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Smoked Haddock witha creamy green lentil stew

The pictures just don’t do justice with how delicious this dish tasted; highly recommended!

Wine Suggestion: Try complementing the smoky fish with an oaked white such as a New World Chardonnay.

Smoked haddock with lentils – serves 2

  • 250ml double cream
  • 350g piece of smoked haddock, skin removed
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • a thick slice of butter
  • 150g green lentils
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • a large handful of chopped parsley

Put the cream in a shallow pan. Add the haddock, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then turn off and cover with a lid.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Cook the carrot and onion in the butter for about 5 minutes, then add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are almost soft, then stir in the cream from the fish. Continue cooking until the liquid has reduced to just cover the lentils.

Add the parsley and season. Divide the lentils between two dishes and serve the haddock on top.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s Eat: The little book of fast food, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

 

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We love cheese after dinner but it seems a bit indulgent during the week and therefore we inevitably end up with chunks of cheese lurking in the back of the fridge. We try our best not to waste any food but something as expensive and delicious as cheese (particularly the cheese pantry stuff as opposed to the supermarket plastic-wrapped kind) is even more of a travesty to not use. That’s when recipes like this one are perfect for a mid-week treat without having to indulge in a two-course evening meal.

Broccoli & Stilton Soup – to serve 4

  • 2 tbsp flavourless oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, sliced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • a knob of butter
  • 1 litre of good chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 head of broccoli, roughly chopped (including stalks)
  • 140g Stilton (or other blue cheese), crumbled

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions until soft but not coloured. Add a splash of water if they start to catch.

Add the celery, leek, potato and butter. Stir until the butter melts, then cover with a lid and sweat for 5 minutes.

Pour in stock and add any chunks of broccoli stalk. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Add the remaining broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes. Whizz until smooth, then stir in the stilton. Season with black pepper (you are unlikely to need salt) and serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This dish looks really good and is really very little effort. Perfect for last minute entertaining.

Wine Suggestion: We’ve successfully drunk fresh whites like Pecorino from Italy and crisp Sauvignon Chardonnay blends from Cheverny, Loire as well as  Chianti, Rioja and cool-climate Syrah/Shiraz from Australia and the have all gone very well. This is a sociable dish so think of a sociable wine and it seems to work a treat!

Lamb cutlets with mint, chilli & golden potatoes – serves 4

  • 500g baby new potatoes, halved
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp celery (or ordinary) salt
  • 8 lamb cutlets
  • 100g rocket
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Put the potatoes on to steam.

Mix the olive oil, chilli flakes and celery salt in a large tray. Add the lamb chops and turn to coat well in the oil. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat a large, heavy, non-stick frying pan and fry the chops over a medium heat for 5 minutes (you won’t need any extra oil). Turn the cutlets over and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side (or longer if you prefer).

Meanwhile, drain the steamed potatoes once they are tender and leave to dry in the pot.

Use the rocket to line a platter. When the chops are cooked remove them from the pan and arrange on top of the rocket.

Add the potatoes to the pan and fry for 3 minutes on each side or until hot and golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the platter. Sprinkle the dish with the sea salt and fresh herbs to serve.

(Original recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Nigellissima, Chatto & Windus, 2012.)

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We made this for a Saturday breakfast and really enjoyed the playful balance of flavours. The pancakes are light, fluffy and not too sweet.

Banana pancakes with maple syrup and smokey bacon – serves 4

  • 8 rashers smoked streaky bacon (or pancetta strips)
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • 2 ripe bananas, 1 mashed, 1 thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 25g butter, melted, plus a little extra
  • 125ml milk
  • maple syrup

Cook the bacon or pancetta under a hot grill, on a tray lined with foil, until crispy and keep warm.

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the mashed banana, eggs, butter and milk. Whisk until you have a smooth batter without any floury lumps.

Heat a little butter in a large frying pan until sizzling. Ladle in small dollops of batter and put a few slices of banana on the surface of each pancake. Cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat and turn when bubbles appear on the surface of the batter. Cook for 1 more minute on the other side or until puffed up and golden brown. Keep warm while you use the rest of the batter. Serve the pancakes topped with the crispy bacon and a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Sage brings an unexpected element to this soup that really works. Super warming and homely.

Pumpkin and sage soup – to serve 8

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped sage
  • 1.4kg of pumpkin or squash flesh
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock

Melt the oil and butter in a large pot. Add the onions and sage and cook gently for about 15 minutes or until really soft. Add the squash and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the honey and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is soft.

Cook before processing until smooth. Season and add a bit more stock if its too thick. Reheat to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Ginger Beer

For the last 33 weeks we have been posting very misleading wine suggestions as we’ve had very little wine at all. Instead we’ve have had to imagine what we would have liked to drink with the dishes if one of us didn’t have to abstain for 9 months. Instead we’ve a new found affection for soft drinks, including this Ginger Beer.

Ginger Beer 

  • 140g fresh ginger
  • 4 tbsp muscovado sugar
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 1 litre soda or sparkling mineral water
  • fresh mint sprigs

Grate the ginger using the coarse side of the grater. Catch the ginger with  all its juice in a bowl and sprinkle in the sugar.

Remove the rind from 2 of the lemons with a vegetable peeler, then add to the bowl and bash everything together with the end of a rolling pin for a few seconds. Squeeze the juice from all 3 lemons and add most of it to the bowl.

Allow the ginger beer to sit for 10 minutes, then taste and adjust with more sugar or lemon juice if necessary. Pour the ginger beer through a coarse sieve into a large jug and serve with plenty of ice and mint sprigs.

(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver)

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Patatas Bravas

Never have potatoes been so sublime; there was a fight for every single morsel. Part of the trick is to get the right potato and we used the classic Irish Rooster to great effect. You will have too much tomato sauce which you can put in the fridge or freezer to make patatas bravas again another night; we did just that and ate Patatas Bravas three times during the week!

Wine Suggestion: This dish is perfect for a nutty Amontillado sherry and make sure it is dry as the commercial “medium” sherries just won’t do! A classic Tapas & Sherry match which we wholeheartedly endorse. Yum!

Patatas Bravas – serves 8-10 as a tapas

  • 1.5kg peeled floury potatoes
  • 180ml olive oil, for shallow frying
  • salt

FOR THE SALSA BRAVA: 

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked hot Spanish paprika (pimentón picante), plus a bit extra
  • ½ tsp crushed dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 125ml tomato sauce (see below)

TOMATO SAUCE: 

  • 125ml olive oil
  • 225g onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml water
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp sugar

First make the tomato sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a wide shallow pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 15 minutes until soft and very lightly coloured.

Add the tomatoes, water and bay leaves, salt and sugar, then bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer very gently, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally – you are aiming for almost a purée consistency.

Leave to cool a bit then remove the bay leaves and blend in a food processor until smooth.

Next make the salsa brava:

Heat the olive oil over a low heat, then add the pimentón, chilli flakes, Tabasco and vinegar and mix together well. Stir in the tomato sauce and adjust the seasoning to taste. Thin with up to 3 tbsp of water if the salsa is too thick.

Now fry the potatoes:

Cut the potatoes into small even-sized chunks and cook in a large pan of well-salted water for 6-7 minutes or until just tender, then drain well.

Heat the olive oil in two large non-stick frying pans, divide the potatoes between them and shallow-fry in a single layer for 10-12 minutes, turning regularly, until crisp and golden.

Spoon the potatoes onto warmed plates, drizzle over the sauce, sprinkle with the pimentón and serve with cocktail sticks and napkins.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Spain, BBC Books, 2011.)

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Team Oscar Dinner Party

A few sore heads in our house this morning after our Team Oscar Dinner Party to raise some money for this incredibly brave little boy from Belfast.

Oscar has Neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer, and his Mum and Dad are trying to raise enough money to pay for immunotherapy, which is not yet available in the UK.

We have joined loads of people all over Ireland having fundraising events to help and Oscar cheers them all on with his amazing personality.

You can read more about Oscar on his blog (http://oscarknox.blogspot.ie), on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OscarKnoxAppeal) or follow him on Twitter @Wee_Oscar.

We have friends over for dinner most weekends and last night we charged them all in to raise some money. We raised €200 just by doing what we do every Saturday night – so easy!! If you are having a dinner party any time soon we suggest you do the same! You can even steal our menu – check out all the recipes below.

You can make a donation to The Oscar Knox Appeal by going to http://www.justgiving.com/oscarAppeal

We wish wee Oscar and his family all the luck in the world and hope they reach their target soon.

Team Oscar Dinner Party – to serve 8

Starter: Team Oscar Barbecue Chicken

Main: Team Oscar Greek Pasta Bake with Team Oscar Greek Salad

Dessert: Team Oscar Strawberry Tart

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Come On Ulster!!

SUFTUM!!
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We have been waiting for asparagus season to start and this dish seemed an appropriate celebration. Basque inspiration but completely at home in Ireland with every ingredient in season and locally sourced which we are passionately in favour of.

This recipe uses the tips of asparagus but we suggest buying the whole thing and cutting the tips off at home (instead of the pre pack tips). The remaining asparagus stalks are great steamed or blanched the next day for breakfast with a nice boiled or poached egg 🙂

Merluza a la koxkera – serves 4

  • 4 x 175-200g pieces of skinned hake fillet, 2 – 2.5cm thick
  • 200g asparagus tips (8cm long)
  • 250g peas
  • plain flour for dusting + 1 tbsp for the sauce
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 100g shallot, finely chopped
  • 175ml dry white wine
  • 100ml fish stock
  • 250g small clams (or a few extra of your pot will fit them)
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Season both sides of the hake pieces generously with salt and set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile drop the asparagus tips into a pan of boiling, salted water and cook for 2 minutes. Add the peas and when it reaches the boil again drain and refresh under cold water. Leave to drain.

Pat hake pieces to remove excess moisture and then dust with flour and shake off any excess. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium-high heat in a large frying pan (big enough to fit your 4 hake pieces). Add hake and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown on outside, but not quite cooked through. Lift out onto a plate and set aside.

Wipe frying pan clean and add 2 tablespoons of oil, the garlic and shallots. Fry over a medium heat for 3 minutes, or until soft and lightly golden. Stir in the 1 tablespoon of flour and then gradually stir in the wine and stock to make a smooth sauce.

Bring to a simmer and return the hake to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the clams, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes until all the clams are opened and the fish is cooked through. Uncover and scatter over the asparagus, peas and parsley. Simmer for a minute or two until the vegetables are warmed through. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Wine suggestion: As this is of Basque origin we could suggest a Txakoli, a Basque white wine. If this is difficult to find try a Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc blend, like from Bordeaux which has good freshness and crispness but also the body and structure to stand up to the flavours of the dish.

Inspiration from: Rick Stein’s Spain, BBC Books 2011

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Melting Moments

Accurately named, these morsels are so light and melt in the mouth. This recipe is thanks to Gera (Jono’s mum) who keeps on encouraging us to cook more sweet things and provided this recipe so all thanks to her! Easy to make and too easy to eat.

Melting Moments – makes up to 20, depending on how big you make them!

  • 200g butter
  • 6 tbsp icing sugar
  • 115g plain flour
  • 115g cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • raspberry jam

Heat oven to 160C and grease a baking tray or two.

In a food processor cream the butter and icing sugar.

Sift flour, cornflour and baking powder and add to the mixture. Process until a dough.

Roll into small balls and place on a greased baking tray. Wet a fork with water and press each ball to flatten a little.

Bake for 20 minutes until slightly firm but not too coloured. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from trays.

When cool put a small dollop of jam on the flat side of one biscuit and sandwich with another biscuit (so it looks a bit like a yo-yo).

Now try to stop everybody eating too many!

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Correction…

…to our Spaghetti Tetrazzini post below. Jamie Oliver had us convinced that this was Italian, publishing it in his Italy book and alluding to an old Italian recipe book.

Our trusty Italian friend has since discovered that Tetrazzini isn’t an Italian dish at all but an American one. It is thought that the dish was created by a chef in San Francisco who named it after an Italian opera star called Luisa Tetrazzini. It’s all there in black and white on wikipedia so it must be true. It also explains some of the comments from other bloggers who remember this from their childhood. I don’t think any of them are Italian either!

So cheers Enrico and good luck with your new foodie wine blog which comes highly recommended by Jono and Jules:

Grapecircus Big Top

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To celebrate the first birthday of our blog we thought we’d cook a cheese cake, but being the inveterate bakers we aren’t we went for just the cheese 🙂

One year on and we love blogging about food even more and being connected to so many foodies around the world.

So happy birthday to us – we look forward to many more.

Jono and Jules

Wine suggestion: we went with a very nice Riesling from Wild Earth vineyards in Central Otago, NZ because we had no Champagne in the fridge. It went very nicely with the cheese.

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We know we have done this before but this is a really simple mid-week version and not at all stressful to cook. If you’re not keen on butter beans you could use haricot or borlotti instead. We love butter beans!

Sausage tomato and butter bean bake – to serve 3-4

  • 6-8 large pork sausages, plain or flavoured
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g cans butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Add the sausages and cook gently for a minute or two or until just sealed and lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate.

Wipe out the frying pan and add the rest of the oil. Tip in the onion and sage and sauté very gently for around 10 minutes until the onion is very soft but not coloured. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, then cook for about 5 minutes, stirring now and then, until the sauce has reduced a bit and thickened. Season to taste.

Put the tomato mixture into an ovenproof dish, stir in the beans, then arrange the sausages on top, burying them in the mixture. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the sauce bubbles and the sausages are cooked.

[Original recipe by Ainsley Harriott for BBC Good Food, August 2009]

Wine suggestion: Try a lighter red with a bit of acidity as the tomatoes will be acidic and it’s all about balance. Try something with Sangiovese or  a Cabernet Franc from the Loire.

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This salad from ‘Ottolenghi: the cookbook’ has just a few fresh ingredients and tastes fantastic! Really good with some grilled meat off the barbecue.

Chargrilled cauliflower with tomatoes, dill and capers – to serve 2-4

  • 2 tbsp capers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 1 small cauliflower, divided into florets
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • 50g baby spinach leaves
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved

You can make the dressing in a food processor or by hand (we used the processor). Mix together the capers, mustard, garlic, vinegar and some salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously or run the machine while adding half the oil in a slow trickle. You should get a thick, creamy dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Add the cauliflower to a large pan of boiling salted water and simmer for just 3 minutes. Drain and run under a cold tap to stop it cooking further. Leave in the colander to dry well, then put it in a mixing bowl with the rest of the olive oil and some seasoning. Toss well.

Heat a ridged griddle pan over the highest possible heat and leave it for 5 minutes or until it is really hot. Grill the cauliflower in batches – don’t over-crowd the pan. Keep turning until they are nicely charred all over and transfer to a bowl. While the cauliflower is still hot, add the dressing, dill, spinach and tomatoes. Stir together, taste and adjust seasoning again.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi The Cookbook published by The Random House Group).

 

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We love garlic bread but often the garlic is too raw and over-powering and it doesn’t love us back. For these toasts we roasted the garlic first before making the butter which gives a more subtle flavour.

You can make the garlic butter in advance.

Garlic Toasts (serves 4, easily multiplied for larger quantities)

  • 3 fat Garlic Cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 4 slices of Crostini, or a demi-baguette, sliced diagonally
Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Put garlic and olive oil in a small roasting tin and season with salt and ground black pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes.
When cooked and golden, remove from oven, cool slightly and then mash the garlic cloves in a small bowl with a fork. Add the butter and parsley and mix thoroughly.
Put bread on baking tray, spread with the garlic butter and bake until crisp (roughly 5-10 minutes).
We served this with Jamie Oliver’s Pasta Bake to great effect.
Original recipe: Bill Granger’s “Every Day”, Murdoch Books

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I think Jamie’s Italy might be our favourite Jamie book – it’s without a doubt the one we’ve cooked the most out of. This is a super way to use up aubergines which are bang in season at the moment. Jamie says this is a side dish but we served it as a main with some garlic bread and next time we’ll serve a green salad too. The revelation for us was to barbecue (or grill) the aubergines to avoid the oiliness you so often get with this dish.

Jamie’s Aubergine Parmigiana – to serve 6 as a side dish or 4 as a main

  • 3 large firm aubergines
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp dried oregano
  • 2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes
  • a little wine vinegar
  • a large handful of basil
  • 4 large handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 handfuls of dried breadcrumbs (we used Panko)
  • a little fresh oregano, leaves chopped
  • 1 x 150g ball of buffalo mozzarella
Slice the aubergine into 1cm thick slices and set aside. Get the barbecue (or griddle pan) really hot. Meanwhile put some olive oil into a large pan and put onto a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and dried oregano and cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and the garlic has started to colour. Break up the tomatoes and add to the onion, garlic and oregano. Give it all a stir and cover and simmer slowly for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, barbecue the aubergines until lightly charred, in batches. When the tomato sauce is reduced, season it carefully with salt, pepper and a tiny bit of wine vinegar, and add the basil.

Put a small layer of tomato sauce is an earthenware dish, then a thin scattering of Parmesan, followed by a single layer of aubergines. Repeat until the ingredients are used, finishing with a little sauce and a good sprinkle of Parmesans. Tear the mozzarella over the top. Bake the dish at 190°C/375°F/gas 5 for half an hour until golden and bubbling.

Nice!

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy published by Penguin Group, 2005)

Wine suggestion: a great way to match food and wine is to look at where the food comes from … in this case Northern Italy so a nice Barbera d’Asti would work a treat.

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Jono liked this so much he swears that if he’d been on his own he would have scoffed the lot! The combination of lamb shoulder, spices, apricots and preserved lemons give this dish such richly and multi-layered flavours that are all exceptionally well balanced and moreish. Make the most of fresh apricots while we can get them!

This needs time to marinate which will add even more depth of flavour and tastiness, but if you forget even a short marinating time will still give a very nice result.

Lamb Tagine with Apricots (serves 4)

  • 1kg lamb shoulder, diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 60g sultanas
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 750 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 350g fresh apricots
  • 1 preserved lemon, pulp discarded and skin finely chopped
  • 1 handful coriander leaves, torn
  • 1 small handful mint leaves, torn

Mix ground spices thoroughly together then toss lamb in half the ground spices and leave for at least 4 hours, but try to marinate from the night before (we didn’t read the recipe properly so didn’t marinade it at all and it was still fab!).

Heat oven to 160C/Gas 3. Warm olive oil gently in a deep, heavy-based casserole and add seasoned meat in small batches; brown on all sides and then remove. Next add the onions and garlic with the remaining spices and soften, stirring regularly. Add a little more oil if it dries too much because of the spices. Be careful to moderate the heat as you don’t want to burn the spices.

Add sultanas, honey, saffron, stock, tomatoes and whole apricots and then return the meat to the pan. Bring to the boil, season with salt and black pepper, cover with a lid and place into the oven.

Cook for 2.5 hours.

Remove tagine and stir in the preserved lemon. Lift meat out with a slotted spoon and boil sauce over a high heat until reduced and thick.

Return meat to sauce and stir in the coriander and mint.

Serve with couscous.

[Original recipe from Nigel Slater: Tender Volume II (fruits)]

Wine suggestion: a lighter Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s 2009 vintage. This vintage is excellent all the way across NZ so that even the €6.00 Tesco Finest: Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 was a delight; and a complete bargain! (Thanks Michael!)

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I’m sure we’ve already mentioned that we panic-buy skinless, boneless chicken thighs – though they do seem to be easier to get these days. Thighs are much tastier than chicken breasts and don’t have the same tendency to dry out.

After a relatively sunny day on Sunday we deicided to plan a barbecue for Monday. Jono ended up standing outside in the rain under a big umbrella – that’s summer in Ireland! Do try barbecuing lemon halves – it makes them super juicy and a bit milder, perfect squeezed over grilled meat or fish.

Teryyaki mustard chicken – to serve 4

  • 8 boneless chicken thigh fillets – the skin can be on or off
  • vegetable oil, for brushing
For the teriyaki sauce
  • 3 tbsp beer
  • 3 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • lemon halves, for serving
Combine the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Put the chicken in a flat, non-metallic dish and pour over the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for no more than 3 hours, turning now and again. Take it out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking.

Light the barbecue. Brush the grill with a little vegetable oil to stop the chicken sticking. Put the chicken thighs on the grill, reserving the marinade, and cook for about 5 minutes, turn and cook for another 3 minutes.

Start basting with the teriyaki sauce and turning every minute – for about 4 minutes or until the thighs start to look charred at the edges.

Check they are cooked through and remove them to a plate, cover and rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with barbecued lemon halves to squeeze over.

(Original recipe by Ross Dobson for Sainsbury’s Magazine, August 2009)

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There is something so comforting about chicken and rice. The butter and gentle spices  lift the otherwise bland background – a really simple but impressive dish.

Golden Chicken Pilaf – to serve 4

  • 50g butter
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cardamom pods, lightly bruised
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 500g chicken stock mixed with a large pinch of saffron (from a cube is fine)
  • 300g basmati rice
  • a handful of roughly chopped coriander

Heat half the butter in a large wide pan with a lid. Brown the chicken in batches and set aside. Add the rest of the butter then tip in the onions and cook really slowly until tender and golden brown (around 10 minutes).

Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves and cook for a minute. Add the chicken stock and chicken pieces, pour in the rice and stir well.

Cover tightly (if the lid isn’t tight, put a sheet of foil underneath) and cook on a really low heat for another 15-20 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Scatter the coriander over before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive, August 2007)

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