food index : february >>
Sunday 1.1 Lunch: Egg noodles with partridge, sweetcorn, oyster sauce
Dinner: Buffet at Debbie’s
monday 2.1 Lunch: Noodles with mushrooms, peas, oyster sauce
Dinner: Venison, balsamic honey; cauliflower cheese, mashed potato
Quince custard and mousse

I had about 150-200ml of quince syrup. 1/4 of a quince. 1 egg, some cream. 1/2 leaf of gelatine. I made a custard with half the syrup, 1–2 tbs cream, egg yolk. Added 1/4 leaf of gelatine, and diced quince. Then decanted into glasses. For the mousse, warmed rest of the syrup, added the other 1/4 leaf gelatine. When a little cooler, whisked cream (1–2 tbs) and added that, then whisked the egg white and added that too. Decanted on top of the custard. All a nice texture, but some of the egg white had separated out when we ate it.

tuesday 3.1 Roast peppers, halloumi, diced fried courgettes with dill, cinnamon, argan oil;
Beef casserole with cumin, coriander, chilli; green beans and bulghar wheat.
wednesday 4.1 ate out
thursday 5.1

Couscous with pine kernels and raisins; courgettes, carrots, potatoes, onions;

I make a couscous sauce using tinned tomatoes, shallot, garlic, cumin, a little cinnamon, and occasionally (and inauthentically) a little chilli. The meat and/or vegetables are precooked if necessary then added to the sauce.

Cherries in kirsch, cream, ginger biscuit.

friday 5.1

Waitrose celeriac, leek, bacon soup

Venison steaks, mushrooms, sauce of shallot, red wine, crème de myrtilles; carrots with cumin, mashed potato.

Tracey had won the creme de myrtilles in France a few years ago, and we hadn’t opened it until Christmas when we used it for some kir myrtilles.

Saturday 6.1 Lunch: Spaghetti with tomatoes, chorizo (and fennel, nutmeg, chilli, paprika);
Dinner: at the RTTC bash.
Sunday 7.1 Lunch: Curry of cauliflower, peas, onions

Dinner: Sri Lankan fish curry, okra in coconut, rice.

Both recipes from Charmaine Solomon’s Asian cookbook.

Supper: Charcuterie, cheese, mince pies at Fiona and Miles’.

monday 8.1 Sprout and walnut soup;
Toulouse sausage, leeks, pearl barley.
tuesday 9.1 Herring with thai spices; pak choi with nam pla, coconut milk
Mango with yoghurt and passion fruit curd

Wanted to use mackerel. Make 4 slashes in each side of the fish and add spice paste – lemongrass, chilli, ginger, garlic, lime leaves).

Mango was reconstituted dried mango, pureed with yoghurt. Then with a small amount of whipped cream, with passion fruit curd. The curd was a Christmas present from my Mum.

wednesday 10.1 Cockles, bacon, potato, sea lettuce
Chicken with 20 cloves of garlic; carrot with tarragon and butter, mashed potato
thursday 11.1

Braised chicory, honey balsamic glaze, cream and ham

Roast peppers, tomatoes with goats’ cheese, basil; rocket, ciabatta.

Colin cooks chicory!!!

friday 13.1

Apple, parsnip, Stilton soup (from the freezer)

Chicken livers, chorizo, chipotle, etc, cream; kale, onions, sherry vinegar; polenta

Saturday 14.1 Haggis scotch egg (from farmers market)
Merguez, squash with poppy seed, almond curry sauce, rice

Curry sauce: lots of ginger, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, allspice, fennel, cardamom, mace, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, chilli, almonds. Toasted the spices then ground them with the almonds. Fried the onions etc, added spice paste and water, cooked for a bit, then liquidise. It was good.

Sunday 15.1

Lunch: Spaghetti alla norma

Half an aubergine, cut into round slices and each slice into 3 or 4 strips; some finely chopped shallot; a little finely chopped chilli; 1 finely chopped clove of garlic; some toasted pinenut kernels; 2 anchovy fillets crushed in a mortar; some sultanas soaked in water; 1tsp white wine vinegar; half an 8 oz tin of chopped tomatoes; a little extra water. Fry the aubergine in oil in a small non-stick saucepan until fairly brown; add the chilli and shallot to soften, then the garlic; then add everything else and cook for 10 mins. Stir evoo into the spaghetti and serve the sauce on top. Serves 2.

Dinner: Chicken liver pate with brioche and balsamic jelly.

Sikbaj (Moroccan lamb with dates and almonds); courgettes, couscous.

Pate: cooked chicken livers, onion, garlic, with nutmeg and chilli, in duck fat, then pureed it.

monday 16.1

Covent Garden winter root veg soup

Braised shin of beef in red wine, wheat kernels, fried celeriac.

The wheat kernels are rather like pearl barley; we’d bought them in Provence last year. The sauté’d celeriac is a recipe of Tracey’s. You chop the celeriac into largish dice and sauté for about 10 mins.

tuesday 17.1 ate out
wednesday 18.1 Pork belly braised with 5-spice; kale and spring onions in oyster sauce, egg noodles
Banana, lemon curd yoghurt, ginger in syrup
thursday 19.1 Chicken thighs, flat mushrooms with sherry, sherry vinegar, tarragon; baby leeks, grilled; mashed potato
Pears with fried almonds, cream, brioche, Poire Williams
friday 20.1 Karly and Mark
Red peppers with chorizo, chickpeas, tomato, paprika
Roast pork loin; cabbage with smoked bacon, juniper; mashed potato
Trifle of oranges, dried fruit, brioche, dulce de leche
Murcia al vino – Ardrahan – Lightwood cumin

The trifle needs a good proportion of oranges, since the dried fruit and dulce are rather rich.

Saturday 21.1 Sirloin steaks, porcini, flat mushroons, brandy, truffle oil; gratin of potato, squash, sage; green beans
Trifle remains
Sunday 22.1 Lunch: Halloumi, chickpeas, beetroot, green beans; bulghar with olive oil, thyme, dill

Dinner: Roast Guinea fowl, black pudding and pine kernel stuffing; roast potatoes, braised little gem lettuce.

I braised the lettuce in butter for 10 mins; they needed more time.

The g.f. takes about 1 hour at gas 5, rest for 20 mins. Potatoes take 30 mins at gas 7. Used ciabatta in the stuffing – it doesn’t go soggy like softer bread does.

Sliced pears fried in butter with almonds, boozy cherries, biscuit, Poire Williams.

You can buy dried sour cherries, but to make them edible you have to soak them in kirsch for at least a fortnight.

monday 23.1

Waitrose mini lamb kebabs, yoghurt, harissa, tomato, dill; watercress

Haricots with chorizo, tomato, more watercress, baguette.

tuesday 24.1

Hummus and pitta, olives;

Kleftiko, courgettes, bulghar wheat.

wednesday 25.1 ate out
thursday 26.1 Parsnip, chilli, bacon soup;
Smoked trout, smoked streaky bacon, wasabi; watercress and rocket, potato pancakes

Potato pancakes were more or less the recipe in Alistair Little’s book. They are fiddly to make and are best straight out of the pan, but are delightful.

friday 27.1 John
Goats cheese and chestnut tartlets, watercress

This is a nice combination of flavours. I need to get the textures better, because the chestnuts are quite ‘dry’ compared with the cheese/egg/cream. Perhaps cut them into smaller pieces.

Roast beef, roast potatoes, mushrooms, leeks
Chocolate and cherry puddings, chocolate kirsch sauce
Murcia al vino – Taleggio – Swaledale cow

Saturday 28.1 Lunch: Remains of the pork, chorizo etc, with more spices, and quinoa
Dinner: Roast onions with soured cream and goats cheese

3 medium red onions, halved. Roasted 30 minutes, with thyme. Added honey balsamic glaze. Served with cream+lemon juice+soft goats cheese+black pepper. Very simple, very good

Beef remains, roast cauliflower, pearl barley

Sunday 29.1 Lunch: at Simon and Helen’s

Dinner: Fennel risotto.

monday 30.1

Hummus and pitta

Lamb shank braised in red wine with cumin, ginger and blackeye beans; peas, rice.

tuesday 31.1

Guinea fowl and remains of stuffing, with mushrooms, tomato, cream; sugar snaps, pasta;

Raspberries, framboise, cream, shortbread.

food index : february >>