At first glance you might think we are back in winter with fried chicken and braised ox cheek BUT we all need a bit of comfort food whatever the weather, so I just went with my cravings this week! The ox cheek takes time, but it’s definitely worth the wait, meltingly delicious. Another one to highlight is the spaghetti carbonara, made the traditional way without cream. By far and the best recipe I have used for making this favorite dish.
If anyone out there has any recipe suggestions for me please send them to me to make and put on the blog! Would love to hear your favorite recipes even if there are just made up from opening the fridge and chucking it all in a pot (it happens pretty often in our house!).
Saturday: Southern fried chicken w/ lime and chilli corn on the cob
Sunday: Slow braised ox-cheek
Monday: Crispy pork w/ coriander rice
Tuesday: Spaghetti carbonara
Wednesday: Feta lamb burgers
Thursday: Raclette bake
Friday: Decadent hot lobster rolls
Southern fried chicken w/ lime and chilli corn on the cob
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp Tabasco sauce
8 chicken thighs or drumsticks, skin on
400g plain flour
2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp mustard powder
2 tbsp celery salt
4 large eggs, beaten
Abt 2 ltr sunflower oil for deep frying
FOR THE CORN
4 sweetcorn cobs, cut in half and blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes
Zest and juice of 1 lime, zest finely grated
1 red chilli, finely sliced or a pinch of red chilli flakes
Mix the buttermilk, salt and Tabasco in a large, non-metallic bowl. Add the chicken pieces and coat them well in the mixture. Then cover with cling film and set aside for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, mix the flour, cayenne pepper, mustard powder and celery salt in a large bowl and season well. Then take the marinated chicken out of the bowl and shake off any excess marinade and coat in the flour mixture. Half fill a deep pan with oil and heat until it gets to about 160C. Add the chicken in batches and fry for about 10 minutes. Take each piece out and drain on kitchen paper and then put onto a tray and in to a warm oven (about 170C/gas 3) while you do the rest of the chicken.
Put a griddle pan on a high heat and let it get really hot. Toss the cobs in some rapeseed oil so they are lightly coated and put into the hot pan. Cook for about 8 minutes until they are lightly charred. Dot with butter, sprinkle with the lime zest and juice, chilli and salt. Make sure they are well coated and serve along side your fried chicken.
Slow braised ox-cheek
3 ox cheeks, about 1.5kg in total
1 ltr Guinness or dark stout
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, crushed, peeled and diced
25 g flour
100 ml beef stock
1 red chilli, chopped
2 tsp tomato purée
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
400 g carrots
400 g potatoes
Trim the cheeks of any sinew or fat, then cut into quarters. Place in a glass bowl with the stout and marinade in the fridge for 24 hours or at least overnight.
Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Remove the cheeks from the marinade, reserving the beer, and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place in an ovenproof pan with the oil and fry until brown. Set the cheeks aside and fry the onions and garlic for 4 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour. Slowly pour in the marinade liquid and stock, return to the heat and bring to a simmer.
Add the chilli, tomato purée, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning and finally the cheeks. Depending on the size of your pan, you might need to add more liquid, as the beef and vegetables should be covered, so top up with water if necessary.
Cover the pan with a cartouche (circle of baking parchment or greaseproof paper), put a lid over it and gently cook in the oven for 4¼ hours. Check the pan from time to time, giving it a stir and adding more liquid if needed.
When the beef has cooked, peel and cut the carrots and potatoes into equal-sized pieces about 5cm (2 inch), unless you are using baby carrots as shown in the photograph. Stir them into the pan and cover again with a cartouche and the lid.
Return to the oven for a further 45 minutes. Serve in bowls with fresh minted peas on the side.
Crispy pork w/ coriander rice
250g rice, half basmati, half wild rice cooked until there is still a little bite left in the grain
5 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
1 heaped tsp Chinese five spice powder
2 medium eggs, beaten
Abt 100g panko breadcrumbs
500g pork shoulder or leg steaks cut into 1cm strips
100ml vegetable or groundnut oil
Large handful coriander
4 spring onions, sliced
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 red chilli, finely sliced
Method:Mix the flour with the five spice powder and season well in a shallow dish. Put the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl as well and the panko crumbs in another bowl. Toss the pork strips in the seasoned flour, then dip in the egg and then roll well in the breadcrumbs. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the coated pork strips and fry for 3-4 minutes until they are golden and crisp. I would do a test piece first to make sure you get the timing right so that the pork is cooked all the way through and not too dark on the inside and uncooked on the inside. Roughly chop the coriander and mix through the rice along with the spring onions. Mix the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and chilli in a small bowl and serve alongside bowls of the rice topped with the strips of pork.
400 g spaghetti
drizzle olive oil
1 banana shallot, chopped
100 g pancetta, diced
8 egg yolks
50 g parmesan, finely grated
generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp coarsely ground black peppercorns
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes until al dente – just tender.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan and cook the shallot and pancetta over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until golden.
Lightly whisk the egg yolks with the parmesan cheese, nutmeg, black pepper and chopped parsley. Drain the pasta, reserving a ladleful of the cooking water, and add to the pancetta in the frying pan with enough cooking water to moisten.
Tip the pasta mixture into the cheesy beaten eggs and toss everything together. The heat from the pasta will cook the egg mixture. Serve straight away with a sprinkling of black pepper and extra parmesan shavings.
Feta lamb burgers
500g lamb mince
60g feta cheese, crumbled
1 tsp Sumac
small handful of mint leaves, chopped
Burger buns and salad to serve
Season the mince well with salt, pepper and sumac, then after scrunching together with your hands to mix all the seasoning in divide into 8 portions and shape into round patties.
Place one patty in the palm of your hand and then put some of the crumbled feta and chopped mint leaves into the middle of the patty. Place another patty on top and press to seal it up well. Do this until with the rest of the patties, then cook either in a griddle pan sprayed with a little olive oil or under a medium hot grill until they look nicely done.
Serve in burger buns with salad and sliced red onions and alongside some nice home made chips.
1kg floury potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
Large knob of butter
1 onion, chopped
200g smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
125ml dry white wine
142ml pot double cream
350g raclette cheese, grated (can also use Gruyer, Reblochon, Gouda, Emmental, Monterey Jack)
1 tsp smoked paprika
Heat oven to 200C/gas 6. In a large pan, boil the potatoes for 5 mins, then drain and tip into a large mixing bowl.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the onion until soft. Add the bacon and cook for a further 5 mins. Mix the bacon and onion with the potatoes in the bowl. Stir in the wine, cream, most of the cheese and a little paprika. Season and mix together, then spread over a large (30cm long x 4cm deep) buttered baking dish.
Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, cover with foil and cook for 25 mins. Remove the foil, sprinkle a little more paprika over the top and cook for a further 20 mins until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling. Serve immediately with a salad accompaniment.
Decadent hot lobster rolls
Hot dog buns, halved lengthways
100g unsalted butter softened
2 medium sized cooked lobsters, meat removed and chopped into large ish bit. You can keep the claws intact and just crack them or take the meat out up to you
Small handful of chives, chopped
Lemon wedges to serve
Spread the cut side of the bins with a little of the butter and then toast, buttered side down in a large frying pan over a medium heat for about 5-6 minutes. Then do the same to the uncut side.
Melt the remaining butter (should be at least 80g) in a large sauce pan, then add the lobster and chives. Heat until the butter sizzles and the lobster is nice and hot. Season well then fill the toasted rolls and serve with a squeeze of lemon and a glass of something fizzy!
(Credits: Delicious magazine, The Ginger Pig, Aldo Zilli, JJMoola’s Kitchen)