3 large red peppers, halved and deseeded
1 tbsp olive oil
200 gm gorgonzola cut into cubes – roughly 2 per pepper half (if poss. get the dolce not the piccante gorgonzola..
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Small bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped
3 tbsps olive oil
Balsamic to drizzle over – I use crema di balsamico – a balsamic glaze
Heat a large frying pan – brush the pepper halves with olive oil inside and out. Pop them in the hot pan cut side down for 5 minutes or so. Turn them over and add 2 pieces of cheese to each one. Leave to cook for a further 10 minutes. Pop the pan then under a hot grill to finish off melting the cheese for about 2 minutes – keep an eye on them!
For the dressing – combine all the ingredients well in a bowl. Arrange the peppers in bowls – drizzle over a little of the dressing and then finish off with a squiggle of the balsamic glaze.
This is a fabulously simple Italian starter from the pages of Gino D’acampo – only tinkered with slightly! You could also use taleggio cheese like Gino…though I have to say the walnuts in the dressing combine mellifluously with the gorgonzola.
It is a surprisingly filling dish too when served with a slice or two of a good rustic bread to mop up the juices. It would be a great lunch dish on its own.
Sleepy sort of a Sunday today. A simple roast chicken stuffed with butter, basil, lemons and garlic on a bed of red onion slices accompanied by nothing more than a rainbow of roasted veg flavours. One aubergine, halved and sliced, one courgette sliced, 6 baby new potatoes thinly sliced, 6 cloves of garlic left whole – though I did split one or two to get the flavours going- 4 baby red chillies, 2 red onions quartered – all roasted for 45 minutes in olive oil, fresh thyme, rosemary, sea salt and black pepper. For the last 15 minutes, I added 4 gorgeously ripe tomatoes quartered and about 250 gm of haricot verts which I had pre steamed. Then a handful of fresh basil – just because I adore the aroma.
Everyone makes this dish and it probably needs more of a shout out. It makes me feel like I am sitting by the coast near Sorrento watching the sun dip lazily over the isle of Capri – instead of being rain bound in the dampness of a cabbage and cauliflower ridden England.
Food transports. This one certainly does for me. A simple flight of culinary fancy that makes a sodden southern Sunday seem sunnier. I am replete now and off to cuddle up by the fire with a good book and a glass of something frightfully fruity.
Have a good week.
Last night was a joyfully easy evening – good company, good wine plus tastes and flavours to salivate the soul. It began with a nice, crisp and fruity Sancerre whilst we waited for my good friend Annie’s starter to appear – gorgeous medjool dates stuffed with stilton and wrapped in parma ham, drizzled in olive oil and baked in an oven at 200c for 20 minutes til crisp and unctuous.
Main course was based on a recipe from Nigel Slater’s new book ‘Eat’ – highly recommended!
Chicken thighs marinated for an hour in olive oil, dried chilli flakes and crushed garlic, roasted in the oven at 200c for 30 minutes – I added more fresh red chilli to Nigel’s recipe and a little squeeze of fresh lemon. I baked potatoes, and when they were ready, split them, scooped out the flesh and mixed it with butter and grated parmesan – popped them back in the oven for 5 minutes once the chicken was ready. Best part was the silky cannellini bean dish.
2 x 400 gm of cannellini beans in a pan with 200 ml of crème fraîche – warm it through then add a little salt and a couple of grinds of black pepper. Mash with a potato masher and serve with the chicken and spuds. Dreamy…really dreamy!
The gorgeous juices left over from the chicken I put to one side and used as the base for a New Year’s day vegetable soup.
I kept to white last night – prosecco, champagne and Sancerre. I enjoyed every minute of the evening – and the simple supper sumptuously eased in the new year.
Have a great year everyone! So many recipes to look forward to – so much to share! Cheers!
Saturday evening saw just the two of us, so we indulged in one of our favourite supper dishes…prawns with chilli, parsley, garlic and ginger on lightly toasted ciabatta. I am sure you have all done this before but I make no excuse for recording it here – this is, after all, as much a record of what I eat, as it is to inspire others…though hopefully I do do that from time to time as well!
The succulent nature of this dish, the fizz of the chilli, the dripping ooziness of the oil as it dribbles down your chin, the tenderness of the lemony gingery prawns as they gently massage your tastebuds make this a very sensual supper – I love it!
Ingredients for 2
2 small ciabatta loaves cut in half lengthways and lightly toasted.
Good olive oil
Thumb size piece of ginger peeled and chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic chopped
2 red chillis deseeded and chopped roughly
200 gm of raw tiger prawns – about 8 each
Juice of 1 lemon
Chopped flat leaf parsley
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Into a large hot frying pan add a glug of olive oil – add the ginger, garlic, chilli and the lovely prawns. Fry over medium heat for about 3 minutes until prawns colour up. Turn heat down and add the lemon juice, parsley and another little smidgen of olive oil. Toss together for a minute or so. It should be a nice juicy sauce now – season a little – just a little salt and a tad more pepper. Serve over the warm ciabatta slices – and, being an olive oil freak, I added even more of the golden glory!
All I could do afterwards was simply sit in silence and stare at my plate as the tastes continued to roll around my mouth.
Then I poured another glass of chilled white wine and turned the music up…….
Yesterday when I got back from work, well, umpiring a cricket match…not really work…..I was delighted to find a basket of assorted veg waiting for me….after a long slow glass of cold white wine had revitalised my inner regions..I set to some chopping. A half a savoy cabbage shredded, a carrot slithered into slithers with a potato peeler, and a red chilli deseeded and chopped. A clove of garlic, skinned and crushed ‘neath a knife blade. A couple of spring onions slit into strips. 100 gm of edamame beans set to one side, a bag of fresh bean shoots at the ready. Two organic chicken breasts cut into small bite sized pieces and a handful or two of king prawns. The wok got hot with a spoon or two of sesame oil to keep it company. In went the chilli, garlic and spring onion. Then the chicken with a splash of light and a splash of dark soy sauce…a teaspoon of fish sauce too. A little black pepper. Then after a minute or two the chicken was looking fine..so in went the other veg…now it was looking seriously spring like….finally, the prawns made their entrance into the wok…..moments later the dish hit the table and went down well with all present……I have to confess, being a chilli fan, I added a swirl or two of my favourite hot chilli sauce……….all in all – a fresh dish, with a little crunch and a lot of Spring!
Tonight’s supper…a spicy pinto bean fuelled arrabiata gnocchi dish. Fizz bang wallop! For the sauce….pan fry a sliced deseeded red chilli with some mean smokey bacon cut into strips – you could use lardon or pancetta – a tablespoon of oregano in garlic oil. Added 300gm of a good quality tomato passata, a little ground black pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn down to a simmer for about twenty minutes or so. If it tastes a little bitter, add a pinch of sugar. Add a small tin of pinto beans and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Cook the fresh gnocchi for a minute or so until it rises to the top of a pan of lightly salted boiling water. Drain and add to the sauce. I then added a small handful of torn basil leaves at the last minute before I served it. On the side I served two courgettes, sliced, pan fried in olive oil and butter with some garlic and dried chiili & a little rock salt. It was a spot hitting dish for a Friday evening. Bullseye!
Supper last night was a ‘what’s in the fridge ‘supper. And what was lurking in the fridge was one of my favourite veg – asparagus. So, into the pan went two slices of smoked bacon, chopped, then after a minute I added one clove of garlic finely chopped, one red chilli chopped. I steamed the asparagus then cut it into 5 cm pieces and added it to the other ingredients. A little drizzle of olive oil before serving on a bowl of pasta with lots of good parmesan grated over. I was stuck for a name for this dish – asparagus looks like a spear – I remembered the Latin for spear was hasta..so Hasta Pasta it is!!
Posted the recipe for this stunner on April 2nd…ate it today for lunch with my wife and son (grey day outside – this made us all feel more warm and mellow)….he adores it…I used 2 red chillies today for an even more vibrantly tasty, mouth tingling sandwich – also used some gorgeous lightly lightly toasted and olive oiled ciabatta. An irrepressible snack at any time – a great quick lunch. Don’t ask – just make it for folk – a sort of feta accompli…….