Posts Tagged ‘rosemary’

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


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.

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It is simple to make.

The results are so tasty some people find it hard to believe there’s so little to it.

“It’s just raw  ginger and boiling water?”

Put a thumbnail piece of raw ginger root, peeled and chopped, in your favorite mug, top it up with boiling water and leave it for a couple of minutes to infuse–the magic word–and  sip it and see!

It works equally well with a sprig of thyme from the pot outside the kitchen door or a single mint leaf from the patch in the garden.

Sage and rosemary too work well though the taste is stronger and may not be to everyone’s liking.

If you have easy access to the herbs it’s fun to ring the changes–seasonally especially.

Our mint patch at the back shows signs of the new growth as early as March and I pounce on the first little bud that peaks out–impatient for a hint of Spring.

As the mint begins to fade in October I start looking for ginger on the stalls eager for a change of season and taste.

Enthusing about infusing is easy once you’ve tried it!

It’s good for you too!*–

(Meredith tells me our doctor Michel recommended she drink thyme tea for her sore throat.)

And in my view it’s so much nicer than a bag!

*more on the possible benefits from drinking– thyme tea

and ginger tea.

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A bowl of cherry tomatoes waiting their turn, reminded me of this delicious Marcella Hazan recipe–a different summer way with chicken.

The sweetness of the cherry toms is cut by the little black olives from Nice. Meredith bought some last week.

And rosemary is cascading in the garden.

for 4

a free range chicken–cut up in 8/10 pieces

1 tablespoon of olive oil

5 cloves of garlic–peeled and left whole

2 teaspoons of rosemary needles–chopped fine

salt and pepper

4fl oz/100ml white wine

20+ cherry tomatoes

a handful of black nicoise olives 

Trim the excess fat and some of the loose skin from the chicken–tidying it up.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan with a lid.

Add the rosemary and garlic.

Put in the chicken pieces skin side down and sauté them over a medium high heat.

Nudge them with a spoon after 2 to 3 of minutes–when they move easily without sticking to the pan look to see if they’ve nicely browned. At that point, turn them over and repeat on the reverse side.

When you have a pan of golden chicken pieces season them generously and add the wine.

Let it bubble a little–then cover the pan and cook the chicken for about 30 minutes on a low heat–turning the pieces from time to time to keep them moist. Add a tablespoon or two of water if needed.

Add the tomatoes and olives and cover the pan again.

Cook until the skin of the tomatoes show signs of splitting.

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This is a variation on a recipe from The River Café Cookbook Easy.

Pollock steaks at the ready!

I’ve substituted pollock for monkfish (it’s on the list of sustainable fish) and added a sliced tomato which melds well with the oil, anchovy and lemon base. In the summer, sweet little cherry tomatoes halved add even more colour and taste.

Find the fish!

For 2

2 pollock steaks–rinsed and patted dry (you could try fillets–though the bone in the steaks adds flavour I think)

A good handful of rosemary sprigs

1 lemon–sliced thinly

2 anchovy fillets–mashed to a pulp

1 largish tomato–sliced thinly (you can use a couple of tinned tomatoes–roughly chopped)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 220c/420f

  • Put the lemon slices in a bowl and season them with salt and pepper–add a tablespoon of olive oil and mix carefully but thoroughly.
  • In a small, shallow oven tray heat about a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Spread the rosemary over the base.
  • Place the fish steaks on top and season lightly.
  • Spread half the the anchovy pulp on each and cover them with the lemon slices.
  • Arrange the tomato slices round the outside and drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over them.
  • Roast in the middle of the oven for  about 10 minutes–the time depends on the thickness of the steaks.

(We had a fennel, radish and celery salad with these for lunch today–dressed with of a tablespoon of lemon juice blended with half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, seasoned and then mixed with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Big hit with Meredith.)

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