Saturday, April 30, 2011

Veal Escalope with Boccatini

Friday, 29th April
Another attempt at veal escalope, which worked much better. Flattened the veal and dusted it with flour, then gently pan fried it in butter with sage, for about 2 minutes each side. Added some lemon juice after turning the escalopes. Sauce for the pasta is very simply gently sauteed onions and garlic, with diced tomato and chopped basil added shortly before serving.
The tomato sauce was very good, but the pasta needed more of a coating, so we poured on extra olive oil at the table. The meat came out pretty well, although still not as tender as I would like. Veal with lemon and sage is a great combination.
A very nice caprese salad as a starter and a good bottle of Prosecco, made for a delicious meal.

Chicken and Shitake on rice

Wednesday, 27th April
This should be Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Rice - literally "parent and child rice bowl"), but I didn't have any eggs, and I don't really like egg anyway. So I improvised with mushroom, but used the basic recipe from Traditional Japanese Recipe Book, p22. Gently sautee onion, add chicken that had been previously quickly blanched in boiling water, add stock, mirin, and soy. Cook through, add shitake and cook for a couple of minutes, top with sliced spring onion and serve over rice. I wonder if the Japanese use a much paler sort of soy sauce than we get here, because my sauces always turn out much darker than the ones shown in the pictures with the recipes.
Anyway this was very good and the chicken and mushroom combination was excellent.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lamb braised in White Wine

Friday, 22nd April (evening)
Done in the slow cooker while I was out. Braised the lamb in white wine with bacon, onions, garlic and rosemary. Served with sauteed potatoes.
The lamb came out wonderfully tender, but still with a nice meaty texture and flavour. The slow cooking helped the sweetness of the onions to come through, and cooked them perfectly without reducing them to mush. A hearty Turkey Flats Shiraz washed it down well.

Rhubarb Crumble

Friday, 22nd April (morning)
I put a rhubarb plant in a pot on the balcony last year and this year is seems to be doing very well. A nice little crop already, just enough for an individual crumble. Yummy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Barbecue chicken and chips

Wednesday, 20th April
Easy food for a lazy, sunny evening. Not actually barbecued but cooked in the oven in a Stubbs Original BBQ sauce, which is always tasty. Accompanied by the right beer in the wrong glass. A delicious 12° Barley Wine called Geisha, from an italian brew-pub called Birrificio Troll. In a Kölsch glass. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Poussin in white wine, sage and lemon

Sunday, 17th April
I braised the poussin in a casserole on top of the stove, with white wine, grated lemon peel, shallots and sage (from the balcony!) and served it with sauteed potatoes.
The wine was a little old and, after adding it, I thought the sauce smelled as though it was going to come out rather sour. So I chopped up a few prunes and added those, which worked a treat. The sauce came out just right and nicely balanced between the zesty lemon and the sweet, rich prunes.  The meat of the poussin was delicious, especially the breast. Definitely worth a repeat.
No photo with this one. The photos I took turned out awful and made the meal look surprisingly unappetising, given how good it was.

Stilton and Fig tart - Creamy Morel Crostini

Saturday, 16th April
Party food! Stilton and Fig Tart (Tea at Fortnum and Mason, p51) and Creamy Morel Crostini.
The fig and stilton tart appealed to me from the first moment I saw the recipe. The filling is onions topped with beaten eggs and cream, then sliced figs and crumbled stilton.
It was pretty good but actually, the flavours didn't come out as strongly as I had hoped and I wish now that I had used more stilton.
The tart was also supposed to have a dressing made from walnut and olive oils, wine vinegar and chopped toasted walnuts. But after making it and tasting it, I decided against using it. I was worried that adding another strong flavour was going to mask the tastes of the fruit and cheese, which was a good decision as it turned out.  I did drizzle some walnut oil over at the last minute though.
While buying the figs and cheese I saw morels in the shop and wanted to make something with those as well. Hunting on the internet turned up a few ideas that sounded way too complicated, so I went for a nice simple option.  I chopped shallots and bärlauch and halved the morels, and then softened these together for a few minuted, then added a small tub of cream and reduced it to a thick sauce. Sliced french bread coated with olive oil and a little salt and toasted in the oven served as the base.  Very good although, again, the flavour of the morels didn't come through as strongly as I would have liked.
This was also, by chance, a vegetarian combination!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Braised Leg of Goat with Wild Garlic

Friday, 15th April
Leg of kid braised in white wine with shallots and wild garlic, caramelized sweet potato, asparagus with a tomato sauce. Essentially a made up recipe, based on a few ideas gleaned from the internet.
I bought the small leg of goat thinking to make an indian meal but, since Monika isn't such a big fan of Indian food, when it came to it I decided to cook something different. The meat was marinaded over night, in a mixture of rosemary, mustard seeds, garlic, oil and balsamic vinegar, then braised in white wine, in the oven under foil, with shallots and wild garlic (ramsons / bärlauch) for about 3 hours.
The asparagus was very fresh and needed less than 10 minutes to boil, and the sauce was made from onions, tomatoes, toasted almonds and a spoonful or red-pepper jam, fried together for a while and then pureed.
I diced the sweet potato and then started it with butter and a little sugar in the oven, but after 10 minutes it was only looking dry and some pieces had gone black from the inside and didn't look good at all. So I discarded the blackened pieces, moved the rest into small frying pan with a tight fitting lid and sauteed it instead. The undersides of some pieces got a little burned, but that didn't spoil the taste.
Overall very good. The meat was tended and moist and the vegetables nicely cooked and with a good combination of flavours. The asparagus and tomato sauce was especially good.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Red Brat-

Thursday, 14th April
Fresh bratwurst with herbs, red bratkartoffeln (red potatoes and red onions) and tomato/chili/basil chutney. Nothing complicated, just right for a TV dinner. Very tasty, but a little dry. Something with a bit more "gravy" than just chutney would have been good.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Veal Escalope with Pasta

Wednesday, 13th April
Pan fried veal escalopes, pasta in a tomato and basil sauce and sauteed mushrooms with bärlauch (from the balcony!).  The meat was flavourful and juicy, but not tender.  I still have not worked out the trick for getting pan-fried meat to come out tender.  Nice simple pasta sauce with tomato, onion and basil. I had intended to include the mushrooms in the sauce but decided to do them separately with the wild garlic from a pot on the balcony, that needed picking.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lamb and Spinach pie

Sunday, 3rd April
A dish I have not cooked for years!  The pie is made with cubed lamb, onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, spinach and a spoonful of orange marmalade in filo pastry. Together with rosemary potatoes and courgette with a yoghurt dressing. The pie was every bit as good as I remember. Subtly spicy and sweet, the lamb was tender, the spinach flavoursome and the flaky pastry a lovely contrast to the richness of the filling. The courgettes were overdone for my taste (the perils of playing scrabble while cooking!), but overall a win! A bottle of blanc-de-noirs Spätburgunder sekt washed it down very nicely.