Weekly menu 47

Getting hard not to be very meat heavy at the moment, especially when its cold outside all I want is something hearty and normally meat based. So apologies to my veggie readers or those who prefer more fish 🙂

Hope you try at least one of these recipes and do let me know how you get on!

Enjoy 🙂

Saturday: Hoisin glazed ham w/ warm potato salad
Sunday: Roast wood pigeon salad with pears, hazelnuts, chicory and gin vinaigrette
Monday: Singapore deep-fried hake w/ pad Thai noodles
Tuesday: Roasted butternut squash and sage risotto with pinenuts
Wednesday: Pork chop with braised Brussels sprouts, chestnut, red onion and sage
Thursday: Pasta con sarde (sardines)
Friday: Paneer jalfrezi

Hoisin glazed ham w/ warm potato salad
Ingredients:

For the ham
2-3kg easy-carve ready-cooked ham leg
15-20 whole star anise, to decorate
125ml hoisin sauce
125ml plum sauce
60ml Chinese rice wine
60ml soy sauce
60g soft brown sugar
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

For the potato salad
750g waxy potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 tsp sea salt
75ml extra virgin olive oil
125ml lemon juice
1 tbsp sumac (available in Middle Eastern grocers)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lime, juice only
1 small green pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 large red chillies, seeded, finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 large bunch fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
6 spring onions, finely sliced

Method:
Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4.

Using a small sharp knife, cut through the rind around the shank of the ham. Carefully lift the rind from the fat in one piece, running your fingers through where the rind and fat are joined to ease away. Reserve the rind and use to cover the cut ham when storing. Score the white fat in a diamond pattern and press star anise into the centre of every second or third scored diamond.

Place the ham on a rack over a roasting tray, then pour a small amount of water into the base of the roasting tray to prevent the glaze from burning.

Place the remaining ham ingredients into a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Remove the glaze mixture from the heat and carefully pour over the ham making sure that all of the exposed fat is covered. Transfer the ham to the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes, basting occasionally, until the ham is golden all over.

Remove the ham from the oven and place it onto a large platter ready to carve.

For the lemon potato salad, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil then add the potatoes and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Remember to under cook the potatoes a little, because they will continue cooking in their own heat and steam when removed from the water.

Place the olive oil, lemon juice and sumac into a bowl, stir to combine and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour half of the sumac dressing over the hot potatoes and stir very gently. Leave to cool, then add the capsicum, chilli, mint, parsley, spring onion and remaining dressing and stir gently to combine.

To serve, place several slices of ham onto each plate with a large spoonful of potato salad alongside.

Roast wood pigeon salad with pears, hazelnuts, chicory and gin vinaigrette
Ingredients:

4 oven-ready wood pigeons
8 juniper berries, crushed
2 lemons (zest of half a lemon, juice of 2 lemons)
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
100ml hazelnut oil, plus extra for drizzling
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g butter
50ml gin
50ml reduced chicken stock
1 tsp soft brown sugar
2 dessert pears
4 heads baby red chicory, leaves only
100g baby red chard leaves
100g watercress, stalks removed
100g toasted hazelnuts

Method:
Place the wood pigeons into a medium bowl. Add the crushed juniper berries, the lemon zest, thyme leaves and 30ml of the hazelnut oil. Season, to taste, with freshly ground black pepper. Cover the bowl with cling film and marinate in the fridge for a minimum of four hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the wood pigeons, skin-sides down, on one breast. Cook for two minutes, then turn the wood pigeons to cook the other breast. Transfer the wood pigeons to a roasting tin and cook in the preheated oven for four minutes.

Remove the cooked wood pigeons from the oven and set aside to rest for 4-5 minutes. When the meat has rested, cut the breasts of both birds away from the carcasses and set aside.

Return the carcasses to the same large frying pan used earlier and cook for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat, until lightly browned. Add the gin, reduced chicken stock, juice of one lemon and the brown sugar. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by one-third, then strain the liquid into a bowl. Keep the gin vinaigrette warm. (Discard the carcasses.)

Meanwhile, remove the skin and cores from the pears and cut the pear flesh into matchsticks. Place the sliced pears into a small glass bowl and add the remaining lemon juice. Mix to make sure all the pear has been coated in lemon juice (this will stop the pear from turning brown). Add the rest of the hazelnut oil to the pear and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Mix together the baby red chicory leaves, baby red chard leaves, watercress, toasted hazelnuts and pear mixture in a large bowl. Slice the wood pigeon breasts thinly and add to the leaves. Drizzle over the gin vinaigrette.

Singapore deep-fried hake w/ pad Thai noodles
Ingredients:

For the hake
vegetable oil, for frying
500g hake, skin removed, cut into 3cm/1¼in cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g plain flour
50g cornflour
110ml-150ml chilled sparkling water
2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely sliced
3 red bird’s-eye chillies, de-seeded, finely chopped
125ml tomato ketchup
75ml sweet chilli sauce
75ml hoisin sauce
3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
75ml water
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

For the pad Thai noodles
4 tbsp groundnut oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp light soy sauce
200g rice noodles, soaked in hot water, drained
150g fresh beansprouts
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
¼ tsp ground white pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
25g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Method:
For the Singapore deep-fried hake, heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped in it.

Season the hake with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Mix the flour, cornflour and a pinch of salt together in a bowl. Whisk in enough sparkling water to form a smooth batter (you may not need all of the water). Dip the hake into the batter and carefully lower into the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden-brown. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

Heat a wok until hot, add the groundnut oil, garlic, ginger and chillies and stir-fry for one minute. Add the tomato ketchup, sweet chilli, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, water and sugar and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the hake and coriander and stir until well combined.

For the pad Thai noodles, heat a wok until hot. Add the groundnut oil, garlic, ginger and shallot and stir-fry for one minute. Stir in the fish sauce, tamarind paste and soy sauce and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the noodles and stir-fry until warmed through, then add the beansprouts and cook for a further minute.

Push the noodle mixture to one side of the wok, add the egg to the empty side and cook it for 30 seconds. Stir the egg into the noodle mixture and season, to taste, with the white pepper. Stir in the coriander.

To serve, spoon the pad Thai onto serving plates and sprinkle over some of the chopped peanuts. Spoon the Singapore deep-fried hake alongside.

Roasted butternut squash and sage risotto with pinenuts
Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
About 15 sage leaves, chopped
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large knobs of butter
1 large onion, chopped
400g arborio or other Italian risotto rice
2 glasses white wine
1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
good handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese (or alternative vegetarian hard cheese), plus extra to serve
75g pine nuts, to serve

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

Cut the butternut squash into 6-8 wedges, remove the seeds and place in a roasting tray. Pound or chop the garlic and add a generous splash of olive oil, half the sage leaves, sea salt and pepper. Tip into the tray and rub over the butternut squash with your hands. Roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes until softened and becoming golden in colour. Once the squash has cooked, cool slightly, then scrape the soft flesh away from the skin into a bowl. Lightly mash with a fork or potato masher until it is fairly chunky in texture. Scrape any sticky juices left in the roasting tray into the bowl and keep warm while making the risotto.

Heat the olive oil and a good knob of butter in a deep, heavy-based frying pan or saute pan. Gently fry the onion until softened. Add the rice and stir for about a minute until the grains are coated with the oil and butter. Pour in the wine and stir continuously until it has cooked into the rice. Add a good ladle of hot stock and the remaining sage and season well with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down so the stock is simmering gently. Keep adding ladles of stock as it cooks into the rice, stirring and moving the rice around in the pan. After about 15-20 minutes the rice should be soft but still have a bit of bite left in it. The texture of the risotto should be thick and creamy, but not too loose. Add extra stock if necessary. It may seem tedious standing and stirring but the end result will be worth it.

Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir the roasted butternut squash into the risotto with the parmesan, the remaining butter and seasoning to taste. Add any extra stock if the risotto seems particularly thick. Cover with a lid for a couple of minutes as this will give the risotto an even creamier texture.

During this time, place the pinenuts in a fairly hot frying pan and toss around until golden. Spoon the risotto into warmed bowls and scatter with the pinenuts and extra parmesan.

Pork chop with braised Brussels sprouts, chestnut, red onion and sage
Ingredients:

For the sprouts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
350g Brussels sprouts, trimmed
6 sage leaves
200g cooked chestnuts (vacuum-packed are fine)
110ml white wine
300ml vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pork chop
4 pork chops
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Method:
For the sprouts, heat a large frying pan or wok until hot, then add the olive oil and red onion and stir-fry for one minute. Add the Brussels sprouts and sage and stir-fry for a further minute. Add the chestnuts and white wine and simmer until the volume of the wine has reduced by half. Add the vegetable stock and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the sprouts are tender. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pork chops, season the pork chops well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a clean frying pan and add the pork chops. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown all over and cooked through. The chops are cooked when the meat is pierced at its thickest point with a skewer and the juices run clear

To serve, place the pork chops onto four plates and spoon the sprouts alongside.

Pasta con sarde
Ingredients:

10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large bulb fennel, trimmed, finely sliced, fronds reserved and finely chopped
2 small onions, finely chopped
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds, crushed
2-3 small fresh red chillies, finely chopped
600g sardines, scaled, gutted and filleted (you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
75g raisins
50g pine nuts
175ml white wine
175ml water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
450g dried linguine
1-2 lemons, zest and juice

Method:
Heat six tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over a low to medium heat. Add the fennel, onions, fennel seeds and chillies, then half-cover the pan with a lid. Fry gently for 18-20 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened but not coloured. Add half of the sardines and all of the raisins and pine nuts and stir until well combined. Remove the lid from the pan, then continue to cook over a low heat for a further 8-10 minutes, stirring and crushing the ingredients with a wooden spoon every now and then, until the sardines have fallen apart and the mixture is well combined.

Increase the heat, add the white wine and water and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring well. Continue to simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half, then return the temperature to a low heat and simmer the sauce very slowly for a further 4-5 minutes, or until it has thickened. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Arrange the remaining sardine fillets, skin-side up, on top of the sarde sauce, side by side, then drizzle over two tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil.

Cover the pan again with the lid and cook the sardines and sauce over a low heat for 7-10 minutes, or until the sardine fillets are cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to packet instructions in a large pan of boiling, salted water. When the pasta is al dente, drain well. Add the sauce, cooked whole sardine fillets and the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan with the cooked pasta in it and mix well until the linguine is coated in the sauce.

To serve, divide the pasta con sarde equally among four serving plates. Squeeze a little lemon juice, to taste, over each serving. Garnish with the lemon zest and reserved fennel fronds.

Paneer jalfrezi
Ingredients:

3 tbsp vegetable oil
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1 dried Kashmiri chilli, whole with seeds
5cm piece fresh root ginger, finely shredded
3 small onions, thinly sliced
1 fresh green chilli, chopped, with or without seeds
1 red or yellow pepper, seeds removed, cut lengthways into 5mm/¼in-thick strips
1 green pepper, seeds removed, cut lengthways into 5mm/¼in-thick strips
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
250g paneer, cut into 3cm/1¼in x 1.5cm/¾in pieces
3 tomatoes, cut into strips
1 tsp wine vinegar
½ tsp toasted ground cumin seeds
¾ tsp garam masala
Boiled basmati to serve

Method:
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or karahi over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds, whole dried chilli and about two-thirds of the shredded ginger, and fry for 30 seconds until aromatic.

Add the onions and green chilli and fry for 5–6 minutes, or until the onions are just softening but not browned and still have a little crunch. Add the peppers, salt, turmeric and chilli powder, and fry for a further 3–4 minutes.

Lower the heat, add the paneer to the pan and gently stir everything together for about five minutes, then add the tomato and heat through. Stir in the vinegar, ground cumin and garam masala, scatter with the remaining shredded ginger, and serve with boiled basmati.

(Credits: Danny Miller, Bill Granger, James Martin, Arthur Potts Dawson, Jo Pratt, Rick Stein)

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