Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bentheimer Rare Breed Pork Loin Chop

Saturday, 17th January 2015
Slice the fat through to prevent curling, then fry hot with the fat down for 2 minutes, holding the chops upright with tongs. Then 2 minutes more on each side, then transfer the pan to a 150 degrees oven for 5 minutes. Stew a mix of potato, celery root, carrot and garlic then puree with a little milk and butter. Served with some leftover red cabbage, which seems to benefit from reheating.
Lovely juicy and flavoursome meat, with perfectly cooked fat. The puree was still a little chunky, but very tasty. Excellent cabbage.

Mackerel with Spicy Orange Glaze

Thursday, 15th January 2015
Largely based on this BBC Good Food recipe, but since I had no harissa I substituted some Ras el hanout spices mixed with olive oil. The fish was firm and flavourful, despite what seemed like a long cooking time. The glaze was nicely tart and spicy, without being overpowering, although there was a slight harshness from the dried spices.

Lamb Cutlets with Roasted Garlic Pasta

Monday, 12th January 2015
We had some nice lamb cutlets to eat, which I like to grill hot and fast. But I wasn't sure about having them with pasta until I saw this recipe.
I grilled the lamb instead of frying, and wasn't well enough prepared to infuse the oil with rosemary. I also only mixed in a small amount of the garlic and just served the rest separately with the lamb on top of the pasta, since I like it more than Monika. The cutlets were tender and juicy, as expected, and went very well with the oily, slightly cheesy pasta.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Lamb Kofta Kebab

Saturday 10th January 2015
Monika wasn't convinced about this idea, having had only some rather chewy and dry kofta before. However these turned out very well. The minced lamb was mixed with coriander, cumin, mint and a very small amount of breadcrumbs. Then formed into sausages around skewers, which turned out to be much easier than I expected. I brushed them with a little garlic oil and did them under a very hot grill for 8 minutes, turning once.
The kebabs were juicy and tender, with a lovely flavour, and Monika's cucumber and yogurt salad was a perfect accompaniment.

Wild Boar Goulash

Friday 9th January 2015
I wanted a recipe that was predominantly a red pepper sauce with sour cream, so I used this one.
It certainly had a very clear red pepper flavour. The wild boar was tender but a little dry, with a strong gamey flavour. The sauce was sadly rather sour, which we later put down to the rather poor red wine I used at the very start of the recipe. A good reminder that a meal is only as good as the ingredients, and that it is a bad idea to use cheap wine that simply doesn't taste nice. No need to use the best Pomerol, but you should always use a wine you would be happy to drink.

Tandoori Poussin with Sag Aloo

Sunday 4th January 2015
200 Curries p.42. Mix yoghurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, cardamom seeds, chili, paprika, tomato puree, lemon juice and cover the chicken. It was supposed to marinade for a day, but I only had 2 hours before it went into the oven.
For Sag Aloo (BBCGoodFood) cut potatoes into small chunks, parboil and keep the water. Heat oil and add cumin seeds then onions and soften. Add the potato, garlic, turmeric, ginger and garam masala and fry until the potato is cooked, stirring often and adding some of the potato water from time to time to keep it moist. When the potatoes are cooked add the spinach and mix until it has wilted.
Very aromatic and tasty, although the chicken missed the marinading. The sag aloo was excellent cold the next day, as a sort of chunky, potato chutney.

Glazed duck with apples

Saturday 3rd January 2015
This was a mish-mash of different recipes from the web, but was really meant for duck breast and the leg portions we had were not a good substitute. Even with fairly long and slow cooking they came out rather tough and sinewy. Nice flavours in the source and sauteed apples though.

Swordfish steak

Friday 2nd January 2015
Simply fried for 2 minutes on each side. This time without finishing in the oven. As a result the inside was still quite uncooked (good), but cold (bad). Need to find a way to heat the fish through without cooking it.
Great flavour and texture though.
With saute potatoes and lambs lettuce salad. Some kind of salsa would have been good.

Catching up with the rest of 2014

Spareribs - glaze including orange marmelade, devon fire chutney and other random store-cupboard ingredients. Excellent.

Pheasant with glazed onions. Good flavour but the pheasant was rather tough.

Venison loin. Tender, flavoursome and delicious. Not quite as underdone as the photo suggests.

Shepherds pie. Very nostalgic, but perhaps a bit too cheesy.

Pork fillet flambé with apricots. Delicious and with some spectacular flambéing.

Meatballs and pasta. Lovely, fluffy but flavourful meatballs. Chilling before cooking helped to retain the right shape.

Herb crusted rack of veal. Looks good, but disappointingly sinewy veal, that needed at least 10 minutes more cooking.

Slow cooked pork with orange. Slow cooking resulted in lovely tender pork. The skin went into the oven separately at the end to crisp up and got a little bit too burned.

Venison with blueberries. Very nice flavour with the fruit, but not as tender as I had hoped.

Grilled mackerel. Simple and good but more attractive with the head and tail still on!