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Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

Fennel & Potato Gratin

Fennel makes a great addition to a classic dauphinoise. We served with chargrilled steak and spinach but it would also be great with venison.

Fennel Dauphinoise – serves 2

  • 225g medium potatoes, very thinly sliced (a mandolin works best for this)
  • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced (reserve the fronds)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 75ml whole milk
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
  • butter

Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Put the potatoes, fennel and garlic in a medium non-stick pan. Pour in the milk and cream, season well and simmer gently, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the potatoes are just tender.

Divide the mixture between 2 small (about 150ml) buttered ramekins and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the potatoes are golden and tender when pierced with a knife. Snip the fennel fronds over before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Risotto bianco with pesto

It’s anything with pesto in our house at the minute. This dish is definitely suitable for adults too.

Wine Suggestion: We would suggest a good Fiano from Campani in the south of Italy with  freshness and fruit that isn’t too ripe and tropical. By avoiding over-ripeness you get more stone fruit with a fresh vibrancy. Alongside the rich risotto and herby pesto it’s a great match.

Risotto Bianco with Pesto – serves 6

  • 1.1 litres hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a knob of butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ a head of celery, finely chopped
  • 400g risotto rice
  • 2 wineglasses of dry white vermouth or dry white wine
  • 70g butter
  • 115g freshly grated Parmesan
  • fresh pesto
  • small handful of pine nuts – toasted
  • small basil leaves (to serve)

Put the olive oil and knob of butter into a pan, then add the onion, garlic and celery, and cook gently for about 15 minutes without colouring. When the vegetables have softened turn the heat up and add the rice.

Keep stirring for about a minute or until the rice looks translucent. Add the vermouth and continue to stir.

When the vermouth has disappeared, add a ladle of the hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer and keep adding ladles of the stock, stirring all the time, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding another. This should take about 15 minutes. After this taste the rice to check if it’s cooked. If not, keep adding stock until the rice is soft with a little bite. If you run out of stock you can add a some boiling water. Season.

Remove the risotto from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir well, then cover the pan and leave to sit for 2 minutes. Eat immediately garnished with a spoonful of fresh pesto, some toasted pine nuts, a few basil leaves and some extra Parmesan.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2005.)

 

 

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Merguez pot au feu with couscous

A dish of Merguez sausages and couscous from Marseilles. Like a Pot au Feu with flavours of the Maghreb. So delicious!

Wine Suggestion: French meets the Mediterranean, meets the Middle East – the Massaya le Colombier is a Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Tempranillo blend. Made in stainless steel to preserve the fruit we love to chill this for 30 minutes, but you don’t have to.

Merguez with Couscous – serves 6 to 8

  • 2 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 700g skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 courgettes, thickly sliced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, halved and sliced
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 1 large piece of orange zest (use the juice to soak the raisins)
  • 400g merguez sausages
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp harissa

FOR THE COUSCOUS:

  • 450g couscous
  • 100g raisins, soaked in orange juice
  • 50g butter

Put the spices in a large wide pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil and heat until sizzling. Add the chicken, vegetables, chillies, saffron and orange zest with 1 litre of cold water and slowly bring to a simmer. Season well and continue to cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

Add the merguez sausages to the chicken, then cover and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas.

Meanwhile, put the couscous into a bowl and cover with the same volume of boiling water. Cover with cling film and leave to steam for 5 minutes, then fork through.

Tip the couscous into a serving bowl and add the raisins, butter and plenty of salt and pepper.

Add 4 tbsp of the chicken cooking liquid to the harissa to make a sauce.

Serve the chicken & sausages with the couscous and harissa sauce on the side.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes IN: Olive Magazine, September 2013.)

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Crispy Chickpeas & Lamb with greens and garlic yoghurt

We made this Alison Roman dish because we had Rainbow Chard kindly given to us and as often happens, we discovered a gem. Crispy lamb and chickpeas – a divine combination!

Wine Suggestion: we think this goes with more serious Gamay: one of the Beaujolais Cru’s, like Moulin au Vent, Brouilly or Morgon. It needs good fruit, depth to the tannins, earthiness and freshness, without crunchy acidity.

Crispy chickpeas and lamb with greens & garlicky yoghurt – serves 4

FOR THE GARLICKY YOGHURT:

  • 240ml full-fat or 2% Greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

FOR THE CHICKPEAS & LAMB:

  • 1 large or 2 small bunches of Swiss chard or kale
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 350g lamb mince
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Tomatoes, quartered – to serve

To make the garlic yoghurt combine the yoghurt, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl and season with salt and black pepper.

Separate the leaves and stems from the greens, then slice the stems and roughly tear the leaves.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the lamb, garlic and cumin and season with salt and black pepper.

Break up the lamb as it cooks until brown and crispy – about 8-10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the lamb to a bowl.

Add the rest of the oil, the chickpeas and red pepper flakes to the frying pan and season. Cook until the chickpeas are well browned and starting to crisp up – about 8-10 minutes. Return the lamb to the pan and toss together. Transfer to a large serving dish.

Add the chopped stems to the frying pan with some seasoning. Cook for a couple of minutes to soften slightly, then add the leaves and toss until wilted – about 30 seconds. Season again if needed.

Smear the yoghurt over the bottom of plates or bowls and top with the chickpeas and lamb, the sautéed greens and the tomatoes.

(Original recipe from Dining In by Alison Roman, Clarkson Potter, 2017.)

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Chopped Salad

Anna Jones refers to this as her all-time favourite chopped salad and we think it might be ours too!

Chopped salad with honey dressing – serves 4

  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • ½ cucumber
  • 6 radishes
  • 100g seeds toasted (we used a mix of sunflower & pumpkin seeds)
  • 4 scallions
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 little gem lettuces
  • a few sprigs of mint, leaves picked
  • a few sprigs of basil, leaves picked

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • ½ tsp mustard
  • ½ tsp runny honey or maple syrup
  • a splash of red-wine vinegar
  • a big splash of extra-virgin olive oil

Use your biggest chopping board and start by roughly chopping the carrot, cucumber and radishes, then sprinkle over the seeds.

Next chop the scallions, tomatoes, little gem and mint together then mix everything on the board together.

Make the dressing in a bowl, then pour over the salad and mix again. Season and tip into a big bowl.

(Original recipe by Anna Jones in The Guardian)

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Marinated turkey breast with coriander, cumin & white wine

Not entirely the wrong season as turkey is available and cheap – we’re never sure why it isn’t more popular. If you’re not convinced try this tasty marinade from the original Ottolenghi Cookbook. This is very straightforward but you need to start a day ahead.

We used 1/2 turkey breast, but wrapped it in the whole skin and tied this to keep it together. If you find an amiable butcher we recommend getting them to do this too.

Wine Suggestion: We’d suggest opening a Chardonnay with texture and fresh acidity alongside ripe, deep fruit. We’ve recently tried some great Californian Chardonnays that reach this goal;  the Cline Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is a good, value option, or a new discovery, and a treat, the range of wines made by Tyler in Santa Barbara. Quite a bit more expensive but a real thrill.

 Marinated turkey breast with cumin, coriander and white wine – serves 4 to 6

  • 4 tbsp mint leaves
  • 4 tbsp parsley leaves
  • 4 tbsp coriander leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 125ml white wine
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ small turkey breast, skin on (about 1kg)

Put everything (except the turkey) in a food processor and blend for a couple of minutes until smooth. Put the turkey in a non-metallic container and pour over the marinade. Massage the marinade into the meat, then cover and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. The turkey should be immersed in the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas mark 7.

Take the turkey out of the marinade (but don’t throw the marinade away) and put it on a roasting tray. Put into the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200C/Gas mark 6. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes then reduce the temperature again to 180C/Gas mark 4. Cook for another 30-45 minutes or until cooked through. If you stick a knife into the centre of the meat it should come out hot. Cover with foil near the end of the cooking time if it is browning too much.

To make the sauce, heat up the reserved marinade in a small saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes or until reduced by about half. Taste and season.

Take the turkey out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes, then slice thinly and serve with the warm sauce.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi: the Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2006.)

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Fig & Gorgonzolha Tartines

September is when you start to find some juicy figs. These easy tartines show them off perfectly.

Wine Suggestion: A young, fruity Pinot Noir often springs to mind when pairing with figs, but bringing in the Gorgonzola made us swing to a white variant of this grape: Pinot Gris. Our choice was from Forrest Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand and it was fresh and full of joyous fruit to match the mood of this dish.

Fig & Gorgonzola Tartines – serves 6

  • 6 thin slices sourdough
  • 2-3 tbsp of truffle or flower honey
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 6 slices gorgonzola
  • 5 ripe figs, sliced into 4

Toast the sourdough and spread each slice with a little of the honey and sprinkle with some thyme leaves. Lay a slice of gorgonzola on each and squash down a bit with knife so it reaches the edges of the toast.

Put the tartines under a hot grill for a few minutes until the cheese just starts to melt.

Arrange the fig slices on top, sprinkle with a little salt, some black pepper and more thyme, then grill again for a couple of minutes and drizzle with some more honey before serving.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes IN: Olive Magazine, September 2013.)

Figs

 

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