Monday, 31 March 2014

Traditional English Mint Sauce.

This is the last post of things I made while still at Ladysmock Cottage and was made in mid March just before leaving.
All the herbs were starting to grow again after the winter and mint was plentiful.
This recipe is almost exactly the same as the one passed down to me from my mother, who taught me in the seventies to make mint sauce - the only difference being I now use white wine or cider vinegar rather than malt.
I have toyed with the idea of changing the name of the blog now i have no connection at all with Ladysmock, but until I think of a better name will continue with the existing one!

First remove most of the stalks from the mint and place on a chopping board. sprinkle with a tea spoon or two of sugar.
Holding a knife in with the fingertips of both hands chop the mint until it is very fine - you end up with a mush as the sugar gets chopped into it.

Transfer to a small bowl or ramekin and just cover with boiling water.
Leave to infuse and cool then add white wine or cider vinegar (or malt if you prefer) to the desired consistency.
It will keep for weeks, if not months in sterilised jars.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Clams in Cider with Parsley.

A delicious and very simple supper that only takes a few minutes to cook.
First clean your clams and discard any that don't close.
Finely chop a shallot, a couple of sticks of celery and half a bulb of fennel.
Soften in butter in a pan large enough to hold all the clams comfortably.
Add a bottle of good quality cider and boil off the alcohol.
Add the clams give the pan a shake and steam for 3-4mins or until they are fully opened.
Ladle into bowls and scatter with freshly chopped parsley.
Serve with good crusty bread for the juices.
this also works very well with muscles and cockles just adjust the cooking times.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Lamb and Mushroom Hotpot.

A quick and easy one pot supper.
Cut your lamb into chunks roughly 2cm square.
Season and dust with flour. cook in hot oil until the outside is coloured and set aside.
Add more oil to the pan and soften a chopped onion and sliced carrot with thyme.
To create the hotpot add a layer of the onion and carrot mixture to an oven proof pot, then add a layer of the lamb and finally a layer of uncooked sliced mushrooms.
Continue doing this until you have used up all the ingredients and add a layer of sliced potatoes to the top, arranging them in an overlap.
Add a small cup full of veg or lamb stock and dot the top with butter and season.
Place in a med- low oven and cook for about 40-50mins or until the potatoes are cooked through and serve.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Partridge Salad with Apple, Celery and Celeriac Remoulade.

For the Remoulade peel and shred some celariac.
Core and finely slice the apple into battens then finely chop the celery and mix all of them together in a bowl.
Add good quality mayonaise, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a sqeeze of lemon juice, a grind or two of black pepper and a little salt - combine until all the mixture is coated.
This is best made fresh and served straight away.
Oil and season the partridge breasts.
Pan fry for 2 mins on each side then place in an oven at 180 degrees for 3-4 mins.
Rest under foil for 3 mins or so and then carve and place on a bed of mixed lightly dressed leaves.
Pour over any juices from the breasts and serve with the remoulade.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Cheddar, Onion and Sage Stuffed Potato Cake.

Peel and boil some good mashing potatoes in salted water until just soft.
Mash, but do not add any butter or milk.
Soften some chopped onion and sage in a little butter or oil with seasoning.
When cooled mix with gratted cheddar cheese.
When the potato has cooled mix in three teaspoons of plain flour and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
Mix thoroughly until it resembles a dough like texture.
Form a dollop of the mixture into a rough disc, and using your thumb make an indent in the centre.
Place a ball of the onion, sage and cheese mixture into it.
Place more potato on top and form into a cake shape.
Sprinkle a dry, non stick frying pan with plain flour (do not use oil or butter at this stage) and place on a low heat.
Place the cakes into the pan and dry cook for about five mins or until the flour starts to colour the underside of the cake.
Flip the cake and do the same on the otherside, this will give the finished cake a wonderful colour.
Remove the cakes from the pan and discard the flour place the cakes back in the hot pan and add a knob of butter.
Cook the cakes for a few mins on each side until golden and serve.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Smoked Mackerel Pate with Steeped Cherries.

Cherries going cheap at the market and chives growing once again in the garden inspired this one.
The steeped cherries are good with ham's and other smoked meats as well as cheese, smoked trout and especialy duck.
You can also use other vinegars, wines or spirts to steep cherries.

Half and stone the cheeries. Place in a bowl and cover with a good quality vinegar (Iused sherry vingar), cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
To make the pate remove the skin from the smoked mackerel and shred into a bowl.
Loosen with some olive oil, sour cream or mayo and lemon juice.
Add chopped chives and mix together.
Leave for a hour or two for the flavours to infuse together and serve with toast.

The steeped cherries will last for a few days, but remember they are not pickled!