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Posts Tagged ‘Apricots’

Lamb, squash and apricot tagine

This dish couldn’t be easier and the sauce is delicious. It can be made in an authentic tagine if you have one, or alternately in a large casserole dish like we used here, both work well. Serve with couscous and natural yogurt.

Wine suggestion: With all the spice and richness in this dish the best wines to match the tagine are medium to full-bodied reds with a juicier fruit like a Ribera del Duero. Our pick of the moment is the Condado de Haza Crianza  2011 which has a lovely, open and approachable nature whilst hiding a core of real depth, texture and personality. We’re sure this wine will age really well if you like but suspect most will be consumed soon after purchase; very moreish!

Lamb, squash & apricot tagine – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 600g-800g lamb leg, diced into 2cm cubes, excess fat removed
  • 200g butternut squash
  • 200g soft dried apricots
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml lamb or beef stock
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • small bunch of coriander

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole, add the onion & cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and spices, and cook, stirring, for another couple of minutes.

Stir in the lamb, squash and apricots, then add the tomatoes and stock and season well. Bring to the boil, put the lid on and transfer to the oven.

Stir after 1 hr and return to the oven, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.

Check the seasoning and sprinkle over the lemon zest and coriander to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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We had an abundance of perfectly ripe apricots a while back and whipped this up to celebrate. Baking fruit on top of puff pastry, with some ground almonds and a dusting of sugar is dead easy plus it brings out all the flavours and enhances the deliciousness.

Wine Suggestion: we think that these flavours go well with southern French botrytised wines, especially from Semillon and Sauvignon. Don’t go all out with a top named Sauternes Chateau as  these will be too concentrated and rich, rather find smaller Chateau, second wines or little appellations like Cérons. Look for a purity of fruit and balance of freshness, but a lightness of being and not too rich.

Apricot Tart – to serve 8

  • one pack of ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 900g ripe apricots, halved and stoned
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • maple syrup and cream to serve

Preheat oven to 220°C/Gas 7/Fan 200°C.

Unroll the pastry onto a slightly damp baking tray and sprinkle over the almonds. Arrange the apricots on top, tightly packed and right up to the edges of the pastry.

Dust with the icing sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sugar has started to caramelise.

Serve hot or warm with a drizzle of maple syrup and some cream if you like.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This is creamy, salty and tangy with little jewels of soft juicy apricots. Definitely the best cookers of the soft summer fruits.

You will have too much spice paste but it will keep (covered with a film of oil) in the fridge for a week.

Wine Suggestion:  A Pinot Gris will give you hints of sweetness to complement the heat from the chillies and enough weight to balance the rich coconut milk. It will also be slightly aromatic to match the lime and coriander on the nose.

Chicken with apricots and coconut milk – to serve 4

  • 3 short stalks lemongrass
  • 50g ginger
  • 2 small hot red chillies
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • a bunch of coriander
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil, plus extra for the paste
  • 200g tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 8 apricots, halved and stoned
  • 400ml tin coconut milk

Peel the outer leaves of the lemongrass and discard. Cut into short lengths and put into a food processor. Peel the ginger, slice into thin pieces and add to the lemongrass. Chop the chillies and add to the ginger with the garlic and roughly chopped stems and half the leaves of the coriander. Add the lime zest, then chop everything to a coarse paste, adding a little oil. Add the tomatoes, fish sauce and soy sauce and continue to blitz.

Warm the oil in a deep pan over a high-ish heat and brown the chicken pieces lightly. Lift the chicken out and pour away most of the oil, leaving about a tablespoon.

Add half the spice paste and fry over a low to moderate heat for a couple of minutes or until fragrant, then return the chicken to the pan. Pour in the coconut milk and leave to simmer gently over a low heat for 10 minutes.

Add the apricots and cook for another 10 minutes or until soft.

Check that the chicken is cooked, then add the lime juice and the remaining coriander, roughly chopped. Season to taste with salt and serve with rice.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries II, Fourth Estate, 2012.)

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A summer version of pork and apple, the apricots add a similar sweet and acidic foil. On the table in 20 minutes.

Pork with spiced apricots – to serve 2

  • 2 large (approx. 175g) pork steaks
  • olive oil
  • 4 ripe apricots, halved and stoned
  • knob of butter
  • pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp muscovado sugar

Preheat the grill to medium and line a baking tray with tinfoil. Place the pork steaks on the tray, brush with a little oil and season. Arrange the apricot halves around the pork, cut side up. Top each apricot half with a little butter, sugar and chilli.

Grill the pork for about 15 minutes in total, turning half way through.

Great with some steamed potatoes and green veg.

Drink with: We’ve been drinking a lot of northern Rhone recently and this dish matches the Roussanne and Marsanne whites found there. They compliment the apricot flavours and have enough weight and acidity to stand up to the pork. It is a really good match, so search out these grapes from around the world as we think they are so underrated.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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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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