Friday, 31 December 2010

Left Alone In The Butchers...

My wife made the mistake of leaving me alone in a great butchers today after I'd been drinking coffee. By the time she had come back I'd bought a kilo of diced venison, 1/2 a kilo of minced beef and three large pieces of oxtail - all organic and looking very tasty.

The mince and the venison have been put in the freezer leaving the oxtail for tomorrow night's supper.

Watch this space!

Turkey and Vegetable Soup

Yes we are still working our way through the Turkey - despite the best efforts of our three cats. This soup is refreshingly light and tasty. Serves 2 generously.

Large handful of cooked turkey chopped into bite sized pieces
1 parsnip, pealed, cored and diced
1 carrot, pealed and diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
A small bunch parsley chopped
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
750ml vegetable or chicken stock

Fry the onions and vegetables in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add the turkey and tarragon. Add stock, bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft but not collapsing.
Add the parsley and check the seasoning. Serve with crusty bread.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Two More Pies

To cater for varying tastes at last night's games evening I made two varieties of pies; Fish and Game. Each of the recipes below fill 4 large ramekins and are topped by shop bought puff pastry.

Game Pie
8 Pheasant Thighs cut into chunks
3 small carrots cut into small diced
1 medium onion finely diced
150g mushrooms finely diced
1/2 glass of wine
1tbsp seasoned flour
4 crushed juniper berries
2 sprigs of rosemary (chopped)

Fry the onion in a little oil until softened, add the mushrooms and fry briefly. Coat the pheasant in seasoned flour and add to the pan and fry until coloured. Add the wine and the remaining ingredients and enough stock to make a thick gravy. Put in a moderate oven for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before topping with puff pastry. Cook in a hot oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and puffed up.

Fish Pies

2 salmon stakes skinned and cut into chunks

1 small haddock loin skinned and cut into chunks
250ml single cream
Large handful of chopped parsley
1 bayleaf
2-3 shallots finely chopped
2 tspn flour
100g mushrooms chopped
large knob of butter
Salt and pepper

Frozen Veg from the garden with assistant
Fry the shallot and mushroom in the butter add the flour to make a roux then add the cream and a little milk if the sauce is too thick. Add the fish and herbs and stir to combine. Cool then add to the ramekins and top with the pastry. Then remember you have left the bayleaf inside shrug and hope that someone notices before they eat it. Cook in a hot oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and puffed up.

I served these pies with potato wedges and green vegetables (green kale and purple Brussels spouts) from the garden.

Christmas Games Evening Menu

Had a fab evening with my wife and some good friends last night. Lots of good food and drink as well!
To start with we had Peach Fizz (Cava and peach nectar) served with smoked salmon and sour cream blinis. This was followed by minted pea soup with pan fried scallops. The main course was a choice of individual pies - game (in this case pheasant) or fish (salmon and haddock). Pudding was cardamom and orange chocolate pots with a selection of British and European cheeses to finish. All washed down with more Cava and copious volumes of mulled wine.
Surprisingly we still had room for a full English this morning!
Recipes to follow