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Posts Tagged ‘Easy’

Linguine with garlic mushrooms & sage

Nothing fancy here but might be the break you need from all the Christmas festivities. Minimal effort required!

Wine Suggestion: a light red wine was our choice today; the Domaine Bellier Cheverny Rouge, a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay from the Loire in France. Earthy and fresh plums and cherry flavours with fine, light tannins.

Linguine with garlic mushrooms & sage – serves 2

  • 150g linguine
  • 25g butter
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • a good pinch of chilli flakes
  • a handful of sage leaves, chopped
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated

Cook the linguine in loads of salty water according to the timings on the pack.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms until very soft and golden and the any liquid has pretty much disappeared.

Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in the sage and cook for another minute. Season generously.

Drain the pasta but reserve some of the cooking liquid. Add the cooked pasta to the mushroom pan with the lemon juice, Parmesan and enough of the reserved water to make a sauce. Toss everything together until the pasta is coated.

Serve with a bit of extra Parmesan over the top if you like.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, November 2015)

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Cauliflower & chestnut soup

Got chestnuts? We made this with a vac-pack we still had in the drawer from last Christmas. A really delicious soup and perfect for using a post- or pre-season chestnut surplus!

Cauliflower & Chestnut Soup – serves 4

  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 250ml milk
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 150ml double cream
  • 200g pack vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 25g grated Parmesan, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the onion and cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Add the cauliflower, milk and stock, then bring to a simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.

Add the cream, season well, and bring back to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the chestnuts, then blend with a hand blender until smooth. Season to taste and serve with shaved Parmesan, lots of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Chicken & Ham Lasagne

This is a good crowd pleaser and you can also freeze it so if you are fewer in number make two lasagnes in smaller dishes and save one for later.

Wine Suggestion: Rich and savoury; this goes really well with southern Rhône whites and our favourite, value option is the Chateau Pesquié Terrasses Blanc, a blend of Viognier, Roussanne, Clairette & Grenache Blanc. With floral hints, layers of citrus and a backbone of stonefruit flavours this is round, rich and fresh in equal measures; just what this dish needs.

Chicken & Ham Lasagne – serves 8

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ a medium onion, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200ml white wine
  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 500ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 140g sliced smoked ham, cut into strips
  • 200g young spinach leaves
  • no pre-cook dried lasagne sheets
  • 200g ready-grated mozzarella
  • 25g Parmesan, finely grated

Put the chicken in a medium saucepan with the onion, bay leaves and wine. Pour over just enough water to cover, about 200ml. Put a lid on the pan and bring to a gentle simmer, then poach gently for 15 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked. Lift the chicken out onto a board and strain the liquid into a jug.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook for a minute. Gradually add the milk, a little at a time, stirring well between each addition to keep the sauce smooth. When all the milk has been added, continue with the chicken cooking liquid. When all the liquid is added, continue to cook and stir for a few minutes or until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Cut the chicken into small chunks and stir into the sauce. Add the ham and spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. Spoon a third of the mixture into the bottom of a 3-litre lasagne dish. Top with lasagne sheets, then repeat the layers twice more, ending with lasagne. Scatter over the mozzarella and Parmesan and season with black pepper. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the lasagne is soft and the topping well browned.

TO FREEZE: Assemble the dish but don’t bake it. Leave to cool and cover with a double layer of foil, then freeze for up to 2 months.

TO COOK AFTER FREEZING: Remove the foil and cover with cling film. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Remove the cling film, cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 or until browned and bubbling.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Haricot Beans with Rice & Onions

Another dish made for no other reason than half a bag of fresh dill in the fridge, threatening to go to waste. This is a big bowl of buttery deliciousness and the perfect comfort food for a cold night.

Wine Suggestion: to match the cold and damp evening, and this comfort food you need to look at a comforting, juicy red; tonight the Altosur Malbec, a wine that genuinely outperforms its pricepoint.

Haricot beans with rice and onions – serves 2

  • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into thin rings
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g white long-grain rice
  • 2 cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 x 400g tin of haricot beans, drained
  • 60g butter
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • a handful of chopped dill

Warm the olive oil in a saucepan, add the garlic, then the onions, and leave to cook over a moderate heat until soft and golden. Remove from the heat, scoop out the onions and keep the pan for later.

Wash the rice in warm water, then drain and transfer to a saucepan and pour in water to cover by 2cm. Add salt, the cloves and the peppercorns, then bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer, then cover tightly with a lid and leave for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the lid on for a further 5 minutes.

Melt the butter in the onion pan, then cook the cumin seeds and turmeric for a minute or until fragrant. Add the beans and heat through.

Fork through the rice, check the seasoning and pick out the cloves. Stir in the dill and divide between two bowls. Spoon over the hot beans and top with the fried onions.

(Original recipe from Greenfeast: autumn, winter by Nigel Slater, 4th Estate, 2019.)

 

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Cockles with Tomato, Pastis & Parsley

A Gill Meller recipe for clams or he also suggests mussels. It was cockles on Friday in our local fish shop and they work just as well too. These are boozy and they taste strongly of pastis which we enjoyed immensely and gave the whole dish a real clarity of flavour.

Wine Suggestion: Quite often we’d suggest white wine with seafood, and you’d be right here too. However, this doesn’t mean red can’t work just as well, you need to make sure it isn’t too heavy and has a natural freshness of acidity … like from a cooler vineyard region. Tonight we opened the Dezat Sancerre Rouge which is made from Pinot Noir and is joyful and deliciously ripe while remaining pure and fresh. A good complement to the tomatoes and sea flavours and a match to the anise of the pastis.

Cockles with tomato, pastis & parsley – serves 2

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • finely grated zest of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 100ml pastis or Pernod
  • 1kg cockles (or clams or mussels), washed and throw away any with broken or open shells
  • 2 to 3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat a large, heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil, then add the onion and garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 6-8 minutes or until soft but not coloured.

Add the lemon zest, fennel seeds, bay leaves and rosemary and cook for another few minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, then half fill the empty tin with water and pour this in too. Add the sugar, season again, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring, often, until rich and thick.

Add the pastis and turn the heat up. When the liquid is boiling, add the cockles, stir once, give the pan a good shake, then cover with a tight lid.

Cook for 3-4 minutes (shaking occasionally), or until all the shells have opened. Throw away any that remain closed. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

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Roast new potato & pickle salad

Another dish from Jamie’s Veg book. We’re all about the pickles in this house and this was just so fresh and tasty. We had rather large platefuls but it would also work really well as a side for fish without the feta. In fact, it would work alone without the feta too.

Wine Suggestion: fresh and vibrant whites are what you need for this dish; tonight the Wengut Korrell Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) from the Nahe in Germany. Not the current vintage but from 2016 instead and no harm at all as the winery seems to craft a natural freshness that makes this just as enjoyable now as it did a couple of years ago.

Roast new potato & pickle salad – serves 6

  • 1.2kg new potatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves, bashed
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zest finely grated
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 cucumber, scratched with a fork and sliced into rounds
  • 100g radishes, quartered
  • ½ a red onion, very finely sliced
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 15g dill, leaves picked
  • 15g mint, leaves picked
  • 40g feta cheese

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

Cook the potatoes in plenty of boiling salty water for 20 minutes or until tender, then drain and steam dry in the pot. Tip the potatoes into a large roasting tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp of oil, then add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.

Add the bashed garlic cloves to the tray, then roast for 20 minutes.

Scatter the lemon zest, rosemary and flour over the potatoes, then toss together. Squash the potatoes flat with a potato masher and roast for 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Meanwhile, put the cucumber, radishes and red onion into a bowl with the mustard, vinegar and half the lemon juice.

When the potatoes are cooked, season the pickle with salt and pepper and stir through the herbs, then put the pickled mixture on top of the hot potatoes and mix just before serving. Crumble over the feta cheese and add some extra lemon if you like.

(Original recipe from Veg by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2019.)

 

 

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Carrot & Ginger mash with pan fried codSo, this is a full-on diet dish, but the carrot and ginger mash is spectacular and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough for nights when you need some restraint. We are a greedy household and require restraint on a regular basis – no wine for us tonight!

Carrot & Ginger Mash with Pan-fried Cod – serves 2

  • 2 large carrots (about 300g), thickly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 15g fresh root ginger, peeled
  • 15g butter
  • ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 thick, skinless cod fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • dried chilli flakes

Put the carrots, garlic & ginger in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes or until soft.

Take the pan off the heat, reserve a ladle of the cooking water, then drain. Return the carrot mixture to the pan and add 3 tbsp of the reserved cooking water, the butter, and the lemon juice. Whizz the carrots to a purée with a stick blender, adding a bit more of the water if needed. Season with salt and black pepper.

Season the cod with sea salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the cod for about 4 minutes, then turn, sprinkle with a few chilli flakes, and cook on the other side for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how thick they are.

Spoon the purée onto warm plates and serve with the fish on top and plenty of green veg.

(Original recipe from The Fast 800 Recipe Book by Dr Claire Bailey & Justine Pattison, Short Books, 2019.)

 

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