Lentil Bolognaise

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Worth another look at this one!

From Alfredo's With Love

Lentil Bolognaise

It was Nigel Slater’s birthday yesterday and I wanted to cook one of his newer dishes to mark the occasion. His writing, his cookery programmes and his approach to all things food is so encouraging and inspiring to writers like myself. The way he creates dishes like this one has given me so much confidence in creating my own recipes.

Hey, ok, enough of the eulogising!

This is a really tasty dish and a fab way to eat lentils.

For 4

2 carrots finely diced
1 onion finely sliced
3 tbsps of olive oil
230 gm Puy lentils (or any green ones will do if you cannot get Puy)
1 litre of chicken stock or veg stock
400 gm pappardelle or tagliatelle pasta
2 tbsps crème fraîche
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
50 gm lardons – you could leave these out if you wish – esp. vegetarians!

Heat the oil…

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Stuffed Stilton Mushrooms!

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A perfect wintery lunch! This is one of Nigel Slater’s favourites.

For 2

2 large portobello mushrooms, peeled and the stalk removed

3 knifefuls of unsalted butter – about 75 gm

A little water

A pinch of dried thyme

Some crumbled blue stilton – or any blue crumbly cheese really

A handful of chopped walnuts

All you do – pop a casserole dish on a medium heat, add the butter and when it melts add enough water to cover bottom of the dish. 

Add the mushrooms, gill side up – obviously! Sprinkle a little thyme onto each.

Pop on a lid and tuen the heat low. Let it bubble away for ten minutes – remove lid and spoon a little of the juice onto each mushroom. Lid goes back on for ten more minutes.

Then remove lid. Take pot off the leat and crumble stilton cheese onto top of each mushroom til the surface is covered. Then add several pieces of chopped walnuts onto each.

Pop back on the heat and whack it up high – after about 5 minutes the stilton will start to melt and the sauce will be bubbling and thickening.

When it has just melted, use a slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms onto a plate and spoon over the juices and any walnuts that have escaped!

See with crusty breadA winter lunch to impress. Can also be used as a side dish to a nice juicy steak!img_8120-jpg

Poached Plums in Red Wine with Walnut Mascarpone

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Perfect summer pud!

From Alfredo's With Love

IMG_5091 I post this more because I like the photo as much as anything for I know so many of you make dishes like this all the time -it is such a delicious way to eat plums! Anyway, I poached 2 plums per person, halved and stoned, placed in a casserole dish face down. I added enough good red wine until it came up to just over half way up the plums. I added several shavings of orange peel and a good tablespoon of muscovado sugar. Bring gently to the boil, pop a lid on and simmer for 20 minutes. I crushed a handful of walnuts and mixed them into the mascarpone, served it with the red wine sauce and a whole walnut to top off the mascarpone. Fabulous!

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Summer Salmon Salad

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A Fabulous Melange of Green leaves, Salmon and Giant Cous Cous!

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Simplicity itself! Arrange salad leaves of your choosing on a large platter. Pan fry 100 gm of giant cous cous in a little olive oil for about 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Then add 200 ml of cold water. Add  pinch of cumin seeds and a pinch of smoked paprika and simmer for about 20 minutes stirring often. You may need to top up the water a little if it starts to dry out. Once it is ready leave to one side to cool then spread over your salad leaves. Add a couple of hot smoked salmon fillets broken up. Then add a few dashes of balsamic vinegar and mix gently.

You could always use lentils if you cannot get hold of any giant cous cous.

A great summer light lunch!

 

 

Spicy Sea Bass on a Basmati and Quinoa Bed

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A Perfect Summer Supper or lunch for two!

INGREDIENTS – for two

2 Sea bass fillets 

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

125 gm quinoa

125 gms brown basmati rice

6 baby plum tomatoes

1 clove garlic chopped

A small bunch of basil and stalks

1 level tsp each of thyme,rosemary and oregano

Pinch or two of dried crushed red chilli -up to you how much heat you like!

Handful of grated parmesan

Rock salt and black pepper

A splash of olive oil and a tbsp of  balsamic vinegar

METHOD

In a small pan add the garlic, dried herbs, the basil stalks chopped and the crushed red chilli… and then the olive oil. Heat gently. Once it just starts to fizz a little, take off the heat, let it cool a little and add the tomatoes, tinned and fresh. Bring to a gentle simmer, add the balsamic vinegar, stir and leave with a lid on for about 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 160c. 

Then cook the quinoa and brown basmati rice as per the instructions. Drain and put to one side when cooked. (You might want to do this first before the sauce if the basmati takes a while.)

In a shallow oven proof dish, scatter some torn basil leaves

Pour over the sauce. Pop the fillets on top. Season the fish with a little rock salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the grated parmesan and a few more torn basil leaves. Cover loosely with a sheet of tin foil.

Then slide it into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Gently, with a fish slice, remove the sea bass fillets and pop on a warm plate.

Mix the quinoa and basmati rice into the sauce, then replace the fish, skin removed.

Serve and enjoy!

It’s a cracker and very, very tasty.

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon and Asparagus Kedgeree

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Spring meets India meets salmon…..meets my needs!

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A fab way to eat hot smoked salmon and asparagus with a cheeky hint of lime!

INGREDIENTS

Fine for 4 – or a good supper for 2 with a little for the next day!

  • 300g basmati rice
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp hot curry paste or curry powder will do (Madras)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 225g hot smoked salmon, cut into chunks or flaked
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 8 asparagus spears chopped in to 2 inch pieces – blanched in hot water for 5 minutes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp each chopped fresh coriander and flatleaf parsley

METHOD

  • Pop the rice into a large heavy-based saucepan, pour over 700ml pints water and sprinkle in a good shake of salt. Cover and bring to the boil, then remove the lid and allow all the water to be absorbed – this should take about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover again and allow to steam dry.
  • Melt half the butter with the oil in a large frying pan. Stir in the curry paste or powder and cook until you start to smell the wonderful aromas.
  • Now add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown
  • Once the rice is cooked add the curry and onion mixture  and quickly stir to make sure all the buttery juices are absorbed and the rice is heated through. Now mix in the salmon, eggs, asparagus and lime juice.
  • Stir gently, add the herbs along with cubes of the remaining butter and serve in warm bowls.

A truly tasty and satisfying dish for a Spring weekend.

 

A sprout is for life…not just Christmas

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A great Saturday supper dish!

From Alfredo's With Love

Sprout, Pepper and Chicken Stir Fry

I want to extol the virtues of this marvellous vegetable (oft maligned unfairly) over the coming months, starting with this simple stir fry. The health benefits of greens are all publicised and out there on the web for you to check out – and sprouts come right near the top of the pops when it comes to all they have to offer to protect your body and keep it healthy.

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Ingredients for 4

600 gm of noodles – I used a ready to wok variety

12 sprouts, tailed, outer layer removed

1 long red pepper

3 chicken breast fillets

Bunch of spring onions, topped and tailed and finely sliced

For the sauce – 

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons sake (rice wine) – or dry sherry 

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoon soy sauce

Or you could just use, as i did…

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Full on Feta Salad

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This can be a meal in itself – great for lunch or supper – but I had it last night with lamb chops pan fried with garlic, lemon and parsley.

INGREDIENTS

Salad leaves of your choice

6 baby plum tomatoes halved

1 block of feta rinsed and cut into cubes

12 black olives halved

Half a pointed red pepper thinly sliced

1 stick of celery thinly sliced

3 radishes thinly sliced

Handful of fresh coriander chopped- you could use mint instead

FOR THE DRESSING

6 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove crushed

Pinch of sugar

Dash of salt

Grind or two of black pepper

METHOD

  1. Make the dressing by whacking the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Toss all the there ingredients together in a large salad bowl.
  3. Just before serving , which the dressing once more and pour over the salad. 

Get a fork and tuck in!

 

 

King prawn and chilli frittata

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This is a great take on the recipe I gave you on the 15th February. For this version – which I made for lunch today – and omg it was fabulous – I added 125 gm king prawns as the fish and 1 chopped red chilli along with 6 finely sliced shallots instead of the red onion. My herb of choice was coriander leaf this time. If you use these substitutes the rest of the recipe was the same. Just remember to use good eggs!

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