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Posts Tagged ‘Easy’

There is a rosemary bush in our front garden and it often comes to the rescue when we have pretty much nothing for dinner. Provided you have a rosemary bush at your disposal this is pretty much a store cupboard dish and also handy for using the end of a jar of cream. This is surprisingly tasty and a great throw together weeknight dish.

Wine Suggestion: this dish suits a rustic red wine with a bit of “garrigue”, the southern French earthy, herby, spice that is a bit wild and untamed. This time we opened a wine that has this in spades, the Mas Conscience “le Cas” which is 100% old vine Carignan, which is all black fruits hints of hot rocks and earth, and wild Languedoc spices. Not shy in character but a good match nonetheless.

Rigatoni with Tomato & Rosemary Sauce – serves 4

  • 4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves finely chopped and stalks discarded
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 400g rigatoni or penne
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tsp sugar

Fry the chopped rosemary in a tablespoon of olive oil for about a minute. Stir in the tinned tomatoes and the chilli flakes, then simmer hard for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in lots of salted boiling water according to the time indicated on the pack.

Stir the double cream into the sauce along with the sugar and plenty of seasoning, then mix in the drained pasta and serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, February 2011.)

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Easy lamb kebabs

These definitely taste best off a barbecue but if you’re not up for that in February then you could cook them on a griddle pan instead. Marinade the lamb up to a day in advance if you can.

Wine Suggestion: A juicy Californian Zinfandel or Italian Primitivo; cheers!

Easiest ever lamb kebabs – serves 4

  • 600g lamb neck fillet, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 red onions, cut into small wedges

Heat the barbecue or griddle pan.

Put the lamb into a large bowl and toss with the oil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside for as long as you can (overnight ideally).

Thread alternate pieces of lamb and onions onto metal skewers (you can use wooden skewers either but you need to soak them in cold water for about 20 minutes so they don’t catch fire).

Cook the skewers for about 8 minutes, turning regularly.

 

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Sausage pasta

Jules has been cooking this dish for years. Far from fancy but really tasty and super quick. Also popular with kids but leave out the chilli if they’re not that way inclined.

Wine Suggestion: A robust Italian, more than likely a Sangiovese, is our wine for this type of dish. Today it was the Tenuta Sant’Alfonso Chianti.

Sausage Pasta – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 good quality pork sausages cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 300g short pasta

Put a large saucepan of water on to boil for the pasta.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the sausages until they are nicely browned. Turn down the heat and add the onion and garlic, then cook until softened.

Stir in the chilli powder and tomatoes, then bring to the boil before turning down the heat and leaving to bubble for about 10 minutes while you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the pack instructions, then drain. Tip the cooked pasta into the frying pan with the saucy sausages and mix well.  Serve with crusty bread.

(Original recipe from 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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Shepherds Pie

Everyone needs a good recipe for Shepherd’s pie; and here is ours.

Wine Suggestion: We usually fall for a red wine with a Shepherd’s pie and tonight it was a Château Farcies du Pech Pécharmant from our last travels in France.

Shepherd’s Pie – serves 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bouquet garni (use whatever herbs you have but a good mix is thyme, parsley and a bay leaf tied together with string)
  • 700g floury potatoes, peeled weight, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp full-fat milk

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large casserole and fry the onion, celery and carrots for 5 minutes or until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then scoop the vegetables out of the pot and set aside.

Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in the same pot and add the lamb mince. Break it up with a wooden spoon and stir until it is browned and no pink bits remain. Stir in the flour, then add the stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, and bouquet garni, and season to taste. Return the vegetables and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 90 minutes. The liquid should have almost completely evaporated. You can remove and discard the bouquet garni at this point.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water for 20-25 minutes or until completely tender. Drain well and return to the hot pan to dry out before adding the butter and milk and mashing well. Season and cover to keep warm while the meat cooks.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Put the lamb into a ovenproof dish around 20 x 20cm. Top with the potato and fork it over. Cook in the top of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

(Original recipe from Family Kitchen Cookbook by Caroline Bretherton, DK, 2013.)

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Carrot and turnip mash

At home in Northern Ireland we call swedes turnips and we’re much more likely to make carrot & parsnip mash. Here in Dublin people serve us mashed carrot and swede which is pretty good too. Serve with meat dishes.

Mashed carrots & swedes – serves 4

  • 300g carrots, chopped small
  • 200g swede, chopped small
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • pinch of grated nutmeg

Boil the vegetables in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 20 minutes or until soft. Drain well and return to the pan. Add the butter, sugar and nutmeg and mash together well.

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Spicy Sichuan-style Prawns

This is a delicious Chinese dish but definitely for chilli lovers as its not lacking in fiery heat. Serve with rice to serve 2 or with other dishes to serve 4.

Wine Suggestion: The heat will effect most wines so be careful with your choice here. Our choice was from Alsace, the Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris Calcaire 2009 which had a  natural sweetness and a range of spices that really added to the dish.

Spicy Sichuan-style prawns – serves 4

  • 1½ tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2cm ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 450g raw prawns, shelled and de-veined

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 tsp chilli bean paste (buy in an Asian supermarket)
  • 2 tsp Chinese black vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • handful of coriander leaves and sliced scallion, to serve

Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat.

Add the groundnut oil and wait until very hot and slightly smoking, then add the ginger, garlic & scallions. Stir-fry for 20 seconds, then add the prawns and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the sauce ingredients with the salt and pepper and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes over a high heat.

Serve immediately sprinkled with the coriander & scallions.

(Original recipe by Ken Hom IN: BBC Good Food Magazine, February 2015.)

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