Sunday, 27 July 2014

Radish Soup.

A very quick and easy soup made from the leaves of the radish which usually end up in the compost or bin the taste will surprise you!
Soften a small onion or a shallot, carrot and a stick of celery in oil. Season.
Add a knob of butter and a good hand full of washed radish leaves - wilt down the leaves on a low heat.
Add veg stock, bring to the boil and simmer.
Blitz and strain through a sieve.
Reheat and serve with a chopped radish or two.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Bacon, Broad Bean and Mint Risotto.

Warm a saucepan of chicken stock on the hob.
In a large frying pan soften a chopped onion and a sliced garlic clove in olive oil.
Add a couple of rashers of chopped bacon and colour.
Add a cup full of risotto rice and stir around to coat the rice.
Add half a glass of white wine raise the heat and cook off the alcohol - season.
Adjust the heat and ladle in a small amount of the warm stock, stirring the rice to let it absorb the stock. Keep adding small amounts of stock as the rice cooks stirring regularly.
While the rice is cooking blanch a saucepan full of broad beans.
When they are cool enough to peel take off the tough outer shells.
A couple of mins before the rice is cooked add the shelled beans.
When the rice is cooked through and the last of the stock is just absorbed take off the heat and mix in the chopped mint.
Stir in grated Parmesan and allow to rest in a warm place before serving.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Lamb Shank Braised in Red Wine.

Season the shank and rub with oil.
In a pan colour the shank on all sides on a med/high heat and transfer to an oven proof casserole.
Lower the heat slightly and add some oil.
Colour the whole peeled shallots, transfer to the casserole. Add the baby carrots and do the same.
Melt a knob of butter in the pan and deglaze with a glass of red wine. Add to the casserole.
Season  the veg in the casserole and add thyme.
Cover and place in  low oven - around 140 degrees for an hour or so until the shank is cooked through.
Rest the lamb and remove the veg from the sauce and keep warm.
Reduce the sauce if needed and serve with creamy mash to soak up all the sauce.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Rib Eye Steak with Oven Chips and French Beans.

For the chips par boil a couple of large peeled potatoes for 3/4 mins, drain and allow to cool.
Cut into big wedges, season, roll in oil and place in a hot oven (180 degrees) - give them a shake or two while cooking to stop them sticking to the dish.
Season the steak (bought up to room temp) with salt and pepper, add a little rape seed oil and rub in the seasoning.
Five mins or so before the chips are ready heat an oven proof frying pan to a high heat.
Place the steak in the pan and cook for 3/4 mins depending on the thickness of the steak, turn and place in the oven for 5 mins.
Bring a pan of hot salted water to the boil and add the topped and tailed beans. Cook for 4 mins.
Remove the steak from the oven and rest for 4-5 mins under foil in a warm place.
Return the steak pan to a hot hob and add a knob of butter. when the butter has melted add 1/4 of a cup full of boiling water, deglaze the pan and reduce to a sauce.
Drain the beans and add a teaspoon of mint sauce and some oil, dress.
Plate up the steak, chips and beans, add any resting juices to the sauce and pour over the steak. Serve.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Lamb Tagine with Cous-Cous.

Pre heat your oven to 120/140 degrees.
In an oven proof pan soften a chopped onion or two, add a knob of grated or chopped ginger, a couple of teaspoons of crushed coriander seeds, a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a chopped chilli (optional) and season.
Add diced lamb - I used neck fillet, but any cut is ok especially those cheaper ones that lend themselves to slow cooking - colour and add a good squeeze of tomato puree, half a dozen chopped tomotoes and a teaspoon of honey.
Bring to a simmer place in oven with the lid on for around 1hr 20mins (remove the lid for the last half an hour of cooking).
Place the cous cous in a bowl add the juice of half a lemon and season well.
Add hot chicken stock - leave in a warm place for 5 mins and stir well - add more stock if needed.
Stir in chopped mint or parsley and serve with pomegranate seeds.

Fattoush (Lebanese Salad).

Make the dressing a few hours in advance to let the flavours merge.
Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, a quarter of a chopped chilli (do not over do it as you will be using other chilli's in the salad!) and a little salt & pepper.
Toast some pitta bead.
In a large salad bowl add shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, finely sliced spring onion, sliced radishes and a few chopped pickled chilli's.
Add chopped parsley, mint and the pitta bread ripped into pieces.
Dress and serve.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Braised Duck Leg with Peas, Lettuce and Mint.

The trick with duck is to prick the skin with a sharp knife all over before cooking and then (if not roasting) to pour off the fat as often as possible through out cooking.
Heat some oil and a small knob of butter in a pan.
Add chopped bacon and a chopped onion, cook until onion has softened and the bacon has started to colour.
Add the duck leg skin side down and cook for five mins to colour the skin.
Turn the leg and pour off all the fat.
Add some warm veg or chicken stock, season with pepper only, add a bay leaf and some thyme sprigs.
Cover and braise in the oven gas mark 3 for around 3/4 of an hour depending on the size and amount of duck legs you are cooking.
Pour off most of the stock and reserve.
Remove the skin from the leg bone and cut the bone below the knuckle to give a nice presentation.
Return to the oven - uncovered - to crisp the skin (about 15 mins).
Gently fry a quartered little gem lettuce in a pan. add some of the reserved cooking stock, with the fat skimmed off, and frozen peas and cook through.
Strain off any excess liquid and add chopped mint and serve with the duck leg.