Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas treats

We had 9 adults & multiple kids over for Christmas - in our new home. So cooking was contrained by mass feeding. Here's a few samples....

A Nigel Slater easy triffle - lovely (and eaten over several days)

Home made nibbles: Figs with blue cheese and parma ham

Why bother with a turkey when you can have a 10lb Rib of Beef !

After a 2 hour cook (20 minutes sizzle - then low.....)

Judged just about right

We forgot the pigs in blankets !

Friday, 24 December 2010

Mulled Wine

As with all things - make it yourself and it's better. Mulled wine is no exception (thanks to Jamie on the web for this one)

A proper festive set of ingredients

What a winter scene....

Very very nice- it didn't last long ! Sweet and spicy and fruity

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Beef and Ale Stew

It was a cold Sunday morning. I popped around to the local convenience store for a loaf of bread, and I noticed the cheap 'stew' pack. OK I thought - lets see if we can make it sing....

Note the well frozen shin of beef..

The magic ingredient

Slow cooked for 8 hours......

And from a very cheap set of ingredients - a quite refined (and bloody gorgoues) dish of food

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Jamaican Baked Chicken with Rice and Peas

I was lucky enough to work in Jamaica for 6 months a few years ago. It was a fantastic experience, and I fell in love with the food. It's nothing fancy, but scratch the surface, and try the local dishes and it certainly grows on you. From cow's head soup, to goat curry, and to beef and cheese patties - all good. Nothing, but nothing, can beat stopping off on the way home at some roadside shack for a plate of fresh jerk chicken. Unbelievable !

I'd watched an episode of Anthony Boudain who was in Jamaica - and I simply had to eat it again. I picked up a old cookbook I'd bought out there - and this one caught my eye - mainly cause I love evaporated milk!

Which was mixed with tomato ketchup...!

I've had a can of Gunga beans in the store cupboard for some time now. They can be used in "Rice and Peas" (and so they were)

The cooking liquid for the rice and peas - coconut milk & spring o's amongst other things

The chicken thighs were marinaded in the evaporated milk and tommy k mixture & drenched in breadcrumbs

Lovely - moist and crisp and very bad for you !

You can't beat a plate of rice and peas

Friday, 26 November 2010

Chicken Pie

It's bloody freezing in England at the moment. Perfect therefore for a pie!

So - I bought a few ingredients in Waitrose and then noticed Gordon Ramsey had a version in his pub food recipe book. This is a sort of amalgamation of ideas.

The cast:

The recipe called for poaching the chicken. I was a bit worried about this - but actually it turned out to be a great move as it then leant itself to a great stock for the liquor for the pie

After poaching

A loving close up of some bubbling butter and browned mushrooms.

That's the stock I was talking about - after a quick hard reduction

Pre baking.

Note the arty chicken motif

Post bake

And the chicken...

The final product.....absolutely lovely

And this was even better the day after.....

Monday, 15 November 2010

Cullen Skink

Having a one year old and a brother with two little one's also means that lunch becomes the new 'going out'. It's great deciding what to have for a Saturday snack...adds a new dimension to my repertoire. 

I'd wanted to cook this for ages - it's from the excellent Gordon Ramsey Pub Food. One of the best cookbooks for simple English fare.

Unfortunately I could not get un-dyed haddock at the last minute. I thought it would be a problem...but i'm not sure I could tell what might have been the problem in the end result.

A simple poach in milk. Does that bay leaf really matter !!!

And a flaked haddock into the simple soup of potato, onion, milk and cream. it was lovely

...but having multiple kids racing around the place meant I forgot to take a photo of the finished dish. oops!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Proper Paella

I really really hate mass produced tourist Paella. Really hate it.

So...when in Spain I decided to go as authentic as I could. I read in my 'Food of Spanish Markets' cook book that whilst it's generally impossible to get two Spanish persons to agree with what actually makes up a proper Paella - what they will (should) say is that seafood is a no-no.....and thus an authentic recipe followed. Here's my attempt.

The key ingredients are actually rabbit and chicken bits.....

..and some lovely runner beans

Frying off the meat

Plenty of paprika and tomato juice

The real deal

Surely that'as too much liquid does it all go ???

And I was most proud of this. A real Paella should have a very distinct 'soccarat' or crust that forms on the base of the Paella. I've never had this in (touristy) I was very pleased with this. It really does add something to the eating experience!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Individual Shoulder of Lamb Roast

Very very happy with this one. One of my top meals.

Went to the supermarket to buy a shoulder of lamb and found these individual bone-in lamb portions.

And this is what they looked like after 3 hours on a slow roast !

Perfect size (for two hungry people). Actually - you didn't need to be that hungry - they were perfect!

What a great start for the roasties

See - told ya

Served simply with some red cabbage and shredded carrot

So tender you could eat it with a spoon. I know - 'cos I did !