Sunday, 31 May 2009

Cold supper at the end of a lovely warm May day

Potato salad on a bed of lettuce from my garden, chopped chicken from a couple of nights ago on top of the potato. The potatoes are cooked whole in their skins, cooled quickly in cold water then peeled and cut in pieces. It's best to use a salad potato because the flesh stays firm. However, I've used other types and just undercooked them slightly.

Potato salad

Mayonnaise (preferably home made with lots of garlic)
Tomato chutney (see labels)
Greek yoghourt

Mix mayonnaise, chutney and yoghourt. Fold in potatoes gently. I use yoghourt because slightly less mayonnaise is then needed.

To follow, strawberries, again from the garden, sprinkled with sugar and a little balsamic vinegar.

Friday, 29 May 2009

We had a bulk delivery of meat yesterday from Somerset Local Food Direct.

Chicken with garlic and herb butter

Preheat oven to 180C.
Part of our order was free range chicken thighs. I decided to try cooking them with a garlic butter. I mixed softened butter with crushed garlic and chopped coriander. I loosened the skin on the chicken to make a pocket. In the pocket I put about 2 teaspoons of the garlic butter. Put thighs skin side up in an oven pan and cook for about 45 minutes. They came out with a lovely crisp skin.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Simple supper. I've got lots to do in the garden at the moment, so don't have much energy for cooking. The roast tomato sauce is an old favourite, made and frozen last summer, very garlicky. Fresh from the garden Little Gem lettuce and beetroot thinnings. The beetroot stalks and young leaves glowing scarlet against the lettuce.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Marinated lamb chops with  bulgar

Local Somerset lamb. The blog spurred me to do something more interesting than just plain grilling, although the lamb is so good that plain is delicious. However, tonight I marinaded it with dried thyme, lemon juice, ground black pepper and olive oil. Then under the grill. I served it with the Bulgar, tonight with carrot caramelised in olive oil, and chopped artichoke  bottoms.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Indulgance in a recipe I haven't cooked for years;

  Corned beef hash

corned beef
Worcestershire sauce

First boil the potatoes in their skins. Let cool, remove the skin and chop. Soften a large onion in oil. Add the chopped potato to the onions and fry until potatoes start to brown. Add chopped corned beef and generous shakes of the Worcestershire sauce and continue to fry. Finish off by browning under the grill.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Leftover pork

This a nice easy way to use leftover roast pork or roast beef, and leftover potatoes. Make a vinaigrette dressing with olive oil and wine vinegar. Cut the pork into small cubes and add to dressing. Tonight we had leftover boiled potatoes and leftover roasties. We cut these into small cubes and mixed with the pork. We served the mixture on plain lettuce leaves. You can dress this up more if you like, maybe add mustard or chopped herbs or chopped onion. It's also good mixed with mayonnaise and yoghurt instead of the vinaigrette.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Vaguely mediterranean tonight

I need to use some long red peppers and asparagus. My favourite way with the peppers is an italian recipe by way of Elizabeth David. Usually we would eat the peppers just with crusty white bread. Tonight I wanted them as part of supper, and, to bulk it out, I did scrambled eggs. 
Not bad; but the peppers are still probably better on their own with bread. The asparagus was roasted as before.

Roasted red peppers

4 long red peppers
6 cherry tomatoes halved, or 2 larger tomatoes cut into small wedges
3 fillets anchovies in olive oil
2 cloves garlic sliced thinly

Halve the peppers length ways and scrape out the seeds. Put them into a baking dish. Distribute the garlic slices, 3 or  small  pieces of anchovy and 3 segments of tomato on each pepper piece. Pour olive oil over and cook at 180C for 30 minutes.

Scrambled eggs with potatoes and olives

small new potatoes, enough for 2
1 onion sliced
12 black olives, deseeded and sliced
4 eggs

Cut the potatoes in half. Put in a pan with some butter, the onion and enough hot water to cover. Bring to the boil, then simmer 15-20 minutes. Remove the lid towards the end of cooking to evaporate most of the liquid. Meanwhile beat the eggs, adding ground black pepper. Once the potatoes are cooked remove from the pan. Tip the egg into the same pan and scramble. When the egg is nearly cooked add back the potatoes and olives.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

My first time tonight for roast asparagus. Very simple and utterly delicious, the tips of the spears just crisp. 6 spears for me and 7 spears for G as a starter. Then simply cooked roast shoulder of pork with crisp crackling, roast potatoes and a simple coleslaw. The coleslaw was a good fresh tasting contrast to the fatty pork and potatoes.

Roast asparagus

Trim off the toughest end of the spears.Put in one layer in a roasting pan. Roll spears in olive oil. Cook at 180C 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. I only wish I'd cooked more so I could have some to eat cold.


Finely sliced spring cabbage mixed with half a sliced apple. Mix in cider vinegar, lesser amount of olive oil and a little sugar.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Pork chops with mustard and brown sugar, Bulgar with mushrooms

An easy way to flavour pork chops. For 2 chops mix 2tbsp mustard, plain or with grains, and 1 tbsp dark brown sugar. Spread onto one side of the chops and place chops on a grill pan. I find it best to place the pan a distance away from the grill so that the coating doesn't burn before the meat is cooked. When one side is browned turn over, coat with the remaining mixture and put back under the grill.

Bulgar with mushrooms

Cover bulgar with boiling water and let soak for 15-20 minutes. Soften dried mushrooms in hot water to cover. Meanwhile soften a chopped onion in a little olive oil. Add sliced button mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are done. Add a good squeeze of tomato puree, the dried mushrooms (these have been rinsed and chopped, the soaking liquid filtered through a sheet from a roll of kitchen towel), several shakes of soy sauce, ground pepper and the mushroom liquid. Add the soaked bulgar, put a lid on pan, and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes.  
This had a good depth of flavour, mainly because of the small amount of dried mushrooms.

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