Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Duck Breat with Cointreau Sauce, Pak Choi and Sweet Potato Gratain.

This is a variation on duck and orange and works very well.
Peel and slice the sweet potato. Place in layers in a ramekin or baking dish. Dot with butter and season as you lay the layers of potato in.
Pour half a glass of milk over the top and allow to soak through. Place in an hot oven at 180 degrees and cook until the potato has softened.
While the potatoes are cooking heat an oven proof pan on the hob.
Season the duck breast and add a dash of sesame oil to the pan. Put the duck breast in the pan, skin side down, and cook for 4-5 mins until it has started to colour - turn and place the pan in the oven.
Cook for a further 5-7 mins depending on the size of the breast.
Return to the hob and take out the breast - leave to rest under foil.
Add a quartered pak choi to the pan and turn a few times - de-glaze the pan with Cointreau.
return to the oven for few mins until the pak choi wilts slightly.
Return the pan to the hob and remove the pak choi.
Add any resting juices from the duck breast and a small knob of butter.
Stir and reduce until you have a sauce.
Slice the duck breast and pour the sauce over the top.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Clams with White Wine, Fennel and Parsley

Finely chop a small carrot, a shallot, a stick of celery and lightly saute in oil.
Slice a bulb of fennel and add to the pan.
Cook until the fennel has softened - increase the heat and add a glass of white wine.
Burn off the alcohol lower the heat to a simmer and add your clams.
Steam until all the clams have opened (discard any that don't).
Serve with a good handful of chopped parsley.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Pea, Lettuce and Mint Soup.

In a sauce pan soften finely diced carrot, onion and celery in oil.
Add water and add chopped lettuce, peas (frozen or fresh) and some mint leaves, season.
Cook until the lettuce has wilted and the peas are cooked through.
Blitz in a blender, return to the pan - taste and adjust seasoning if it needs it and serve.

Chicken Breast and Wild Garlic Veloute with Seasonal Vegatables

A very seasonal dish for the British spring - you could also serve the veloute and vegetables as a starter.
In an oven proof pan cook the chicken skin side down in butter and / or oil until it has coloured.
Put in the oven pre heated to 180 degrees.
Heat and reduce chicken stock in a saucepan to about half of it original amount - add wild garlic leaves - you need a good handful per person.
Cook for a few minutes until the leaves have wilted.
Place in a blender and blitz.
Return to the pan and add a roux (an equal amount of butter and flour mixed together).
Cook until the roux melts stirring it in and keep warm until the chicken is cooked.
Serve with steamed seasonal veg - I used asparagus, baby carrots, fennel and jersey royals rolled in butter and chopped chives.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Baby Artichoke Barigoule.

A classic French starter - it can be made with full grown artichokes too just half or quarter them and remove the choke.
To prepare the baby chokes have a bowl of cold water with lemon juice in it on hand to dip the chokes in as this will stop them discolouring.
First remove the tougher leaves from around the base of the choke.
Cut the top of leaves off about a third of the way down - this varies depending on size and age of the chokes. dip into the water and lemon juice.
cut the tip of the stalk off and holding the choke upside down peel away the inedible out part of the stalk - try to take the remaining tough out leaves at the same time.
If a choke has started to develop in the center remove it and place the choke in the water.
repeat with the rest of the chokes - you want to remove all leaves etc the are too tough to eat.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a lidded  saucepan.
Chop lardons or a rasher of streaky bacon and fry until they start to release there fats.
The add very finely diced carrot. celery and onion - cook for a few mins to soften.
Add the chokes a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped fennel (any veg can be used for this part so use what is seasonal or available that you think will work).
Raise the heat and add a small glass of white wine.
Burn off the alcohol reduce the heat and put the lid on and braise for about 10-12 mins (this again varies depending on the age and size of the chokes).
Turn the chokes a few times while braising.
Serve with some chopped parsley or chives.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Tenderstem with Chilli, Roasted Garlic and Garlic Sauce.

First roast your garlic - cover whole cloves with the skin on in olive oil and place it in a ramekin. Cover with foil and place in an oven set at 180 degrees and roast for 15 - 20 mins depending on amount and size of the cloves  - be careful not to burn it. You can also do a whole bulb by covering oil and wrapping it in foil but this will take a lot longer but is less likely to burn.
When cooked the garlic will be sweet and you will be able to squeeze it out of the skin like a paste - keep warm.
Blanch the tenderstem in unsalted water for about two minutes (it must still be firm and only part cooked). Reserve the cooking water to make the sauce.
Squeeze half the garlic cloves into a saucepan with enough cooking water from the tenderstem to loosen it into a sauce and warm through.
Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the tenderteam. Season with salt & pepper add some finely chopped red chilli and saute until cooked through.
Serve with the garlic sauce and the peeled whole roasted cloves.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Pickled Cod Cheeks and French Bean Salad.

Though called pickled fish this is more of a long term marinade based on a recipe given to me by a Portuguese chef. You could also use the same recipe for fillets of cod or other firm white fish.

Add enough olive oil to cover all the ingredients in a saucepan and add sliced garlic, thyme, a few bay leaves and some peeper corns. Heat for a few mins and then leave to cool and infuse.
Remove any sinew from the cod cheeks and lightly cook on both side and place in a bowl. Add sliced carrot, celery and spring onion, a few lemon slices and a little lemon juice and  a slpash of good quality white wine vinegar.
add the infused oil and the thyme, garlic, peppercorns and bay then cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 24 - 48 hours to pickle.
Remove the celery, spring onion and carrot and reserve. Boil a bunch of french beans in slightly salted water drain and leave to cool slightly. while the beans are cooking warm the cod cheeks in an oven proof dish in the oven with all the other ingredients.
Add the celery, carrot and spring onion to the beans with some chopped parsley and use a little more oild if need and dress with a little lemon juice.
Plate the beans and use them as a bed for the cod cheeks.