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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
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
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!
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
Goose, gravy, plum sauce, red cabbage, potatoes (fried and boiled)
Lemon cake, figs, yoghurt
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.
Beetroot salad with Stilton
Paella with chorizo-style sausage, chicken, courgettes, pepper, tomato
made with the leftovers from monday, and stock from the carcase
Thai Bras. Tom Kha/fishcakes/red curry with lamb, stir fry veg with cashews
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
Lunch: couscous with pumpkin and tomatoes
Dinner: Gratin of celeriac, potato, stilton ; green beans with fried breadcrumbs
Raspberries, shortbread, cream
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
Saucisse, savoy cabbage, chickpeas, caraway; potatoes fried with smoked paprika
Quinces and cream / yog
Soba noodles with goose, savoy cabbage in a sort of Chinese sauce
Christmas pud, cream
The Quay, Worcester, with Mum
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.
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
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.
WR wild mushroom and bacon tartlets
WR Moroccan squash pastries
Beef in Guinness, confit red onions, carrots fried with cumin, potatoes
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)
Sardines with lemon, potato with coriander pesto and coriander
Field mushrooms, baked; spinach with mustard, toast
Not Robert Young had some field mushrooms
Goose leftovers with white cabbage, juniper and dried orange; rosti potatoes
tasty but not a very attractive concoction
Quince and yog/cream
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
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
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
WR courgette and chevre risotto bake
pasta with chicken, peppers, tomatoes, chilli, paprika, cumin (mostly chilli); cos lettuce salad
Aubergine slices with red pesto, fennel and tomato, rocket, ciabatta
Ginger pud and cream
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
marinated anchovies, escabache veg
potato and onion tortilla, water cress and rocket
Pizza-like thing with courgettes, peppers, moroccan spices, halloumi
xmas pud and cream
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.
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
Marinated anchovies with toast
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