Archive for olive oil

Baked breakfast tomatoes with duck eggs

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

I had this dish near Tarragona in Spain years ago as a starter for a monumental dinner that went on from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., but I thought it would make a great breakfast dish. You can use fresh, over-ripe tomatoes or a can of chopped tomatoes for this.

2 tbsp olive oil plus a little more for drizzling
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 x 400g cans of good-quality chopped tomatoes, or 1kg skinned ripe tomatoes
a couple of sprigs of thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 English muffins, halved
4 duck eggs

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan and gently cook the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes and thyme, season and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring every so often.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly toast the muffins on both sides and lay in an oven-proof dish. Pour over the tomatoes, then crack an egg on to each muffin. Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the eggs are just cooked.

Serve immediately, drizzled with some olive oil.

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Grilled cherry tomato and roast ham penne

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

400g wholewheat penne
360g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp olive oil
ground black pepper
110g honey-cured roast ham, torn into strips
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Boil the pasta in a large pan of water for around 10-12 minutes until al dente.

Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high. Put the tomatoes cut side up into a shallow roasting tin. Drizzle with oil and season. Grill for 7-10 minutes until they start to shrivel.

Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Fold in the tomatoes and ham. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and serve.

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.

Poached chicken with asparagus

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

The crucial thing with this dish is to use a good strong chicken stock.

4 free-range chicken breasts
500g asparagus with the woody ends trimmed
500ml good strong chicken stock
2-3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the asparagus about 3-4 cm from the tips and roughly chop the ends, reserving the tips. Cook the chopped ends in some of the chicken stock for 5-6 minutes until soft, then remove with a slotted spoon and blend to a smooth purée in a blender.

Place the chicken breasts in a wide saucepan and pour in the liquid that the asparagus has cooked in, and cover with the rest of the stock. Season, cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 6-7 minutes, then leave in the liquid.

Cook the asparagus tips in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until tender and drain.

To serve, re-heat the purée and spoon on to warmed serving plates and place the chicken on top. Toss the asparagus tips in a pan with some of the olive oil and season; then scatter over the chicken. Drizzle some more oil over.

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.

Tomato, mozzarella and mint salad

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

This is good to take on a picnic.

1 small red onion, finely diced
300g baby plum tomatoes, halved
125g reduced fat mozzarella, torn
6-8 leaves fresh mint, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Toss together the onion, tomatoes, mozzarella and mint, and place in a lidded container. Mix seasoning and olive oil in a jar and add to salad at the picnic.

Interview: Paul McCartney

Posted in Food, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

Barbara Ellen interviews Sir Paul McCartney for the Observer:

Paul McCartney, rock star, family man, northern lad, contender for most famous person on the planet, is leaning back on a squashy sofa. In just a short time, he will announce that he is not going to lunge forward and kill me. However, for now, he’s musing on his favourite-ever vegetarian ingredients.

“Could I have a few?” he asks eventually. You can have as many as you like, you’re Paul McCartney. “OK, so … olive oil, balsamic. There’s this great hummus you only seem to be able to get here, ‘Amvrosia’ – Ambrosia with a v, I use that a lot. Lemon juice, salt, spinach leaves, rocket leaves, plum tomatoes. You see, it’s getting good already.”

You’re a decent cook then?

“I’m not bad. I can turn a meal out.”

McCartney loves steamed vegetables. “If I go on tour and eat a lot of restaurant or hotel food, I come back, and it’s like, yeah, broccoli! So, if I’m cooking, I’ll be steaming vegetables, making some nice salad, that kind of stuff.”

Do you follow recipes?

“No, I just make it up, like Linda did.”

This Sunday’s Observer Food Monthly is a vegetarian special, guest edited by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney. As part of this very special event, OFM sourced a selection of vegetarian recipes from top chefs and celebrities, with everyone from Jamie Oliver to Gwyneth Paltrow contributing their favourites.

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