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Friday 1.12

Ate out

Saturday 2.12

Lunch: Pasta with sprout tops, bacon, cream, chilli

Dinner: Pasta with leftover fennel from 27th, olives, saucisson

Cake from last weekend

Sunday 3.12

Lunch: Pak choi, miso, rice

Dinner: Squash and tomato laksa, crispy duck confit

Sweet potato mousse with caramelised pumpkin seeds, crème fraîche

This is my second go at a pumpkin mousse like I had at George’s, but I thought I’d try it with sweet potato.

For 4. 12oz peeled weight sweet potato (1lb unpeeled). Boil, mash, add 1tbs sugar. 2 eggs, separated. Make a custard with the yolks and 5floz cream/milk. Add spices and 1tbs sugar : I used cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, chilli, dried orange peel dust (1tsp) and vanilla extract (1tsp). 2 sheets gelatine, soaked, add to warm custard and dissolve. Then mix with the potato purée with 1tbs vodka. Add more sugar to taste. Whisk the egg whites till firm peaks and fold into the mash. Then decant into little pudding moulds and chill.

For the pumpkin seeds, dissolve 1tbs sugar in a little water and add 2tbs seeds. Boil till the water has gone, then cook to a caramel. Some of the seeds may explode. Then when it’s looking a little too dangerous, decant it into 4 piles on an oiled baking sheet, but it all sets a bit quickly and sticks to the spoon and everything. Jolly nice though.

Monday 4.12

Smoked mushrooms; cavollo nero and lentils with tomato purée; celeriac-potato-onion-cream mash

The rest of the sweet potato mousses

Tuesday 5.12

Pinto beans, tomato, cilantro, shallot, garlic, chilli; red quinoa, cumin and coriander

Pineapple with orange juice, coconut milk, Bacardi

Wednesday 6.12

Yorkshire Soup Co. tomato and Wensleydale

Braised beef with shitake mushrooms; carrots, cav. nero, onion with miso paste; rice noodles

Thursday 7.12

NCG spicy pumpkin and sweet potato soup

Chicken, chorizo, red pepper, tomato, cream; sugar snaps; gnocchi

Friday 8.12

Lunch: Simon and Amelia

Denhay smoked sausages, pinto beans with carrot, celeriac, onion, dash of Worcester sauce and tomato purée; RWS salad; Halls’ overnight bread

Pineapple with mint leaves and coconut milk

Pont l’Eveque

Dinner: Ate out

.. and Tracey has at last got her hands on The Book, as a belated birthday present

Saturday 9.12

Lunch: RWS salad with the last Denhay sausage and fried walnuts; Halls’ bread

Dinner: Duchy parsnip soup

Guinea fowl with sweet potato-chestnut-thyme stuffing; carrot and cumin mash; roast potatoes

Sunday 10.12

Lunch: Fried squash slices; sauce of red lentils, peanuts, onion-garlic-ginger-chilli, coconut milk, cilantro, lemon zest and juice, nampla, muscovado sugar; Thai rice

Dinner: Mushrooms and porcini in cream with truffle oil; polenta cakes; watercress

Figs poached with brandy and raisins, crème fraîche, shortbread

Monday 11.12

Crab, aubergine and tomato

Cod fillet, puree of green peas with crème fraîche and mint; braised lettuce, baby potatoes

Tuesday 12.12

Fried halloumi, chickpeas and garlic, spinach with lemon juice, bulghar wheat with tomatoes and mint

Set yoghurt with lemon, honey, toasted pine kernels

I think I put zest and juice of half a lemon with the yoghurt, and 1 tbs sugar. Perhaps try more next time. To set the yoghurt, 10floz of usual semiskimmed stuff, I used 2 tsp gelatine powder, which is just enough

Wednesday 13.12

Hummus and pitta

Guinea fowl (from saturday); Puy lentils with carrot, celeriac, onion, and wildboar sausage; braised chicory, mashed potato

I found the veg in the lentils were too sweet. The chicory I caramelised quite hard in the pan – seared it cut side down – and it was very good.

Thursday 14.12

Jo and Will

Chicken with couscous-olive-preserved lemon-giblet-saffron etc stuffing; sauce of onion, spices, stock; courgette, aubergine, red pepper; couscous with pine kernels

Spices were saffron, cumin, coriander, ginger, chilli.

Mango with coconut black rice pudding

Used a little lime-chilli syrup on the mango. Rice: 4 tbs black rice, 2tbs white pudding rice, some coconut milk (3floz?), 3 lime leaves, 1 lemon grass, 1tbs muscovado sugar, 2 tbs vanilla sugar

Friday 15.12

Couscous and chicken, with tomotoes and peppadew

Tuna steaks, satay sauce, mangetout, baby potatoes

Saturday 16.12

Ivan and Sarka (and Gwendolyn)

Lunch: pasta with onion-red pepper-wildboar sausage-paprika-chilli-tomato purée-crème fraîche


Salmon with lemon myrtle seasoning, green split pea purée, seaweed, avocado oil

5 tbs dried peas, half a shallot and a big garlic.

Slow-roasted pork shoulder, savoy cabbage with walnuts, mashed potato

The Hugh F-W recipe for the pork. The cabbage had some onion with it, fat from the roast, oyster sauce.

Pears baked in sesame caramel sauce

For the sauce, use 3 tbs sugar, 2 tbs sesame, a little fennel, 5 floz cream. Dissolve sugar in water, then boil off the water. When it starts to caramelise, add the seeds, and take it as far as you dare. At least as far as the vaporised sugar burning your nostrils and eyeballs. Then add the cream and try to dissolve the caramel, which will have stuck to the sides of the pan. Peel and core the pears, put in dish, pour over the sauce and bake.

Swaledale Ewe – Vacherin Mont d’Or – Embriago

Sunday 17.12

Ivan and Sarka (and Gwendolyn)

Lunch: RWS salad with leftover pork

Risotto of porcini and flat mushrooms, truffle oil

Dinner: toast with hummus, the last of the cheese

... having eaten quite enough already this weekend

Ivan has brought us a popcorn maker with which to roast our own coffee. Colin has found this new toy irresistible.

Monday 18.12

Squash, courgette, red pepper cubed and fried, and halloumi cubes fried; RWS salad; quinoa with onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, sumac, roast garlic purée and yoghurt

Pears baked with toasted almonds and amaretti, and cream

Tuesday 19.12

5-spice pork and the gravy, with puy lentils; Savoy cabbage; wheat kernels browned in butter then cooked in stock

Wednesday 20.12

Braised beef and shitake mushrooms; leeks; pasta

Thursday 21.12

Salad of what’s-in-the-fridge: Puy lentils, red pepper, peppadew, tomato, garlic, Ivan’s chilli sauce, fried halloumi cubes

Goat sausages, Savoy cabbage, Village Bakery Baltic rye bread

Friday 22.12

Duck breast marinated in Chinese marinade, then fried, sliced; pak choi and rice noodles

The marinade is more or less Sybil Kapoor’s recipe from Taste. I scored the skin/fat finely, then marinated the meat overnight. Scrape off the marinade. Then fried meat skinside down until the fat mostly renders out, and the skin crisp and caramelised. Then turn other way until cooked enough. Then slice. Meanwhile fried the pak choi stems in the duck fat, then added the marinade, and the green leaves at the end. This is really, really delicious.

Mango with lemon vanilla syrup, and vodka

I had thought we could save the start of the Christmas boozing until the weekend. But fridays are fridays, unless there’s a 10 on the saturday, which there won’t be in winter, hooray

Saturday 22.12

Lunch: Dhal makhani and rice

Dinner: Gnocchi (homemade) with peas, morels, cream-porcini-roast garlic-truffle oil

Pork belly, slow-cooked, then crisped; squash purée, pak choi

The pork is at least inspired by David Everitt-Matthias, even if I didn’t follow the recipe exactly

Sunday 24.12

Lunch: Pasta with tomatoes, saucisson, chilli

Dinner: Venison steak with Lapsang Souchong and orange; Jerusalems puree; cabbage

Fig tarte Tatin with caramel orange sauce

No prizes for guessing whose book these come from

Monday 25.12

Lunch: Mum, Connie and Charles

Smoked salmon; flaked poached salmon with cream, wasabi, mirin; watercress

Roast goose; stuffing of bread, pinekernels, chestnuts, quince; gravy; quince slices; roast potatoes; sprouts with bacon and walnuts; leeks; celeriac purée with onion and roast garlic; parsnip with cream and Parmesan

you can never do too many roast potatoes

Christmas pudding and cream

Stilton - Gruyère - Epoisses

Dinner: we took the Epoisses round to Martin, to stink out his flat too.

Tuesday 26.12

Elevenses: Gingerbread, on a cold junction above Yanworth

Lunch: Spag with sauce of some of the goose leftovers

Dinner: Soup of the leftover veg

Smoked salmon, seaweed, the poached salmon in a seaweed roll

Serrano ham, watercress, pickled plums, bread with sesame-kalonji-onion

I seem to have spent the entire afternoon messing about with food, sorting out the goose fat and the goose stock, trying to make sourdough bread and normal bread. The kalonji-onion bread idea I stole from Tan-y-Foel and it is a very good one. The sourdough didn’t really work but it tastes nice

Wednesday 27.12

Lunch: Ate out

Dinner: Diana and Martin

Chorizo-chestnut-lentil-wheat kernel soup

Goose, salad, sourdough, onion bread

Ginger and orange trifle (gingerbread, rum, orange slices, honey custard)

Thursday 28.12

Puy lentils with walnuts, Ivan’s chilli sauce; sautéed celeriac, mashed potato

Friday 29.12

Caesar salad

Smoked salmon, smoked streaky bacon fried, cream-lemon-horseradish, seaweed and potato cakes, puy lentils

Saturday 30.12

Lunch: Spag with squash, cream, tomato, chilli etc.

Dinner: Venison fillet, beetroot and cassis sauce, braised lettuce, new potatoes


Sunday 31.12

Lunch: Sprouts, onion, bacon; polenta and parmesan


Smoked mushroom spring rolls, split pea and leek purée, avocado oil

Slow roast lamb shank with thyme, rosemary, olives; puy lentils, roast fennel, roast potatoes

Chocolate and coriander tart, rum and raisin pannacotta

The tart recipe is from David Everitt-Matthias, we made enough for 10 and ate it all! no, I’m lying, I did scale it down. This is a fantastic recipe. Happy New Year.

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