Broad beans with bacon

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. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

METHOD:

  • 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 

Maccheroni alla carbonara

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. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

METHOD:

  • 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. 

Broad beans with chard

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.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

METHOD:

  • 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. 

 

Chicken curry baked in foil

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. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

METHOD:

  • 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. 

Hot Lightning with rabbit

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. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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
  • nutmeg

METHOD:

  • 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.