Sunday, 27 July 2014

Toulouse Sausages

The last couple of weekends have been quite odd, as Billy has been working night shifts and sleeps through most of the day. So, I've been trying to keep myself entertained. I'm quite lucky to live so close to the coast and on Saturday I went down to the beach to catch a bit of sun and then wandered up to The Bandstand, where live music was put on. 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Roasted Peppers

Recently, I seem to be cooking with roasted peppers a lot more, particularly when I make rogan josh paste and red pesto. So, when I found a couple of peppers in the bottom draw of my fridge, that weren't looking particularly great, I thought I'd give it go myself rather than throw them away. As well as using them in curry pastes and pesto, these can be enjoyed as part of an antipasti or on top of a pizza.

Did I mention it's stupidly easy to do?

Monday, 23 June 2014

Rillettes du Porc

I don't think I've ever bought a cookbook at it's original sale price; I find it much more satisfying to buy them cheap. Some great places are car boot sales (as low as 10p), charity shops and second hand book shops. Even WH Smiths can have some good offers on. I picked up Small Adventures in Food by James Ramsden for £1.99 from a cheap shop and immediately started reading it on the train home. 

One recipe in particular caught my eye: duck rillettes. There's a French deli literally a couple of doors down the road from our flat, and my favourite things there is pork rillettes. It's like a very course pate, with strands of pork coated in glorious pig fat. 

I've made a few changes to the original recipe. First, and most obvious, is the use of pork belly instead of duck. This is because, well, I just love pork. Secondly, instead of using all goose fat, I use half goose fat and half lard namely because the former is so expensive (£4 for a 300g odd jar). Lastly, I used sherry instead of brandy - simply, it's just what I had in the kitchen.

So, here's my take on rillettes... 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Homemade Pancetta

For a while now I've been listening to a BBC Radio 4 podcast called The Kitchen Cabinet, hosted by Jay Rayner. It's a panel show with a live audience where they travel over the UK and discuss various food topics - food science to food history to current trends. 

My favourite panellist is Tim Hayward - a food writer and broadcaster. Billy recently got me Tim's latest book, Food DIY. And it is amazing. I've never done, or even wanted to do, so many recipes from one book. He covers smoking, curing, pickling, fermenting and homemade takeaways including doner kebab. 

This book particularly makes me happy because I'm so bad at DIY around the flat, and this is something I can actually do.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Tomato & Soft Cheese Pasta

We tend to eat a lot of pasta in our house. It's quick and easy. But, it's too easy to get stuck into having the same thing over and over again. That's why it's good to have a few basic recipes that can each be adapted, depending upon what you have lying around. 

This recipe came about as I had some passata left in the fridge (I use passata as the tomato base on classic pizza and I freeze it in ice cube trays to defrost as required), but could also be made with pureed tinned tomatoes. It is only a basic recipe but could be made into something more by adding chicken, chorizo, green beans, or pancetta.

Before the recipe, a quick apology. I didn't really take much notice of how much ingredients I used so measurements are approximate - but don't worry, a little too much or too little tomato/cheese won't do any harm.

Serves 2

200g penne pasta
4 tbsp passata
2 tbsp soft cheese
2 tbsp curly parsley, chopped

Firstly, cook the pasta as per pack instructions minus a minute or two, so the pasta is slightly under cooked. 

Drain and return to the pan along with the passata and soft cheese. 

Place the pan back on the heat and stir well, the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce. 

Just before serving, sprinkle in the parsley and stir through.