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Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

BBQ poached chicken

We love this! No fear of either raw or dry barbecued chicken. The chicken is tender and moist and you get lots of delicious barbecue flavour. We’re going to be cooking this all summer!

Wine Suggestion: We started with a glass of Alsace: the Bott-Geyl Pinot d’Alsace “Points Cardinale” which highlighted the ginger and chilli in a very good way.

We then followed with a juicy, medium bodied red, the Ridge Geyserville, a Zinfandel blend. Don’t be afraid of having a red with either Chicken or spice, just make sure the wine isn’t too tannic or heavy, and that there is enough juiciness to provide a foil for any chilli or ginger. In this case the Geyserville added a layer of flavour that gave the chicken extra dimension and celebrated the barbecue char.

Poached and Barbecued Chicken – serves 6

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1-2 leeks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 red chillies, halved
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 large chicken

Heat a large saucepan (big enough to hold the chicken) over a moderate heat, add the oil and sauté the onion, celery, leeks, carrots and garlic together for a few minutes, then add the ginger, red wine, cinnamon, star anise, honey and soy sauce. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Season the chicken and set it on top of the layer of vegetables in the pot, add about 1 litre of water, then cover the pan and simmer gently for an hour and a half.

Preheat the barbecue. Strain 200ml of the cooking liquid into a small pan and reduce over a high heat until it becomes thick & syrupy, remove the chicken from the pot and set onto a tray, brush the reduced liquid over the chicken. Cook the chicken on a moderate barbecue, turning, until charred all over.

If you like you can discard the vegetables boil up the remaining liquid to serve as a sauce.

Serve the chicken with barbecued veg or other nice summer salads.

(Original recipe from Cooking at the Ballymore Inn by Georgina O’Sullivan.)

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Cheesy tuna pesto pasta

Oh this is soooo easy and has become a regular feature in our house at lunchtime on Saturdays. Also adored by the resident 3 year old which is always a bonus. Maybe save the wine for after 7pm 😉

Cheesy Tuna Pesto Bake – serves 4 generously and the leftovers are good

  • 400g penne pasta
  • 200g tin or jar of good quality tuna in olive oil
  • 190g jar of pesto (we find that off the shelf rather than out of the fridge works better here as the fresh-made pestos make the dish a bit oily)
  • 100g cheddar, grated
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack.

Meanwhile empty the contents of the tin of tuna (including the oil) into a large bowl and add the pesto. Mash together with a wooden spoon. Stir in about a third of the cheese and all the tomatoes. Heat the grill to high.

Drain the pasta and stir into the bowl with the tuna and pesto mixture, then tip into a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Put the dish under the grill for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese has just melted.

Serve with salad and garlic bread if you like.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food.)

 

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Radish & broad bean salad

We’ve been revisiting the original ‘Cookbook’ from Ottolenghi and found this delicious spring salad. Works well as a side for a barbecue or on its own with some warm pitta breads. The leftovers didn’t suffer too much packed into lunchboxes the next day.

Radish & broad bean salad with green tahini sauce – serves 4

  • 500g broad beans, fresh or frozen
  • 350g small radishes
  • ½ red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 30g preserved lemon, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

For the Green Tahini Sauce:

  • 150ml tahini paste
  • 150ml water
  • 80ml lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 30g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped if making by hand

First make the tahini sauce by using a food processor or blender to whizz all the ingredients except the parsley together until smooth. Add more water if necessary until you have a honey-like consistency. Add the parsley and blitz for another few seconds, then adjust the seasoning to taste. (If you don’t have a processor you can whisk the ingredients together in a bowl and add the chopped parsley at the end.)

Chill the tahini sauce until needed. It will thicken the longer it is left in the fridge so add a bit more water if necessary before serving.

Simmer the broad beans in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Remove the beans from their papery skins by squeezing them gently.

Cut the radishes into 6 wedges each and mix with the broad beans, onion, coriander, preserved lemon, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with warm pitta breads.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi: the cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2008.)

 

 

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Butter chicken

Not an authentic recipe by any means but really tasty and much healthier than anything available in the local take-away. We have also made this with leftover cooked chicken with good results.

Wine Suggestion: We want to like wine with curry but most times we prefer something cool and bubbly – like beer! With this we had a bottle of Cooper’s Original Pale Ale to remind us of recent travels in Australia.

Butter Chicken Curry – serves 4

  • 500g skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ a lemon, juiced
  • 35g butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • curry paste (we use Madras which is quite spicy but use what you like)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 175ml full-fat natural yoghurt
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • coriander leaves
  • cooked basmati rice, to serve

Toss the chicken pieces with the turmeric, ginger, garlic, lemon juice and ½ tsp salt. Heat the butter in a large wide pan, then cook the onion for about 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the curry paste and tomato purée and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until opaque (skip this if you’re using cooked chicken).

Mix the almonds and yoghurt together in a bowl then stir into the curry and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the stock and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Scatter over the coriander and serve with the rice.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, April, 2017.)

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Salmon with greens & creme fraiche

Spring is such a lovely time for fresh ingredients, encapsulated by greens like peas and broad beans. It’s broad beans with pretty much everything in our house at the minute. Serve with steamed new potatoes or mash.

Wine Suggestion: We went with a fresh Chablis that had a similar Spring vitality to the food; a Domaine Gueguen from 2015 which had hints of white flowers and smokiness with green apple skins. It was crisp with a wonderful chalky, flinty, limestone character – a good match.

Salmon with greens & crème fraîche – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 250ml chicken stock or fish stock
  • 100g crème fraîche
  • 140g frozen peas
  • 140g frozen broad beans
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets
  • small bunch of chives, snipped

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan with a lid. Cook the leek until soft but not coloured, about 5-10 minutes. Pour in the stock and simmer until reduced slightly, then add the crème fraîche and season. Cook for another minute.

Add the peas and beans, then gently add the salmon fillets, nestling them in amongst the veg. Turn down to a simmer, then cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. Sprinkle with chives and serve with mash or steamed new potatoes.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Asparagus & Prosciutto soup

Another favourite from the River Café where the prosciutto gives a big addition to the flavour. Serve with a few asparagus tips and top quality olive oil on top. Delicious!

Wine suggestion: Sauvignon Blanc with bags of  flavour. Something like the Dog Point from New Zealand or the Dezat Sancerre from the Loire will work great. Going slightly off-piste we love the Domaine Bellier Cheverny Blanc which combines 85% Sauvignon Blanc with Chardonnay in a un-sung appellation from the Loire, a really good food wine.

Asparagus & prosciutto soup – serves 4

  • 500g asparagus
  • 140g prosciutto slices, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 140g spinach
  • Marigold Swiss bouillon powder dissolved with 750ml of boiling water
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil

Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and cut the remaining stalks into short lengths. Keep the tips to one side.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a heavy-based pan, add the onion and soften for 5 minutes, then add the prosciutto, potatoes, parsley and asparagus stalks. Season with pepper (hold off on the salt until the end as the ham is salty) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, then add the bouillon and simmer until the potatoes and asparagus are tender – about 15 minutes. Add the spinach and most of the asparagus tips and cook for a another few minutes. Remove from the heat and blend to a rough purée.

Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil and fry the reserved tips for a few seconds. Serve the soup with the asparagus and oil drizzled over each bowl.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

 

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Radish & fennel salad

Let’s eat more radishes. They’re delicous and in season right now. Try this easy spring salad that tastes good with almost anything.

Lemony Radish & Fennel Salad – serves 4

  • 2 bunches leafy breakfast radishes
  • 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced into rings
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

Separate the leaves from the radishes, then wash & dry them.

Finely grate the zest of half the lemon, then juice all of it.

Put the lemon zest into a salad bowl and stir through the shallots. Leave to macerate.

Trim the fennel & slice it as finely as possible (a job for your mandolin if you have one). When you’re ready to serve, toss all the ingredients, including the radish leaves, with the lemon juice & olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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