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Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Salmon with greens & creme fraiche

Spring is such a lovely time for fresh ingredients, encapsulated by greens like peas and broad beans. It’s broad beans with pretty much everything in our house at the minute. Serve with steamed new potatoes or mash.

Wine Suggestion: We went with a fresh Chablis that had a similar Spring vitality to the food; a Domaine Gueguen from 2015 which had hints of white flowers and smokiness with green apple skins. It was crisp with a wonderful chalky, flinty, limestone character – a good match.

Salmon with greens & crème fraîche – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 250ml chicken stock or fish stock
  • 100g crème fraîche
  • 140g frozen peas
  • 140g frozen broad beans
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets
  • small bunch of chives, snipped

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan with a lid. Cook the leek until soft but not coloured, about 5-10 minutes. Pour in the stock and simmer until reduced slightly, then add the crème fraîche and season. Cook for another minute.

Add the peas and beans, then gently add the salmon fillets, nestling them in amongst the veg. Turn down to a simmer, then cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. Sprinkle with chives and serve with mash or steamed new potatoes.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Asparagus & Prosciutto soup

Another favourite from the River Café where the prosciutto gives a big addition to the flavour. Serve with a few asparagus tips and top quality olive oil on top. Delicious!

Wine suggestion: Sauvignon Blanc with bags of  flavour. Something like the Dog Point from New Zealand or the Dezat Sancerre from the Loire will work great. Going slightly off-piste we love the Domaine Bellier Cheverny Blanc which combines 85% Sauvignon Blanc with Chardonnay in a un-sung appellation from the Loire, a really good food wine.

Asparagus & prosciutto soup – serves 4

  • 500g asparagus
  • 140g prosciutto slices, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 140g spinach
  • Marigold Swiss bouillon powder dissolved with 750ml of boiling water
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil

Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and cut the remaining stalks into short lengths. Keep the tips to one side.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a heavy-based pan, add the onion and soften for 5 minutes, then add the prosciutto, potatoes, parsley and asparagus stalks. Season with pepper (hold off on the salt until the end as the ham is salty) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, then add the bouillon and simmer until the potatoes and asparagus are tender – about 15 minutes. Add the spinach and most of the asparagus tips and cook for a another few minutes. Remove from the heat and blend to a rough purée.

Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil and fry the reserved tips for a few seconds. Serve the soup with the asparagus and oil drizzled over each bowl.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

 

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Radish & fennel salad

Let’s eat more radishes. They’re delicous and in season right now. Try this easy spring salad that tastes good with almost anything.

Lemony Radish & Fennel Salad – serves 4

  • 2 bunches leafy breakfast radishes
  • 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced into rings
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

Separate the leaves from the radishes, then wash & dry them.

Finely grate the zest of half the lemon, then juice all of it.

Put the lemon zest into a salad bowl and stir through the shallots. Leave to macerate.

Trim the fennel & slice it as finely as possible (a job for your mandolin if you have one). When you’re ready to serve, toss all the ingredients, including the radish leaves, with the lemon juice & olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Radicchio & Gorgonzola pasta

In some ways this is an opportunistic dish because we don’t always see Radicchio in our grocer’s shop. We love the creamy, salty, bitter flavours  which come together with the rich creamy sauce. We like serving it with a bit of Parmesan too, but it’s not necessary.

Wine suggestion: The Rocca delle Macie’s Vermentino from the Maremma was our choice and the crisp, almost sappiness, helped to cut through the richness and complement the bitterness of the radicchio. If we’d had one we would have loved to have tried a good, dry Lambrusco from near Bologna. We could be wrong but think this might work too.

Pasta with Radicchio & Gorgonzola – serves 4

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 radiccio, shredded
  • 50ml white wine
  • 4 tbsp cream
  • 75g gorgonzola
  • 300g pasta

Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the timings on the packet.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and fry the onion until softened, then add the radicchio and continue to cook until wilted.

Add the white wine and season. Pour in the cream, melt in the gorgonzola and mix through the cooked pasta.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, April, 2014.)

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Coconut fish curry

We love to serve a fish curry alongside other Indian dishes to serve a crowd. Try this with some chicken tikka, mint & yoghurt chutney, cinnamon lamb curry, steamed basmati rice & some naan bread from the takeaway. Also great on its own with rice of course.

Coconut Fish Curry (Fish moilee) – serves 4

  • 5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped (deseed if you don’t want too much heat)
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil/rapeseed oil
  • 20 fresh curry leaves (optional but handy to buy fresh, then keep in the freezer for dishes like this)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 big ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 4 white fish fillets e.g. hake, haddock or cod (we use hake as it’s cheaper)
  • 1 lime, quartered

Put the ginger, garlic,  green chilli and a pinch of salt in a pestle & mortar and bash until you have a paste.

Put the oil into a wide, shallow pan over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the curry leaves, followed by the onions and cook for 8-10 minutes or until pale gold. Add the ginger, garlic & chilli paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 1½ tsp salt, the turmeric & chilli powder. Cover the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, dilute the coconut milk with 100ml of water and add to the pan. When the milk begins to bubble, add the fish, then turn the heat down, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Serve with a squeeze of lime and rice on the side.

(Original recipe from Made in India by Meera Sodha, Penguin, 2014.)

 

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Picadillo

This is not dissimilar to a chilli con carne but it tastes really fresh and summery. We loved the addition of almonds and green olives.

Wine Suggestion: we echoed the summery freshness with the Flying Solo Rosé from Domaine Gayda in the Languedoc which made everything feel light and easy as we ate. If you feel like something more robust look to a good Grenache / Garnacha which we find work with the peppers and olives well.

Picadilo – serves 6

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 750g minced beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 red chillies, chopped
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • a handful of plump raisins
  • 400g tin of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 200ml stock (or water)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 50g green olives, chopped
  • a handful of coriander, chopped
  • a handful of toasted almonds
  • rice, avocado, sour cream & grated cheese to serve

Heat the oil in a casserole and cook the beef over a high heat until well-browned. This will work better if you do it in batches, then remove to a bowl.

Add the onion and chopped peppers to the pan and cook until soft and golden. Add the garlic, chillies and ground cumin, then cook for another minute before stirring in the raisins, tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar and stock/water. Cook, uncovered for 40 minutes, or until you have a thick sauce, stirring occasionally.

Add the lime juice, green olives and some seasoning. Lastly stir in the coriander and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

Serve with steamed rice, avocado, sour cream & grated cheese.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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Mussels with chorizo and cider

We had a hankering for mussels, as we often do, and thought this sounded a bit different. There’s no finishing of the sauce required once the mussels are cooked unlike other classic mussel dishes. Last minute finishing can be fiddly, especially with guests, so this worked well for us. Easily scalable, provided you have a big pot, and a good party dish.

Wine Suggestion: we used Stonewell Dry Cider from Kinsale in County Cork for this dish which has a really good depth of flavour and it would equally work well as the accompaniment. Some ciders are lighter but the robust nature of the chorizo and mussels needed a more robust flavour like the Stonewell.

Alternately if you would prefer to drink some wine we’d suggest a good South African Chenin Blanc, like Adi Badenhorst’s Secateurs. The ripe yellow apple flavours are a good compliment and the freshness, texture and zing provide a good balance. The Secateurs is a great go-to wine in our house and we highly recommend it!

Spanish mussels with cider & chorizo – serves 4

  • 2kg mussels
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g chorizo, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500ml dry cider
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Wash the mussels really well and scrape off any barnacles and beardy bits. Tap any opened mussels on the sink and throw them away if they don’t close.

Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and sauté the chorizo with the onions until slightly coloured and softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the mussels, chorizo and some black pepper, then cover. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and steam until the mussels have opened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve.

(Original recipe from Food From Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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