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Posts Tagged ‘Nigel Slater’

Spicy fish soup

We often have fish on Fridays. It’s quick to cook and light enough that we’ve room for cheese afterwards. Mussels are a favourite too and they’re fantastic value. This soup by Nigel Slater is crammed with them, and full of flavour.

Wine suggestion:  an old favourite white wine, the always versatile ALLO by Quinta Soalheiro. Light bodied so it doesn’t overwhelm the delicate play of flavours in the dish, but textured and concentrated at the same time. A wine that is the sommeliers’ secret weapon for matching.

Spiced fish soup – serves 2

  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded, chuck any with broken shells or that don’t close when you give them a sharp tap
  • 2 large banana shallots, peeled and separated into layers
  • a splash of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 250g white fish fillet – we used hake – cut into 4 pieces
  • a handful of chopped coriander

Put the cleaned mussels into a large pan and add 500ml of water. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and cook until the mussels have opened (a couple of minutes).

Remove the mussels from the liquid but keep the cooking water, you need to strain this through a fine sieve. Remove the mussels from the shells and set aside.

Heat a splash of oil in a deep frying pan, then fry the shallots over a gentle heat until softened. Add the mustard seeds, chilli powder and turmeric, and continue cooking for another few minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.

Pour in the reserved mussel stock, bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Lay the pieces of fish in the liquid and cook briefly until opaque (just a couple of minutes should do it). Return the mussels to the pan, season to taste with salt, and stir in the coriander.

(Original recipe from Eat by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

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Nigel's Bolognese

We love cookbooks that divide recipes up by the month of year. You can pick them off the shelf and get some instant inspiration that suits the weather conditions and what’s available. This is how we came to make this spaghetti bolognese, from Nigel Slater’s original Kitchen Diaries, on a cold night in January. We don’t usually add mushrooms to our Bolognese but they were really good here. Serve with some sort of long pasta (or penne if that’s what you’ve got) and loads of Parmesan.

Wine suggestion: we really enjoyed Michele Biancardi’s Ponteviro Primitivo from Puglia with this: wonderfully fresh and with a herbal spice as opposed to jam which appeals to our tastes.

A really good spaghetti Bolognese – serves 4

  • 50g butter
  • 70g cubed pancetta
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 large flat mushrooms (about 100g), finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400g beef mince
  • 200ml passata
  • 200ml red wine
  • 200ml stock
  • a nutmeg
  • 200ml full-cream milk or cream
  • spaghetti or tagliatelle (to serve)
  • grated Parmesan (to serve)

Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan, then stir in the pancetta and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes to soften, then add the carrots and celery and continue to cook. When they have softened a bit, add the mushrooms, tuck in the bay leaves and cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat, stirring now and then.

Turn the heat up and add the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Leave to cook for 3-4 minutes until the bottom starts to brown, the stir again and leave to colour.

When the meat is well browned, add the tomatoes, red wine, stock, a grating of the nutmeg and some salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a bare bubble. Partially cover with a lid and leave to cook for 60-90 minutes, stirring now and then. Add a bit of extra liquid if it looks dry at any point.

Gradually add the milk/cream, then continue to cook for another 20 minutes. Season to taste and serve with the pasta and Parmesan.

(Original recipe from

 

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We’re all about creamy sauces, gratins and roasts at this time of the year. This is a great Friday night pasta dish by Nigel Slater with all the roast chicken flavour but quick to put together.

Wine suggestion: this really needs a full bodied white wine with texture. We naturally fall towards Chardonnay when thinking this, but the Languedoc one we had in the fridge we knew was easy drinking but not able to stand up to the food despite it being fuller bodied. Luckily we also had Vouvray made by Vincent and Tania Carême from our holidays earlier this year, and despite it being “tendre” or off-dry, it was a delight and an excellent match. The key was the texture even with the residual sugars left in the wine.

Roast chicken pasta – serves 4 generously

  • 4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg chicken thighs
  • 300g fusilli or trofie pasta
  • 7g tarragon, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 10g parsley, leaves stripped and chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 75g pine nuts, toasted
  • 500ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

Bash the rosemary, peppercorns and a tsp of sea salt in a pestle and mortar until you have a coarse powder, then blend in the olive oil.

Put the chicken thighs in a roasting tin, then pour over the rosemary mixture and rub to coat all over. Put into the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta in plenty of salty water according to the timings on the pack.

Remove the chicken from the bones, keeping it in large chunks if you can and catching any meaty juices.

Mix the tarragon, parsley, lemon and toasted pine nuts together.

Put the roasting tin over a medium heat, add the cream to the tin and stir to scrape all the crusty bits off the tin. When the cream starts to bubble, add the cooked pasta and chicken. Season with black pepper.

Serve the pasta in bowls with the pine nut and herb mixture scattered over the top.

(Original recipe by Nigel Slater in The Guardian, Sunday 1st December 2019)

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Brussel sprout & smoked cheese gratin

We need no encouragement to eat more Brussels sprouts, but we will certainly be making this dish again from Nigel Slater’s Greenfeast. It is super indulgent and would work well in small portions as a side dish – though we just had huge platefuls for dinner.

Wine Suggestion: A fresh and young Chardonnay with a hint of oak  would be our choice. Tonight the Domaine Ventenac, Les Dissidents Préjugés from Cabardès in the Languedoc, made in large oak barrels (20hl) and grown on clay; crisp with mineral textures and a round vibrant core. A wine to help break the prejudice some people have for this grape.

Brussels sprouts, smoked mozzarella and dill – serves 3 (or more as a side dish)

  • 300g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
  • 40g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 15g dill, chopped
  • 250g smoked mozzarella, cut into thick slices
  • 250ml double cream

FOR THE CRUMBS:

  • 40g butter
  • a handful of coarse breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp chopped dill

Heat the oven to 200ºC/Gas 6.

Warm the butter and olive oil in a shallow pan, then add the sprouts and cook for 2 minutes. They should turn bright green. Stir in the dill and season with black pepper.

Put half the sprouts in a baking dish and add most of the mozzarella. Put the rest of the Brussels sprouts and cheese over the top.

To make the crumbs: warm the butter in a shallow pan, add the crumbs and cook until golden, then stir in the dill. Pour the cream over the sprouts and cheese and top with a layer of breadcrumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned and bubbling.

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

 

 

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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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Chicken patties with rosemary & pancetta

Try these delicious chicken patties by Nigel Slater. Some of our favourite dishes are those where a sticky caramelised crust forms in the pan. Nigel suggests some lemon wedges and a spinach salad to serve.

Wine Suggestion: a 100% Grenache red actually is the business with this dish. While we see Grenache in quite a lot of blends when on it’s own it has a lovely spice, and if not too alcoholic and jammy (it ripens to high levels if untamed) a wonderful lightness of touch with soft, velvety tannins. If you’re exceptionally lucky an old (15-20yo) Chateau Rayas would be a treat. We drank, instead, the delightful l’O du Joncier Cotes du Rhone made by Marine Roussel in Lirac; a biodynamic, wild yeast treat that both treads lightly on the earth and tastes great.

Chicken patties with rosemary & pancetta – serves 2-3

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • a thick slice of butter
  • 100g cubed pancetta
  • leaves from 3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 450g chicken mince (if you have a mincer buy some chicken thighs and mince your own)
  • groundnut oil for frying
  • 250ml chicken stock

Warm the butter over a medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the onions and cook until softened and golden. Stir in the pancetta and rosemary and cook for a few minutes or until coloured. Empty the contents of the pan into a large bowl and allow to cool a bit.

Add the chicken mince to the onion mixture, season generously with pepper and a little salt, and mix well (your hands are the best tool for this). Shape the mixture into six little burgers and set aside for about 30 minutes to rest.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/Gas 5.

Wipe the onion pan clean with a piece of kitchen towel and put back on the heat until hot. Add a small amount of oil and brown the patties for about 3 minutes on each side, then transfer to an ovenproof dish. Pour the stock into the dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the patties are sizzling and the stock bubbling. Serve with some of the hot stock spooned over.

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

 

 

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Smoked Haddock witha creamy green lentil stew

The pictures just don’t do justice with how delicious this dish tasted; highly recommended!

Wine Suggestion: Try complementing the smoky fish with an oaked white such as a New World Chardonnay.

Smoked haddock with lentils – serves 2

  • 250ml double cream
  • 350g piece of smoked haddock, skin removed
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • a thick slice of butter
  • 150g green lentils
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • a large handful of chopped parsley

Put the cream in a shallow pan. Add the haddock, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then turn off and cover with a lid.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Cook the carrot and onion in the butter for about 5 minutes, then add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are almost soft, then stir in the cream from the fish. Continue cooking until the liquid has reduced to just cover the lentils.

Add the parsley and season. Divide the lentils between two dishes and serve the haddock on top.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s Eat: The little book of fast food, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

 

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Creamy Madeira Chicken

The inspiration for this dish comes from Nigel Slater who has written a book full of ideas with very few ingredients and lots of flavour.

Wine suggestion: Madeira is a fortified Portuguese which tends to have good levels of acidity and is noted for lasting forever, even when open. This is a wine which is also nice to drink and would pair well with this dish, otherwise we would try a southern white Burgundy for a round, richer touch, or a very good New World Chardonnay where the ripeness and balance is is in great harmony.

Creamy Madeira Chicken – to serve 2

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • a little seasoned flour
  • a thick slice of butter
  • a glass of Madeira
  • 4 tbsp double cream

Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of cling film and bash with a rolling pin, or similar weapon, to flatten.

Dust the chicken with the seasoned flour.

Melt the butter in a shallow pan, add the chicken and cook briefly on both sides until golden. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the Madeira to the pan and let it bubble while you scrape any chicken residue from the bottom of the pan. When the liquid has reduced by half, stir in the double cream, then season and simmer briefly.

(Original recipe from Eat: the little book of fast food by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

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A very easy and delicious cake that’s perfect for using the bananas that have gone black in the fruit bowl. It’s even worth letting them go black for! We made this twice in a week and are tempted to make it again soon.

Chocolate and Banana Cake 

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125g softened butter
  • 235g muscovado sugar
  • 400g (peeled weight) very ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g dark chocolate

You need a non-stick loaf tin approx. 24cm x 12cm x 7cm deep, lined with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4.

Sift the flour and baking powder together.

Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale coffee coloured.

Put the bananas in a bowl and mash with a fork, lumps are ok as you don’t want a purée. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Beat the eggs lightly with a fork then beat them into the butter and sugar mixture. If it threatens to curdle add a spoonful of flour.

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and fold them and the bananas into the butter and sugar mixture. Gently fold in the flour and baking powder.

Scrape the mixture into the baking tin and bake for about 50 minutes. Check that it is cooked by inserting a metal skewer into the centre. If it is moist but clean then the cake is ready. If there is any sign of wet cake mixture on the skewer, return the cake to the oven for a few more minutes. Cover the surface with foil if it starts getting too dark.

Leave the cake to settle in the tin for about 15 minutes, then loosen sides with a palette knife and carefully lift the cake out. Leave to cool for a bit longer before peeling off the paper. Serve cool.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries II, Fourth Estate, 2012.)

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We made this sauce as an incidental side to some duck legs and the side trumped the main … so much so that the legs will not be reviewed but this sauce definitely will! The revelation for us is the baking of the apples whole which seems to add something special.

Apple and blackberry sauce – to serve 4 (or more) on the side

  • 4 large Bramley apples
  • 150g blackberries
  • a little icing sugar
Score the skin of the apples round the middle to prevent explosions and put them in a baking dish. Bake at 180ºC/Gas 4 or thereabouts for about 40 minutes or until they have puffed up and the apple is soft and frothy.

Put the blackberries into a small pan with a tbsp of water and bring to the boil. Crush lightly with a fork.

Scrape the apple flesh off the skins into a bowl. Beat the sugar in with a fork and stir in the crushed blackberries.

(Original recipe by Nigel Slater, Tender: Volume II, Fourth Estate, 2010).

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Jono liked this so much he swears that if he’d been on his own he would have scoffed the lot! The combination of lamb shoulder, spices, apricots and preserved lemons give this dish such richly and multi-layered flavours that are all exceptionally well balanced and moreish. Make the most of fresh apricots while we can get them!

This needs time to marinate which will add even more depth of flavour and tastiness, but if you forget even a short marinating time will still give a very nice result.

Lamb Tagine with Apricots (serves 4)

  • 1kg lamb shoulder, diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 60g sultanas
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 750 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 350g fresh apricots
  • 1 preserved lemon, pulp discarded and skin finely chopped
  • 1 handful coriander leaves, torn
  • 1 small handful mint leaves, torn

Mix ground spices thoroughly together then toss lamb in half the ground spices and leave for at least 4 hours, but try to marinate from the night before (we didn’t read the recipe properly so didn’t marinade it at all and it was still fab!).

Heat oven to 160C/Gas 3. Warm olive oil gently in a deep, heavy-based casserole and add seasoned meat in small batches; brown on all sides and then remove. Next add the onions and garlic with the remaining spices and soften, stirring regularly. Add a little more oil if it dries too much because of the spices. Be careful to moderate the heat as you don’t want to burn the spices.

Add sultanas, honey, saffron, stock, tomatoes and whole apricots and then return the meat to the pan. Bring to the boil, season with salt and black pepper, cover with a lid and place into the oven.

Cook for 2.5 hours.

Remove tagine and stir in the preserved lemon. Lift meat out with a slotted spoon and boil sauce over a high heat until reduced and thick.

Return meat to sauce and stir in the coriander and mint.

Serve with couscous.

[Original recipe from Nigel Slater: Tender Volume II (fruits)]

Wine suggestion: a lighter Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s 2009 vintage. This vintage is excellent all the way across NZ so that even the €6.00 Tesco Finest: Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 was a delight; and a complete bargain! (Thanks Michael!)

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We cooked this for a veggie dinner party and it was really tasty. There’s a lot of stages involved so leave yourself plenty of time. We cooked it in the morning and reheated it on the hob while we steamed the rice and that worked well. You might want to ease up on the chilli depending on your audience – it’s quite hot.

Spicy aubergine stew – to feed 6 generously

  • 1 kg aubergines
  • 3 medium onions
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 big garlic cloves
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 2 rounded tsp turmeric
  • 10 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 x 400ml tins coconut milk
  • 4 finely chopped red chillies (or less if you like it milder)
  • a small bunch of mint
  • a bigger handful of coriander
Cut the aubergines into big chunks and tip them into a colander, put it in the sink and sprinkle sea salt all over. Leave them for a minimum of half an hour.
Crush the cardamom pods with the flat blade of a knife and shake out the little seeds into a mortar. Add the coriander seeds and the peppercorns and grind them to a coarse powder.
Peel and roughly chop the onions, then cook them in a very large pan over a moderate heat until they are soft and translucent.
Thinly slice the garlic. Peel the ginger and cut it into thin matchsticks. Stir the garlic and ginger into the onions with the turmeric and ground spices. Add the tomatoes.
Rinse the aubergine of their salt and pat dry. Grill them on a ridged cast-iron pan until they start to soften and have griddle marks all over. This will take many batches. Add them to the onions, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
Add the coconut milk, chillies and some salt and simmer for 45 minutes. The aubergines should be very soft but not falling apart.
Lift out the aubergines, tomatoes and some of the onion with a draining spoon. Reduce the rest of the sauce by boiling hard for 5 minutes. Now ladle most, but not all, of the sauce into a blender and whizz until smooth and thick (watch you don’t scald yourself – we used a stick blender in a separate pot).
Return the vegetables and sauce to the original pot, then chop the fresh herbs and stir them in with a final seasoning of salt and pepper.
Serve with steamed rice.
(Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s Tender Volume 1)

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We’re moving house this week and next week we’re getting married so we don’t reckon there will be much cooking done. Don’t worry we’ll be back mid-May after eating lots of great food and drinking lots of wine in Tuscany. In the mean time enjoy this cause we did!

Baked salmon with smoked pancetta – to serve 4

  • 4 pieces of salmon fillet, about 540g in total
  • 12 thin slices of smoked pancetta
  • 4 bay leaves
Heat the oven to 230C/fan 210C/Gas 8.
Take the skin off the salmon and wrap each piece in 3 slices of pancetta, tuck the ends underneath.
Lay the fish in an ovenproof dish and tuck a bay leaf between the fish and pancetta.
Lightly brush with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pancetta is golden.
Serve with minty peas and new potatoes.
Simple and the salmon stays wonderfully moist and picks up the smoky flavour.
(Original recipe from Nigel Slater, printed in Sainsbury’s magazine).

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It’s another Irish Food Bloggers Association Cookalong and this time the theme is Irish. We were tempted to do an Irish stew but thought that was a bit obvious, we thought about beef and Guinness but that’s not all that original either and then to make things more difficult we invited a vegetarian for dinner.  It was then that we thought about using some Irish cheese as the base for a dish and after eating many variations of cheese and pastry all week we came up with this. Irish potatoes, leeks and a west Cork Cheddar all baked up in a pie. Delicious!!

Serves 4-6

  • 650g waxy potatoes
  • 750g leeks
  • 50g butter
  • 200ml creme fraiche
  • 180g Bandon Vale Vintage Cheddar, grated
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 500g puff pastry
  • beaten egg for glazing

Heat the oven to 200C.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices. Boil in plenty of salted water until tender (it’s ok if they go a bit mushy).

Meanwhile, throw away the very green bit of the leeks and slice the rest into rings. Wash really well in cold water to get rid of any grit.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the leeks. Cover and cook over low-medium heat until tender – about 20 minutes.

Mix the  leeks, potatoes, creme fraiche and cheddar and season well with salt, pepper and a little bit of nutmeg.

Roll the pastry into two rectangles (about the size of your baking sheet).

Pile the potato mixture into the middle  of one sheet and leave a good rim around the edge. Brush the edges with beaten egg and lay second piece of pastry over the top and press the edges down, pinching firmly to seal. Trim off any excess.

Brush all over with the egg and cut 3 or 4 slits along the width of the top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater Tender Vol 1 – A tart of leeks and cheese)

Wine suggestion: A full-bodied white was nice with this. We had a Santenay Blanc followed by an oaked Semillon from the Clare Valley.

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Each time we see this recipe in Nigel Slater’s Tender Vol. 1 we salivate. We had almost forgotten about Brussels sprouts after having so many over Christmas. Just as well we caught them while still in season cause we definitely weren’t prepared to wait another year to try this. Stick a dish of these down in front of someone who doesn’t like sprouts and we defy them not to like them.

These were perfect with our barbecued striploin steaks (as ever from Tom in O’Toole’s in Glasthule village) though Nigel suggests they could also be served as a main with pasta – Jono has already swiped the leftovers to try with pasta for his lunch tomorrow!

A rich dish of sprouts and cheese for a very cold night (serves 4 as a side dish)

  • 750g Brussels sprouts
  • butter
  • 180g blue cheese – we used Colston Bassett Stilton
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 400ml cream
  • 100ml milk
  • a handful of finely grated Parmesan

Prep your sprouts and cut them in half. Bring a large pot of water to a fast boil, salt lightly, and drop in the sprouts. Bring back to the boil and time for 3 minutes. Drain well and place them in a lightly buttered, shallow, ovenproof dish.

Crumble the blue cheese over the sprouts.

Put the mustard in a bowl and stir in cream, milk and a good twist of black pepper. Stir and then pour over your sprouts. Scatter the Parmesan over the top and bake at 180C/gas 4 until lightly coloured and bubbling (about 15-20 minutes).

Yum!!!!

 

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Inspired by Nigel Slater … and because leeks are in season and we love leeks!

We made this last night for Julie’s parents, and after a weekend up in Belfast; a success as it was creamy and flavoursome and had a great freshness from the peppercorns.

So if you’d like to try for yourself:

  • Turn on oven to 150°C
  • Trim 650g leeks, wash and slice into 2cm slices. Warm 40g butter in a large, heavy based casserole dish. Add leeks and cook, covered for 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Lift out leeks and set aside.
  • Heat up pan again until hot and then add 500g cubed pork. Colour lightly on all sides and then remove and add to leeks.
  • Halve or quarter 500g mushrooms and add to the same casserole dish and fry until golden – add a little extra butter if you need as we did.
  • Return leeks and pork to the casserole and scatter 1 tablespoon plain flour and cook for a minute or two.
  • Slowly add 500ml hot stock (we used chicken) and then stir in 2 bay leaves and season generously with salt & pepper.
  • Bring slowly to the boil, cover and transfer to oven. Cook until tender for about 60 minutes.
  • Chop a small bunch of parsley and stir into casserole with 4 teaspoons of green peppercorns in brine (rinsed) and 140ml double cream.
  • return to oven for a further 5 minutes.
  • Serve with unbuttered potatoes and a little veg and enjoy 🙂

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