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Posts Tagged ‘Cider’

Mushroom, Cider & Blue Cheese Soup

We made this soup on the strangest St Patrick’s day ever. There was no parade, the restaurants have all closed down and city streets are virtually empty. There is lots of panic buying going on, the supermarket aisles for tinned goods and toilet rolls have been decimated. We’re not down though, we’re positive we’ll all get through this and hopefully be stronger and better people on the other side. We’re continuing to buy fresh food, there’s lots of it available, and cook nice recipes like this soup by Gill Meller.

Mushroom, cider & blue cheese soup – serves 4 to 6

  • 500g wild and cultivated mushrooms (we used all chestnut mushrooms as it’s not autumn and wild ones aren’t available)
  • 25g butter, plus an extra bit, for frying
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 small potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 750ml veg stock or chicken stock
  • 250ml dry cider
  • 100ml double cream
  • 75g blue cheese, plus extra to serve if you like
  • a small bunch of parsley, finely chopped, to serve

Clean the mushrooms with a damp piece of kitchen paper and roughly chop them but keep about 100g over to fry and use as a garnish. The mushrooms for the garnish can be sliced.

Melt the butter in a large pan with a splash of olive oil, over a medium heat. When it starts to foam, add the leek, potato, onion and garlic. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onion is soft but not browned. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the stock, cider and some seasoning, then bring to a simmer. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Purée the soup until smooth (or smoothish if you’re using a stick blender).

Add the cream and blue cheese to the soup and gently return to a simmer. Season to taste and keep warm over a very low heat.

Heat a knob of butter and a splash of oil in a frying pan and sauté the reserved mushrooms for 8 to 10 minutes or until well cooked and golden brown. Season the mushrooms.

Serve the soup in warm bowls with the mushrooms and parsley sprinkled over. You can also sprinkle over some more crumbled blue cheese if you like.

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

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Pork, bacon & mushroom stew

A rich and delicious dish from Time by Gill Meller. This is the second outing for this recipe, the first being for friends on Jules’ birthday when we served with jacket potatoes and salad (Gill suggests salad and good bread). You can make it ahead and reheat on the hob, adding the cream and mushrooms, on the day. You may need to order the pork in advance from your butcher.

Wine suggestion: such a rich dish needs a wine with good body and also freshness to cut through the rich layers. To our mind this demands a good oaked Chardonnay so we opened a Pernand- Vergelesses white from Domain de Montille. It may have been youthful but it didn’t lose anything for this as we think an older wine wouldn’t stand up to the richness; an enjoyable choice.

A stew of pork, bacon & mushrooms with cream, cider & parsely – serves 4

  • a piece of cured pork belly (streaky bacon) about 350g, cut into 4-5cm cubes
  • 500g fresh pork belly, cut into 4-5cm cubes
  • 1 large leek, halved and sliced
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 bay leaves
  • 2 to 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 to 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 450ml cider
  • 450ml pork, chicken or veg stock
  • knob of butter
  • 250g wild or chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 200ml double cream
  • small bunch of parsley, chopped

Heat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 3.

Heat a splash of oil in a heavy-based casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add all of the pork and cook until well browned – about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the leeks, garlic, herbs and a little seasoning to the pan. Sweat for 10 minutes before returning the pork to the pan, sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Cook for another few minutes, then pour in the cider and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover with a tight lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours, or until very tender.

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add the knob of butter. When the butter is bubbling, add the mushrooms, season lightly and sauté until cooked through – 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

Remove the casserole from the oven after the 2 hours and add the fried mushrooms and double cream. Stir well, then put the casserole back into the oven for another 15 minutes without the lid.

Stir in the chopped parsley and season to taste.

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

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Mussels with red onions, cider and creme fraiche

We associate mussels with cold weather and cook them often in the darker months. Makes no sense really when we’ve no issue eating buckets of them in the sunshine on holidays. We loved the creamy sauce on these – crusty bread essential!

Wine Suggestion: it feels natural to use the cider you cook with as the accompaniment. Our choice was the artisanale and organic Cidrerie le Maitre, a very new, young producer in Brittany we stumbled upon by following little signs off the main roads into a winding, forgotten lane in the middle of the French countryside. Daniel le Maitre uses 12 ancient local varieties of apples and the result is dry, very fruity and appley but with a wonderful texture of apple skins and a great depth of flavour which makes it a great food match. A happy discovery, and their Cider Vinegar is also a good addition to our cupboard too.

Mussels with Red Onion, Cider & Crème Fraîche – serves 2

  • 1kg mussels
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 150ml dry cider
  • 2 tsp finely chopped sage
  • 150ml crème fraîche

Scrub the mussels, and discard if open and they won’t close when you give them a sharp tap.

Melt the butter in a large pan, cook the onions for a few minutes, then add the garlic. Pour the cider over and add the sage, then bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook until reduced by half.

Add the mussels, then cover and cook over a medium heat (shaking the pan occasionally) for 3-4 mins or until they have opened. Lift the mussels into a bowl and keep warm.

Bubble the cooking liquid in the pan for a couple of minutes, then gradually blend in the crème fraîche. Heat the sauce through and pour over the mussels to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Leftover Pork Pie

We love a Sunday roast but when it’s just the three of us we often end up with heaps of leftovers. Diana Henry has a book called Food from Plenty which not only contains recipes for roasts but lots of ideas for what to do with the excess. We made this pie with leftover Mallorcan Spiced Pork. Serve with a green salad or buttery cabbage.

Wine Suggestion: as this is a very down to earth dish the wines that work have a grounded earthiness. A well made, terroir driven Chardonnay or Pinot Noir would be our choice. Tonight is was the Deux Montille Rully Chaponniere which was floral, citrus and pear aromas on the nose, but sappy, earthy and textural on the palate. Pure, fresh and engaging; a good combo.

Leftover Pork Pie – serves 6

  • 2 leeks, trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 streaky bacon rashers, chopped
  • 2 small or 1 medium eating apple such as Cox, halved, cored & sliced
  • 450g leftover cooked pork, cut into chunks
  • 200ml cider or apple juice
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 25g brown or white breadcrumbs
  • 350g puff pastry
  • plain flour, to dust
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Melt the butter in a sauté pan and cook the leeks, onions and bacon over a medium heat until starting to brown. Add the apple slices and cook until they too have coloured slightly.

Add the pork to the pan with the cider or juice, stock and mustard. Season and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the parsley and breadcrumbs and stir.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

Put the pork mixture into a pie dish and leave to cool a bit. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut strips off the pastry to stick round the edge of the pie dish. Lightly wet one side of the pastry strips and press down on the rim of the dish. Lay the remaining pastry on top and press down. Trim off the excess pastry and crimp the edges. Use any leftovers to decorate the top. Make a few slits in the centre with a sharp knife. Use a blunt knife to knock up the sides of the pastry all the way round to help it rise. Brush with egg and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and puffed up.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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Chicken & apple pieChicken pie is an autumnal dish in our house and we usually try a different version every year. We particularly liked this one flavoured with cider and apples.

Wine Suggestion: A natural suggestion is to drink the cider you used to make the pie, and we finished the remainder of the bottle likewise. Our choice this evening was from Normandy, courtesy of our last trip to France. When matching a wine, we think the appley character of Chenin Blanc is what to go with. If your prefernces are French wine, then a Vouvray is a good choice; tonight we chose the Secateurs Chenin Blanc from Swartland in South Africa; a country that really excels with this grape.

Chicken, Leek & Cider Pie – serves 4

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 60g plain flour
  • 250ml dry cider
  • 250ml full-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 3 medium leeks, sliced into rings
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 500g cooked chicken, torn into pieces
  • 50g extra mature cheddar, grated
  • 375g puff pastry
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten with 2tsp milk

Melt 40g of the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Continue to stir over a medium-low heat for a minute to make a roux. Remove from the heat and gradually add the cider, mixing carefully with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until all the cider has been added, then gradually add the milk. Season and return the pan to the heat and, stirring continuously, bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the mustard, lemon juice and crème fraîche and taste for seasoning.

Melt the other 20g of butter in a frying pan and gently fry the leeks and apples for 5 minutes. Add 2tbsp of water, season, cover and cook over a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes or until tender. If there is a lot of juice you can increase the heat to reduce it.

Add the chicken and half the cheese to the sauce, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and heat the chicken through. Gently stir in the leeks and apples. Taste and add more mustard or lemon juice if needed.

Spoon the chicken mixture into a 25 x 20cm pie dish or a round dish 25cm across. The dish should have a capacity of 1.3 litres. Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and leave to cool completely.

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

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a euro coin. Cut off a strip the same width as the lip of your dish. Wet the lip and press the strip onto it. Brush the strip with water and place the rest of the pastry on top. Press the edges to seal, then cut off the excess. Crimp the edges and decorate the top with the trimmings.

Make 3 small slits in the pastry close to the middle, then brush the top with the egg mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffed up. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe by Diana Henry in BBC Good Food)

 

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Mussels cooked in cider

There’s been a bottle of Normandy Cider in our fridge door and we’ve been saving it for a dish like this. Fabulous and fresh for a Friday night with lots of crusty baguette. Serve with a generous glass of cider.

Mussels cooked in Cider – serves 4

  • 2.5kg mussels
  • 15g butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or crushed
  • 6 rashers of rindless streaky bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 400ml dry cider
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives

Scrub the mussels and remove any barnacles and beards. Throw away any open shells that don’t close when you tap them on the edge of the sink.

Put a large saucepan over a medium heat. Melt the butter in the warm pan, then add the onion, garlic & bacon and cook gently for about 6 minutes or until the onion is softened.

Pour in the cider, bring to a simmer and simmer for a minute before adding the mussels and covering with a tight-fitting lids. Turn the heat up hight and cook for 3-4 minutes until the mussels have opened, giving the pan a shake occasionally. Throw away any mussels that haven’t opened.

Drain the mussels in a colander over a bowl to catch the cooking liquid, then return to the pot to keep warm. Pour the cooking juices through a sieve into a pan, add the cream and herbs and bring to the boil, seasoning with salt & pepper.

Divide the mussels between 4 bowls and pour over the hot sauce, then serve with crusty bread.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen by Rachel Allen, Harper Collins, 2013.)

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Mussels with chorizo and cider

We had a hankering for mussels, as we often do, and thought this sounded a bit different. There’s no finishing of the sauce required once the mussels are cooked unlike other classic mussel dishes. Last minute finishing can be fiddly, especially with guests, so this worked well for us. Easily scalable, provided you have a big pot, and a good party dish.

Wine Suggestion: we used Stonewell Dry Cider from Kinsale in County Cork for this dish which has a really good depth of flavour and it would equally work well as the accompaniment. Some ciders are lighter but the robust nature of the chorizo and mussels needed a more robust flavour like the Stonewell.

Alternately if you would prefer to drink some wine we’d suggest a good South African Chenin Blanc, like Adi Badenhorst’s Secateurs. The ripe yellow apple flavours are a good compliment and the freshness, texture and zing provide a good balance. The Secateurs is a great go-to wine in our house and we highly recommend it!

Spanish mussels with cider & chorizo – serves 4

  • 2kg mussels
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g chorizo, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500ml dry cider
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Wash the mussels really well and scrape off any barnacles and beardy bits. Tap any opened mussels on the sink and throw them away if they don’t close.

Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and sauté the chorizo with the onions until slightly coloured and softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the mussels, cider and some black pepper, then cover. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and steam until the mussels have opened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve.

(Original recipe from Food From Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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