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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Keep soup in the loop….Devilled Pepper, Courgette and Ham Soup to be specific…

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And everyone needs a bowl of this at this time of year!

From Alfredo's With Love

Keep soup in the loop....Devilled Pepper, Courgette and Ham Soup to be specific...

Midweek and with odd jobs of all sorts to do and to drive away the thought of the grim reaper weather lurking outside – mind he did have an anorak with him – I decided to go for a soup with a kick and a sense of heart too. Something to make you feel toasty inside.

So give this a go – especially if you ever have some ham left over from a joint.

For 4

1 courgette, sliced and diced
1 pepper – mine was yellow – but a red or orange one would be dandy
2 red onions finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
Some dried chill flakes to taste – or a chopped deseeded red chilli
Black pepper
1 litre of chicken stock
Whatever ham you can muster – I used three slices chopped.
Olive oil

In a deep pan, fry the onion, courgette, garlic and…

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Simple Salmon says…eat this….!

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Simple salmon supper!! Super!

From Alfredo's With Love

Simple Salmon says...eat this....!

Ok…a few quick fire posts…last night we had 4 gorgeous salmon fillets to deal with and my kids wanted pasta – so I did a version similar to another earlier dish on this blog but with a few differences. Firstly, it was fresh salmon which I wrapped in foil with a little unsalted butter and baked for 20 minutes at 160c. I then skinned it and flaked it. In a frying pan I popped a carton of crème fraîche and 50 gm of unsalted butter and stirred over a low heat until it melded together. I then added a teansy weansy dash of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper and about a teaspoon or so of dried tarragon-fresh would have been better but forgot! I then added the flaked salmon and stirred it gently once more.

I left this to one side whilst the pasta cooked al…

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Merguez with a 5 bean spicy sauce…

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If you cannot find Merguez – you could always use a good chorizo sausage!

From Alfredo's With Love

Merguez with a 5 bean spicy sauce...

Merguez is a vibrant, spiced lamb sausage of North African origin, adopted by the French who make so many wonderful variations of it. Ingredients, apart from the lamb ( it was originally mutton) are usually cumin, and either chilli pepper or harissa (which give the sausage its warm red colour) and garlic and sometimes fennel. Normally I have to wait to cross the channel to indulge my love of these beauties… but hey…those lovely folk at Parsonage Farm in Upton, Hampshire (see their website) now make their own! And they are really,  seriously good!

Last night I wanted something quick and tasty and the merguez were in my sights. They needed a
zingy back drop to allow their flavours to come through. I must have been in cowboy mode – I felt like creating a supper dish redolent of camp fires, coyotes howling, and gunslingers nestling down under a tree…

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Aubergine Caviar

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Perfect for summer evenings!

From Alfredo's With Love

Aubergine Caviar

I have revelled in the sun today and in between having a hack at various bushes I sat in the garden and looked for inspiration for some snacks and nibbles to make and squirrel away for the coming week. I came across this recipe in a marvellous French cook book and gave it a go. The result – I have nibbled already – is stunning. Simplicity itself and it will keep in the jar in the fridge for at least a week – I doubt it will survive so long.

As for the photography – well, the sun was pouring in through the blinds and I am not sure if it has added or detracted from the aubergines – but hey, I felt like I was in Le Midi so it is as it is!

You will need –

3 aubergines – halved lengthways
90 ml olive oil plus a…

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Monday magic… of the tomato variety…..

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A great favourite of mine – simplicity itself…..choose the best tomatoes you can afford..

From Alfredo's With Love

Monday magic... of the tomato variety.....

Tonight was one of those nights when an experiment worked, and worked so well, I wanted to freeze time. The flavours were simply exquisite. I used one of my favourite base dishes of pan fried plum toms with rosemary and cream…and added to it. You know by now, well I know that you know that I know, that I like to fiddle with recipes…so here we fiddly well go!

For 4 folk who may have been working in the garden all day…

Two decent punnets of baby plum tomatoes – mine were from Spain and as sweet as a smile from Marilyn Monroe.
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
250 ml of single cream
5 or 6 slices of serrano ham – or prosciutto would be fine
1 slice of smoked bacon
A good handful or more of baby spinach and rocket, chopped
Black pepper

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Salmon & Cod Fishcakes on a Salsa bed

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Busy in the office these past few weeks so no time to blog but thought you might like some of my favourites from last year around this time! Will be doing this one tomorrow night again!

From Alfredo's With Love

Salmon & Cod Fishcakes on a Salsa bed

This was last Friday night’s supper – apologies for the delay! I got this idea from a Jamie Oliver recipe some time ago and it is one of my favourite fish cake recipes – perfect for fiddling with – you can experiment with a mixture of all sorts of fish from River Cobbler to tuna to haddock to mackerel.
I went with simply salmon and cod.

The salsa gives the whole thing zing and the fish cakes are a real mouthful of pescatorian delight!

For the cakes:
300 grams of salmon fillets
300 grams of cod
2 chunks of crusty bread
1 lemon
Flat leaf parsley – good handful
1 garlic clove
Olive oil

For the salsa

1 green chill & 1 red chilli, deseeded
4 trimmed spring onions
6 good tomatoes – I used tomkins – wonderful flavour
Red wine vinegar
1/2 a cucumber
1 yellow pepper and 1…

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Sautéed mushrooms on garlic toast with a parmesan cream…

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A marvellous evening treat…

From Alfredo's With Love

Sautéed mushrooms on garlic toast with a parmesan cream...

Some things go just naturally together. You hear so often about colours that do or do not go together. Fashion revolves around colours and shapes, shades and cuts. Music is all about harmony and rhythm. So too with food. Food revolves around pairings and teamwork – flavour matchings, some forced, some natural, some accidental. Art is all about shades, textures, lines and colour matching. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and beauty is all around us. It is here in Bonnie Lalley’s painting, capturing the delicate association of three wonders of nature – highlighting the vibrancy of three ingredients that magically meld together on the plate. Pork, mushrooms, garlic. And for me, of all the great cuts that the fabulous creature that is the pig supplies to our world, bacon is undoubtedly one item I could not live without.

Bonnie’s painting reminded me of one of my favourite…

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Fabulous Courgette Pasta Recipe

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A great midweek supper dish….

From Alfredo's With Love

Courgette & chorizo pasta a la crema...

Courgette and Chorizo Pasta A La Crema…

This was a swift store cupboard special supper and one of the tastiest of the last week. I wanted to adapt my usual lardon and courgettepasta…and the simple answer was replace the lardons with cubed chorizo. The result was a sublime cocktail of flavours that slipped down and satisfied.

Do this. It is going to make your week.

100 gm of cubed chorizo
One courgette cubed
50ml single cream
Small bunch of coriander chopped
Pasta
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

In a splash of olive oil heated for a minute, add the courgette and pan fry until starting to just brown, then add the chorizo and continue frying gently whilst you cook the pasta.

Just before you drain the pasta, add the cream and a grind of sea salt and black pepper. Then add the chopped coriander.

Serve on the…

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Kiwi and lime tart

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Possibly one of my top three desserts of all time…..

From Alfredo's With Love

Kiwi and lime tart...wo!

This is a stunner…and made by my daughter yesterday – recipe from Mitts and Measures – check out Julie’s fab blog. Thank you!!

I cannot explain just how good this is – the lime and kiwi is just so very alluring and sexy and every taste bud in your mouth will just swoon when you taste it!

I think this could become one of my favourite desserts of all time! The pastry is just so crisp and light and packed with macademia nuts.

A marvellous recipe for a Sunday!

Kiwi-Lime Tart

(Adapted from Epicurious)

For crust: (Note – 1 cup = 8oz or half a pint)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Ice water

3/4 cup dry-roasted and lightly salted macadamia nuts, chopped

For filling:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup…

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