Pollo basilico….

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Pollo basiico....

Well it sounds good…and it tasted good too! I fancied making some pesto, so I popped a big bunch of basil into a food mixer with 25 gm of toasted pine nuts, a chopped clove of smoked garlic, olive oil and a pinch of rock salt. Whizzed it round, then decanted it into a bowl – added a good few gratings of parmesan and a little black pepper – then adjusted the mix with more olive oil until it was the consistency I like. Then I remembered I had chicken thighs to use! Oh well – bang went the spaghetti in pesto sauce. I popped on some Van Morrison and I deboned the thighs with sharp scissors, flattened them out and spooned on a helping of pesto onto each. I rolled them up – held them together with a cocktail stick each and popped them on an oiled baking tray. Oven preheated to 200c – they went in for 15 minutes – then I basted them – back in for 5 minutes. Out again and I wrapped some parma ham around each one. Back into the heat for a final 10 minutes and they were looking luscious and inviting. I lightly toasted slices of sourdough bread – spread them each with the remaining pesto. I carefully removed the cocktail sticks from the chicken and popped a thigh onto each piece. I served it with steamed asparagus in olive oil and a few shavings of parma ham.

This is a really easy and tasty light supper – or it could be a starter too. Chicken and pesto – made for each other. and the asparagus chips in nicely with a fragrant crunchiness on the side. The family loved it and the silence as they ate said it all!

Lazy Sunday afternoon, stuffed peppers, cats and salad

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Lazy Sunday afternoon, stuffed peppers, cats and salad

One of those very, very lazy days – gardening, playing with the cat (that’s our Pip above..as you can see being very helpful in the garden!), cooking, snoozing now and then, reading the papers and sipping rosé all day with Van Morrison mumbling love songs on the cd player…hmmm.. a wonderful mellow day to be alive. Lunch was stuffed peppers with a fabulously simple tomato and onion salad from the marvellous French Brasserie Cookbook by Daniel Galmiche. If you haven’t got it – buy it…superb – a big thank you to Johnny Parker for recommending it!

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I pan fried some spring onions, a tomato deseeded and chopped, a clove of garlic and a finely slivered red chilli. I cooked some basmati rice,let it cool a little then aded it to the pan, with a little salt and pepper and some chopped coriander.

I had deseeded and blanched the red peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes, then plunged them into a pan of cold water. I stuffed them with the rice mix, drizzled olive oil over them and whacked them in the oven 190c for 45 minutes – they could actually go in longer if you wish – pop some wetted grease proof paper over them if you cook them for longer.

For the salad de tomate aux onions …arrange 5 or 6 sliced vine toms or the best you can get on a plate, finely slice a white onion – I used three shallots – or you could use the white of a salad onion- and sprinkle over the toms. Season with s & p. Drizzle with 4 tablespoons of good olive oil over them, then 2 tbsps of red wine vinegar and then 2 tbsps of balsamic vinegar. Finally finely chop a clove of garlic – swizzle over the top and a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley. I ate this with a baguette – vital for mopping up the sensationally scintillating juices!

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