Broccoli, White Bean and Bacon Soup (4)

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Another soup – different ingredients. I really like using white beans as a thickener, better for you than potatoes. Bacon adds a nice saltiness. I used back bacon (in the supermarket you may find it names ‘Irish bacon’) which is leaner cut. Dilute with extra broth after cooking if you prefer a thinner soup.

2 rashers of back bacon – halved and sliced

1 onion – diced

1 head of broccoli – cut into florets and I used the stem also

1 can of cannellini beans – drained

2 cups chicken broth (or more if you like a thinner soup)

Heat a frying pan until nice and hot and then add the bacon.

Once bacon is a little browned and giving off juices, add the onion.

Cook stirring occasionally until bacon and onion and nicely browned.

Add the broccoli, beans and broth, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.

Process in a food processor or use a hand held blender.

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Blueberry, Apple and Mint Sauce for Lamb (4)

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I have had such a lovely afternoon pottering in my mother’s kitchen trying to make this sauce which I tasted last week in the depths of North Yorkshire at the Stapylton Arms at Wass. This sauce was served with lamb chops and was on both the ‘Specials’ board and on the gluten and dairy free menu. It was a refreshing combination and beautifully presented with a few whole blueberries and slices of apple that had been cooked in the sauce. The smooth sauce made a lovely puddle around the chops.

The blueberries were ripe and I used an eating apple so that I didn’t need to add sugar. The mint came straight from my mother’s garden. So that the sauce had a zing to it, I ‘muddled’ the mint (as one would do for a cocktail) with balsamic vinegar. It can be served hot or cold. I am so looking forward to having it tonight with organic roast lamb – bread and reared in the area de-boned in front of my eyes in the fantastic local butcher, The Fabulous Meat and Fish Shop in Helmsley, North Yorkshire.

2 tbsp. mint – finely chopped

1 tbsp. aged 12 year old balsamic vinegar

4 oz. blueberries

1 green eating apple – peeled and thinly sliced with a potato peeler

1/4 cup of water

Place the mint in a small glass and pour over the balsamic vinegar, ‘muddle’ it and leave for 10 minutes or so to infuse.

In a small lidded saucepan put the blueberries, apple slices, mint, balsamic vinegar and water.

Bring the pan to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat.

Process sauce in a food processor or hand held blender then push through a sieve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon and Asparagus Tray Bake (4)

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Really easy but quite sophisticated tray bake – love these all-in-one meals. The key to getting everything cooked to the right degree of tenderness is in the sizing of the ingredients. So, four wild salmon steaks of roughly the same size – not too thick if possible (a thicker salmon steak will mean larger pieces of potato and longer bits of asparagus), a bunch of asparagus with the tough ends cut off and then cut into thirds, new potatoes cut into quarters or smaller depending on size and compared with the thickness of the asparagus and half a good size onion. Toss all except for salmon in a lemon juice/olive oil mixture with the remains poured over the salmon steaks. About 25 minutes later all is ready (and if you cook the dinner on unbleached waxed paper there will be little clean-up!).

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook for 20 minutes and check for doneness.

Line a baking tray with unbleached waxed paper

4 wild salmon steaks

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

10 oz. thin asparagus spears – hard ends cut off and then cut into thirds

10 oz. new potatoes – quartered at least, if not cut into sixth’s or eighth’s

1/2 a good size onion – sliced and then the slices separated

Place salmon steaks on parchment paper – evenly spaced apart.

Whisk together lemon juice and seasoned oil.

Toss asparagus, potatoes and onion in a bowl with the lemon juice/oil mixture.

Arrange around the salmon and pour remains of juices over salmon.

Check for doneness after 20 minutes and cook a little longer if necessary until salmon is cooked through, asparagus is not too soft and potatoes and are not too hard.

 

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Red Cabbage with Pears and Dried Cranberries (4)

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Probably not a combination you have thought of but it works well and is naturally a little sweet because of the pears and dried cranberries. I layered this dish starting with cabbage then onions then I sandwiched the pear slices and cranberries in the middle before adding another layer of onions and finishing with cabbage on the top. The addition of apple cider vinegar keeps the cabbage looking red and a little broth provides enough moisture for the mixture to braise in the oven either in a lidded dish or an ovenproof dish covered with aluminum foil.  Goes well with pork.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

1 smallish red cabbage – sliced quite thinly

1 large onion – finely sliced and then the rings separated

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of chicken/vegetable broth

2 pears – peeled, quartered and sliced

A good handful of dried cranberries

Place half the cabbage on the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Cover with half the onion.

Pour over 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of broth.

Add a layer of pears and sprinkle with the cranberries.

Follow this  with the rest of the onion, top with cabbage and pour over the remaining vinegar and broth.

Cover the dish and cook in oven for 45 minutes

Haddock with a Tomato-Red Pepper Sauce and Parslied Potatoes (4)

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White fish needs a sauce otherwise it can be very bland. The tomato-red pepper sauce is easy to make and cooks in just about the same time as the fish as do the potatoes so all is on the table in about half an hour. The haddock is poached with lemon juice and olive oil. The recipe for the sauce is a good one to keep on hand as it goes well with pasta  and, if diluted with some broth, makes a nice soup. New potatoes cooked in their skins are then squashed with a potato masher before being sprinkled with parsley and lightly sauteed in oil.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

4 pieces of haddock (about 5 oz. per person)

Juice of 1 lemon

3 – 4 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion – roughly diced

2 cloves of garlic – grated

1 can of diced, roasted tomatoes

1 red pepper – diced

10 oz. new potatoes

2 tbsp. parsley – finely chopped

Place the fish on a piece of aluminum foil on a baking tray, pour over the lemon juice and 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook in oven for 25 minutes until cooked through.

Pour 1 tbsp. oil into a frying pan and when sizzling add the onion and let soften and brown slightly. Add the garlic and stir in well. After a couple of minutes pour in the        tomatoes and add the diced pepper. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer for 25 minutes. Process mixture in a food processor.

Place potatoes in a pan of boiling water and cook for 20 minutes. Heat 1 -2 tbsp. oil in a frying pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squash the potatoes slightly with a potato masher and when the oil is sizzling add them to the pan and sprinkle the parsley over them. Cook until slightly brown and crisp.

 

 

 

Thai Beef Curry (4)

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The word curry is used as a blanket term for spicy food when, in reality, there are many differences in ingredients and flavors. Indian curries tend to use blends of dry spices as a basis for their taste, whereas in Thailand a paste is used. There are many other countries that have curried dishes as part of their diet – the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa to name a few.
Red curry paste, as opposed to green or the harder to find and creamier yellow, is used in this recipe and the finished dish is fairly mild with the coconut milk offsetting some of the heat. This Thai Beef Curry is quickly prepared and there are lots of nice juices to soak up the rice, quinoa, noodles or whatever you wish to serve with it.

8 oz. flat iron steak – thinly sliced
1 shallot – thinly sliced and separated
1 red pepper – thinly sliced
2 large cloves of garlic – grated
4 oz. frozen peas
1 can of lite coconut milk
2 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp. fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped, plus more for garnish

Prepare the first 4 ingredients on a chopping board.
In a mixing bowl pour in the coconut milk and whisk it together with the curry paste, peanut butter and fish sauce, then pour into a frying pan and bring to a boil.
When boiling add the steak, shallot, red pepper and garlic to the curry sauce, turn down to a simmer,let ingredients cook for about 7 minutes then add the peas, lime juice and cilantro and cook for a further 3 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
Sprinkle with a little cilantro for garnish and serve.

Coronation Chicken (4)

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The original recipe for Coronation Chicken was created in 1953 for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Any dish that has to cater for large numbers of people with a wide range of tastes cannot be too unusual and although the Coronation Chicken that was served at the coronation lunch contained curry powder it was hard to detect among the other ingredients – tomato puree, red wine, apricot puree, mayonnaise and whipped cream. My mother made a version that included curry powder, some canned Mulligatawny soup and apricot jam. Personally, I use a combination of mango chutney and concentrated curry paste and a little mayo diluted with the chicken juices from the poached chicken. I serve it surrounded by slices of melon and grapes but if you want to bulk it up you could accompany it by rice or a rice salad.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

2 chicken breasts – poached in chicken broth

1 dessertspoon of hot mango chutney (Patak’s brand)

1 tsp. hot concentrated curry paste (Patak’s brand)

1 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tbsp. chicken juices

1 x 1 oz. packet of raisins

A handful of sliced almonds plus extra for garnish

Cantaloupe melon and a mixture of green and black grapes cut in half for garnishing

Place the chicken breasts on a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet, pour over 1/4 cup of chicken broth and make into a parcel. Cook for 45 minutes. Let cool and slice into small bite size pieces.

Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl and add the raisins and almonds.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the chutney, curry paste, mayo and cooled chicken juices.

Add the curry mixture to the chicken mixture and stir together well.

Place in a serving dish and surround with slices of melon and grapes and scatter with almonds.