Tuesday, July 26, 2011

slow-cooked beef ragu with gnocchi

this is simply the best thing i've had in ages...

in a saucepan over a medium to low heat, gently fry 6 finely chopped carrots, 4 finely chopped leeks and 4 cloves of finely sliced garlic cloves in a dash of olive oil until softened, not colored.

add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 6 anchovy fillets, 1 chopped sprig of rosemary, 1 tablespoon chopped oregano, 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leafed parsley and 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes. simmer for 20 minutes.

add 1.5kg beef shin, 1 cup beef stock, 1 cup of red wine, cover and simmer for about 2 hours or until the beef is broken up and the sauce has thickened. check seasoning.

cook 500g fresh potato gnocchi according to instructions, drain and stir through the beef ragu. scatter with grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pasta with butternut and chicken

This recipe created itself totally accidentally. Here's how...

On a certain day, I took 2 whole butternut squash, halved and de-seeded them, and filled them with creamed spinach, before wrapping them in foil and baking them in an oven for 1½ hours at 180º Celsius. We never got around to eating them, so the next day...

I took the butternut, cut it into chunks (with or without the skin, your choice) and placed it in a buttered over-proof dish. I topped it with 250g cooked penne rigate and sprinkled it with grated Parmesan cheese. Then I took a ready-roast chicken, tore it into chunks and put in pieces in and around the butternut pasta. Then I covered the dish with foil and baked it in the oven for 30 minutes at 180º Celsius to warm it through.

Delicious with crusty bread, garlic bread or a salad.

Lamb and Barley Soup

In a big soup pot, gently sweat 2 roughly chopped onions and 5 chopped celery sticks.

Then layer as follows: 1.5kg lamb knuckles, 2 cups of pearl barley, 5 large carrots chopped into chunks, 350g green beans sliced into length of your choice, 3 medium potatoes, roughly cubed, 3 large sweet potatoes, also cubed, and 500g of butternut chunks.

Add 200ml Maggi Arome, 4 tablespoons of vegetable stock powder, and top with water to cover it all.

Bring to boil then reduce heat to a gentle bubble, cover, and simmer undisturbed for about 3 hours. Thereafter, stir through and top with water to keep all ingredients submerged. Continue simmering, covered, until the meat falls off the bone and the soup has reached a consistency of your choice.

Check seasoning and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

chicken schnitzel with gnocci and spinach

place 4 chicken schnitzel on a lightly greased roasting tray and bake according to instructions, normally about 15 minutes at 180°c.

heat a tablespoon of butter and glug of olive oil a large pan over medium heat. add 500g of fresh gnocchi and fry until golden brown before turning over and allowing the other side to get nice and crispy. remove from the pan, season and set aside.

in the same pan, saute 400g of spinach with a crushed clove of garlic and a pinch nutmeg. when the spinach is just wilted, add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste.

serve the warm schnitzels with some cheese sauce, the fried gnocchi and spinach.

Monday, November 15, 2010

caprese lamb stacks

in a large frying pan, brown 12 lamb chops for about 3 minutes per side. place on a roasting tray and season with lemon juice, salt & pepper.

on 6 of the lamb chops, place a slice of
tomato (sprinkled with some salt), a few basil leaves and finally a slice of mozzarella.

cover with the other 6 lamb chops to make little ‘sandwiches’ and tie together with string or stick a skewer through it.

place in a 180°c oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the lamb is just cooked.

the mozzarella oozes out everywhere, but don’t worry about that, it adds to the yumminess. scoop it all up and serve.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

spicy lamb wraps

in a heavy-based pan, brown 500g of cubed, lean, boneless lamb and 1 finely sliced onion in olive oil. stir often to prevent catching.

season lightly, reduce the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of tikka masala paste until well coated.

add 1 tin (450g) of chopped tomatoes, stirring to loosen any browned bits. simmer, uncovered, stirring every now and again for about 40 minutes or until the lamb is tender and the sauce well reduced. check seasoning. turn off the heat and stir through 100g of baby spinach leaves.

spoon the hot lamb mixture onto warm naan breads.

serve with a cucumber yoghurt - ½ grated english cucumber, 1 teaspoon of mint sauce, 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic, and a handful of freshly chopped coriander leaves mixed with 1 cup of thick plain yoghurt, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Monday, November 8, 2010

portuguese fish stew

heat ½ cup of olive oil in a large casserole. add 2 large chopped onions and cook very gently for about 30 minutes, until meltingly soft and pale. this method of reducing onions and olive oil to a thick, sweet puree is known as refogado, and is the basis for many portuguese dishes.

meanwhile, cut 1kg of skinned and filleted mixed fish into large chunks, salt and set aside for 20 minutes.

to the casserole dish, stir through 1 chopped clove of garlic and add 1 large chopped green pepper and cook gently for about 10 minutes until softened. add 1 tin (400g) of chopped tomatoes or 500g for fresh tomatoes, chopped, 2 teaspoons of paprika, 1 bay leaf, a few sprigs of fresh parsley and 1-2 small hot red chillies, whole. simmer for about 10 minutes until nicely reduced.

pour in 2 cups of fish stock, ½ cup of dry white wine and simmer briskly for 10 minutes.

add the prepared fish, 300g of cleaned prawns, 250g of closed, cleaned clams or mussels, cover and cook for 10 minutes until the fish is just cooked and the clams/mussels have opened. discard any unopened clams/mussels. check seasoning. dd a generous handful of fresh coriander leaves.

serve with chunks of crusty bread for dipping, or a few boiled potatoes.