january 2011

<< december : food index : february >>
Saturday 1.1

The year started with a grey and drizzly morning. I went for a mtb ride and came back splattered with mud; Colin sat indoors doing icons for the web pages

Lunch: Connie, Chas, Richard, Kerry, Charlotte

The postponed Christmas lunch.

Smoked salmon on bread nibbles

Goose, roast potatoes and parsnips, red cabbage, peas

Christmas pud

I'm always amazed how light this seems, for something so apparently stodgy

Stilton, Tunworth, Wensleydale

Dinner: salad of soba noodles, chilli, aubergine fried, ginger, kohlrabi, cos lettuce

Sunday 2.1

Lunch: Philippa and Mike's

Dinner: squash in a sort of central-american sauce of chipotle, allspice, ground peanuts, tomato, thyme; wild and basmati rice

Toasted Brioche, sultanas, limoncello, cream

This uses us a little bit more of the Limoncello Mark and Navah brought round last summer. Now Debbie has bought us another bottle for Christmas!

Monday 3.1

Lunch: spag with cream garlic lemon black pepper

At last we got out for a 2.5 hour ride, but we kept to the low-altitude Severn Valley. There were loads of people out cycling, as many as you would see on a nice summer day. It was barely above freezing but lovely and bleak and the flat valley lands suit this weather well.

Dinner: Chris, Phillippa, Peregrine, Sylvie

Squash and orange soup with fried pumpkin seeds

the seeds were a favourite with Sylvie

Roast Chicken with ras; moroccan chickpeas, tomato, pepper, courgettes, couscous

Lemon and honey yoghurt cake with figs

some of the faves from last year; this was quite easy cooking

wensleydale, stilton, tunworth

Tuesday 4.1

Goose, gravy, plum sauce, red cabbage, potatoes (fried and boiled)

Lemon cake, figs, yoghurt

Wednesday 5.1

Curried parsnip and lentil soup

Celeriac and potato and stilton gratin; beetroot salad

We still have a big chunk of Stilton left - the family didn't eat much of it. Stilton is really delicious, it's not just the blue, it's the sweet creaminess that makes it beat any other blue. And celeriac and potato with cheese is sublime. Salad was a pack from the co-op.

Thursday 6.1

Beetroot salad with Stilton

Paella with chorizo-style sausage, chicken, courgettes, pepper, tomato

made with the leftovers from monday, and stock from the carcase

Friday 7.1

Ate out

Thai Bras. Tom Kha/fishcakes/red curry with lamb, stir fry veg with cashews

Saturday 8.1

Lunch: spag with lamb ragu

Dinner: Parsnip, apple, dolcelatte soup

Pheasant breasts with wine-port-dried orange sauce, green beans, fried potato

I have let Colin back in the kitchen as the freezer djinn is under control

Sunday 9.1

Lunch: couscous with pumpkin and tomatoes

Dinner: Gratin of celeriac, potato, stilton ; green beans with fried breadcrumbs

Raspberries, shortbread, cream

Monday 10.1

WR sweet potato felafel, couscous with pine kernels and sultanas, fig chutney

Polenta slices with sundried tomato and parmesan; mushrooms and porcini in cream; peas

Tuesday 11.1

Saucisse, savoy cabbage, chickpeas, caraway; potatoes fried with smoked paprika

Quinces and cream / yog

Wednesday 12.1

Soba noodles with goose, savoy cabbage in a sort of Chinese sauce

Christmas pud, cream

Thursday 13.1

Ate Out

The Quay, Worcester, with Mum

Friday 14.1

Felafel, cauli in sesame-thyme-sumac-lemon, broad beans

Pumpkin in black pepper, fried; onions caramlised in goose fat; puy lentils; flat bread with kalonji, Phillippa's chutney

The flatbreads were sort of chapattis, but I should make them thinner or cook them longer as they were slightly underdone. Basically good though. Phillippa's chutney is nice.

Saturday 15.1

Lunch: spag with cream and garlic, cauli florets fried in goose fat

Dinner: Ate out

Angora, with Claire. We had 12 different mezze, mostly veggie

Sunday 16.1

Lunch: lentils and onions in a sort of goulash sauce, linguine

Dinner: Duck breast with olives and Cointreau, fried potato, sugar snaps

Pineapple with lime leaves, coconut, ginger in syrup, chilli, rum

Not-Robert-Young was selling off pineapples at 20p. Soft and a little whitish on the outside, but the one I bought was deliciously ripe. Pineapples are rather big and there is a lot of it and now most of what's in the fridge tastes of pineapple.

Monday 17.1

WR wild mushroom and bacon tartlets


Tuesday 18.1

WR Moroccan squash pastries

Beef in Guinness, confit red onions, carrots fried with cumin, potatoes

Wednesday 19.1

Jerusalems, stoved, with fried apricot kernels, wattleseed, fennel, nutmeg; coleslaw of white cabbage, apple, dried apricots, caraway, a dash of raspberry vinegar with the usual red wine and olive oil

This was very good and worth noting. I have tried things along these lineas before. The basic idea is from Annie Bell's book, you cook the Jeru's in a big pan so that they caramelise on one side, then turn them over and do the other side. I did about a lb of them, weight before peeling. Before that I had fried some apricot kernels then added wattleseed, fennel, nutmeg. I ground about 1/3-half of this and mixed in with the jerus at the end. They go sweet and melting soft inside and chewy. I did some croutons (old crusts of my sesame bread). Yeah and the other nuts go on top too of course. Actually this wasn't truly veggie as everything got fried in goose fat.

The coleslaw makes a nice contrast, bright, sharp, fresh and crunchy. If there is any criticism of the ensemble it is that the croutons and slaw and both a little hard work, but hey this is detox Jan. Also Colin used a small section of a large white cabbage in the borscht so he can't complain if we have cabbage for the rest of the month.

As a general theme I have been trying to make more use of nuts and seeds to serve the same sort of role as cream and cheese. It's hardly a low-fat alternative but we're not that concerned with that, more to cut down on the dairy (eco and health reasons) and have more variety. For example for lunch today I had some blanched cauli florets with lentils in a peanut-chilli-soy-coriander sauce

Mango in butter with green peppercorns and yoghurt

the green peppercorns had rather gone off the radar (at the back of the spice cupboard)

Thursday 20.1

Sardines with lemon, potato with coriander pesto and coriander

Field mushrooms, baked; spinach with mustard, toast

Not Robert Young had some field mushrooms

Friday 21.1

Goose leftovers with white cabbage, juniper and dried orange; rosti potatoes

tasty but not a very attractive concoction

Quince and yog/cream

Saturday 22.1

Lunch: spag with nero di seppia sauce

A jar we had bought in Italy several years ago. Colin is a little squeamish about the blackness and squiddiness of it, but likes the taste

Dinner: Mark, Mary, Michael, Peter, Mhairi

A nice day for warming winter food. I barely went out of the house except for a 50min run on the (frozen) hill

Vincisgrassi Maceratese

I made the pasta. I used 8oz flour and all of 2 eggs except about 1tsp. Seems about the right consistency and the right amount for 6-8 people. I sort of followed the Taruschio recipe from Food Illustrated 1999, I used about 1pint milk in the bechamel, 1tbs each flour and butter, 6 slices ham, 4 flat mushrooms and about 1tbs porcini. It still looked a bit dry when I put it in the oven so I poured a slug of milk and cream on top.

It took about 30 mins to cook the pasta sheets and assemble the thing - longer than I'd imagined. An involved recipe (lasange always is) but worth doing for a reasonable number of people.

Beef Bourgignon, Savoy cabbage, Shetland Black potatoes

At least this you can do the day before and it's better for that. I took the trouble to brown the meat thoroughly. I used 1.2-1.3 kg meat - Lanes had some free range beef, but perhaps it was too lean for a 4hour cooked recipe. Great taste in the end. We had some left over.

Steamed ginger pud, cream

This is Simon Hopkinson's recipe. I include chilli in my mixed spices. I converted the measures to ounces, 4oz flour and so on, which is why I stole a 1tsp of egg from the pasta - I don't expect it makes that much difference. I found the mixture almost liquid, not the dropping consistency he says it should be. Maybe the syrup treacle etc was so warm, maybe SH's "scant 200ml milk" means actually 150 ml? Turned out ok and it feeds 8, not 4. Again, you need a good bunch round to justify making this. Unless you have all been cycling.

Stinking Bishop, Wigmore, St Wulfstan, Swaledale Goat

Sunday 23.1

Lunch: spag with bacon and artichokes

We went cycling in the morning, 3 hours.

WR Toulouse sausage, haricots, salad, bread

Fru passion fruit cheesecake mousses

Monday 24.1

WR courgette and chevre risotto bake

pasta with chicken, peppers, tomatoes, chilli, paprika, cumin (mostly chilli); cos lettuce salad

Tuesday 25.1

Aubergine slices with red pesto, fennel and tomato, rocket, ciabatta

Ginger pud and cream

Wednesday 26.1

spring rolls with red pepper, carrot, spring onion; sauce of squid sauce, garlic chilli

this used up the squid jar from sunday. I always try to put too much in the rice paper wrappers

Shiitake mushrooms braised in 5-spice, savoy cabbage, spring onion, chilli, soba noodles

Thursday 27.1

marinated anchovies, escabache veg

potato and onion tortilla, water cress and rocket

Friday 28.1

Pizza-like thing with courgettes, peppers, moroccan spices, halloumi

xmas pud and cream

Saturday 29.1

Lunch: rice noodles with veg and oyster sauce

Dinner: with Diana and Martin

Mostly Indian style but we did have cheese.

Aubergine with cumin, kalonji, fennel, mustard seed, tamarind; aloo paratha (me)

Kashmiri chicken curry; Gujarati dhal; rice (Diana)

Kulfi, mango (me)

This did not exactly work. I used a tin of condensed milk and about 200ml cream, but it didn't freeze in time - I read something that suggested this is because of the high sugar content

Langres, St Wulfstan, a local soft one

Chai. For two: the tea from 2 teabags; 5 lightly crushed cardamoms; a few fennel seeds (not enough to come through); 5 tsp milk powder; 4 tsp sugar.

Sunday 30.1

Lunch: rice noodles with veg and oyster sauce

Dinner: Roast pheasant with blackcurrants, blackberries, chestnuts, roast potatoes and parsnips

Poached pears with 5-spice, cream

Saturday 31.1

Marinated anchovies with toast


<< december : food index : february >>