Archive for flour

Mackerel with peas and orange

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

There are endless things to do with mackerel but this is one of my favourites. It’s a nice clean summery dish and you can prepare it with mackerel fillets or just cook them whole. If the mackerel are small, then use two fillets per person, or alternatively you could ask your fishmonger to butterfly them.

4 fillets from a large mackerel, weighing about 100-120g each, or 8 smaller ones
1 tbsp flour for dusting
1 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
100g butter
2 large shallots, peeled, halved and finely chopped
the grated zest and juice of one orange
100ml fish stock
120-150g shelled weight of peas, cooked
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat half the butter in a pan and gently cook the shallots for a couple of minutes until soft, add the orange zest and juice, fish stock and peas, season and simmer for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the rest of the butter until emulsified and remove from the heat. Heat the rapeseed oil in a heavy or non-stick frying pan. Lightly flour the mackerel on the skin side and season. Fry the fillets skin-side down, first for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crisp, then turn them and cook for a couple of minutes on the other side. Spoon the peas on to serving plates; lay the fillets on top.

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Nettle and snail soup

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

Americans and similar small-minded people may be surprised to learn that snails are edible. In fact, if you have ever had a McFlurry from McDonald’s, then you have consumed snail, or at least the part of a snail that … perhaps I’ve said enough.

We tend to associate snails with France, but there is a historic snail-eating culture in Britain dating back at least 2,000 years. And in Somerset in the Sixties, the chef Paul Leyton popularised snails further when he invented Mendip Wallfish, a dish in which they are cooked with butter and herbs. But you can use snails in many other ways – with, say, wild rabbit cooked in cider, or like this, as a soup garnish.

You can buy cooked snails or use garden snails, but you must purify them by leaving them in a container with a mix of flour and water or lettuce leaves for a week before cooking. To cook them, bring some cider to the boil with a tablespoon of salt, some fennel seeds, a bayleaf and black peppercorns and simmer for about 40 minutes or until tender; leave to cool in the cooking liquid. Once cool, remove from the shells and remove the black sack, rinse them – and they’re ready to go.

16-20 snails
2 leeks, trimmed, cut into rough 1cm rounds and washed
a couple of good knobs of butter
1 tbsp flour
1.5l vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a handful of young nettle tops, washed

Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan and gently cook the leeks for 3 minutes to soften, stirring every so often. Stir in the flour, then gradually stir in the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer on a medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Add about two-thirds of the nettles and simmer for another few minutes. Blend in a liquidiser until smooth, then return to the pan. Add the rest of the nettles and simmer for a few more minutes, seasoning again if necessary. Add the snails to the soup and serve.

Grouse broth

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

It’s such a shame to scrape grouse bones into the bin when there is still so much flavour left – a couple of grouse carcasses will make plenty of soup for four people.

For the stock:

carcasses of 2 grouse, chopped into 4 or 5 pieces
1 small onion, peeled, halved and roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
a couple of sprigs of thyme
4 juniper berries
1 tbsp vegetable oil
a good knob of butter
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp tomato purée
2l chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:

2 sticks of celery, peeled if necessary and cut into rough 1cm squares
1 small leek, trimmed, cut into rough 1cm squares and washed
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into rough 1cm squares
a couple of leaves of green cabbage, cut into rough 1cm squares

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the grouse carcasses, onion, carrot, garlic and herbs on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often until lightly coloured. Add the tomato purée and chicken stock, bring to the boil, season and simmer gently for an hour.

Strain the soup through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean saucepan, reserving the bits of carcass. Add the celery, leek and carrot and simmer for about 15 minutes or until they are tender, then add the cabbage and simmer for another 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, remove as many bits of meat from the grouse carcass as possible and add to the soup and simmer for a few minutes, re-season if necessary and serve.

Banana and custard pie

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

The classic nursery combination should go down well with the children.

For the pastry:

110g soft butter
135g caster sugar
225g strong flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
125ml double cream
1 small egg beated to glaze
1 tbsp granulated sugar, for sprinkling

For the filling:

one third of a vanilla pod
200ml single cream
4 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

Cream the butter and sugar, sieve the baking powder and flour together and stir into the butter mix with the salt then slowly pour in the cream until well mixed. Chill for about 30 minutes before rolling. On a floured table, roll the pastry out to about cm thick and line four approx 8-10 x 4cm deep, lightly greased, individual tart or pie tins or 1 larger one, allowing the pastry to slightly overlap the edges. Roll 4 tops to fit the pies, then leave to rest for another 30 minutes.

Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds with a point of a knife. Put the cream, vanilla pod and seeds into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about 10 minutes.

In a bowl mix the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together. Remove the vanilla pod from the cream and pour on to the egg mixture and mix well with a whisk. Return to the pan and cook gently over a low heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens, but without letting it boil. Remove from the heat and give a final mix with a whisk and transfer to a clean bowl.

Remove the lined tart tins from the fridge for about 15 minutes then mix the bananas with the custard and spoon into the tarts (you may have some mix left over so you could make extra with pastry trimmings, or I’m sure the kids will polish it off).

Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg and lay the tops on, pressing the pastry together with your thumb and forefinger to seal it then trim any excess with a knife and neaten up the edges again with your thumb and forefinger. Brush the pie tops with the beaten egg and scatter with the granulated sugar. Place on a tray and bake for about 15-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Leave to cool a little then serve hot or warm.

Grouse with polenta and girolles

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

This is an economical way to get four good starter servings out of two grouse. (You can do the same dish with wood pigeon.) Make the polenta the night before; once set, it will last a few days in the fridge.

2 oven-ready grouse
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g butter, softened
a couple of tablespoons of vegetable or corn oil for frying
flour for dusting
120-150g girolles
1 tbsp chopped parsley

For the polenta:

500ml milk
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 bay leaf
a pinch of nutmeg
75g quick cooking polenta
75ml double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
30g freshly grated parmesan

The night before, make the polenta: bring the milk to the boil in a thick-bottomed pan, then add the garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper and nutmeg.

Simmer for 5 minutes then whisk in the polenta and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and parmesan and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Line a small rectangular container with clingfilm and pour in the polenta. Leave to cool then refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 240°. Rub the grouse with butter and then season them. Place the two birds in a roasting tray and roast for 12-15 minutes, keeping them nice and pink, then leave them to rest.

While the grouse are cooking, turn out the polenta and remove the clingfilm. Cut into 1cm-thick slices and dust them with flour. Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan and add a knob of butter. Fry the slices of polenta for 2-3 minutes on each side on a medium heat until golden, then remove and keep warm.

Heat another frying pan with the rest of the butter and cook the girolles on a medium heat for a few minutes, seasoning them while they are cooking and turning them with a spoon. Add the parsley and remove from the heat.

Remove the legs from the grouse with a sharp knife, then carefully remove the breasts. Slice the breasts into 4 or 5 slices. Place the slices of polenta on warmed serving plates and arrange the breasts and legs on top. Spoon over the girolles.

Apricot tart

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

I often use this pastry recipe for tarts, as it’s buttery and crunchy. You will need a 23cm tart tin with a removable base.

For the pastry:

250g plain organic flour
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
2-3 drops of vanilla extract
1 tbsp caster sugar
a pinch of sea salt
125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For the filling:

12 apricots
4 tbsp sugar
the juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp caster sugar

Place the flour in a food processor and add all the other ingredients. Pulse until it resembles coarse sand. Continue to pulse until the pastry forms a ball (add a little water if necessary). Wrap in parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes, then roll out and line your tart tin. Prick the base all over and return to the fridge for 30 minutes.
Slice the apricots in half and remove the kernels. Put in a bowl and sprinkle over the sugar and lemon juice and set aside.

Now blind-bake the tart. Heat the oven to 180°C. Line the tin with parchment paper and weigh down with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and take off the paper and beans.

Arrange the apricots around the tart and sprinkle on the caster sugar. Return to the oven for 20 minutes, by which time the pastry should be nutty brown.

Serve just warm rather than hot, with a big dollop of crème fraîche.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s posh cheese on toast

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

Madame Rarebit, Mrs Rarebit, Jessica Rarebit, whatever you call it, this take on the classic croque madame is a winner. Serves four.

70g unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
500ml whole milk
200g caerphilly cheese, grated or crumbled into small pieces
¼ tsp salt
a few grinds of black pepper
a few gratings of nutmeg
4 thick slices good white bread
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 thick slices cooked ham
4 eggs
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Melt 50g of the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, then stir in the flour and cook for three minutes. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, for five minutes until you have a thick béchamel.

Stir in the cheese, then add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook until the cheese is melted. Heat the grill and toast the bread. Spread the toast with mustard and top with the ham. Spoon over the cheese sauce and grill until golden and bubbling.

While that’s cooking, heat the rest of the butter in a frying pan and fry the eggs, sprinkling them with a bit of salt and pepper, until the whites are just set and the yolks are runny. Top each slice of bread with an egg, sprinkle with salt, black pepper and parsley, and serve immediately.

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