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Archive for August, 2012

This is just an amazing recipe. Half made-up, half-copied, it was just the perfect result.

Great for dinner parties or dinner a-deux, this gratin is cheap, easy and quick to do – and looks lovely on the table.

Serves 4 – preparation 30min, oven 25min

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 400g minced meat
  • 2 small onions (or 1 big)
  • 1 spoon of creme fraiche
  • grated parmesan
  • rosemary
  • cinq-épices
  • salt and pepper

Peal the butternut squash and cook or steam it until soft – 10/15 min in a steam-cooker. In the meantime, slightly fry the onions in a little bit of olive oil in a large fry-pan. When soft (but not brown), add in the meat. Cook thoroughly and add in the rosemary, cinq-épices, salt and pepper.

When the butternut squash is cooked, mash it together with a large spoon of creme-fraiche. Add in salt and pepper.

In a gratin dish, pour half the butternut squash, add the meat and onion preparation on top and cover with the second half of butternut squash. Pour 30 grammes of grated Parmesan on top for the gratin effect.

Place in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 25 minutes.

Serve very hot with a side salad of lettuce.

Enjoy!

This was tried and tested and unanimously approved…

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Everyone has heard of ‘seasonal cooking’ and how important it is if we want to save the planet? Like everybody else I embraced the trend and tried to cook around the vegetables I could find in my local Tesco or Co-op…

This went well for a few months until I somewhat had a revelation. Whilst shopping for leeks at my local grocery a few weeks ago, I was told by a rather apologetic grocer that because leeks were out of season they were going to cost me a wholesome £3.50.

My answer was along the line of ‘whaaaaaat but I need leeks..!’ – or something similar.

As soon as I was home, I looked it up and… the grocer was right! Not that surprising when one thinks about it long enough. Leeks are winter vegetables – I didn’t have the faintest idea.

A whole new culinary world full of delicious experiments was opening in front of my eye!

Here is a (very useful) calendar of seasonal fruits and vegetables:

JANUARY

Fruits: apple, date, lemon, mandarin, orange, pear, tangerine

Vegetables: brussels sprout, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chestnut, kale, Jerusalem artichoke, leek, parsnip, potato, swede, sweet potato, turnip

Herbs: Garlic, ginger

FEBRUARY

Fruits: Apple, date, lemon, mandarin, orange, pear, tangerine

Vegetables: Brussels sprout, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chestnut, kale, Jerusalem artichoke, leek, parsnip, potato, purple sprouting broccoli , swede, sweet potato, turnip

Herbs: Garlic, ginger

MARCH

Fruits: Apple, date, lemon, mandarin, orange, pear, tangerine

Vegetables: Cauliflower, leek, parsnip, potato, purple sprouting broccoli, sweet potato

Herbs: Chives, parsley

APRIL

Fruits: Apricot, avocado, mango, pineapple,

Vegetables: Cauliflower, carrots, celeriac, purple sprouting broccoli , lettuce greens, new potatoes, peas, spinach, spring greens, sorrel

Herbs: Chives, parsley, watercress

MAY

Fruits: Apricot, avocado, gooseberry, mango, pineapple, strawberry

Vegetables: Asparagus, carrots, fennel, new potatoes, peas, radish, spinach, spring greens, sorrel

Herbs: Chives, dill, mustard greens, sage, thyme, watercress

JUNE

Fruits: Apricot, avocado, gooseberry, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon

Vegetables: Asparagus, aubergine (eggplant), beetroot, beans, Chinese cabbage, courgette (zucchini), cucumber, globe artichoke, new potatoes, peas, radish, silverbeet, spinach, spring greens, sorrel, tomato

Herbs: Basil, chives, dill, garlic chives, mustard greens, sage, thyme, watercress

JULY

Fruits: apricot, blackcurrant, blueberry, cherry, gooseberry, peach, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon

Vegetables: Asparagus, aubergine (eggplant), beetroot, beans, broad bean, Chinese cabbage, courgette (zucchini), cucumber, globe artichoke, new potatoes, peas, radish, silverbeet, spinach, spring greens, sorrel, tomato

Herbs: Basil, chives, dill, garlic, garlic chives, mustard greens, sage, thyme, watercress

AUGUST

Fruits: apricot, blackcurrant, blueberry, cherry, fig, gooseberry, peach, raspberry, red currant, strawberry, watermelon

Vegetables: Aubergine (eggplant), beetroot, beans, broad bean, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, courgette (zucchini), cucumber, globe artichoke, new potatoes, peas, radish, silverbeet, spinach, spring greens, sorrel, sweet corn, tomato

Mushrooms: chanterelle, black trumpet, cep, girolle, bolete, horn of plenty

Herbs: Basil, chives, garlic, garlic chives, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, watercress

SEPTEMBER

Fruits: Apricot, blackberry, damson, fig, gooseberry, peach, peach, pear, plum, raspberry, red currant, strawberry

Vegetables: Aubergine (eggplant), beetroot, beans, broad bean, broccoli, celeriac, celery, courgette (zucchini), cucumber, kale, leek, new potatoes, parsnip, peas, radish, silverbeet, spinach, sorrel, sweet corn, tomato

Mushrooms: Chanterelle, black trumpet, cep, girolle, bolete, horn of plenty

Herbs: Basil, chives, garlic, garlic chives, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, watercress

OCTOBER

Fruits: Apple, cranberry, fig, pear, plum, quince

Vegetables: Aubergine (eggplant), beetroot, beans, broad bean, broccoli, celeriac, celery, chestnut, courgette (zucchini), cucumber, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, leek, new potatoes, parsnip, pumpkin, radish, sorrel, sweet corn

Herbs: Garlic, rosemary

NOVEMBER

Fruits: Apple, clementine, cranberry, date, fig, pear, quince

Vegetables: Beetroot, Brussels sprouts, celeriac, celery, chestnut, globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, leek, parsnip, peas, potato, pumpkin, swede, sweet potato, Swiss chard, turnip

Herbs: Garlic, ginger

DECEMBER

Fruits: Apple, clementine, cranberry, date, lemon, mandarin, orange, pear, quince, tangerine, rhubarb

Vegetables: Brussels sprout, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chestnut, kale, Jerusalem artichoke, leek, parsnip, potato, shallots, swede, sweet potato, turnip

Herbs: Garlic, ginger

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