My goodness it’s been cold this week! And when it gets cold all I want to do is eat meat and lots of it so I have struggled to get veggie and fishy things on the menu this week. However, I think there is something that everyone will like on here somewhere so do give something a go and let me know how you get on!
Saturday: Chicken and wild mushroom pie w/ peas and carrots
Sunday: Beef rendang w/ steamed jasmine rice
Monday: Sole cooked en papillote in a rich satay sauce
Tuesday: Mushroom cobbler
Wednesday: Fragrant pork w/ aubergines
Thursday: Tomato mac n’ cheese
Friday: Wagu steak w/ bearnaise sauce and chips
Chicken and wild mushroom pie w/ peas and carrots
For the pie
Packet pre-made shortcrust pastry
1.5kg whole chicken
2 onions, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
75g unsalted butter
2 tbsp plain flour
350g wild mushrooms such as chanterelle, ceps, tompette, girolles
150ml white wine
150ml double cream
4 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves only
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
For the carrots and peas
1 tsp caster sugar
1 bunch baby carrots, washed and trimmed
200g frozen peas
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
Place the chicken in a large, deep pan with half of the onions and the bay leaf. Season with a little salt and pepper and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to cool. Return the pan to the hob and cook the liquid on a rapid boil for a further 30 minutes, or until it has reduced in volume by half. Meanwhile, remove the meat from the chicken legs, thighs and carcass, then place in a 20x30cm/8x12in pie dish.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan. Add the remaining onions and cook over a low-medium heat, without browning, for about five minutes, or until softened, then add the flour. Turn up the heat and then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
Strain the reduced stock, then add it to the mushrooms and cook for one minute. Pour in the wine and cream, then bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes, or until nicely thickened. Season, then pour it over the chicken and sprinkle tarragon leaves over the top.
Roll out a rectangle of pastry 2cm wider than the pie dish. Brush the edges of the dish with beaten egg and lay the pastry on top, crimping the edges with a fork or your fingertips. Trim away any excess pastry and brush the top of the pie with the remaining egg. Place on a baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden-brown.
For the carrots and peas, heat a frying pan until hot. Add the butter, sugar and five tablespoons of water and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced slightly. Add the carrots and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the peas and continue to cook until they are tender and the liquid has reduced to a glaze.
To serve, remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving with the carrots and peas.
Beef rending w/ steamed jasmine rice
100g finely grated fresh coconut
4 fat lemongrass stalks, bruised
50g piece tamarind pulp
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 x 5cm cinnamon stick pieces
3 star anise
12 green cardamom pods, lightly bruised
1.5kg blade or chuck steak, cut into 5cm chunks
800ml coconut milk
1 tbsp palm sugar
8 kaffir lime leaves
1.5 tsp salt
FOR THE SPICE PASTE
10 dried red chillies
225g onions or shallots, roughly chopped
8 fat garlic cloves, roughly chopped
6cm piece peeled fresh galangal, roughly chopped
6cm piece peeled fresh ginger, roughly chopped
4 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves discarded and core roughly chopped
For spice paste, put dried chillies in a bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain well, put into a food processor with remaining paste ingredients and process until smooth.
Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add grated coconut and stir for a few minutes until golden. Remove from pan and cool, then coarsely process in a food processor.
Cut off and discard the top half of each lemongrass stalk. Lightly bruise the remainder with a rolling pin.
Put tamarind pulp into a small bowl and add 125 millilitres of hot water. Work pulp with your fingers until it has broken down and the seeds have been released. Strain through a sieve into another bowl and set aside.
Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan or flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Add cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom and fry gently for two minutes. Add spice paste and fry for two to three minutes more until mixture smells fragrant.
Add beef, coconut milk, sugar, kaffir lime leaves, toasted coconut, bruised lemongrass stalks, tamarind water and salt. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and leave to simmer uncovered for 2½ to three hours, stirring occasionally, then stir more gently and frequently towards the end of cooking, to prevent it sticking on the base of the pan. Eventually, the sauce reduces so much it clings to the meat. Adjust sugar and salt to taste and serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Sole cooked en papillote in a rich satay sauce
1 shallot, roughly chopped
2½cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp dark soy sauce
Splash fish sauce
1 red chilli, seeds removed if desired
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp crunchy cashew nut butter (or peanut butter)
200ml coconut milk
1 lemon sole, dark skin removed, filleted
1 spring onion, chopped into fine batons
¼ red pepper, finely chopped
1 lime, juice only
1 tbsp shelled cashew nuts, lightly crushed
½ red chilli, seeds removed and chopped
Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 lime, juice only
1 cup basmati rice
1 iceberg lettuce, core removed, shredded
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 lemon, juice only
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Place the shallots, ginger, four garlic cloves, turmeric, soy sauce, fish sauce and chilli (if using) in a food processor and blend.
Heat a saucepan, and, once hot, add the oil and gently fry the blended mixture until the oil starts to come out. Remove from the heat and stir in the cashew butter and coconut milk. Leave to cool.
Cut out a 18in/46cm long rectangle of greaseproof paper and aluminium foil. Lay the greaseproof paper on top of the foil. Fold it in the middle lengthways and cut out a large heart shape on the fold. Smear some of the satay mixture on one side of heart and put the bottom two fillets of the sole on top (from the white-skinned side of the fish). Add more satay mix, place the remaining two fillets on top and then spoon over the remaining satay mix.
Top with the spring onions, red peppers and lime juice and fold the foil and greaseproof paper around the filling like a pasty, starting from the top of the heart and twisting all the way to the bottom (I go round twice for good measure). Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan and add the cashews. When the cashews are lightly toasted, add a tiny bit of oil and the remaining garlic clove, chopped, and the chopped chilli. Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool.
For the rice, add one and a half cups of water to a pan and add the rice. Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce the heat to very low. Cook until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed.
For the green salad, place the lettuce in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl mix the remaining ingredients to make a dressing. Dress the lettuce just before serving.
To serve, place the cooked rice on a large oval serving plate and bring the wrapped fish to the table. Pierce with a knife and place the fillets of fish on top of rice, spoon over any cooking juices and add a squeeze of lime juice. Top with the toasted cashews, garlic and chilli. Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and serve with the green salad.
500g of oyster mushrooms
500g of flat mushrooms
500g of chestnut mushrooms
50g of baby spinach
25g of garlic, crushed
Salt black pepper
175g of self-raising flour
1 tsp of baking powder
30g of cheddar, grated
100g of butter, cold and diced or grated
1 tbsp of fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tbsp of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
Ice cold water
500ml of milk
40g of butter
40g of flour
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh thyme
50g of mature cheddar, grated
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt black pepper
For the scone topping, mix the flour, baking powder, cheddar, herbs, salt and pepper together. Gently add the butter then bring the mix together with just enough cold water to form a dough.
Rest the scone mix in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Once chilled, roll out the dough to 1cm thickness and cut into disks using a 3cm pastry cutter, freeze until needed.
For the cheese sauce, add the milk, bay leaf, onion, cloves and thyme to a pan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place a pan over a low heat. Melt the butter in the pan and add the flour, cook for 5 minutes to form a roux. Strain the infused milk, then whisk into the roux, a ladle at a time, until all the milk is incorporated into the roux. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the flour has cooked out. Add the cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm.
For the mushroom filling, cut the flat mushrooms into chunky strips, tear the oyster mushrooms into the same size pieces and cut the chestnut mushrooms into quarters. Fry in batches in a hot pan with oil until the mushrooms are coloured. Season with salt and pepper as you cook.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Prepare an egg wash in a small bowl. Place the mushrooms in a large bowl and add the spinach and garlic. Add enough cheese sauce to coat the mushrooms, then place in a large pie dish and top with 4 or 5 scones.
Brush the scones with egg wash and bake the cobbler until bubbling and golden. Divide the cobbler between 4 and serve immediately.
Fragrant pork w/ aubergines
4 tbsp groundnut oil
1 aubergine, halved lengthways and cut into 1cm/½in slices
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
1 red chilli, finely chopped
200g pork mince
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp chilli bean sauce (available from Asian grocers)
200ml hot chicken stock
2 heads pak choi or ½ Chinese cabbage, halved and sliced lengthways
1 tbsp clear rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 spring onions, chopped
1 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
Heat a wok until smoking and add two tablespoons of the groundnut oil, then fry the aubergine slices with a splash of water for 3-4 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown all over. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Wipe away the excess oil from the wok, reheat and add the remaining groundnut oil. Heat until smoking. Stir fry the garlic, ginger and chilli for a few seconds, then add the minced pork. Stir fry for one minute, then add the rice wine or sherry. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until browned, then add the chilli bean sauce and hot chicken stock. Return the aubergines to the wok and add the pak choi.
Season, to taste, with the vinegar and sesame oil and bring to the boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through, then stir in the spring onions. Add the cornflour paste and stir until the liquid has thickened.
Spoon the fragrant pork and aubergines into a serving bowl and serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles.
Tomato mac n’ cheese
500g of macaroni pasta
1 pinch of salt
1 drop of vegetable oil
20ml of sunflower oil
15g of plain flour
5g of salt
1 pinch of black pepper
1/2 tsp of mustard powder
730ml of milk
65ml of single cream
150g of mature cheddar, grated
65g of Parmesan, grated
Topping 4 tomatoes, sliced
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes. Drain the pasta and run under cold water for 30 seconds to halt the cooking process. Mix in a little bit of vegetable oil – this will stop the pasta from sticking together.
For the cheese sauce, heat the sunflower oil in a pan, then add the salt, pepper, mustard powder and flour, stirring well. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream. The sauce will start to thicken as it comes to the boil. Simmer for 2 minutes and then remove from the heat. Add the grated cheese and stir until fully melted.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the sauce and mix well. Transfer to a casserole dish and use a wooden spoon or palette knife to smooth the surface. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on top, in your chosen pattern 8. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges and top begin to harden slightly and the tomato is cooked. Divide the mac ‘n’ cheese onto plates and serve immediately.
Wagu steak w/ bearnaise sauce and chips
For the béarnaise sauce
2 tbsp tarragon vinegar
50ml white wine vinegar
1 tsp white peppercorns
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
4 free-range egg yolks
200g unsalted butter, melted
salt and black pepper
¼ lemon, juice only
2 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves, finely chopped
For the rib-eye steaks
4 x 280-350g rib-eye Wagu beef steaks
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
Chips either home made or frozen – up to you
For the béarnaise sauce, place the vinegars, white peppercorns and shallot into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.
Remove the peppercorns and pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl. Add the egg yolks to the bowl and whisk well.
Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk the eggs together until pale and thick. Gradually add the melted butter, whisking constantly. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the lemon juice and chopped tarragon leaves. Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the warm pan until ready to serve.
Cook your chips, either frying or in the oven.
Meanwhile, for the rib-eye steaks, season the steaks with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a frying pan until very hot and add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is foaming, add the steaks and fry on each side for 2-3 minutes (for medium) or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the heat, cover and rest in a warm place for at least two minutes before serving.
To serve, pile the chips on one side of each plate. Place the steak next to the chips along with a spoonful of béarnaise sauce.
(Credits: James Martin, Rick Stein, Henry Dimbleby, Ching-He Huang, Marcus Wareing, Marcello Tully)