Tuesday, 19 December 2006

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Friday, 15 December 2006


For the soup:
50g butter
750g onions
3 cloves of garlic
25g flour
1.5l beef or vegetable stock
200ml white wine
1 bay leaf
Sprig of thyme
Salt & Pepper

For the croutons (optional):
Baguette or rustic bread, cut into 1cm slices
Grated Swiss cheese

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add very finely sliced onions and cook on a really low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions will turn lovely and sweet and start to caramelise. Add chopped garlic and the flour and mix well. Pour in the stock and wine, stirring frequently, and bring to a simmer. Add the bay leaf, thyme leaves and season well. Cover and cook for another 45 minutes on a low heat. For croutons, toast your bread slices and top with grated cheese. Serve the soup in bowls topped with the delicious croutons. The cheese will go lovely and gooey when it falls in the soup, you won’t be disappointed!
TIP: Rub garlic over your croutons for extra authenticity.
Serves 6
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Top Afternoon Tele

I am a little worried about Monday because I am going to lose some channels on my TV. The problem is I'm addicted to the food programmes especially that one with that really funny woman on UKTV food who is very lucky in my opinion. She can eat all she likes at work then go home and have her tea too! All very legitimate!

Is there any other top food tele anyone can recommend?

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Kitchen Disasters!

Having made the stew with ale as featured on this blog, I popped it in the oven. After a couple of hours I checked to see if it was OK and to add a bit more water. Somehow I managed to twist the tea towel around the bottom of the casserole pot and spill the whole lot over the hob. I could have cried, but instead tried to rescue it and put it back in the pot. It still tasted really nice, if a bit light on sauce!

Is it just me?? What are your kitchen disasters?


2 x 6 lean racks of lamb
Salt & Pepper
5ml/1tsp allspice powder
25g/1oz dark brown sugar
30ml/2tbsp good balsamic vinegar
30ml/2tbsp dark rum
25g/1oz butter
15ml/1tbsp sunflower oil

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 9, 240°C, 450°F.
Place the racks, fat side up on a chopping board and lightly score. Season on both sides with salt, pepper and allspice and place in a large shallow dish.
Prepare the glaze; in a small bowl mix together the sugar, vinegar and rum.
Pour over the racks, cover and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan under a moderate heat, remove the racks from the marinade and brown for 3-4 minutes on both sides.
Transfer the racks to a medium-sized roasting tin and roast for 5-15 minutes, depending on how you like it.
Cover the bones with foil if browning too quickly.
Serve the lamb with seasonal vegetables, it's perfect with a sweet potato gratin.

Serves 4
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1 Butternut Squash
1 Medium Onion
40g Butter
750ml Vegetable Stock
75ml Single Cream
Salt & Pepper

Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways and scoop out all the seeds. Peel the skin. Chop into 1cm cubes and pan fry in the butter on a medium heat for about 10 minutes until slightly softened.
Peel and chop the onion and place in a large saucepan.
Add the stock and the pan fried squash.
Simmer for around 20 minutes. Blend until smooth, then stir in the cream and season well. Serve with thick, crusty bread.

Serves 4

TIP:For an added kick, try adding 1 1/2 tsp of mild curry powder to this recipe.
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One bottle of red wine
125ml orange juice
1 orange
8 cloves
125g/4oz sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
Ground coriander seeds
150ml/1/4 pint brandy

Spike the orange with cloves.
Put a bottle of red wine, sugar, cinnamon sticks, ground coriander seeds, a grating of nutmeg and the orange in a large saucepan.
Heat to just below simmering point for 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat and add 1/4 pint brandy.
Warm for a couple more minutes.
Strain the liquid and serve in warmed glasses.

Serves 6.
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400g diced beef
8 peeled shallots, left whole
Olive oil
400g tin of tomatoes
200g mushrooms, left whole
500ml real ale
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas Mark 2.
Heat some olive oil in a large casserole pot. Add the shallots and beef and fry until the meat is browned.
Add the mushrooms and fry for a minute or two. Then add the tomatoes, ale, bay leaves and the thyme.
Season and bring to the boil. Put on the lid and pop in the oven for 2-3 hours or until the meat is really tender. Check occasionally, if your stew becomes dry add some water.
Serve with boiled potatoes, creamy mash or some nice rustic bread.

Serves 2
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300ml Dry white wine
400g Swiss Cheese, grated
1 Garlic clove
2tbsp Flour
Salt and Pepper
1 day old baguette, cubed (cube an hour or two before eating, slightly drier bread works better)

Rub garlic around your fondue pan, add the wine and heat.
Toss the grated cheese in the flour before adding a handful to the pan.
Stir until each handful melts before adding the next.
Season with salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg.
Eat with day old cubed baguette. Heaven!!

Serves 2-4 depending on your appetite.

Tip: Gruyere, Comte and Emmenthal cheeses are perfect. You can use a single cheese or try mixing them together.

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