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Posts Tagged ‘Easy’

Conchiglie al Cavolo Nero

We’ve made this a couple times recently as  Cavolo Nero is around and we keep on being drawn to it. Especially as we’re starting to tire of root veg and looking forward to all the treats that will come with Spring.

The dish is  creamy and cheesy, with load of garlic and iron rich Cavolo Nero. Fairly rich for a main course in our opinion but absolutely perfect served in small starter portions.

If it suits you can blanch and dry the Cavolo nero and make the garlic puree in advance which leaves very little to do to get the dish on the table.

Wine suggestion: An old favourite came to the rescue here in the form of the Sartarelli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore “Tralivio” which has a great weight but also a freshness and vibrant texture. The flavour of the food isn’t shy, so make sure whatever you choose has enough body to cope.

Conchiglie al Cavolo Nero – serves 6 as a starter

  • 900g Cavolo Nero
  • 300ml double cream
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 dried chillies, crumbled or 2 tsp chilli flakes (adjust to your heat preference)
  • 150g Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 250g conchiglie or other shell-shaped pasta

Remove the central stalk from the Cavelo Nero leaves and cut each one into 3 or 4 pieces. Blanch the leaves in boiling salted water for 3 minutes by which time they should be tender and bright green. Drain and dry in a clean tea towel.

Put the double cream and 5 of the whole garlic cloves into a pan and simmer until the garlic is soft, about 15 minutes. Purée in a blender.

In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and fry the remaining 2 garlic cloves, cut into thin slices, and the chilli. When the garlic has coloured, add the blanched Cavolo Nero, stir & season. Pour in the cream and garlic purée, bring to the boil, and cook for 5 minutes until the Cavolo Nero is coated and the sauce has thickened. Add the Parmesan.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water, then drain well before mixing well with the sauce.

(Original recipe from The River Cafe Cookbook by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers, Ebury Press, 1995.)

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Penne Stilton

We often have lumps of leftover Stilton in the fridge after the weekend and particularly after Christmas. If you find yourself in a similar situation try this simple pasta dish for a mid-week dinner. If that doesn’t solve the problem here’s a few other ideas:

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

Creamy baked Brussels sprouts with stilton

Pasta with Blue Cheese Cream

Roussillon Baked Potatoes

Pork and Pears

Wine Suggestion: delicious with the Bott-Geyl Points Cardinal Metiss, a dry but rich and full white made from all the Pinot varieties you can think of, including the red and pink ones. When young this wine is fresh and enticing but with an extra year in the bottle it fills out and the aromas seem to ramp up a bit more with hints of honey, pears and apples and a lovely dry spice on the palate. More than a match for the powerful flavour of Stilton.

Stilton & Penne Pasta – serves 4

  • 400g penne pasta
  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
  • 100g Stilton, cubed
  • handful toasted walnuts, chopped

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then gently fry the onion until golden. Add the garlic and sage, fry for a further 2 mins, then remove the pan from the heat.

Drain the pasta and reserve some cooking water. Stir through the onions, Stilton and 2 tbsp cooking water, then sprinkle with the toasted walnuts to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Herb roast chicken

This is an easy solution for feeding a crowd and almost everyone likes roast chicken. All you need is some new potatoes or creamy mash on the side. We love the fresh tarragon with the peas but you could use mint if you prefer. The combination of the peas, shallots, herbs and pancetta really add extra depth to the chicken and lift even ordinary chickens to feast-like levels. Of course, if the budget allows, get a good, free-range one as the extra flavour is really worth it.

Wine Suggestion: As this dish is a bit richer than your standard roast chicken it demands more than most white wines can deliver. We find Pinot Noir a good choice. This time we chose the Justin Girardin Santenay 1er Clos Rousseau and the earthy flavours danced with the salty, crispy pancetta and sweet peas. The tarragon made it all the more reminiscent of holidays in France.

Herb-Roast Chicken – serves 8-10 (easily halved)

  • 200g cubetti di pancetta
  • 800g shallots, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chickens (about 1.5kg each)
  • 500ml hot chicken stock
  • 800g peas (frozen will be fine)
  • small pack tarragon, roughly chopped

Heat oven to 190C/170C/gas 5.

Fry the pancetta gently in a heavy frying pan until crisp – if you start with a cold pan you shouldn’t need to add any oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the shallots to the pan and fry in the pancetta fat for 10-15 minutes or until golden and starting to soften. Tip the shallots into a very large roasting tin.

Rub the olive oil over the chickens and season well with salt and pepper, then place the chickens into the roasting tin with the shallots. Roast for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove the chickens from the tin and cover with foil.

Put the roasting tin directly onto the hob and stir in the stock. Bubble for a few minutes and scrape any sticky bits off the bottom of the tin with a wooden spoon. Add the peas, pancetta and most of the tarragon to the stock and bubble for a few minutes or until the peas are cooked, then season.

Meanwhile carve the chicken into large pieces. Transfer the peas to a warm serving platter and serve the chicken on top with the rest of the tarragon sprinkled over.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, April 2010.)

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Daube of Beef

Daube of Beef

This dish was traditionally cooked in a glazed clay pot. However these have successfully been replaced by cast-iron casseroles, like our favourite oval shaped one from le Creuset. It keeps the heat stable which makes it perfect for the long and slow cooking required for this dish. Very like our Chianti Beef recipe but with a few French touches.

Wine Suggestion: with a nod to the French origins of this dish we’d suggest a good Gigondas from the Rhone to match. With rich brambly fruit, good spicy tannins and a touch of elegant leathery development the Grapillon d’Or Gigondas was immensely enjoyed last time we cooked this, but other GSM (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre) blends from around the world would work well too.

Daube of Beef – serves 6

  • 1.2kg shin of beef, cut into large pieces
  • 4 tbsp plain flour, well seasoned
  • oil for frying
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced thickly on a diagonal
  • 4 carrots, sliced thickly on a diagonal
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 750ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 cloves, ground
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 strips of orange peel
  • flat-leaf parsley, to serve

Heat the oven to 150ºC/Fan 130ºC/Gas 2.

Toss the beef in the seasoned flour (we shake them together in a large freezer bag).

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan and brown the beef in batches before transferring with a slotted spoon to a large casserole dish with a lid. Add the bacon to the frying pan and cook until brown and crispy, then scoop out and add to the casserole with the beef. Cook the onions until golden and caramelised then add these to the beef. Finally fry the carrot and celery until just starting to colour. Add the garlic and cook for a minute then add to the beef. Add a splash of wine to the frying pan to deglaze, stirring to scrape any crusty bits from the bottom of the pan, then tip into the casserole. Add the rest of the wine to the casserole and bring to a simmer. Stir in the tomato purée, cloves, bay leaves and orange peel.

Transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for 2½ hours or until the meat is very tender – leave the lid off for a while at the end if you want the sauce to thicken to bit. Scatter with the parsley to finish.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes in BBC Olive Magazine, September, 2012).

 

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Salmon Teriyaki

Really delicious salmon with crispy skin and a rich sauce. Serve with rice and some asian greens.

Wine Suggestion: Soy sauce accentuates tannins in wine so we’d suggest avoiding reds for this dish. With ingredients that include Sake, Mirin/Sherry and sugar there are two options that we find work really well, and in a contrasting way. Firstly a non-dry, slightly sweet Oloroso sherry, like the Valdespino 1842 VOS Oloroso, will work with the umami savoury characters and compliment the rich sweetness. Alternately play with a bit of contrast and pick a good Rosé Champagne, like Billecart-Salmon’s benchmark example; this plays with the senses and adds an extra vibrancy to a dish already replete with flavour.

Salmon Teriyaki – serves 4

  • 250ml light soy sauce
  • 125ml sake or rice wine
  • 125ml mirin or dry sherry
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 salmon fillets, skin-on
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

Mix the first 4 ingredients together and stir until the sugar has dissolved to make a teriyaki sauce. Marinade the salmon in half of the sauce for at least 3 hours. Pour the rest of the sauce into a saucepan and bubble gently on a low heat for 30 minutes or until reduced and thickened.

Heat the oven to as high as it goes, then put the drained salmon fillets in an ovenproof dish, skin upwards. Cut small squares of foil to cover the salmon skin and stop it burning.

Bake for 5-6 minutes, then remove the foil and brush oil over the skin. Return to the oven for another 5-6 minutes or until the skin is crispy and starting to char.

Pour some of the reduced sauce onto each plate and sit the salmon on top to serve.

(Original recipe by Reiko Hashimoto-Lamber IN: BBC Good Food Magazine, April 2008.)

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Spicy Prawns

These prawns, flavoured with lots of garlic and warm spices, make a simple but really tasty starter. Serve with plenty of bread for mopping up the juices.

Wine Suggestion: We really like unoaked, slightly lighter, Spanish reds with this dish especially with 30 minutes in the fridge to give a cool edge to them. A newish find has been the Jesus Romero “Rubus”, a delicious blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo and Syrah which has a purity and persistence of fruit that charms us every time.

Spicy Prawns – serves 4

  • 300g raw peeled king prawns
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • a good pinch of cayenne pepper or chilli powder
  • 5 tbsp chopped coriander or parsley

Heat the oil with the garlic and spices in a large frying pan. Keep stirring until aromatic, then throw in the prawns and fry quickly over a medium heat until pink – about a minute. Stir in the coriander or parsley and serve.

(Original recipe from Foolproof Mediterranean Cookery by Claudia Roden, BBC Worldwide Ltd., 2003.)

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Egg & potato curry 1

A tasty mid-week veggie curry for two. Not much more to say really. Serve with a cold beer if you’ve got one.

Bombay Egg & Potato Curry – serves 2

  • 2 onions, 1 chopped and 1 quartered
  • sunflower oil
  • 2 green chillies, 1 halved and deseeded and the other finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • a handful of coriander, leaves and stalks separated
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 400g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm dice
  • 3 eggs
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • basmati rice to serve

Fry the chopped onion in 1 tbsp of sunflower oil in a large frying pan or shallow casserole until soft and golden.

Meanwhile, whizz the quartered onion, halved chilli, garlic & coriander stalks with ¼ tsp salt to a paste – you might need to add a splash of water.

When the onions are softened, stir in the paste and spices and fry for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Crumble in the stock cube, stir in the tomatoes and coconut milk along with a tinful of water and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes, then cover and simmer for about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the eggs in boiling water for about 8 minutes, then cool under cold running water, peel and quarter.

Remove the lid from the curry and continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Taste the curry and season with salt, black pepper and lemon juice to taste. Gently lay the quartered eggs into the sauce, turn off the heat and replace the lid to allow the eggs to gently warm for a minute or so.

Serve with the sliced green chilli, coriander leaves and steamed basmati rice.

(Original recipe by Sarah Cook in BBC Olive Magazine, April 2015.)

Egg & potato curry 2

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