Well, it’s been ages (again) ………….

…………. so I thought that I ought to post something. I really cannot remember when I posted my last entry to my poor neglected blog, so, to keep the thing alive, I thought that I’d post a few pictures of what I’ve been cooking recently. This is cod loin (sustainable, of course) wrapped in prosciutto crudo and roasted. I served it with some wilted spinach and a simple lemon, caper and butter emulsion. Continue reading

Moussaka (as made by Patrick Leigh Fermor’s housekeeper)

This recipe comes from Rick Stein’s TV series From Venice to Istanbul. This featured in the programme where he visited the home of the late Patrick Leigh Fermor and ate a moussaka cooked by PLF’s housekeeper, Elpida Beloyannis. Continue reading

Tagliatelle with courgettes, tomatoes and basil

Another quick, easy and summery dish.

All you need is some pasta, fresh tagliatelle was what I used, one large thinly-sliced courgette per person, some halved cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley and basil, finely-chopped or grated garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and some cheese for grating (I used Provolone, but Parmesan is fine). Continue reading

Monkfish and scallops in a mild curry sauce

Monkfish and scallops in a mild curry sauce

I like curry spices with fish so I tend to cook things that allow me to blend the flavours quite often. However, I don’t like the curry to overpower the fish, so I tend to use the spices sparingly.

This dish is a pretty simple one, fish cooked in olive oil, some thread noodles, seared courgette ribbons and a mild coconutty, curry sauce.

The sauce was made by softening a chopped shallot, a mild red chilli and some tomato flesh in groundnut oil and then adding some threads of saffron, salt, pepper and a half-teaspoonful of a mild curry spice blend (cumin, coriander, turmeric, ground cloves, ground cinnamon) and stirring it around until everything was coated. Then I added a small carton of creamed coconut and a small amount of milk and brought it to a simmer. When everything was nicely cooked, I liquidised it and returned it to the pan.

Overall, this worked quite well, but I think that the next time I cook something like this I will use rice rather than noodles.

Spatchcocked chicken, potatoes, gratin, Sunday dinner

I think that I’ve said before that roast chicken is my favourite meal and I know that it is definitely the Sunday meal I cook the most frequently. Continue reading

Chicken with mushroom and tarragon sauce

I’ve been cooking a lot of oriental things recently so I thought that I’d do something French for a change.

I bought a whole chicken and jointed it, it is better value doing this than buying chicken portions most of the time.

I used the breast and wing pieces for this dish and saved the legs for something else.

First I coated the chicken in seasoned flour and fried it in olive oil until the skin was crisp and then removed it from the pan.

Then I added a few crushed and chopped cloves of garlic and a finely diced onion and fried those until they were soft, using extra butter in the pan. Then I added some quartered chestnut mushrooms and cooked them. Finally, I flamed off some marc de Bourgogne and added a glassful of Noilly Prat and some chicken stock.

This was allowed to come to a simmering temperature before I returned the chicken to the pan. This was then covered and left to simmer for about 15 minutes.

To finish the dish off, I adjusted the seasoning and added in a handful of chopped tarragon and parsley and some single cream. This was left to reduce slightly while I finished off the potatoes and some baby courgettes which were sautéed in olive oil and a little butter.

When the sauce was thickened a bit, everything was ready to serve. Chicken and tarragon is one of those classic French marriages of flavours, and the brandy, cream and Noilly Prat makes the sauce rich and unctuous.