Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

Jerome Carayol has a small stand at Lautrec market on Fridays selling garlic, eggs and the odd duck and chicken–his mother supplies the pigeons.

He tells me this morning, picking three garlic bulbs from a small pile as a gift, that he’ll begin lifting his pink garlic  (l’ail rose de Lautrec) tomorrow or Monday.

For the last three weeks, starting early before the sun gets a hold, small teams–mainly youngsters–are employed in the fields working slowly along the rows of garlic, picking the scopes (the stem that develop into a flower) off the top of each plant.

Back-breaking work–but necessary to allow the plant to concentrate its final surge of energy on the bulb.

Now the farmers are beginning the harvest.

IMG_5020

Garlic gath’rers pass,

Leaving the scent in the air;  

It’s that time again.

Judy Bach asked for recipes on Facebook.

Here’s one, adapted from Skye Gyngell’s version in her book,  How I Cook :

New season courgettes, cooked slow with the new garlic and mint–mushily delicious with a little kick from the chili.

This is  for 4 

1 lb courgettes/zucchini--sliced thin

garlic cloves–sliced thin

1 small dried red chili–chopped

a handful of mint (if you have it)-chopped

salt and pepper

1 tblsp olive oil

  • In a medium pan, gently soften the garlic and chili in the oil.

  • Add the sliced courgettes/zucchini and turn them over in the oil to coat them thoroughly.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Turn again to distribute the seasoning.
  • Cover the pan and cook for forty minutes on a very low heat.
  • Uncover and fold in the mint, if you have it–which we have, but I forgot it!
IMG_0787

Looks better with the mint!

 

Read Full Post »

Our friend Irv in Washington D.C. put me onto this wonderfully care-free way to roast a chicken developed by America’s Test Kitchen TV programme.

It’s simple and hands-off (well, the chicken needs a hand getting into the oven but that’s about it!).

IMG_4991

1 average chicken–washed and dried

olive oil

sprigs of rosemary and thyme (if they are at hand or just one of them)

2 or 3 garlic cloves–unpeeled

1/2 (half) a lemon

salt and pepper

white wine for deglazing (scraping up the good bits!) and making the gravy

  • Choose a pan that will hold the chicken easily.
  • Turn the oven on to 450F/230C (Hot!)
  • Put the empty pan in the oven–yes, empty–no oil, nothing!
  • Dribble olive oil over the bird and using your clean hands or a brush, coat the chicken in olive oil.
  • Season the chicken well with salt and black pepper.

IMG_4990

  • Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and herbs.
  • When the oven has reached its target heat, quickly take out the pan wearing oven gloves, pop the chicken on it and put the pan straight back in the oven.
  • Roast the chicken for 30 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat but DON’T open the oven door!
  • Let the bird sit cosily in the oven for a further 30 minutes–it won’t complain.Then take the pan out of the oven and cover the chicken with foil and let it settle/rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and transfer the chicken to a warmed serving platter.

IMG_4992

  • Carefully spoon out excess fat in the pan–leaving the good gravy making juices behind.
  • Gingerly upend the chicken and let the remaining juices inside fall back into the cooking pan.
  • Deglaze the pan with the white wine on a lowish heat–stirring as the alcohol evaporates.
  • Pour this gravy into a heated gravy boat or jug.

And there you have it–Irv’s simple carefree way to roast a chicken.
Ready for carving…

IMG_4997_2and eating!

IMG_5008

Read Full Post »

Our friend Charlotte first served us this delicious dish of red peppers. The eponymous Percy is a friend of hers.

They were on the menu together with slow-cooked chicken breasts for Brian and Ren’s last night.

I checked my blog to see if I had already posted this recipe and found no reference.

Hooray, I thought, this will make a good post today as a starter or vegetable.

I googled Percy’s Pickled Pepper–thinking what a good intro the tongue twister would be–and up came my post from a year ago!

Percy Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Percy Piper picked;
If Percy Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Percy Piper picked?

Of course, Peter ‘s picking in the nursery rhyme–but Percy’s just as hard to say….

This year’s version:

for four

4 red peppers– cored, de-seeded and sliced fine lengthwise.

3 or 4 garlic cloves skinned and left whole.

12 anchovy fillets–chopped up

2 tblsps small capers

2 tblsps olive oil–plus extra for dribbling

pepper to taste

  • In a large pan over a low heat gently soften the peppers with the garlic cloves in the olive oil; it’s worth taking the time to do this–undercooked peppers are as unpalatable as undercooked aubergines/eggplants.
  • Take a strip of pepper out of the pan from time to time, to test for doneness.

  • In a small pan melt the anchovies slowly in a little olive oil by stirring and mashing them.

  • Add the capers to the melted anchovies and stir the mix into the peppers.
  • Season with pepper.
  • Turn the mixture into an ovenproof serving dish.

Heat the oven to 180˚ half-an-hour before you’re ready to eat.

  • Pop the peppers in the oven to heat through (about 10 minutes).
  • Serve warm with more olive oil drizzled over.
The less-than-a-peck of peppers I prepared for supper disappeared before you could say Percy Piper!
 

Read Full Post »

Spatchcocked chicken, roasted onion and sweet potato and a new courgette/zucchini dish

Joy!

We sat on the terrace last night and ate this simple meal, while Beau played tag with the cows…

and the harvesters were hard at it in the field beyond the road.

Just the three of us–our friend Romaine came back with us from London.

The chicken she and Meredith bought would serve six and there were more onions and an extra sweet potato in the basket for unexpected guests.

The kilo of courgettes–slow cooked and melting–would easily stretch to six.

Happy to be home–we tucked in.

The courgettes/zucchini recipe is from Skye Gyngell’s version in her book  How I Cook.

It is cooked slow and is mushily delicious with a little kick from the chili.

 Slow cooked courgettes/zucchini with garlic and mint.

for 4 

1 lb courgettes/zucchini--sliced thin

2 garlic cloves–sliced thin

1 small dried red chili–chopped

a handful of mint (if you have it)-chopped

salt and pepper

1 tblsp olive oil

  • In a medium pan,  gently soften the garlic and chili in the oil.

  • Add the sliced courgettes/zucchini and turn them over in the oil to coat them thoroughly.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Turn again to distribute the seasoning.
  • Cover the pan and cook for forty minutes on a very low heat.
  • Uncover and fold in the mint, if you have it–which we have, but I forgot it!

I made it again today with a pound (500 grams) of the courgettes and we enjoyed it tepid as a salad.

Read Full Post »

Where am I?, I wondered, waking this morning.

Still in Corfu? It was hot enough at 7 am.

I quickly established that I was in France by looking out of the window.

No sign of the Albanian hills or the infinity pool.

Back to earth! But hot! hot! hot!

At the end of the garden though it was cool enough to tie up the tomato plants that had grown as much as the chickens in our week away.

The bees were still snoozing so it was safe to sit on a stool and talk to the plants!

Then off to Réalmont and its Wednesday market.

I’d missed the markets–they are rare in Corfu.

This is green bean time and here on the stalls they are piled high–picked last night I am assured.

a pile of beans

Joy!

Cooked enough to be tender,  yet still a vibrant green–but not too much so that they become flabby and dull in color. It’s hard to tire of them.

It’s always good to discover new ways to cook them.

I spotted this simple recipe in The New York Times a few weeks back. As I’d bought half a kilo of new season garlic and ginger this morning, Give it a go!, I thought.

My slightly adapted version

for 4

1lb green beans– topped, (no need to tail)

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cloves of new garlic-- (or the best looking you can find)

a large thumbnail size piece of ginger–peeled and chopped small

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • Have a bowl of cold water ready to plunge the cooked beans into.
  • Pound the garlic, ginger and a teaspoon of salt into a pulp.
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
  • Add the beans and cook them until almost tender to the bite–(a pair of cooking tongs comes in handy here to whip a bean out for a bite test).
  • When you judge they’re ready, transfer them quickly into the bowl with the cold water–to stop them cooking further.
  • Drain them and leave to dry a little.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan.
  • Add the beans and the gorgeous garlic and ginger gunge.
  • Over a gentle heat turn the beans in the mixture until they are nicely heated through.
  • Taste them and add more salt if needed.

We had them for lunch today…

with a butterflied pork chop–of which more later….

Read Full Post »

…from the Starters and Light Lunches section of Delicious Dishes for Diabetics:

This tasty seasonal starter is useful for company it as you can prepare it beforehand–it makes regular appearances through the summer.

(A couple of ripe cherry tomatoes will add colour to the plate in a month or so.)

Serves 4

2 large aubergines

salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2–3 tbsp wine vinegar

Sauce:

3–4 cloves of garlic – crushed with a little salt
60 g/2 oz walnuts – shelled; if you do this yourself, take care that no pieces of shell get left with the kernel.

a handful chopped parsley

  • Wash and cut the aubergines lengthwise into 1.5 cm/1/2 inch slices.
  • Salt them slightly and put them in a colander for an hour or so, to drain off some of their bitter juice.
  • Dry them thoroughly and brush generously with olive oil on both sides.

Heat the oven at 240°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9.

  • Put the aubergines on well-oiled foil in a shallow oven tray.
  • Cook them in the oven for about 20 minutes to brown them, turning after 10 minutes.
  • While the aubergines are in the oven, make the sauce.
  • Mix the crushed garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Chop the walnuts in a processor or pound them in a pestle and mortar.
  • Combine these two ingredients with the parsley in a bowl and add another tablespoon of oil.
  • Mix well and check for salt.
  • Take the aubergines out of the oven, put them on a serving plate, brush with the vinegar and spread the delicious sauce on top.
  • Serve warm or room temperature.

Read Full Post »

Sam Talbot is a well known American chef in his thirties, working now in Montauk, Long Island.

He has Type 1 Diabetes and has written a delightful cookbook illustrating the way he lives, eats and cooks with a nicely ironic title–The Sweet Life.

We vied for numero uno position in the pre-publication list in our category on Amazon.

Well, I say vied– I made it once, I think!

He raves about the increasingly popular South American grain, quinoa, saying he eats it at least three times a week.

In a post in March last year I wrote this about Quinoa:

This seed, one of the oldest known grains, is a useful alternative to rice, takes less time to cook and is very easily digestible.

It is grown high up in the Andes–and no one seems to agree on how to pronounce it!

It serves as a plain canvas on which you can paint what you like. 

Here you can learn more about the benefits of Quinoa–perhaps more than you want to know!

This is Sam Talbot’s recipe–slightly adapted; it’s delicious.

The amount of liquid required is double the volume of the quinoa–easy to remember!

1 cup quinoa

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 shallot–chopped small

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds–(he leaves the coriander and cumin seeds whole, which you’d think would be tiresome, but it works–giving a nice added crunchiness)

2 tablespoons of fresh ginger–chopped small

garlic cloves–pulped with some salt

zest and juice of a lemon

parsley–chopped

2 cups stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

  • Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the shallot and the spices (coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic) for about five minutes to soften them.
  • Add the quinoa to the pan and turn it over with the spice mix.
  • Add the stock,  the lemon  juice and zest and bring it up to a simmer.
  • Cover the pan and turn the heat down low.
  • Cook for about twenty minutes.
  • Check to see how it’s doing after 15 minutes and give it a stir.
  • The grain should absorb all the liquid by the end of cooking.
  • Sprinkle the parsley over and fork  it carefully into the  quinoa.

Read Full Post »

Two friends came round for supper last night and I tried out a spicy chicken dish.

It didn’t pass muster with Meredith and our friends were polite but didn’t exactly rave!

I shall try again with it because it’s simple and quick–which of course could be the reason it was disappointing!

I served a yogurt sauce with it, which is I think is useful and tasty.

I noticed Meredith tucking into it this lunchtime with the fennel salad..!

Yogurt sauce for 4

3 x 125ml pots of no-fat organic yogurt

1 teaspoon cumin powder

garlic clove–pulped in half a teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 a teaspoon salt

  • Whisk the yogurt smooth–(if you want to make it a bit thicker let it drain through a sieve into a bowl for half an hour or so).
  • Pulp the garlic in the salt in a pestle and mortar.
  • Add the cumin and mix it in thoroughly.
  • Fold in the olive oil.
  • Add this mix to the yogurt and whisk well in.
  • Refrigerate until you are ready to eat.

Read Full Post »

Some people don’t like the idea of eating rabbit–memories of treasured pets linger in the mind. Meredith tells me she had a white rabbit called Honey Bunny growing up in suburban Chicago–which produced little honey bunnies every five weeks after the first batch–born one Easter (clever bunny!).

She is still in two minds about eating rabbit, which she claims is not eaten much in the USA.

Rabbit is tasty, lean meat and makes for a change.

You could try this with chicken.

Serves 4

1 large jar of white beans–cannellini, haricot or other white beans, drained

4 tablespoons  of olive oil

rabbit pieces or more

salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon of coriander seeds–dry roasted in a small frying pan and crushed

8 cloves of garlic–peeled

bay leaves

100ml/31/2fl oz white wine

300ml/10fl oz water

2 tablespoons of parsley–chopped

heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2.

  • Heat the olive oil in a lidded pan or casserole that can go into the oven.
  • Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper and brown them gently. (These hind quarter pieces were enough for us)
  • Add the coriander seeds and garlic and turn them over in the oil until the garlic colours a little.
  • Add the bay, the wine, the water and the beans.
  • Cover the pan and cook in a  low oven–(cooking it slowly helps to keep it moist)–for about 30–40 minutes.
  • Check the doneness of the rabbit–the juices should run clear.
  • Sprinkle over the parsley before serving.

Read Full Post »

I promised a recipe for pork chops when I posted the red cabbage.

It is bitingly cold here and I found myself heading for the butcher not the fishmonger in Lautrec this morning.

“Bonjour, Monsieur–deux cotes d’échine, s’il vous plait.”

Spare rib chops are tastier and less prone to dry out than loin chops and they are the cheaper cut.

That’s what I settled for after waiting an age for Monsieur Fraisse to finish chatting to his previous customer–the cold was getting to me!

I learned this simple way by watching the irascible but effective chef Gordon Ramsay’s demonstration.

The rosemary needles take on a nice crunchiness and are worth eating with a mouthful of meat. As is the garlic.

Meredith finished off the red cabbage, which she’d missed out on the other day.

for 2

2 spare rib pork chops

rosemary and thyme

3/4 cloves of garlic–squashed, peeled and halved

olive oil

s&p

heat the oven to 200C/400F

  • Dribble some olive oil and sprinkle some salt on a shallow oven tray.
  • Scatter over a couple of the cloves of garlic.
  • Place the chops on top.
  • Sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  • Strip the rosemary needles from the stem over the chops.
  • Do the same with the thyme (not so easily done).
  • Dribble more olive oil over the tray.
  • Put it in the higher part of the oven for about twenty minutes.
  • The cooking time depends on the thickness of the chops.
  • Best to cut into them to check–the juices should run clear.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 971 other followers