Well that was nice

templequaymarket

Popping over to the Temple Quay market for lunch it was a nice walk in the sun and there is something nice about buying street food in the summer weather. I managed to get there quite early, so was really spoilt for choice. Even getting their early there were already long queues for the Thai food and the slow cooked pulled pork.

I did think about getting Peruvian from the Uchu Perú stall, but though the food looked fantastic, I have tried to try new things, rather than buy things again. For those same reasons I also didn’t go for the tacos from the Little Taqueria as I have had them before (still need to write that blog post).

In the end after much thought, I went with Wild and Rustic who usually sell venison burgers, but this week had sous-vide chicken thighs cooked with lemon and thyme. These were then chargrilled before being served in a rustic sourdough bun with wild rocket confit garlic mayo, parmesan gremolata sweet potato crisps.

This was really delicious and I am glad I went back to the office to eat it, as I can imagine that trying to eat it straight from the box would be a somewhat messy affair.

The chicken was really nice, cooking sous-vide and then finishing off on the grill results in moist tasty chicken. The accompaniments really helped to finish off the chicken.

I really liked it, I did think it was slightly on the pricey side at £6.50 but then again getting the dish prepared in front of you and it tasting delicious, meant that I think it was a price worth paying.

Linguine

Linguine

I like pasta dishes and this was a quick and easy recipe. I took some linguine pasta and cooked it for ten minutes in boiling water. I never add salt or oil and never have a problem with cooking time, flavour or pasta sticking together.

When the pasta was cooked, I drained and then immediately added a beaten egg, creme frache and grated parmesan cheese. This was then served with a little freshly ground black pepper.

Linguine with pesto

Needed a quick supper tonight, so cooked some really nice linguine pasta. Once it was cooked I tossed it in olive oil and added a couple of teaspoons of pesto. Tossed again and served with some freshly grated parmesan.

Simple, quick, yet delicious.

Cheese straws

Considering how easy these are to make and taste so much better fresh I am surprised that people don’t make them more often.

Take some puff pastry.

Now here’s a question? Am I hypocritical for being surprised that people buy cheese straws but then go ahead and buy ready made puff pastry to make my own? Is that not just the kettle and the pot calling each other names?

Well yes I did use ready made puff pastry. I usually make straws after using the puff pastry for something else and there is some left over.

So I rolled it out, grated some parmesan onto it, folded it over, repeated twice more.

I then cut the cheesy pastry into strips about six inches long and half an inch wide.

These I then twist, hold each end and twist your hands in opposite directions to get a twisty cheese straw.

Brush with egg and scatter some more grated parmesan onto the top.

Bake in the oven for around eight to ten minutes.

Delicious.

Risotto

Risotto

In a large frying pan, place some olive oil and butter. Then add some finely chopped onion, red pepper, courgette and pancetta.

Soften the onions.

Bring up the heat.

Add the risotto rice and ensure that the rice is coated in the oil and butter.

Add a splash of white wine.

Now add some chicken stock.

Keep topping up with stock to ensure that the rice doesn’t dry out.

Once the rice is virtually cooked, add a large handful of grated parmesan, some chopped parsley and some freshly ground black pepper.

Serve, garnish with a few slices of lemon.

Lemon and Rocket Risotto

I am going through a risotto phase at the moment.

This is my original lemon risotto recipe.

Lemon and Rocket Risotto

In a large frying pan, place some olive oil and butter. Then add some finely chopped onion and the zest of two lemons.

Soften the onions.

Bring up the heat.

Add the risotto rice and ensure that the rice is coated in the oil and butter.

Add a splash of white wine.

Now add some chicken stock.

Keep topping up with stock to ensure that the rice doesn’t dry out.

Once the rice is virtually cooked, add the juice of the lemons, a large handful of grated parmesan, some roughly chopped rocket and some freshly ground black pepper.

Serve, garnish with a few slices of lemon.

Calamari

Tonight I cooked some calamari (squid in batter) and was well impressed with the results, melt in your mouth.

If all you have ever eaten are the “bake” in the oven ready battered calamari or under the grill “cooked” squid rings, then cooking fresh squid is something you just have to try.

You will find there is no comparison.

So take some prepared squid; you can prepare it yourself, or ask your fishmonger or buy it freshly prepared.

In a bowl mix some self-raising flour, some milk and the yolk of an egg (or you can use a beer batter). I also added some grated parmesan (just to be different).

Then coat and cook the squid in a pan of hot oil.

Serve straightaway with lemon segments, otherwise the cooked squid will go rubbery or the batter will go soft.

Delicious.

Creamy Linguine

This is a nice pasta dish that is quick and easy to make.

In a large frying pan, fry off some pancetta and half a finely chopped onion.

Then add some mushrooms and freshly chopped parsley.

When nearly cooked, add half a tub of creme frache.

Cream sauce

For the pasta  used a fresh egg and spinach linguine.

fresh egg and spinach linguine

It only takes a couple of minutes to cook, mix with the sauce and then serve with a sprinkling of grated parmesan and ground black pepper.

Pasta with Pork and Cream

Cooked a nice simple pasta dish tonight.

In a hot pan, cook off some pancetta, now add some diced (or sliced) pork and brown.

Now add some finely chopped red onion and add some Italian herbs.

In another hot pan, add a splash of olive oil then cook some sliced mushrooms, they will cook and taste much better than cooking them with the pork and onions.

Cook some fresh pasta in a pan of rolling boiling water.

To the mushrooms add some freshly chopped parsley.

Then add the mushrooms to the pork, add a tub of creme frache, some grated parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.

Drain the cooked pasta, and add the pork and cream mixture on top.

Add some more grated parmesan to taste.

Serve.

Pasta in Tomato Sauce


This is a very quick and easy dish with a lovely piquant tomato sauce.

Pasta in Tomato Sauce

In a large frying pan, cook off some pancetta, then in the same pan soften a finey chopped onion and red pepper.

When the pancetta, onions and pepper are nearly cooked, add a good splash of balsamic vinegar, then as this boils add a blended tin of tomatoes (or you could use passata if you want to). Add some tomato puree and sliced mushrooms. Leave to simmer for at least twenty minutes and perferably a little longer. Towards the end add some chopped fresh parsley.

When you are nearly ready to eat, cook the pasta. With a tomato sauce I much prefer to use a dried pasta (and use fresh pasta with a cream based sauce). With this recipe I used De Cecco Fusilli.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and toss the pasta in the sauce.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan and ground black pepper.

If you like to you could add some black olives or anchovies to the sauce, I prefer not to due to the saltiness of these ingredients.