I reserve the right to edit this recipe from time to time. I have been testing out a few variations on this theme, and this one is the best so far. It has taken a bit of experimentation and quite a few rabbits. Thanks to those of you who have been supplying me and to those who have butchered them for me. I’ll need to learn how myself one day.
1 rabbit, jointed
15g plain flour
salt and pepper
100g smoked pancetta
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
200g mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
75ml red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
20 black olives, stoned
Preheat the oven to 180C
Season the rabbit meat and flour with salt and pepper. Dust the rabbit with the flour.
In a large oven-proof pan, heat the oil and fry the rabbit in stages, browning on all sides, and setting this aside when done.
In the same pan, add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, peppers and pancetta and cook slowly until soft.
Add the rosemary, wine and mushrooms and cook for a further five minutes, evaporating off any surplus moisture
Mix the stock and tomato paste.
Add the olives and rabbit to the pan, and pour over the stock. Put a lid on the pan and put it in the oven to cook for around an hour.
The idea from this recipe is Italian, but there is the small issue about local ingredients. We haven’t got porcini, or even woodlands that they could grow in. I have got a lot of potatoes though, so I substituted quite a bit. The soup is delicious.
1 small sweet red onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 sticks of celery, finely chopped
2 medium potatoes, a variety good for mashing (I used Arran Victory)
1.5 litres of boiling water or light stock
1 punnet of chestnut mushrooms, 200g to 300g, sliced
1 40g jar of dried porcini mushrooms
salt and pepper
250ml single cream
a large bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped.
Pour boiling water onto the porcini mushrooms in a small jug, and let this sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and gently fry the onion and celery together until they are soft, around ten minutes
Peel and grate the potatoes and add to the pan, stir to mix in the butter, and then add the stock or water, and bring to a simmer, and cook for ten minutes
Add the finely sliced mushrooms. Strain the porcini mushrooms and add the liquor to the pot. Chop the soaked mushrooms, and add them to the pot as well. Bring to a simmer and cook for twenty minutes.
Taste the soup and add salt and pepper to taste, then blend with a soup blender. Add the cream and bring it all back to a gentle simmer.
Chop the parsley very finely and stir it through the soup.
We had this with home-made crusty bread. The soup is deliciously buttery and smooth.
The pea season is coming. The mange tout are already ready, and some of the peas are podding up nicely. I did a massive pick-through of the peas at Tagsa Horticulture, and made this curry based on one in ‘Curry Easy’ by Madhur Jaffrey.
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1/2 small onion, chopped finely
half a can of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp salt
2 punnets of chestnut mushrooms, around 400 to 500g, chopped into chunks.
300g peas, could be frozen, or mange tout, freshly picked and halved
Combine the dry spices in a bowl and add around 1 1/2 tbsp water to make a paste
Pour the oil into a medium pan, and heat to medium hot. Add the onion and start to stir and fry, until the onion is becoming a little browned at the edges.
Add the spice paste, cook for a minute and then add the tomato, mixing and stirring.
After about five minutes, when the tomato is hot and beginning to cook down, add 450ml boiling water and the salt. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes
Add the chunks of mushroom, bring back to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.
Add the peas, bring back to a simmer and cook for a further 5 minutes.
This was best served warm, rather than hot, with a flat bread such as a nan.
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
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.
From SIMPLE. The book says it serves 2, but it fed two of us for two nights.
150g bulgar wheat
250ml boiling water or light stock
1 large onion, sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 punnets of mushrooms, preferably mixed, around 500g – sliced to about 5mm thick.
2 tsp dried thyme, or 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dill seeds
around 100g feta (half a block)
1 tsp mild chilli flakes
salt and pepper
Rinse the bulgar wheat, add a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and add the boiling water or stock. Cover the bowl and set aside while everything else is sorted out.
Put 2 tbsp oil in a large frying or saute pan, heat to medium, and add the onion. Cook for 7 minutes, until the onion is soft and beginning to brown. Add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and 1/2 tsp dill seeds, and continue to fry for another couple of minutes. Keep stirring to ensure that nothing sticks or burns. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.
Add another 2 tbsp of oil to the pan. raise the heat, and then add the mushrooms, 1/2 tsp salt, and fry for 7 minutes, stirring until the mushrooms are browned and soft.
Add the rest of the cumin seeds, and the thyme and continue to cook for another minute
Add the balsamic vinegar, and cook until the liquid has almost disappeared.
Mix in the bulgar wheat, onions, feta cheese and chilli flakes and heat through.
Serve garnished with fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
This is based on a recipe using tonnarelle, which is similar to spaghetti. I am trying to get the fridge a bit emptier, and we had some streaky bacon and some fonteluna sausage from Valvona and Crolla, as well as some pecorino cheese. This is so simple, and very filling.
200g spaghetti, or tagliolini or tonnarelle, if available
300g mushrooms, sliced thickly
75g streaky bacon, cut in thin strips (should be pancetta, but I didn’t have any)
75g fonteluna sausage cut into small pieces (if you have no sausage, use 150g bacon or pancetta)
freshly ground black pepper
60g Pecorino cheese
Melt the butter in a pan, and fry the bacon and sausage very slowly, and when it is starting to cook, add the mushrooms, and continue to simmer together
Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. When it comes to the boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes or so.
When the mushrooms are cooked, season with salt and add the grated pecorino cheese.
When the pasta is done, drain it, and return it to the plan. Pour the sauce over the top and serve. You can stir extra butter in, and add extra cheese as well.
I had a side salad with it, it is a bit rich without.
Start by cooking the polenta. Set the water to boil, and when it starts to bubble, swirl it and pour in the polenta flour in a thin stream, stirring the mixture as you pour to mix it well with the water. As it becomes like the caldera in a volcano, season with salt and pepper, and cook for around 8 minutes.
Pour the polenta into a large dish and let it cool. If you are adding Talegio or Fontina cheese, melt this into the polenta before pouring it out.
Make a white cheese sauce. Melt 50g butter in a pan, and then add the flour.
When the flour is beginning to brown, and the butter is foaming, add the milk, pouring in steadily and mixing to make a smooth white sauce. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and add the bayleaf, and simmer for 15 minutes, before adding the grated cheese.
Next, slice the mushrooms and fry in butter for 5 minutes. Elizabeth David suggests using white truffles, which are in short supply in South Uist.
Slice the polenta. In the bottom of a buttered lasagne dish or similar, layer 1/3 of the polenta, then 1/3 of the bechamel and 1/2 of the mushrooms. Then 1/3 polenta, 1/3 sauce, 1/2 mushrooms, then 1/3 polenta, 1/3 bechamel, topped with parmesan.
Bake in a hot oven, 180C, for 30 minutes.
This is delicious, and very filling. We had 2 servings each and there is loads left. We had a side dish of steamed kale with pepper.
We were given a marrow, a vegetable that I am not that confident with. We made stuffed marrow rings, and I didn’t get it right, so you’ll need to wait for a more successful version. Just to say that the marrow was not well-cooked. The redeeming feature was this stew, which I made to be the stuffing. We ended up eating it with couscous.
1 green pepper
1 can chopped tomatos
2 tsp cornflour (I mixed marigold stock powder with the cornflour before adding water)
salt and pepper
a good pinch of paprika
a good handful of chopped mint and dill (or 1 tsp each of dried mint and dill)
Prepare all the ingredients. Chop the chicken into small pieces. Chop the onion finely. Core the pepper, remove the seeds and slice. Prepare the mushrooms and slice coarsely.
Heat the oil in a casserole dish, and when it is hot, gently fry the onion and peppers until soft.
Add the chicken and mushroom, and fry for a further 4 minutes or so until the chicken is sealed.
Meanwhile, mix a little stock with the cornflour to make a smooth paste, and then add the paste back to the stock and mix.
Add the tomatoes to the chicken in the pan, and bring to a simmer
Add the stock, paprika, salt and pepper and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the stew starts to thicken.
Cover the casserole and cook in a moderate oven for 20 minutes max.
Serve with couscous and garnished with chopped herbs, such as parsley and dill.
This is a good basic stir-fry recipe, and you can use just about any vegetables. Finely sliced courgette, mange-tout peas, slivers of red and green pepper, all work well. At the moment the co-op in Creagorry seems to have lots of fresh egg noodles in the reduced section for vegetables, so we used those.
450g egg noodles
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cornflour
200ml vegetable stock (I used marigold stock)
2 tbsp black bean sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic
2cm cube of fresh ginger (approx)
1 tbsp dry sherry such as Tio pepe, or Shaohsing wine.
Prepare the ingredients:
Cook the noodles in boiling water according to the instructions (some noodles are sold ready-cooked) – rinse in cold water.
Chop the carrots into thin slices, cut on a slant. Cut the broccoli into small florets, and the stems into strips 5cm long. Wipe the mushrooms clean, and slice with the stems still on.
Finely chop the ginger and garlic
In a small bowl, put in the cornflour, then slowly add the stock, and mix to a paste. Add the black bean sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. If it has gone lumpy, you can remedy this with a soup blender.
Start the cooking
Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok over a medium flame. When it is hot add the garlic and ginger, and stir a couple of times.
Add the mushrooms, broccoli and carrots, and 3/4 tsp salt, and stir and fry until the vegetables are all hot, it doesn’t take long.
Pour in the sherry, cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for a minute, so the vegetables are very lightly steamed in hot sherry.
Uncover, and add the cornflour/black bean mixture. Turn the heat up a little and add the noodles. Keep stirring and mixing so that the noodles are hot and the sauce is thickened.
An alternative is to fry the noodles separately, treating them like a large pancake in the bottom of a frying pan. Fry without stirring for 3-4 minutes, and then when the noodles are crispy on the bottom, flip over and fry the other side. When serving, put the noodle pancake on a plate and pour the vegetables and sauce over the top.