Pancetta Roasted Potatoes (4)

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These potatoes are for an occasional treat as they are roasted in the drippings from slices of pancetta. It is an Umbrian way of roasting potatoes. Traditionally, the cooking in that region of Italy is based on local, seasonal foods with absolutely nothing going to waste. I sourced the pancetta from an Italian food shop and asked for it to be sliced quite thickly. It is placed on a slatted baking rack above the potatoes. The fat drips out of the pancetta onto the potatoes and they soak up some of the slightly smoked flavor of the pancetta which itself dries out and becomes like crackling. Serve each person with potatoes topped with the crackling. Goes well with roast pork or chicken.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

4 x thickish slices of pancetta

1 pound waxy potatoes (Yukon Gold or new potatoes) – cut into bite-size chunks

Put the potatoes in a metal roasting dish and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place a rack over the potatoes and lay the pancetta slices on it.

Cook for about 45 minutes until potatoes are nicely browned. Turn the potatoes over periodically.

Serve immediately while pancetta is still crisp, placing pancetta over a portion of potatoes.

 

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Lemon-Dill Dressed Noodles with Chicken, Olives, Cucumber and Feta (4)

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If I had a garden I would set aside  a patch for growing herbs. How nice it would be to gather them fresh for a recipe – to make mint sauce to go with lamb or add basil to a tomato sauce for pasta or to chop some fresh parsley for a garnish. Luckily my supermarket has a wide range of fresh herbs – oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and dill among others.

Dill is a common ingredient in Russian, Scandinavian and Eastern European cuisines where it is used in such recipes as sauces and salads and for pickling.

I didn’t realize how many beneficial properties it has. It boosts digestion and the immune system, contains calcium, is an anti-inflammatory and an anti-flatulent!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

4 oz. rice noodles

1 x chicken breast

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp. olive

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 an English cucumber – sliced then each slice quartered

12 black olives – cut into quarters

2 oz. feta cheese – cut into little cubes

Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. dill – finely chopped

1/4 of a shallot – finely chopped

Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and leave to cool.

Place chicken breast on a piece of aluminum dish in an ovenproof dish, pour over the lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Make a parcel out of the aluminum foil, place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven, let cool then cut into bite-size pieces.

Into a large bowl put the rice noodles, chicken pieces, cucumber, olives and feta cheese.

Make the dressing by whisking together the juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon, Dijon mustard, olive oil, dill and shallot. Pour dressing into the bowl and toss together well (the ‘hands’ in the photo and really good for tossing the salad and separating the strands of noodles).

 

 

 

 

French Green Beans and Baby Tomatoes with Tapenade (4)

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French green beans or haricots verts as they are known in France are a thinner version of the traditional green beans found in the US and UK and I much prefer them. In France haricots verts and tomatoes are often combined, whether it be in a salad or a hot dish such as this. I have added tapenade – a traditional Mediterranean appetizer often served on toasted bread in a similar way to bruschetta or used as a dip for crudites – and stirred it in with the vegetables. Tapenade at its most basic combines black olives, capers and olive oil. My version also includes anchovies, garlic and lemon juice. If you don’t want to make it yourself you may be able to find it in your local supermarket. Goes well with lamb or firm white fish.

8 oz thin green beans – topped, tailed and cut in half

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 oz cherry tomatoes – cut in half

1 tbsp. tapenade (or more if you want)

Boil the green beans for just a few minutes until ‘al dente’, then drain.

At the same time put 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. When sizzling add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become soft and browned on both sides.

Add the beans and 1 tbsp. of tapenade to the pan with the tomatoes and the juices and toss well together.

TAPENADE (makes approx. 1 cup – which is more than you need for this recipe)

1 x cup pitted black olives

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 heaped tbsp. curly parsley

1 tbsp. capers – drained

1 large clove garlic – cut into small pieces

4 anchovies

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend to your desired consistency.

DISCLAIMER

The information contained in this blog is for information purposes only, and may not apply to your situation. The author, publisher, distributor and provider provide no warranty about the content or accuracy of the content. Information provided is subjective. Keep this in mind when reviewing this blog.

Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages resulting from use of this blog. All links are for information purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy, or any other implied or explicit purpose.

 

Leek, Broccoli and Spinach Soup with a Hint of Mustard (4)

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Soup season, for me, runs from October to March or April. I like my soups to be thick and filling. This soup is a vibrant green color and looks especially good when served in a white soup bowl. The addition of some Colman’s Mustard adds a little piquancy to this very healthy dish.

1 tbsp olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large onion – roughly chopped

3 leeks – sliced

3 medium heads of broccoli – roughly chopped

10 oz baby spinach

3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

1 1/2 tsp. Colman’s Mustard Powder mixed with an equal amount of cold water (it needs 10 minutes to stand before using)

Heat seasoned oil in a Dutch oven and, when sizzling, add the onion and let soften and brown.

Add the leeks and let soften a little before adding the broccoli, spinach and broth.

Bring to a boil the let simmer for 15 minutes.

Add mustard mixture and cook for 5 more minutes.

 

 

 

 

A Greek Way with Lamb Chops (4)

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Imagine gathering the flavors that to me conjure up Greek food – lamb, black olives, tomatoes, potatoes, lemon, oregano, feta cheese – and tossing them all together then cooking them in the oven in a large baking dish until the meat is tender and juicy, the potatoes a little crisp, the tomatoes bursting with juice. Dinner party worthy.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

4 x loin lamb chops

1 large onion – sliced

2 large cloves garlic – roughly chopped

8 oz. baby tomatoes – halved

2 oz. black olives – pitted and cut in half

12 oz. new potatoes – cut into 1 inch chunks

1 tbsp. each of fresh oregano, thyme, parsley – finely chopped

Juice of half a lemon

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 oz. feta cheese – cut into small cubes (optional – I can eat this as it is made from sheep’s milk. I can’t tolerate cow’s milk)

Place the lamb chops in a large baking tray.

Put the tomatoes, olives, potatoes and herbs in a large bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pour over the vegetables. Stir well, cover and leave to marinate for half and hour.

Place vegetables around the lamb chops and cook for an hour – check every so often and give veg.  astir.

Add feta cheese (optional) and serve.

Brussels Sprouts with Leeks and a Hint of Ginger and Citrus (4)

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Vegetables are so versatile. Why just have sprouts on their own when they can be teamed with leeks and ginger, for instance?. The sprouts are pan fried with the ginger then leeks, lime juice, lime zest, a few drops of yuzu and vegetable broth are added.

Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit with an intense flavor, so only a few drops are needed. It can be used in sweet and savory dishes and also salad dressings. It is becoming more popular on menus. I buy my yuzu juice online as I haven’t found it locally.

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

1 tbsp. ginger – peeled and grated

1 pound of Brussels sprouts – halved or quartered depending on size of sprout

3 medium size leeks – use only the whiteish parts, wash thoroughly and slice thinly

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Zest of 1/2 a lime

A few drops of Yuzu juice

2 tbsp. vegetable broth

Place the seasoned olive oil in a skillet and when oil is sizzling add the ginger, turn the heat down and cook for a minute or so until you can smell the ginger.

Add sprouts and cook until they are nicely browned. This will take 10 minutes or so. Turning them over frequently.

Add leeks, lime zest, lime juice, yuzu juice and vegetable broth and cook until leeks are softish – 3 to 5 minutes.

Turkey and Spinach Curry (4)

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This is a loosely termed curry borrowing from both Asian and Indian dishes. From the Asian I took coconut milk and ginger and from the Indian I used various spices – garam masala, cumin, curry powder and turmeric – and I stir in a touch of mango chutney and a pinch of white pepper (enough so that you can taste it) just before serving. The addition of spinach and lentils and using ground turkey as the meat makes for a light and healthy curry.

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

1 medium onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 tsp. each of cumin, curry powder and garam masala

Pinch of turmeric

2 inch piece of ginger – peeled and grated (makes 1 tbsp.

1 pound of ground turkey

1 can (15 oz.) lite coconut milk

1 can (15oz.) lentils – rinsed

1/2 cup turkey/chicken broth

10 oz. baby spinach

1 – 2 tbsp. mango chutney

Good pinch of white pepper

Chopped cilantro (to sprinkle over top of curry before serving)

Put 1 tbsp. of seasoned olive oil in a Dutch oven. When it is sizzling add onion. Let it soften and brown a little then add garlic and spices and stir. When you can smell the spices, add the ginger.

Cook for a couple of minutes then add the turkey and brown.

Pour in coconut milk, turkey/chicken broth and lentils. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add spinach and let wilt, stirring a little.

Stir in a mango chutney and white pepper.

Sprinkle with chopped cilantro

The information contained in this blog is for information purposes only, and may not apply to your situation. The Author, Publisher, Distributor and Provider provide no warranty about the content or accuracy of content enclosed. Information provided is subjective.

Neither the Publisher nor Author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages resulting from use of this blog.  All links are for information purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy, or any other implied or explicit purpose