Posts Tagged: lamb

May 11

Potato royalty


There are few ingredients as versatile as the potato. It lends itself to all manner of dishes, from the spice-filled curries of India like Aloo Gobi to the simple, unctuous French classic, pommes dauphinoise, rich, creamy and decadent and pairs well with so many dishes.

There are few more delicious things than a perfectly cooked chip – both fluffy and crunchy – or indeed a roast potato, shell broken and gravy spilled in. And mash – surely, the ultimate comfort food – a veritable hug on a plate.

There are several contenders for the title of King of the Spuds but first place must go to the Jersey Royal. Cooked in minted water, tossed, still warm, with a generous knob of butter and sea salt they make the most royal of accompaniments to any number of dishes.

Simple preparations are best for the potatoes – try these delicious Jersey Royal recipes by clicking the links below.

Jersey Royals with pancetta and asparagus

Honey-roast Jersey Royals with yoghurt and mint shoulder of lamb

Jan 11

Cooking for comfort


When the weatherman says it’s raining, you won’t hear me complaining goes the song. Not strictly true as motorbikes and rain aren’t the best of friends!

It does, though, give me an excuse to stay in and cook something slow on the hob or in the oven – something that requires plenty of preparation – chopping onions, celery, carrots or ginger, garlic and chillies.

Most days I’ll chop, flip and fry at the pace I’m used to from professional kitchens. But when the rain pitter-patters outside everything slows right down and I become a little more absorbed in what I’m doing. Lost in the steady grinding of spices or juicing oranges, the picking and chopping of herbs or the peeling of potatoes.

Filling the house with the warm aromas of a slow-cooked meal, waiting patiently listening to the radio – perhaps a drop of red as the meal nears readiness…it might be raining outside but that won’t dampen the mood.

This recipe comes from Becky whose blog is packed with delicious recipes and great pictures. She recommends serving it with a beetroot and yogurt salad, the recipe for which you can find here

Click here for Becky’s pomegranate molasses braised shoulder of lamb

Mar 09

Blog: The price of fish

anc_560.jpgI have a theory about food, a sort of philosophy I eat by I suppose. It’s a two-pronged topic which often crops up in conversation with foodie friends.

The first part governs the fact that it seems to only takes a single instance of enjoying a food you don’t like to start to love it. I usually order something new or something I might not be a fan of in very good restaurants, as more often than not it will have been given the sort of treatment to turn it into something spectacular.

And there’s nothing quite like the pleasure of learning to love a foodstuff that people around you have been blathering on about for ages. The gears fall into place and suddenly you understand what they mean.

The second relates to the quality of ingredients. This makes all the difference, which is why good restaurants source their ingredients well.

Take for example, the humble anchovy – prized in Ancient Rome where it was fermented and turned into <i>liquamen</i>, a fishy seasoning like that used in Thai cooking.

Anchovies and I had never been friends. I found their intense fishiness overpowering. It wasn’t for want of trying. I’d used them to season lamb, adding oomph by stuffing fillets inside slits in the meat along with rosemary and garlic.
Then, along came a marginally pricier version, and I was sold. The quality Spanish import was richer, saltier and meatier than anything I’d tasted before and now I am a happy convert.

It’s not about spending a lot more money, but rather buying less of a better thing. So if you’ve got your own foodie phobias, as I have with offal, too, take a chance,  buy a smaller amount of really good quality and see what a difference it makes.

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