Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chili con carne

Tuesday, 27th September
Haven't cooked this for ages, although I can't think why, as it is an old favourite. This week I have a cold and I was hoping this would burn some of it away.
I have my own way of making chili, which is a hybrid of other recipes I have read over the years. I like it spicy but not too hot, because I think that just kills the other flavours.
Brown onions and garlic and then add beef mince and cook until it is well browned. Then drain off all the fat from the pan (very important!)
Then add paprika and cook for another couple of minutes, so the paprika toasts a little. Then add cumin, red chili (in my case, from the balcony!), salt and pepper, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and a little water. Cook for as long as possible on a low heat, adding a little more water if necessary. I favour at least an hour's cooking time.
Meanwhile drain and rinse kidney beans of that horrible muck in the tin, and let them soak in worcester sauce. About 30 minutes before serving bung in the beans with the worcester. Right before serving add 1 small knob of good, dark chocolate and let it melt in. Serve with rice and sour cream.
Delicious! But sadly it didn't help my cold.

Fillet steak

Monday, 26th September
Bit of a treat for myself. Did the steaks as I have come to, quickly on each side then finished in the over for a couple of minutes... and they were still overdone! Delicious flavour though.
Sauteed potatoes, fried onions and a juices from the pan deglazed with a little red wine and sliced jalapeno (from the balcony!).

Pasta with Salmon

Thursday, 22nd September
We had hand-made pasta from the italian deli again, this time a mix of some with ricotta and spinach filling and some with salmon filling. As a topping I thinly sliced some salmon and cooked it lightly in an onion and cream sauce.
Those pasta parcels are deceptively large and we did not manage to eat them all.
The prosecco we had with it was excellent!

Chicken casserole with chorizo

Sunday, 18th September
I did this in the slow cooker, because we were out in the afternoon, and it was a bit overdone to be honest. Should have had the heat on low instead of medium.
Diced some chorizo and fried it off until the fat ran, then removed it from the pan. Jointed and browned the chicken in the chorizo fat the removed that as well and browned some tiny onions and a bit of garlic. Deglazed the pan with wine and transfered everything to the slow cooker. An hour or so before serving I added the zest of an orange and some black olives.
Served with roast potatoes and caramelised fennel with figs. Cooked the fennel in stock for about 10 minutes, then fried it in butter and sugar for about 5 minutes on each side, until it was nicely browned, then transfered it to a dish with a bit of liquid and topped with sliced fig (from the balcony!) and baked it in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Linguine with tomato and ham sauce

Thursday, 8th September
Catching up with posts I should have made weeks ago. Apart from the fact that is was good, I remember almost nothing about making this. I had to use supermarket ham because that was all I could get, and the basil from the balcony was a bit wilted. But it came out fine.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lamb shoulder

Saturday, 3rd September
Bit of an emergency meal as we had not done any shopping. Fortunately the piece of lamb shoulder was in the freezer. This really needed 4 hours of slow cooking, but I left it too late so it only got two hours in a casserole with some wine, herbs, garlic and shallots. As a result not quite as tender as it could have been, but still good.
The shallots and sauce made quite a nice gravy.
To go with it aubergine and potatoes grown on my balcony! I put one small, sprouting spud in a plastic carrier bag of dirt in the spring, and it did nothing for months. Then suddenly lots of leaves and shoots came out and, when they had gone, I found enough little potatoes in there for about 3 of 4 portions. Not exactly self-sufficiency, but fun and delicious.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Veal Cutlet and Lemon Linguine

Thursday, 1st September
Once again simply fried the meat for 2 minutes on each side then finished it for 5 minutes or so in the oven, and it came out tender and juicy.
To go with it I was looking for a simple lemony pasta recipe and found this one from Jamie Oliver. I did not manage (or even try) to find sicilian lemons (I don't believe Jamie and his mates shop at the same places the rest of us do), but with a perfectly normal lemon it was delicious.

Sardine Bruschetta, Pasta with Parma Rosa sauce, Apple Fool

Saturday, 27th August
I fancied doing something with sardines and found this recipe for Lime Marinated Sardine Bruschetta. These came out very tasty indeed, even though it really only is fancy sardines on toast. (The cherry tomatoes are from my balcony.)
The pappardella were cooked with a creamy. tomato Parma Rosa sauce with added bacon and parma ham. The picture looks a bit strange (very pink) but pasta tasted very good, if a little heavy on the garlic.
With some apples from my partner's garden I made a simple apple puree with a lovely silky texture, mixed in some whipped cream and sprinkled with brown sugar to make the fool. Also very good, but less cream and sugar would have been even better.