Food, glorious food... done my way. Pretence of perfection

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Happy Xmas all who read this... all 3 of you :-)

I roasted a nice free range organic duck this year. Salt and peppered the skin, with garlic, salt and a wedge of onion in the cavity. All nice and simple as always (I used as a guide Jamie Oliver's book from his Italy programme {I didn't see the programme] but the recipes rock).

I kept the fat from the duck to roast my potatoes in, they came out really crisp and gorgeous (after being par boiled) :-D

The brussel sprouts I par boiled, chilled in ice-water then fried in butter to warm them up.

I also made my own "stuffing", bread crumbs, onion and sage. Left to marinade in themselves for a while then panfried in butter (I could have put some garlic in, I can't remember!).

All in all a good feast... now for the leftover recipes!

Thursday, December 22, 2005


I've been quite lazy in blogging, haven't done much "new" stuff lately, just perfecting my classics :-) Good old steaks with cream sauces, bruschetta with different toppings (traditional and blasphemous I imagine) and .

Xmas is only a few days away, and it's the first time I get to go solo, just cooking for myself so I can cook it myself. I saw Rick Stein's (probably my fav chef) Food Heroes Christmas special the other day and now have an interest in duck or goose. I've had goose before at my Nans place in Ireland, but never cooked it before myself. Hopefully it will make my roast spuds just that little bit more scrumptious!

However, it's now Thursday and Xmas day is Saturday so I'm gonna have to gamble on what I can find in the shops and markets. I'll adapt, if it all goes wrong there's always the local pizza place!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bangers and mash

Can't beat the classics!

I used one venison and red wine sausage (farmers' market) and two Toulouse sausages from the supermarket. Fried them up nice and hot to begin with, then added onions to the frying pan and turned the heat down. Once the sausages had cooked I removed them from the pan, added chopped garlic and cooked the onions off until caramelised. Then in went some Wolf Blass red wine and a little beef stock. Onion gravy, that easy :-)

At the same time I boiled up some potatoes (removing half when par boiled for tomorrow's excursions), the rest I cooked until my fork would pierce them quite easily. I drained them, and into the same saucepan went butter and milk to warm up. Once they were warmed I put more garlic in and fresh parsley. Stirred it all up, let the garlic poach a little and then added the potatoes back into the pan for mashing.

Bit of seasoning and there you have it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Turkey pie (well it is Christmas)

Went a bit festive today, I decided to make a pie; and like all my recipes there was no real plan, it just came together. While wandering around my local supermarket I picked up smoked rindless bacon, chestnut mushrooms, double cream and pastry (shortcrust). I buy pastry, I can't be bothered making it just yet, I find the fillings more more interesting when making pies.

So, in butter and a little olive oil, fry, separately, the bacon, mushrooms, onions & garlic and turkey pieces (breast). Then once they'd all browned off, I added a little white wine vinegar to deglaze the pan, then added it all back into the pan pan and poured in the cream. Once I gave that a little stir, I added heaps of nice fresh flat-leaf parsley.

Blind back the pastry base leaving the excess overflowing the edge, this is so you can cut it off after it comes out of the oven (it'll shrink when cooking). Then in went the filling, more pastry on top (I'd filled in the cracks in the base with bits of uncooked pastry) and sealed it with a little beaten egg.

Once it had browned off (the leaves I cut out and placed on top were browning beautifully) it was ready to eat.

Another yummy weekend!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pizza + Calzone

Good old Giorgio Locatelli. I used his recipe to make the base, using type "OO" flour of course.
I made enough for 4 pizzas. I used sun dried tomato paste, garlic and ketchup for the sauce.

So I got a few mates round on the Saturday to watch the footy (come on you reds!), have a few beers and a few slices of pizza.

The first I split into two sides, in order to cater for the vegies (I asked if it was ok to put meat on my side, they said yes) I heaped on the shelled tiger prawns, anchovy stuffed green olives, shredded belly of pork, (and for the vegies) fresh pineapple, tomato, chestnut mushrooms, mozzarella and Gruyere. Once it came out of the oven I tore up some fresh basil and sprinkled it on top. Probably a bit too much topping really, pretty messy :-)

The second was all meat, same toppings.

On Sunday, with half the dough still left I thought about making a calzone. I used the same sauce for the base, but this time I fried off the mushrooms and a few sliced onions before it went into the calzone. When I'd added the rest of the filling, I folded the edges into the middle and turned it upside down. I sliced a few holes into the top then sprinkled a little Gruyere on top and slapped it the oven on full whack til it had crisped up. It was sweet :-)