Archive for shallots

Chicken and lobster pie

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Shellfish like lobster and prawns really do go well with the delicate flavour of chicken. For slow-cooked chicken dishes it’s better to use thighs rather than breast meat as they stay more moist and succulent.

2 cooked lobsters, about 500g each
500g boned and skinned free-range chicken thighs
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves
350-400g ready-made all-butter puff pastry
plain flour for dusting
1 free-range egg, beaten

For the lobster sauce:

1 tbsp vegetable oil
reserved lobster shells
4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
60g butter
60g plain flour
a good pinch of saffron strands
a few sprigs of tarragon
1 tbsp tomato purée
60ml white wine
500ml hot fish stock
500ml hot chicken stock
400ml double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tsp cornflour (if needed)

Remove the meat from the lobster tails and claws and cut roughly into 1cm pieces. Reserve one lobster head (if making a large pie). Break the rest of the shells up a bit, using a heavy knife. Cut the chicken thighs in half, or into thirds if large. Cover and refrigerate the lobster and chicken meat.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and fry the lobster shells, garlic and shallots over a medium heat for 5 minutes until they begin to colour lightly. Add the butter and, once melted, stir in the flour. Add the saffron, tarragon and tomato purée, then gradually stir in the white wine and the hot fish and chicken stocks.

Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half, then add the cream. Season lightly with salt and pepper, bring back to the boil and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half again. (A simmer plate or heat-diffuser mat is useful here.)

Strain the sauce through a colander into a clean pan, moving the shells with a spoon to ensure all the sauce goes through.

Tip about one-tenth of the shells into a blender and add about a cupful of the strained sauce. Blend until smooth, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve into the sauce in the pan.

Bring the sauce back to the boil, add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. The sauce should be a thick coating consistency by now; if not, simmer a little longer (or dilute a little cornflour in water and stir into the sauce). Leave to cool.

Stir the lobster and chopped parsley and tarragon into the cooled sauce. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Fill a large pie dish or 4 individual ones with the mixture.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 5mm thickness. Trim to about 2cm larger all round than the pie dish (or cut discs large enough to cover individual dishes). Brush the edges of the pastry with a little of the beaten egg. Lay the pastry over the filling, pressing the egg-washed sides on to the rim of the dish(es).

If making a large pie, cut a cross in the centre and insert the lobster head, so it sits proud. Cut a small slit in the top of individual pies to allow steam to escape. Leave to rest in a cool place for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Brush the pastry lid with beaten egg and bake the pie for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown (allow 10-15 minutes less for individual pies). Let the pie stand for a few minutes before serving.

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.

Cider-cured herrings for four people

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Cider is such a great drink to use in your cooking, and the addition of Julian Temperley’s Kingston Black apple apéritif gives this Scandinavian dish a bit of a British kick. You will need to marinate the herrings for 4-5 days before serving.

16 herring fillets, scaled, boned and trimmed

For the marinade:

300ml cider vinegar
300ml warm water
80g sugar
2 tsp sea salt
25-30 fresh green peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
8 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
6 shallots, peeled and cut into rings

For the sauce:

2 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
2 tsp Tewkesbury mustard
1-2 tbsp Kingston Black apple apéritif
1-2 tbsp chopped dill or fennel

Bring all of the ingredients for the marinade to the boil then leave to cool and add the shallots. Mix with the herring fillets, then lay the fillets in a non-reactive container and pour over the marinade. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4-5 days before serving.

To make the sauce, mix the Kingston Black with the mustard and mayonnaise, then whisk into the marinade to about the consistency of double cream; stir in the dill.

To serve, remove the fillets and dry on some kitchen paper. Fold them in half with the skin on the outside and arrange on a serving plate with a few of the shallots and green peppercorns on top. Serve the sauce separately.

Fried eggs with chorizo

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

hixeggs1_53312s

Half Hour Meals

This dish is rather like the Mexican dish huevos rancheros. I could have easily thrown away a couple of portions of broad beans and chorizo, as well as the half a dozen mini chorizo that were sitting around with a few pimientos de Padrón (Padron peppers), but I wanted the kids to think twice about what they ate and respect the cost and importance of food.

Writing a recipe like this can be tricky because I can’t expect you to have the same leftovers as me – so I’m going to give you the recipe from scratch.

100-150g cooking chorizo, chopped into small pieces
2 shallots, peeled, halved and finely chopped
4 tomatoes, finely chopped
100-120g podded weight of broad beans
4 free range duck or goose eggs
a little olive oil for frying

Heat a heavy-based saucepan on a medium heat and fry the pieces of chorizo and shallots for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often. Add the tomatoes and a couple of cups of water and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens.

Meanwhile, cook the broad beans in boiling, salted water until tender and drain. You can remove the outer skin from any large ones if you wish. Stir them into the sauce and cover with a lid. Fry the eggs in the olive oil and transfer to warmed serving plates and spoon the sauce and broad beans around.



Arts

Baked clams with lemon and parsley

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

clams_lowe_150830s

Half Hour Meals

Garlic, parsley and clams are a classic combination and this dish makes a great sharing starter or part of a selection of starters. Ideally you want to find large clams for this but not the massive ones, like cherrystones or quahogs, as they are really for eating raw and can be a bit tough. You could even use very large cockles or razor clams or a mixture of both.

2kg large clams, scrubbed
4 large shallots, peeled, halved and finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
100g butter
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
grated zest of one lemon
3-4 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the clams in a large saucepan with a cup full of water, cover with a lid and cook on a high heat, stirring them every so often, until they are all just open. Depending on the thickness of the shell this could take anything from 3-6 minutes; drain in a colander.

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.

Meanwhile gently cook the shallots and garlic in the butter for a couple of minutes, stirring every so often. Put the shallot and garlic mixture in a food processor with the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and parsley and season. Blend briefly so that all of the ingredients are well but loosely mixed.

Remove one half of the clam shell from each clam and lay the clams on a flat tray. Spoon the breadcrumb mixture into each clam shell then cook in the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden. Serve immediately.

%d bloggers like this: