Sunday, 29 July 2012

Garlic & Chilli Prawns with Rocket

Place an earthenware pot or ramekin in a very hot oven. As the pot heats up finely chop up a clove or two of garlic and chilli to taste.
Heat some oil (rapeseed or ground nut are better than olive oil) in a frying pan and add the chilli and garlic give it a quick stir and add your raw cleaned prawns (you can use pre cooked, but why?) cook until the prawns turn pink.
Then quickly remove your pot from the oven pour in the prawns etc and quickly cover with foil.
Return to the oven to finish cooking.
Stir in some fresh rocket dressing the leaves with the garlic and chilli oil before serving.

Broad Bean, Bacon and Mint Salad

Very nice as a warm starter this one or a side dish if you use more beans and a bit less bacon.
Bring a pan of water to the boil (no salt) for the broad beans and cook for a few minutes until just cooked - less is best as you want them firm.
As the beans are cooking fry some bacon until crispy.
Drain the beans and leave to cool slightly then add olive oil, a dash of a good vinegar and season lightly.
When the bacon is cooked chop and add to the beans plate up and scatter with freshly choped mint and serve.

An alernative to the above is to use peas as well or replace the bacon with peas and serve on a bed of leaves.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Lamb Stuffed Artichokes in Tomato Sauce.

I used small chokes for this but you could easily use larger ones - just up the cooking times etc.
With a sharp knife cut the tops off the leaves about one third of the way down, pull off the tough outer leaves and trim any tough skin from the stalk and base. The idea is to remove as much of the non edible bits as possible, but don't worry if you don't! Then with a teaspoon scoop out the choke in the centre and discard. As soon as this is done drop into a saucepan or bowl with some lemon juice added to stop it discolouring. Repeat for the rest of the chokes.
When all the chokes are prepared add a little salt to the pan and bring to the boil, simmer for around 10mins until the chokes are just cooked. Drain and leave to cool a little.
While the chokes are cooking prepare the stuffing/sauce. I used lamb as it a great combination with chokes, but you could use beef or even a veg option.
Finely chop a small onion and a clove of garlic and fry in olive oil, when the onion has softened add minced lamb and cook through.
Season and add thyme and tomato paste or puree (loosen with a little water if need be) cook down into a sauce.
Place all the chokes in a cooking pot and sprinkle with olive oil - then stuff with the lamb sauce - pour any remaining over the choke and pop in a moderate oven to heat through and serve.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Braised Lamb with carrots, onions and peas.

Nice easy quick supper this one - I usualy use neck fillet for it as it's a nice cheap cut with enough fat on it to create a good sauce so a small amount of meat and lots of veg go a long way.
In a casserole or similar oven proof dish with a lid fry the onions and carrots in a little oil and butter, add the neck fillet and colour on each side - season and add some chopped thyme add a little white wine and place in an oven (around 120/140 for a long slow cook) for 45 mins to an hour.
10 mins before the end of cooking add your frozen peas.
Serve with butteren new potatoes at this time of year.