry fry the chestnuts for a couple of minutes on each side or until slightly blackened. Arrange the chestnuts on the platter with the beetroot.

Make the herb oil by pouring boiling water into a bowl and immersing the dill and coriander in it. Leave to blanch for 1 minutes before draining and then cool the herbs by running under cold water.

Blitz the herbs in a blender with the squeeze of lemon juice, the lemon zest, olive oil and some salt and pepper. Blend to a smooth mixture, adding more oil to loosen if needed. Adjust the seasoning and set aside.

Combine the ingredients for the yoghurt sauce together and add enough warm water to make a smooth sauce. Drizzle the yoghurt sauce over the beetroot. Spoon over the herb oil and sprinkle with the toasted seeds to garnish.

(Original recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

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Patatas Bravas

We love these crispy potato cubes with spicy sauce and this version roasts the potatoes in the oven rather than frying them in heaps of oil. Serve as a side dish or just on their own for a snack.

Wine Suggestion: We love a dry sherry with these, but can’t decide between whether we prefer Fino, Amontillado or Oloros – we recommend them all.

Patatas Bravas – serves 4

  • 800g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 3-4cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley, to serve

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar or honey
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tsp hot paprika, plus extra to serve

Put the potatoes into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, add plenty of salt, and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until starting to soften. Drain gently so they don’t break up too much.

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

Put 2 tbsp of olive oil in a roasting tin and heat in the oven. Add the drained potatoes, toss in the oil, and roast for 40-45 minutes.

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and add the garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the garlic has started to soften but not coloured. Add the vinegar and sugar or honey and stir until dissolved. Stir in the sweet and hot paprikas.

Pour the sauce over the crispy potatoes and sprinkle with a little extra paprika and some finely chopped parsley.

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers Mediterranean Adventure by Si King and Dave Myers, Seven Dials, 2017.)

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Spicy Green Beans - Madaledar sem

These green beans are full of Indian flavour and make a great side for curries and other Indian dishes but they would also add interest to a roast chicken. Chopping them up small changes the texture in a nice way too.

Spicy Green Beans (Masaledar sem) – serves 6

  • 750g green beans, trimmed and cut into 5mm lengths
  • 4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 350ml water
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dried hot red chilli, lightly crushed in a mortar
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (to peel the tomatoes drop into boiling water for 15 seconds after which the skins should come off easily)
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground, roasted cumin seeds

Put the ginger and garlic into a blender or food processor with 120ml of the water and blend until fairly smooth.

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot over a medium-high heat. When hot put in the cumin seeds, and 5 seconds later the crushed chilli. As soon as it darkens add the ginger-garlic paste, then stir and cook for a minute. Stir in the coriander, then add the chopped tomato. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, mashing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.

Add the beans, about 1¼ tsp salt and the rest of the water, then bring to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the beans are tender.

Remove the cover. Add the lemon juice, the ground roasted cumin seeds, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Increase the heat and boil away the liquid while gently stirring the beans.

(Original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking, Barron’s Educational Series, 2002.)

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Akhrote ka raita

We’re sad to say that we’ve finally used up the enormous stash of walnuts we couldn’t resist at a French market. When we got home we thought we’d never get through them. This dish was a fitting end for the last few handfuls and we need to plan another trip. Try this raita with Indian dishes as a refreshing change from the usual cucumber raita.

Yoghurt with walnuts & coriander (Akhrote ka raita) – serves 6

  • 600ml plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • ½ a fresh hot green chilli, very finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, very finely sliced
  • 65g shelled walnuts, roughly broken into small pieces

Put the yoghurt into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork or whisk until smooth and creamy.

Add the rest of the ingredients plus a good grinding of black pepper and about ½ tsp of salt. Stir to mix.

(Original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking, Barron’s Educational Series, 2002.)

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