Month: December 2008

things to do with cold goose

Not that there is much leftover goose in my experience – fifty five quid for the bird, which fed three hungry folk on Christmas Day.  We had the other breast for lunch on Friday, with the leftover red cabbage, and a baked spud, and very nice it was too.

Yesterday, Pete stripped off the remaining meat, and there was more than we had expected.  We ate half for lunch, stir fried with some spring onion, a green pepper, mushrooms and some tired coriander leaves, served with noodles.

The rest will go into a risotto.

Brunch today will be the remaining stuffing, fried up, with mushroom, fried potato and a fried egg.

festive fayre

My idea of a good Christmas, food wise, is to cook up a load of stuff before, cook a nice Christmas dinner, then do nothing much for a week 🙂  This year was no exception.

I did a gammon in ginger beer and christmas spices (star anise, cinnamon and cloves), glazed with orange juice and maple syrup.  I did a pork and spinach terrine, Nigel Slater’s christmas cake, I made cranberry and chilli chutney, I made sausage rolls for tea last night.

On The Day itself, we had roast goose, stuffed with sausagemeat, herbs from the garden, chopped shallot, nutmeg and breadcrumbs from the heel of the old loaf.  It was accompanied by red cabbage with apple, roast potatoes and parsnips, sprouts with pancetta and almonds, and glazed apples with Calvados.  Pudding followed, after a slight hiatus when I discovered that I had no brandy butter!  I’ve always bought this before, but forgot this year, and will never buy it again as it is an absolute doddle to make, even if I did use Armagnac rather than brandy!

cranberry, apple and chilli chutney

cranberries for chutneyA friend of mine blogged yesterday that she was making cranberry chutney. “That’s a nice idea”, I thought; I’ve actually never made chutney before, so I asked her for the recipe, and bought some cranberries today. And got Pete to fetch down my preserving pan from the top of the cupboard.

Of course, me being me, I decided to add three apples that were going soft. Here’s what I did.

Put two punnets of cranberries (which came to 14.25oz) and three dessert apples, peeled/cored/sliced (which came to 9.25oz) into the preserving pan. This neatly came to 23.5oz, which was as near as dammit 1.5 times the cranberries in Maureen’s recipe, so I had something to go by.

Added 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, juice and zest of 1.5 oranges (because I’d used half to glaze the gammon earlier), 21 fl oz of red wine, and 6oz castor sugar. And then I wondered whether a red chilli might jazz it up, so I cut one up very finely, and hurled it in.

Brought it to the boil, and then simmered it for about 1 hour 10 minutes, by which time it was going gloop in a satisfactory minute. I decanted it into a bowl to cool down, because I wanted to wash the pan and get it put away.

I sterlised four glass jars in the oven, and then transferred the chutney when it was cool enough. The chilli gives it a real kick, and it’s utterly gorgeous.

cabbage and pancetta risotto

As you may recall, we have a bit of a cabbage glut, so I’ve been desperately trying to use them up.  This is what I did on Friday night, and it worked rather well!

Sliced a red onion and sautéd it in some olive oil with a packet of pancetta cubes.  While that was cooking, I made up a pint of chicken stock (using a cube – but it was organic, at least).  Weighed out 5 oz of Arborio rice.  Thinly sliced about 1/3 of a green cabbage.

Added the rice to the onion mix and turned it around till it was coated.  Splashed in some stock, stirred until it was absorbed.  Carried on in this vein until half the stock was gone, then added the cabbage, and some seasoning.  Continued with stock adding and stirring.  Once all the liquor was absorbed, tested for crunchiness and seasoning.  Added some parmesan shavings.



We are huge fans of sossidge – we buy nice ones whenever we see them, and stash them in the freezer. They’re real comfort food for us, and when we don’t know what to have to supper, the cry of “sossidge” will be heard chez Jordan.

And sossidge it was last night – some Merguez beef ones which I got from lord knows where. I wish I did know, as they were lovely, as were the other ones which came from the same place. Ho hum.

I cooked them in the baby Remoska, just to see if it would work, and it did! I want a bigger one now, so I shall haunt eBay.

They were accompanied by fried potato – I took two largeish spuds, and quartered them lengthways to make big wedges. Boiled them for 12 minutes, then fried them in groundnut oil in the wok, which gave them a very slight Thai flavour after last night’s thai stir fry! (And we had baked beans too, and I don’t care.

thai pork stirfry

pork stirfry

using up: peppers, basil, mushrooms

I bought one of those pots of basil – you know, the ones that last two days then die.  This one is still going strong on the kitchen windowsill several weeks on, but it does look as though it might be starting to flag a bit now.  I love basil – so sweet and peppery at the same time.

I took half a pork fillet out of the freezer (a whole one is a bit much for two of us, so I tend to bifurcate them before freezing).

Slice it thinly across the diagonal.  Also thinly sliced one red pepper, some tired chestnut mushrooms, one shallot.  Put a lemongrass stick, four cloves of garlic and a knob of fresh ginger into the whizzer and whizzed.

Fried the pork in the wok in some groundnut oil, in batches,  and set aside.  Wiped out the wok, heated more oil, and added garlic/ginger/lemongrass, stirred around for a minute or so.  Added mushrooms/shallot/red pepper, stirred around until cooked.  Returned pork to wok, added a good splash of lime juice, ditto fish sauce, and some instant coconut milk (powdered, so you can mix up how much you need – excellent larder standby).  Cooked this through for a couple of minutes to deepen the flavours, then added cooked noodled and a handful of chopped basil.

Ate from bowls.  Followed with mince pies (well, it’s that time of year, isn’t it).

cabbage, bacon and mozzarella

We seem to have a cabbage glut – two of them in the fridge at the start of the week, which is bad planning. I mandolined half of one on Monday for this week’s soup, so only one and a half to go …

There were a few bits (I couldn’t call them rashers, really) of streaky smoked bacon in the fridge, so they were derinded and chopped up, and sautéd in olive oil with some onion.

Bunged some pasta on to boil, thinly sliced the half cabbage left from Monday, and added it to the onion/bacon mix. Stirred it around to coat in oil, added black pepper and about a tablespoon of water, and put a lid on it for about 10 minutes.

Drained the pasta, added it to the cabbage pan and dolloped in a chopped up mozzarella.

Served it in bowls – quick, easy, tasty.

corned beef hash

Which is not what we intended to eat, but upon opening the fridge I was confronted with a box of cooked brussels sprouts left from Friday. Bubble and squeak was the obvious answer, but it was far too late to defrost sossidge, so improvisation was needed.

I boiled up some potatoes, and while they were cooking, I sliced up some onions with my ferocious new mandoline (more on that story later).

Fried off the onion in beef dripping in a big cast iron frying pan, then added the cooked potatos and sliced sprouts, and a tin of corned beef (which I had to get Pete to open as my wrists are bad, and it had no key, for some reason). Then just mashed it all together in the pan as it cooked together, so it made a lovely mulch. Turned the heat up at the end to get a crisp on it.

Lovely winter comfort foot.

supper with friends

We’re frantically busy at the moment, what with house reorganisation, lots of work, and kittens to attend to. The latter had us inviting four friends round for supper and a KittinFest on Saturday.

I didn’t really have time for an elaborate meal, and I knew there was a stack of pork steaks in the freezer, and pears in the fruit bowl that needed eating up, so here’s what we had:

Pork and leeks in cider and cream

Chop up some pork steaks into bite sized pieces, and brown them in a large frying pan (one that has a lid is what you need),  some olive oil and butter.  Set aside, deglaze the pan with a bit of cider and pour that in with the pork.  Add more oil, and sauté as much leek as you like.  Put the pork back in, with more cider, add some chopped sage, and season.  Put a lid on, and cook over a low heat for about 1 hour.

Then fish out all the bits, and bubble the cider right down until there’s not much liquid left.  I actually added more cider, because it didn’t taste quite apple-y enough.  Then bung in a carton of double cream, and return the meat and leeks to the pan.  This can then be heated up when your guests arrive.  Served with sauté potatoes, and carrots, cauliflower and broccoli gently steamed.

Pear and chocolate crumble with  a hazelnut topping

Peel, core and slice up pears.  I added a couple of apples too, because I didn’t have quite enough pears (I found one later in the kittens’ toy basket, which was slightly surreal).  Add a little grated fresh ginger, a tablespoon of water, and a generous, but not ridiculous, scattering of good quality chocolate chips (I get mine from Costco).  Make a crumble topping of 7 oz flour + 1 oz hazelnuts, 4 oz marge or butter, and 4 oz of sugar (whatever you like – I did a mix of soft dark brown and caster, as that’s what came first to hand.

Put the fruit in an ovenproof dish, cover with the crumble topping, bake at gas 5 for about 45 minutes.  Serve with double cream.

Nice quick supper for friends – not showy, but they ate it all 🙂

weekly meals w/c 8 dec 08

It’s ridiculous – I can’t remember what we ate a week ago.  I’m going to have to write this up every day.  I blame old age.

Monday Indian cabbage with rice
Tuesday lentil lasagne with spinach (lentil mix taken from the freezer)
Wednesday [blank – can’t remember]
Thursday indian lentils with mushroom rice
Friday chicken pie with mash and sprouts (chicken pie filling from the freezer)
Saturday cooked supper for selves and four friends – pork and leeks in cream and cider, followed by pear, chocolate and hazelnut crumble
Sunday from the freezer, after a long day – coriander chicken, the rest of Thursday’s lentils, rice