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Showing posts from October, 2009

Tagliatelle with Chicken and Plums

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This dish might sound as if it just wouldn’t work, but oddly it does – as long as you like plums. I came across a French recipe using chicken and plums and since there were plenty of cheap plums around, I thought I’d try something along the same lines. It might sound a little complicated, but it’s not really and can be prepared largely in advance. This recipe serves two hungry people, but the size of plums and chicken thighs will vary a lot so you might want to vary the amount of pasta or other ingredients to suit your appetite. 3-4 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in 3-4 plums, ripe but preferably still on the firm side 2 medium courgettes, topped and tailed Zest and juice of 1 small lime 150 g (or thereabouts) tagliatelle – or use whatever pasta you have Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dried chilli flakes, salt and pepper and maybe a little sugar Cut the courgettes into thin slices lengthways. Dry these slices out by placing them on silicone sheets on baking trays in an ove

Rosemary & Olive Oil Soda Bread

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Soda bread is quick and easy to make and, of course, is good to eat. But classic soda bread doesn't really work when served alongside the kinds of dishes I often cook, such as pasta. This recipe doesn’t stick to the classic soda bread ingredients in that it adds both baking powder and olive oil. Flavoured with rosemary, or with other herbs if you wish, this is a light and tasty bread that will accompany a whole range of dishes. 350 g white bread flour 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt The leaves from 2 or 3 large sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped Black pepper 3 tbsp olive oil 1 egg, lightly beaten 250 ml buttermilk Preheat the oven to 200°C for a fan oven (a little hotter for a non-fan). Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Add the rosemary and a few twists of black pepper. Make sure that they are well mixed together. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the oil, egg and buttermilk. Quickly mix in

Collioure and the Parmesan Sablé

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Sometimes I do actually get out of the kitchen and I've just come back from the South of France, so let's start there. I’m all for trying and using local ingredients but sometimes this can be pushed a little far. For instance, I once had a salad in Normandy that combined all the local ingredients that the chef thought were significant, namely fish, apples and mustard (there was a mustard producer nearby). It was truly horrible But you can’t go to Collioure without trying the anchovies. The prospect of small, salty fish wasn’t filling me with excitement but having tried the anchovies of Maison Roque with the traditional red pepper, I have been persuaded that they can be a serious delicacy with a lot of possibilities.   I particularly enjoyed the anchovy salad in the restaurant “Ma Maison” in Sorède which was served with a parmesan sablé. A little difficult to eat elegantly but it worked. The following is my way of creating a savoury sablé, albeit not really a professional loo