Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Falafel Burger with Hummus

by Paul Rankin
Serves 4

Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour


For the burgers
250g/9oz chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander seed
6 tbsp chopped parsley
½ tsp chilli powder
2 rounded tbsp plain flour
1 tsp salt
Oil for deep fat frying

For the hummus and tahini sauce
125g/4½oz hummus
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tahini
4 large rolls (or hamburger buns)
1 fat tomato, sliced
1 red onion sliced
4 leaves butter lettuce
To accompany
salad or fries, or sautéed potatoes

1. Drain the chickpeas thoroughly and pulse in the food processor until lightly broken up.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to pulse until you have the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. Gently form into patties approx. 10cm/4in in diameter by 2½cm/1in. thick.
3. Fry in hot oil at 180C/350F for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp or golden.
4. For the hummus and tahini sauce simply whisk together all the ingredients. If you prefer a lighter sauce add a little water until it is the preferred consistency.
5. To serve, split and warm the rolls. Place in the top of each roll a leaf of lettuce, a slice of tomato, and some red onions.
6. Place the falafel burger on the bottom side of the roll, and some of the sauce.
7. Either serve side by side on a plate, or built up as a burger on a plate with your choice of accompaniment.
8. Cook and refrigerate or freeze any left over burgers for a quick and easy snack.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Cumberland Sauce

by Lucas Hollweg

Goes well with Ham, Goose and Turkey.

1 Orange
Half a Lemon
2 Shallots, finely chopped
4 tablespoons of Redcurrant Jelly
50ml Port
1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
Pinch of Ground Ginger.

1) Zest the Orange and Lemon.
2) Put the Zest in a pan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 4 minutes. (this gets rid of the bitterness) Then drain.
3) Juice the Orange and Lemon
4) Place the Shallots in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 1 minute, then drain and squeeze out as much water as possible.
5) Melt the Jelly, then add in the Port, Zest and shallots. Simmer for a minute or 2.
6) Add the fruit juice, Mustard and Ginger, mix well.

Can be used hot or cold.

Braised Red Cabbage

by Lucas Hollweg

As suggested, this is best cooked the day before it is needed.

2 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
1 Onion, finely sliced
1 Red Cabbage, quartered, core removed, sliced into 5mm strips
1 Clove
5cm strip of Orange Zest
2 medium Apples, peeled, cored, quartered, then cut each quarter into 4 slices
50ml Red Wine Vinegar
125ml Red Wine
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
3-4 tablespoons Redcurrant Jelly
2 Juniper Berries, crushed
2 Bay Leaves
Quarter teaspoon ground Cinnimon
Freshly Ground Pepper and Sea Salt to taste

1) Preheat oven to 170c.
2) Melt the butter in a large ovenproof casserole (with lid) and sweat the onion until they soften.
3)Add the Cabbage and stir to coat with the onion and butter.
4) Push the Clove into the Zest and add this along with the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Season gently.
5) Cover with tinfoil and the lid.
6) Cook for 2 hours, stiring every 20 minutes. (add some more wine if it starts to dry out)
7) After an hour and a half, taste it to see how the seasoning is. Add more sugar/vinegar etc if needed.
8) When it has finished cooking, remove the Zest and Clove and allow it to cool.
9) Refrigerate if using the next day.
10) Reheat it gently when needed, adding a bit of liquid so it doesn't burn.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Spinach, Coconut & Lentil Dahl

200g split red lentils
400ml water
400ml coconut milk
250g finely chopped onions
75g dairy free non-hydrogenated vegan margarine,
5 garlic cloves-thinly sliced
2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon whole vegan mustard seeds
4 cloves
3 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
4 thick slices fresh unpeeled ginger
450g fresh, peeled & roughly chopped tomatoes
300g spinach
lots of ground black pepper
juice of 1 large lime
1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander
2 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
1 teaspoon salt
Fry the onion in 50g of the margerine until golden. Add half of the sliced garlic, cumin, mustard seeds & cloves. Cook gently for about 5 mins. Stir in the turmeric and chili powder until well blended.

Add the lentils, water, coconut milk, ginger, tomatoes & spinach (I use the frozen spinach). Bring to a simmer, add pepper and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 30 - 40 mins or until the lentils are soft and have dissolved into the liquid.

Remove the pan from the heat.

Melt the remaining margerine in a small pan. When it gets frothy, add the rest of the garlic and stir until it starts to colour. Add this to the lentil mix.

Add the lime juice, corriander, mint and salt. Cover with lid and leave to sit for 10 mins. Remove ginger chunks and serve with nann vegan bread or any other type of flat bread.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 30-40 mins

Friday, December 16, 2005

Beef rarebit

by Brian Turner
from Ready Steady Cook

Serves 1

For the steak
150g/5½oz beef steak
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
For the rarebit sauce
1 tbsp butter
100ml/3½fl oz double cream
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
15g/½ oz blue cheese, crumbled
For the turned tomatoes
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
150ml/5fl oz hot oil
1 sliced tomato

1. To prepare the beef, rub the steak with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. Place the steak in a hot griddle pan and turn over after two minutes. Cook for a further three minutes.
3. Leave the steak to rest for 2-3 minutes.
4. For the rarebit sauce, in a saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat.
5. Add the cream and mustard and reduce for three minutes.
6. Add the cheese and stir until melted (roughly for 1 minute).
7. For the turned tomatoes, in a medium sized bowl mix the flour and the curry powder and the thyme.
8. Slice the tomato and dip into the flour mix.
9. In a medium frying pan or deep fat fryer, heat the oil on a hot heat and shallow-fry.
10. To serve, place the steak in the middle of the plate with the tomatoes on the side, spooning over the sauce.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Roast Butternut Squash "cakes"

1 Whole Butternut Squash
Unsalted Butter or Ghee
Freshly ground Cumin Seeds

1] Preheat oven to 200c.
2] Put the Squash.
3] Baked for about 40 minutes, until the skin starts to feel soft.
4] Remove Squash and let it cool for a few minutes.
5] With a sharp knife slice the squash into 2 cm thick roundals. Carefully remove the skin. (You should be able to pull it off, but use a knife to trim any pithy bits off).
6] Heat the Butter or Ghee and fry the 'cakes' seasoning with the cumin.
7] You should end up with a nice brown crispy crust.

I forgot to take a pic, so this is the sort of slice I mean.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Pigeon Breasts with Madeira and Cream sauce.

2/3 skinless Pigeon Breasts per person
Plain Flour
Fresh Salt and Pepper
English Mustard powder
Butter (Clarified preferably)
Some rich Stock (Demi-glace) or Duck Stock
Whipping Cream

1] Butterfly the breasts and coat them in the flour, salt, pepper and mustard.
2] Fry the Breasts in the Butter and Oil for a few minutes each side.
3] Keep the cooked Breasts warm, do them in batches so as not to crowd the pan.
4] Deglaze the pan with a good glug of Madeira (warm it before adding it to the pan).
5] Add in your stock, again warmed first.
6] Reduce the mix down by half/third and stir in the Cream off the heat.
7] Further reduce to a texture you are happy with.

Cutting the breasts in two helps them cook evenly, as the breasts tend to take on the shape of rugby balls (if left whole) when you start cooking them.

Expect the sauce to take at least 10 minutes.

Breast of Pigeon with a Balsamic and Red Wine Jus

Breast of Pigeon, Celeriac Rosti, Roasted Garlic Scented Puy Lentils finished with a Balsamic and Red Wine Jus

2 pc pigeon breast
1 cup Puy lentils
2 pc shallot
3 pc garlic cloves
2 cups chicken stock

1 pc celeriac
1 pc egg

100 ml balsamic vinegar
200 ml red wine


Roasted Garlic Scented Puy Lentils:

Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a pre-heated oven (180°C) until softened: approximately 8 minutes
Remove, allow to cool and set aside
Sweat the shallots in a little butter or olive oil until softened
Add the puy lentils and cook gently for 2 - 3 minutes
Add enough of the fresh chicken stock to barley cover the lentils, bring to a boil and turn heat down to simmer
Add the garlic cloves and continue simmering until the lentils are cooked; adding more stock as required
Remove and discard the garlic cloves
Keep warm until required
Celeriac Rosti:

Peel the celeriac and grate into a bowl
Season and add a little beaten egg to bind
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan
Add the grated celeriac to form two rosti, gently cook until golden brown
Turn over and cook second side until golden brown and the celeriac is cooked
Remove from pan, drain and keep warm until required
Pigeon Breast and Jus:

Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a pan
Lightly dust the breasts with seasoned flour
Place the breasts in the pan and cook for 2 - 3 minutes each side (the breast must remain pink in the middle)
Remove from pan and set aside
Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and reduce until almost dry
Add the red wine and reduce by half
Taste and sweeten with a little honey if required
Add the pigeon breasts back in to coat and heat through
To serve:

Mound the lentils in the centre of the plate
Place a rosti on top
Place the breast on top of the rosti (may be sliced or cut in half if preferred)
Drizzle some of the jus on top and around the plate
Top with a sprig of rosemary or mint

Warm salad of Pigeon

by Neil Forbes

Serves 4
Preparation time less than 30 mins
Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

4 plump Pigeon breasts, skinned
200g Lardons
2 New Potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced
3 handfuls of a selection of Salad Leaves
100ml Walnut Oil
1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
a few sprigs of Thyme
a few Garlic Cloves
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil

1. Fry the lardons in half the olive oil until crisp and then set aside.
2. In the same pan, add a little more oil and fry the potatoes, set aside with the lardons in a warm place.
3. In a bowl, combine the mustard with the extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil and red wine vinegar.
4. In the frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil and cook the pigeon breasts with the garlic and thyme, turning and seasoning as they cook. The breasts don't take long, 2-3 minutes each side maximum. Cover and allow to rest.
5. Combine the salad leaves, ¾ of the dressing, lardons, potatoes and seasoning in a large bowl and serve on four large plates.
6. Cut the pigeon breasts into thin slices and arrange over the salad. Sprinkle over some sea salt and the remainder of the dressing. Serve immediately.

Seared Pigeon Breasts in Sweet Wine

Seared Pigeon Breasts in Sweet Wine, with Rosemary-Infused Chestnuts

Serves 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus marinating
Cooking time: 35 minutes

3 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
12 pigeon breasts
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
½ tbsp chopped rosemary
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
375ml bottle dessert wine

Rosemary-Infused chestnuts
200g vacuum-packed whole chestnuts
150ml olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary, bruised

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the carrot and onion until soft and slightly coloured. Leave to cool completely.

Put the pigeon into a bowl or plastic bag with the onion and carrot, the chilli, rosemary, garlic, seasoning, 2 tbsp olive oil and the wine. Cover or seal. Marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to cook the pigeon breasts, drain from the marinade. Pour the marinade into a pan, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 20 minutes or until reduced by half. A foam will develop initially but this will disperse. Adjust the seasoning and set aside.

Meanwhile, put the chestnuts in a saucepan, cover with olive oil and add the rosemary. Heat up very gently until the oil is warm but not hot. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about 15 minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon.

Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat until smoking. In batches, sear the pigeon breasts for 3 minutes each side (they should still be pink). Serve with the sauce and the chestnuts.

Pan-fried Breasts of Wood Pigeon

Pan-fried Breasts of Wood Pigeon, served with Red Wine Sauce and Blueberries
Raymond Blanc


4 wood pigeons, breasts removed
1 tablespoon groundnut oil
15 g (1/2 oz) unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Marinade:
2 tablespoons red wine
1 sprig of thyme
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon groundnut oil

For the Sauce:
chopped pigeon carcasses
4 tablespoons groundnut oil
1/4 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 celery stalk, diced
1 tablespoon plain flour
100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) port
300 ml (10 fl oz) full-bodied red wine
1 sprig of thyme
1 juniper berry
1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly

For the Garnish:
80 g (3 1/4 oz) blueberries
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water

COOKING TIME: 40 minutes

1) Marinating the pigeon breasts
Mix the ingredients for the marinade together. Turn the breasts of pigeon over in the marinade. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 24 hours.

2) Making the sauce
In a large casserole, brown the pigeon carcasses in very hot oil for about 5-6 minutes. Add the diced vegetables and continue to brown for a further 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, spoon out any fat, sprinkle with the flour and stir. Add the port and red wine and top up with water until the pigeon carcasses are completely covered.

Bring to the boil, skim off any impurities, and add the thyme and juniper berry. simmer for half an hour, then strain and boil to reduce down until the sauce has reached the right consistency (about 200 ml/7 fl oz in volume). Taste, season with salt and pepper and add the redcurrant jelly, then reserve.

3) Cooking the blueberry garnish
In a small saucepan mix together the blueberries, sugar and water. Cook over a gentle heat for 3-4 minutes. Reserve and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) Gas 5.

4) Cooking the pigeon breasts
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan until very hot. Pat dry, sear and brown the pigeon breasts for 30 seconds on each side. Pat dry, season with salt and pepper and cook in the preheated oven for a further 3 minutes.

Remove the breasts from the oven and rest in a warm place for 2-3 minutes, loosely covered with aluminium foil.

5) Serving
Reheat the sauce. Warm a large serving dish. Remove the skin from the breasts and put aside. Place the breasts on the serving dish, pour over the sauce and scatter the warm blueberries around. Serve to your guests.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Baked Sea Bass in salt

2-pound sea bass, cleaned, leaving head and tail intact2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
3 1/2 cups coarse salt (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water plus additional if necessary

Accompaniment: lemon wedges

Rinse sea bass under cold water and pat dry inside and out. Sprinkle cavity of bass with 1/2 teaspoon tarragon and pepper.

With a sharp knife trim ends of lemon to expose flesh and, standing lemon on one end, cut from top to bottom to remove peel and pith. Cut lemon crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange in cavity.

Preheat oven to 450°F. and lightly oil a baking pan.

In a bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons tarragon, coarse salt, and flour. Stir in 1 cup warm water plus additional as necessary to form a slightly stiff paste (paste should resemble wet sand).

Arrange bass in oiled pan. Coat top of bass completely with half of salt mixture, patting it on, and turn bass over. Coat other side in same manner (bass should be completely covered).

Bake bass in middle of oven 30 minutes. Crack salt crust with a sharp knife or hammer and remove top crust, discarding it. To serve,lift bass in pieces off bones and discard bones. Lift out remaining bass. Serve bass with lemon wedges.

Serves 4.

Foil-wrapped Baked Sea Bass with Buerre Blanc

Serves 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 x 800g sea bass, scaled, cleaned, heads removed
30g butter, melted
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Beurre blanc sauce
2 shallots, very finely chopped
100ml dry white wine
50ml fine white wine vinegar
170g unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7.

Put the shallots, wine and vinegar in a small pan over a low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced to 1 tbsp of liquid. Set aside.

Take two large sheets of foil and brush the centre of each with the olive oil. Put one bass on each sheet.

Combine the melted butter and lemon juice. Rub half this mixture over both fish, then spoon the remainder into their cavities. Lightly season. Bring the foil up over the fish and crumple the edges to make baggy but airtight parcels. Put on a baking sheet. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes.

When the fish is cooked, open the parcels. Remove the skin by cutting through it above the tail then peeling it off. Turn the fish over and repeat the process. Re-wrap and keep warm while you finish the sauce.

When ready to serve, gently reheat the wine mix until warm, not hot. Over a gentle heat, briskly whisk in the butter, a piece at a time, so it forms an emulsion. Continue until all the butter is used and you have a thinnish sauce. Take off the heat and season.

To serve, lift the first fillet from each fish, pull away the spine and remove the second fillet beneath. Serve with the beurre blanc and new potatoes.