Posts Tagged: main course


14
Jan 11

Cooking for comfort

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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


8
Dec 10

Beefed up

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I love a recipe that’s virtually a one-pot wonder and a real crowd pleaser. Rather than faff around with pots and pans, cooking things in the oven and under the grill to put dinner together, this rendang recipe is all done in the one pot and is astoundingly good.

I’ve cooked it twice in the past couple of weeks – which will probably do for a little while as it is quite the rich dish. That’s a good thing though – just over a kilo of meat will easily feed 8-10 people.

It’s definitely one for the patient though – the ingredients take a short while to prepare but the simmering and reducing take three tantalising hours – the smell is incredible, aromatic, fragrant and will have you starving by the time it comes to the table.

The last few minutes of cooking while the coconut milk boils off and the beef begins to fry in the coconut oil are a little hairy – but stick with it, don’t panic and the results will astound. I normally serve this with a flatbread or naan, some finely sliced cucumber and red onion, a dollop of yogurt and a good sprinkling of mint, although rice would also be great. Serve with a lime cheek on the side to squeeze over.

Click here for my recipe for beef rendang


16
Aug 10

Perfect pork chops and a fennel slaw

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Coleslaw crops up on the table in my house in some form or another at least once a week – more often twice. It appears year round – made with hardy, winter root vegetables it makes a great accompaniment to charcuterie (as served as Daniel Boulud’s fantastic Knightsbridge joint) while in summer it suits the barbecue to a tee. Or a c.I love the variations – from a slightly tricked out version of the classic cabbage and carrot tarted up with a half buttermilk half mayo crossover to the recipe I’ve given here – finely sliced fennel and cucumber, tossed with yogurt and cider vinegar.

Go crazy at home – throw in nuts, seeds (poppy seeds look great) or dried berries like sour cherries, cranberries or sultanas. Use mayo, yogurt, creme fraiche, sour cream or buttermilk.

This recipe makes a fantastic accompaniment to pork chops – the mustard, fennel and cider vinegar are all good friends to mingle with meat.

Click here for my recipe for pork chops with fennel slaw.


2
Aug 10

Knee jerk reaction

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Isn’t it the way? As soon as we have any glimmer of sunshine out comes the barbie, the bangers, the
burgers and the buns. There aren’t many food stuffs I’d rate higher than the barbecued sausage – that crunchy char on the outside, the smoky flavour imparted by the coals and the rich, juicy interior
(perfectly cooked, we hope!).

I do get a bit fed up of the other usual standbys though which is why when I cooked for a group of
friends recently I opted to go for something a little different.

My friend Helen has been working on her recipe for jerk marinade for a while now and I’ve followed her endeavours on her cracking blog waiting till she was really pleased with it. It was the perfect thing to cook for the barbecue – beautiful organic chicken wings in a sweet, fiery, tangy marinade that turned the wings deliciously chewy with just the right amount of spice.

It’s so good, in fact, that I’ve got a load of pork ribs cooking in the oven as I write and the smells are tantalising me away from the keyboard. Thankfully, Helen was more than happy to let me share her recipe here – so get cooking!

Click here for Helen Graves’ jerk chicken


11
Jan 10

Simple, stylish food for the new year

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I love Christmas – the food is such a joy to prepare and eat, the meal such fun and so delicious, the leftovers an absolute treat. I think I might even prefer Boxing Day’s meal to the main event itself – you get round two with bells on!

I do find though that once I’ve done all the visits, eaten all the meals and am finally back in my own kitchen I look to simpler fare – things I can knock up quickly without compromising on taste.

Quails are ideal for this kind of cooking as they are done in a flash and hot and smoky from the griddle are an absolute treat. Paired with some good sourdough toast and the warm, sultry flavours in a cinnamon-spiked tomato sauce dotted with plump sultanas they make a perfect wintry lunch for sunny January days.

Click here for the recipe for quail with spiced tomato and sultana sauce


26
Nov 09

Spicy, slow-cooked lamb

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The lamb shank lends itself wonderfully well to slow-cooking and this wintery time of year. This inexpensive cut of meat is perfect for stewing and roasting at low temps and is done so all over the globe, from Morocco to India.

It’s great with good old British root vegetables, or for a Greek twist served with preserved lemons and olives and sprinkled with aromatic oregano before being roasted, or cooked in the tagine.

Lamb shanks are particularly delicious because of their fat content which when cooked slowly breaks down and flavours the meat. They absorb strong flavours very well and for National Curry Week I nipped down to my great friend’s Indian restaurant, Roz Ana, where they do a stunning curry which is well worth trying at home.

Click here for the recipe for Roz Ana’s Lamb Nalli

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