Category Archives: Something Special

Special recipes needing more care and time

Tarte a l’Orange

This is a fantastic desert! It is easy to make, and the result is a perfect balance of sweetness and fruity sharpness that will impress even the most professional of pastry cooks.

You could serve it with double cream, but I think it is nice enough on its own.

Serves 2
Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty: ***
Origin: France
Good with: double cream

Mushroom Stroganoff

If you are a lover of mushrooms then Mushroom Stroganoff is a great recipe for you. I think it works best with mixed mushrooms; whatever happens to be in season. A splash of brandy adds real depth of flavour. Smoked paprika gives a wonderful smokey intensity.

This makes a fine dinner party or special occasion dish. I like to serve it with French Pilau Rice, Petits Pois Frais à la Française and Courgettes and Tomato.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 500g mixed mushrooms (such as chestnut, portobello, button, oyster, shitake, chanterelles
  • 15g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 25g butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 tbsp dry sheer or dry white wine
  • 100ml vegetable or mushroom stock
  • 100ml cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Method:

  1. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in hot water until soft. squeeze out excess water, and retain the soaking liquid. Roughly chop.
  2. Chop the onion, finely chop the garlic.
  3. Wipe the mushrooms and cut into 1/2cm slices.
  4. Heat the butter in a large frying pan with a splash of olive oil.
  5. Fry the onions gently for about 5 minutes until soft.
  6. Add the garlic, sliced mushrooms, chopped porcini, thyme and caraway seeds. Turn the head up
  7. slightly and fry the for a further 5 minutes or so until the mushrooms start to brown.
  8. Add the smoked paprika and fry for a further 30 seconds.
  9. Add the brandy and sherry and flame to burn off the alcohol.
  10. Add the cream, stock and porcini soaking liquid, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  11. Serve scattered with freshly chopped parsley and a really good grind of black pepper.
  12. Mushroom Stroganoff

Mushroom Stroganoff

If you are a lover of mushrooms then Mushroom Stroganoff is a great recipe for you. I think it works best with mixed mushrooms; whatever happens to be in season. A splash of brandy adds real depth of flavour. Smoked paprika gives a wonderful smokey intensity.This makes a fine dinner party or special occasion dish. I like to serve it with

Serves 2
Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: **
Origin: French
Good with: French Pilau Rice, Petits Pois Frais à la Française and Courgettes and Tomato..

Mushroom Stroganoff

If you are a lover of mushrooms then Mushroom Stroganoff is a great recipe for you. I think it works best with mixed mushrooms; whatever happens to be in season. A splash of brandy adds real depth of flavour. Smoked paprika gives a wonderful smokey intensity.

This makes a fine dinner party or special occasion dish. I like to serve it with French Pilau Rice, Petits Pois Frais à la Française and Courgettes and Tomato.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 500g mixed mushrooms (such as chestnut, portobello, button, oyster, shitake, chanterelles
  • 15g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 25g butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 tbsp dry sheer or dry white wine
  • 100ml vegetable or mushroom stock
  • 100ml cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Method:

  1. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in hot water until soft. squeeze out excess water, and retain the soaking liquid. Roughly chop.
  2. Chop the onion, finely chop the garlic.
  3. Wipe the mushrooms and cut into 1/2cm slices.
  4. Heat the butter in a large frying pan with a splash of olive oil.
  5. Fry the onions gently for about 5 minutes until soft.
  6. Add the garlic, sliced mushrooms, chopped porcini, thyme and caraway seeds. Turn the head up
  7. slightly and fry the for a further 5 minutes or so until the mushrooms start to brown.
  8. Add the smoked paprika and fry for a further 30 seconds.
  9. Add the brandy and sherry and flame to burn off the alcohol.
  10. Add the cream, stock and porcini soaking liquid, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  11. Serve scattered with freshly chopped parsley and a really good grind of black pepper.
  12. Mushroom Stroganoff

Mince pies

 
As Christmas rapidly approaches, I thought I would give you my recipe for mince pies. Traditionally the pastry contains lard, and the mincemeat suet. These I have substituted for butter. And I have made the pastry somewhat richer than the traditional half fat to flour.

The recipe calls for candied peel, which you can buy. But I think it is much nicer homemade, for which I give a recipe at the end. You also need about three teaspoons of mixed spice, for which I also give a recipe.

The resulting pies are sharp, juicy and irresistible!

Pastry
Ingredients:
300g      plain flour
230g      chilled unsalted butter
Chilled water

Method:
Enough for 48 little pies

  1. Sift the flour into a processor.
  2. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour.
  3. Whizz the mixture up until the texture of breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the chilled water until the pastry has the correct consistency. You will probably need 4-6 tablespoons.
  5. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Roll out the pastry, and cut disks to fit your pastry tin. Cut slightly smaller disks for the top.

Mincemeat IMG_2695

Enough for 72 little pies

Ingredients
225g      apples (sharp, such as granny smiths)
175g      raisins
115g      currants
115g      dried cranberries
115g      candied peel
175g      soft dark brown sugar
Grated rind and the juice of a large orange
Grated rind and the juice of a lemon
25g         chopped almonds
3tsp       mixed spice
115g      unsalted butter
3tbl        brandy
Method:

  1. Peel, core and chop the apples finely.
  2. Chop the candied peel finely.
  3. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Cover, and leave for 24 hours.
  5. Grease the pastry tins.
  6. Line with the larger disks of pastry.
  7. Spoon in the mincemeat, so it is about level with the top of the pastry.
  8. Cover with the smaller disks of pastry.
  9. Brush each with milk.
  10. Bake in the oven at 200°C for 15-20 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar.

Et voila!

Candied Peel

150g      peel from mixed citrus fruit, including orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarins.
Place in a heavy saucepan, cover with caster sugar, and add a tablespoon of water.
Bring to the boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes
Allow to cool slightly, then remove the peel and spread out on a chopping board and allow to cool completely.

Mixed Spice

2             cloves
¼            nutmeg
2cm       stick cinnamon
½ tsp     fennel seeds
½ tsp     coriander seeds
4             allspice berries
4             green cardamoms

Heat the above spices gently in a heavy pan until they release their aroma and are slightly browned.
Grind in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
Store in an airtight jar.

 

 

© DAVEggie

Arancini di Riso

Arancini di Riso are actually Sicilian in origin: stuffed saffron rice balls, usually filled with meat, mozzarella and peas. As my daughter is a great mushroom lover, I decided to create my own version in her honour. And in all modesty I am mighty pleased with the result.

The name means ‘little oranges’ in Italian, and refers to their shape and colour after cooking. They are quite exacting and time-consuming to make, but the result is heavenly.

Serves 4
Time: 120 minutes
Difficulty: ****
Origin: Italy
Good with: piquant tomato sauce.

Arancini di Riso

My daughter recently returned from holiday in Milan, raving about the Arancini di Riso.

Arancini di Riso are actually Sicilian in origin: stuffed saffron rice balls, usually filled with meat, mozzarella and peas. As my daughter is a great mushroom lover, I decided to create my own version in her honour. And in all modesty I am mighty pleased with the result.

The name means ‘little oranges’ in Italian, and refers to their shape and colour after cooking. They are quite exacting and time-consuming to make, but the result is heavenly.

I like to serve them with a piquant tomato sauce.

Ingredients (makes 8 arancini di riso):

15g butter

45ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
250g risotto rice
1 pinch of saffron
100ml Pinot Grigio (or other Italian dry white wine)
1l vegetable stock
35g parmesan cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
25g carrot, finely chopped
25g celery, finely chopped
150g mixed mushrooms
10g dried porcini mushrooms
15g parsley
50g frozen pea
400g tinned tomatoes
75g buffalo mozzarella
25g plain flour
2 eggs
50g breadcrumbs
sunflower oil fro frying

Method:

  • Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the 15ml of oil. Add half the chopped onion and sweat for 5 minutes or so until the onion is soft but not browned.
  • Increase the heat to medium and add the rice. Sauté for about 5 minutes stirring constantly. Add the saffron and stir again.
  • Add the wine and stir occasionally until it is absorbed.
  • Add the stock, a ladle at a time and stir it into the rice. Allow it to become absorbed before adding the next ladle. The rice is cooked when it is slightly al dente, but NOT chalky. This will probably take about 30 minutes, and might not require all the stock.
  • Stir in the parmesan cheese and lemon juice and allow the rice to cool.
  • While the rice is cooling, soak the porcini in a little hot water. Chop the mixed mushrooms small (duxelles sized), place in the centre of a clean tea towel, gather the corners of the tea towel together, and twist to expel as much liquid from the mushrooms as possible, collecting the liquid in a bowl.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan, and add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté gently for about 5 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms from the tea towel into the frying pan. Increase the heat, and sauté for a further 10 minutes or so until the mushrooms start to brown.
  • Drain and chop the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid. Add to the frying pan along with the soaking liquid, and add the liquid squeezed out of the mushrooms.
  • Now add the tomatoes (chop them small if they are whole), peas and half the parsley. Adjust the seasoning, and simmer for about 15 minutes, adding any remaining vegetable stock or water as necessary to prevent the mixture from becoming too dry.
  • Add the remaining parsley and allow to cool.
  • To assemble the arancini, divide the rice into 8 equal portions and shape into balls . Divide the mushroom mixture into 8 equal portions.
  • Take a rice ball and make a hollow in the centre with your index finger. Fill the hollow with the mushroom mixture, and add about 1/8 of the mozzarella. Seal the rice around the mushroom mixture.
  • Dust the ball with flour, and make the remaining 7 arancini the same way.
  • Beat the eggs and add to a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs to a separate bowl. Dip each arancini in beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs.
  • Heat a generous quantity of sunflower oil in a deep pan. Deep fry the arancini, a few at a time until golden (about minutes). Drain any surplus oil on kitchen paper.

 

Black and White Soup

I really enjoy a bowl  of soup, especially in winter. But sometimes, no matter how delicious, it is not quite substantial enough. Take this recipe for Black and White Soup. The ‘black & white’ refers to the beans used to prepare it. It is actually two soups, added carefully to the serving bowl (either individually of a tureen) to form two separate puddles.

To make it more substantial, I serve it with a tortilla filled with shredded salad vegetables, grated cheese and sour cream.

Or you could serve Black and White Soup as an elegant starter, in which case omit the tortilla.

Serves 2
Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty: ****
Origin: International/Mexico
Good with: Salad Tortilla

Falafel Kebab

I love Middle Eastern food. So I present you my menu for Falafel Kebab: fried falafels, wrapped in a roti (or tortilla) with shredded lettuce, grated carrot, sliced red pepper, sliced red onion, sliced tomato, and griddled. The kebab is served with warm Tabbouleh (a sort of couscous salad), HummusGarlic Yogurt Sauce, with Harissa to spice things up.

Serves 2
Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: ***
Origin: Middle East
Good with: Tabbouleh, Hummus, Garlic Yogurt Sauce.

Corn Chowder

Again, Corn Chowder is a recipe where humble ingredients combine wonderfully, lifted by fresh dill and  chipotle chilli powder. It is quick and easy to prepare, and while this soup is not the healthiest, it is and hearty and comforting.  You could also add about 100g of diced smoked salmon if you wished. Serve with good bread to mop up the soup.

Serves 2
Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty: **
Origin: USA
Good with: fresh bread