Sunday, July 24, 2005

Roasted Tomato Soup

A glug of Olive Oil to roast the tomatoes
1 Kilo Plum Tomatoes, halved (Any tomatoes will do, as long as they are good quality)
1 Onion, thinly sliced
4 Garlic Cloves, halved
Small Handful of Thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon Caster Sugar
Small handful of Basil sprigs
1 ltr Chicken stock
Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper

1) Preheat the oven to 220c, Gas 7.
2) Pour oil into a roasting tin and heat in the oven.
3) Tip tomatoes, onion rings and garlic into the warm tin. Coat in all the oil. Add the Thyme and sprinkle over sugar, salt and pepper.
4) Roast in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes until nicely caramelised. Add the Basil towards the end of cooking.
5) Heat the stock.
6) Add the tomato mixture to the stock, removing the thyme. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
7) Blitz with a food processor and sieve it, this gets rid of the bitter tomato pips.
8) Garnish with sour cream/garlic croutons/whatever you fancy.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Beef Bourguignon

Serves 6
Preparation time overnight (or even 48 hours)
Cooking time 1 to 3 hours (longer in a slow cooker)
Cook this the day before and reheat it, the flavours will be even better.

900g chuck or braising steak, cut into 5cm pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sticks celery, rough chopped
1 bottle red burgundy wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally (more if you fancy, I do)
4 bay leaves
50g unsalted butter
250g of smoked bacon or pancetta
450g shallots, peeled
2 tbsp plain flour
400g chestnut mushrooms
300ml beef stock (if you've got it, otherwise use a stock cube)
A good glug of brandy (not essential, but helps)
freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

1] Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the carrot, onion and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, thyme, garlic and 2 bay leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

2] Place the cubed beef in a large bowl and pour over the wine marinade. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. This is known as a cook marinade.

3] Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2. Drain the beef from the marinade into a colander over a glass bowl. Reserve the marinade and set aside.

4] Heat 25g butter and 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan. Add the bacon and cook until golden and brown. Add the shallots and transfer to a large casserole dish.

5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Pat dry the cubes of beef from the marinade mixture using absorbent kitchen paper. Add half of the beef to the pan and cook until brown on all sides (don't crowd the beef in the pan ortherwise it will stream and not fry). Remove the beef and transfer to the casserole dish with the bacon and shallots. Repeat with the remaining beef and add to the casserole dish.

6. Stir in the plain flour and stir quickly. Glug in some of the reserved marinade mixture to deglaze and remove any sediment from the pan. Pour into the casserole dish.

7. Add the remaining marinade mixture and beef stock into the casserole dish.

8. Bring to the boil, cover and place in the oven for 3 hours or so, until the beef is very tender.

9. Halfway through cooking, heat the remaining oil and butter in a large frying pan and cook the mushrooms until brown. Add the brandy and cook for a few minutes.

10. Add the mushrooms to the casserole dish, stir and return to the oven the remaining cooking time.

11. Serve with new potatoes, sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley and purple sprouting broccoli if you can get some.

Notes: Obviously this is great with creamey made mash potato (or Dauphinois)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Broccoli Stir-fried with ginger and garlic

1-2 large heads ordinary broccoli 675g
2.5 tablespoons of veg oil
2 thin slices of ginger
1.5 teaspoons salt
3 garlic cloves crushed
3 tablespoons veg stock
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1) Cut the broccoli into slim 4cm lengths. Peel the larger stalks and cut them across into 3mm slices.if using ordinary broccoli all the stalks need to be peeled and sliced and the head cut into delecate florets.
2)Heat the oil in the wok.
3)when hot put in the ginger. Stir once, add the broccoli, salt and garlic.stir vigorously for a minute, or until the broccoli turns bright green.
4)add the stock. cover and cook on high heat for about 1.5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
5)add the sesame oil and mix. serve immediatly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Chicken Tikka Masala

for 4 - 35 mins + 2+ Hours to marinade

450g Boneless Chicken Meat
150g Natural Yoghurt
2tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1tbsp Finely Grated Ginger
2tsp Garam masala
Half tsp Ground Cumin
1tsp Cayenne Powder
1tsp Salt
2tbsp Vegetable Oil

2tbsp Butter
2tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, Finely Chopped
1tbsp Finely Grated Ginger
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1tbsp Cayenne Powder
2tsp Garam masala
1tsp Ground Cumin
1tsp Salt
800g Canned Chopped Tomatoes
150ml Single Cream
Fresh Corriander

1) Cut the meat into big cubes, about 5cm square.
2) Mix the yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, spices, salt and veg oil in a non-reactive bowl and mix well.
3) Add in the chicken, mix, and marinade for 2 hours or more.
4) Preheat oven to 230c/450f/gas 8.
5) Arrange on a lightly oiled rack over a tray and bake for 12 mins or until charred.

1) Heat the butter and soften the onions.
2) Add the Ginger and Garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
3) Add the spices and cook for 2 minutes.
4) Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, untill the oil comes to the surface.
5) Gradually add the cream. stirring constantly, without boiling.
6) Add the chicken to the sauce and gently simmer for 5 minutes.
7) Serve with fresh corriander.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Chilli Steak

Fillet steak

Soy sauce

Mash, chop, mix. Pour over the just cooked steaks.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Honey and Mustard Chicken with Corn Pancakes

Serves 1-2
Preparation time less than 30 mins (Better if you canmarinade the chicken for and hour or so)
Cooking time 10 to 30 min

This also works well on a low heat barbeque.

For the chicken:
1 chicken breast, skin removed and cut into strips
30g grainy mustard
30g honey
1 tbsp olive oil

For the corn pancakes:
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cornflour
55ml milk
85g sweetcorn kernels (canned)
30g butter

1) Place the chicken, mustard and honey in a small bowl. Mix well. Levae to sit for an hour.
2) Preheat a wok and a medium non-stick frying pan.
3) Heat the olive oil in the wok. Add the chicken and its mustard and honey marinade. Fry for 3 minutes before transferring the chicken to the oven to cook for a further 8 minutes.
4) While the chicken is in the oven, prepare the pancakes.
5) Place the egg, flour, baking and corn powder and milk in a large bowl. Stir well to combine.
6) Add the corn. Stir well.
7) Heat the butter in the frying pan.
8) Pour a small amount of the pancake batter into the frying pan. Fry for 2 minutes, either side.
9) Repeat until the batter is finished. Add more butter if the pan gets dry.
10) Serve the chicken with the corn pancakes and maybe a crunchy salad.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Lamb Tagine

Prep Time: 15 Minutes.
Cook Time: 2 Hours .
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and sliced into rings
2 pounds lamb meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 pears - peeled, cored and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds

1 Heat the oil in your Tagine (or just use a large pot with a tight fitting lid) over medium heat. Fry the onion in the oil until soft. Add the lamb meat to the pan, and fry until just browned on the outside. Season with cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Pour just enough water into the pot to cover the meat. Cover, and simmer over low heat (VERY low - Try Oven next time) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until meat is tender and the mixture is stew-like. Displace lid a little after an hour if there appears to be too much liquid.
2 Add the pears, golden raisins and almonds to the stew, and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the pears are soft. Serve with rice.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Macaroni Cheese

250g Macaroni
50g Butter
3 Tablespoon of Flour (Preferably Italian 00)
Half tea-spoon English Mustard
600ml full-fat milk
200g Cheddar, grated

1) Butter a casserole dish.
2) Boil the water, salt and throw in the Macaroni
3) Add the butter to the pan, melt it and add the flour, cook for a few minutes.
4) Warm the milk and off the heat, beat into the pan. Add the mustard.
5) Cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time.
6) Just before the macoroni is cooked, add in the cheese to the pan and stir.
7) Drain the macoroni thoroughly and add to the sauce.
8) Taste for seasoning.
9) Pour into the casserole dish.
10) Grill until browned.
11) Let to sit for 5 mins to cool.

Freeze without cheese ontop.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Mushroom And Mozzarella Calzone

Variations: Try adding sliced green olives or sauteed bacon, or instead of the mushrooms use roasted peppers, or seeded and diced tomatoes with basil.

225g Plain Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp easy blend yeast
85 ml Milk
1 tsp olive oil, plus extra for the bowl

3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Clove garlic, finely chopped
3 Shallots, finely sliced
Large pinch red chili flakes
250g mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 tbsp each of finely chopped parsley and chives
1 tsp lemon thyme, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 mozzarella, finely diced
30g finely grated parmesan

1) Sift flour and salt into mixing bowl. Stir in yeast, milk and 50ml tepid water.
2) Mix together until smooth, turn out and knead thouroughly until silky smooth. Roughly flatten, make a few indentations , pour over 1 tsp olive oil and fold the dough over, until oil is absorbed.
3)shape into a ball, oil lightly and put in a large bowl cover with clingfilm. Set aside for 2hours.
4)Heat the oil in the frying pan gently fry garlic, shallots and chillies for 5 minutes.Then add the mushrooms and fry to get rid of the moisture
5)Tip mixture into bowl and add the herbs let it cool then add the cheese.
6)Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat.
7)Divide the dough into 4 roll each into a ball and then roll each into a pancake 17cm wide place a quarter of the stuffing on one half of the pancake leave a 2 1/2 cm margin brush the edge of the little water fold over the dough and pinch the edges together place on the baking tray and bake for 8-10 mins brush with some olive oil after cooking.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Onion Pie with Jarlsberg and Thyme

2 tbsp unsalted butter
4/5 red onions, cut into 0.5in slices
4 Garlic cloves, sliced
1 Bay leaf
5 Black peppercorns
2/3 whole cloves
Sea Salt
1 Sheet puff pastry
110g grated jarlsberg, gouda, parmesan or gruyere cheese

1) Heat the butter in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and cloves and lower heat to medium-low.
2) Cook for 20 mins, or until the onions are soft but not brown. Season with salt.
3) Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/Gas 6. Line a medium sized, oven-proof dish with the puff pastry.
4) Remove and discard the cloves, peppercorns and bay leaf.
5) Place the onions in the dish and add the grated cheese and 1 tsp of the thyme.
6) Bake on the lowest rack for 15 mins or until golden brown.
7) Sprinkle on the rest of the thyme and serve.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Onion, Prosciutto and Taleggio Tart

375g Puff Pastry
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Medium Onions, finely Sliced
1 Tsp Fresh Lemon Thyme Leaves
Salt and Pepper
85g Finely Sliced Prosciutto
150g Taleggio Cheese

1) Preheat oven to 220c/400f/Gas Mark 7.
2) Roll out pastry to 35cm 8 25cm rectangle, to about the thickness of a 50p coin. Slip onto a backing tray and trim and score a border 2cm inside the edge. Prick the inner rectangle with a fork. Chill for 30 mins.
3) Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the onions. As soon as they collapse, reduce the heat and fry for about 15 minutes or until soft. Add the thyme and season to taste.
4) Once cool, spread the mixture over the base, taking care not to spread it into the border. Roughly cut the Prosciutto into 5cm squares and scatter over the onions. Remove the rind and slice the taleggio into similar sized squares. Sprinkle over the onions.
5) Bake the tart in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200/400/Gas 6 and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and the chesse golden and bubbling.

Asparagus, Onion and Taleggio -Steam the asparagus for 3-5 minutes until al dente and use instead of (or with) the prosciutto.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Potato And Leek Soup

30g unsalted butter
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 leek, washed and sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 bay leaf
Some fresh thyme leaves
350ml vegetable stock
A dollup of double cream

To serve
olive oil, to drizzle
spoonful of Greek yoghurt

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the potato for 2-3 minutes.
2. Stir in the leek, garlic, bay leaf and thyme leaves and heat for a further 1-2 minutes.
3. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 8-10 minutes.
4. Stir in the cream and heat for a minute.
5. Transfer to a food blender and blitz.
6. Return to the pan and warm through.
7. Ladle the soup into a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
8. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Quick Coconut Curry

30 mins - 2 Hours (After the initial cooking, you can let it sit to reheat later. A good one to do before you go out for an evening)

2 Shallots, peeled
2 Lime Leaves
1 Stalk of Lemon Grass
1 Clove of Garlic, peeled
1 Red Chilli, deseeded
1 tsp turmeric
2.5 cm of peeled ginger

500g/1 lb 2oz chicken thighs, boned and chopped (Leave the thighs whole if you like, it falls off the bone if you cook it slower)
3 tbsp oil for frying
2 pieces of cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper
330ml coconut milk

150-200g Basmati rice
1 Onion/Shallots, peeled and finely sliced
1 Cinnamon stick
Finely chopped fresh coriander and Spring onions to garnish.

1) Blitz the sauce ingredients till smooth.
2) Fry the chicken in a little oil (get some nice browned bits going on), then add the sauce. Fry for a few minutes then add the cinnamon and salt and pepper to season.
3) Add the coconut milk, cover and simmer for 30 mins
4) Slow fry the onions (in Ghee is good if you have some)
4) Cook the rice, put the cinnamon stick in the boiling pan to.
5) Garnish with coriander, and spring onions.

Notes: This works in the oven on a low heat for a long time, 3 hours on a low heat, good if you are going out and need food when you get back.

I double the sauce for greedy people who like lots of juice.

Use the juice of a lime instead of the Lemon Grass (Difficult to find sometimes)

You can use breast for this, whole or chopped as in the pics below, but I think the leg meat with bone adds to the flavour.

This also works well with Korn for the Veggie crowd.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Pork, Rice, Chorizo and Spinach

7 Tablespoons Olice Oil
350g Pork Fillet in strips
120g Chorizo
2 Large Onions
1 Green pepper
4 Garlic Cloves
250g Calasparra (paella) rice
1 Teaspoon of smoked paprika
2 Noras Peppers
900ml Chicken Stock
500g Spinach
1 Lemon

1) Stir Fry Pork for a few minutes until cooked. Set aside.
2) Lower heat, Fry Chorizo for a minute, Add Onion and green pepper, Cook for 20 min
3) Add Gralic and Onion, cook for 5-10 min until Caramalised
4) Add Rice, Paprika, Noras Peppers, Add stock, Simmer for 15 mins
5) Wilt spinach with salt
6) Lay Spinach/Pork on rice, cover tightly for 5 minutes, serve with lemon and salad.