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Friday, 28 December 2012

Oxtail Ragu.

Made with leftover oxtail meat and stock this a great dish a real meaty flavour even though it contains very little meat.
In a sauce pan cook a chopped rasher of bacon until it starts to colour. Add finely chopped onion, carrot and celery. Add some chopped garlic and rosemary. Sweat down the veg and season.
Add a small glass of red wine and cook off the alcohol. Add the shreded left over oxtail, a little oxtail stock and tomato sauce (see previous recipe), simmer until all the veg is cooked through.
Serve on pasta with grated parmesan.

Quick Tomato Sauce.

This is a quick version of a tomato sauce for pasta dishes etc using tinned tomatoes.
Grate (or finely chop) an onion - add to a sauce pan with olive oil, a clove of chopped garlic and half a chilli. Cooked for a few mins until the onion softens and add a tin of chopped tomatoes.
Add half a tea spoon of sugar and cook on a very low heat for an hour or so until it cooks down into a thick sauce (this also helps to get rid of the tinnyness of the tomatoes).

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Garlic and Herb Butter.


Chop a shallot as finely as possible place in a dish and add a cap full of Pastis (ie Ricard or Pernod) Add unsalted butter chopped into small pieces and several grated garlic cloves to taste. Add herbs ( I used dried as it lasts longer).
Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly and leave for an hour or so to let the flavours merge before using.
Great for garlic bread, garlic prawns etc.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Oxtail in White Wine with Celery, Shallots and Carrots.

In an oven proof casserole or similar sear your oxtail on all sides.
Flambé in brandy (this is a bit of an extravagence and can be left out as this is a recipe for a cheap cut! though it does add a lot of flavour).
Add a large glass of white wine and cook off the alcohol. Season and add enough stock to nearly cover the oxtail. Add a bouquet garni with thyme, rosemary, bay and garlic (be generous with the herbs), cover and place in a very low oven for 2/3 hours on 120/140C.
Seperate the meat from the stock and alow to cool - pref overnight as this dish improves if cooked over two days.
The following day you can skim the fat off the cooled stock if you wish and add a little more stock. Bring to heat and add the oxtail with baby carrots and celery hearts. Cook on a very low heat for 30mins or so and add the whole shallots. Continue to cook on a low heat until all the veg is cooked and serve with mash or jacket poatoes to counter the very rich stock.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Salt and Pepper Squid with Sweet Chilli Sauce.

Place pepper corns and sea salt into a dry pan and roast until you can smell the aromas.
Crush in a mortar and pestle and allow to cool.
Mix with corn flour.
For the sweet chilli sauce chop garlic, chilli, ginger and corriander leaves and crush to a pulp in a mortar & pestle with the juice of half a lime (or you can whizz to a paste in a blender). Place in a small bowl with a tiny dash of fish sauce and light soy sauce.
In a small sauce pan bring to the boil a small amount of water and caster sugar and pour over the paste.
Allow to cool.
Clean and thoroughly dry the squid. Cut into rings or scored pieces and coat with the flour mixture.
Flash fry for no more than a couple of minutes in a very hot wok or frying pan with a little ground nut oil.
Serve with the chilli dipping sauce.

Potted Shrimp

In a sauce pan melt some unsalted butterwith a bay leaf. Add a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of mace and a pinch of cayanne pepper. Squeeze in the juice from half a lemon and add 1/2 teaspoon of anchovy paste and season with salt and white pepper.
Leave to cool, mixing in the cooked shrimps when the butter starts to solidify.
This can be sealed with a little extra melted butter and will keep for days in the fridge but should be bought to room temp alowing the butter to soften before serving with toast.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup


A great cold cure this one - don't ask how or why I just know if I have a cold and eat this I feel a lot lot better!
Use the stock from the previous recipe.
Heat some stock in a saucepan and add noodles of choice - simmer until cooked.
while the noodles are cooking chop your chosen veg - I used spring onions, carrots, red pepper and mushrooms.
I a wok flash fry chopped garlic, chilli and ginger for 30 seconds then add your veg at 30 second intervals (longest to cook first!) place in a bowl with shreded cooked chicken (see stock recipe).
Pour over the noodles and stock and top with a chopped corriander and a squeeze of lime juice and/or a dash of soy sauce.

Spicy Chicken Stock.


In a large pan of water add chicken (I used thighs), crushed garlic, sliced ginger, chillies, chopped carrots, quartered shallots (skin on), spring onion tops, lemon grass (bruised), corriander stalks and various spices - I used cardomon pods (crushed), whole pepper corns, corriander seeds, fennel seeds, but any combination that you have or takes your fancy will do.
Bring to the boil and reduce heat and simmer preferably on a heat disperser for an hour or so and leave to cool. Add a dash of thai fish sauce.
Remove the chicken thighs for use later and drain the stock.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Stir Fried Pork with Chard and Spring Onions.


Bit of a Nigel Slater inspired see what needs using up in the fridge / garden and concoct something!
I had some spring onions left over from last weeks shop that were on there last legs and a pork steak that had been marinading with garlic and fennel seeds since thurs so...
I added some chilli to the marinade last night.
The chard in the garden probably won't last much longer as heavy frosts are due this week so I decided to pick the younger more tender leaves.
Let the pork come to room temp. and slice.
Add some seaseme oil to a hot wok and add some sliced chilli and garlic. Alow to cook for 30 seconds and add the pork. Cook for 1-2 mins until coloured and then add some soy sauce and the chard stalks.
Cook for anothe minute or so and add the sliced spring onions and shredded chard leaves.
When the chard leaves have wilted serve.

Roast Shoulder of Lamb with Celeriac Mash and Beetroot Puree

Place your shoulder of lamb skin side up and drizzle with oilive oil and season. Massage in the oil, salt and pepper.
Turn over and repeat. Squeeze over some lemon juice and place crushed garlic, rosemary spigs and bay leaves onto your joint. Roll, tie off and place in the fridge to marinate.
Pre heat an oven at 220°C.
Place a quartered onion (skin on), chopped carrot, celery and any other vegatable odds and ends into a roasting dish and place the lamb on top.
Pour in a cup or so of water and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 160 °C and continue to roast for - Rare – 20 minutes per Kg, Medium – 30 minutes per Kg, Well Done – 40 minutes per Kg.
If the water starts to dry out top up with more.
While the lamb is roasting prepare the puree, mash and veg.
For the Beetroot puree place a roughly chopped beetroot in a blender with  a clove of garlic, thyme leaves and a chopped onion - season with salt and pepper and blend until the consistency of risotto.
Place in a saunce pan on a very low heat and cook for 30 or so mins (you may need a slash of water at the begining to stop it burning).
The Celeriac mash is very easy - same as mashed potatoes! or you can use a mix of celeriac and potatoes.
When the lamb is cooked remove from the oven and cover with foil to keep warm and allow to rest for 20mins or so.
Place the roasting tin with all the veg, water and meat juices on a the hob on a low/med heat and add a glass of wine and a dash of worcester sauce if you wish. Deglaze the pan and then strain the gravy into a sauce pan and reduce to correct consistency.
Carve the lamb and serve.






Jerusalem Artichoke Salad

Have a bowl with some lemon juice standing by and then peel and slice your (raw) chokes as finely as possible, placing in the lemon juice to stop them discolouring.
Season with salt and pepper and place on a plate.
Add walnut oil to the lemon juice mix together and dress the sliced chokes.
Sprikle with chopped parsley and serve.


Monday, 3 December 2012

Root Soup

Dice carrots, onion and cellery and sweat in a mix of butter and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Add water and bring to the boil and then simmer.
Peel and dice your root veg - I used parsnip, artichokes and celeriac, but any will work.
Add some chopped parsley and simmer til all veg is cooked and blitz in a blender til smooth.
I also ad a little bit of fresh chilli to give it some warmth. 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Avacado Prawns with Marie Rose Sauce

Peel and slice an avacado and arrange on a bed of leaves, season with salt and pepper.
Slice some cucumber and arrange on the leaves with the cooked prawns on top.
For the marie rose sauce mix a couple of dollops of mayo, a tea spoon of tomato ketchup, a squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of whisky and a pich of paprika or cayenne pepper together and spoon over the prawns.