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Posts Tagged ‘Easy’

Courgette & lemon risotto

A weekend lunch treat for the three of us as we had courgettes lying around begging to be used.

Wine Suggestion: a crunchy white was demanded here and an old favourite was opened to match; the Chateau du Hureau Saumur Blanc “Argile”. A vibrant Chenin Blanc with texture, vibrant, crunchy, apply fruit plus a real sense of place.

Courgette & lemon risotto – serves 2

  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 180g risotto rice
  • 1 litre of hot vegetable stock
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 2 lemon thyme sprigs
  • 250g courgette, diced
  • 50g parmesan, grated
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche

Melt the butter in a deep frying pan and gently fry the onion until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for another minute. Pour in the rice and stir for a couple of minutes until it glistens.

Add a ladle of the stock to the rice, along with the lemon juice and thyme. Bubble over a medium heat, stirring constantly. When almost all the liquid has been absorbed, add another ladle and continue to stir. Tip in the courgette and keep adding the stock, stirring every now and then until the rice is just tender and creamy.

Season to taste and stir in the lemon zest, Parmesan and crème fraîche.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Spaghetti with crab, cherry tomatoes & fresh chillies

This is really simple and fresh and we love it on a Friday night with a glass of chilled white wine. By all means cook a crab but our local fish shop sells cooked and picked crabmeat which makes this extra quick and easy.

Wine Suggestion: One of our stand-by wines for seafood is Muscadet and for this dish it was a good choice. A long standing favourite, the Domaine de la Chauviniere Muscadet sur lie always has good fruit, great texture and freshness and accentuated the flavours of the crab in a very nice way.

Spaghetti with Crab, Cherry Tomatoes and Chillies – serves 4

  • 500g spaghetti
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 medium hot red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100ml white wine
  • 200g white crabmeat
  • 3 tbsp freshly chopped chives

Cook the pasta in a very large pot of boiling salty water until al dente.

Meanwhile, gently heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic and chilli for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes before adding the wine and bringing to a simmer. Add the crab and cook for a minute to just warm through.

Drain the pasta well and tip into the pan with the crab sauce. Stir to combine, sprinkle over the chives, and serve.

(Original recipe from Pronto! by Gino D’Acampo, Kyle Books, 2014.)

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Feta & Cucumber Bites

We served these on New Year’s Day with other canapés but by the time we’d typed up the recipe we thought everyone might be a bit partied out. So we’ve saved this post for summertime when these tasty bites would be delicious served outside with cool drinks before dinner.

Feta & Cucumber Bites – makes 24

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200g feta
  • 100g ricotta
  • 4 tbsp chopped dill, plus extra fronds, to garnish
  • 1 large cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds scooped out and discarded

Whizz the garlic, feta, ricotta and dill in a food processor until smooth but thick.

Fill the scooped out cucumber with the cheese mixture and smooth over. Cut into 3-cm thick slices. Grind over some black pepper and garnish with some more dill.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food.)

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Spiced Shepherd's Pie with Parsnip Mash

There’s definitely a move away from comfort food in our house but a bunch of fine looking Irish parsnips were just too hard to resist and why not enjoy them for a while longer.

Wine Suggestion: we opened the Cline Lodi Zinfandel from California and it was delicious with this.

Spiced Shepherd’s Pie with Parsnip Mash – serves 4

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • a good pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 good tsp of plain flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400ml lamb or chicken stock

FOR THE MASH:

  • 1kg parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • butter
  • cream/crème fraîche

Put the parsnips in large pot and cover with cold water, season with salt and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain well and mash with plenty of butter, a splash of cream and seasoning.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and cook the onion, celery and carrot with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes or until softened. Turn up the heat then add the lamb and cook until browned. Add the spices and continue to cook for another minute, then stir in the flour and cook for a minute more.

Stir in the tomato purée and stock then simmer for about 15 minutes until thickened.

Heat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6.

Tip the lamb into a baking dish and top with the parsnip mash. Use a fork to mark the top and dot with a little more butter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned and bubbling.

(Original recipe by Janine Radcliffe IN: BBC Olive Magazine, May 2014)

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Pasta with broccoli & gorgonzola

This is particularly good with purple sprouting broccoli when it’s around. Don’t be tempted to strip off the leaves they’re just as good to eat as the florets. Hardly a recipe at all but very satisfying.

Wine Suggestion: try an Italian white from the Marches or Abruzzo. Our choice this evening was the La Piuma (feather) Pecorino Terre di Chieti; charming fruit and with little twists of nuts, herbs and citrus that played with the food in a great way.

Cheese & broccoli pasta – serves 2

  • 200g pasta (use whatever you have)
  • a bunch of purple sprouting broccoli – about 6 to 8 stems (or a head of ordinary broccoli)
  • about 250g of ripe Gorgonzola

Cook the pasta in a generous amount of boiling salty water.

Cut the broccoli into small florets and thin pieces of stalk (discard any thick woody stems).

Lightly salt another pan of boiling water and cook the broccoli for a few minutes or until tender.

Put the cheese into a large warm bowl, then add the hot drained broccoli followed by the lightly drained pasta (a bit of water will help make a sauce). Stir until melting and serve.

(Original recipe from Appetite by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2001)

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Lemon & basil linguine

Sometimes the simplest of ideas turn out the best.

Wine Suggestion: we had a glass of the Adi Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc which he’s now experimenting with a little bit of skin contact. We don’t disagree, it adds a touch of extra texture and complexity to such a great value wine.

Lemon & basil linguine – serves 2

  • 200g linguine
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 75ml good olive oil
  • 75g Parmesan
  • a large handful of basil leaves

Put a large pan of water on to boil, add loads of salt and cook the pasta according to the time suggested on the packet.

Put the lemon juice, olive oil and Parmesan into a large warmed bowl and beat with a small whisk to combine and thicken. Tear the basil leaves into the bowl and add plenty of black pepper.

Drain the pasta and toss with the mixture in the bowl.

(Original recipe from The Kitchen Diaries  by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2005.)

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Broad Bean Bruschetta

A real burst of summer freshness that we assembled using frozen broad beans on a grey winter day. It is now Spring however and you might be the lucky person with some freshly picked broad beans. You can of course use frozen beans which for us are right up there with peas as an absolute freezer essential.

Wine Suggestion: We opened a vibrant Verdicchio from Umani Ronchi; their CaSal di Serra. Thirst quenching and pure peach, apple and lemon fruits that match the season as well.

Ricotta & Broad Bean Bruschetta – enough to make 4

  • 4 slices of rustic sourdough bread
  • 1 clove of garlic, halved
  • 200g broad beans (podded weight)
  • 250g ricotta
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a few small mint leaves
  • a few basil leaves, shredded

Toast the bread until light golden brown, then rub on one side with the cut garlic clove.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the broad beans for 2 minutes, then drain and run under cold water. The beans will now be very easy to pop gently from their skins.

Break the ricotta up with a fork and add the lemon juice, then stir to combine. Spread the ricotta mixture over the toasted bread and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Toss the broad beans with the mint, basil, lemon zest and remaining olive oil. Pile on top of the ricotta and season with salt and black pepper.

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventure by Si King & Dave Myers, Seven Dials, 2017.)

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