Friday, 23 December 2011

Nearly Christmas time.

I cvould have put photos of the puddings I made for our Book Reading Goup supper, but I forgot the camera! Made an Orange and almond cake, and covered the top with a compote of cranberries, clementines and pomegranate seeds(all taken out of the pomegranate by hand!! Took ages) Also a large Chocolate and white Chocolate cheescake, which was supposed to be marbled, but the chocolate set too quickly, so it was a two layered one instead. They both went down a treat, and there wasn't much left over.
now the run up to Christmas .I am cooking the meal te night before
Pink Picante Prawns...raw prawns dipped in a mix of beaten egg white and a little cornflour, then passed through a mix of sea salt, smoked paprika and crushed pink peppercons,and fried ina pan.
Then I'm dong a slow roased shoulder of Lamb,
Lemon juice and yoghurt plus ras al hanout  rubbed into cuts in the flesh, then some red onions sliced ,a whole head of garlic in cloves in a pan , the lamb laid on the top, and half a bottle of red wine poured over. It must be left for 24 hours baforte cooking at 170o degress for 3 hours tightly covered. half an hour before the cooking ends ,remove the foil and let it continue to cook ,and then rest for half and hour loosely covered with foil.
The meat should fall off the bones,  pour over the juices and serve with couscous, more yoghurt and coriander leaves.
I think I found the recipe in the Guardian. hope it's good! I should think that after that, we will have cheese, but you never know!

Just to say a big thank you to all of you who read this blog , and then contact me, it is much appreciated.It's a pity that so many of you don't actually make a comment on the blog itself.
I really hope that you like to read about  my crazy efforts, as much as I enjoy writing about them!
And a happy Christmas to everyone, and health anda peaceful start to theNew Year, we never know what's around the corner.!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Free food!

My son in law is a member of a shooting syndicate, and he arrived bearing pheasants and 2 Mallard ducks.
As I had friends for supper on Wednesday, I roasted one of the  ducks, with some shallots and garlic in the pan, and the body of the duck filled with orange segments, Rosemary ,and more garlic.
With it I cooked  a butternut and carrot puree, and some wilted spinach. Didn't need potatoes,as I had made a seeded loaf ,using  half wholemeal flour and half a   seeded mix which I  wanted to try out.
Made a delicious sauce to go with it  with the duck.
Zested an orange, and juiced the rest. Sauted two shallots chopped very finely, then added some of the orange zest, half a small jar of redcurrant jelly, and some red wine.Simmer that for half an hour, and then
sieve the sauce ,and add the rest of the zest to the reminder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
They brought a tart from Waitrose, wich when warmed up ,was very good. Finished the  last of Roger Wilkins's cheeses ,but hope for some more next week, as Tess is coming up to see me.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

This week's cooking.

had friends round on Thursday, here's what I made for them....
First up, a real trip down memory lane, with a smoked fish ring, wrapped in smoked trout(which I think is far tastier than smoked salmon,and not so oily) Some watercress leaves in the middle took me back to the 80s!
I have taken a picture of it, but I don't seem to be able to get it up into the blog.  Shame ,as it looks quite appetising!
Then we had another old favourite  Pork with chestnuts and red cabbage.
I browned pieces of pork shoulder, then sweated off some chopped red onions,red cabbage and thyme, then added the pork pieces, plus a good glug of calvados,and some dry cider. Some peper, salt and juiper berries,and then it went into a low oven for an hour and a half.  With it I served a gratin of sweet potoato, parsnip and celeriac,with porcini mushrooms.The sliced vegetables were just briefly brought to the boil for about 4 minutes.the mushrooms soaked in boiling water for half an hour,and then layered with the vegetables,and a mix of cream and milk was poured over ,and went in the oven for an hour,until the vegetables were soft.  Plus some wilted spinach which  made a good contrast .
Good cheeses, with fig jam and chilli ,limeand apple jelly,both made by my goddaughter Honor,and were absolutely delicious!
Finally we had a scrumptious cake made with a ground almond base, with cherry compote swirled through ,served with vanilla ice cream.  I got the recipe from the Sainsbury's Magazine in September, well worth doing.
We drank  a 2009 Domaine Begude Sauvignon Blanc, and a  2004 Domaine St Jaques Minervois.
Or rather I  should say we drank moe than one bottle of each!