Thursday, 10 September 2015

Roaming in Rome


Veally Good Baby 

Well been here four days now and woul like to stay.
The food is excellent. The weather is excellent. The wine is excellent. The buses are excellent. 

Wish I'd been to Italy before!

Had to go native and have pasta so jumped in with spaghetti carbonara......not a pea in sight and sloppy sauce no! The cream and egg liason clung to the al dente pasta yum.

Liason: check Escoffier or Pellaprat for definition. You might become a gourmet.

Flat Parsley..yuk, I like short'n'curlies.

No moaning minnies about eating veal here.

And a salad that looks like a salad ought to look and taste.

Had to mix my own dressing but hey!

That was just the first afternoon.

Little snack of my own for the evening

Washed down with a few beers. All you need is olio & balsamic not love. Salami and cheese and bread. 

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Sunday Soup Anyone?

We can't have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterwards we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves.              Thomas Aquinas 

Rant for the Day
Most people will believe any old rubbish these days. Well that's what I find. If it's given to them in a certain way. Except for anything to do with God. Maybe aliens or life on other planets or the latest conspiracy theories and these usually come from the most uninspiring naughty boy comedians!

                                    There must be a market for this!

Believe This Instead!

The recipe today is one you could easily do on the barbecue, it's very simple and you can use any good cut of lamb like cutlets or even a kebab if that's better for you. You will have to cook the salsa out though but you could that today for tomorrow.

Leg of Lamb Steak char-grilled with Tomato & Orange 

For 4 persons

4 Leg of Lamb Steaks
Garlic Salt
1Can of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Green Chilli
1 Shallot
1 Orange
Pch of Sugar
Olive Oil

Season the leg of lamb steak with garlic salt.
To make the salsa, finely chop the shallot and chilli.
Crush the garlic and chop very finely.
Peel the orange and segment removing all the pith. Cut into sections about a centimetre thick.
Fry the shallot and chilli in a little oil without colour.
Add the garlic and the tomato, mix well and allow to boil up. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Lastly add the orange with a pinch of sugar.
Allow the consistency of the salsa to boil down and become less liquid.
Grill the seasoned lamb steaks on a griddle or barbecue.
Serve with salad filled pitta breads accompanied by the salsa.
You can make the salsa the day before and serve chilled especially if barbecuing. 


Saturday, 30 May 2015

Villa.....finger Food!

Come On Villa!
Mistakes are made on two counts: an argument is either based on error or incorrectly developed.
                                                Thomas Aquinas

Many mistakes were made because Aston Villa were incorrectly developed this season. It's a miracle that Villa made it to the final but we're here. Can we win? Do you believe in miracles? I'm hopeful but then I have to be with the season we've had. 

The Villa have been in dire straits before as this cartoon points out It commemorates a day at the Hawthorns, on 29th April 1959, that West Bromwich Albion held Aston Villa to a 1-1 draw, and in doing so, condemned the Villa to relegation to the old 2nd division.
The Death Cartoon Of Aston Villa

Quick rub his 'ead it's like a magic lamp! We could wish for more goals.

Kick Off is 5.30 p.m. so if you are going to watch the match why not get some food ready. Like a mini barbecue style of a meal.

Skewer of Mixed Grill

for 4 persons
2 Sausages
300g Steak
2 Black Pudding slices
4 Lambs Kidney
300g Liver
4 Back Bacon rashers

Soak 4 bamboo skewers in cold water for an hour first and cut all the meat up.
Take the two sausages and roll them on a chopping board so they are perfectly cylindrical.
Next half way down each sausage start to pinch in the skin and twist it as you force the filling back to each end. Roll again and cut in half to for 4 pieces.
Cut the steak into 4 even sized pieces.
Black pudding slices need to be bought from the counter of a butchers but have them cut at least 1cm thick but a bit more won't hurt. Then take these slices and cut in half.
The lambs kidneys need to be cut through the side, but not al the way through. Cut out any bits of fat. They should look circular shapes.
Cut the liver into 4 pieces and roll the 4 bacon rashers into rolls.
Thread all these items onto the skewers alternating each skewer with sausage, steak,black pudding, kidney, liver, bacon.

Then you can light the barbecue if you have not already done so or whack under the grill or onto a grill pan.

Cook for about 10-15 minutes gently then serve with barbecue beans and wedges.

More finger food!


Friday, 29 May 2015

Feelgood Friday...Rain?

"Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, 
                                       a bath and a glass of wine"
      Thomas Aquinas

Had a stressful week? Got a stressful weekend coming? Whatever your situation make sure you make time for relaxing at some point and there is no better way than cooking a nice bit of fish. Don't forget the wine.

                 Probably been on Britain's Got Talent with that tune!

Here's the fish!

Haddock with Scallops on Provençal Sauce

 Haddock with Scallops on Provencale Sauce
Serves 4

4 Haddock portions
8 Scallops
1 Courgette
100g Kale
12 Potatoes, small
2 tbsp Oil
1 onion
pch Dill
pch Parsley
pch Tarragon
pch Basil
splash White Wine
1 Garlic clove
1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
1 tsp Vinegar
1 tsp Sugar

Finely chop the garlic and onions. Heat a saucepan with oil and add the onion and garlic and sweat.
Mix in the tomatoes, white wine and herbs and simmer for 15 minutes.
Taste season with salt and pepper and add a dash of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar.
Peel the potatoes and if you can shape them using a turning knife try to get them all the same size.
Cut the courgette into batons 5 cms long and the kale into bite-size pieces.
haddock from pan and
Cook the vegetables in boiling salted water.
Heat up a frying pan with oil and butter and cook the haddock 5 or 6 minutes per side. Remove haddock from pan and keep warm. Return the pan pouring off excess oil and heat up then quickly sear the scallops for a couple of minutes per side.
Plate up, spooning the sauce on first with the haddock in the centre of the plates top with scallops then
arrange the vegetables and potatoes around the fish.

Fancy a bit of fast food? A burger? There's no accounting for poor spelling. Or maybe that's what's in our burgers after all. Bummer eh?

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Because it's Breast...........

Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason.

                                                                                                                                    Thomas Aquinas

Everything is a bit crash bang wallop but that is the way of youth running into everything like a bull in a china shop. It was for me anyway. A few years on you start to see that perhaps time is required to stop and reflect a little before charging on. We still do it though brainwashed by the media, the new trend, the latest gizmo's. Perhaps it's time to stop and think.

After all you do still need to keep abreast of things............

I did say I'd give you something vegetarian to cook today so here it is. 
Light your joss sticks and get your bells out, you hippies.

Corn Pancake filled with Quinoa

For 2 persons
70g Fine Corn Meal
30g Flour
1 Egg
Milk, just a splash
100g Quinoa
Thyme, a sprig
1 tbsp Marmite
1 Red Pepper
300g Chopped Tomatoes
Kale, handful
2 Garlic, cloves
50g Mushrooms
150g Brown Rice

Mix the corn meal and flour together in a bowl, add a beaten egg and moisten with milk to form a pancake batter. Cook the pancakes in the usual way in a frying pan with a little oil.
Wash the quinoa in cold water through a sieve for 15 minutes then cook until soft about 20 minutes with a sprig of thyme. Drain when cooked remove the thyme sprig and mix in the Marmite.
Put the brown rice on to cook in boiling water. Cook for about 40 minutes but can need a bit longer sometimes. Keep a lid on it and simmer it.
Peel and slice the onion, the peppers, the mushrooms and pick out the hard stalks from the kale.
Fry a pinch of onion in oil until soft add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Process with a stick blender and season with salt and pepper. Add a splash of vinegar and sugar to taste.
Fry the rest of the onion, mushroom together till soft and then add the kale but only cook for a couple of minutes keeping it crisp and green.
Fry the pepper and add the quinoa then divide among the pancakes and roll them up.
Drain the rice and arrange the pancake on the plates with the rice then spoon on the kale. Finish with the tomato sauce.

My friend thinks he is smart. He told me an onion is the only food that makes you cry, 
                                                   so I threw a coconut at his face.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Port Anyone?

“If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, 
he would keep it in port forever”
                                            Thomas Aquinas

Clearly not in port unlike me!

Would like port in me mind.
Any suggestions?

I'm feeling a bit like the ship in the picture today. Listing in a storm! Must be the weather or a full moon. Watched John Torode in Argentina a real treat. Slight meat overload but I recommend it on the BBC i player if you missed it. Back to basic grilling and barbecuing but meat look great.

Might have to do a vegetarian dish tomorrow!

So just a simple snack for a mid-week meal in the recipe below. Calls for a big bowl of salad to accompany it. You can eat this a la Homer Simpson, shovelling it in as you watch BGT.

Chicken in a White Wine & Cream Sauce 

with Garlic Mushrooms

 Chicken in a White Wine & Cream Sauce with Garlic Mushrooms

For 2-3 persons

1 Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of Garlic
500g Chicken, cut into pieces
50g Plain Flour
300ml Double Cream
175ml White wine
1 Chicken stock-cube or 100ml chicken stock
300g Pasta
For the mushrooms:
200g Mushrooms
2 cloves of Garlic

Boil a pan of water, add the pasta I used penne and cook as per the packet's instructions usually 15 minutes.
Soften the garlic and onions in a small amount of oil and add the chicken pieces, cooking for 7-10 minutes.
Add the flour and mix in, then add the white wine and chicken stock then reduce to a ¼ of the amount of liquid.
Add the cream and season, simmer for 10 minutes.
Just before serving melt the butter in a frying pan, then add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes while draining the pasta.
Serve the chicken on top of the pasta and garnish with the drained mushrooms.

Missed Opportunity to add some protein to the pasta he should have turned up earlier.

 Looks' more like a cheeky little rabbit to me!

Proof that the meaning of words convey different things to different people.

                               You can get these in Tesco I think.  

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Loved Up Tuesday..........

"The things that we love tell us what we are."
                                      Thomas Aquinas       


Bit of a hippy tune to start you off on a Tuesday.

When NASA started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work at zero gravity.
To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that wrote at zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 C. The Russians used a pencil.

Knocked this up the other day. I'm partial to a bit of pork and it's in the style of Swiss-German cooking. If you're using pork fillet don't cook it so much. Just make the sauce without the meat first then seal the meat and add to the sauce. A nice dry white washes this down.

Strips of Pork in Mushroom Sauce with Berner Rösti

For 2 persons
3-4 Potatoes (medium sized)
1 Onion
2 Smoked Bacon rashers
150ml Oil
50g Butter
280g Pork, lean
200ml Double Cream
100ml Stock, pork or chicken
100g Mushrooms
1 Garlic clove

Par-boil the potatoes in their skins, test them after 10 minutes by inserting a cocktail stick. There should be quite a bit of resistance to the stick. Drain the potatoes and leave to cool.
Peel the onion, cut in half and slice. De-rind the bacon and cut the bacon into strips that are 75mm wide.
Peel and grate the potato with a course grater into a bowl.
Cut the pork into thin strips about 3-4 cm long and 1 cm thick. Remove any fat. I got away with using pork shoulder but best would be pork fillet (tenderloin). Cut the mushrooms into quarters.

Heat up the oil in a frying pan and add half the sliced onion and the bacon strips and cook until the bacon and onions start to colour. Remove the bacon and onions with a slotted spoon and mix into the grated potato, season with pepper.
Peel the garlic and finely chop to a paste.
Reheat the pan used to cook the bacon and onion and using the drained oil add the potato. Add it as a clump in the middle of the pan. Leave to cook for five or more minutes then using a palette knife press it down towards the edge of the pan but do not be too heavy handed. Leave a mound in the centre of the pan. Cook for a least, another 5-8 minutes. Flip the rösti over using a flick of the wrist or a spatula. Cook for another five minutes then cut in half and tip onto plates.

Flash fry the pork strips in hot oil, then add the rest of onions and mushrooms. Drain any excess oil add the stock and cook for 10 minutes. Allow to boil up and reduce by half. Mix in the cream and garlic.  Cook for a couple of minutes then taste and season if necessary.

Spoon onto the plates on the rösti and accompany with vegetables.

Always knew cola was no good for you, must be the uric acid.