Another success from Sam & Sam Clark of Moro. Great textures and interesting flavours. Works as a starter or a side with grilled meat.
Feta salad with spinach, crispbread, sumac & pinenuts – serves 4
- 500g young spinach, washed and dried (in a salad spinner ideally)
- 200g good-quality feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 dessertspoon fresh oregano or marjoram leaves
- 75g pinenuts, very lightly toasted
- 25g butter
- 2 pitta breads
- ½ garlic clove, crushed to a paste with salt
- 1 tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sumac
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Melt the butter. Split the pitta in half lengthways and brush the melted butter on both sides. Put the pittas on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool.
Whisk the garlic, red wine vinegar, sumac, olive oil together to make a dressing. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
Put the spinach, roughly broken crispbread, half the feta cheese, the oregano/marjoram and pinenuts into a large bowl. Pour over most of the dressing and toss together. Serve with the rest of the feta and dressing on top.
(Original recipe from Moro: the cookbook by Sam & Sam Clark, Ebury Press, 2001.)
Posted in Food, Side dish, Vegetarian | Tagged Cooking, Easy, Feta, Food, Middle Eastern, Moro, Recipe, Salad, side dish, Sumac | Leave a Comment »
Jono’s birthday treat this year was a rabbit, which we ate. Orlaith (the 3 year old in the house) also ate it despite being very attached to her favourite fluffy ‘Bunny’. If you’re nervous about rabbit don’t be, the flavour is really good and not too gamey. We highly recommend this mustard & tarragon sauce too.
Wine Suggestion: A classic French dish needed a classic French wine to go with it. Our choice was a favourite, the Patrick Javillier Bourgogne Blanc Cuvée Oligocene, in reality a good Meursault. Well worth seeking out.
Rabbit with Mustard & Tarragon – serves 3-4
- 1.5kg rabbit joints
- 25g unsalted butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 500ml chicken stock
- 100ml double cream
- 4 tsp Dijon mustard
- a good squeeze of lemon juice
- leaves from 8 springs of tarragon
Season the rabbit joints with salt and pepper.
Heat the butter in a deep frying pan and brown the rabbit pieces, then remove from the pan and set aside. Cook the onion in the same pan until soft and golden. Add the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and return the rabbit pieces to the pan. Simmer very gently, covered, for 1.5-2 hours or until tender and still moist.
Take the rabbit back out of the pan, put into a warm dish and cover. Add the cream to the stock and reduce by about half. Add the mustard, lemon juice and half the tarragon. Reduce again until the sauce is the consistency of single cream but be careful the sauce doesn’t reduce too much and become sticky and salty.
Return the rabbit to the sauce to heat through and add the rest of the tarragon just before serving.
(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)
Posted in Food, Gluten-free | Tagged Cooking, Dijon, Food, French, Mustard & tarragon sauce, Recipe, Tarragon | Leave a Comment »
When it is done right a sausage roll can be a real treat, but too often they’re a bit disappointing. This is usually due to grey pastry and cheap sausage meat stuffing but this is easily remedied by making your own. They’re just the trick if you’ve overindulged the night before.
Wine suggestion: if you feel like wine make it an easy, juicy and inexpensive new world shiraz like the Beelgara Estate Shiraz from the Riverland in Australia. Satisfying and flavoursome but uncomplicated and fruity.
Sausage & Sage Rolls – makes 8
- ready-rolled puff pastry sheet
- 6 good quality sausages
- sage leaves (optional)
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
Gently split the sausage skins with a sharp knife and remove. They should come off very easily in one piece. Squeeze the skinned sausages together with your hands to form a fat log.
Unroll the pastry sheet and place the sausage meat lengthways down the centre of one side. Lay a few sage leaves on top if you like. Brush the edges of the pastry with milk, then fold over the sausagemeat and seal the edge. Cut slashes along the top of the sausage roll with a sharp knife.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into slices to serve.
Posted in Food | Tagged Cooking, Food, ready-rolled puff pastry, Recipe, Sausage Rolls, Sausages | Leave a Comment »
This is how Julie’s Granny served champ, with a great big lump of Irish butter in the middle!
Irish Champ – serves 4 as a side or 2 on it’s own
- 700g potatoes – it helps if they are roughly the same size
- salt and white pepper (no black pepper please)
- 6 tbsp milk
- 4 scallions, finely chopped
- 50g butter (plus extra to serve)
Put the potatoes (unpeeled) in a pot and cover with cold water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer until completely tender (usually about 20 minutes but keep checking and don’t let them go to mush).
Heat the milk with the scallions for about 5 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and peel while still hot. If you have a potato ricer you could use that but we tend to use a standard masher.
Beat the butter into the mashed potato with a wooden spoon, then stir in the warm milk and scallions. Season well with salt and white pepper.
Serve the potatoes in a warm bowl. Make a dip in the middle with the back of a spoon and add a lump of good quality (preferably Irish) salted butter.
Posted in Food, Gluten-free, Irish Food, Side dish, Vegetarian | Tagged Champ, Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Irish, Irish Food, Paddy's Day, Potatoes, Recipe, Saint Patrick's Day, side dish | 2 Comments »
We’re forever trying new chillies and this one has become the current favourite. Great for feeding a crowd and it tastes even better if cooked the night before. It’s also worth using dried black beans though you have to soak them overnight. If you’re using tinned beans make sure you buy Mexican black beans rather than fermented black beans used in Chinese dishes.
Wine Suggestion: an easy choice here, juicy and red. We chose a Primitivo from Puglia in Italy, the Biancardi Ponteviro which had a wonderful depth of brambly fruit and a hint of menthol freshness. A really good Zinfandel from California (Ridge I’m looking at you, but there are a number of others) would be a good alternative if that’s easier as it’s the same grape.
Chunky Beef & Black Bean Chilli – serves 6
- 200g dried black beans, soaked overnight
- olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
- 750g beef shin, trimmed and cubed
- 3 tbsp tomato purée
- 2-3 tbsp chipotle paste/chipotle chillies in adobo sauce
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 500ml beef stock
- 2 tbsp malt vinegar
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 x 400g tins of cherry tomatoes
- sour cream (to serve)
- tortilla chips (to serve)
- cooked basmati rice (to serve)
FOR THE GUACAMOLE:
- 2 avocados, peeled & stoned
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- a good pinch of ground cumin
- 2 limes, juiced
- a handful of coriander, chopped
Put the soaked pans into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a fast boil and cook for 30 minutes. Drain & rinse.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a wide casserole dish, add the onions and cook until soft and golden. Add the garlic and chilli and keep cooking for another minute, then scoop out onto a plate.
Heat another tbsp of oil in the same dish and use to brown the meat in batches. When all the meat is browned put it all back into the dish and add the onion mixture, the tomato purée, chipotle paste, spiced and dried oregano. Cook for a minute, then add the stock, vinegar, sugar and tined tomatoes. Season, stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer, cover with a tight lid and continue to cook for 2½-3 hours or until the meat is very tender.
To make the guacamole, mash the ingredients roughly together with a generous pinch of salt.
Serve the chilli with the guacamole, sour cream, tortilla chips and basmati rice.
(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in BBC Olive Magazine, October 2013.)
Posted in Beef, Food, Gluten-free | Tagged Avocado, Beef Shin, Black Beans, Chilli, Cooking, Easy, Food, Gluten-free, Guacamole, Mexican, Recipe | 1 Comment »
Another suggestion for using up a leek. Chicken, mustard and leeks are natural friends and make for a delicious mid-week dinner.
Wine suggestion: choose a classic pairing with this and go for a Chardonnay. Your choice of which one but both simple and unoaked or sophisticated and expensive white burgundy will work.
Braised chicken with mustard & leeks – serves 2
- olive oil
- 4 chicken thigh fillets
- 1 leek, chopped
- 100ml white wine/chicken stock
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
Heat a splash of oil in a wide, deep frying pan and cook the chicken thigh fillets until golden on both sides.
Add the leek to the pan and cook until softened.
Add the wine or stock, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the Dijon mustard and double cream and continue to simmer with the lid off until slightly thickened.
Stir through the chopped tarragon, season to taste and serve with either some steamed rice or mashed potatoes.
(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, January 2015.)
Posted in Chicken, Food, Gluten-free | Tagged Chicken, Chicken thigh fillets, Cooking, Dijon mustard, Easy, Food, Gluten-free, Leeks, Recipe, Tarragon | Leave a Comment »
We’re regularly left with a rogue leek in the bottom of the fridge and it usually finds its way into a dish like this, particularly if there is some cream lurking as well. Quantities don’t matter too much here so use what you’ve got.
- Baking potatoes
- Leeks, sliced finely
- Cheddar cheese, grated
Heat the oven to 220°C.
Rub the potatoes with olive oil and place on a tray in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200ºC and continue to cook for about another hour.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan and gently sauté the leeks until they are meltingly tender. Add the cream and bubble together until you have a thick sauce.
When the potatoes are soft, cut them in half and scoop out the centres, leaving a thin layer of potato on the skins. Mash the removed potato, mix with the creamy leeks and season with salt and lots of pepper. Pile this mixture back into the potato skins and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Return to the oven for a few minutes until the cheese has melted and started to brown.
Serve this on its own for a midweek supper or as a side dish with chargrilled chops or sausages.
Posted in Food, Gluten-free, Side dish, Vegetarian | Tagged cheese, Cooking, Cream, Food, Gluten-free, Jacket Potatoes, Leeks, Recipe, Side, Vegetarian | Leave a Comment »