Archive for leek

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

The combination of cauliflower and cheese is a classic partnership. You can use a strong cheese like Cheddar or Lancashire or even add a few nuggets of blue cheese at the end. You can also make this with leftover cauliflower cheese and just add a bit of extra milk and stock.

1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, white part only, roughly chopped
2-3 good knobs of butter
1 medium-sized cauliflower, roughly chopped, with the dark outer leaves removed
750ml vegetable stock (or a good cube)
500ml milk
salt and freshly ground white pepper
120g grated mature Cheddar cheese
2 slices of bread, crusts removed and cut into rough 1cm dice
2 tbsp olive oil

Melt the butter in a pan and with the lid on gently cook the onion and leek, without colouring, for 4-5 minutes, until they are soft.

Add the cauliflower, stock and milk. Season, bring to the boil and simmer for 35 minutes, with a lid on, or until the cauliflower is soft.

Blend in a liquidiser with two-thirds of the cheese until smooth and strain through a fine-meshed sieve and season again if necessary. You can add a little more cheese for added flavour if you wish.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and cook the croutons on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, turning every so often until golden.

Transfer to some kitchen paper, season and mix the rest of the cheese with them while they are still hot. Scatter the croutons over 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.

Autumn squash soup with walnut pesto

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

There is an abundance of squashes and pumpkins on the market at the moment; the deep orange-fleshed varieties offer the best flavour and colour.

a good knob of butter
1 small leek, roughly chopped and washed
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1kg ripe, orange-fleshed squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1.5 litres vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto:

40g good-quality walnuts, lightly toasted
50g fresh basil leaves and any soft stalks
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
a good pinch of sea salt
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
2 tbsp freshly grated mature Pecorino (or use 6 tbsp Parmesan)
100-120ml extra virgin olive oil (preferably a sweeter variety)

To make the the pesto, put the walnuts, basil, garlic and salt in a liquidiser and coarsely blend. Add the cheese and blend again briefly, then transfer to a bowl.

Gently cook the leek and onion in the butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan until soft. Add the squash and vegetable stock, bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper then simmer for 20 minutes.

Blend in a liquidiser until smooth, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Re-heat the soup and adjust the consistency with a little vegetable stock or water if necessary and re-season with salt and pepper. Serve with a spoonful of the pesto on top.

Vegetable and herb casserole

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

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Like meat-eaters, vegetarians like to be a bit spoilt sometimes too – but it’s often the case that restaurants don’t make much of an effort, preferring to treat them like they have some sort of social disorder or disease instead. I’d say that British chefs are getting much better at serving veggies than they used to, and in some restaurants these days you even get a separate vegetarian or vegan menu. By contrast, in some nameless countries not too far across the water, the old ways of treating vegetarian guests sadly still prevail.

1 large onion, peeled, halved and roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
a couple of good knobs of butter
2 tsp flour
1l vegetable stock
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into cm slices on the angle
4 medium young turnips, scrubbed
4-6 sticks of celery, peeled if necessary and cut into 1cm-thick slices on the angle
1 young leek, cut into rounds
4-5 leaves of green cabbage, cut into rough squares
2-3 tbsp chopped green herbs like tarragon, parsley, chervil, chives, fennel
2-3 tbsp double cream

Gently cook the onion and garlic in the butter for 2-3 minutes without colouring, add the flour then gradually stir in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the carrots, turnips and celery and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the leak and cabbage and simmer for another 6-7 minutes, then add the herbs and double cream. Check seasoning and re-season if necessary.



Arts

Grouse and pearl barley broth

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

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Half Hour Meals

The Glorious 12th has arrived, i.e. shooting grouse.

At this time of year, I hate to see the carcasses of game birds being scraped off the plates into the bin; you’d be surprised how much meat you can retrieve from a supposedly finished carcass, especially if your guests haven’t got their hands dirty and picked the birds.

carcasses from 4 grouse, chopped into 4 or 5 pieces
1 small onion, peeled, halved and roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and 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
2 litres chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g pearl barley, soaked for a couple hours in cold water
1 small leek, trimmed, cut into rough 1cm squares and washed
60-80g seasonal wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced or halved

Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and fry the grouse carcasses, onion, carrot and garlic on a high heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often until lightly coloured. Add the thyme, juniper, butter and flour and stir well for a minute or so; then add the tomato purée. Slowly stir in the chicken stock, bring to the boil, season and simmer gently for an hour.

Related:

Roast grouse with creamed lentils

Salmon and leek pie

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , on June 3, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

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This is a good way to use up tails and trimmings from a salmon. You could use a puff pastry crust for this but I prefer mash, myself.

1 litre salmon stock
450g salmon tails, skinned
70g butter
60g flour
2 medium leeks, halved, cut into rough 1cm squares and washed
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp double cream
4 servings of mashed potato with about 50-60g butter mixed in
2 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Bring the stock to the boil and poach the salmon tails for 2-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and leave to cool on a plate.

Cook the leeks in the stock for about 2-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon or drain in a colander over a bowl to reserve the stock.

Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan and stir in the flour and continue stirring on a low heat for about 30 seconds.

Gradually whisk in the hot stock to avoid lumps forming, season then simmer gently for about 30-40 minutes. The sauce should be really quite thick by now; if not, continue cooking until it thickens.

Break up the salmon into chunks and mix with the sauce, leeks and parsley and re-season if necessary, then transfer to a large pie dish or individual ones.

Season the potato, then pipe on to the pies and scatter with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20-30 minutes until browned nicely and the filling is hot.

Salmon, cucumber and fennel soup

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , on May 30, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

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Salmon bones aren’t generally used for stocks in the kitchen, as they tend to be a bit oily and overpowering. But I hate wasting any food – even fish bones! Once the bones have been blanched to get rid of the oils and their slight bitterness, they make a perfectly good soup or stock.

For the stock:
800g-1kg salmon bones, washed
1 leek, peeled, roughly chopped and washed
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
½ bulb of fennel
1 tsp fennel seeds
10 white peppercorns
1 bayleaf

For the soup:
40g butter
30g flour
100ml white wine
½ bulb of fennel
150g salmon fillet
4-5cm cucumber, halved lengthways and seeds scooped out
1 tbsp chopped fennel
1 tbsp double cream
salt and freshly ground white pepper

Put all of the ingredients for the stock in a saucepan and add about 1.5 litres of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming every so often, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean saucepan and continue to simmer.

Poach the salmon fillet in the stock for about 4-5 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and leave to cool.

Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the flour and cook on a low heat, stirring continuously for about 30 seconds.

Whisk the flour mixture into the simmering stock, season and continue to simmer gently for about 30 minutes. The soup should have thickened up nicely now and have a good flavour; if not continue simmering until it has.

Cut the cucumber into 1cm dice, flake the salmon and add to the soup with the cucumber, chopped fennel and cream, bring back to a simmer and re-season if necessary.

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