29 November 2012

Slow cooked guinea fowl

A simplfied recipe by Ash Mair. Buy a whole guinea fowl in order to have the carcass as well, to make a nice stock that then can be used for a tasty sauce. Buy a pigs trotter as well. Do this the day before. Remove the breasts and the legs. Put the rest with the pigs trotter in an ovendish and almost burn it at 300C (about 15 mins). In the meantime brown 2 sliced carrots, 1 garlic colve and a bay leaf in some olive oil. Add 50 ml fino sherry and 50 ml port and reduce till the liquid becomes sticky. Add 1 liter of chicken stock, 2 onions cut in half (incl the skin!), one or two tomatoes, some thyme, a bayleaf, 8 crushed black peppercorns, 2 celerystalks incl the leafs, a tbsp tomato paste. Add the carcass and pigs trotter and bring to the boil, then simmer for at least half a day.

The next day take out the vegetables and meat and strain the liquid trough a fine sieve. Then reduce till you end up with a nice thick sauce. Discard the vegetables, give the meat from the trotter do the dogs and dicard the bone. But keep the guinea fowl carcass.

Then cut 2 onions finely. Sweat them in a knob of butter in a sauce pan. Add a (beer)bottle of sweet cider, some salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Continue on a low heat till the onions are soft and the cider all but evaporated. Use the blender to make a puree. You can do this in advance and warm it later in the microwave.

Heat the oven at 200C. Peel a potato per person and grate them. Then leave the stuff in warm salted water for 10 mins.    Clarify 50 gr of butter.  Squeeze the potatoes as dry as possible and cover in butter. Put loosely in a couple of baking cases. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 30 mins or untill golden brown and crispy.

Now open a second bottle of cider and pour in a second saucepan with 1/2 liter chicken stock, bring to the boil and put the legs in, remove to a very low flame and simmer for half an hour till well done. Keep apart and warm in alufoil..

Time for the breasts. Wrap them in thinly sliced Serano ham and the wrap each one in clingfilm. Reheat the cider add the breasts and simmer for 20 mins.

We are getting there. Remove the clingfilm and dry breasts and legs on kitchen paper.

Slice 1/4 of a Savoye cabbage, slice 2 small leeks, Boil them for about 4 mins.  Peel an apple and cut in pieces of 1/2 cm. Add to the greens and boil for another minute.Then drain.

Put 2 frying pans on the cooker. One to fry the breasts and legs till the skin of the legs and the ham of the breasts is crisp. This will take about 5 mins. The other to reheat the cabbage and apple. Add a small handfull of frozen peas and small carrots. Just  a minute or two will do.

Warm the sauce and the onion puree. Cut the breasts in half and the legs at the knee. (If you only serve 2 people keep the rest in the fridge). Plate as shown


After lunch or dinner take the meat from the carcass. In the next couple of days day use the leftovers to make this. Boil a potato and mash. Mix with the leftover veggies. Fill a serving ring with mix. Top with the meat. Pour over the leaftover sauce.

17 November 2012

Maybe not looking good: beetroot and celiriac "lasagna"

Saturnday morning. Still in bed. Not wanting to go shopping. You know the feeling. But we still had a celeriac. The last beetroots in the garden. Some cream and cheese in the fridge. And this recipe in todays Guardian, bu Yotam Ottolenghi (serves 4):

200ml double cream
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
20g thyme sprigs, leaves picked but also keep the stems 
1 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
Shaved skin of 1 large lemon
4 whole cloves
Salt and white pepper
450 gr beetroots, boiled, peeled and sliced 2mm thick
1 medium 450 gr celeriac, peeled and sliced widthways 2mm thick
100g hard mozzarella, shredded
150g extra mature cheddar, grated

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Pour the cream into a medium saucepan and add the onion, thyme stems, bay, garlic, lemon skin, cloves, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of white pepper. Gently bring the cream to a boil, then remove from the heat. Set aside to infuse for at least 10 minutes, then strain.
Scatter a third of the beetroot and celeriac on the base of a 27cm x 18cm baking dish or high-sided roasting tray. Pour over a few spoonfuls of cream and sprinkle a third of the cheese and thyme leaves on top. Arrange another layer of vegetables followed by a little cream and another third of the cheese and thyme. Place the final layer of vegetables on top, pour over the remaining cream, holding back the last of the cheese and thyme leaves, and gently press down to level.
Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 160C/320F/gas mark 2½, remove the foil and bake for 20 minutes more. Sprinkle over the last of the cheese and thyme, and bake for another 15 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and the vegetables are cooked through. Leave to sit in a warm place for five to 10 minutes before serving.

                                                                              Was it great? No. Will we make it again? Probably not (but we will freeze the other half). But it was a nice hot lunch, cheap and we didnot have to go shopping.

11 November 2012

Leek and potato soup, smoked salmon

Slice 1 small onion and 4 small leeks. Peel 2 small potatoes and cut them into small cubes.
Sweat onion and leeks in 25 gr butter. Add potatoes and 3/4 liter chicken stock. Boil softly for 20 mins. Add a good glug of cream. Blitz. Taste. Add water if too thick. Taste. Add pepper and salt to ones liking. Serve lukewarm with slivers of smoked salmon

8 November 2012

Duckbreast with orange sauce



















Start with the sauce. Fresh orange juice is nice, but a good quality bottle can do the trick. Grate 1 cm of fresh ginger. Boil 1/2 liter in a saucepan with the ginger and 2 tbsp caster sugar till more then half has evaporated. Add 1/2 liter of chicken stock and reduce till thick and almost sticky.
Cut through the fat (not the meat!) of a duck-breast in diagonal lines, 1 cm apart. Repeat that crosswise.
Heat a saucepan , dry, and put the breast fatside down in the pan on a medium heat. The fat should brown and become crispy but not burn. This will take 12 mins. . Pour away the fat that melts from time to time. Then turn the breast around and brown for another 4 mins. Drain on kitchenpaper and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm in alufoil and rest for 10 mins to avoid the blood coming out after slicing. The meat should be still reddish.

Warm the sauce. I served it with some gratin dauphinois we still had in the freezer and some carrots, peas and beetroot. Sliced the duck and decorated with fresh orange-parts