december 2010

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Wednesday 1.12

Sweetcorn, polenta, chilli and peanut soup

Sausage, braised red cabbage, mash

Thursday 2.12

Beetoot in pomegranate molasses; fried squash with sesame; feta; pearl barley

Figs, prunes, apricots in ginger and dried orange peel syrup; cream and yoghurt

Friday 3.12

Ate out

Le Champignon Sauvage

Saturday 4.9

Lunch: soba noodles, mackerel and white miso, green salad

Dinner: Roast Guinea fowl stuffed with couscous, olives, sundried tomatoes, preserved lemon

Peaches poached in white wine, shortbread, cream

Sunday 5.12

Lunch: aloo paratha and dhal

Dinner: Oxtail, butter beans, potato and carrot mash

set yoghurt with lemon myrtle syrup

Monday 6.12

Rocket, green beans, celeriac, dolcelatte, ciabatta croutons

Pineapple, mango, passion fruit, coconut cream, chilli, Bacardi

Tuesday 7.12

I don't record our weekday lunches but it may be worth noting the salad I threw together from the fridge, which was red cabbage, beetroot and orange - today with caraway seeds. It was nice

Cauli florets with the couscous, olive etc stuffing

Risotto of g.fowl, chestnuts; green salad

Wednesday 8.12

WR veg samosas

Tandoori squash, WR brinjal and tomato curry, WR garlic and coriander naan

Thursday 9.12

Braised beef with pickled walnuts, green beans, potato and celeriac mash

Stollen, gingerbread (with Janet, later)

Friday 10.12

Savoy cabbage, chorizo-style sausages, chestnuts, toasted bread

Saturday 11.12

Lunch: soba noodles with sauce of ginger, tamarind, peanuts; cabbage, peas, cauli, sweetcorn

Dinner: John

Aubergine slices, slow-cooked onions with barberries allspice, chilli; hummus

This was half stolen from Brosh - I had had something similar. Hummus makes a nice sauce.

Cassoulet with duck confit, pork belly, saucisson sec; bread; salad of radicchio, frisee, lambs lettuce

I'd used 12oz beans and 2 big slices of pork, just one duck leg as they are big. We ate more than 2/3 of it all. It is delicious and it is a cold winter.

Tarte Tatin, cream

I made the caramel with 3oz sugar. 7 cox's. Pastry with 3.5 oz flour, 1.75 butter 5-6 tsps water. The tarte had quite a lot of liquid, some of which inevitably went on the floor when I turned it out. Maybe use fewer apples next time? We ate most of it.

Lincs Poacher and Tunworth

Sunday 12.12

Lunch: remains of yesterday's salad bag, plus grated celeriac and carrot with mustard and capers; croutons

Dinner: Apple parsnip and dolcelatte soup

Gratin of potatoes, ham, porcini; braised little gems

Monday 13.12

Salad of rocket, chicken marinaded in chilli, paprika, lime and fried, sweetcorn, avocado; ciabatta

Pears fried in butter, cherries in booze, cream, shortbread

Tuesday 14.12

Cassoulet, savoy cabbage, bread

Tarte tatin

Spot the leftovers

Wednesday 15.12

Rice noodles, fried sweet potato, aubgerine, spring onion with coriander pesto

Quince, cream, bicuits

Thursday 16.12

Simon, Dinah, Amelia

Our last visit to Oldbury - Simon has had to move back to Cheshire. We almost weren't going to make it. The forecast was for rain that would freeze and ice up the roads but it was dry at least in Oldbury. We'll miss our visits to Cherry Tree Cottage.

Salad of red cabbage, orange, beetroot, hazlenuts, sesame, dried fruit, avocado oil, cumin

The nuts, fruit and oil were purloined from Simon's kitchen. I was a bit afraid the salad's a bit worthy; actually it's pretty delicious

Pig cheek, mushrooms; leeks, pasta

The pork was in our freezer. It's not worth cooking less than several portions of slow-cooked stuff and there's no shame in freezing it for later. I'd used fennel seed in this, it's nice.

Chestnut pave

We forget how good this is. Amelia wasn't so sure about it so Daddy had to finish her portion off. We had been winding Amelia up by calling it mud.

Tunworth and Lincs Poacher.

We had a 2003 Crozes-Hermitage and it was delicious, almost caramel in the feel of the flavour.

Friday 17.9

Carrot and lentil and something soup

we are trying to clear out the nearly forgotten things in the freezer, which is now full of confit duck.

GFowl legs with saucisse, cavolo nero with garlic, lemon, oil, chilli; boiled potatoes

The CV was ok. I'd looked up instructions on the internet and Skye Gyngell (whom I trust) says boil it 5-6 mins.

Saturday 18.12

Lunch: pasta with cauli and feta

Dinner: Michael

..who heroically made it through deep snow and very negative temperatures

Roast peppers with salt cod-garlic poched in milk, reduced, then added chunky breadcrumbs

"Tandoori" Leg of lamb , spinach-dal-onions with fenugreek and cumin, rice

I slow-roasted the lamb. Marinade instructions following the Atul Kochar book. This was very good.

Set yoghurt with organge and cardamom, currants, candied peel, pistachios

For the yoghurt I made a syrup with about 1.3 tbs honey, 2 cardamom pods, the seeds extracted and crushed, zest and the juice of half an orange (I then made more syrup in the same way, as a sauce). Strain this and melt 2 leaves gelatine into it. Mix into almost a full 450 ml of Greek style yoghurt, leave in fridge until it begins to set then decant into 3 small puddingbowls and do 40 mins of level 2 on the turbo. This was very good too and worth repeating.

Ardrahan and Duchy Red Leicester as well as the last of the Tunworth and the Poacher

I've just noticed that we cooked for the same last 3 lots of people last year in the same order, but not the same food.

Sunday 19.12

Lunch: Linguine with leek, saucisse, cream

Dinner: Duck breasts with peaches, pak choi, fried potatoes

Pavé (which we took round to share with Janet)

Monday 20.12

Cod baked in prosciutto and olives, new potatoes, ps broc

Grilled peaches, cream, amaretti

Tuesday 21.12

WR Chilli aubergine

Potato and tomato curry, dhal, WR Nan and gobi paratha

In case we forget this was a spell of big snow. We're getting to the local shops ok but haven't been bothered to go to Waitrose and we don't have a great deal of enthusiasm for any Christmas food shopping. We don't even know if any of our parents will make it here for the day. I'm trying to clear out the freezer which is like something out of 1001 nights and must have a djinn in it because no matter what you take out it is always full of stuff

Wednesday 22.12

Indian Lamb calzone, potato curry with peas, dhal, WR roti

I'd bought an aubergine but it was off. Veg supplies are not as reliable as normal unless it's swede you want. I made some dough with 4oz flour and made 2 calzone which I stuffed with minced-up lamb leftovers. Too big to call samosas. They were good.

Pumpkin maple syrup things

Another point gained against the freezer djinn. There was about 5oz of pumpkin puree which I think was left over from when we did the dessert for Michael last year. I made a custard with 1 egg, some cream and milk and maple syrup, dissolved 1 leaf gel into it and mixed in with the puree. About 10floz total. Decanted into the usual bowls. It was firmish but not firm enough to turn out properly, maybe 1.5 leaves would have been better. Looks pretty.

Thursday 23.12

Sweetcorn fritters, ginger and sesame sauce, spring onions and cilantro

Soba noodles with garlic, tamarind, sesame sauce; duck slices, cabbage, kohlrabi, psb

Friday 24.12

Lunch: Cabbage and chorizo, buckwheat

Dinner: wild alsakan salmon with lemon myrtle and pepperberry spice mix; spinach; potato pancakes

Limoncello trifle: custard with lemon, toasted brioche, balckcurrants, blackberries, candied lemon

and we've barely dented the remains of the sodding limoncello

Saturday 25.12

Lunch: WR pumpkin and pine kernels ravioli, sage and tomato sauce

We did this to say we had pasta for Christmas lunch. The big snow has snowed the parents in and they ain't going to move until it's all gone (maybe July). So the goose is now in the freezer, to the djinn's delight.

Dinner: Goose liver fried in pepper-allspice-cumin; fried quince, puy lentils, wine jelly

We had a 2001 Ghislaine Barthod. Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru. wow.

Rib of veal, morels, leeks, roast potatoes

Chocolate cake, cherries, kirsch, cream and yoghurt

3 oz plain flour, 1 oz cocoa, 1 heaped tsp baking powder; 1 large egg, 3.5 oz butter and sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extrast, large tbs af yoghurt. In 7-inch tin. Gas 5 to start later reduced a bit, and about 40 mins in oven

Ardrahan and Red Leics

Sunday 26.12

Lunch: Thai curry of sweet potato, psb, spinach, cabbage

Dinner: goose liver pate, apricot and orange chutney, brioche toast

Parsnip tarte Tatin with ras and sesame; red cabbage and kohlrabi coleslaw with salted lemons, potatoes

I made caramel with 3 tbs sugar. Sprinkled on sesame and ras. Boiled 3 largish parsnips, cut into wedges, arrange like spokes. Pastry was 1/3 of a 500g pack of jus-rol puff pastry. This is good. It's sweetish of course.

Monday 27.12

Lunch: Spag with ragu made of unmentionable goose parts

Dinner: Smoked salmon with blini, round lettuce salad.

The salmon had been for Christmas day. The blini weren't real blini but the small pancake things in the Sainsbury Russian book. I'm not sure if they turned out exactly as meant to, but were more fun. I did 5 oz flour (4.5 white and .5 rye) and 1 egg, 1 tbs oil, I think 1/2 tsp of "quick yeast". I think I left the first stage for an hour then about the same for the second rising. I used the electric whisk to mix and I think I gave it plenty of beating so the gluten got well developed. The batter was quite stringy and the pancakes rose a lot - rather like crumpets. They were very good.

Choc cake and cherries etc as on the 25th.

Tuesday 28.12

Lunch: spag with coriander pesto and tomatoes

At last, we could get out for a ride. The B-roads were mostly clear but the lanes weren't so we rode (almost) to Stroud and back. It was foggy, drizzly and the snow was now heaps of mucky muck on the roadsides though still white on the fields, when you could see them. Riding was grim, but not as grim as sitting indoors all day. It felt proper Christmassy at last.

Small cooking chorizo, lentils, tomatoes

Veal, fennel with tomato puree, fried potatoes

Veal was leftovers from the 25th. The WR heritage variety potatoes are incredibly sweet. I had all afternoon to mess about in the kitchen but you need inspiration and not loads of leftovers to make the most of the time. So I read Buddenbrooks mostly instead. We went to WR by car (argh, the shame of it - but Colin needed to buy prezzies for Debbie and Richard). WR shelves were a bit bare of some goodies but everyone was there, like it wasn't 5 days ago they were all there with big trollies entirely stuffed full.

Wednesday 29.12

yeah back at work yippee

Carrot and lentil soup

Leek and bacon Tartlets, potatoes

another 1/3 of the puff pastry. 2 leeks. about 1-2 rashers worth of streaky bacon. Cooked bacon and leeks a bit, added a bit of flour, then beat up 1 egg and some cream and yoghurt and a small cube of very manky feta. rolled the pastry out into 2 4-inch? tartlet tins, cooked a bit then added the filling and cooked some more. This bought puff pastry is a doss.

Thursday 30.12

Butter beans, mushrooms and porcini; bread rolls, cos and parmesan salad

Chestnut pave, blackberries and blackcurrants, cream

Friday 31.12

aubergine slices in cumin breadcrumbs, lemon-poppyseed-couscous kibbeh

I had wanted to do something felafel-ish. I made up 3tbs of couscous, then whizzed half of it with some breadcrumbs in the small spice blender, added some lemon zest and poppy seeds, mixed in rest of couscous with I suppose about 1 tbs egg, then squashed it into 4 flattish cakes. For the aubergine I did 4 slices in a little egg with breadcrumbs with cumin. Fried these. For a sauce, hummus and rose harissa

Sirloin steak with Australian bush tomato seasoning and pepperberries, sauce of red wine and stock; caramelised garlic cloves in duck fat, braised red chicory, fried potatoes

This was very good. The spices worked well. It was simple and classic. For the galric I slow cooked about 10 fat cloves in duck fat for about 30 mins.

Brioche bread pudding with peanuts and banana

This was half remembered from 'Dessert' at least some of the ideas. I used about 3 slices from the loaf we've been getting through. Buttered 2 little ramekins and covered the bottom with 1/2 a slice and the gaps filled in with small bits. Then a layer of banana and some ground-up peanuts. It was half a small banana and 1-2 tbs peanuts. I think more banana would be better. Then topped with more brioche. Mixed up 2tbs of egg and some cream and some milk, dunno how much, just guessed the right sort of amount. Pour on top of the brioche so it sinks in. The brioche came all the way to the top of the ramekin so I did this bit by bit. Then cooked them for I suppose about half an hour at a medium temp. I had forgotten to add any sugar but the brioche is quite sweet. They were good. They actually turned out of the tins (I mean I turned them out). I could have got more of the custard into them - they were a bit dry.

Ardrahan and red leics

1989 La Chapelle


Watercress and creme fraiche tart from Taste

Pumpkin saffron orange soup from newspaper magazine

Aubergines, caramelied onions, barberries, hummus (and variants)

Red cabbage, beetroot, orange salad

Blini (27.12)

Pizza like thing with chard (15.3 and 9.9)

Brisket braised in soy and anise (19.4)

Chicken-sesame, courgette, salad (27.4)

Lamb with red pepper gunge (15.5)

Fillet steak with olive crust (3.7)

Duck with peaches

Steak with australian spices (31.12)

Trout with bacon and mustard (25.9)

Roast cauli in spices (3.5)

Yoghurt lemon cake from a Sainsbury magazine

Chestnut cake from Essence

Rosewater custards (3.5)

Sweetcorn ice cream (Annie Bell, 15.6)

Bown bread ice cream and plums (31.7)

Plum honey sloe gin ice cream (8.8)

Beetroot ice cream (21.8)

Set yog with orange and cardamom (18.12)

Brioche pudding with peanuts and banana (31.12)

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