Archive | September, 2010

Figgy Supper

25 Sep

At the end of the week we’re tired and desperate for food therapy, so on these occasions we often go for Picky Supper. Picky supper basically consists of cheeses, cold meats and some bread revived in a hot oven, with perhaps a small salad, olives, pickles and any leftover homemade houmous.

The centrepiece of our feast last night was the fabulous bread I picked up at the Abergavenny Food Festival. Hobbs House Bakery create excellent fresh bread which can be delivered straight to your door. Our Fig and Walnut loaf came courtesy of my freezer, but after some oven rejuvenation it was delicious. Large pieces of fig and chunks of walnut studded the light wholemeal loaf . It worked brilliantly with a soft goat’s cheese and some sliced air-dried ham from another AFF exhibitor, Trealy Farm. With a large glass of red this was a total treat.

Put together a few select ingredients and you can quickly create a delicious dinner. I am a huge fan of assembly style meals where you simply arrange some ingredients that work well together introduce some flavours in the form of herbs, spices or oils and food heaven is all yours in a flash.

  • Arrange a plate of fresh salad leaves, some sliced tomatoes, a few basil leaves torn on top, a round of goat’s cheese crumbled over and some great rustic bread roughly torn into chunks, then drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon, season and serve.
  • Layer sliced cooked beetroot, pecorino shavings, basil leaves, fresh chopped chilli, a squeeze of lemon and olive oil. Serve solo or on top of cous cous soaked in stock, chicken or veggie both work well to invigorate the couscous with much needed flavour.
  • Marinade some chunky lamb chops with garlic, rosemary and olive oil. Season and cook quickly either on a griddle or under a hot grill. Serve with steamed purple sprouting broccoli great this time of year with some anchovy blended butter.I try to keep my food simple using quality ingredients from butchers, grocers and deli’s combined with some supermarket store-cupboard essentials.

Spiced Apple Chutney

25 Sep

In a bid to chase the last bit of sunshine I went out into the garden today to collect windfalls from our ancient but fruitful apple tree. Each year it yields giant cooking apples, normally too high up to pick, but frequently blown down in the autumn winds. My favourite chutney recipe from Nigella Lawson uses these up. Taken from How to be a Domestic Goddess it is simplicity itself. The resulting chutney is excellent with cold pork, sausages and stirred through soups and curries to give them a sweet and spicy kick. I normally double the recipe quantities to make about two litres of chutney, spooned into assorted jam and kilner jars this is enough to see us through until the next year.

500g cooking apples, peeled and roughly chopped
1 med onion, finely chopped
2 bird’s-eye red chillies, seeded and chopped
250g demerara sugar
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper
1 heaped tbsp chopped ginger
1 tsp turmeric
350ml cider vinegar

Makes 1 litre

Approx. 4 x 250l jars or equivalent

Place all the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. Cook over a medium heat for about 40 mins, until the mixture thickens. Ladle into the jars and leave to cool.

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