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Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Turmeric Broth

We try and cook healthy mid-week, with some weeks being more successful than others. That said, we rarely eat anything particularly unhealthy, so we don’t beat ourselves up too much. This dish is low fat and low calorie – but it tastes really full-flavoured and restorative, almost medicinal, and you can’t help but feel better for eating it.

Turmeric broth with chicken & ginger dumplings – serves 4

  • 50g ginger sliced
  • 1.5 litres light chicken stock
  • 3 scallions, green parts and white parts separated
  • 2 star anise
  • 2-3 tsp ground turmeric
  • 200g baby leaf greens, chopped – we used pak choi
  • 300g cooked egg noodles
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped

FOR THE DUMPLINGS:

  • 500g chicken mince or turkey mince
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • ½ red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • a handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 egg white
  • white pepper

Put the sliced ginger, chicken stock, scallion greens, star anise and turmeric in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook with a lid on for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely chop the scallion whites and put into a bowl with the mince, grated ginger, chilli, coriander, 1 tsp of sesame oil, the cornflour and egg white. Season with salt and white pepper then mix well and roll into balls.

Strain the broth and return to the pot. Add the chicken dumplings and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. Add the greens and noodles for the last 2 minutes. Finish with the chilli and a drizzle of sesame oil.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, January 2017.)

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Dill potatoes

We’re always banging on about food waste but can honestly say that at least half the recipes we try, are chosen solely on the basis that they use an ingredient left over from another dish. This is precisely how we came to try this potato dish from Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford’s beautiful book, Samarkand. Dill is one of the herbs we find most difficult to use up and it’s also one we haven’t had a lot of success growing ourselves. Never again will we shy away from recipes using fresh dill, instead we will look forward to melting potatoes with dill the following day.

Melting Potatoes with Dill – serves 4

  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 500g waxy potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1cm slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • a small handful of dill fronds, chopped

Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions very slowly until soft and golden. Add the potato slices and garlic and stir into the buttery onions. Season well with salt and cover with a lid.

Cook the potatoes over a very low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. Stir through the peppercorns and a handful of fresh dill before serving.

(Original recipe from Samarkand by Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford, Kyle Books, 2016.)

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Turnip & Gruyere Gratin

Turnip (or swede as some of you call it) gets a lot of bad press but we absolutely love it and even more so when cooked with lots of cream and cheese. Jono has declared this his favourite turnip dish and has demanded we cook it again.

Gruyère and turnip gratin – serves 4

  • 700g turnip/swede (the large, orange-fleshed variety)
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 100g gruyère, grated

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas4.

Peel and thinly slice the turnip – a mandolin or food processor works really well for this.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil then add the turnip and cook for 4 minutes. Drain really well.

Whisk the cream, mustard and garlic together and season. Layer the turnip and mustardy cream alternately and sprinkle in half the cheese. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very tender, browned and bubbling.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe, Olive Magazine, January 2017)

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Smoked Mackerel Loaded Leaves

This is the kind of nibble we like before dinner. Really tasty but light so it won’t spoil your appetite. Radicchio and/or chicory leaves are preferable but if you can’t find these you can substitute Little Gem lettuce – as we did.

Wine Suggestion: Your choice of bubbles, whether it’s Prosecco, Cremant, Cava or Champagne

Smoked Mackerel Loaded Leaves – serves 4-8

  • 200g smoked mackerel fillets, skin removed and flaked
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • small bunch of chives, snipped
  • small handful of dill, chopped
  • 1 small radicchio, separated into leaves
  • 1-2 chicory heads separated into leaves

Gently mix the mackerel with the crème fraîche, lemon juice, half the herbs and some pepper. Chill until ready to serve.

Spoon generous amounts of the mackerel mixture into each leaf and arrange on a plates or a platter. Sprinkle over the remaining herbs and the lemon zest.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Spiced Lamb Hotpot

We love this spiced hotpot from Sabrina Ghayour’s fabulous book, Feasts. All the work is done at the start, and isn’t particularly onerous, so it’s a great dish for guests and the house smells good when they arrive. We served with big dishes of cauliflower cheese and greens.

Wine suggestion: You need a red with some guts to stand up to these flavours, but don’t go OTT as it also requires subtlety and finess too. Our friend Miriam had found a 9 yo Bordeaux made from 100% merlot in her cellar and we’re glad she shared it with us.

Spiced Lamb Hotpot – serves 4-6

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cardamom pods, lightly cracked
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 900g diced leg of lamb
  • 1 large garlic bulb, cloves peeled and left whole
  • 8 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml chicken, lamb or vegetable stock
  • 700-750g red potatoes, unpeeled, thinly sliced – a mandolin is good for this
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • sprinkling of thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas 3½.

Heat a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cardamom pods to the hot pan and dry-toast for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they smell aromatic.

Pour in oil to coat the base of the pan. When the oil is heated, add the onions and fry for 6-8 minutes, or until softened and starting to brown at the edges. Add the meat and cook for a few minutes, stirring to coat in the cumin seeds. Add the garlic cloves, shallots and carrots and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the ground cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, mustard powder and flour. Season with salt and pepper and mix well before adding the stock.

Arrange the potato slices on top of the meat, slightly overlapping them. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle with the thyme and season again. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 1½ hours.

Remove the hotpot from the oven and take off the lid. Turn the oven up to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7.

Put the casserole back into the oven and cook for another 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown.

(Original recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

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Cockle & Chorizo Risotto

We couldn’t find clams in Dublin the day we cooked this and had to substitute cockles. Still very delicious, but make sure you wash them thoroughly in cold running water to get rid of any sand.

Wine Suggestion: The zing of a good Picpoul de Pinet was our choice and it was a very good match indeed; clean, fresh and appley. Picpoul is often drunk with lighter dishes as it’s such an easy drinking wine, but this is a shame as Picpoul comes into it’s own with a richer dish like this.

Clam & Chorizo Risotto – serves 4

  • 1kg fresh clams, rinsed well in running water for a few minutes to remove any sand (or you can use cockles)
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 spicy cooking chorizos, finely diced (we used one big one)
  • a bay leaf
  • 300g carnaroli rice
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat a large casserole dish on a high heat and add the clams. Throw in half the wine, cover with a lid, and cook for 2 minutes or until the clams open. Drain and set aside, reserving the liquor. Remove the clams from their shells when cool enough to handle.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion and garlic and sweat for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the chorizo and bay leaf and cook for a few minutes. Add the rice and toast for a couple of minutes, then add the rest of the wine and turn up the heat to evaporate.

Add the reserved cooking liquor, then start adding the chicken stock a ladle at a time, stirring. Add another ladle only when the previous ladle of stock has been absorbed. Continue until the rice is almost cooked, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the Parmesan, butter and herbs. Add the clams and stir to heat through. Taste and season with salt if needed, then serve.

(Original recipe from The Skills by Monica Galetti, Quadrille, 2016.)

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Pea & Mint Soup

It’s getting close to that time of year when we start to really crave some daylight and spring veg. Fresh peas are a long way off yet but this hearty pea and mint soup is full of promise. Leave out the swirl of cream to keep it vegan.

Pea & Mint Soup – serves 4 generously

  • 80g yellow split peas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock
  • 700g frozen peas
  • 2 handfuls of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp single cream (optional to garnish)

Put the split peas into a saucepan and add 800ml of water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until just tender. Remove any scum from the surface as they cook.

10 minutes before the split peas are cooked, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes to soften, add a splash of water if they start to stick. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Drain the split peas and add to the onions along with the vegetable stock. Bring the boil, then simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Stir in the frozen peas and chopped mint and season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Whizz the soup with a blender until smooth (or smoothish if you prefer) – you might have to do this in batches.

Ladle into warm bowls and drizzle with cream if you like.

(Original recipe from Lose Weight for Good by Tom Kerridge, Absolute Press, 2017.)

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