Posts Tagged ‘Sage’

Roast Guinea Fowl with sage and lemon mash

Our butcher had some guinea fowl on the counter and February is the month for a two person dish. This 1.2 kg bird gave enough for two people plus delicious sandwiches the following day.  Guinea fowl tastes like really flavoursome chicken so a good way to try out game birds with tastes that aren’t too unfamiliar. Don’t worry too much about the size of your bird, just follow the usual timings for roast chicken.

Wine suggestion: if you’d like a white wine seek out the Sartarelli Verdicchio Superiore Tralivio or for a red an earthy Pinot Noir like the Sylvain Loichet Cotes du Nuits Villages. Neither will disappoint.

Roast guinea fowl with sage & lemon mash – serves 2

  • 1 small guinea fowl, about 1kg
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced with the skin left on
  • ½ a small bunch of sage
  • 75g softened butter
  • 1 small lemon, zested
  • 6 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 350ml strong chicken stock
  • 350g floury potatoes peeled and cut in to large chunks
  • 2-3 tbsp cream/milk
  • 2 handfuls of watercress to serve

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

Put the onion in the bottom of a small roasting tin that will fit the guinea fowl snugly. Finely chop 5 sage leaves and mix with 50g of the butter, the lemon zest and seasoning. Push some of the butter mixture under the skin of the bird, then rub the rest all over. Stretch the bacon strips over the breast, then halve the zested lemon and put inside the cavity with the remaining sage. Place the bird on top of the onions and roast for 15 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and continue to roast for another 35-45 minutes or longer if your bird is bigger than 1kg. Check the bird is cooked by piercing the inside of the thigh and making sure the juices are clear.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until tender, then drain and mash with the remaining butter and a splash of milk/cream.

Lift the bird onto a platter and keep warm. Scoop the lemon halves from the cavity and keep aside. Pour the roasting juice into a jug and leave to settle, the fat will rise to the top. Spoon 1 tbsp of the fat back into the tin. Put the tin over a low heat and stir in the flour. Gradually add the stock and any meat juices (discard the extra fat from the jug). Mash some of the reserved lemon pulp into the mash with some salt and pepper.

Carve the bird and serve with the lemon mash, gravy and watercress.

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


Roast Guinea Fowl with sage and lemon mash 2



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Penne Stilton

We often have lumps of leftover Stilton in the fridge after the weekend and particularly after Christmas. If you find yourself in a similar situation try this simple pasta dish for a mid-week dinner. If that doesn’t solve the problem here’s a few other ideas:

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

Creamy baked Brussels sprouts with stilton

Pasta with Blue Cheese Cream

Roussillon Baked Potatoes

Pork and Pears

Wine Suggestion: delicious with the Bott-Geyl Points Cardinal Metiss, a dry but rich and full white made from all the Pinot varieties you can think of, including the red and pink ones. When young this wine is fresh and enticing but with an extra year in the bottle it fills out and the aromas seem to ramp up a bit more with hints of honey, pears and apples and a lovely dry spice on the palate. More than a match for the powerful flavour of Stilton.

Stilton & Penne Pasta – serves 4

  • 400g penne pasta
  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
  • 100g Stilton, cubed
  • handful toasted walnuts, chopped

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then gently fry the onion until golden. Add the garlic and sage, fry for a further 2 mins, then remove the pan from the heat.

Drain the pasta and reserve some cooking water. Stir through the onions, Stilton and 2 tbsp cooking water, then sprinkle with the toasted walnuts to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Sage brings an unexpected element to this soup that really works. Super warming and homely.

Pumpkin and sage soup – to serve 8

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped sage
  • 1.4kg of pumpkin or squash flesh
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock

Melt the oil and butter in a large pot. Add the onions and sage and cook gently for about 15 minutes or until really soft. Add the squash and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the honey and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is soft.

Cook before processing until smooth. Season and add a bit more stock if its too thick. Reheat to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This chicken in this is so juicy and flavoursome and would be great for crowds as well as a quiet night at home. You could grill them but we recommend you get the barbecue out – it will warm your hands against all this cold winter weather!

Sage & Lemon Chicken Skewers – to serve 4

  • 3 skinless chicken breasts
  • olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • a handful of sage leaves

Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes and toss with a little olive oil, the garlic and the lemon zest and juice. Season well. Thread onto 4 metal skewers, alternating chicken with sage.

Grill for about 5 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked.

Wine Suggestion: Something simple, light and lemony is all that is required here. We had an Italian white, made from the Falanghina grape, which was yummy.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, January 2013)

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Simple dishes like this show off the flavours of the ingredients so well. This is a perfect dinner party side dish. Don’t worry too much about the sprout haters – more for us!!

Buttery Sage & Onion Sprouts – to serve 8 

  • 85g butter
  • 3 onions, cut into thickish slices
  • 8 sage leaves, chopped
  • 350g Brussels sprouts
  • 200g frozen peas

Heat half the butter in a large frying pan and soften the onions over a low heat for about 15 minutes. You want them really soft but not brown. Add most of the sage.

Meanwhile, cook the sprouts in a pan of boiling water for about 4 minutes, add the peas and cook for another minute or until just tender.

Drain, reserving splash of water, then add the sprouts to the peas and onions, along with the rest of the butter, stirring well so everything is coated in butter. Add the reserved cooking water if you think it needs it.

Season with loads of black pepper and some salt and sprinkle the reserved sage on top.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Jamie Oliver recommends you practice this recipe before serving for a crowd and we agree. We cooked this about a year ago for our friends Rob and Megan and while the flavours and presentation were great we made the pasta just a bit too thick. Second time around we slimmed down the pasta, with the help of our new pasta machine and it improved dramatically, but we miscalculated the width so had to trim the rotolo after rolling. So Jono’s tips for success:

  • You need a fish kettle;
  • make the pasta very thin, but not quite as thin as usual (we used setting 6 instead of 8). Jamie says the thickness of a beer mat, but make it a fraction thinner than this;
  • measure the width of your rotolo against the fish kettle before constructing it – allow a little of pasta at the edge to keep it sealed nicely; and
  • this takes ages, but it’s really worth it, tastes great and looks super impressive.

First you need to make some fresh pasta so here’s a recipe for that:

  • 600g type 00 flour
  • 6 eggs or 12 yolks (the 12 yolks makes a richer, more yellow pasta)
Put the flour on a board, make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into the well. Use a fork to beat the eggs until smooth. Mix the eggs with the flour as much as possible so it’s not too sticky and start to knead. It’s actually quite hard to knead pasta dough but keep at it for about 10 minutes and it will come together and form a smooth, silky and elastic dough. Cover with cling film and rest for an hour.
Rotolo di zucca e ricota (Rotolo of spinach and ricotta)
  • 455g fresh egg pasta dough (see above)
  • half a butternut squash, deseeded
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • half a dried red chilli or half a tsp of chilli flakes
  • a handful of fresh marjoram or oregano
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 800g spinach, washed
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • a third of a nutmeg, grated
  • 150g ricotta cheese, crumbled
  • 55g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 20 fresh sage leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. Chop the squash into big chunks and rub them with a little olive oil. Bash coriander seeds, fennel seeds and chilli in a mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Dust this over the squash and put into a snug fitting roasting dish or tray. Cover with a piece of damp greaseproof paper and roast for 30 minutes. Take off the paper and continue to roast for another 15-20 minutes or until golden.
  2. Heat a large pan and add a little olive oil, the marjoram or oregano and the garlic. Toss around for 20 seconds before adding the spinach. Keep moving the spinach and add a couple of knobs of butter and the nutmeg after a minute or two. Cook until the moisture has cooked away, then season to taste and leave to cool.
  3. Roll the pasta using a pasta machine into long thin strips (see tip above). Stick the strips together using a little water. Keep it in a rectangular shape but trim off as you need. Lay onto a  clean tea towel (remember to measure the long side against your kettle).
  4. Spoon a line of squash along the long edge of the sheet. Sprinkle the spinach over the rest of the sheet leaving the top 5cm clear. Crumble the ricotta over the spinach and sprinkle over the Parmesan. Brush the clear edge of the pasta with a little water then use the near edge of the tea towel to roll the pasta up and away from you. Roll up in the tea towel and tie firmly at the end with kitchen string. Tie a few bits of string round the middle too to keep the shape and tie an extra bit of string at one end so it can hang out of the kettle and act as a handle.
  5. Fill the fish kettle with boiling salted water. Lower the rotolo in and use the fish kettle rack on top to keep it submerged. Simmer for at least 25 minutes.
  6. While the rotolo is cooking you need to clarify some butter. Put the remainder of the butter into an ovenproof dish and put in a low oven (about 80C/170F) for about 10 minutes or until clear and melted. The milky whey will have sunk to the bottom, discard any white bits from the top and spoon out the clear butter. Discard the whey. You’ll have too much but the leftovers can be used for roast potatoes another day.
  7. Put 3 tbsp of clarified butter into a small pan and heat it up. Add a sage leaf and if it fries nicely add the rest of the leaves and fry until they start to crisp. Keep to one side.
  8. Carefully remove the rotolo from the pan, remove the string, unroll the tea towel and slice it up. A couple of slices per portion. Scatter sage leaves and drizzle with the sage flavoured butter and grate some Parmesan over. Serve with a leafy salad.
(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy)

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