Thursday, 26 January 2012

French onion soup

25g butter
1tbsp oil
3 large onions,thinly sliced
2tbsp caster sugar
15g plain flour
1.25l stock
few drops gravy browning
1 small baguette
100g mature cheese,grated

Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan,add onions and stir so they are coated.Cook over a low heat until soft.Stir in sugar and continue to cook over a low heat for 20 min,stirring often,until they're golden brown.Remove from the heat and stir in the flour.Cook,stirring,for 1 min.Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the stock.Bring back to the boil,cover and simmer for 35-40 min.If you want a deeper colour,carefully add a little gravy browning now-you only need a few drops.To make the croutes.Preheat the grill.Cut 8 slices from the baguette and toast on one side.Turn over sprinkle with grated cheese and grill until melted.Serve on top of the soup.

Chocolate orange cake

15og dark chocolate
100g butter
6 large eggs
150g ground almonds
finely grated zest of 2 med oranges
2tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
100g caster sugar
3tbsp cooca

Preheat oven to 170c/150c fan/gas 3. Grease a round 23cm-deep cake tin with butter and line the base with baking paper.Break the chocolate into squares and put in a bowl with the butter.Stand the bowl over a pan of simmering water until chocolate has melted-make sure the base  doesn't touch the water.Leave to cool slightly.Separate egg yolks from whites.Stir the ground almonds,orange zest,juice and yolks into the chocolate.In a different bowl,whisk the egg whites until stiff.Add the sugar 1tbsp at a time-after each addition,whisk until stiff again.Add a quarter to the chocolate mixture and gently fold in.Then fold in the rewst of the egg whites.Turn the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 35-40min.Leave to cool in the tin for 10min,then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack.Serve dusted with the cocoa.

Easy Brisket of beef

1.2kg Brisket of beef joint
200g carrots,thickly sliced
175g swede,peeled and cut into chunks
1 large onion,cut into wedges
2 med baking potatoes,peeled and cut into chunks
600ml hot beef stock
250ml red wine
2tbsp tomato puree
2tbsp mixed dried herbs
1tbsp gravy granules

Preheat oven to 150c/130fan/gas 2.Put the beef and veg in a large casserole dish.Heat the stock,wine
and puree until simmering.Pour over the meat and add the herbs.Cover and cook in the oven for 5-6 hours.Remove the meat and veg with a slotted spoon.Sprinkle in the gravy and stir to thicken.Serve the meat and veg with the gravy.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Chicken and mushroom hotpot

515g chicken thigh fillets
2-3 shallots,chopped
250g carrots,sliced
1 stick celery,sliced
150g mushrooms,halved
1tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2tbsp gravy granules
1tbsp tomato puree
2tbsp worcester sauce
500g potatoes,peeled
1tsp butter
1tsp oil
1tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley,to serve

Preheat oven to 190c/170c fan/gas 5.Cut each chicken thigh into 3 pieces.Put in a casserole dish with the shallots,carrots,celery,mushrooms and thyme.Add the gravy to 450ml freshly boiled water and stir to dissolve.Add the puree and worcester sauce and pour into the casserole dish so it reaches the top of the meat and veg.Cut the potatoes into even slices,then arrange overlapping,on top.Cover with lid and cook in oven for 50min.Mix the butter and oil together and brush over the potatoes.Return to the oven and cook uncovered for 20min or until potatoes are golden.Scatter on parsley and serve.

Thai prawn curry

3tbsp green thai curry paste
1 garlic clove,crushed
1 stem lemongrass,stripped og outer leaves
400ml can coconut milk
1tbsp lime juice
1tbsp Thai fish sauce
1tbsp soy sauce
1 red chilli,deseeded and finely sliced
1tsp sugar
1 aubergine,cut into cubes
200g fine green beans
350g raw king prawns
2tbsp chopped coriander
300g Thai jasmine rice

Put the paste and garlic in a pan and stir over a very low heat for 1-2min.Bash the lemongrass add to the pan with the coconut milk,100ml water,lime juice,fish and soy saucerrs,chilli and sugar.Heat until simmering,stirring.Cover and simmer for 5min.Add the aubergine and beans and simmer for 8min.Add the prawns and bring back to a simmer.Simmer,uncovered,for 3-4min until the prawns turn pink.Add coriander and serve with the rice.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Vegetarian scotch broth

2tbsp oil
1 med onion,chopped
1 small leek,sliced
150g carrots,cut into small cubes
125g swede,cut into small cubes
100g great scot pearl barley
100g great scot dried green lentils
few sprigs thyme
1.2 litres veg stock
200g bag sliced curly kale
crusty bread to serve

Heat oil in a large pan and cook onion and leeks until soft.Add carrots and swede and cook for 2-3 min.Stir in barley,lentils,thyme and stock and bring to the boil for 5 min.Cover the pan,reduce the heat and simmer gently for 35 min.Add the kale and cook for 10-15 min or until the barley and kale are tender.Serve with crusty bread.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Apple,pear and goats cheese salad

Whisk together 4tbsp walnut oil, 4tbsp mild olive oil, 3tbsp cider vinegar, 2tbsp clear honey and 1tbsp Dijon mustard.Season to taste.Lightly toast 150g pecans by tossing them in a dry,nonstick pan for a few min.Core and slice 2 cox's apples and 2 ripe pears and toss in the dressing.Break 2 x 150g of goats cheese into small pieces and gently toss with a 70g bag of wild rocket.Add the fruit and dressing and the toasted pecans.Serve.

Monday, 2 January 2012

spaghetti bolognese

500g lean minced beef
1 onion,chopped
1 clove garlic,crushed
2 carrots,finely chopped
175g mushrooms,finely chopped
3 sticks celery,finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatos
2tbsp tomato puree
2tbsp dried Italian herb
300ml beef stock
150ml red wine
freshly ground black pepper
400g dried spaghetti
chopped fresh parsley,to garnish

Place mince,onions and garlic in a pan and cook until lightly browned.Add carrots,mushrooms and celery and cook for 5 min.Stir in tomatoes,tomatoe puree,dried herbs,stock wine and black pepper.
Bring to boil,then cover and simmer for 1 hour.Till sauce as thickened.Serve with spaghetti and fresh parsley.

Beef casserole

1 tbsp oil
350g lean stewing steak,cut into cubes
1 onion,chopped
3 tbsp plain flour
450ml beef stock
150ml red wine
2 leeks,sliced
4 carrots,sliced
2tbsp horseradish
225g button mushrooms
freshly black pepper,to taste
fresh herb sprigs,to garnish

Preheat oven to 170c325f/gas 3.Heat oil in a ovenproof dish on the hob,add beef and cook for 5 min or until golden.Remove beef to a plate and add onions,fry until golden add the meat and flour back to dish and cook for 1 min.Stir in stock and wine and bring to the boil,stirring.Stir in horseradish,leeks,carrots,mushrooms and black pepper mix well.Cover and cook for 2 hours or until beef is cooked and tender.Garnish with herb sprigs and serve with mashed potatoes and veg.