Forgot to add that the Burgundy we had was Henri Boillot Hospices de Beaune MazisChambertin Cuvee Magdeleine 2000…and it was delicious……………..
Years ago I cut out a recipe from a newspaper for a marvellous looking Duck and Pistachio Terrine. This would be the weekend that I would finally get down to making it.A few simple salads some crusty bread what could be better?
The recipe required a boned duck so with a list of ingredients I went off to the butcher. No duck. They could breasts and legs but no whole ducks so I ended up getting all the ingredients including a whole duck from the supermarket and went home to bone out the duck myself.Its been a while since I boned out a bird so it took sometime boning then removing all the fat and sinews and finely chopping and slicing the meat. The recipe then required me to make a stock from the bones and cook it for at least 3 hours to develop a rich ducky flavour. After much faffing around and some 24hours later I finally had my Duck Terrine.I unwrapped the foil placed it on a board. The moment had come would it look as good as the one in the picture? More importantly would it taste as it good as it looked? and was it really worth the day and a half hassle in making it?
Quite frankly it wasn’t! It didn’t look too bad and to be fair tasted quite good- but really? Thirty hours to wait for this? I don’t think so.What was good however was the wonderful Chicken Liver Pate that I made from the leftover chicken livers. This was truly scrumptious, took only a few minutes to make and was devoured in a flash!
Recipe for Chicken Liver Pate
400g chicken livers any veins removed
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
3-4 sprigs of thyme and oregano
5floz 142ml double cream
A little knob of butter.
In a frying pan sweat the onions in the butter for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften then add the garlic and cook for another minuter (careful not to let the garlic burn) add the chicken livers and fry for another 3-4 minutes till the livers are cooked (they should still have a little softness to them but not raw!)Add the brandy and flambe the alcohol away. Remove the pan from the heat and place the mixture in a magimix or blender. Season well with salt and pepper . Pulse the mixture a few times then add the cream slowly and blend till the mixture is smooth.Place the mixture in a jar or in small ramekins if you prefer.
Melt a little butter (about 20z)slowly then carefully skim off any of the milk solids leaving the clear clarified butter. Pour this over the pate and leave the pate to chill for at least an hour or 2 in the fridge . Over night is better as it the flavours get better and better.
We also has Fennel and celery heart salad with lemon zest mozzarella and Parmesan
Bean Bacon and Hazelnut salad.
This was washed down with a bottle of Italian white –Zuani and a bottle of red burgandy. Not bad for a Sunday lunch!
I’m working tonight at the pub, so unfortunately I’ll be missing out on tonight’s supper. However, after she’s made it, mum will be taking a photo and posting it. I’m pretty sure it’s just to rub it in, but I am looking forwards to seeing how well it turns out (on camera at least, as it always tastes amazing)
Something I maybe should have mentioned earlier is that I am going on a cookery course for four weeks at the Grange Cookery School in Somerset. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and I am looking forwards to it, not only because I can share what I’ve learnt on here, but also because food has always been very important to me, and the more I learn about cooking the closer I get to being able to do anything I want in the kitchen, without the worry of setting something (or myself) on fire…
Supper tonight… It’s Saturday, and although as a family we all like variety, there would be mutiny if we didn’t have steak and sauteed potatoes.
I’ve got two nice pieces of dry-aged sirloin, about 8oz, (2 8oz steaks should feed about 2-3 people) which I have left uncovered in the fridge for at least a day. This is to help the caramelisation, and enhance the flavour when I cook them.
An hour before I start cooking, I will take the steaks out, sprinkle it generously with some rosemary and sea salt, and leave them until I’m ready to cook. However just before I put them on the barbeque (no highbrow cooking for this evening) I drizzle a little olive oil on them.
Sauteed potatoes are a very easy dish, and can be done in a few different ways. The way I tend to prepare them is by choosing potatoes such as Maris Piper, Red Rooster or King Edward’s (this is for the particular flavour that I intend the dish to have) and also to ensure that the potatoes end up fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. I then wash and peel them (the amount is completely dependent on how many it’s for, I usually allow between 2-3 medium sized potatoes per person) and the cut them into dice-sized cubes.
Cook the potatoes for 5 minutes in boiling water, drain them and leave in a colander for 2-3 minutes to allow the steam to evaporate which will result in crispier potatoes.
Take a large frying pan, put it on to high heat and add 1 heaped tablespoon of duck fat. When the fat has melted, and the pan begins to smoke, add the potatoes. Toss them gently so that all the potatoes are coated in the hot fat (beware of spitting fat!). Season with a little salt and pepper, add 3-4 large sprigs of rosemary, and 8-12 large cloves of garlic (skins left on).
Turn the heat down to medium low heat, and leave to fry gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Your loving partner will have hopefully got the barbeque nice and hot by now. Failing this, either find someone new, or maybe you should insist on the rule (which is set in stone in this house) that whoever cooks does not do any of the washing up. That should get you plenty of volunteers for barbeque duty.
Cook the steaks for 3-4 minutes either side depending on how rare you like it. I find the thumb test really helpful; ‘slightly squidgy’ when you press you thumb in the middle for rare, a bit firmer for medium and it should be quite firm for well done. Do not stick a knife in, as the juices then run out, which results in a tough steak.
Remove from the barbeque and place on a warm (not hot) plate. Cover with foil (or another plate) and place near the hob. The meat must rest for at least 10 minutes, up to 45 minutes maximum.
Remember to check back on your potatoes, they should be pale but cooked through. If not, cook them a little longer (on a medium heat). When the potatoes are soft in the middle, turn the heat up high and crispen them up until they are a nice dark golden brown. All the fat should have been absorbed, if the potatoes look a little dry, you can always add a little more duck fat during the cooking.
Season the potatoes generously with salt and pepper and place in a warm serving dish.
I usually make a parmesan and rocket salad, or really any crisp green salad goes with this meal. Serve the meat with a good dollop of dijon mustard.
And there you go, a traditional saturday night dinner in the Weaver family.
Ingredients (just to make it a little clearer, for 4 people)
- 3x 80z/250g sirloin steaks (well aged, for real carnivores you can get 4 steaks)
- 12 medium sized potatoes
- 2tbs duck fat
- 6 sprigs rosemary
- 12 large cloves of garlic (skins left on)
- olive oil
The possibility of making a cooking blog has been discussed by my mother and I for a ridiculously long time, and now, finally, we decided to sit down and spend a whopping two minutes setting one up.
And here is the result; ‘alittlemorethanpotnoodle’ is something we thought we could do together as a sort of joint project. Not that there aren’t thousands of other cooking blogs out there, but we decided that even if nobody read this blog, let alone got any useful advice from it, then at least we would get the enjoyment of making (and eating!) the meals and on my part vaguely edible creations that we create.
So hopefully there are some other like-minded people out there who want to try this out. We’ll post recipes and pictures of what we’ve made on a fairly regular basis (I hope) but we would also both love suggestions or brilliant new ideas which you’d like us to ‘kitchen-test’.
See you soon !