Sunday, 27 October 2013

Chicken in Tarragon and Mushroom Sauce.

Most of the garden herbs are now showing signs of dying back for the winter, the exception being parsley which is regrowing now the weather is cooler.
I decided I would pick most of the tarragon and dry it for use over winter as it was starting to yellow at the tips.

Marinade your chicken pieces in chopped tarragon, oil, seasoning and lemon juice for a good few hours or overnight.

In a frying pan heat some oil and colour the chicken breasts on both sides. Add finely chopped mushrooms and chopped tarragon, season and soften the mushrooms. Add a splash of white wine and burn off the alcohol.
Place in a preheated oven at 180 -200 degrees and cook until the breasts atre cooked through.

Plate the chicken and return the pan with the mushrooms to the hob. Add a knob of butter and some creme fresh and cook down into a sauce.
Serve on the chicken breast.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Herb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce.

For a quick tomato sauce soften a chopped clove of garlic or two and a finely chopped onion in a sauce pan. Add a tin of  chopped tomatoes a tea spoon of sugar, half a finely chopped small red chilli and a small dash of good vinegar. Let it cook down on a low heat for an hour or so to thicken - this also gets rid of the tinny taste to the tomatoes. Add a good handful of chopped basil and cook on.

For the meatballs place your minced beef in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper add chopped herbs and lots of them - I used savory, rosemary, thyme, parsley and a little mint.
Comibine well to mix the herbs into the meat and roll out small balls on a floured surface.

Cook the meatballs in oil until lightly coloured all over and then add a good helping of the tomato sauce and cook through in the sauce.

Serve with spaghetti or linguine and parmesan cheese.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Rhubarb Crumble.

I must say this was a revaluation just by adding two ingredients that I would not normally use!
Having found lots of hazelnuts in the local lanes this year I thought I would find a way of using them in a recipe rather than just eating them.
Toasting them is easy just place the shelled nuts into a dry frying pan on a medium heat and keep them moving until nicely toasted.

For the crumble -
75g unsalted butter, diced
160g plain flour
125g caster sugar
Toasted hazel nuts

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and rub together with your fingers until combined into a crumble texture.

Cut the rhubarb into pieces about three inches long and place into a sauce pan with a little water, sugar and some vanilla essence (you can use fresh vanilla if you want to posh it up a bit!).
Cook on a low heat for  8-10mins until the sugar has dissolved.
Do not over cook it as it will be cooked again in the oven later.
When cooled place the rhubarb into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top completely covering.
Place into an oven at  180 degrees and cook until the crumble is starting to turn golden, around 20-30mins.
Serve with cream or icecream.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Garlic Mushrooms on Toast.

The last of my wild garlic butter (see previous recipe) went into this, but its just as easy with ordinary garlic.
In a sauce pan heat a little oil and wild garlic butter (or butter and finely chopped garlic).
Cook chopped mushrooms (wild ones are best if you can get them), as slowly as possible in the butter with a little chopped parsley and seasoning.
When cooked through serve on toast - no butter needed as the mushrooms release so many juices -  with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top.

Chestnut and Parsnip Soup.

In a large saucepan sweat down a chopped leek, peeled and chopped parsnips and finely chopped parsley stalks with seasoning until soft.
Add veg stock and cooked (either roasted or boiled and peeled) chestnuts and cokk through until all the veg is soft.
Blitz in a blender adjust seasoning if needed and reheat.
Serve with a scattering of chopped parsley leaves.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Smoked Trout with Watercress, Beetroot and Horseradish.

The taste of Hampshire on a plate - locally grown watercress and locally smoked trout.
Both these things rely on the purity of chalk streams for their quality and clean taste, and Hampshire has them in abundance.
First top and tail your beetroots and boil, just above a simmer until cooked. this will depend on the size of the beets and can be anything from 15 to 45mins. They are ready when a knife can be pushed into them with little resistance, but be careful not to over cook you want them with a little bite.
Drain and leave to cool before peeling. The skin will come off very easily after cooking.
If you are using horseradish from a jar make up a dressing by thinning some of it with a good quality oil and some lemon juice and season.
If using fresh horseradish you just need to dress the watercress with oil and lemon juice and seasoning and grate over the horseradish at the end.
When the beet has cooled chop into wedges.
Arrange your smoked trout and beets on top of the watercress - I used cold smoked but hot smoked works just as well - dress and serve.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Tarte Tatin with Blackberry Syrup.

Apples from the garden and blackberries from the local hedgerows make this a very cheap dessert.
Peel and core the apples then cut into wedges.
Heat some unsalted butter in a frying pan and cook the wedges wirh a sprinkling of suger on a high heat until they start to caramelise.
Be careful not to over cook as they are going in the oven later.

Arrange the wedges in lightly buttered oven proof dishes if making individual ones. Place black berries in the centre.
Roll out your pastry (I used shop bought puff pastry, but you can use any type) and place over the dishes. lift the pastry at the edges so it sinks onto the apples and cut the excess off and bake in the oven until the pastry is cooked.
If you are doing one large tart just arrange the apple wedges in the frying pan and roll the pastry on top and place the pan straight into the oven.
To make the syrup place a few hand fulls of blackberries with sugar and a small dash of water in a pan and cook covered on a low heat until the fruits release all their juices.
Push through a sieve and discard the pulp. return the mixture to the pan and keep warm.
when the tarts are cooked place a plate over the dishes and turn them out.
Serve with the syrup and ice cream.