Thursday, 13 September 2012

Pea Risotto with Baby Squid and Chorizo

This really is an 'eat with your eyes' kinda dish. Bright green risotto topped with ruby red risotto and pearly, sweet baby squid. And, if I don't say so myself, it was fricken tasty. Serves 3 giant portions

What you need

Roughly 350 g of risotto
1 onion
(I would have also added celery but I didn't have any!)
splash of white wine
2 litres of vegetable stock (you won't need it all)
4 decent sized handfuls of peas
a sprig of mint
a knob of butter
100 g chorizo, diced
2-3 baby squid

What you need to do

Heat up the stock and keep it on a low simmer. Soften the onions in a little oil then add the rice. Stir to make sure all the grains are coated in oil. Toast the rice for about 1 minute then add the wine. Turn the heat down to a low simmer. Keep adding the stock a ladleful at a time (allow the rice to absorb the stock before adding the next), stirring continuously until the rice is soft but still has a bit of a bite (will probably take around 15-20 minutes) .

When the rice is nearly done, heat the peas through (don't do it for long as they will loose their colour). Add a few peas to the risotto then blend the rest with the mint, a little stock, a knob of butter and salt and pepper. By this time your risotto should be done so add a knob of butter, season and leave to rest.

Whilst the risotto is resting heat up a pan and fry the chorizo till crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon onto kitchen roll then pour nearly all the oil out of the pan, save a litttle as this will make the squid taste blimmin amazing. Quickly flash fry the squid (I do mine for literally 30 seconds!).

Serve the risotto with the chorizo and squid nestled on top. You can add a bit of Parmesan if you want.

Pea risotto with squid and chorizo

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Ducks Love Hash

Anyone who has been hungover and lives in Brighton is probably familiar with the hash breakfasts at Billies. Stodgy, tasty, carby, greasy and HUGE; it really is great the morning after. However, on this particular morning I could not be bothered to walk, it is from Kemp Town to Hove (I just googled it, 1.4 miles, too far)!  So, after giving my best puppy dog eyes to The Boy, he headed off to get the ingredients for a homemade hash. I though it was pretty good, and it did the job! This serves 4 generous portions.

What you need

3 large potatoes, cubed
4 rashers of thick cut, smoked bacon
4 sausages cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion sliced
1 tin of beans
1 ball of mozzarella, grated
handful of grated cheddar
4 eggs

What you need to do

Put the potatoes on a baking tray with a bit of oil and cook on 200c for 30 minutes.

Chop the bacon into thin slices. Remove the fat and then render it down in a pan. Gentle fry then onions in the fat until soft. Add the sausages and once cooked add the bacon.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and mash slightly. Add them to the pan with the beans then transfer to a oven proof dish. Sprinkle over the cheese then crack the eggs on top. Bake until the cheese in gooey and the eggs are cooked.

N.B This time I cooked it the yolk was a bit hard. I think I had turned down the oven temperature the yolk and white would have cooked more evenly. Because I wanted a runny egg too I cooked one to go on top at the last minute.

Just out of oven, with my hard egg.

With a lovely fried egg

Chicken Broth with Tarragon Gnocci

When I'm feeling rubbish there is nothing better then a bowl of chicken soup, a cliché I know but true. However, being a bit of a fat cow I want some good old carbs with my soup and get tired of the generic bread or noodles. So when I was in the supermarket my eyes fell on  gnocchi and I though I'd give it a go. I did make then gnocchi though! I was pleased with the results; it was surprising light but filling.

What you need

Tarragon Gnocchi

900g floury potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
250g plain flour
1 tsp of dried tarragon

Chicken Broth 

1 whole chicken (preferable free range)
stock vegetables finely diced (I used carrot, leek, onions, celery and mushrooms)
a few pepper corns
whatever herbs you have (I used rosemary, thyme, bay and parsley)

What you need to do


To make the gnocchi, boil the potatoes in as little water as possible until tender. Put them in the oven on a low heat to dry them out. Mash the potatoes while they are still warm. Season and add the tarragon, then slowly add the flour, kneading gently by folding the edges of the dough into the centre and pressing down lightly before sprinkling in each further addition of flour, until it is soft. 

Take bits of the mixture and roll it into a sausage. Cut it into pieces about 2.5 cm long. Press down lightly using a fork so they are a bit curved. 

Add to salted boiling water. They are ready when they raise to the surface.

Chicken Broth

Soften the vegetables in a little oil then add the peppercorns, herbs and the chicken. Cover with water and simmer for roughly an hour and 20 minutes. By this time the chicken will be lovely and soft. Leave this to cool.

When cooled remove the chicken and shred. I then sautéed the gnocchi to served with the chicken, broth and some cabbage.

Hangover Pasta

There is nothing like a bowl of creamy pasta when your hungover. This is one of my favourites. You may not want to include quite as much garlic as I do; my love of the stuff looses me friends the morning after.

What you need

400g of Pasta (I like linguini)
250g of bacon       
4(!) cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 shallot finely sliced
handful of mushrooms (doesn't matter what you use, I like chestnut)
handful of peas
150 mls of cream
3 egg yolks
150g Parmesan

What you need to do

Put a pan of water on to boil. Add pasta with a bit of salt when the water has reached the boil

In a bit of oil (or even better, rendered down bacon fat!) gentle sweat the shallots until soft. Whilst they are happily sweating away crack on with the creamy sauce.

Grate the Parmesan and mix with the egg yolks, cream and plenty of black pepper.

By this time the onions should be nice and soft so time to crack up the heat and add the bacon (don't forget to keep an eye on your pasta!). Fry the bacon till your preferred 'doneness'. Throw in the mushrooms and when nearly done add the peas.

When the pasta is ready drain but save a little of the water. Add the pasta to the creamy sauce and then stir though the bacon mix. If it's not saucy enough for you, add a little of the pasta water.