Hello & welcome to my Blog.
I came up with the idea of this blog as I had been writing a cookery book for my Children after my eldest Son Simon left home and would ring me for all his favourite recipes. I thought that this way it would be easier to update & where ever they were they could cook their favourite recipes. This blog is that index card box of scribbled recipes, torn out recipes from magazines, lost somewhere in the house, all brought neatly together in one place.
What I didn't expect was the thousands of people that have looked at it since its creation, from all over the World, I have even created a Facebook fanpage so that I can chat to fellow foodies who have enjoyed the blog!
I really hope you enjoy the recipes, please feel free to post comments or recipes and I just want you to know that all recipes have been cooked time & time again by myself and all photographs, where possible, have been taken by me of the food that I have cooked.
I apologise in advance for any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, I bake better than I write.
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
I just had to get this recipe on my blog as soon as I could, we had this for dinner last night and I have to say it is one of the best dinners I have eaten in a long time, it was just gorgeous. If you could get one meal that summed up autumn, this dish would be it.
There is a little prep required, but once its in the oven, thats it for an hour and a half, you can sit back with a glass of wine and relax, perfect for a dinner party.
The flavours are rich, intense and warming, you have the earthiness of the mushrooms, the gorgeous roast chicken juices oozing into the Camargue rice in the bottom of the dish and when you come to serve, you have this fantastic tasting mushroom like risotto to serve with your chicken, it truly is an autumn evening delight.
The Camargue red rice is a relatively new variety of rice cultivated in the wetlands of the Camargue region of southern France. It is a short-grained and unmilled variety of rice and is therefore quite sticky and is a brownish-red colour. It has an intense somewhat nutty taste and a naturally chewy texture, it works so well in this dish.
So wether you buy your mushrooms or forage for them, this is a gorgeous way to use them.
30g dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5kg whole chicken
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g mixed mushrooms, cleaned
250g Camargue red rice
150ml dry vermouth or white wine
800ml chicken stock
Heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, gas mark 6.
Put the porcini in a bowl and cover with 300ml of boiling water. Leave to stand for 20 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pan, (I used my large casserole dish that has a lid, it saved on washing up as everything could be done in the one pan) then brown the chicken all over. Set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and gently fry the celery and the onion in it for 15 minutes until softened. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute.
Slice any large mushrooms and keep the smalls ones whole. Add to the onion and fry, stirring constantly and gently, until softened.
Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the liquor. Roughly chop and add to the mushrooms in the pan.
Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute, coating well in the oil and juices. Add the vermouth/wine and bubble until reduced by two-thirds.
Strain the mushroom liquor to remove any grit, then pour into the pan with the stock. Bring to the boil, then transfer to a casserole dish large enough to hold the rice and chicken (you can see why I used my large lidded pan now ). Put the chicken on top and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes (removing the lid for the last 15 minutes) until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes, then carve the chicken and serve with the rice and seasonal green vegetables.
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
Autumn is well and truly upon us now and we have seen a hint of winter with our first frost on Sunday morning, it was stunning, the sun was shining and the grass with its frosty covering sparkled.
It inspired me, whilst Hubby watch the F1, to go outside and collect the last of our apples, it always seems such a shame to waste anything from the garden so I made a batch of gorgeous apple sauce.
I love apple sauce with pork, but it is also delicious with vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt.
I searched the internet for a recipe, many were very basic, but this one with the lemon, which really heightens the apple flavour and with cinnamon, really appealed to me and the batch was big enough to make a jar for myself, a jar for my lovely neighbour Ruth and also two large bags for the freezer, so now I have a supply for the winter.
There is nothing better than homemade applesauce with hand-picked apples, and it is so easy to do! If you want chunky applesauce, use a potato masher to mash the cooked apples. If you prefer smooth apple sauce, run the cooked apples through a food mill or I used my food mixer with the paddle attachment on, a trick I learnt from Hubby as this is how he makes his wonderful mash potato.
The sugar amounts are just guidelines, depending your taste, and on the sweetness of your apples, use less or more. If you use less sugar, you'll likely want to use less lemon juice. The lemon juice brightens the flavor of the apples and balances the sweetness.
3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples
4 strips of lemon peel
Juice of one lemon
3 inches of cinnamon stick
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
up to 1/4 cup of white sugar
1 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peels. Mash with potato masher.
Ready to serve, either hot or refrigerated.
Freezes easily, lasts up to one year in a cold freezer.
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
Coq au vin, simply translated means rooster with wine, now I am not sure how authentic this Bill Granger recipe is, especially as it uses chicken and not rooster, but its easy to prepare and cook, tasty and warming on an autumn evening and an all round crowd pleaser.
Coq au vin is a French braise of chicken cooked with wine, lardons, mushrooms, and optionally garlic. The wine is typically Burgundy, many regions of France have variants of coq au vin using the local wine, such as coq au Riesling, coq au Champagne, and so on, this recipe uses white wine, which I feel keeps the sauce nice and light.
A simple supper but brought to the table in a gorgeous serving bowl or dressed beautifully on a serving plate would be equally as welcomed at a dinner party, not only will you delight your guests with some good hearty warming food but the simplicity of this dish means that you can enjoy your guests company and not miss out on all the fun because you are slaving over a hot stove.
1.5kg/3¼lb chicken, jointed (I cheated and brought chicken pieces
150g/5oz diced bacon or lardons
10 French shallots, peeled
a few thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
3 tbsp olive oil
250ml/9fl oz white wine
small knob of butter
350g/13oz mixed mushrooms (such as oyster and chestnut), sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
small handful chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 220C/430F/Gas 7.
Arrange the chicken pieces in a large roasting tin and scatter with the bacon, shallots, thyme, rosemary and chilli flakes. Season, to taste, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Drizzle the contents of the roasting tray with two tablespoons of the olive oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
When the chicken has been roasted, add the wine to the tin and cook for another 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Heat the butter and remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for 3-5 minutes. Tip the mushrooms and garlic into the tin and scatter with the parsley.
Serve dished up on some yummy creamy mash, autumn supper heaven.