Posts Tagged ‘Autumn’

Marsala honey pears with Gorgonzola & walnuts

A dessert and a cheese course all at once, solving the problem of which goes first. This is really delicious Autumn dish. Make sure you serve the creamy gorgonzola at room temperature. Marsala is a dessert wine from Sicily which is relatively easy to find, it also works well with figs – see Roast Figs with Marsala.

Wine Suggestion: naturally the Marsala from the recipe is a great match, look out for Florio or Pellegrino amongst others. Alternately a really good Sauternes emphasises the honey or a white Maury brings out the pears and all will work well with the Gorgonzola.

Marsala Honey Pears with Gorgonzola – serves 6-8

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pears, about 500g in total, cored and cut into eighths
  • 3 tbsp Marsala
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 50g walnut halves
  • 500g ripe Gorgonzola – keep in a cool place but avoid putting it in the fridge if at all possible

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then fry the pears for 3 minutes per side.

Mix the Marsala and honey together,  add to the pears and allow the mixture to bubble furiously, then transfer to a plate.

Add the walnut halves to the juices left in the pan and stir-fry for about a minute or until browned and sticky. Remove from the pan and scatter over the pears. Serve with the creamy slab of Gorgonzola on the side.

(Original recipe from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson, Chatto & Windus, 2007.)


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Chicken Forestiere

Our first autumnal dish of the season. We can suffer the colder weather when it means mushrooms, pumpkin, squash, game birds, mussels… we could go on!

Wine Suggestion: Rich, creamy and earthy … we picked a German Pinot Noir, the Salwey Reserve “RS”Spätburgunder 2012 which balanced perfectly with the chicken, complimented the mushrooms and had enough freshness and earthy spice for the creamy madeira sauce. We’ve become converts to German wines over the past decade and think that the best, like Salwey from Baden, provide a great alternative to Burgundian Pinot and would recommend giving them a try.

Chicken Forestière – serves 4

  • 20g dried wild mushrooms
  • 8 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, halved and sliced
  • 75ml Madeira (or dry sherry)
  • 215g carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
  • 1tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour over 50ml of boiling water, leave to soak for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, season the chicken thighs and heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Brown the chicken thighs well on both sides (don’t be tempted to turn them early or the skin will tear). When the chicken is well-browned remove it from the pan and set aside. Pour off all but 1tbsp of the chicken fat from the pan into a bowl but don’t throw it away.

Heat the fat left in the pan and sauté the onions until soft and golden. Deglaze the pan with the Madeira.

Add the carrots and the stock, plus the wild mushroom and their soaking liquid. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan, along with any juices, and keep it skin-side up. Cover and cook gently for 20 minutes.

Remove the lid, stir in the cream, return to a simmer again and cook for an additional 10 minutes with the lid off.

In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp of the reserved chicken fat and sauté the mushrooms until golden brown and the liquid has evaporated. Season the mushrooms and stir into the chicken. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon at this point.

Scatter over the parsley and serve with potatoes and green veg.

(Original recipe from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry, Hachette, 2015.)

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Another cracker from Jamie Oliver. We have posted other risottos on this blog but none quite compare to this one – no doubt due to the copious quantities of butter and Parmesan. This is definitely a weekend dish! It is supposed to serve 6 but we served it as a starter for 8. Delicious!

Risotto ai funghi e prezzemolo (Roasted mushroom risotto with parsley)

  • 1.1 litres vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a knob of butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and halved
  • 1/2 a head of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 400g risotto rice
  • 2 wineglasses of dry white vermouth or dry white wine
  • 200g wild mushrooms, wiped clean and torn
  • a small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
  • a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, very finely chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 70g butter
  • 115g freshly grated Parmesan plus a bit extra for grating over
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.

Heat the stock. Put the olive oil and knob of butter into a separate pan, add the onion and finely chopped garlic and celery, and cook slowly for about 15 minutes without letting it colour. When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.

Keep stirring the rice as it lightly fries. When is starts to look slightly translucent and glossy add the vermouth and keep stirring.

Once the vermouth has cooked into the rice, add a ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer and keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and massaging, allowing each ladle to be absorbed before you add another. This will take about 15 minutes but you do need to taste the rice and check if it’s cooked. If not, keep going with the stock until the rice is soft but still has a little bite. If you run out of stock just use some boiling water.

Meanwhile, heat a heavy ovenproof frying pan or tray until medium hot and add a splash of olive oil. Fry the mushrooms for a minute or more until they start to colour, and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, thyme and the tbsp of butter and mix together. Put the pan in the oven and roast the mushrooms for about 6 minutes or until cooked through. We discard the garlic at this stage.

When your rice is cooked take it off the heat and add the 70g of butter , the chopped parsley and the Parmesan. Stir well. Put a lid on the pot and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes.

Roughly chop chop half the mushrooms and stir into the risotto, adding a good squeeze of lemon juice too. Divide between plates and sprinkle over the remaining mushrooms and a bit of freshly grated Parmesan.

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