Sunday, 29 November 2015

Mushroom Risotto with Haddock.

This was another dish cooked with a friend while on my visit to the west country and again I was just the sous-chef!
I was a bit skeptical about fish with it but the combination of earthy mushrooms with the fish was excellent.
We used a mix of dried and fresh mushrooms, if you can get wild foraged mushrooms all the better but any combination is ok.
Other meaty white fish like sea bass, pollack or cod would also work well or indeed none at all.
First put your dried mushrooms in water to soak.
Put a saucepan of veg or chicken stock on to heat up.
In a large pan or frying pan heat a knob of butter on a high heat.
Add a chopped onion and soften.
Then add your risotto rice and stir to coat with the butter.
Add a glass of white wine and burn off the alcohol stirring constantly.
Add the soaked and drained dried mushrooms. some recipes suggest adding the soaking liquor, but i would advise against it as its very strong and very bitter. If you are unsure smell it. If you are still unsure taste it!
Reduce the heat slightly to med/high and add a ladle full of hot stock stirring continuously.
When all the stock has been absorbed repeat.
Keep doing this for 20-25mins until the rice is cooked - it should still be a little firm in the centre.
Remove from the heat and add chopped butter - leave to rest for a few mins.
Meanwhile in another pan saute your fresh mushrooms if using in a little butter with chopped parsley.
In another pan put your fish on to cook.
Stir and beat the risotto furiously with a wooden spoon to incoporate the butter.
Add grated Parmesan and do the same.
Stir in your sauteed mushrooms and serve with cooked fish on top.

Chorizo with Red Wine and Rosemary.

A great starter or tappas dish and very quick and easy to make.
Cut a cooking chorizo into ring about the thickness of a pound coin.
Put a frying pan on to medium heat - do not add oil.
Place the chorizo into the pan.
Finely chop a shallot.
When the chorizo has coloured on one side turn them over.
They should now be releasing lots of oil into the pan.
Add a little more cooking oil if you think you need it and add the shallot and finely chopped rosemary.
Cook until the shallot has softened, then add a small glass of red wine (or sherry).
Turn up the heat and reduce the wine to a syrup.
Serve with crusty bread for the juices.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Partridge with Red Wine Sauce, and Puy Lentils.

This was a joint effort with a friend I was staying with in the west country. We both got our heads together, looked in a few books for tips and ideas on the best way to cook & roast Partridge and came up with this.

Smother your partridges with butter and lightly season. Leave covered to come up to room temperature before cooking.
Rinse the lentils in cold water to remove any excess pieces and dust.
Fry chopped smoked bacon in a pan until beginning to crisp, add chopped carrot and a small chopped onion and soften.
Add your lentils, a bay leave and sage. Cover with cold water bring to a simmer.
They should take around 25-35 minutes but this varies depending on type and amount you are cooking etc.
Do not worry about this as it is easy to slow the process or keep them warm while cooking the partridge.
when cooked drain some of the cooking liquid to leave a sauce like consistency. 
Heat some rapeseed oil in an oven proof frying pan and colour your partridge on all sides, do not use a very high heat as you will burn the butter smothered on the birds. You may well need to hold them in place when doing the ends.
Place in a oven pre-heated to 220 degrees and roast for 5-8 mins depending on size of the bird.
Remove from oven place on a plate cover in foil and leave to rest for 4-5 mins in a warm place.
Partridge should still have a pink blush to it when cooked.
While the birds are resting return the cooking pan to the hob and on a high heat melt a knob of butter and deglaze with red wine.
Reduce to a syrup and add any juices from the resting birds.
Serve the Partridge on a bed of mashed potato covered with the red wine reduction and surrounded by the lentils - the mash will soak up all the juices and seasonal veg.