Thursday, 25 October 2012
I've sort of lost a bit of momentum with my blog (huge under-statement!) However I am going to throw myself back in and will hopefully post something up within the next couple of days (if anyone is still interested).
Thursday, 9 September 2010
The breasts of guinea fowl had been stuffed with prosciutto di Parma, mascarpone and thyme, wood roasted and were served on pagnotta bruschetta with Swiss chard and roasted datterini tomatoes (to be precise).
Feeling fairly stuffed at this point, naturally the only course of action was to order dessert. We plumped for the tiramisu and the Amalfi lemon tart.
The tiramisu had a lot to live up to because Mr AC makes a truly amazing one (don't tell him I admitted to that) We are tiramisu 'purists' – snobs even.
This one was good, if a little too refined. They had used sponge cake rather than boudoir biscuits and the bottom layer was chocolate sponge – tsk. I'm being hypercritical though, it was still very enjoyable.
The tart was excellent. The pastry was crisp, the filling silky and it was bursting with lemons.
Even though we couldn't manage to push down a coffee, our waitress still brought us some petit fours: almond tuiles and dark, rich chocolate truffles. Excellent they were too.
We were deeply impressed with our visit here. The food and the service were excellent and the bill at £80, for 3 courses, 2 glasses of prosecco, a large glass of wine each and 12.5% service, I think you'll agree is a complete bargain.
Thursday, 22 July 2010
The main reason for this,is that most of the time I'm really busy, but also I usually only post something that I feel will be interesting.
Anyway, point taken and I will try and post more frequently.
Every couple of weeks I make a few dinners for his freezer to ensure he eats something other than egg and bacon and Mr Kipling Viennese whirls. He is a little lazy in the kitchen department and if he can get by on cornflakes and Benson & Hedges he will.
Anyway, I hope to blog a bit faster and thank you for your feedback.
Friday, 2 July 2010
As Lynne has got a rather large allotment she suggested that we might like to take on a couple of plots and have a go at growing our own too. "You'll enjoy it" she said. "It will be fun" Mmmm.
So, a couple of weeks ago, having bribed Tiny with a post-digging pint or two of foaming ale, we dug, weeded and prepared two plots and planted carrots, spring onions, beetroots and three types of beans: runner, climbing and dwarf.
Three of my babies still in the nursery
I have to say, that harvesting our first beetroots and spring onions has been quite exciting (I don't get out much).
Along with some of Lynne's broad beans, we decided to have our 'first born's' in a warm goats cheese salad.
I roasted the beets and blanched and peeled the broad beans. I then fried up a few smoked bacon lardons, made a mustardy dressing and toasted some walnuts. Finally, I warmed the goats cheese in the oven until it was a bit oozy, then assembled the salad.
It was delicious. The beetroots were sweet, the cheese unctuous and the bacon, well, there's nothing that bacon doesn't improve in my opinion.
Lynne was right, the allotment is worth all the hard work. In fact going over on a sunny evening to water and weed is the perfect way to unwind. All you can hear are the birds singing, the other allotmenteers always smile and say hello and you go home with some really fresh veg for your dinner.
I think I'm hooked.
Saturday, 1 May 2010
To explain the title: Black pudding, pork belly and bubble squeak. Three of my favourite things to eat. They are of course all low fat and form part of your 'five-a-day'..
The stuffed pork really kicked off the other two dishes. We were having a couple of friends round for dinner and I'd already got the belly in mind for main course, but wanted to do something a bit different. So, having got some Gloucester Old Spot sausage meat in the freezer, along with a large wodge of black pudding, it set me thinking that the combination of all three would be a winner.
So, I made a stuffing by sauteing an onion in butter, added it to the sausage meat with seasoning, bit of sage and then crumbled in some of the black pudding. My trusty kitchen slave Tiny then stuffed the belly and neatly tied it up ready for the oven.
It worked brilliantly. The stuffing was deeply savoury and matched really well with the soft, moist pig meat. It was porktastic.
Our porkiness knowing no limits, the next morning our thoughts turned to breakfast (well, brunch actually) and the left over stuffing.
Fried up with a couple of eggs it was shall we say 'hearty' or more accurately 'heart damaging'. But none the less extremley tasty.
So, the next day, with cholesterol withdrawl, I topped us both up by making a nice big pan of bubble and squeak to accompany lovely thick slices of the pork. Even when cold, the pork and the stuffing was really good.
Right, back to the crispbreads and cottage cheese........
Sunday, 4 April 2010
Anyway, I thought it was time to have a go myself and obviously Easter was the time to make them. Well actually I made these a week before Easter and then made some more actually on Good Friday.
For me, they have to be really fruity and full of spice, otherwise they're just buns, or small teacakes. They're basically bread dough enriched with an egg and some butter and obviously lots of mixed spice, cinnamon and dried fruit.
The 'cross' is very simple, it's just flour and water piped onto the risen buns before baking.
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
So, on a trip to the farm shop I surprised Tiny by arriving home with some venison sausages. They were big, plump and looked very meaty and I knew that it wasn't going to do them justice just having them with mash and fried onions. No, that would be wrong. I thought how about doing a sort of sausage bourguignon? lardons of smoked bacon, garlic, time, red wine, bit of chicken stock, garlic and finishing off with some sauteed mushrooms (couldn't be arsed to do the baby onions)
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
I'd already made the Christmas puddings, sloe gin and mincemeat a few months before, so it was time to do the fresh things.
First up was a batch of fudge. This went down particularly well with my nieces. I don't think it made it past Christmas day evening actually.
As we were obviously going to be tucking in to a fair amount of meat over the next few days we decided to have some fish on Christmas eve. We started with smoked salmon on crostini and then a warm salad of scallops wrapped in bacon.
After a very long walk on the Monday we sat down to a much simpler meal of veg and lentil soup with chipolata sprinkles. I also made some poppy seed rolls.
Christmas over, it was like we blinked and suddenly it was New Year. Now, both being the grumpy 50 somethings that we are, we tend to stay in on New Year's eve. If you stay at home you don't have to try and get a taxi at 2am in the morning, you get something decent to eat and the booze is cheap. Told you we were grumpy.
We decided to have a 'grazing' evening to make coarse pork terrine a couple of days before NYE to enable it to develop its wonderful flavours. We also had some smoked salmon and a couple of cheeses and some fruit. Oh and copious amounts of fizz and wine.