<< january : food index : march >>
Wednesday 1.2 ate out
Thursday 2.2 Beef with chilli, mirin, sesame oil; pak choi with ginger, garlic, oyster sauce; egg noodles

Supper: (with Janet) Stollen and cheese

Friday 3.2 Chicken liver pate with balsamic jelly
Squash felafel, broad beans, bulghar wheat

Felafel: boiled 1/2 a butternut squash; mashed with middle eastern spices, onion etc. Mixed with 3 tbs gram flour to make a sticky dough. Roasted about 20 mins. They go nice and crunchy on the outside.

Saturday 4.2 Thai curry of salmon and prawns; beansprouts, onion, red pepper in tamarind and peanut sauce; Thai rice

Prawn curry: I bought shell-on prawns and made a stock from the shells. Curry paste: chilli, garlic, lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger. Added 3 tbs coconut milk.

Vegetable curry. Ground up about 1tbs peanuts, ginger, garlic, chilli. Then added tamarind, 1 tbs coconut, nam pla, 1/4 tsp brown sugar.

Sunday 5.2 Lunch: Beansprouts, peas, corn with soy, and oyster sauce; rice

Dinner: Waitrose goats’ cheese tartlets, rocket;

Risotto with saffron, ovendried tomatoes, rocket; yellow pepper.

We learnt to do ovendried tomatoes from Alastair Little’s Keep it simple. Now we fill the freezer with them in autumn to tide us through the winter.

Alert readers will notice that I don’t subscribe to Tracey’s philosophy of seasonality.

Monday 6.2

Warm salad of avocado, aubergine, bacon, rocket; ciabatta.

The aubergine grilled as rounds, then put in the oven to keep warm; the bacon chopped and fried; the avocado cut into wedges.

Peaches poached in white wine with cinnamon, amaretti, cream.

Tuesday 7.2

Split green pea and chorizo soup;

Confit of duck, onion marmalade, mangetout, rösti.

Actually Tracey did most of the work. The soup recipe is based on one in Hannah Wright’s Soups; however we usually make soups more concentrated than her recipes.

Wednesday 8.2 Smoked mackerel with chilli, garlic, pickled-plum vinegar; watercress
Kidneys in cream and green peppercorns; tundra cabbage with onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, preserved lemons; sauteed potatoes

The preserved lemons work quite well with the cabbage.

Thursday 9.2 Potato, sweetcorn coriander cakes; scrambled egg and chilli
Kidney beans with black pudding, onion, cinnamon, cloves; red and yellow peppers with chilli, garlic, paprika, tomato puree; quinoa
Friday 10.2 ate out
Saturday 11.2 Lunch: Spaghetti al ragu

I confess it has chilli in

Dinner: Pork fillet with sage, garlic, wrapped in bacon; cabbage and chestnuts with juniper; roast potatoes
Peach and white chocolate tart

The tart didn't work. I had a tubful of peach puree from last summer, in the freezer. Made 6oz pastry and lined a shallow 8in tart tin. Melted 50g white choc, added 50ml cream, 2 egg yolks, peach puree, a little vanilla essence. Whisked the 2 egg whites and folded those in. It's a bit much for the shallow tin. Cooked for about 30-40 mins in a moderate oven but it doesn't set. The peach puree has too much water content. The flavours are good, though, and it'll be worth trying with peach slices.

Sunday 12.2 Lunch: Tagliatelle with pork, black pepper, onion, cream, lemon, stock

Dinner: Roast pheasant, pine kernel and prune stuffing; sauté’d celeriac, baked potatoes

Christmas pudding, brandy, cream.

Monday 13.2

Waitrose aubergine and pepper terrine

Stuffed red peppers (spinach, goats cheese, toasted hazelnuts); aubergine slices with red pesto; salad, ciabatta.

My stuffed peppers are more complicated than the Turkish dish. First I peel the peppers (by baking). They lose their texture in the process, so need to be held together in some way. Then I make a cross with two strips of aluminium foil in a small ramekin, greasing foil and ramekin. Then I place a layer of pepper on the bottom of the ramekin and line the walls; place the filling in the hollow; and cover with more pepper. Bake for 20 mins. The stuffed pepper can then be lifted out using the allu strips as a cradle. I think 3 peppers are about right for 2 ramekins.

I don’t too much like green pesto, and mostly use red pesto as a ketchup for aubergines.

Tuesday 14.2

Fillet steak with cream, brandy, mustard, porcini ‘stock’; porcini and mushrooms; peas, pasta;

Banana and date cake; cardamom, honey, Grand Marnier ice cream.

The cake recipe was based on the Wisley one on the Waitrose website. It didn’t work for us – it sank. The ice cream was delicious. 1 egg, 5floz cream, 1tbs Savoy mountain honey, 3 cardamoms, 1.5tbs G.M. It was still quite runny after 20 mins churning – maybe the high booze content. We don’t make ice cream often enough to be experts.

Wednesday 15.2 ate out
Thursday 16.2

Purple sprouting with onion, anchovy, chilli, garlic, balsamic; gnocchi and butter

Peach and white chocolate tart

Friday 17.2 Watercress, blood orange, ricotta, chilli

A good combination

Toulouse sausage, blackeye beans with tomato and guinness; potato and carrot mash

Saturday 18.2 David and Bobby

5-spice pork belly, puy lentils, pakchoi in oyster sauce, pickled plum

Braised the pork belly for 3 hours, in advance. Wrapped meat in foil, cooled it, then cut into 4 pieces. When the liquid was cool, took the fat off, then strained and reduced it. It needs to be reduced a lot. Added a couple of the pork-jelly cubes from the freezer. For serving, reheated pork in the oven, then I tried to crisp up the skin, under the grill, but this doesn't work anywhere near well as proper crackling. Did the pak choi stems in oyster sauce, then wilted the leaves in at the last minute. I guess there was a little too much to do at the last minute, but it was very good.

Roast chicken, almond and quince stuffing; baby leeks, roast potatoes

Stuffing: used a few slices of ciabatta, chicken giblets, 1/4 quince, 16 almonds, nutmeg, cloves. Should have used more bread. Added some argan oil, but it got a bit lost. Potatoes: Estima are not as good as King Edwards.

Mango Tarte Tatin, passion fruit cream

The mango tart is essentially from the Roux brothers' cooking for 2 book, but using shortcrust pastry instead of the light cake/souffle topping they have. Used 3oz sugar for the caramel and got it very dark. Two mangoes, bought wednesday, and left to hang around with a ripe banana. Passion fruit cream was 2 passion fruit stirred into whipped cream.

Swaledale goat - Celtic Promise - Wigmore - Cashel Blue

Sunday 19.2 Lunch: Gnocchi with chicken, tomatoes, cream

Dinner: Waitrose aubergine, tomato, and Almodóvar tapas;

Couscous with meatballs and veg; leeks.

I didn’t think much of the tapas. A bit like aubergine parmeggiana, but the aubergines had a spongey texture. I’m sure I can do better.

Waitrose had some organic beef meatballs. I think I may have used carrot, courgette, and quartered onions as the vegetables.

Monday 20.2

Covent Garden lamb goulash soup;

Porcini cassoulet, salad, ciabatta.

Sauté some field mushrooms and porcini; add some garlic and evoo and tip into some cooked haricots with a little cooking liquid. Use ciabatta breadcrumbs to cover. Bake.

Tuesday 21.2

Waitrose goats’ cheese tartlets;

Pasta with chicken, tomatoes, avocado, chilli, cilantro; sweetcorn.

Just one chicken breast for the 2 of us, cut into strips.

Wednesday 22.2 Faggots, onion and stout; split green peas; sauteed carrot and potato
Pear with honey balsamic glaze, ricotta

The ricotta doesn't really go - just a bit too salty for dessert

Thursday 23.2 Venison fillet, smoked garlic, chestnut, blackberry, stock; potato and parsnip mash

This was very good - the flavours work well. There is still a ton of blackberries in the freezer

Banana cake, passion fruit cream

... and a ton of the banana cake

Friday 24.2 Sardines (tin) with a chilli, garlic, onion, sherry vinegar marmalade; sourdough toast

This works very well, a good combination of flavours. The sourdough was from my last attempt at sourdough, which hadn't worked. The starter piece of dough had been kept from some time last summer. The bread tasted good, and was fine as toast.

Pork dumplings (last of the pork belly, garlic, shallot, oyster sauce)

I haven't a clue what I'm trying to do here. I made a sort of dough with SR flour and water, then rolled out into 2 circles, filled with the stuffing, made into dumplings and steamed. Tastes good.

Chickpeas and spinach (fennel, cumin, stock); sourdough toast

Saturday 25.2 Fiona and Miles

Prawn curry with aubergine, sweet potato, spinach

Make stock from the prawn shells. Spices: (dry) cumin coriander cardamom (3), fennel, curry leaves, amchoor, mace, mustard seed, kalonji (fresh) garlic, chilli, ginger. coconut milk and the prawn stock. Beware that this kills wine.

Confit of duck; puy lentils and fennel sausage; roast chicory; potatoes and olive oil; balsamic jelly

Steamed ginger pudding, creme fraiche

The ginger pudding is the Simon Hopkinson recipe - a classic.

Sunday 26.2

Sirloin steaks, mushrooms, mustard, red wine, crème fraiche; baked potatoes, sugar snaps;

Mango fool (with chilli and vodka).

The fool recipe came from a Sainsbury’s desserts book. The mango flavour seemed rather muted.

Monday 27.2

Butter beans with chorizo and tomato tapas.

Cook the beans; stew some tinned tomatoes with garlic; add choricitos (available from Waitrose); put the lot in terracotta ramekins and bake. Waitrose tapas come overpackaged in individual ramekins; this is your way of recycling them (and keeping Waitrose profits down).

Hungarian meatballs with tomato, paprika, peppers, sour cream; braised celery (butter and stock); tagliatelli.

This used up the remaining half pack of meatballs. (They first made their appearance in a couscous a week and a half ago.)

Tuesday 28.2

Peppadew (the hot ones) stuffed variously with fresh tomato, sundried tomato, goats’ cheese, artichoke, olives; aubergine slices with red pesto; ciabatta;

Pancakes with lemon and sugar.

<< january : food index : march >>