Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Long Overdue Eating At Home Catch-Up Part 1

I have previously posted periodic "round-ups": collections of photos of things I have eaten, home and away where either I was remiss in posting or, if I'm completely honest, just couldn't be bothered or forgot to write up a recipe. I knew that an 'at home' version of such a post was well overdue but I have to say that I'm shocked to discover that the last time such a post was written was actually over two years ago in August of 2013. Blimey.

As you can imagine then I have bloody stacks of photos where I want to document good food we have eaten but haven't actually got a recipe file to go with it: and so what I had thought would be just the one catch-up post may indeed become two or more. I'll get started then: some of the titles may be a little, erm, vague but I have the memory of an amnesiac goldfish a lot of the time these days so you'll have to bear with me.

Burger with tomatillo salsa & luchito mayo

Steak & blue cheese tagliatelle

Cod in saffron & tomato sauce

Griddled tuna with stirfry veg & noodles

Hamish's chicken & asparagus pasta

Teriyaki salmon with pea & broccoli fried rice

Lamb ragu, pappardelle & gremolata

Cheese & tomato on sourdough toast

Bacon, pea & leek farfalle

Lamb & polenta with mint sauce & green beans

Chicken, broccoli & black bean

Loaded potato skins

Spicy tofu & beef

Lamb & aubergine stew with roast carrot couscous

Hot smoked salmon & broccoli fusilli

Tarragon chicken

Cod & spinach curry

Spiced salmon with herby couscous

Egg & potato curry

Chicken katsu curry

Roast chicken, potato gratin & petis pois a la francais

Thai chicken curry

Salmon, fennel & pesto

Chilli chicken & mushroom risotto with pesto

Barnsley chop with Niçoise vegetables

Beef massaman curry

Christmas dinner, 2014

So that takes us neatly up to the end of 2014... this year to follow soon!

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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Slow Cooker Jerk Pulled Pork with Caribbean Salsa

I can’t remember at all what first prompted me to make this: I suppose I could say that it was while searching for new recipes to try out in the slow cooker but really it would be guesswork. What the hell, we’ll go with that.

There are, if you care to shop for it, many different kinds of jerk seasoning. I’ve used Dunn’s River here but Walkerswood is another well known brand. I will say that the Dunn’s River is pretty damn hot & spicy so if you want less of that do try and find a mild type.

The smell of the pork cooking during the day will honestly be enough to drive you almost to distraction and it will be so, so, difficult not to scoff the lot while shredding it. In short this was unbelievably delicious and I can definitely see myself cooking it again and again.

Slow Cooker Jerk Pulled Pork with Caribbean Salsa
serves 3-4

For the pork
500-600g boneless pork shoulder, fat removed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp jerk seasoning
pinch of coarse sea salt
juice of ½ lime
¼ cup orange juice
For the Caribbean salsa
½ haas avocado, diced
1 large ripe mango, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 tbsp coriander, chopped
1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Using a sharp knife stab slits into the pork and then stuff these holes with half of the crushed garlic. Combine the remaining garlic, jerk seasoning, and salt, rub all over pork (it is probably a good idea at this point to wear a pair of marigolds or washed latex gloves).

Place the pork swathed in its marinade in a plastic container, pour over the lime and orange juices and then cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight. Turn the pork occasionally in the marinade.

Once the pork has marinated tip it all into the slow cooker and cook on low for 9 hours.

After 9 hours, remove the pork and shred using two forks.

Add the shredded pork back to the slow cooker and taste carefully for seasoning (although I’d be very surprised if it needed it). Let it cook an additional 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make the Caribbean salsa: combine all the ingredients in a bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper then refrigerate.

Serve the salsa alongside the pork and some plain rice with a little chopped coriander sprinkled over.

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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Heirloom Tomato Galette

The term galette, or more properly Breton galette is of course the name given in most French crêperies to large savoury buckwheat flour pancakes. But the name does also apply in French cuisine to designate various types of rustic free-form tarts or cakes. And that is what we have here.

I took this recipe from here with, I think, no adaptations which is something quite unusual for me. I made a trip to Borough Market avail myself of some heirloom (aka heritage) tomatoes as they are of course so beautiful, but you could use supermarket tomatoes: Tesco do some very tasty Kentish ones in fact. If you use cherry tomatoes as well as medium, simply halve these before roasting in the oven.

You could move away from the “Caprese” theme of this particular tart and use a different cheese too: perhaps a nice goat’s cheese. What is important is that you dry it out a little for ten minutes or so before adding to the tart if it is a quite wet cheese (as of course mozzarella is) else it will be too soggy

Heirloom Tomato & Mozzarella Galette
serves 2-4

1 packet ready rolled puff pastry
1 ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella
4-5 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced about ¼” thick
6-8 fresh thyme sprigs
10 leaves fresh basil
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
balsamic glaze
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180C.

Lay the tomato slices on a baking sheet covered with baking paper, sprinkle over thyme, salt and pepper and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Take ball of mozzarella and wring it in paper towel to remove some of the moisture. Cut slices of cheese and lay on paper towels for 10 minutes to draw out more moisture.

Roll out the pastry so it is overhanging the sides of a 9″ pie or tart dish by an inch and a half. This is quite a rustic tart so there is no need to be perfect at all.

Place mozzarella slices on the bottom, then the tomato slices in whatever pattern you like.

Fold the dough at the sides back over the top of the galette and then brush the dough with egg wash.

Pop in the oven and bake at 350 for 45 minutes -1 hour.

Leave for a while to cool to room temperature then serve drizzled with balsamic glaze and sprinkled with basil leaves.

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Spicy Tomato Baked Eggs

I’m trying to rein in my carnivorous tendencies at the moment and eat less red meat - obviously that wasn’t the case at the weekend where I was almost caveman like in my red meat choices (raw and rare being the order of the day on Saturday).

So with that in mind yesterday afternoon I dreamt up a vaguely Moroccan spicy tomato concoction into which to throw some eggs and bake.

I pulled a lot of other spices and so forth from the shelves and racks including Spanish sweet paprika, Korean red pepper flakes, ras el hanout and more before deciding on the ingredients below. Originally I was going to use fresh tomatoes (hence those in the photo) but then I remembered a tin of Cherry Tomatoes hidden away in the back of the cupboard which I thought would be perfect in this.

It was really rather good. 

Serves 1

1 tbsp olive oil
1 banana shallot, finely chopped (I wanted to use a red onion but I’d run out)
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped (you can discard seeds if you like)
1 Guindilla pepper (the long pickled light green Spanish chilli peppers in jars like this - optional)
60g mushrooms
Tin cherry tomatoes
Freshly ground salt and pepper
½ tsp demerara sugar
1/4 tsp cumin powder
Worcester sauce
Red wine vinegar
2 tsp Belarazu rose harissa (but any harissa is fine)
2 tsp smoked chilli jelly (optional)
Large handful coriander, chopped
2 eggs
Optional: Freshly grated Parmesan, to serve (only about 1 tbsp)

Heat the oil over a medium heat and cook the onion & chillis until the onions are softened and translucent - about 10 minutes.  Turn down the heat if they start to brown.

Add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add the cumin and mushrooms and cook for a few minutes more.

Tip in the tomatoes, harissa, chilli jelly, a good splash of red wine vinegar and a couple of large splashes of worcester sauce, season well with salt & pepper and the sugar. Squash the cherry tomatoes down a bit with the back of a wooden spoon and simmer for 20 minutes before stirring in half the coriander (if the tomato mixture appears to be getting too dry splash in a little water).

While it is simmering, preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

Once the sauce is done, pour into an ovenproof dish (I use a small frying pan that I am able to remove the handle from) and make 2 shallows into which you crack an egg each.

Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks cooked to how you like them.

Sprinkle is a little grated parmesan, if using and scatter with the remaining coriander.  Serve with warm wholemeal pittas or crusty bread.

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