Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Braised Chicken Thighs

Saturday, 16th November 2013
Season the chicken and brown it in oil for a few minutes on each side. Remove it from the pan and add onions and chopped fennel. Fry these for a few minutes then add garlic and then a glass of wine. Deglaze the pan and add sliced courgette. Let it cook for another couple of minutes then put the chicken back, with enough stock to cover the veg but not the chicken. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover, turn the chicken and cook for another 15 minutes, while the rice is cooking. Adjust seasoning.
Basmati rice - Wash the rice several times, then soak it for a bit. Drain it and add twice as much water as there is rice (by volume) and salt. Bring to the boil and allow the water to boil away to the point where hardly any is visible, and there are craters in the surface of the rice. You need to be paying attention. As soon as the craters form, add a small knob of butter, slap on a lid and put the pot on the lowest possible heat, so the remaining liquid steams the rice for 10 minutes or more.
Chicken thighs are meaty, juicy and flavourful and the best part of the bird I think. The very simple sauce in this was delicious.

Pasta with Salsiccia, Tomatoes and Mushrooms.

Sunday, 10th November 2013
Based on this. Remove the skin from some Salsiccia and crumble the meat up into chunks. Fry this until browned and remove it from the pan. Add some chopped onions, mushrooms and soften, then herbs and garlic. Deglaze with white wine. Add chopped tomatoes and some tomato puree. Simmer for a while. Allow to cool and then put it in the fridge overnight. Reheat and serve with pasta.
Reheating really does change the flavour of dishes like this, as the flavours have time to mingle. A bit too much tomato puree though.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mushroom Risotto

Thursday, 7th November 2013
Inspired by this video, I decided to make myself a little mushroom risotto. I followed Signor Contaldo's excellent recipe fairly closely, although I omitted the celery, the thyme and the flamboyant manner, because I didn't have them. Fantastic. Don't know why I don't cook risotto more often.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pepper Monkey Lamb Meatballs

Saturday, 2nd November 2013
I was not able to resist the title of this recipe. No luck getting monkey though, so I used only lamb. ;)
The butcher wasn't able to mince the lamb for me, so I did it myself at home. Unfortunately my hand-cranked mincer is not up to the job and it took an age. The meatballs came out quite tasty, but a little tough and I think the mashing of the meat when attempting to mince it may have contributed. With the spicing this somehow came out as a sort of cross between Indian and Greek.
The meatballs are meant to be barbecued, but doing them under the grill worked fine. Served with saffron rice and spinach with roasted pine nuts.

Veal Fricasse

Saturday, 26th October 2013
Based on this but with a mix of wild mushrooms (chanterelles, cèpes, oyster mushrooms, kräuter-seitling) instead of just button mushrooms.
I haven't had much luck keeping the meat tender in stews recently, but this came out fine. Strangely some pieces of meat were chewier than others though. I browned the meat in two batches to start with, and one cooked much more quickly than the other, so I wonder if that had something to do with it.
Lovely rich and flavourful sauce, although the mushrooms, especially the cèpes, were a little overcooked and should have gone in 5 minutes later.

Roast Poussin

Saturday, 12th October 2013
Roasted the chicken with no fancy marinade or glaze, just a little oil and salt, and some herbs at the end. So the skin came out lovely and crisp with nothing burnt. The sauce was made of roasted red pepper blended with sour cream, and egg, oil, spices and tomato puree (it was supposed to have mayonnaise but I didn't have any, so I just put in the egg and oil separately). The potatoes were boiled in their skins then peeled and sautéed with rosemary. Very good.