Sunday, 24 May 2015

Chicken Chasseur.

Chasseur [sha-sur; Fr. sha-sœr] a French term for hunter.
Chicken Chasseur has now started appearing on menus as hunters chicken! 
Chasseur sauce is a dark sauce traditionally used for game and wild fowl containing mushrooms, shallots, tomatoes and finely chopped herbs. 
The hunters would pick the mushrooms when returning from the hunt.

Fry some chopped smoked bacon in a pan and add to a casserole.
Colour your chicken pieces in butter in the same pan on a med heat and place in the casserole.
Then soften some whole shallots and add to the chicken.
Deglaze the pan with white wine, then add chicken or veg stock and a good squeeze of tomato puree.
Reduce by half.
Add whole button or chopped mushrooms to the casserole  a bay leaf and some finely chopped thyme and tarragon.
Pour the reduced liquid over the chicken and veg, cover and place in a med/low oven for an hour or until the chicken is cooked through.

Friday, 22 May 2015

London Particular.

A very quick and easy soup made with the cooking liquor from the Gammon Ham (see previous recipe).
London Particular is traditionally made with dried split peas, but I used frozen.
If you do use split peas just soak them overnight and cook for longer. They will probably make a nicer soup too - thicker - a real pea-souper!
Soften a small onion in butter and add chopped thyme leaves.
Add the ham stock an a couple of cups full of frozen peas (or soaked split peas if using).
Cook on until the peas are cooked and transfer to a blender - pulse until the desired consistency - smooth or still a little lumpy.
Return to the pan and add shredded left over gammon and warm through.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Wild Garlic and Nettle Soup.

When picking nettles for cooking use only the top four leaves on young plants - do not use nettle plants that have gone to flower and its also wise to pick them from nettle patches that are difficult for dogs to get too!

Always give the nettles a good shake to get then free of any insects outdoors is best so they can return to any undergrowth (I am sure they would not want to be in your soup).
Blanch the nettles for a few seconds in boiling water and when cool enough to handle squeeze out any excess water.
Melt a knob of butter in a saucepan and on a very low heat add the nettles and stir until they have broken down completely.
Then soften a little finely chopped carrot, onion and celery and on a slightly higher heat.
Add veg stock, season and simmer until the veg is cooked through.
Finely shred your wild garlic leaves add to the pan and cook for a few mins.
Blitz in a blender and return to the pan and warm through.
Serve with a little chopped parsley or a few garlic flowers for decoration.

Haddock and Fennel Pie.

For this pie its best to use both unsmoked and smoked haddock (but not the yellow dyed type).
Place the fish fillets into a saucepan with a tight fitting lid.
Boil half a pint of milk, pour over the fish replace the lid and leave to poach for 15 mins. Remove the fish and leave to cool in a covered bowl.
Slice a bulb of fennel and lightly cook on both sides in butter.
Boil enough potatoes for the mash that will top the pie.
In a clean saucepan melt a knob of butter. remove from the heat and mix in a couple of teaspoons of plain flour.
Add a little of the poaching milk and return to the heat. Bring to a simmer, stiring constantly, while adding more milk a little at a time.
When thickened to a sauce add lots of chopped parsley and remove from the heat.
Flake the fish into an oven prove dish and add the fennel.
Pour over the sauce and cover with mashed potato.
Cook in the oven until the potato colours slightly and serve.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Gammon Ham and Parsley Sauce.

Most hams these days should not need pre-soaking as they are not as heavily salted, but if buying from a butcher just ask.
In addition to this taste the cooking liquor about half way through cooking and if it is overly salty pour half away and add more water.
Place your ham in a large saucepan with a quartered onion (skin on), a couple of roughly chopped carrots, a couple of chopped sticks of celery, half a chopped leek (green end), a few bay leaves and half a dozen pepper corns.
You can use other stock veg if you have things that need using up or trimmings.
Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a rolling simmer and cook for half an hour per half kilo.
Twenty minutes before the ham is ready melt a good knob of butter in a sucepan and remove from the heat.
Stir in a couple of teaspoons of plain flower and add a dash of milk.
Return to the heat and bring to a simmer, stiring constantly, while adding a combination of more milk and cooking liquor from the ham until you have the consistency of a sauce.
Add lots of finely chopped parsley and keep warm until the ham is cooked.
Remove the ham from the cooking liquor and leave to drain for a few mins.
Slice and serve with the parsley sauce and seasonal veg or veg lightly cooked in the ham liquor.
Reserve the stock for soup.