Archive for thyme

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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Meatballs with yellow polenta

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

1kg minced pork
1kg minced veal
75g soft white breadcrumbs
1 dried red chilli, crumbled
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
small bunch of thyme, leaves only
75g freshly grated Parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 dried red chilli, crumbled
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 fresh bay leaves
1 bunch of sage
200ml full-bodied red wine
2 jars of good quality Italian tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl and mix very well. The easiest and most thorough way of doing this is with your hands. Once the mixture is well combined, roll into 18 generous-sized balls and set aside while you make the sauce.

Place a large, heavy-based pan on top of the stove, turn the heat to medium and add the olive oil. Once the oil is warm, add the onion, chilli and garlic, turn the heat down slightly and cook for 10 minutes; the onion should be soft and translucent.

Add the bay leaves, sage and a good pinch of salt and cook for a further five minutes, then add the wine and return the heat to medium.

Allow the wine to bubble for a minute, then add the tomatoes, place a lid on the pan and cook for half an hour, by which time the sauce should have reduced a little to be rich and dark.

Season with a good pinch of salt and a little black pepper and add the meatballs. Return the lid and cook for 20 minutes, then 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.

Nigella Lawson’s Broccoli & Stilton Soup

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , on April 17, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

3 x 15ml tablespoons garlic oil
6 spring onions, finely chopped 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1kg frozen broccoli 1250ml hot vegetable stock (from concentrate or cube)
200g crumbled or chopped Stilton
freshly ground pepper
1 long red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)

Put the garlic oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the chopped spring onions and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the thyme and the frozen broccoli, and stir in the heat for a minute or so.

Add the hot vegetable stock and the crumbled or chopped Stilton and bring to a bubble, then clamp on the lid and cook for 5 minutes.

Liquidize in a blender (or failing that a processor) – in batches – then pour back in the pan and heat if it’s cooled too much while blending, and add pepper to taste.

Scatter with a Christmas confetti of red chilli dice on serving, if you feel like it.

I use frozen broccoli; actually, frozen organic broccoli, if that makes you feel better. In fact, this is better when made with frozen, and certainly more convenient for an impromptu standby.

Duck Hash

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

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Half Hour Meals

You can find duck legs quite easily these days in butchers and supermarkets; if not, you could just use a whole duck instead chopped into four, or buy two ducks and remove the legs and save the breasts for another meal. I get mine from Bury market.

Any dish can be improved by placing a fried egg on top of it.

2 large or 4 small duck legs
250-300g goose or duck fat
6 cloves of garlic, halved
1 bay leaf
a few sprigs of thyme
10 black peppercorns
2 medium onions, peeled and roughly diced
350g new potatoes, peeled, cooked and cut into rough 1cm chunks
salt and pepper
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
4 free-range duck eggs

Pre-heat the oven to 175°C. Put the duck legs in a tight fitting pan with the duck fat, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns. Add a teaspoon of sea salt, cover with a lid or foil and cook in the oven for about an hour and a half or until the meat is soft and coming away from the bone. Leave the fat to cool a little and strain into a container or preserving jar and store in the fridge to use for roasting potatoes.

Take a spoonful or so of the duck fat and fry the onions in a covered, thick-bottomed pan for 5-6 minutes until they are soft, stirring occasionally. Then remove the lid and turn up the heat to give them a little colour. Put them into a mixing bowl.

Heat some more duck fat in a frying pan (cast-iron, preferably) until it is very hot and cook the potatoes a few at a time on a high heat until they are lightly coloured, then add them to the onions. Remove the meat from the duck legs and cut into chunks with the skin about the same size as the potatoes. Mix well and season; add Worcestershire sauce to taste.

Divide the mixture and mould into four flat, roughly 8cm cakes with the help of a stainless steel mould or just by hand with a palette knife, then refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.

Press the breadcrumbs into the cakes then heat some oil in preferably a non-stick frying pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side until they are golden and crisp. Keep them warm in the oven once they are cooked.

When all the hashes are cooked, fry four duck eggs, transfer the hashes to warm plates and slide a fried egg on to each hash.

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

Tomatoes on toast with Lancashire cheese

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

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A slice of hot buttered toast with ripe tomatoes is a simple, pleasurable snack, especially if you use one of the tasty heritage varieties, or a large juicy beefsteak tomato, such as Marmande or ox heart. Any ripe, tasty tomatoes will do though, and I’d recommend a sourdough loaf as a base to really set the dish off.

Kirkham’s up in Lancashire produce great Lancashire cheese and their mature cheese works a treat with sweet tomatoes, especially on toast like this.

4 large ripe tomatoes
1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra to drizzle
4 slices of sourdough bread, cut about 1cm thick
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly crushed
a few sprigs of thyme, leaves only
aalt and freshly ground black pepper
100-120g mature Lancashire cheese
wood sorrel leaves or chives, to garnish

Cut 4 slices from the centre of each tomato, about 5mm thick, and put to one side. Chop up the rest of the tomatoes and place in a saucepan with the rapeseed oil, garlic and thyme leaves.

Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, over a gentle heat for about 2-3 minutes, until the tomatoes disintegrate into a pulp.

Toast the sourdough bread on both sides, then spread the tomato mixture on top and arrange 4 slices of tomato on each slice of toast. With a swivel vegetable peeler or sharp knife, cut the cheese into shavings and arrange on the tomatoes. Drizzle with a little rapeseed oil and scatter with wood sorrel leaves or chives to serve.

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