Hello all, and thank you to the person who gave us delicious fresh duck eggs. They are lovely fried in olive oil. I made this with courgettes from the Tagsa Horticulture Project. I made it without aubergines on this occasion, as there were none in the shops. It should serve around six people.
- Olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped (mix of red/white is good)
- 2 aubergines, diced (optional)
- 4 sweet peppers, chopped (mix of green and red)
- 2 large courgettes, chopped
- 4 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- duck eggs, one per serving
It is useful to remember that you are aiming to caramelise and brown the vegetables, so the cooking is done over a medium heat, and keep a close eye, stirring to prevent things from catching, and adding around 50ml olive oil from time to time to keep things cooking well.
- Heat around 100ml olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add the chopped garlic, cook for around a minute and then add the onions, cooking and stirring for around ten minutes. The onions should be soft.
- Add the aubergines and peppers, cook for two minutes and then add the courgettes and keep cooking for another two to three minutes. Add a little more oil if necessary.
- Add the bay leaves, paprika and cook for another ten to fifteen minutes, stirring from time to time. Then add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook for another ten minutes, topping up the olive oil if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- When the dish is cooked, turn the heat off. Fry the duck eggs in hot olive oil, one by one in a small frying pan.
Serve the vegetables on a plate with a fried egg on each portion, and with crusty bread. We had some home-made white bread, toasted.
This is a recipe from Elizabeth David, making the perfect quick meal this evening. I had a lot of eggs to start with. I bought some from a neighbour, and then my daughter called in with more. Then there were the reduced mushrooms in the co-op. I have quite a few recipes for eggs and mushrooms, and normally I would go and cook an omelette without a recipe. Anyway, Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking was out on the table, and this is how I interpreted her instructions to make one omelette.
- Approx 60g mushrooms finely sliced
- approx 30g butter
- A grate of salt, black pepper and nutmeg
- half a teaspoon of flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbs cream
- In a small pan, fry the mushrooms very gently in the butter and season with salt, black pepper and nutmeg. As the mushrooms cook down, add the flour and cream and stir together.
- In a small bowl, beat together the three eggs. You really just need to mix the eggs, the mixture doesn’t need to be too homogenous.
- In a small frying pan, melt around 10g of butter. Turn the heat up high and before the butter really begins to brown, pour in the eggs.
- Add the mushroom mixture dotted around in the cooking eggs. Tip the pan and lift the edge of the omelette, so raw egg reaches the underneath. Keep repeating this move until the top of the omelette is about to set. Fold it in three and serve on a warm plate.
It’s courgette season. I love raw courgette, so crunchy. I love it sliced into long strips and grilled, with lemon dressing. I love this salad, from Madhur Jaffrey. It is really easy and quick.
- 2 courgettes, around 350 to 400g
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 red onion
- 350ml plain yoghurt
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- black pepper to taste
- Cayenne pepper to taste and garnish.
- Use a food processor to grate the courgette coarsely. Put the grated courgette onto a tea towel in a heap and sprinkle with half a teaspoon of salt.
- Peel the onion, halve it and then slice thinly across the way.
- Beat the yoghurt in a bowl and add 1/4 tsp salt, a pinch of cayenne and a grate of black pepper
- Wrap the tea towel around the grated courgette and wring out any excess water. Use your fingers to separate any clumps.
- Heat the oil in a pan, and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds. As soon as the seeds start to pop, add the onion, and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the dried courgette, and fry for another three minutes or so. When it is done, turn the heat off and let it cool a bit, before stirring it into the yoghurt. Decant to a serving bowl and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.
This can be served as a side dish with just about anything. It is as good cold from the fridge as it is warm.
I borrowed this recipe book from my neighbour Angela and ended up buying another copy. The book recounts how Nigel has cooked through the year, talking us through his menu choices, the celebration of seasonal foods, and the way he adjusts recipes and ideas to suit. It makes great cooking easy. He suggests taste combinations, and he brings to life the joy of eating.
The Kitchen diaries. There are several, I only have the first.
This is a good dish to serve at room temperature along with a selection of salads, and other delicious things from the fridge. Fresh home-made bread is a good accompaniment.
- 500g podded broad beans – Neillie’s has frozen broad beans that work well for this recipe
- 150g rindless, smoked, dry cured streaky bacon
- 50g butter
- 1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- a handful of chopped fresh herbs – try dill, mint, or parsley
- Freshly grated black pepper and salt
- Cut the bacon across the way into strips around 1cm wide.
- Heat the butter in a large frying pan and fry the onion over a low heat until softening, then add the finely chopped garlic
- As the garlic begins to cook, add the bacon and turn up the heat a little, stirring until the bacon is cooked.
- Stir in the beans, heat and stir until warmed through.
- Cover the pan and simmer for around 7 minutes until the beans are cooked.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the salt, pepper and herbs, and cover again to allow the flavours to infuse as the dish cools down to room temperature
This is one of the classic Italian sauces. I like to add tarragon but it is not essential. Here is a recipe to serve two, based on ingredients available locally.
- 1 egg
- Approx. 60g streaky bacon, not smoked
- Approx. 120g pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, rigatoni)
- 30g butter
- 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
- salt and pepper
- 30g grated parmesan or pecorino
- Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. When it boils, add the pasta and set the timer for 8 minutes (or cooking time on the manufacturer’s packaging), and set the dishes to warm.
- Melt the butter in a small pan. Cut the bacon into small match-stick strips and fry on a low heat in the butter.
- Beat the egg with the tarragon, pepper and salt.
- When the timer goes, drain the pasta and return to the pan. Add the egg to the bacon pan and stir until they begin to thicken.
- While the eggs and bacon are still semi-solid, add to the pasta and stir to mix, along with half the cheese
- Serve in warmed dishes with the rest of the cheese.
This is one of my favourite dishes, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t already shared it. It is very simple to make, and delicious. Clair, this is for you.
- 300g broad beans, podded (you can use frozen beans)
- 300g chard, rinsed and sliced
- 100g butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 8 tbsp chopped dill leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Separate and wash the chard leaves and stems, and slice them crosswise at 2cm intervals.
- Heat the butter in a large pan, medium heat, and melt the butter. As it begins to froth, add the onion, sauté for a minute and then add the beans. After another minute, add the chard and dill. Stir and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Add the salt and around 50ml water, bring to a simmer, and then cover and cook over a low heat for around 15 minutes.
This is a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey that works well with a busy schedule. The meal can be prepared ahead of time, and just popped into the oven to cook it. It goes well with plain basmati rice and a salad.
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika (Hungarian, sweet)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 1/4 tsp grated ginger root
- 3 tbsp full fat plain yoghurt
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 level tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- approx 650g skinned chicken pieces. Ensure that there are some deep incisions in the flesh
- Mix all of the ingredients except the chicken in a bowl.
- Rub the marinade into the chicken, including into the incisions.
- Put the chicken pieces in a single layer on a bit of tin foil, and then fold the sides, top and bottom of the foil over the chicken to make a sealed packet. Leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Put the whole packet in the oven, and bake for 45 minutes. You can try opening the packet to turn the chicken half way through, but I find it makes little difference.
This is a recipe introduced to me by one of my daughters, thanks to one of her boyfriends. I believe it is Dutch in origin.
- 4 local wild rabbits, skinned and gutted
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 60g butter
- 60ml water
- salt and pepper
- 4 apples (Braeburn or similar)
- 8 potatoes (general cooking variety)
- more butter and/or cream
- 1 egg
- Set the oven to 160C
- Mix the rabbit with garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Put it in a roasting tray with butter and water and cover with tin foil. Bake in the oven until tender, about an hour. Take the tin foil off and bake for another ten minutes or so.
- When the rabbit is cool enough, strip off the meat, and put it into an oven-safe dish
- Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes and apples. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and just cover with water, and season with salt. Cover with a layer of apples, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Strain off most of the water, and roughly mash the apples and potatoes together, with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and an egg, butter and/or cream to taste.
- Put the mashed potatoes over the rabbit meat, heat through in the oven for around 10 minutes before serving.
I think adding bacon is allowed.