Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

I lost a filling last week–fell out at the breakfast table.

Initial reaction:–Oh no! dentist visit(s), hassle, painful, waste of time–damn!

Then: Ouch! Jagged bit left causing pain, hard to swallow.

So—looking for something that slips down easily—I thought to combine these two recipes for dinner.

Result: Sigh! Temporary distraction. It worked—they melded deliciously and skipped down with ease.

IMG_0062

 Leeks in White Wine and Butter (from Delicious Dishes for Diabetics)

Simple and delicious!

Serves 4IMG_0055

4 large leeks (or as above 10 small leeks)–mainly the white part–checked for residue, then cut into cork-like tube-shape

salt and pepper

glass of white wine

3 tbsp water

50 g/2 oz butter

  1. Place the leek pieces in a shallow pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour in the wine and water, then add the butter. Put on the lid and bring up to a simmer. Cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes – the leeks should be beautifully tender.

Lemony lentils  (in Healthy Eating for Life)

Meredith tells me the first time she became aware of lentils, was at the age 35. They had not been part of her experience growing up in suburban Chicago! Much has changed–Indian restaurants are commonplace now in the US.

This recipe is hands-on for the first half hour or so, as it builds in the taste.

Then it chugs along on a low heat for 50 minutes as the lentils dissolve and the dal forms.

The finish involves sautéing a small amount of onion, garlic and dried red pepper to stir into the mix to “lift”  it.

It is adapted from a recipe in Ismail Merchant’s excellent and quirky cookbook Indian Cuisine.

IMG_0061

8oz red lentils–rinsed until the water runs clear

1 small onion–chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

a short stick of cinnamon

1tsp fresh ginger–grated

250ml/1/2 pint stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

250ml/1/2 pint hot water

1tsp cayenne pepper

juice and the shells of a lemon

to finish

2tbsp olive oil

1/2 small onion–sliced

garlic clove–chopped

1tsp salt

1 small dried red chili–chopped

Cook the onion over a low heat in the oil until it is opaque–about five minutes.

Add the lentils, cinnamon and the ginger and mix in.

Cook these together gently for about ten minutes, keeping the heat low and stirring from time to time to avoid them sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.

A nutty aroma starts to rise from the darkening lentils, as they cook.

Add the stock and hot water, cayenne and salt.

Bring to the simmer.

Cook gently for a further ten minutes, then add the lemon juice and the empty lemon halves and stir it all together.

Cover the pan and continue cooking on a very low heat–use a heat diffuser if necessary–for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.

In a small frying pan heat the tablespoon of olive oil and add the sliced onion.

Let this color for five minutes over a medium heat.

Add the chili and the sliced garlic and continue cooking until the garlic begins to brown.

Add this to the lentils and mix it in.

I got to see the dentist yesterday and she rounded off the jagged bit and told me to come back for a crown fitting.

Oh no! dentist visit(s), hassle, painful, waste of time–damn!

 

 

Read Full Post »

The usual story here this morning; a cauliflower lurking in the fridge.

Poor neglected things.

It’s the way they present themselves in that uptight manner–a defensive helmet of non-cooperation; if there’s something else in the fridge you are likely to choose that.

Anyway…

After a week in London there wasn’t much of an alternative, so out came the L. C. (lurking cauliflower). In my second cook book, Healthy Eating for Life, there is the perfect simple recipe (from Delia Smith), to go with the grilled lamb chops for lunch. IMG_6749 For 4 as a vegetable or 2 as a main course

1lb/450gm cauliflower–broken up into smallish florets

1 generous tsp coriander seeds—pounded in a pestle and mortar

2 tbsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves—pulped with a small teaspoon of salt in a mortar and pestle

salt and pepper

Set the oven at 200C/400F/gas mark 6

Put the cauliflower florets in a large bowl. IMG_6730 Sprinkle over and mix in the crushed coriander seeds.IMG_6732 Whisk the crushed garlic and olive oil together. Mix in this little sauce, coating the florets thoroughly.

IMG_6737 Spread them on a roasting tray in a single layer. IMG_6743 Season with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes—checking for doneness after 20 minutes; they should be just tender and charred a little. IMG_6744 You can dry roast some sunflower seeds in a pan on the hob and sprinkle them over the transformed cauliflower if you like–I forgot to do this today!

Meredith said it didn’t matter–and gave it the thumbs up.

Read Full Post »

images

To celebrate the ‘first night’ of the new Poldark on British TV this evening, here’s a roast chicken even Prudie* could cook in the kitchen at Nampara**!

IMG_9964

From my first cookbook,  Delicious Dishes for Diabetics:

Every cook has a version of this classic–roast chicken.

This one is inspired by Jamie Oliver’s simple, tasty and robust recipe.

Serves 4/5

1 free-range chicken

olive oil

salt and pepper

6 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic – unpeeled

a  lemon – halved
a glass white wine

Heat the oven at 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.

Rub the chicken all over with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper

Stuff the cavity with the bay leaves, garlic and lemon halves.

Roast the chicken for 1  1/2 hours.

Halfway through, baste it thoroughly.

When it is cooked, it should be nicely browned and the juices should run clear, not pink.

At that point, remove the pan from the oven and move the cooked bird onto a platter to rest for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, tip the roasting pan and spoon out most of the fat/oil—leaving about a tablespoonful in the pan.

Pick up the bird carefully with a pair of oven gloves and up-end it, letting the juices run back into the pan. Add any juices that have settled in the platter too.

(A little tricky—but worth it for the taste of the gravy.)

Park the chicken and cover it with foil to keep it warm while you make the gravy.

Add the glass of white wine and scrape any residue sticking to the pan.

Gently stir over a low-ish heat for 2–3 minutes.

You could add some stock or more wine to make it go a little further.

Taste and pour into a warmed jug.

We had this for lunch today!

 * Prudie and Judd are Ross Poldark’s old retainers who have let **Nampara–the family “seat”–go to wrack and ruin, while Ross is away soldiering in vain to save the “American Colonies” for the King.
Prudie’d do well, cooking this to get back into Ross’ good books!

Tonight we’ll be raising a glass to Aidan, Eleanor

and the whole wonderful cast!

Go well and bon appetit, mes braves!

 

Read Full Post »

Fresh and a bit wild looking this soup–adapted from a recipe in The New York Times–for the first day of March.

IMG_9782

You build most winter vegetable soups from the inside out—i.e. making a “soffrito” of finely chopped vegetables such as onion, celery and carrot, cooked slowly in olive oil, before adding stock—the taste “engine room” for a big winter-warming blanket.

But it’s March 1st today, so I’m lightening up a little–starting with plain water, not stock, adding the ingredients in stages, building the taste and depth gradually.

The lemon zest topping—sprinkled just before serving— is a touch of Spring.

First stage:

IMG_9785

Bring the water to the boil and add the first eight ingredients.

  • 2 pints water
  • 3 tsp salt–more to taste
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion–(for the taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprig of rosemary
  • 1 lb tinned (canned) chickpeas
  • a small piece of parmesan rind (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves–pulped

Bring back to a simmer and cook, covered, on a low heat for 30 minutes.

 

IMG_9790

Second stage:

IMG_9794

  • 3 carrots–peeled and sliced
  • 3 sticks celery–chopped
  • 1lb/450gm–tomatoes–chopped
  • 1/2 small cabbage–sliced and roughly chopped

Add the sliced vegetables and bring back to a simmer.

IMG_9798

IMG_9806

 

IMG_9807

Cook, covered, for a further 30 minutes.

Third stage:

During this second half hour of simmering, prepare the parmesan mix for sprinkling.

  • 3 tbs grated parmesan
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp milled black pepperIMG_9808

 Mix the three topping ingredients and sprinkle over the soup before serving.

IMG_9777

 

 

lion.lamb_ 

Read Full Post »

Fishcakes!

There’s a recipe in both my cookbooks–and they are the most visited on the blog.

I am not alone in loving them!

IMG_9737

They were always a favorite with me–but were off the menu after my diagnosis because they usually share the space with an equal mount of mashed potatoes (sometimes more, one suspects, in restaurants!). Potatoes have a very high glycemic index rating–mashed especially.

So when I spotted the alternative versions, I was delighted.

One recipe mixes the salmon with smoked haddock; another adds fresh dill.

These secondary ingredients are not always easy to find—so here is a third version with the perennially available smoked salmon.

My local supermarket sells 200gm/8oz packets of smoked salmon off-cuts—-perfect for this and less expensive than traditional slices.

LUNCH–with a green salad!

for 2

200 gms/8oz skinless salmon fillet

IMG_9725

200gms/8oz smoked salmon

IMG_9728

 

  • 1 shallot–chopped small
  • white of an egg
  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour–or any whole flour
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp parsley–chopped
  • salt and pepper

Cut up the fresh salmon and the smoked salmon into pieces as illustrated above–roughly bite-size.

Pulse them briefly in a food mixer–they should not be mushy.

IMG_9726

Empty them into a bowl.

Carefully turn in the rest of the ingredients.

Taste for seasoning–delicious exercise!

Scoop out the mixture and form your patties (I use a tablespoon.) Don’t “overwork” the mixture.

IMG_9731

If you have time, cover and refrigerate for half an hour or so–it helps firm up the fishcakes.

Heat the oil to HOT in a frying pan. Very important that the fishcakes cook in hot oil.

Slide them carefully into the pan and flatten them a little with a fish slice/spatula to hasten the cooking.

IMG_9733

After a couple of minutes flip them over and cook briefly the other side.

When you see the milky liquid appearing from inside the fishcakes, they are READY.

Lift them gently out of the pan and arrange them on a serving plate with sliced lemon.

IMG_9736

Delicious served with a little yogurt sauce:

  • 1 pot yogurt
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • pinch of salt

Whisk the yogurt smooth and stir in the mustard and salt.

Whisk again.

IMG_9738

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

guinea-fowl-2

Guinea fowl stepping out in her high heels and lipstick.

Guinea Fowl (UK), Cornish Game Hen (US), Pintade (Fr).

Introduced to Britain by the Romans (apparently).

This is odd because I once saw a flock of these nervy birds, moving as one in a tightly packed phalanx (safety in numbers) that reminded me of the testedo–the Roman military formation.

As they approached a target, a platoon of legionnaires would use their shields to protect themselves top and sides, moving as one. The images relieved the tedium and frustration of Latin lessons at school!

ROMAN SOLDIERS IN TESTUDO FORMATION-ILLUSTRATION

“Left a bit, lads! Close-up, close-up! Not so fast at the front! Steady boys, steady!”

The testedo of guinea fowl–perhaps equally unsure of their fate–made a heck of a panicky row.

IMG_9464

The combination here of anchovies melted into a classic sauce of olive oil, lemon juice and capers works well with the gamier taste of the guinea fowl. It makes a nice change from chicken.

This recipe comes from Jenny Baker’s excellent Simple French Cuisine cook book.

IMG_9449

1 guinea fowl–cut up into quarters

IMG_9450

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion–chopped

4 anchovy fillets–chopped into a mash

IMG_9454

1 glass white wine

1 tbsp capers

juice of a lemon

IMG_9460

salt and pepper

Heat the oil until hot in a pan large enough to cook the entire bird. Then add the guinea fowl pieces and brown, turning occasionally.

IMG_9452

Take them out of the pan and set them aside.

Soften the onion in the same pan–turning often.

IMG_9453

Mix in the anchovies–giving them time to melt into the oil-coated onions.

IMG_9458

Add the wine and bring the mixture up to a gentle bubble.

Add the guinea fowl pieces, the capers and the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Bring back to a bubble (Meredith thinks I should say that a bubble is more than a simmer but less than a boil!), turn down the heat and cover the pan.

Cook for about 30 minutes until the meat pieces run clear when pierced–being careful not to over cook them.

IMG_9473

(Guinea fowl can be dry.)

Served with brussels sprouts and brown basmati rice.

IMG_9479

 

Roman_Legionaries_Advancing

Right lads–it’s shields down–time out–and off to the canteen for a tasty dish of numididae*!

*Latin for guinea fowl

 

Read Full Post »

A touch of heat in a consoling casserole for a cold night.

Inspired by a recipe in the River Café Pocket Vegetable Book.

IMG_9412

(Speak it softly but you could have a couple of sausages on the side–we did tonight!*)

IMG_9418

I love beans and especially white beans and I have a penchant for fennel, cooked or raw.

Garlic is a staple here–Lautrec’s pink garlic is grown under our feet–so to speak.

Adding tomatoes coalesces everything into a delicious dish.

for 2

IMG_9266

1 tbs olive oil

2 fennel bulbs–outer bruised parts removed and cut in thickish vertical slices

3 garlic cloves–peeled and sliced

2 small dried chilis–chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds–pounded in a mortar

8oz tinned (canned) tomatoes–drained and chopped

8oz white beans tinned (canned)–drained

salt and pepper

juice of a lemon

1 tbs olive oil (a second!)

 

In a shallow pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil.

Add the fennel and cook for a couple of minutes, turning the fennel over in the oil.

IMG_9268

Add the garlic, fennel seeds and chili and cook on for five minutes.

IMG_9269

Add the tomatoes and mix them well in.

IMG_9271

Add a tablespoon of water and mix again.

Check after five minutes to see if you need another tablespoon of water–I did.

Cover the pan and cook for fifteen minutes or until the fennel is tender.

Mix in the beans and season with salt and pepper.

IMG_9412

Re-cover and cook for another ten minutes.

IMG_9274

Add the lemon juice and the tablespoon of olive oil.

 

*The sausages–sshh!

Heat the oven to 190C (375 F)

Put the sausages in an oven pan with a splash of olive oil and sprigs of rosemary.

Cook for thirty minutes–shaking the pan occasionally.

Add a broken up bulb of garlic unpeeled.

Cook on for twenty minutes or longer to turn the sausages nicely brown.

IMG_9414

Serve with Dijon mustard.

IMG_9419

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,164 other followers