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Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

Radish Raita

This makes a nice change from the usual cucumber variety. Good with barbecued lamb or pork and dishes with Greek flavours. We liked it on the side of our giant beans and spinach rice.

Radish Tzatziki – serves 2

  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • ½ tbsp chopped dill, plus extra to serve
  • 8 small radishes, roughly chopped or sliced
  • ½ clove of garlic, crushed
  • juice of ½ lemon

Mix all the ingredients together and season. Garnish with some extra dill.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Conchiglie Rigate Piccanti

This pasta sauce is rich and full of flavour and works best without cheese, so don’t be tempted to add any. A new favourite for us and great for using up sun-dried tomatoes.

Wine Suggestion: Pico Maccario make some delicious Barbera and their entry “Lavignone” is a benchmark for the Asti region (Piedmont). Not only does it work with this dish, but we’d suggest versatile for many other dishes and occasions; a crowd pleaser and very food friendly.

Conchiglie Rigate Piccanti – serves 4

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 80g pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 80g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped
  • 300g pork mince
  • 300g passata
  • 400g conghiglie rigate (medium shell pasta)

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onion and olives for a couple of minutes, stirring now and then.

Add the chilli, sun-dried tomatoes and the pork mince and continue frying for another 6 minutes.

Stir in the passata and gently simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Keep stirring every couple of minutes. Season with salt and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of salty water according the timings on the pack. Drain and tip back into the saucepan.

Pour the sauce into the pasta pan and stir over a low heat for 30 seconds to combine.

(Original recipe from Gino’s Pasta by Gino D’Acampo, Kyle Books, 2010.)

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Giant Butter Bean Stew

This Greek butter bean stew can be served on it’s own either as a starter or as a veggie main. The kitchen smells fab as it cooks and you can have it ready in advance and just reheat to serve. We like it served on the side of some barbecued lamb, spinach rice and radish tzatziki.

Wine Suggestion: This dish shines with light and fresh red wines with little or no oak. Good on it’s own with the Rocca delle Macie Chianti Vernaiolo, an unoaked and youthful wine. However, the other night we served it with lamb, as part of a larger meal so chose the vibrant Gulfi Cerasuolo, a Nero d’Avola and Frappato blend from Sicily. Bright red fruits, an earthy depth and fresh finish complimented the lamb to the dill and feta. I think we’ll be drinking more of this wine in future.

Giant Butter Bean Stew – serves 6 as a side

  • 2 x 400g tins good quality butter beans
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 large carrot, finely sliced
  • 1 celery stalk with leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 sundried tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • small pack flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • small pack dill, finely chopped
  • 100g feta, crumbled

Drain the butter beans and reserve 100ml of the liquid.

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and cook the onions, carrots and celery until tender and the onions are soft and transparent, but not coloured. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reserving half of the chopped herbs and feta, and season. Squeeze the tinned tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the dish to break them up.

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

Cook over a gentle heat for another 5 minutes, then add the reserved liquid. Cover the dish and bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Check occasionally and add more water if the dish looks dry.

Remove the lid and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir through the reserved herbs, season to taste, then crumble over the remaining feta.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Spinach Rice

This rice is seriously delicious. The spinach is cooked with the rice from the start, rather than stirred through at the end, which makes it really flavoursome. We served with some barbecued lamb, Greek butter bean stew and radish tzatziki.

Spinach rice – serves 6

  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 300g basmati rice
  • juice of a lemon

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook the onion gently until softened but not coloured. Add the spinach and half the dill. Cook over a high heat until the spinach has wilted and any liquid has evaporated.

Stir in the rice and add 600ml of water, then bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer, cover the pan with a tight lid (or some tinfoil and a lid) and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the water absorbed. Check and stir after the first 15 minutes and add some more water if needed.

When the rice is cooked, stir in the remaining dill, season well and add the lemon juice to taste.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Spicy prawn & tomato stew

We recently picked up a copy of Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan – a truly stunning book filled with Palestinian recipes & stories.  Our first dish from the book was this spicy prawn and tomato stew. We served it with rice but next time we’ll go for some flatbreads instead. Delicious nonetheless.

Wine Suggestion: We’d recommend a light red with elegant fruit like the Dezat Sancerre Rouge which was our choice.  A perfumed and delicate Pinot Noir with a tension and thrill running through it; the earthy red cherry and currant flavours flavours went with the prawns, tomatoes and herbs in a delightful fashion.

Spicy Prawn & Tomato Stew – Zibdiyit Gambari (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1 – 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 400g raw prawns, peeled and deveined
  • chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for about 10 minutes or until softened. Add the tomatoes, sugar, spices & ½ tsp each of salt and pepper, with 200ml just-boiled water.

Use a pestle & mortar to smash the garlic, dill, chillies and ½ tsp of salt together for a few minutes. Add this to the tomato pan, cover and simmer for 20 minutes over a low heat.

Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until golden brown, then set aside.

Adjust the seasoning in the sauce, then add the prawns – make sure they are submerged and you may need to turn them. Cook in the sauce for a couple of minutes, or until they have just turned pink and are cooked through.

Drizzle with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and scatter with the sesame seeds and chopped parsley to serve.

(Original recipe form Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2018.)

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Baby Octopus and Peas

At last we’ve got our hands on The Modern Italian Cook by Joe Trivelli and what a treat it is! Our local fish shop often has baby octopus on the counter but you can also buy it frozen. This was Jono’s pick for his birthday dinner and he wasn’t disappointed.

Wine Suggestion: as befits a birthday dinner, it was Champagne to match and tonight we drank the Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV which plays a delightful balance of delicacy, elegance, depth and bags of character. Both the dish and Champagne a wonderful treat.

Baby Octopus & Peas (Polipetti e Piselli) – serves 4

  • 1 kg frozen baby octopuses, defrosted (or fresh if you can find them)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 50g small black olives, pitted
  • 300g shelled peas (we used defrosted frozen peas)
  • 600g new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
  • 175ml dry wine – red or white

Rinse the octopuses under the tap then transfer to a heavy-based casserole dish or pan. Coat with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and chillies, cover with some baking paper and place over a high heat with the lid on.

When everything is hot and cooking, turn the heat down and continue to cook the octopuses for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and add the olives, peas, potatoes and wine. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook until the peas and octopuses are soft, about 20 minutes more.

(Original recipe from The Modern Italian Cook by Joe Trivelli, Seven Dials, 2018.)

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Panissa Rice

Panissa is a risotto with some extras added to make it more substantial. This one from Jamie Cooks Italy has red wine, tomatoes, salami and borlotti beans.

Wine Suggestion: The Barbera we used was a very good match, as was the Balto Mencia from Bierzo, Spain; both medium bodied and earthy in character. If neither of these are to hand look for something fresh and balanced … not too heavy or high in alcohol which would overwhelm the flavours.

Panissa Rice – serves 4

  • 50g piece of smoked pancetta, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 50g salami, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 2 onions, chopped into 1cm chunks
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped into 1cm chunks
  • 1 litre quality meat stock
  • 30g bunch of fresh rosemary
  • 300g Arborio risotto rice
  • 250ml Barbera d’Asti red wine
  • 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • 400g tin of borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Put the pancetta and salami into a cold casserole and place over a medium-high heat until the fat renders. Add the onions and celery and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft.

In a separate pan simmer the stock and rosemary.

Stir the rice into the veg and toast for 2 minutes, then pour in the wine and cook until it has evaporated. Add the tomatoes scrunching with your hands to break them up. Add the stock a ladleful at a time, letting each one disappear before adding more. Stir constantly and keep adding stock for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked but still has a little bite. Stir the borlotti beans in with the last ladle of stock. The panissa is done when your spoon can stand up in the middle. Taste and season with salt and black pepper and stir in the parsley.

(Original recipe from Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Italy, Michael Joseph, 2018.)

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